Thursday, May 19, 2011

Graffiti Art in Hong Kong

I noticed graffiti in Hong Kong is a lot like that found in Japan. It seems like it's more artists and pop sub-cultured kids that are using this venue for artistic expression; than it is for vandalism or tagging, or gang turf wars, or what have you here in N.America. They all seem to "sign" their graffiti with a stencil, which is not the case in N.America most of the time. Their tag is their signature. I mean, I've framed this "graffiti" so you can see that you could hang it on your wall as art, or put it in a skate or bike magazine, no? Just my two bits......

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ride On Hong Kong

Many of the working bike riders go against traffic.

Another going against traffic. My wife's uncle said they feel it's safer.

Lot's of older men carrying tanks of propane to and from the hawkers. Looks dangerous. Notice the smaller front wheel to accommodate carrying larger propane tanks in the carrying basket up front?

In an old fishing village. The hats and the old bikes makes time stands still here.

Another bike found in the same fishing village.

Another shot in the same fishing village. I wouldn't call them training wheels to her face though.

I know Hong Kong has a large population of mountain bike riders (due to the abundance of national parks), as well as hardcore road bike guys, and a handful of street riders (fixie guys), but I didn't really see many where I was. I saw the working class guys using it as a means to get product from point A to B. And when I say product, it all looked like dangerous, explosive product. Chemicals, propane, waste product......

They all seem to have the same type of bike too: old, steel, 1940's China style, but has sort of a Swiss Army design (the double top bar gives it away as a Swiss design for me). Obviously these relics were built like tanks because even though they're probably 60 years old, they work fine!! I spent most times in the middle of the city, so it's true you don't really see the hobbyists out riding, and most commuters take the super efficient public transit system. It's also very dangerous to ride a bike in Hong Kong in the city. Too many taxis and buses and trolley trains and people!! It's very different from Japan, where bikes are an integral part of the transportation system, and you see them everywhere, including the city centers (like many modern European cities).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Funny Message on Airplane Movie Screen

Nothing special here, just odd word usage on this error screen on an airplane movie screen. Read the line. I wouldn't have used that adjective to describe an error on screen.

Crocs vs Birkenstock

So back in 2008 during our family visit to Japan for my little brother's wedding in Osaka, we noticed he and future wife were both wearing Crocs when they first came out to meet with us. I thought they were hideous, as I'm a huge shoe guy (I flew in a pair of Allen Edmonds!!) and thought they were meant for the beach or the spa. But the rest of my family thought they were cool. They were the new "in" thing in Osaka at the time. That's the big difference between Osaka and Tokyo I guess, because I didn't see anyone wearing Crocs in Tokyo.

Over the next couple of days, everyone (almost) ended up buying Crocs.
At one point during the trip, with an ulterior motive in mind, I told everyone to huddle around so I could take a picture of everyone's 'cool' Crocs. After they all proudly positioned their feet in a perfect 'Croc-circle' formation, and just before I took my picture, I muscled my Birkenstocks into the shot!!

Ha ha!! The gasp from everyone after realizing they were duped!! Okay, I can explain the socks though.....a bit...... I have very cold feet and a cold neck. I always sleep with a scarf and socks on. So at night, I wanted my feet to breath, but it was too cold for no socks, so I put on socks...... hey, I don't need to defend myself!! The point? Crocs vs Birkenstocks. The Germans win! Fashion over Fad!

Remember to follow me on Twitter @bigheadtaco

Wasabi: It's the Real Thing!

Most don't know this, but what you think is wasabi you're putting on your finely sliced piece of sashami, or your delicately combined piece of nigiri, is actually horseradish with food colouring and wasabi flavoring. Real wasabi, if pre-grated for you, should have some fiber left in it, like when you grate ginger. Here in Japan, many of the smaller, more traditional restaurants will have real wasabi!! The above picture was from a local udon shop near my brother's place that serves all their udon with a fresh wasabi root and a grater. The flavor is definitely different, and better. Not as hot, but more mellow flavor. I haven't been there in over a year, but Shiro Sushi on Cambie in Vancouver used to use real wasabi. But there's nothing like grating it yourself!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cool Girl in Osaka: 2008

A lot of cool dressed people in both Tokyo and Osaka, both guys and girls. I took this shot in Shinsaibashi area of Osaka back in 2008. One may not agree with a person's fashion style, but you know what? At least they have style. Everyone looks put together, like they thought about what they wanted to project to the world, dressed accordingly, and then went out with a fashion mission. I like that. People here in Canada often seem to not care what they wear in public. People look at you funny for dressing up fine. For instance, in Tokyo and Osaka, you'll never see sweat pants on ANYONE in public. I'm sure Milan, Paris, Barcelona, etc. is the same.Fashion people!! Fashion!! It's important how we project ourselves! Let's do it!

Eric+table+cardboard tube= horizontal pole yoga?

I've posted a pic of my super funny and crazy coworker Eric Easy , who no longer works with us any more. But this is an example of his craziness. He would randomly do things such as this. We miss him very much at work. Now it's just me, a crazy, bike riding, photo loving Japanese guy, and a skateboarding, hockey loving Dutch guy. I know, boring........we want our Viking back!!

Creative Graffiti: Hammer Time Stop Sign

I'm not advocating graffiti, but my point is when it's done like this, people aren't offended or confused, but they giggle. In fact, the neighbours probably don't want the city to come and replace it anytime soon. It enhances the message of the sign, and gives bragging rights to everyone who lives on this blog. I know I would...... Go Hammer!!

Shot somewhere down by Jericho Beach, Vancouver. If you live here, you know where it is. I think the biggest fear is someone's going to steal the sign since it's so rad!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Salt Spring Island 2007

Going through some older pictures, and came across this one I took of this mossy, damp-looking old cottage in the middle of nowhere on Saltspring Island. Literally, it was in the middle of nowhere. It just started raining, thus the halo-like effect of the lighting in the sky. I was driving past, slammed on the brakes, ran out, took a few quick shots, jumped back into my car, apologize to the wife, and finally drive off again.......

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mannequin Through Glass

Mannequin's are like clowns to me. Sometimes they make me laugh, and other times they freak me out. However, unlike a clown, there's no human underneath the layers. But there is a human-ness to them at time since they are made in our image; and sometimes you can actually get a glimpse of their fake, plastic humanity. What's the guy thinking about? Where's he looking at? Does he like wearing finely tailored Italian casual wear? I like how the raven's shadow happens to land right behind his head, and how the reflected image on the glass plays with the foreground. This was a Harry Rosen window display at Oakridge Mall in Vancouver.

Spring Skiing in Whistler

My wife strapping in at the top of 7th Heaven on Blackcomb Mountain

I don't know what this is. Perhaps a garage for snowmobiles? Either way, I liked the stickers all along the top. Sort of like decal confetti. I like the guy's beard too.....

Groomed run. It was icy. It wasn't fun at all...... but visually, very cool....just after this shot, I had a horrible wipe-out. Landed right on my tailbone. It hurt deep inside. No kidding. Not fun at all. I had to walk it off......

Just a quick trip up to Whistler this past weekend. Snow was icy in the morning, and as the day went on and the sun came out, the snow became slushy. Not really complaining but just explaining spring conditions. I took a few cool shots though........

Porter Japan, Livestock Vancouver and a Narrow Walkway

My buddy and I were checking out some sneakers at Livestock while my wife was looking for a new snowboard next door. After we were done, we cut through a narrow walkway and I saw the perfect Sartorialist shot. My buddy's awesome orange Porter Japan man-bag makes this cool image. It was picked up while in Tokyo with me last year, and I'm happy he went with orange because it makes this shot a whole lot better than if it was a typical black or brown bag...... boring!! Thanks Jer for posing for me, and thank-you Porter Japan for making such an awesome bag. Oh and thank you narrow walkway for creating the perfect frame for this shot (notice the line on Jer's sweater sort of lines up to the lines of the brick wall?).