Tales of cities

Tales of Cities: Wheeling

While heading towards Pittsburgh, I came across a town called Wheeling. Split right down in the middle by the ohio-West Virginian border, Wheeling looked a little like a mini-Pittsburgh with its small island and old metal bridges - and this interest me quite a bit. Between the three bridges that I came across, one looked older and more antique than the others. Lighting was severe - heavy sunlight on a very bright sunny day, but some pics turned out pretty good. Over the day I was in Wheeling, I met up to 8 people in the downtown area - one of them was Johnson. A man with his own story, all I have to say is best of luck for him. I strolled around the heritage port, overlooking the Wheeling island most of my time. Here are the pics. _MG_2615

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Tales of Cities: LA long overdue

DSCF5445-2 "L.A. is all about food!" my friend Alex told me as we slurp our ramen noodle, and about food, L.A. indeed is. I promised a good ol' friend of mine to visit him in the states when he arrived in L.A. A year later, there I was eating everything L.A. has to offer. When my fabulous guide, Alex, said that L.A. is about food, I scoffed at him in disbelief; I later gained unmentionable amount of pounds added to my weight after visiting for a mere 3 days - I was proven wrong. Before getting into all the street/people photography, I have to make a tribute to (what i believe to be) L.A.'s most delicious offering: Crispy pork gra pow, deep fried pork belly with basil sauced topped with egg and duck meat upon request. Around an hour before midnight, Alex and I arrived at a small restaurant in a small thai complex, also filled with other thai restaurants. Our restaurant itself is a particularly small one, holding only seven to ten tables, fitting perhaps only as much as thirty. "You had to try the crispy pork," Alex told me, "it's the A1," he continued, pointing to the menu. When the steaming pile of rice, pork, and egg arrived, he looked at me with a glimmer in his eyes, waiting for me to take a bite - I can now truly understand why. My eyebrows were raised in surprise and slight disbelief. It was glorious.

IMG_9373 There is not enough words to describe how delicious this dish is.

In the days to come, I came to figure out that L.A., other than its delicious morsels, also provides a potential for people photography. In between Universal studios, and Santa Monica beach, I had my canon on my shoulder all throughout the days, and kept shooting until I couldn't anymore. Below are the select few of my pictures.





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Of course, along with people photography, I took a bunch of other pictures. IMG_9122







All in all, photo wise, it was a very rewarding experience, much less so for my health, but the crispy pork was well worth it. I had to eat it once again before I left L.A. So thank you, Alex for being my guide and great host for three days straight, I will have the crispy pork again if I was to return to L.A. Untill then, here's another picture of you:



Tales of cities: 18 hours in Pittsburgh

A man was sitting in front of the restaurant I was having dinner on, he was wearing an ash colored fedora, a dark green shirt, with a glass of white wine on his hand. Swirling the wine, the man would sometimes greeted and chatted with random passerby, as if he knew everyone in town. It was almost 8 PM in the market square in Pittsburgh, and I was finishing my pasta as the man kept looking around for someone to chat with. Perhaps because it was Saturday, or maybe it's just Pittsburgh, but most people on the market district was pretty lax; sitting, drinking, and having a very slow meal - time slows down to a halt as the day grow older.

It was my 13th hour in Pittsburgh - I had spent the whole day walking around the city, taking pictures and looking for stories to tell. I did not came across much, but I had an impression of the city - it was beautifully ancient. The buildings looked old, decayed wall left its mark on the walls around the city as people passed in front of a broken down TV shop. It's sublime in a very very strange way.

As i walked through the market square, I saw a man sitting across an empty chair, a chess table between the two chairs. He looked as if he was waiting for someone. Perhaps not, I thought; perhaps the city was just taking him through the slow tempo of Saturday afternoon. I could be wrong.

I wished I had more time, as i was told of another place to go; yet it was not the time that I blame the most - it was myself. Hundreds of opportunity presented itself in front of me, and 4 pictures were taken. yet I kept moving on, I kept on learning. Next tale: Los Angeles! Hopefully.

Tales of Cities - Music and colors of Chicago

I decided to undertake a new project for my travel photography series - Tale of Cities. Tale of cities will tell the story of cities I've gone to along with the photos I took there - some will be more exciting than others, but all will be dear the same. In the first Tale of Cities, I (and a bunch of my friends) decided to visit Chicago, IL. Tall, bright, and bustling - Chicago welcomed me with all its splendor. Dim sum in the Chinatown, the famed silver bean, the coastline - This is the tale of Chicago.We arrived in Chicago early in the morning - around 8 A.M., after leaving Columbus at 4 A.M. I was told of a good place to have dim sum in the Chinatown. Battling the morning cold, we stagger ourselves to the restaurant to get some morning grub.

As we walked through michigan Ave., the sound of music wafted through the air, luring my ears. The slanted notes and irregular rhythm screamed "Jazz!" to my heart. A man was playing his clarinet on top of a recorded track - it was undoubtedly a very thick jazz sound. I took a couple of pictures, and he did not seem to waver in his music playing, immersed in his own enjoyment. At one point he slanted to my side and looked at me as to pose - I took his picture.

A couple blocks down, as the jazz sounds disappear from the air, a lady was embracing her violin tight in her arms, it seemed like it was dear, like it was everything. As she stood in silence, I couldn't resist but to snap a picture of her. She then opened her eyes, put her violin on her shoulder, and started playing- It was the theme from Star Wars.

We finished the day walking around Navy Pier. The view of the city from there was great, as the ships were sailing around, leaving trails of light on my photos.

Chicago - bustling, artful, and somewhat confusing at times. It had been a great lesson and training for me in terms of both photography and writing, and I took more pictures. Below are more pictures I took in the trip.

Next Tale: Pittsburgh!