Lascar Row, or Cat Alley, is located in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Originally it was a boarding house area for Indian sailors. It was also a red light district.
Today, the alley houses antique shops, art galleries and a lot of cheap trinket outdoor stands.
This area is located down the stairs directly across the street from the oldest building in Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple. However, it spills over onto Hollywood Road which has become one of the centers of art and art galleries.
Often times, places like this become tourist-driven. Not this area. Tourists and Hong Kong people who enjoy art shop there equally.
So, you say that street food isn’t for you. Fair enough. You can try the food prepared in a local shop. You can buy all forms of barb – ecued meat in any number of local shops.
This shop happens to be in Hong Kong’s Central wet market which is huge and stretches through three different neighborhoods. It is easily reached from the flyover that I wrote about a few days ago. As you walk through the market, you’ll noticed that the merchants are grouped by whatever they are selling. So, fruits and vegetables are found in one location. Different meats and fishes are found in another. And, so on. Everything is very fresh. You can eat your purchases there. Or, you can take it home which is what most people do.
I‘m a big fan of street food, especially in Asia where the food is very fresh, cooked to order and certainly more healthy then eating at your local fast food joint.
I suppose there are negative questions, like is the location properly sanitized? I don’t know. But, in all my years of traveling, I’ve never gotten sick from eating street food. I have gotten sick from eating in proper restaurants or from washing dishes in hot water that wasn’t hot enough.
In the old days, no matter where I ate in China, I used an Old China Hand’s trick and ordered the strongest alcohol the restaurant had in their bar and very discretely wiped down the plates, bowls and the chopsticks. Today, with a Starbucks on every corner and a MacDonald’s on every other corner in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Bangkok there doesn’t seem to be a need to do that.
All of that said, this image was made from a flyover near Silom Square, in Bangkok, Thailand just prior to the evening rush hour as this vendor was doing her prep. It’s the kind of scene you find if you are walking and aren’t in a rush.
This image is probably one of the oldest in my newly completed electronic portfolio.
It is of an overhead view of the wet market in Central, Hong Kong. China. It was made from a flyover of what used to be called “The World’s Longest Escalator.” But, in the interest of full disclosure, it is now called “The Travelator” because it is not one long escalator, but a system of escalators, conveyor belts, fly overs and over passes that runs from the banking district in Central all the way to the Mid-Levels. It is a great way to commute and for a tourist it is a great way to see Hong Kong life without schelpping up and down Hong Kong’s steep stairways and streets.
My portfolio is rather large. 60 images. People, places and things. For the largest part, the images aren’t older then three years.
If you would like to see it, send me an email and I’ll send it to you.
I used Apple’s i-Work, which is very elegant way of creating and distributing my work. It is essentially an online Powerpoint presentation with room for my comments and replies from my viewers. It’s still a beta which means that unless you are using i-Work too, you can’t see it as a programed video. But, you can click on each image to move forward.
There is a lot of talk about trying somehow trying to control America’s borders to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. I’m not going to going to discuss the political or humanistic ramifications, except to say that this picture proves that aliens are being smuggled into the country by people with cars.
But, but, but… seriously I went to Roswell, New Mexico a few years ago to document the UFO Festival and I managed to convince the PR person and her friend to take a rubber alien to the desert to photograph it.
This alien is obviously rubber. The real aliens are stored in a warehouse down near Alamogordo. They say.
The truth is out there.
Although I don’t play music, I’ve been around it and photo – graphed it for most of my life. I like little tiny venues where I can work in close without needing some kind of pass. This image was made in an outdoor patio of a restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Oops. I almost forgot to post my daily photograph. I’ve been building an electronic portfolio among other things and the time just sprinted by.
At any rate, I used to live in New Orleans. Then a big storm called Katrina came along and blew me out of the city. It wasn’t so much the wind as it was the flood caused by failing levees that made me leave.
This was the last meaningful picture I made before the storm. For well over 100 years, the Mardi Gras Indians have been marching in parades, second line parades and jazz funerals without many problems. All of a sudden during the summer of 2005, the police had issues with the Indians. So, the chief of all Mardi Gras chiefs Tootie Montana took the floor at a city council meeting. He asked, “why can’t we get along,” had a heart attack and died — live and on the evening news.
So all the tribes gathered together and held a jazz funeral and second line parade in late July 2005. City officials came out. Celebrities came out. people like me came out.
This is a man is called a spy boy. Traditionally, he runs ahead of the tribe and makes sure no other tribe is interfering. He is singing a song called, “Golden Crown.”
Hurricane Katrina arrived on August 29, 2005.
Some claim it was nature paying us back for our bad ways. Others say it was God. Some think that maybe when Tootie passed trying to make peace, New Orleans lost it’s juju.
All I know is there are no coincidences.
Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple in Thailand. It is a restoration of an earlier temple with work begin – ning in 1788. There have been two later restorations as well. It contains the largest Buddha image in Thailand, The Reclining Buddha, which was created as part of the second restoration during the period of 1824 to 1851, is simply just stunning. The body is gold plated. There are jewels embedded in the souls of his feet. His eyes are made of Mother of Pearl.
That’s a little bit of the history and the design.
It is also the most photographed subject in Bangkok and, perhaps, all of Thailand. For me, since I always try to make a picture that is a little different, it became a consuming challenge to do so. I was walking and shooting when I stumbled upon a triangular composition. I also decided to include all the intricate patterns and colors that are part of the wat, but not part of the Buddha image itself. There is a second challenge, as well. Since this is the most photographed site in Thailand, there are hundreds of people from every country on the planet walking around and snapping away. So, the second challenge is how to keep them out of the picture. This composition solved that problem.
It seemed to have work. Editors and agents like it. It’s been used as a cross over spread and a cover of a book. And, that’s saying something since there must be a billion gazillion trillion images of The Reclining Buddha floating around.
Thailand is an over – whelmingly Buddhist country with almost 95% of the population being Buddhist. Next come the Muslims who are a little less then 5% of the population and are mostly located in the south. And, finally come the Christians, who represent less then 1% of the country’s citizens.
So, it is not unusual to see Buddhist monks just about everywhere. They wear orange or dark mustard colored robes to symbolize autumn and the falling leaves which, in turn, symbolizes letting go. If you travel from region to region you will see different colored robes but they will always be in the color of autumn.
I happened to make of this picture of two monks in a high tech mall looking at various cell phone plans. Despite living simply and frugally and never asking for donations; they will tell you that they have to live in the world.
I’ve seen monks talking on cellphones, working on laptops and driving BMWs. All of those things were given to them by Buddhist worshippers.