Maison Nicolas

I was drawn to the pastel colour of the bicycle and the colour of the tyre. I feel that they reflect the colour of the sand and the sky. I was curious about the padlocked wooden box with Maison Nicolas printed on the side.

Is Maison Nicolas a real place? Is it a house of fashion or something else? If it exists, where is it located? What’s in the box?

A Google search using the keywords "Maison Nicolas" and "Asbury Park" led me to the website of Lush Wines - Beers & Liquors which is located in downtown Asbury Park on the corner of Bond Street and Cookman Avenue. The webpage featured a white wine, Chardonnay Vin De Pays DOC Consensus, from a winery in Bordeaux called Maison Nicolas. I was puzzled at first, and then it hit me. The lettering on the bottle of Chardonnay Vin De Pays DOC Consensus matched the lettering on the box. A quick look at my photograph of the bicycle and my intuition was confirmed. The box on the back of the bike is about the right size for a bottle of wine.

So now I have new questions. Are the bicycle and box and art installation? Are they part of an advertising campaign by the winery, Maison Nicolas? Or are they the personal property of a resident who loves wines?

The image was made during my [Saturday afternoon trip to Asbury Park with Bhavna]. There was a distracting sign to the left and an unattractive boardwalk bench on the right. I went for the square crop to remove these and entered the frame to focus on the bicycle. I had read that the rule of thirds can be ignored for square photographs and that entering the subject makes the picture feel more balanced. I don’t remember where I read this.

As I pushed the shutter, a man and his dog suddenly entered the frame from the left. I quickly dispatched both in Adobe Photoshop using the lasso tool and content-aware fill.

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