I recently had a long layover in Seoul and took the train into the city to wander for the day. With twelve hours, I did what I love most: explored a new city on my own, wandered down alleyways, hunted for street art, and got lost.
I returned to Hanoi and Halong Bay, both in the north of Vietnam. As you linger in Hanoi, you become one with it — the pulse of the street, the ebb and flow of traffic.
August was a busy month — weddings, time with family and friends, and exploring cities we’ve never been.
Then I opened Instagram, ran a filter over it, and posted it — to send it off into the world to be liked and viewed for its moment of glory, and to shortly after join the stream of other Instagrams disappearing into our Internet wasteland.
I present to you my past month’s adventures in England and Scotland, via iPhone 4. With the exception of a handful of shots, most of these are Instagrammed.
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Yes, I write about not knowing where or what home is.
That something is missing, that here isn’t quite right.
Then I walk around. I explore where I live.
And I’m reminded that things, truly, are fine.
I show a similar disinterest in my photography. Process and context are increasingly less significant. I’m preoccupied instead with creating the perfect shot for any given moment—worthy of an avatar, of a Facebook cover photo—and discarding the rest. A single unit is easier and faster to create—and consume.
Hong Kong is best enjoyed by foot. So I walked. And as I walked, I discovered a city full of street art—slightly deviant, always creative—expressing the exuberance of a young and modern city.
While home is hard to define, work is not. I have concrete images of work in my mind, which I’m able to share here, thanks to my iPhone.
I’ve fiddled with Instagram on my new iPhone 4 for a month and have been quite impressed with the images. But while I joke about cheating on my camera with it, the iPhone could never replace it, as it doesn’t perform as well with certain shots. I tend to avoid […]
I’ve been in Istanbul for a week and have neglected my Canon G11, which has taken 95 percent of the photos you see on this blog. (A handful have been shot with my Nikon, which I rarely use.) I’ve mainly used my new iPhone to take photographs here. I was […]
Just before I went on a trip to Las Vegas, I was in Egypt. I’d been in Egypt for most of October and into the first week of November, then flew to Vegas for 11.11.11. In Egypt, I spent a bulk of my time in Cairo and escaped to the Sinai and Red […]
While my past three or four trips into the glittery desert have centered on pure debauchery, I’m slowly learning that Vegas isn’t just about the cards and the cocktails. (Or perhaps it is, but you need those little journeys off the Strip to reset from the night before. To breathe. […]
The final post of photo selects from Egypt, focusing again on Cairo: mainly scattered sightings of street art on Gezira, the island west of downtown Cairo, on the Nile. I came upon these walls as I was walking from the Opera House metro station to the Cairo Tower, along Al […]
I overdosed on temples and tombs in Luxor over two swift afternoons. The temples of Karnak and Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, Medinet Habu . . . The dusty slides from my high school and university courses were brought to life in Luxor, and while quick, this side trip […]
We left Cairo on an overnight bus to the Sinai. Seven or eight hours of interrupted sleep later, I opened my eyes to a perfectly round, robust, and bright orange sun, sitting low in the sky of the Egyptian desert. Layers of jagged golden rocks and mountains hugged the winding […]
Hello! I apologize for being so quiet here the past several weeks. Here’s the first of numerous photo posts from Egypt. I’ve been here for about three weeks: I started off in Cairo, then escaped to a beach on the Sinai Peninsula, returned to Cairo, and am now in Luxor. […]
Branches and bricks in Old Town. The window of Kenny and Zuke’s, a deli and dining spot on SW Stark. Bagdad Pub on Hawthorne Boulevard in Southeast Portland. Signs at Pioneer Courthouse Square. A guest room at the Ace Hotel downtown, near the Pearl District. The lobby of the Ace […]
I have a thing for abandoned warehouses and destroyed buildings. Isolated junkyards and bizarre sculpture parks. I’m easily lured; I sniff the grounds like a feline; I creep around with my camera. A woman, reaching out to the sky. When I explore such places, I create stories about the vestiges […]
Murals of gigantic birds and squirrels. Street art commenting on Facebook and Twitter. Random thought bubbles positioned over cartoon characters. Whimsical stick figures painted on garage doors. Welcome to Brick Lane. One afternoon in London a few weeks ago, I wandered into Whitechapel, Shoreditch, and finally a concentration of Bangladeshi […]
I stumbled upon Blu murals on my last two trips to Europe. While I love Blu’s mind-blowing wall-painting animations like Big Bang Big Boom and Muto, it’s cool to come upon his still images—and remnants of his animations—on facades around the world. Especially when you’re not looking for them… City: Berlin // […]
The art on the walls of Clarion Alley, in the Mission District of San Francisco, calls out with its vibrant colors, eccentric iconography, and socially conscious messages. Stroll the alleyway—between Valencia and Mission and 17th and 18th—and find Southeast Asian elephants; a black-and-white mural of forceful fists and graphics reminiscent of […]
One afternoon, I took the tram from Lisbon to nearby Belém, about 15-20 minutes from the city center. The location from where Portuguese voyagers set off to explore the world, Belém packs a lot of history—and grand sights—within its borders. My day trip, in photographs: The Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a statue […]
Random moments from the streets of Barcelona: sights, food, and art. A night shot of graffiti in Gracia. Baked goodies through a window. Peeps on a wall in Barri Gòtic. A view of Passeig de Gracia from the rooftop of La Pedrera. A colorful facade in El Raval. Cargoles de […]
In the whimsical world of Antoni Gaudí, buildings take on a life of their own. Fancy, slightly phallic sculptures on the rooftop of La Pedrera. Mosaic-surfaced masterpieces atop La Pedrera. A colorful staircase inside La Pedrera. A reflective, amoebaesque facade of La Pedrera. An exit of La Pedrera, leading to […]
My best friend has family in Taipei, so I tagged along with her for a few weeks during Chinese New Year. These photographs (taken with an old Canon Powershot) are from 2005. Taipei 101, the iconic skyscraper in the Xinyi District. Yellow lanterns for Chinese New Year. Philosophy on the walls […]
This week in Brooklyn, I’ve spent most of my time in Ft. Greene and Park Slope. New York City has been rather lovely, and today’s forecast calls for a 75-degree day. I plan to lounge for a few hours, then meet a friend who’s working on a mural in Carroll Gardens. […]
Thursday afternoon 2.24 Security gate at the Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) terminal. Thursday evening 02.24 A dim alley in Chinatown in London. Along the Thames River, en route to Gordon’s Wine Bar, the oldest wine bar in London, near Embankment tube stop. The London Eye. Friday afternoon 02.25 [A bit hungover […]
The outdoor East Side Gallery, free and always open, is a 1.3-kilometer section of the Berlin Wall. While you can start your stroll at either end, the gallery begins on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain, a short stroll from the Oberbaumbrücke bridge. Reach it via Warschauer Straße station, then cross the River Spree. The East Side Gallery’s […]
In Berlin, I posted photos of the dark, creepy interior of the five-story Kunsthaus Tacheles in the Mitte. The building, once part of a shopping complex and later used by the Nazis as an administrative office and prison, was partially destroyed during WWII. Today, it’s a center for artists, and open […]
I love getting lost. Today, I was on my way to check out a place I had read about, but got off at the wrong U-Bahn station, Oranienburger Tor, in the historic Mitte. Instead of getting back on the train, I wandered in the neighborhood, hoping to find something. And […]
I’ve been in Berlin for several hours and spent part of the evening wandering in the Alexanderplatz, apparently drawn to one thing only: moving trains. Fitting, I suppose, as my eyelids are fluttering, my head is spinning, and my thoughts are swirling. I’m delirious and ready to pass out after […]
The Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe was built to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the islands. Built without nails, the Buddhist structure is located in a lush memorial park, and I was lucky to visit on a misty afternoon—thin layers of fog covered the […]
Oh, the beautiful people of this world… A goal for 2011 is to focus on photographing people, from my family and dearest friends to those I meet on the road. Planned, spontaneous, whatever. My favorite shots over the years are the accidental ones, and the photos against random bursts of […]
It’s Monday. Another day, another week. What will happen, we simply don’t know. Just move, just go. Walk through that door.
End of the year, peeps. A recap of my favorite trips this year, near and far: Exploring Kauai, January. I’d been to Oahu numerous times, but I had no idea how lush and green Kauai was—I guess that’s why they call it the Garden Isle, eh? My family and I […]
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a kitschy playground by the sea, conjures many memories—not just because I’ve visited this place with my family and friends over the past 30+ years, but because the past is well preserved here. The iconic red Giant Dipper roller coaster—which opened in 1924—and the 1911 Looff […]
I have always loved food. Food brings my massive family together, year after year. Our Filipino feasts are plentiful; the sight of plates and hot trays on multiple tables is overwhelming. Meanwhile, my mother and aunts always think there’s never enough. My Thanksgiving dinner begins shortly. I’ve compiled some photographs […]
In Barcelona, I strolled the alleyways of El Raval and El Barri Gòtic, the two neighborhoods that border Las Ramblas and stretch along the port. Here’s a glimpse at the graphics and random pockets of street art I came upon: A cartoonish bull in the El Raval district of Barcelona. […]