Christmas pr0n

I’m a bit tardy with this, but let’s just say that Christmas 2007 was very good to me. In fact, this Christmas was all about porn…

Present the First: Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden.

Map porn: I don’t know why, but I have a thing for maps. I’m not saying that your run-of-the-mill Rand McNally variety is going to turn me on, but on the other hand, I think the map for the London Underground is art. So it was with great glee that I unwrapped a copy of Mark Ovenden’s Transit Maps of the World, a collection of historic and current maps from every (or just about every) city subway system in the world. (And when I said the map of the Underground is art, I wasn’t kidding. For along with Ovenden’s book, I also received a print of said map, which will soon be mounted and hung up in my home office. No joke.)

Quite simply put: nerdvana.

Present the Second: The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller.

Food porn: I first heard of The French Laundry—Thomas Keller’s legendary establishment in Yountville, CA—a few years back; the reverential reviews piqued my interest. Then, after reading Michael Ruhlman’s excellent account of Keller in The Soul of a Chef, a visit jumped to the top of my list of Things To Do When Money Is No Object. But until then, the foodie-wannabe inside me will be more than satisfied with the eponymous The French Laundry Cookbook. Co-authored by Keller and Ruhlman, it is not just a collection of recipes from the restaurant (though, of course, it does have them) but is more an in-depth look into how Keller himself thinks about food. And the book, photographically, is gorgeous.

Present the Third: Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 Di lens.

Gear porn: The one glaring hole in my photographic arsenal was a decent wide-angle zoom lens. But no longer, with the addition of the Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 Di LD wide-angle zoom lens. No, it’s not Canon L glass, but the samples I’ve seen are more than good enough for the way I take pictures. As if I needed another excuse to, say, go back to Yosemite.