Night photographer in Iași

Yet again I find myself in Iași. First time in 2019, probably at least another 4 visits here to go until it ends.

It wass already dark when I and my foreign colleague got to the hotel. I was starving. Really. Had nothing to eat all day, smoked like a chimney and drove as careful as I could. Again this damn bastard road to Moldavia, that gives me the creeps.

Oh you don’t have to complete the booking form. You are already a regular here sir.” the clerk told me.

Oh how nice. I’m a regular. It’s not like it helps me with anything more than to run upstairs, change the shirt for a t-shirt and head straight to the restaurant, this way saving the 2 minutes I would usually take in order to fill the form.

The restaurant they have is a nice place, with an interesting choice of food on the menu while the wine list is really generous. Maybe someday, when I’ll be in the area again, I’ll also actually get to photograph the food. ’till then…

For some time now, when I’m moving around the country, spending my week through hotels, I enjoy a good wine. Having a small physique and not being a trained drinker I don’t need much to get into “the good vibes“.

I didn’t really felt like going out, though I had my camera with me as always. What to shot?! The same old centre by night? There’s not much change since the last time I’ve come around. But then I realised that I’m already in my car for 30 minutes, smoking, speaking and laughing loud on the phone with my friend over in Malta. The conversation didn’t look like it’s going to end soon so hey! why the heck not to grab my camera and roam the city in the opposite direction than I usually do, when I come here?

Probably I was the loudest out there in the centre of the city. With my headphones on and my photograph mood on, I think I managed to turn a few heads around as I was dancing my camera ballet and gossiping loudly with my friend over the phone. Weird apparition to see, as you go on home, at 23 hundred hours in the night.

On the walking zone of the city, the crowd of the day disappeared. Only some lonely couples and some dudes coming most probably from work served as my props in the photos that I needed people. Not a lot. I usually like people in my photos to be balanced, in terms of proportions. Especially inside cities where the contrast of things gets more interesting with fewer people in the composition. Iași is this kind of a city. You can really get its chilled perfume during the night as you roam the old streets that managed to get to our times, together with checking out the interesting old buildings that still stand.

This area is for sure way darker than the other side of the city centre. Some graffiti is showing me the start on some way to a contemporary street art, improvised gallery. This can’t be an official thing, for sure, but damn, what a weird view with this rat painted on the wall and the doors leaning on the wall.

I don’t really know what is the thing with the gas masks on the murals’ characters. Is it something connected, maybe, to pollution? To be honest I don’t know if Iași is doing badly in terms of pollution but where I come from we smell butadiene, over the allowed limit, for breakfast when we “let the fresh air in the room” Saturday mornings. Or maybe this is just one of those rebelling symbols… maybe Iași is rebellious in its inner core right now, I have no idea. The sure thing is that the guys who make grafittis in this area sure have an issue with this gas mask thing.

A little bit further, down the street, a graffiti clown was hiding in the corner of a concrete wall, juggling with cocktails molotov. I can only hope that the house of the Minister of Justice (which really lives in Iași) is around because, him being one of the most hated guys in the country right now, would explain a lot of things.

I don’t usually photograph kittens but when I do I like them to be totally still. Like this one, being made out of gyps and all, couldn’t get much stiffer than that. This is how Iași is. Not this tailored city, with clear standards in its buildings, but rather a unique, freestyle, always keeping respect and proportions to humour, aristocracy, traditions and Orthodox Church. They all live in a symbiosis here and on top it all they try to integrate nightlife and youth in all of this. This whole and complex set of characteristics make it a small-big city.

When the conversation with my friend in Malta came to an end I also felt like it’s time for me to head back to the hotel. On the same road trying to fin more details in every place I passed by before. It’s always good to have a second scan of the area you aimed to photograph (if you don’t have the freedom to look around and check for great spots prior to the shoot).

Back in the hotel all looks boring enough. It was one o’clock allready an despite the fact that I felt an urgent need for a smoke I postponed it for the morning.

The trams wouldn’t let me sleep deeply anyway…

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