Archive for September, 2008

{ “Sing and Don’t Cry” }

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

It was my 3rd time boarding a plane from LAX that month. This time, unlike the previous two (the first for Portland and the second for an awesome wedding I will be blogging soon!), I had my passport in hand, some big sticks in my suitcase, and an extra bottle of water or two. And instead of going north, this time the plane went south… to Mexico! TAIKOPROJECT was invited to perform at the Festival Internacional in Chihuahua, a festival that spans 4 weeks and includes artists from different countries around the world. We did one show in Chihuahua city and another in Juarez and both were absolutely amazing experiences – I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I got to perform in front of such an excited and energetic audience.

The highlight… During the last piece of our set, we incorporated the “Cielito Lindo” melody into the piece (which until then I had just shamefully known as the “Ay ay ay” song), being told that it was a song that would resonate with the audience. We practiced it for weeks before the performance, not 100% sure what the reaction would be like, hoping we would receive applause rather than say, a slew of rotten tomatoes. During the actual performance we began the piece and transitioned into “Cielito Lindo” in the middle… the audience was quiet at first… then erupted into roars and cheers as they recognized the song. It was absolutely exhilarating. They began to sing along and sway in unison with us onstage and seriously, it took a bit of willpower to not become a teary mess right there on stage. It’s one thing to connect with the audience in LA, with friends and family in the crowd, but another thing all together to connect with an audience in a different country, with a different culture, who beforehand just knew us as some people with big drums and shiny pants.

The SLR stays at home during such perilous journeys, but I did manage to snap some shots with the P&S, as well as “borrow” a few shots from Bruno as well! (Thank you Bruno!)

Off the plane we go…





A bit of the stage (how gnarly are those lights – totally reminded me of some kind of nausea-inducing carnival ride):




Above photo taken by Bruno




By Bruno

The super awesome crowd! It was great getting to interact with them post-show (shots by Bruno) –







Some fun in the plaza:





And a group pic! Including Chiyo, our sweeter than sweet guide:




And now to exercise my girlfriend-y duties for the day, here is an official notice that Scott’s band, Potential Difference, will be playing at the Knitting Factory next week! It’s their first gig in awhile and let me tell you, I’ve been listening to them practice every week (while I sit downstairs furiously editing photos) and it’s going to be a killer set. Shoot me an email if you’re interested and I’ll hook you up with some sizzling hot tickets!!


{ Portland }

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I just have to keep reminding myself that in a few short weeks, it will get very very cold there and I would end up being very very miserable. Because if I don’t keep doing that, I will just be forced to pack up all my things and drive all the way up the coast to Portland, so I can once again frolick in The Coolest City in the World. Because I loved every little thing about it – the cute cafes, the trinket-infused shops, the hipsters on their single-speed bikes, the pots of flowers hanging from the street lamps, the fountains around every corner, the wide open river, the green green trees to match the green green environmentally-happy attitude. But I just have to remember that eventually it will get cold and gray, and remind myself how cold and gray and me have never gotten along and are prone to nasty cat fights. And even cuddling up with a perfect cup of coffee from Stumptown and a perfect book from Powell’s would not be enough to console me. Or would it…?

We stayed at the amazing Hotel Lucia – a hip, modern yet classy boutique hotel with some of the best service ever. We felt sufficiently spoiled!!

Here’s Scott meticulously planning the day while I shoot ninja-style in the corner:

The Ace Hotel was another hotel we considered, and while we ended up choosing Lucia at the end, we knew we could not miss a visit there, with its adjoining Stumptown Coffee and a perfect vintage photobooth!

Waiting for our photos to arrive…

Voila!

Next door to Ace is a bustling eatery known as Kenny & Zuke’s and I am SO glad we paid a visit there! My reuben was fantastical but Scott’s latkes might have been even better. (I only stole a couple, I swear.)

We spent quite a bit of time in the fabulous Pearl District, full of restaurants, shops and parks. Portland is just so jam-packed with awesome gift stores – a couple of our favorites were Canoe and it’s next door neighbor, Flora.

The Pearl District was also home to Jamison Square with an awesome fountain/local water park:

We couldn’t miss Portland’s Saturday Market, full of booths brimming with art and good food:

Or the famous Powell’s Books, the largest private used/new bookstore in the world:



We walked to most places but took the streetcar to get to Mississippi Ave., a quaint teensy little neighborhood on the east side. It was here where we stumbled upon the best food of the trip, Scott’s blackened salmon sandwich from Gravy. (Think bacon and gobs of cream cheese. Just gobs.)



And there you have it. I want to send out a special thank you to Serena & Abby for recommending a lot of the fantastic little places we were able to visit.

And Portland, don’t you get too used to me not being there eating all your food and buying all your cute irresistable  paraphernalia – I’ll be back before you know it!!

{ Beth + Matt | Santa Monica Beach Club Wedding }

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

I must admit I was a just a teensy bit excited when Dave invited me to come along to help shoot the wedding of a real-life “Real World” celebrity. I didn’t immediately recognize her name, but when Beth breezed through the doors of the Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica, I remembered her from some of the Real World/Road Rules challenges. Both her and Matt were honestly such awesome people and so full of joy on their special day, and it was such an honor to witness their stunning wedding at the Beach Club in Santa Monica!

When I arrived at the Oceana I was immediately struck by how fresh, summery, and colorful it was! The bright decor of the room gave the shots a kick of fun:

I hung out with the guys a bit around the hotel and then across the street, where the ocean was oh-so-conveniently located:

Rendezvoused with the girls for some more portraits by the sea:

Then off to the Beach Club for the ceremony:

Beth with the adorable ring bearer:

Could not get enough of the beachy details – it was such a perfect summer wedding!

They had a basket full of colorful flip-flops for the guests to wear – so ingenious!

Before the reception we walked along the beach to take advantage of that stunning Santa Monica sunshine:



A big thank you to Dave for having me along!

Up next, a weekend visit to my new favorite city…