Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through The City

When it hurts we return to the banks of certain rivers.~Czeslaw Milosz

This week, Amy takes the lead for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89.  She has chosen one of nature’s greatest features–Rivers and she has paired her photos with quotes from the book A River Runs Through It–a fabulous idea.

Great cities around the globe were built on rivers.  Over the centuries, civilizations have risen and collapsed near their banks.  Now, in this time of global upheaval, I dream of returning to these place, so I can walk along their river banks, plumb their mysteries, and calm my jangled nerves.  But for now, I must content myself with photographs.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

When our travel plans were canceled earlier this month, we decided to stay in the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire–about 1 hour north of Boston.  One cold morning, we walked over the Memorial Bridge, which spans the Piscataqua River and crosses over to Kittery, Maine.   Along the dock on the right, we saw a few lobster boats and a storage shed adorned with colorful buoys.  Cities, large and small, rely on their rivers for transportation, commerce, and food.

Portsmouth, NH on a cold March morning

Chicago, Illinois

One of the hallmarks of Chicago is that we do so many things in an original manner. What other city has made a river flow backwards? What other city makes traffic flow backwards?~Mike Royko

This photo of Chicago taken by our son, Alex, is one of my favorites of this unique city, bordered by Lake Michigan (in the distance) and traversed by the Chicago River.  Who wouldn’t love a city with its own beach within walking distance of the center of town?

Chicago Skyline from the Trump Tower. Shot with a Canon 60D by Alex Moed.

Florence, Italy

The face of the river, in time, became a wonderful book. . .which told us mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it had uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day. ~Mark Twain

On of my favorite walks in Florence is along the Arno River.  Sometimes we sit along its banks, listening to its music, its history, its secrets which have spanned hundreds of years.  We’ve been fortunate to spend many months in this wonderful city, and never tire of it.

Close Up, Ponte Vecchio. Shot with a Fuji X-T2.

Melbourne, Australia

I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.    ~Edward Abbey

The Yarra River flows through the city of Melbourne, one of the most vibrant and livable cities in Australia.  I’m looking forward to the time when we can return and explore more of its neighborhoods and wonderful ethnic food.

Rome, Italy

Rivers were among the natural phenomena over which the Romans consciously sought mastery in one way or another. One of the most potent symbols of their control was their ability to take fresh running water from one place and deposit it by aqueduct in the center of a distant city…Control over a river [was] a demonstration and confirmation of imperial power”~Brian Campbell, Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome

I love Rome, home to classical antiquities and modern architecture, blended into a wonderful, vibrant city.  Here you can see one of the dozens of bridges that span the Tiber River.  The river was a symbol of the power of the Roman emperors, who channeled running water (via aqueducts) into the center of the city.

For thousands of years, humankind has believed that we have the right to control nature to suit our purposes–all in the name of progress.  I can’t help but wonder if we are paying a huge price for this today.

The Path of Water, Rome. Shot wit a Fuji X-T2.

Paris, France

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. ~Heraclitus

I love this shot of Paris during one of its marathons, which passed along the banks of the River Seine.  The little boy on the left was shouting, “Allez garçons!  Allez!” (Go boys! Go!)

Allez Garçons. Paris Marathon.

As office buildings, factories, and restaurants shut down around the globe, many of us have noticed that our polluted rivers and skies have become clearer, cleaner.   We are also paying more attention to nature as our cities become more and more quiet.

We all will breathe a sigh of relief when the pandemic is under control and we can return to these cities built along the shores of rushing rivers.  I miss their vibrancy, energy, and their beauty.  I miss interacting with others in the parks, the squares, and the markets.  But like many of you, I’m staying home and listening to the medical experts who tell us to shelter in place.  We are all wondering how long that will be.  Weeks?  Months?  Who knows.

For now, one thing is certain–the only way to slow the virus is by isolating ourselves.  But we don’t have to be lonely.  We can stay connected with each other through our online communities–like this one.  That’s one reason why I am so grateful to all of you.

Please stop by and visit Amy’s site.  If you join us, please include a link to her challenge post and be sure to follow the safe distancing guidelines in your area when you’re photographing during the coronavirus pandemic. Better yet, post images from your archives.

Next week, Tina (Travels and Trifles) will lead the challenge.

Once again, my closing words for this week: stay well, stay safe, and keep creating!

65 replies »

  1. The blue sky and water on a cool March morning of the opening photo is breathtaking. I’m so glad you decided to stay in the beautiful seaside town of Portsmouth. Ahh… rivers run through these iconic cities. Love all of them. What a beautiful view of Chicago by the Chicago River captured by your son.

    Thank you for your closing words, Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex is following mama bear’s talent for photography! Love it! All of these are great! I cannot wait for this ‘stuff’ to be over and summer to be here – Colorado has soo many lovely rivers to enjoy. I MAY learn how to fly-fish this year. The only issue with this idea is that I have massive fish empathy. I need to make a point to make it back to Rome some day and Melbourne looks lovely – have always heard good things about it :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww…thanks, Pam! Alex is very talented. I think we’ll all heave a great sigh of relief when the virus loosens its grip on us. Fly fishing…impressive. I’ve been a squeamish spectator, but never an actual fisherman. 🙂


  3. I love photo #2, although photo #3 is really cool! And your final words, yes I agree. We don’t know what the future holds, but we can look for the positives of the situation. We have to remain optimistic! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for your votes for #2 and #3. Both those places are inspiring. I agree, Lisa, about staying optimistic. It’s hard at times, but necessary. Stay well. Be well!


  5. Patti, a great combination of cityscapes as well as riverscapes! Gorgeous photos and I love “Allez Garçons” and the marathon guy. “For thousands of years, humankind has believed that we have the right to control nature to suit our purposes–all in the name of progress. I can’t help but wonder if we are paying a huge price for this today.” We are. But my heart and soul soars when I see the canals of Venice blue and fish is seen through the clear waters – and swans are back. It makes me believe the world is still possible to mend. Hopefully we have learned something when we finally are out of this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Wendy. Thank you! I’m encouraged by the drop in pollution around the world, but wonder how we can balance economics and environmental concerns. I’ll stop by your site next.


  6. Such lovely images from around the world. I am well acquainted with Portsmouth 🙂 Were you able to cross the Memorial Bridge at night when it is lit up? Very cool. I so look forward to getting back out into the world – as I am sure everyone does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, OLU. I didn’t know that you’re familiar with Portsmouth! We crossed the bridge during the day. Maybe when it’s warmer, we’ll cross it at night. Thank you, as always, for your kind comments!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re most welcome. It is a wonderful area. (I had posted about Portsmouth a few times regarding their summer festival). I hope you get to go back 🙂


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