Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crazy Shots of Mad Warsaw Rain

It rained and rained like crazy 2 days ago. I was in an instant experimental mode and tried capturing the madness, while learning some lessons. Lesson 1 - Enough is enough, no photography here after without a tripod. Lesson 2 - There is a long way to go! 

Calm before the storm - the only sane shot I have!

Dance Drama - should it be called?
I cannot do without at least one B/W shot!

Hopefully, the next time it rains, I can carry on more experimentation :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Winona Lake, Indiana - Take a deep breathe, unwind and relax!

I came to Warsaw, IN much near the winters and had no car back then. Fall was almost over and there were no leaves on the trees (the most depressing and inspiring thing at the same time, but we will talk about that sometime later). However, come spring and I started venturing out to what I often read about - Winona lake.
Winona Lake is a town connected to Warsaw, right in its vicinity providing much needed relief to the people in Warsaw. The most beautiful things in Winona Lake are the Winona lake, Winona Hike and the little shopping center, The Village at Winona

Sunset at Winona lake
Hiking trail at Winona is about 2 miles long in a round trip and on a regular day, is filled with cyclists, hikers, kids and photographers, yet the innate serenity remains intact. 
En route the Winona Hiking Trail
My favorite statue at the trail - mother and the son

Snow covered Winona is yet another feast to eyes (if you can bear that cold, that is!). I am not a wildlife photography enthusiast, but I have often heard its a great place for bird watchers and some good animal photography also. 
The famous "Winona Tree" - a favorite background for most of the family portraits in the town. 

Snow and Sunset in the Winona Lake

Winona Lake has often been advertised in the magazines like Midwest Living and others, not as a grand attraction but a quiet getaway. Numerous fairs keep the village active and while you are here, don't miss the Boathouse or Cerulean restaurant which offer a great view of the lake while dining! No one comes to Winona Lake because it is there and you must visit it, but when you are around, you don't miss it. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the middle of somewhere - Warsaw, Indiana

My first ever encounter with the "west-est" part of US was in Indiana. I was living on the East Coast only till then.. whether.. Syracuse, Woburn or Herndon. So, when I was told that the company I am going to work for is in Indiana, I just did not know what to expect. I was told Indianapolis is a beautiful city. Nothing can beat it (it's a different story that the person who told me left that city shortly afterwards). I had some friends in Bloomington, IN and all that I knew was Indiana is very very vast, has loads of open spaces unlike the East Coast and farming is kinda main occupation here (read growing corn).
One of the farms somewhere in the middle of Indiana

Me or my friends had never ever heard of the place "Warsaw" (in Indiana, we all know Warsaw it is the capital of Poland) before I came here. My first reaction was - Damn!!! are there any human beings here? A single bedroom apartment (really not so small as compared to what I had expected from the city) was awaiting me at my apartment complex. A crisp October morning with bright sunlight was a good sign. Leaves were still hanging in there, waiting to fall off anytime..I spent a week inside my new apartment without even bothering to step out. Warsaw had everything you wanted for basic survival (I meant Walmart). I often cursed my luck that I was living in a small dead place called Syracuse, but Warsaw was much much much smaller than Syracuse (I suppose University area around Syracuse is a bigger place than Warsaw)If not for the people in the company it is nearly impossible to live here (One can bet anything on that!)
Warsaw is a nice little town with 2 lakes in the city, Pike lake and Centre lake and loads of parks for children. The only entertainment for adults here is cinemas or pubs (which kinda relieved me, or else the crowd really differs in a city). Quintessentially, this place is meant for business (did you know Warsaw, Indiana is called the orthopedic capital of the world?) and hence, the people here are mostly professionals (and less of a college crowd). However, the adjoining town of Winona Lake has a Grace College and a Winona Lake which is the actual beauty, just next to Warsaw, which adds to a lot of crowd to Warsaw.

Center Lake gardens, Downtown, Warsaw

Warsaw Biblical Gardens (There aren't many biblical gardens in the world, this is one among few!)
Warsaw has a very typical climate which I had not experienced before. When it rains, it really pours down, when it snows, it really storms out and when it is sunny, I think its still breezy (thanks to the three lakes that surround this place). In winters, its just not snow, its a lot of fog too to watch out. I had often heard about the tornadoes that strike midwest but come June, 2010, I witnessed it for the first time in life! What I absolutely hate here is the wind ( I mean, devils are not just happy with the snow here, they really have to blow this place with the wind!)

A cold evening at Centre lake park

An autumn season inspired Sunset in March 2011

         A foggy morning in December, it is around 11 00 AM in this picture
2 days later (from the above captioned picture), it snowed and snowed like hell!
While it is really small, the size doesn't really bother this city (one reason being, its really rich :)). The small town activities that happen here are something that takes me to my childhood, where we used to spend the summers in the small towns, people knew each other, there was certainly less pollution in the air etc etc (all goodies of life..). The landmark of Warsaw is obviously the Courthouse that stands in the middle of the downtown. 
Warsaw Courthouse
The Ice sculpture festival in Downtown, Warsaw. 
The local fair at Warsaw fairgrounds

Warsaw, like I said, by itself isn't any tourist destination. Its just a commercial place with some regular life. This post was just to start the thread of the mid-west articles. The better places in mid-west will be posted soon!!!