It’s been a busy few weeks with school ending for many of my good friends, the election dragging on, temperatures soaring, and life’s adventure in full swing. Two things to share with you all.
Sunday 5/4/08 on a wild hair I decided to spend the afternoon doing a bit of urban tourism. I recently purchased two replacement Lithium-Ion batteries off e-bay for my camera and was curious to see how the generic brand batteries would hold up. The price difference was amazing – $10 for two 1800 rated batteries, compared to the $60-70 official price for one 1300 rated name brand battery through a major outlet. For those curious the batteries worked out great with over 3 hours of battery time each. Quite an improvement when compared to the dwindling 2-30 minutes of active time I’m currently getting out of my old battery.
I shot off a few quick texts before taking a power nap. As expected most of the people I contacted were busy or lacked interest in the Zoo. It was actually almost a relief. By and large I was eager to go and wander at my own pace, taking photos, enjoying the animals and generally spending some time as a tourist in my home city. It’s always one of those funny quirks – the way in which we travel hours and thousands of miles to explore foreign destinations and then forget to take even the smallest amount of time to explore the area around our own city.
After having a little trouble locating the Zoo (google maps showed a non-existent street) I eventually arrived a few minutes before 3 which gave me a full 2 hours of wandering before the zoo closed. All things considered the Phoenix Zoo has a lot to offer. It’s definitely not the largest Zoo out there, nor is it the nicest. It is, however, ideal for a lazy Sunday afternoon. If the 90+ degree weather left me wondering if it was still spring the blossoming flowers assuaged my doubts. The Zoo grounds were alive with the buzzing of pollinating bees and splashed in the reds, yellows, and golds of blooming flowers.
Despite the heat I was surprised to find that a lion’s share of the animals were out and about enjoying the late afternoon sun…Though the lions and tigers themselves were holed up in the shade and all but invisible. The beauty, power and majesty present in some of the animals is truly amazing. A photo can express a lot, a great photo can leave you feeling like you’re there, but it never truly compares to being present in the flesh…Seeing, smelling, feeling and hearing the animal’s presence.
I spent my two hours lazily wandering through the Zoo before winding down shortly after 5. I’ve uploaded the photos from the trip here.
After catching a quick dinner with a friend as he passed through town I tightened up my laces, drank a hefty glass of water and made my way to Shall We Dance for the Sunday night salsa dance social. Nate and I have started recording some of our dances both for our own reference, and as a way to share with family and friends.
Dancing at a salsa club is vastly different than performance salsa. It’s dirtied, random, and lacks any sort of standardized routine. It’s fun, fast-paced, shoot from the hip style dancing that is both extremely enjoyable and always a unique experience. The following is a video of Michiko and I dancing next to Chris and Andrea:
The following is another sequence shot late last month of Mitchiko and I:
Here’s a third of Ashley and I dancing:
If you’d like to see more videos I’ve added a number of them to my Youtube page. Most are salsas but several are other dances (rumba, etc.). In addition to videos of me dancing I’ve also posted a number of videos of Nate and other members of our dance group dancing. View It.