In September I flew to Oregon to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and three year-old niece. I stayed in their new house on the southern edge of Portland, in a town called Oregon City, which was the terminus of the Oregon Trail. Even though I miss them terribly, it seems apt that my sister ended up there since she played that game obsessively in grade school.
I had already spent time exploring northeast Oregon and Washington five years ago, and my family would be at work/preschool during much of the week, so I decided to rent a car and take a few days for a side trip to a new place: Idaho. I ended up doing one giant loop, from Portland southeast to Crater Lake, east to Boise, northwest to Pendleton, and back to Portland, with some detours and stops along the way for good measure. It was a feast for the eyes the entire way around.
I’m splitting up the pictures into three parts. First: Portland and vicinity.
I arrived in Hong Kong late on a Saturday and by the time I checked into my hotel it was nearing midnight. I had until 2:30pm the next day to see the city before heading back to the airport for my flight to NYC. Here are some pix… Continue reading
In March I spent a few days in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on either side of a shoot in northern Vietnam for an NGO that works throughout the region. It was my first time in the country and I was so lucky to see it from many different angles: urban, rural, natural wonders, hyper-local color.
I’ll share more photos over the next few weeks, but for now here are highlights from Hanoi: Continue reading
When I arrived in Marseille I headed straight to the Old Port, where my friend Gilles met back up with me and offered to take me on a moto tour of the city. The mistral winds were blowing something fierce, and I had never been on a scooter before. This did not seem like a winning combination, but I said “pourquoi pas” anyway and off we went. Continue reading
This day last year was a very, very good day.
It started with me getting high as a kite on my first espresso in maybe ten years, at a paladar in a nondescript apartment building overlooking the city and the sea…
I then proceeded to the Callejón de Hamel to hear a Sunday rumba session that got me higher than the espresso did. The woman above was one of the dancers, and she floored me. Too bad my internet connection stinks or I would upload one of the videos from that day, which I keep on my phone for emergency pick-me-ups.
Then I ran into the guys above, just up the block…
…followed by this man, who called me over to ask me in very broken English where I was from. When I answered, “The United States,” he exclaimed, “Elvis Presley! Whitney Houston!” before starting to strum “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” on his guitar. I sang the words and danced along in the middle of the street, feeling like I was in my own private movie. He gave me his address and mimed a request to send him the pictures I took. Since the resumption of mail service between Cuba and the US had been announced that very week, I promised him I would. And I did, though I will never know if they reached him, and what he thought when he saw his face smiling back at him.
Then I took a walk to visit these guys…
…and I quite literally pinched myself because it felt like a dream. The same feeling I had in Burkina Faso, where I was shooting this week. When you finally get somewhere you’ve wanted to go for years and years, it’s almost unbelievable to actually be there.
And the dreamlike feeling was also because it was as much time travel as geographic travel. Scenes like the one above needed absolutely no airbrushing to look like the golden age of Hollywood. Midcentury is such an emotional punch in the gut for me. I don’t know why. Maybe I grew up in the 50s in my past life.
And thus concludes the epic romanticization of one of the best days of my life, one year ago today.
[P.S. I “stole” this post from my Instagram account, where I also posted photos from the shoots I just finished in Mauritania and Burkina Faso.]