Saturday, April 2, 2011

Small but Great

The urban environment has many small elements (both natural and man-made) that make it look closer to Nature and/ or friendlier to people. When I'm outdoors, it is these small elements that draw my attention and make me want to use my point-and-shoot little camera to capture and save them.

I'm not referring here to parks , the 'green lungs' - which are, of course, the pride of every city and its municipality, but to the small public patches of green, to front and back house gardens, to tiles in the pavement, street lamps (like in the above picture), benches, public-phone roofs, stone statues...; the list is endless. Here are a few samples of what I mean by 'small elements' in the urban landscape:

Puddle, surrounded by some trees and weeds. A remnant of the last rains of winter. A natural 'relief' which borders the end of a long busy street, and the beginning of another long, busy street . A puddle is usually a dirty, muddy little pool of water; this one is rather clean with defined margins, and at midday, I guess the sun 's rays are reflected in it. Nice sight enjoyed by both, pedestrians and people in the passing cars !

Right there on the extended pavement, by the urban road with a pedestrian crossing - several wooden benches in a semicircle to the grassy , round spot with two trees. In the background, a green mound with trees on it. Charming little place offering some rest and relaxation to the city dweller.

Bycicle- path painted sign. I like the addition of adult and child to the symbol of bycicle. It softens the look of the sign and yet makes its message more powerful: no motor traffic here, bycicle riders and pedestrians only!

A juice booth selling natural, fresh fruit & vegetable juice is a must in the crowded, poluted city. Have you ever drunk wheatgrass juice? Me neither. That's what the young woman with the bycicle has ordered. Wheatgrass juice, by the way, is supposed to have many curative properties. Well, my favorite juice is pomelo (a kind of grapefruit) juice.


  1. I love your pictures and comments, DUTA. I need to get myself a "point-and-shoot" little camera. Pictures a wonderful added element to any story!

  2. Thanks for sharin' a few of your fantastic small urban elements. It just goes to show ya'll that size truly doesn't matter!!! Heeehehe!!!

    From the Benches to the Juice booth this was great!

    God bless and enjoy your weekend sweetie!!! :o)

  3. Lovely post Duta..there's a website called Sustainable City that encourages making all of our cities more walkable, greener, and user friendly with the addition of bicycle paths throughout. As the price of gasoline continues to rise here in Canada, bicycle paths are becoming more and more dominant in the urban landscape.

  4. What a beautiful place. Love the pictures. That bicycle sign is perfect to remind people who might be riding. Love the idea of a juice bar, too.

  5. I always find your posts so interesting Duta. And enjoy your pictures. I love the idea of a juice bar. And I have heard of wheatjuice before, it is supposed to be really good for your. Thanks for sharing!
    until next time... nel

  6. Bica,

    Do get yourself a camera, Bica! It's a whole new world - the world of digital photography. My camera doesn't always cooperate with my clumsy fingers ; nevertheless it's a little wonder.


    Oh Nezzy - your "size truly doesn't matter" has almost cracked me up.
    Blessings to you too!


    Thanks for the info. I'll certainly check the website recommended by you. I do take some interest in the topic of sustainable energy.

    Janie B,

    Glad you like the pictures and the ideas presented in them: the bycicle sign and the juice bar.


    I'm flattered by your kind words about my posts, pictures, and ideas. Thank you, Nel.

  7. Dear Duta,
    You have captured those simple yet fascinating elements that most of the time may not be perceived as such because of the busy life in the cities, or because people just take them for granted.

    I'd love to find a fresh juice booth here... There's no way I can get fresh juice unless I fix it myself. The cashiers at the store often look at me amazed that I buy a lot of fresh fruits. I've been asked what a mango tastes like...or the star fruit, etc. :-))

    Neat post, and awesome pictures, Duta!

    And thanks for stopping by my blog and your encouraging comment.


  8. This "small and great" things, put the color in our lives. Same little here, and little there, make our lives better. We need them. We see them every day, but we do not realize that they are there for us. We think"it should be like that". But thank you for reminding us about all those small and great things.

  9. Very interesting post. No Wheatgrass juice for me. I prefer orange juice, grapefruit or cranberry juice mixed together. A little vodka added does not hurt either. I would have to had a LOT of vodka for wheat grass juice. Maybe 3/4 at least. Peace

  10. Hold my hand a social worker's blog,

    Your kind words, Doris, made my day.
    I'm surprised to learn that you've got no juice selling booths in your city. Probably they're common only in warm climate places like the country I live in.

    Lumi Ro,

    'Put colour and make our lives better' - how true!
    We should certainly not take these small, beneficial things for granted ; we should take care of and protect them.

    Lady Di Tn,

    Thank you for the Smile. Your remark about a LOT
    of Vodka added to wheatgrass juice did it (the smile, I mean).

  11. Hi Duta, I'm glad you liked the moss, it is such beautiful velvety stuff, a picture doesn't do it justice.

    You are right about the smaller elements of a city making it more livable. Huge buildings, miles of roads, and acres of cement need the natural touch. Our ancestors came from a garden, after all!

  12. The puddle looks like an oasis in the desert. Very pretty photos DUTA...leave it to you to notice nature in the small but great things we usually take for granted every day!

  13. You show many different aspects of your city by these photos, Duta, but the one I liked most was those benches in a semi circle. If I was in that vicinity I would have felt the urge to sit and look. There have been other photos of sitting places that you have posted up, all of which I would have enjoyed spending time having a look and people watching. I'm not a nosy person, just curious!

  14. I Love seeing the urban life, I take those kind of pics also! Beauty found in the city!

  15. Very nice photos and places !!!!
    I love so much the nature !!!

  16. Great little post to inspire those who both use their camera and those new to this world. As you say, there is so much to be seen in everyday things and the warm natural moment at the juice bar proves that. So many memories fade in the mind that it is useful as a documentation tool in addition to an Art form. I usually have one of my cameras with me when I'm out and about because you never know when you might want to use it. Have a good week.

  17. Dear DUTA:

    Your eye for detail is amazing. I wish there were many like you who could see the spots which are tucked away in the urban landscape. HAving teh camera with you always, makes the process much easier and nice.

    Joy always,
    Susan Deborah

  18. Dimple,

    "Our ancestors came from a garden" - I would never have tought of this beautiful and relevant truth. Thanks.


    The sight of this puddle has given me much delight, maybe because it was unexpected. It was near an open space but also near two very busy, lively city streets.

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    Not always, but in this case I happen to agree with you.The small elements do add beauty to landscape.


    I'm also curious by nature. Sitting on one of those benches and looking around could definitely satisfy one's audio-visual senses and curiosity.

    Stuff could always be worse,

    There is beauty in the city. Urban life could have it all if it's carefully planned, and there's balnce between urbanity, nature , and people's needs.

  19. Magda,

    I know. Your love of Nature and of places in your country is very obvious in the superb photos displayed on your blog.

    J on tour @jayspaze

    Thanks for calling my post a "great little post". I'm flattered.
    I totally agree with the things said in your comment on memory, documentation and the use of a camera.

    Susan Deborah,

    I like your expression "tucked away". Indeed, many "gems" are tucked away in the urban landscape.
    Carrying a camera is important, but frankly, I don't always manage to use it - sometimes because of the battery or a button, and sometimes because I'm in a hurry.

  20. Wonderful post, Duta.
    I take a camera with me wherever I go.
    Have got some great pictures.
    Loved all yours!

    Margie:)(on my huuby's computer right now.)

  21. You found some lovely places to photograph in the urban setting. I've never had wheatgrass either.

  22. Great idea for a post, Duta, and quite interesting! Thanks for sharing some of the elements of your world with us!

  23. Duta- as always the perfect mix of photo and story. Your neighborhood looks very interesting. Love the bike path signs!

  24. I love the things that grab your attention. It's the small things that are so beautiful, if we just slow down enough to notice. Thanks for the reminder Duta! AND thank you for the birthday wishes for my son. I told him, "My friend from Israel sent you a birthday wish." He smiled a big Elijah smile & said, "Oh that's cool!"

  25. Margie,

    Good idea to take your camera with you. You can never know what object for photography you may encounter on the way.


    Yes, I did. As for the wheatgrass juice, I suppose it has its fans as it is considered very healthy.

    Lynda Lehmann,

    Well, thank you Lynda. That was really just a sample of the small elements that make up my world. I'm glad you find it interesting.


    Let's just say that my neighborhood is not dull, and that it enables me to bring some relevant pictures to my stories.

    Lisa Petrarca,

    You're welcome! My pleasure reminding you of some of the small beautiful things in the world and wishing your handsome, charming son Elijah, a happy birthday. I like his reaction (Öh that's cool")to my wishes.

  26. ..i had fun looking at those pictures and reading your words... glad i stopped by... and wheatgrass juice??/ hmmmn... it sounds cool and tasty... i hope to taste it soon...^^

    Good day.


  27. Hiya, Duta! Just came by to see what's shakin'!

    Love this post; an example of what it means to "stop & smell the roses."

  28. Indeed! In a prevoius comment I told you that people must try to combine techology with nature. This is the only way to survive in our world. I mean in future ...

    First of your photos: it doesn't look like an urban landscape.

    I know what is pomelo but never heard about wheatgrass juice. What is this?

  29. windowlad,

    Welcome to my blog! Thanks for the visit and the comment. As for wheatgrass juice, I don't know wheher it's tasty but it sure is healthy.


    Hi, Susannah. Good to hear from you. Yes, 'stop and smell the roses' it is.


    You're right,of course, about the combination of nature and technology as being the only way to survival.

    As for the first photo: I should have tried to include in the photo the two urban streets adjacent to the puddle. In the photo one sees only the open field behind the puddle.

    Wheatgrass juice (in romanian: suc de iarba de grau) is juice prepared from the green wheat plant grown either oudoors, in the field, or indoors in pots and trays. The juice or powder of this plant is considered therapeutic.

  30. This is the second time you refer to, Ramat - Gan and I’m glad that you attract reader's attention to my city.
    The past Garden City has been covered with towers. Now, there are a few spots where we can pass and think quietly.
    Well that you found its lovely corners.

  31. Rahel/Rodica,

    Indeed, the top picture with the street lighting was taken in your city. There are of course street lamps like these in many other cities , but here , by the city museum with its special longish form - it has a charming effect in the evening.

  32. Hi Duta,
    Thanks for your visit & comment. I was surprised to hear of an ailment called "lichen," as I have only ever heard of the type shown in my picture. It is a symbiosis of a fungus and an alga, which enables it to live in places inhospitable to either organism alone, such as on rocks and rusty metal. I believe there are several species of lichen, as I have seen various forms. I think I will ask Mr. Google about your cousin's!

  33. Well, I learned something new today, thanks! "Lichen Planus" I will (possibly) remember that!

  34. I'd love to go for a walk with you and see what you see. Seeing things through your eyes is art in progress.

    BTW: I love wheatgrass, I drink green smoothies daily. (parsley, cilantro, ginger, 2 apples and 2 lemon with a hot pepper!)

  35. Somehow I don't think I'd like wheatgrass juice! Interesting post and photos...I'm so used to living in small town with lots of trees, flowers and empty spaces that I hadn't given this much thought!

  36. Dimple,

    I'm glad you've learned something new like Lychenus Planus (May God protect us from this disease!). Mr. Google knows it all.


    Multumesc mult pentru compliment.


    You've just made me wish I also drink wheatgrass juice. Thanks for the smoothie recipe.

    Sue (Someone's Mom),

    Lucky you to live in such a lovely town! As for wheatgrass juice - it's a matter of personal taste.Some like it, some not, some will drink it only for its curative properties.


    Thank you. We're celebrating the jewish Passover now. It started on the evening of 18 of April (Passover eve)and it lasts about a week.

  37. HI DUTA,
    Just concerned that it's been so long since you've posted something. I hope that you are just on holiday somewhere. Take care and know that you are missed :-)

  38. Alicia,

    Thanks for your concern and your kind words. I'm fine; it's just that I'm rather busy with a million things, and now on top of that we have the Passover week accompanied by house cleaning, travelling, celebrating, etc..Now and then, I enter blogieland to read some blogs and even to leave a comment.

  39. I would like to try those juices in this little shop. I know pomelo-probably it would also be one of my favourites:)

  40. Ola,


    Pomelo juice is my favourite, but I would recommend also orange juice, grapefruit juice and apple juice. They're both healthy and tasty.

  41. Your blogs arouse my interests in travelling !

  42. Book,

    I'm flattered and honoured by your words.