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Los Angeles: the darker side

December 29, 2013 Leave a comment

This is my first time in Los Angeles. It is a startling place of about 22 million people – about the population of Australia. There are a lot of things to love about it, but they are for another post.

Personal injuries lawyers advertising their millionaire dreams on the Metro bus …

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So many people fishing in rubbish bins (aka trash cans), looking for food. Here, a man is up to his armpits outside the LA Science Centre. In Australia, this happens, but on a tiny scale by comparison. Today’s news is that 1.3 million Americans will be having their unemployment benefits cut and returning servicemen and women will have their benefits reduced. According to Volunteers America, 46.2 million Americans live in poverty. Skid row may grow.

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Another advertisement, inside a Metro train this time, speaks of desperation without calling it out. In Australia, we have ads calling for the surrender of firearms.

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Bail bond services are advertised on benches across the road from the courthouse and public service signs are mostly bi-lingual.

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I was speaking with a private driver about how terrible it was that eight Americans had died from carbon monoxide poisoning, because their power was out (due to a recent ice storm) and they’d used BBQs and generators to warm themselves up. The driver may have revealed too much about himself when he said that in his experience, you could warm yourself up with candles.

This is the dark side of the glitzy dream. Still, no matter what, the locals love this place, fiercely. And good on them.

2013 Jupiters National DanceSport Championship_QLD Open

Peter + Rebecca Beardsley (QLD Professional ballroom champions)

Peter + Rebecca Beardsley (QLD Professional ballroom champions)

 

The Easter long weekend coincides with one of the biggest dates on the Australian DanceSport calendar: the Queensland Open, National DanceSport Championship at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast.

This year, the turnout was fabulous and the competition, fierce, in a beautiful way. Congratulations to organisers, competitors and support crews. I was there in a supporting role. With camera in hand some of the time, I thought I’d try to honour the efforts of others by snapping and sharing. My gear for those who care: Canon EOS 5D Mark2, with 70-200mm 1:2.8L.

If you competed on Sunday and can’t see yourself in the images below, feel free to message me via the sidebar, with your competitor # and age bracket (and event # if possible) and I’ll have a look through what I’ve got. I’m happy to email people privately with their photos, free of charge, copyright free. If you use any of my images, though, please acknowledge me as the creator and refer to this blogsite. Also, if you appear in any of the images displayed, and wish them to be taken down, please send me a private message on the sidebar.

For those who didn’t participate, but would like a glimpse into this very special world, please enjoy. There were plenty of new frocks on the floor and feathers made a comeback. I wasn’t around for the professional events, (bar one floorshow) so, what you see are pictures of amateurs of all ages who love to dance. Their efforts are inspiring. If you’re looking for a social way to get fit, perhaps ballroom dancing will be for you. The great thing about it is that children can do it as well as adults of all ages: there is no limit, only your attitude.

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Link to this site through FaceBook / WordPress etc and let other competitors know that images from the comp are available.

UPDATE: Thanks for all the lovely comments through the sidebar. This has been a great opportunity to promote the sport, with about 1500 views already.

The Queen, Super hornets and B105’s Stav.

October 25, 2011 2 comments

It’s been another great week for Brisbane. There have been several good reasons to skive off work ….

The streets near the Brisbane River, full of people waiting for THE PLANES.

Twenty Super hornets ...

First, we took delivery of another four Super hornets. Half the city came out to the river, looking in precisely the wrong direction (down the Brisbane River, ‘cos that’s what happened for River Fire, all right?!) when the cluster of twenty Super hornets whizzed over the city, from behind us. It was a moment of WOW, quickly followed by WAS THAT IT? And, ARE THEY COMING BACK? Sadly, a few thousand people had to go back to work sooner than they had hoped.

Then, a certain classy lady came to town on Monday 24 October 2011.

Photo by Anthony Cox, used with permission. Copyright Anthony Cox, 2011.

Sure, she only spent 4 hours in the state that bears her name, but she made the most of the time. We’re still twittering about it. Kids have embedded the day in their memories of childhood (and somewhat embellished it – thanks S for tricking us all into believing that you shook her hand!)

Today, feeling almost sad that there was nothing big going down in the town, my luck turned. Local FM radio personality, Stav, from B105, came to my local cafe as the coffee-making apprentice. Being in the right place, at the right time, I scored my favourite gluten-free coconut biscuit and lactose-free flat white for free! Sure, we had to shout FASTER STAV! but he managed in the end, and that’s what matters.

Who could resist?

Stav from B105, probably wishing that he was back behind the microphone.