“Contrast” this was what Chris and I dubbed our attempts to do things differently and not simply stick to the things we knew and liked while we were in Hong Kong. We spent 25 days in Sheung Wan then decided to mix up our HK experience by moving to another neighborhood four subway stops away. At the bottom of Happy Valley, Wan Chai is a very wet neighborhood steeped in liveliness. In the past it was nick-named Hong Kong’s red light district. I wouldn’t have guessed from my experiences there, but I was not out and about late into the night. Not every image in this post was taken in Wan Chai, some are from nearby places like Aberdeen and Central that we walked to during our contrast stint in Wan Chai.
A few weeks ago I went to Miami with a friend and his slightly wild group. I was there for exactly 48 hours. We drank, we danced, we beached, and the Standard treated us well. This is a collection of photos I took when we ventured to South Beach. Growing up in Hawaii gave me an idea of beach culture that was not applicable in Miami, and I loved the difference of it. High rises contrasting with white sand beaches, people swimming fully clothes and practically naked side by side. Families lounging beneath colorfully striped umbrellas and 20-some-year olds drinking in the sand 10ft away co-existing happily. I could have stayed for days if not for the responsibilities I am still adjusting to with both pleasure and resentment.
Darjeeling My Darling is the name of a poem Katie, Darjeeling’s biggest fan, wrote about her favorite place.
When we arrived in Darjeeling it felt like someone had taken a weight off our shoulders. It was relief in a place akin to a ski town in our jostled minds. People were nice, and unobtrusive, we bundled up in wool scarves and socks and drank hot tea with views of snow capped K3 out the window. While we were there we went trekking and unknowingly embarked for Nepal, we paraglided off the side of a mountain, we saw the town from a new perspective on a cable ride with Caroline and the Aussies boys. We spent Thanksgiving there, and I didn’t expect to do anything in honor of the strange holiday, but I ended up enjoying it more than many years previous. An American, three Canadians, two Australians, and one Brit, we had a delicious Indian dinner and a hot toddy or two and went around the table saying what we were thankful for. Some said the beer, I said I was thankful to be traveling in India and to have met such amazing people to share my travels with.
My last post was about the ghats, and Varanasi’s dealings with death and life side by side. In these images I hoped to capture the vibrant people, the spirit of the nightly puja, and the candidness I saw in this dualistic, enduring, city.
View of the burning ghats from a rowboat.
Varanasi, the place where people come to die. In the narrow streets bodies covered with colorful silk, lined with carnations and roses are carried past on the shoulders of their male relatives. I stopped walking outside the break in the wall, where men weigh the massive pieces of scented wood they use to build funeral pyres. Just past the gates, where photography is prohibited, are the cremation ghats, steps to the river laden with burning bodies. Varanasi is the Hindu capital of India. It is said that if you die on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi, you are absolved of sin, and your soul is released from Maya, the painful cycle of death and rebirth. It was a very intense city, the air weighs down on your body in a different way. I avoid the subject of death. In Varanasi, death confronts you. It is natural, not something to be overlooked or dressed up, just the end of maya, the end of pain.
The blessing a construction site taking place in the bottom of one of the 5ft holes dug for the foundation.
Thinning the grass at Krishna Cottage in the early morning.
A Sadhu entering his temple home in Laxman Jhula.
Sunset from the banks of the Ganga.