Happy Easter!



I’ll be back next week.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Hello . . .


Hi friends.  Yes I’m still alive.  I’m sorry for the long radio silence.  I’ve been busy and distracted by various things, and debated between shutting down this blog altogether vs taking an extended absence.  And in fact, I didn’t even check my blog (or anyone else’s) for the last two months.   The blogger fatigue syndrome, I guess.  But really the main reason is a bit more mundane, and it’s something like this — have you ever forgotten to return someone’s call, or email, or send a thank you card etc and the longer it gets, the more like it’s been so long that you’re embarrassed to do it?  Very circular I know.  No, you’ve never done that?  Well, that was me.  It’s been so long that I was like, what am I going to say.  In any event, I am continuing with this blog — I figured, how silly is it to stop doing what I love, just because other things got in the way and I just lost inspiration for a while.

In short, this is just to stop by to say that I’m still alive and will continue with this blog, and also to thank you for your support (I can’t believe I have over a thousand followers–which is huge for me).  My posts will be more sparse but they’ll just appear in your email or WordPress reader if you’re a subscriber.

Just two photos from my Hong Kong trip in May (which I still need to finish posting). And with this, goodbye for now — I’m taking off next week for a little jaunt somewhere, but will definitely be back in mid to late February with photos (not trying to be mysterious, but I have this “thing” where I just don’t like to announce to the world what I’m going to do before I actually do it).



Thanks for stopping by.  See you in February!

I said in the last post that I probably wouldn’t be posting WeHo’s Halloween Carnaval photos this year.  Well, I changed my mind !  It was the usual crazy costumes and massive sea of humanity.  The news outlets predicted that some half a million people would descend on the one mile stretch of Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood for the party.  I doubt it was that many but whatever it was, it was a huge turnout.  I sort of wish that this event and Dia de Los Muertos weren’t so close together, because I was getting fatigued with back to back weekends of huge crowds and photography (though Day of the Dead felt like an intimate gathering compared to this).  But if you live in LA, you need to experience both events at least once.

Here are a few snapshots.  Pardon the blurry quality.  I was going to rent an off-camera flash but never got around to it, so focusing at night on targets in constant movement was mostly hit or miss.

Still scratching my head at what this was.  This … woman was sprawled on the street (before it got massively crowded).  The only thing I could think of was — damsel in distress ?  Or maybe, spurned bride ?

I was expecting a costume play on a “binders of full of women” comment, but not this little twist on it.  (For my non-US followers who may be wondering what I’m talking about . . . well, this is just one of those amusing minutia in recent American politics that went viral on the Internet, not worth getting into here).  I have to say that this Biden sort of looks like the real one, and was also quite good at staying in character with the huge Biden smile and constant look of mirth.

OK, party time over.   No, I’m kidding — the police was very low key and enjoyed themselves along with the crowd.  Not sure if this trio is the real police or not, though they probably are.

And saving my best effort for last.  This is my favorite shot of the evening — which goes to show that some good may now and then come out of not being able to properly focus !

Have a fun weekend !

It’s that time of the year again — LA celebrates Día de Los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery ! One of my all time favorite events in LA, at least since I first discovered it last year. This is the 13th year this event has been held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (a truly cool place, especially its summer movies series).  For those of you who have followed me for a while, you may remember my Day of the Dead post a year ago.  So please pardon me while I mostly repeat/plagiarize my old post here for a moment:  Día de Los Muertos is a colorful Mexican holiday tradition. It actually falls on November 1/All Saints’ Day and November 2/All Souls’ Day, and dates back to indigenous cultures where people gather to commemorate their ancestors and loved ones. Altars are set up to welcome the dead with flowers, food offerings; skull and skeletons are common symbols of death and rebirth. Other Latin countries also observe this holiday, as well as certain parts of Europe (celebrating All Saints and All Souls’ Day).  (Did I already say that this is a really wonderful event worth attending at least once if you live in LA?  Yes I did).

Last year I went during the day and left in the early evening. For scheduling reason, this year I went during the day by myself, mostly for photography and a close up look at the altars, and then came back after 8 with my guy, mostly for the more party-like atmosphere. Long day, and a completely packed madhouse at night, but all totally worth it. It’s probably not a surprise to you then that I have lots of photos. So I will split this into two posts, in no real order.  Here goes —

Putting on the final touches.

This looks more Pirates of the Caribbean than Day of the Dead to me . . . but who cares, these ladies look fabulous.

Channeling Elvira ?

For all the elaborate artistry here, sometimes the simplest altars (relatively speaking) are the most touching, to me at least.

Wow, that was a lot.  I will finish up with part two by Wednesday at the latest (I hope) — because that’s October 31st, and there’s WeHo’s largest street Halloween Carnaval to attend . . . .  Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you soon.  Have a fun and safe Halloween!  (And last but not least, I hope that any friends here are safe and not badly affected by the hurricane.)

P.S.  If you haven’t yet OD on Day of the Dead photos, my 2011 posts are here and here.

I couldn’t find a more succinct or clever title for this post . . . but that is the one common thread here.  I love seeing quirky things, though I’m sure that certain things appear quirky only because we’re not used to seeing them in our daily lives. Whatever the reason, Hong Kong is quite full of them.

The Yuen Po Street Bird Garden is one example.   It’s a small park and garden of bird traders (probably not the best place to visit if you don’t like seeing caged birds).  But the real quirky charm here (and I’ll try not to use these two words again in this post), and the reason we looked for it is that it’s also the social gathering place for bird owners, who bring their birds — so the birds can sing to each other.  It sounds funny at first, but then again, it’s really no different from the dog parks we have in the US. Dogs socialize or fight with other dogs, while their humans do the same with each other.

This bird below is not for sale, but being proudly displayed by its owner.

And then there’s the Goldfish Market, which consists of store after store on several blocks selling all types of aquarium fishes and supplies.  Goldfish and kois are believed to be auspicious symbols in China.  And since who has the space, or money for a koi pond, having a goldfish is just as good.  They’re particularly popular during certain holidays, such as Chinese New Year.  I also read that there are vendors of more exotic animals such as snakes, spiders, lizards etc around the Goldfish Market, but we didn’t see them (or I should say that I probably didn’t care enough to seek them out).

Probably not Hong Kong action cinema and more like student film project.

Nothing quirky about this.  I just snuck this photo here because this was the best wonton dumpling soup place ever.  I went twice.  Come to think of it, I probably planned my sightseeing activities around this place.  In case anyone wants to know, it’s Mak’s Noodle Restaurant G/F 37 Wing Kut Street, around Central Road area (except that there’s no sign and all is in Chinese…no idea how my tour book came up with the name).  Another great place is Good Hope Noodle in the Mong Kok area. Even less atmosphere but just as good.  Yes, I sought out every divey noodle joint in Hong Kong, and couldn’t have been happier.

Updated Oct 17, 2012:  I’m adding this link in case it helps anyone.  I just found this article on CNN Int’l, re Best Wonton Noodles in Hong Kong (oh why didn’t I find this before my trip !?).  The restaurant in the photo is #4 on the list.

And finally, a collective awww.

Have a great week!


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