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los angeles food coma.

12 Sep 2014

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I ate quite a bit of food while I was home in Los Angeles last month. The photo above, of a simple-looking but deceptively complex green bean salad with nectarines and creme fraiche dressing, taken at Petit Trois, was how everything began. The rest of that meal, undocumented because my mother and I were too busy shoveling bites of steak frites and escargots into our mouths, was nothing short of spectacular — nothing revelatory in any avant-garde way, just straightforward French bistro fare done with great precision.

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In the following days, I managed to borrow my dad’s Pentax K1000 — a basic camera, but, with the 50mm/1.8 lens, a great little film camera with which to shoot food. Our first meal with it: a birthday dinner with dad at his favorite yakitori spot. It started so innocently with a mini-appetizer of roasted shishito peppers sprinkled with bonito flakes.

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Then they brought out the meats. SO MANY MEATS.

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Then I met my friend Ben for lunch at the Guerrilla Taco truck in the Arts District, just east of Little Tokyo. GOODNESS GRACIOUS, THESE TACOS.

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If you visit a city with a Din Tai Fung, home to some of the best soup dumplings on the planet, you go to that Din Tai Fung, and you OBVIOUSLY get an order of those soup dumplings. Manna, this.

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The shumai at DTF are no joke, either.

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I met my old college friend and roommate Travis and his daughter Esme for an excellent weekend lunch at Tasty Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant not far from the house where I grew up in San Gabriel. Their mapo tofu and scallion pancakes were out of this world.

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A friend of mine from NYC, en route to Samoa, found himself stuck with a 12-hour layover in Los Angeles while I happened to be home. So I picked him up from the airport and we headed to Gjelina, a place I’ve been dying to try for a couple of years now. It did not disappoint. Above: the excellent sauceless, cherry-tomato-topped pizza. Below: Wonderful (and colorful!) green beans and the stellar cured meat plate, complete with 3 different mustards!

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And on the second to last day of my trip, I ended the way I started (only this time with the Pentax in tow) — at Petit Trois, once again with my mom, to try out the second half of the tiny menu. Goodness me, we will be back again and again — everything was excellent, and the kitchen and bar staff was incredibly warm and accommodating.

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Prepping the Napoleons.

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Escargot heaven.

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Confit chicken leg. SO GOOD.

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And that, folks, was how I rolled, sideways, onto my flight back to New York City.

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photobook!

25 Aug 2014

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I know I’ve been remiss with posting on here recently, but I’ve been working on a little something which finally went live this weekend — a Kickstarter campaign to generate initial funding so that I can produce a 70 (or so)-page hardcover book of my film photographs! You can read more about this over at the Kickstarter page HERE, but suffice it to say, I”m excited about the prospect of a proper book where the best of my photos will be collected in one place.

If you have any interest in backing this campaign ….. well, I urge you to take a look at the various reward options. There are photo postcards, 8×10 prints, and the photobook itself, all available. Your support for this campaign would mean a great deal to me, but I’ll be honest: your ongoing support of this blog continues to bring me such happiness. It still amazes me that there’s a community of photographically-minded folks who seek out like-minded work and ideas, and ways of capturing all the little bits of everyday gorgeousness.

Anyhow, before I get too sentimental, let me just say this: can you believe summer is nearly over?! This year is cranking along so quickly. Thanks again for your continued readership of this wee blog, and, if you decide to back the photobook project, thank you for nudging my ongoing photowork forward. You’re all the best.

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last weekend.

7 Aug 2014

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Lunch, a walk, a couple of photos with the old Nikon FE, some more walking, a mid-afternoon drink, and so on: the hallmarks of a quiet, perfect weekend in Brooklyn.

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people, recently.

25 Jul 2014

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Sorry for the absence; I’ve been making an attempt to enjoy the city a bit more this summer, which has meant not carrying the cameras around quite as much. (Truth be told, after Iceland and carting 10+ pounds worth of cameras in my pack, I’m rather happy to be a bit … unburdened!) But here are some photos I did manage to take:

1. Lupe | Brooklyn
2. Jason | Lower East Side
3. Michael + Time | East Village

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Between a BBQ and a wedding, it’s a full weekend for me — and likely a great deal more photographs to boot!

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iceland (4).

7 Jul 2014

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Both of these shots were taken on our first day in Iceland, up in Holmavik, a town of just under 400 inhabitants. A completely surreal way to start our journey, with the harbor and hillside full of mist and fog.

I’ve also updated my portfolio to include my favorite film photos from the trip. You can view the slideshow here.

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iceland (3).

30 Jun 2014

We tried to drive on Road 630, way up in the northwest corner of the Westfjords just outside Bolungarvik, but were thwarted by quite a bit of snow that had yet to be cleared. In early June! So we walked as far as we could before, sans proper snow shoes, we had to turn back. On the walk back down, we saw this mysterious structure in the distance.

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Closer ….

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Closest! Still not sure what it is/was, but it was fun to photograph, especially with the big Pentax 6×7.  Does anyone have any idea what this structure might be?  We came across several of them, perched over small bodies of water, during our trek around the Westfjords.

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Over the next few days, the Westfjords proved thrillingly gorgeous and desolate, all at once.  I probably should’ve taken more photos with the black & white Tri-X 400 — the graininess really adds to the mood.

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If they ever found water on Mars, it would look a heck of a lot like Iceland.

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iceland (2).

23 Jun 2014

Rooftops | Holmavik

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Storage bins | Bolungarvik

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Harbor | Holmavik

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I … have no idea what this is/was | Isafjordur

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Beached fishing boat | Bolungarvik

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Local architecture | Sudureyri

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Storage bins | Holmavik

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Along Vestfjarðavegur (Road 60) | Westfjords

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More Iceland. All shot with the Pentax 6×7; all color photos taken with expired Kodak Portra film, while the black and white is Tri-x 400, my old grainy standby.

Iceland is this heady mix of gorgeous, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonderfully mundane. It’s there that I discovered I apparently have a bin fetish (!).

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iceland (1).

20 Jun 2014

Repurposed shipping containers | Holmavik

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Mike | Along Djupvegur Road, Westfjords

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Dumpster + Landscape | Holmavik

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Beached vessel | Along Orlygshafnarvegur Road, Westfjords

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Harbor | Isafjordur

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Mystery structure | Holmavik

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I just got back the scans from all 27 rolls of film from the trip to Iceland.  It’s going to be a bit of a trudge to sort through them — they’re all jumbled, in no particular order, which is the problem one faces with Way Too Much Film and mailing it all off to a faraway lab — so bear with me while I try to put 264 images in chronological order!

I think I’m just going to post the photos as I go along, so the chronology is going to be off, but all of the photos were taken over a five day period in the Westfjords, the northwestern region of the country.  (There were only a handful of film photos taken in Reykjavik, the result of No More Giant Backpack fatigue — *you* try carrying around a digital Leica and a 6+ lb 6×7 medium format camera, plus film, plus sundries, all stuffed in one pack, for a few days!)  And, in keeping with my sensibilities about film, I’m going to show the photos pretty much straight out of the scanner, with minimal-to-no editing, other than minor cropping and exposure correction.  What you see here is basically what I saw there.  And it was all so stunning, even the mundane stuff.

Many more photos to come.

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iceland! digital!

17 Jun 2014

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I’ve got 27 rolls of film, taken with the giant Pentax 6×7, currently getting processed in a photolab. Here are a handful of shots taken last week around the Westfjords with the Leica M9. Iceland was incredible. Can’t wait to show you more.

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iceland!

4 Jun 2014

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Yup, I’m headed to Iceland on Friday with my friend Mike D. We’ll be spending 5 days in the Westfjords, way in the northwest corner of the country, and then 3 days in Reykjavik. So excited! I spent a few days in Reykjavik back in the late 90s, and I’ve stopped over in Keflavik airport a couple of times, but I’ve never really seen the countryside (other than from an airplane — the photo above, of the western part of the country, was taken in 2009 after a brief layover at Keflavik).

So I won’t be posting anything here for a week, but you can follow me on Instagram (here!), where I’m sure there’ll be loads of photos of fjords and hills and maybe a bit of snow.  And puffins!  And when I get back, there’ll be tons of photos here on the blog, hopefully — I’m planning on bring three cameras with me, two film and the Leica M9.   You should see the backpack I bought just for the trip; I can almost fit into it myself!

Have a good week and a half, everyone!

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