Travel Notes- San Francisco (Day 6)

I will always miss you, Bay Area. You mean something to me.

You are different than any cities that I visited before, you are always sunny and bright. Always happy somehow. I still remember the first day I saw you, it feels like ages ago, your beauty captivated me, I am thrilled, marvelled by how perfect everything was.

I wanted to stay longer, but I couldn't, we simply don't belong to each other. Someday I will come back, and I hope you are still adorable as you always have been...

Travel Note- Miss Tokyo (June 2015)

I landed in Haneda Airport at around 7:30pm local time. Quickly I went to take the train to Shinagawa to meet up with my friends whom I have known for years. As I got on the train, I immediately felt the manners of the Japanese people- everyone was so quiet, minding their own business and the train was very clean (compare to those in Hong Kong, London…). But as soon as I walked out of the train, everything changed dramatically. People rushing off work, catching trains, and everything just suddenly became so fast paced, and I am once again soaked into the hustle and bustle of the city. 



I arrived slightly earlier than Jean, and soon we walked to the restaurant where Satoshi has been waiting for us. It’s been almost a year since I last met them, and they both looked wonderful despite the fact that they have been tortured by the Japanese working system- Long hours, lots of socials to go to, as with a minimal chance of promotion until they reach a certain age. Luckily for both of them, things are starting to look better. Satoshi is about to study his ‘dream’ master program in Europe; whereas Jean has been working on some interesting project for her company

Jean  Looking happy as usual

Jean Looking happy as usual

The dinner was wonderful, lots of great seafood, refreshing beer and awesome sake. I also befriended a waiter, and he bought me a glass of sake. This is something that is not really common form me- knowing a stranger and getting something in return. I guess I will never see him in the future. 



Satoshi  Holding the head of a fish

Satoshi Holding the head of a fish

The Waiter  keeps calling me his friend. awesome 

The Waiter keeps calling me his friend. awesome 

We left the place at around half past ten. Jean and Satoshi had to return to where the live and their life continue as usual tomorrow in this great city. Then I took the train to the airport from Shinagawa, and interestingly, I had to change at Kamata Station- a place that I stayed in many years ago when I was in exchange. Then here I am again, a year after my last visit to Tokyo…I will miss you forever, Miss Tokyo. There are so many things that I still do not understand, about the world, things around me, and especially myself. Seems like I have been in this state of mind for far too long, is it why I am trying to find an answer through taking pictures? Or am I looking for the right question? Miss Tokyo, I will love you forever. 

Until next time, be strong and be gentle.

Travel Note- San Francisco Day 3

Woke up pretty early due to JetLag again. Only slept for 10 hours in total for the past 2 nights. The weather in San Francisco is pretty much like the weather in Hong Kong. Warm during the day, and a bit chilly at night, and because of that, my allergic nose is being super kind to me.

Off to Montgomery Street to meet a senior of mine from HKU. We went to a nice restaurant (The Sauce...and sorry, not photos, I rarely take photos during my meals) and for about an hour and thirty minutes we talked about many things, mainly about how it feels like to work in America. Interestingly, he told me San Francisco is one of the most popular cities for homeless because of its benefits and welfare, and even the Nevada States has brought bus ticket for the homeless in their States to go to San Francisco...that's why yesterday I saw many homeless near the Financial District of SF.

After lunch I set off to de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to check out an Keith Haring exhibition, one of the artists whom I look up to since I was young. Unlike Tate Modern, there isn't much words/description/information in the Haring Exhibition. Just his works, and a short paragraph here and there. Luckily Haring's works are relatively easy to understand, he didn't want his audience to guess what he is trying to say, he was all about communicating and spreading his message across. A lot to learn from him.

I left after the exhibition to return to town center. Apparently there are 2 exhibitions all in the same buildings that I really want to see. Songbook by Alec Soth, and an exhibition of Fan Ho, a master photographer from Hong Kong. 

Turns out that that particular building is called 49 Geary, and there are lots of Private Galleries in it. On the first Thursday of each months, most of the galleries have openings, and would invite the artist to be there. Lucky me, not only I got a chance to see the works by Alec Soth and Fan Ho, I also see works by Tokihiro Sato, a Japanese photographer who works with light and time.

It was a short day, but jetlag really caught up with me. I went back before dinner and we started preparing for the wedding that is going to take place on Saturday. Seems like I wont be going out tomorrow. But instead I will have to stay in and help out. No Travel Note tomorrow, but instead I might write something called Groomsman Note or whatever...will see.

Travel Note- San Francisco Day 2

Day 2. San Francisco. Jet-Lag.

Half awake and half asleep from 4am. Had no idea what I was doing. Just trying so hard to sleep. My head still spilt into two, and it was a terrible feeling.

Finally I got a chance to walk around in San Francisco today on my own to explore what this city is about. But first thing first, I went to J.P. Kempt, a barber hop near The Hayes to get my hair done. It took me a while to figure out how to get there, and at the end I took Uber instead (i know i am lazy)

J.P. Kempt  Great barber shop in the Bay Area.

J.P. Kempt
Great barber shop in the Bay Area.

J.P. Kempt is quite a 'hip' barber shop, very different from those glamours salons you see in Hong Kong most of the time. Everything looks neat and cool when I first walked in, its classic style decorations, equipments and the chair amazed me.

After waiting for a while, I got to sit down with the barber (Uncle Suzz), and as soon as I sat down, she asked me if I want the 'usual stuff'. Without much hesitation I said yes, 30 minutes later, boom, great hair cut!

I walked randomly around after I left the barber shop. I had about 2 hours before I got another plan, so I just find out roughly where I should head to on Google Maps and start wondering around in the city.

I started walking near The Hayes and through Market Street I walked roughly to Montgomery Street. It was a great sunny day so I enjoyed walking into some random shops here and there. Nothing too fancy around the area, but I guess I kind of understand why people love California so much.

Perhaps it's me feeling suspicious, the street made me felt a bit uneasy when as I walk along Market Street. There are a lot of homeless people around the area, some were drunk (or stoned?), the street doesn't smell too great, and there are many closed stores around so I felt a bit abandoned somehow. It's hard to imagine I am only 20 minutes away from the Financial District where there are so many luxurious stores, restaurants and things look so different.

Emptied Office in San Fran

Emptied Office in San Fran

Is this some kind of theatre/cinema?

Is this some kind of theatre/cinema?

The American Dream

The American Dream

Abandoned buildings attracts photographers including myself. I know they relatively 'easy' to photograph and I should avoid doing stuffs like this. But then I guess my way of seeing them can create something unique of them? I don't know, sometimes I'm just shooting what I love to shoot. I am never really a good at philosophising my works and I rarely understand those essays and articles and researches by the amazing scholars and thinkers. Me mate Kris once said sometimes doing creative things are as simply as making yourself happy. True.

At night we visited the Oracle Arena to watch the Warriors. My first NBA Experience. Didn't talk too many photos as the game was so intense. Steph Curry (one the best players in the league right now) scored 51 and it was a good W for the Warriors. 

On the way to the Arena

On the way to the Arena

Our view. Amazing

Our view. Amazing

Thanks my man ManHin for the tickets. Actually for those who don't know, the reason why I'm in San Francisco is because my friend whom I've known since I was an infant is getting married this weekend and I got invited to be his one of his groomsmen. This is my 2nd time being a groom...

Time Flies...this is insane. Slow down everyone.