Photo of the day (11.4.10)

How’s this for a pool with a view? Flickr user and friend-of-Gadling Paul Brady took in this scene in Singapore from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, one of the world’s most expensive new hotels. We’ve seen professional shots of the pool before, but we always like seeing an untouched, real life shot. Imagine having a dip here on a hazy day, and when the clouds disappear: BAM! The whole city is in front of you. The 650-foot wide infinity pool is on the 55th floor, making it the highest outdoor pool in the world. The pool is just open to hotel guests, but anyone can buy a ticket to the SkyPark and take in the vista from the observation platform.

Take any pictures of amazing city views on your travels, from a pool or otherwise? Upload them to the Gadling Flickr group and we might just use one for our next Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (08.30.10)

One of the hang-ups I used to have was eating alone. I thought it was sad. Eventually, however, I realized that there’s one meal in particular that is really pretty wonderful when enjoyed with nothing more than your food and a newspaper: breakfast. Sure, you can slurp ramen by yourself or grab a slice of pizza and sit down next to the antiquated arcade games, but both of those experiences lack the serenity of enjoying some greasy eggs to start your day. And there’s no better place to do it than in a classic diner.

When eating alone in a diner, it’s always nice to sit at the counter like the gentleman above. This image, captured by Flickr user Paul Brady (whose musings can also been seen here), shows the quintessential diner experience for a party of one. Some might say that it looks depressing. I think it’s fantastic. Sitting at the counter lets you contemplate things like, “What do I have to do today?” and “I wonder how long those desserts have been rotating in that display case?” These are the important questions of our time.

Have any pictures of people eating alone? Or just some of the meals that you’ve had while unaccompanied? Upload them to the Gadling Flickr group and we might just use one for our next Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (03.27.10)

Taking pictures of food has never been more popular. Nearly everyone I know creates their own “food porn.” Food has become an integral part of our travel stories and photographs. More often than not, we document the strange, extravagant and repulsive things that we ingest. Lost in those extremes are the images of the classics. What I love about this image by Flickr user Paul_Brady (whose tumblr blog is a must-read) is that it’s not showy. It’s not braggadocios. It’s just one man’s simple meal at New York City’s famous Gray’s Papaya (Upper West Side location).

We don’t have to constantly try to impress people with tales of fois gras and deep fried tarantulas. Sometimes, all it takes is a classic to make your friends’ mouths water.

Do you take food porn photos? Submit your images to Gadling’s Flickr group right now and we might use it for a future Photo of the Day.

The Sounds of Travel 3: “The Lakes of Pontchartrain”

Here at Gadling we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite sounds from the road and giving you a sample of each — maybe you’ll find the same inspiration that we did, but at the very least, hopefully you’ll think that they’re good songs.

Got a favorite of your own? Leave it in the Comments and we’ll post it at the end of the series.

Week 3 – “The Lakes of Pontchartrain,” performed by Paul Brady

I first heard this Civil War-era song when the bluegrass band Nickel Creek played it at one of their concerts several years ago. Since then, I’ve tracked down several versions of it, including a cover by Bob Dylan and a fantastic one by the Be Good Tanyas.

The song itself is old, sure, but the themes it deals with are timeless: the strange, indescribable feeling that new places bring, the hospitality of complete strangers, the memories of life’s finished chapters, and the thoughts about what could have been.

Here are the opening lyrics, discussing (in my mind, anyway) the homesickness that travelers often feel when they leave home:

It was on one bright March morning
I bid New Orleans adieu
And I took the road to Jackson town
My fortune to renew
I cursed all foreign money
No credit could I gain
Which filled my heart with longing
For the lakes of Pontchartrain

And here’s a verse about the generosity and hospitality with which travelers are so often met:

I said my pretty Creole girl
My money here’s no good
And if it weren’t for the alligators
I’d sleep out in the wood
“You’re welcome here kind stranger
Our house is very plain
But we never turned a stranger out
On the banks of Pontchartrain “

Here are the rest of the lyrics, in case you’re interested.

Click here for previous Sounds of Travel.