I have been in 5 cities in the past four weeks; Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I have logged close to 70,000 miles year to date. I am expecting things will slow down a little bit in the second half of the year but probably not that much. Exciting times! On my recent trips it was good to connect with a lot of people I haven't seen in a while. One thing I love about traveling so much is I know people all over the world and I could find someone to have dinner with or catch up with in most major cities. This trip I bumped into people everywhere. At the hotel check-in, airports, restaurants and walking down the street. These were people I knew from that city which made it extra strange.
I have been posting more on Instagram and Twitter recently than here on ShootTokyo. I set up a ShootTokyo Tumblr for those that like consolidated views and want to be able to see my different posts all in one place. I'm not sure how many of my posts will make it there but feel free to check it out.
For the short 72 hours I was home in Tokyo two weekends ago I was able to get out a little bit with my Summilux 50mm f/1.4 I picked up when I was in New York City and try it out. While walking for my morning Starbucks I hit my favorite temple for some shooting. I like the light in this place early in the morning. It is quiet and peaceful and a great place to practice some shooting.
My jet lag in the US was brutal this last trip. I woke up at 2am for the first week in the US. Thankfully after landing at 5am yesterday I was able to get a pretty full night's sleep last night. I'm glad to be home for a while...
Today's Configuration: Leica M9-P with a Summicron 28mm f/2.0 and a Summilux 50mm f/1.4
I bumped into my friend Masa at Starbucks. I haven't seen him in a long time so it was really nice to see him.
I have friends from all walks of life. When we meet up we mostly talk about cameras, our families and life. Once in a while work enters the conversation but not all that often. Masa and I first met up a few years ago after meeting in a store near our houses. He was running a little late for our meet up and texted me to let me know. He said work was holding him up a bit.
In typical Japanese fashion when he arrived he was very apologetic. I asked him what was going on at work and he said that he was an eye surgeon and needed a little more time on his last surgery that day. I thought that was a pretty good excuse for being late and the best I have heard. I can't imagine that pressure.
A jar of olives seems like a strange item given this is a home goods store...
There is a Peter Rabbit themed restaurant in my town. It's full of Peter Rabbit related things and there is even a rabbit sitting at a seat at every table.
I had some free time while in San Francisco. My Mom, Dad and Niece flew up for a day to see me. It was great to see them as it has been too long.
I never play tourist in cities. I am usually working and if I am lucky enough to get a free day while in the US I typically go shopping. This time I actually rode the red open air tour bus around San Francisco. It was a lot more fun than I expected. I also got a chance to ride the trolley! I got this cool early morning shot I posted on Instagram.
The city was pretty busy so I bounced around a couple of hotels but stayed at the Sir Francis Drake for the weekend. It is a very nice old european style hotel just north of Union Square. I really liked it. I will probably stay here again.
I was able to refresh my Paul Smith White Rabbit Sneakers. I love these things. I am very sad they discontinued them. I was able to get two pairs so I hope they will last me for a while.
I also got the coolest backpack at Paul Smith that I will use as a briefcase now. The bag is perfectly understated. It doesn't have excessive pockets, or predefined places for pens, etc. I really like basic bags that I can determine how I want to use it. I was trying to figure out how to carry my camera in it without destroying it and found this awesome Leica Neoprene case. How did I not know this existed before?
I love Paul Smith products as they are so well made. I have had the same Paul Smith wallet for almost 10 years. Their sneakers hold up extremely well. The quality of the bag looks fantastic and I expect it will last a really long time. I am seriously considering getting a second one as a backup when this one eventually wears out.
I have been going through an identity crisis for my breifcase. I used Tumi for almost 15 years and it suited the business world perfectly. I carried lots of stuff but now all I really need to carry is my lightweight laptop and my camera. I carry sunglasses and a few other small things but I don't need a big bag. I also found the bigger the bag the more things that you find you need to carry to fill it up. I am trying to go ultra lightweight now.
The Clift is another great hotel to stay in the city. It's a few blocks from Union Square. It has an ultra hip lobby. You feel like you are in a night club when you are checking in.
This is another cool place in San Francisco. I haven't stayed here but they have awesome gourmet Spam at the bar!
One of the people I was able to catch up with was my friend Shahan and his girlfriend Alma. We caught up for dinner at the lovely Indian restaurant Amber. If your going to have India food bring along someone who knows the food (if you don't). He always orders thing I never would have thought to order and it's always fantastic.
While in LA I got to catch up with my Niece Emily again. It was so great to see her...
We visited the YouTube Space LA where they had a set of the historic New York City Club CBGB's set up. It was built using the original walls from the club.
When I am traveling I really miss my family. Before heading off on this long series of trips I was able to celebrate my 12 year anniversary with my wife. It is amazing that we have been together that long. It is also amazing she put up with me for so long. I'm a lucky guy...
Whenever I ask her to let me post a photo on ShootTokyo we alway go back and fourth. It goes something like this:
Me: "I love this photo of you can I post it?"
Mayumi: "My face is so round."
Me: "No it's not. This is what you look like"
Mayumi: "It's so round."
Me: "It was one of the things that attracted me to you."
Mayumi: "My face is so round. No. Maybe. Let me think about it."
One hour later
Mayumi: "No way, my face is too round!"
Me: "Can I post it and show everyone how much I love you?"
My book is on sale now at Leica Ginza. If you happen to be in Tokyo check it out at the Professional Shop on the 2nd floor. It is also for sale at the Tokyo American Club. You can also pick one up here on ShootTokyo in my shop. The book is about 80% sold out now.
A random and nice thing happened today. My MacBook Pro died. This is not the nice part yet. I bought this MacBook on March 10th 2011. I brought it to Apple today half hoping they would tell me it costs a fortune to repair so I can justify buying a new one. It is already more than 4 years old. Much to my surprise Apple is going to fix it for free! What great service. I don't really use the Mac for much these days other than watching videos and some occasional email so I didn't really care how old it was but it is nice to not be buying a new one.
Thanks for stopping by today...