The Old Quarter which is made up of 36 "Hangs" or "streets" dates back to the 13th century is a charming area of narrow streets, the most crowded and shoppers' heaven which is home to the oldest trades of Hanoi. Each " Hang" specialises in one particular trade such as shoes, steel-ware, prayer items, art etc, etc... Although some of them have taken on new trades different from what the name of the street may suggest. It is easy to explore all the 36 "Hangs" on foot within a day but mind the chaotic swarm of zigzagging 'motorbais'
This was taken on the early morning from one of the "Hangs"in Hang Bac Street away from the usual frenzied pace. On this particular grungy but characterful alley you will find many little shops where artisans carve handmade gravestones with images of the deceased in it. I find it rather peculiar that each individual photograph is a representation of a real person but I wonder those on display are for potential customers or do the locals order it in advance before they meet their Creator?
It's time to rest, business was rather slow perhaps and grim it seemed but I can't help thinking about what I saw....
Just for the record:
The whole Old Quarter is left relatively undamaged surprisingly from the bombing raids during the "American War". Incidentally the current US Senator John McCain, a former Navy Pilot was shotdown in his A-4E Skyhawk jet fighter when he was on his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam in Oct 1967. He fractured both his arms and legs whilst ejecting and almost drowned when parachuted into Tru Bach lake nearby outside the Old Quarter.
He was imprisoned as a POW in the famous 1886 Maison Centrale or Hoa Lo Prison -ironically nick-named the Hanoi Hilton till he was released in March 1974. His flight suits can still be seen on display at this prison, now a museum with a photo of his visit to the ex-prison in 2000.
Critiques | Translate
Fis2 (97599) 2014-05-15 10:17
A very curious place...
Excellent reportage sgot.
Good frame and colors.
Photo has climate.
photographer_sg (4414) 2014-05-15 11:07
beautiful composition with so many fascinating details ( only a little bit eerie after we come to know of the epitaph stones ordered in advance :-)). Stunning colours and great management of the exposure. Interesting and informative note.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice evening.
siudzi (34141) 2014-05-15 12:30
You have a great eye to see unique and interesting daily life scenes like this one! The man looks so relaxing reading the newspaper here. His pose is so cool! The bike and his stuff created a superb eye catching and original scene. Like it! Very well done as always!
cak (4923) 2014-05-15 15:34
an enjoyable seller
jjcordier (79297) 2014-05-15 16:14
Très intéressante photo de cette étonnante boutique qui n'attire pas les foules....et on le comprend!
kato (11630) 2014-05-15 22:27
You're capturing well this daily life by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the small shop treating goods, such as steel-ware, prayer items, art etc. It's impressive in many copperplates especially like a portrait and that the shopkeeper is reading the newspaper in comfort.
Silvio1953 (143146) 2014-05-16 7:08
Ciao Abmdsudi, beautiful and original view of dark place, splendid light, excellent clarity, fine details and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
adramad (45600) 2014-05-16 7:18
A great and original composition, hence the uniqueness of the business, as it is so shocking that game of shadows and light contrasts with the tranquility of the owner reading newspapers.
A colorful perfect very natural.
A bright image with optimum clarity.
Good job. I love it.
Enjoy a good weekend.
Cricri (119495) 2014-05-16 10:21
Très cool le monsieur, sa moto d'un côté et les images religieuses de l'autre côté!! j'aime bien cette image, les détails, les couleurs, une scène de vie relax bien présenter
shreya2000 (2511) 2014-05-17 23:43
Very good pic showing the old lady selling her items. She seems to fully enjoying her life in old days. I like it.
Thanks for sharing.
tatadalou (7459) 2014-05-18 3:30
For sure, it's quite disturbing to see the photos of deceased persons but I imagine families have accepted it. I like the contrast between dark background and luminous wall on the richt.It creates a special atmosphere.
Didi (60588) 2014-05-18 23:24
Particular ambiance and good lights management
You have a dood artistic inspiration
ourania (45420) 2014-05-26 7:00
this scene is very unusual and interesting and your note about "potential customers" is morbidly amusing:) I like very much how you placed the artisan at the centre of your composition while various objects around him call discreetly but effectively for our attention. The black tones set the atmosphere and set off all the details and textures. I like the contrast of the bright tones and the mysterious, deep, dark backdrop. Congratulations and thank you!
War is horrible, I'm glad Senator McCain survived his ordeal but can't help thinking also of the damage the bombs caused.
All the best, have a great day,
adores (45337) 2014-06-17 17:18
These old quarters are always full of surprises! Perfect daily scene, even better because of the pose of the owner calmly resting and Reading the newspaper. I like the light here!
TopGeo (38216) 2014-06-24 11:32
Hello Abmdsudi!Excellent reportage The contact with people gives impressive results are difficult to photograph people in their private lives, but the market is possible The recipient of the work of art would have no reason to seek communication with a work that would destroy personal defences and highlight the impasses and miseries of life. It would definitely be better to resort to the fictive world of commercial entertainment that ensures for the brief interval of its consumption the illusion of happiness. But the viewer seeks the work of art because it is in a position to reveal the charm and the beauty concealed beneath the apparent disorder of the world. And to convince him that happiness needs misery and beauty needs ugliness. thanks Geo...
ikeharel (71407) 2014-11-15 3:43
"Slow morning", i like this term, really describes wqell what we see here.
Nice taken the moment, the man reading the paper did not noticed you with the camera.
Used superbly the low light and shades against the dark BG.
Enjoy your weekend,