In 1925 Leitz introduced the first 35mm system camera (not the first 35mm camera however): the Leica . For 7 years they had the field to themselves until, in 1932, Zeiss Ikon introduced the Contax series of rangefinder cameras. Contax cameras were made in Dresden, which during the Second World War was occupied by the Soviet Union. Scientists, cameras, camera parts, machines for making cameras were ultimately moved to Kiev and the USSR started to make Contax cameras initially using the Contax name and later under the Kiev brand. The early Kievs were manufactured from Contax parts and so as someone put it: “This is not a Soviet camera – it is a German camera, made in the Soviet Union”. Kievs were made in various forms until 1986. So in the 1980s you could still buy what was essentially a new pre World War II camera (generally not as well made as the German Contaxes}. For more on the Kiev story see here.  It should also be said that a number of the original Contax scientists managed to get to the Allied Zone where they re-started the Contax brand.  So there are pre-war and post-war Contaxes. But that’s another story…..This is a Kiev 4am with Helios 103 lens (probably also a copy of a german lens, but opinions vary as to which: Zeiss Sonnar? Zeiss Biotar? Leitz Summitar?).


Seagull and the “Island Bell” in South Norwalk, Ct. Couldn’t resist the seagull.



My wife lived in The Netherlands for a year. She also loves blue and white china. So when I saw a Netherlands store in South Norwalk, with all this blue and white in the window I just had to take a picture. The window was absolutely packed with china. And blue is my favourite colour.


Psychic Tea Room???


Another view of the “Island Belle”.

The remainder of the pictures were taken at UN HQ in New York.


In 1996, Sphere within a Sphere by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, was presented as a gift to the UN by Lamberto Dini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy.


In 1959, a bronze statue promoting the slogan “Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares” was donated by the Soviet Union to the United Nations. It was sculpted by Evgeniy Vuchetich to represent the human wish to end all wars by converting the weapons of death and destruction into peaceful and productive tools that are more beneficial to mankind.


Interesting, colourful pattern on the ground. I have no idea if it has any particular artistic significance.




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