Category Archives: Street

Toronto in the Wintertime? No Problem.

On a lark I flew up to Toronto for a quick getaway with a friend. Since it’s wintertime and most sane people travel south, we scored some cheap tickets, booked a cute airbnb, stuffed our wool socks into our weekenders and shoved off.

First timers to Toronto will instinctively try to compare the city to any other western city that they’ve been to (thoughts of New York and Chicago crossed my mind), but the truth is that Toronto is actually a definition unto itself. The city is brimming with culture and character, an amalgamation of old buildings, urbanization, and cultural diversity that stands out.

Toronto is big. Not New York big in the high-rise sense, but it will take you time to cross from one end of the city to the other. Street art is all over the place. In fact I’ve never been to a city with more urban expressiveness.

Another thing that struck me was how diverse the people are, perhaps due to a more forgiving and less paranoid immigration policy. The presence of Asians and Africans is solid, and every person you meet goes beyond friendly, a trait that Canadians have defined for themselves in the world.

As a result of the city’s size and diversity, the burgeoning food scene in Toronto is incomparable. Everything you eat is good, and anything you want can be found. (Once again, apologies for not including food pictures, but that’s what instagram is for).

Our airbnb was located in one of the many old neighborhoods that cover Toronto. The houses all looked weathered and experienced, as if they’ve been around long enough to tell you stories.

Being avid drinkers, my friend and I got to explore some of the night haunts. The bars we found were lively and full of character. Toronto is definitely a place to have a good time, day or night.

So, definitely planning on going back when its warmer! Here’s to you, Toronto.

Bali, the Second Time Around

I ended up in Bali for another vacation trip and wanted to post some snaps from it. I’m going to forego a full writeup of Bali since I’ve already written about it in Terimah Kasi Bali! (Bali Pt. 1) and Sambal For Life (Bali Pt. 2).

Thanks for looking!

Hong Kong

Throughout my life I’ve found myself back in Hong Kong, visiting close family who have lived there since I was wee. I’ve always touted Hong Kong as being my favorite city in the world, and I’d say that the sentiment still stands to this day.

Hong Kong, China

Aside from being one of the most modern cities in the world, Hong Kong is also one of the most photogenic that I’ve ever seen. The city is built on the coastlines of giant mountain peaks that rise up from the water to form islands, towering up from any space that the mountains don’t already own. The resulting skyline is a breathtaking view no matter where you are in the city.

What truly makes Hong Kong unique though is how absolutely globalized it feels, being on the bleeding edge of modern society while still struggling to break any old world shackles, remnants of being owned by two old sovereign countries (Great Britain and China). The resulting culture of Hong Kong is a melting pot, with traditional Chinese butted up against a more transient and international population of Europeans and Asians.

Hong Kong is very much a consumerist culture. Every part of the city has beautiful malls or sprawling markets. The transit system is the most efficient and impressive that I’ve ever seen, and every public utility is wiped down regularly due to fears of viruses, remnants of a bird flu epidemic years ago.

At the time of my visit, Hong Kong was and is going through a major identity crisis, where questions about how the mainland Chinese government rules the city has popped up. This has created an underlying level of dread that purveys everywhere, and local Hong Kongers are rising up in protest against the corruption that has crept into the local government. I wish Hong Kong good luck in their fight, since it’s a fight that everybody seems to be facing these days.

I’m choosing not to gush about the food in Hong Kong, but it’s perhaps my favorite cuisine. For food pictures, feel free to check my Instagram page!

One thing that really strikes me about Hong Kong is how it is one of the few giant cities that has almost no traffic congestion. I believe that this is because their public transportation system is run so meticulously well, so timing your commutes becomes a science. Its really impressive!

I will end this post with an image of dim sum scientists engineering the best food I’ve ever eaten.

Richmond

Just a quick post on some photos I took of Richmond.  This was my first time seeing the city’s core, and I really enjoyed it.  The vibe there is laid back, with lots of breweries and young people bouncing around with their young people enthusiasm.

Richmond 2015-2-2

My favorite aspect of Richmond is that it’s still in it’s early stages of gentrification, so you have a lot of old industry peppering the city.  Lots of exploration potential!

My good friend Carter, also known as Alcrani in the Drum & Bass community, was gracious enough to host my visit.

Carter Alcrani

 

Carter’s kitten, Funyons, is the sweetest cat I’ve ever experienced.  Such an intuitive little girl.  Something about Drum & Bass producers and their cats.

Richmond 2015-1

 

Richmond 2015-2-1

 

Richmond 2015-2-3

 

Photos taken with:

Sony A7II
Sony Sonnar 55mm/1.8 FE ZA

Johns Hopkins

Recently I’ve had to visit the hospital of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for some family health issues.  I usually carry around a small digital camera with me wherever I go, on the off chance that I’ll encounter random inspiration while on the move.  So yesterday, the afternoon sun was painting some beautiful long shadows throughout the hospital space I was in.

Johns Hopkins

 

The Fujifilm X100s is a great little camera.

Johns Hopkins

 

Obviously the hospital is not this empty normally.  These were taken on a Saturday, when it was particularly sparse.

Johns Hopkins

 

Untitled

parkinggarage-1

14th Street At Twilight

Decided to do some open-shutter exposures on my friend’s rooftop in DC the other night.  The only thing stabilizing my camera on the balcony was a sack of rice that I subsequently spilled everywhere.

dcrooftop-1

14th Street in DC has become quite a burgeoning place. So many restaurants, bars, and everything in between. For the technical types, I was using my Sony A7II with a 28mm 2.8 Contax G, at a steady 13 seconds