Monday, December 31, 2007

Robert Capa

Among the swell presents I got back here in Colorado was Phaidon's "Robert Capa: the Definitive Collection." Capa's always been something of a hero of mine, not only for his photographs (which are fantastic -- speaking as someone who tends to shy away from humans in pictures, his mastery of human emotion is impressive) but because, by all accounts, he lived a pretty full life. His "Slightly Out of Focus" (still in print, I think) is both impressive and fun, showing that in addition to his photographic talents he was no slouch as a writer, and that he had a hell of an appetite for the fun parts of life. Reading about him always gets me a little pumped up and this'll be one to have by the bed late at night.

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Because God loves a good joke, I've come down with a nasty cough over the past few days, so I've spent much less time than I would have liked outside in the Colorado snow, and much more inside looking up "NASCAR's Worst Moments of 2007" on SI.com. Still, good to be back here. We headed down to the Walnut Brewery last night, and that gave me the chance to reflect on some things Boulder has done right over the years: keeping buildings low and streetlights minimal. (Not a revelation, but it really struck me last night -- perhaps due to all the cold medicine.) On a night like last night, when it's overcast and there's a little snow coming down, the man-made parts of the world seem pretty insignificant, and the natural parts -- the sky, the mountains -- overwhelming and impressive. You don't see this in Atlanta, where nature is (at least visually) far friendlier. It's likely a product of the environment where I grew up, but the immense and intimidating mountains and sky are more my style.

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