Friday, February 02, 2007

Light from above

Hanging lamps in a beloved place
Laval, Quebec, December 2006

When we take the kids to see their grandparents, we always take them to their favorite breakfast restaurant known as Allo Mon Coco, which translates directly as, "Hello, my coconut," but in Quebecois slang is actually an endearing way to greet someone - coconut being analogous to sweet.

We've evolved something of a tradition: on the morning when we head back home, we go out for breakfast there, then say goodbye to everyone from the parking lot. I suppose we could go to any old breakfast place, but the kids really love AMC and clamor to be taken there. While I'm sure it helps that the servers are extremely gregarious and friendly, and they indulge our kids as if they were their own, I suspect there's more to it for them: Our munchkins associate this homey place with their grandparents, with a comfortably predictable time and place that they can count on every time they come to visit. In many respects, it's more than just breakfast to them.

Just before we hit the road on our most recent visit home, I captured this image of the lights that hang over the tables. It was handheld, so I was forced to use a wide-open aperture that minimized depth of field. But I liked the composition, the way it led the eye diagonally toward the back of the image. More importantly, it takes me back to a place that never fails to make my kids happy.

Your turn: Photos can take us back to places and evoke strong feelings. Please discuss.


Mike said...

When I was a kid my Dad was in the Air Force so we moved around alot. We would drive to the new base cross country. When ever possible we would eat at a Stuckey's restuarant. They were a big chain back then like Denneys is now. I think my dad did it because it was comforting to eat in a "familiar place" when we were moving to somewhere new. The coconut place is your kids Stuckeys.

Michele sent me.

Anna said...

Nice lamps. Check out these Carmi...

Go to my blog...December archives then down to Light Show (December 1st). Tell me what you think!

Linda said...

What a great shot! I would love to go visit that dad currently lives in Charlesbourg, and if I ever manage to get up there to visit him, I will definitely try to get to AMC...I wonder if he's heard of it....

Whenever I see pictures of places I have travelled, I love to reminisce about them. But one of the most evocative pictures is of Brittany American Cemetery in France. Not as well known as Normandy, but it is where my husband's great-uncle is buried, and whenever I see the pictures I took there, I am instantly taken back to the serenity of the place, and the AWE that is felt upon seeing the myriad white crosses. The sacrifices are VISIBLE there.

Anonymous said...

Awesome shot. I love the leading lines.

I'm constantly reminded of things from my childhood as I drive around my neighborhood. I can remember when my high school was just a field of trees. When a grocery store once stood in what is now a townhouse complex. And how the two-lane road used to take me to the mall. Now there are four lanes and for times the traffic. I don't have photos of these pictures from my past, but the images in my mind are just as vivid.

I'm glad you and your family have Allo Mon Coco.

Anonymous said...

Sarch grabs pencil...note to self, wide open aperature = reduced field of it!

Great photo Carmi!

I've been taking a walk down memory lane through photos on my blog. The cold weather is killing me - no motorcycle riding going on here lately. My photos are definitely taking me back to a place I love!

Jamie Dawn said...

I take a LOT of photos. I've been the official photographer of our family, and my hubby has been the official videographer. My daughter is now in college taking two photography classes and studying film making.
I often look back at pictures I've taken over the years of our kids and special places and times.
I am instantly brought back to those places and the feelings associated there.
I can relate to this post.

Unknown said...

Isn't is just the best treat to have a special place that you know your kids will always remember. We have a place here, Johnny's, that we've been going to since my kids were tiny. It's kinda a diner/deli combination, with matzoh brie and other Jewish delicacies combined with healthy veggie fare. My kids love this restaurant and they will always remember going there to get some serious comfort food when I'm just too tired to cook.

Here from Michele today.