Abbot Kinney - Venice, CA

 

About a month ago, K took E and I to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a unique street in Venice with eclectic boutiques, art galleries, vintage clothing stores, trendy restaurants and eye-popping street art. I didn’t get to do much in terms of actual shopping (it’s kind of hard with a restless toddler in a stroller), but just walking down the street and snapping photos was an experience in itself. (I’m glad I chose to bring my film camera ’cause the look and feel of film seems to go well with this place.)

Next time, I hope I have a little more time to explore a bit, capture more details on film, and get some unique clothes or vintage finds that won’t break my wallet.

But until then, these photos will have to do.

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Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

 

Ginza is an area in Tokyo that’s known for its luxury brand name stores and lavish dining experiences. It’s not overflowing with teenagers like Shibuya, and it’s not filled with pop culture like Harajuku. It’s a place for sophisticated urbanites that attracts many, many visitors all year around.

Not everything in Ginza is expensive, either. There are plenty of delicious, affordable restaurants and cafes (especially if you go at lunch) and it also has fast fashion retailers like Zara and H&M. (And an enormous Uniqlo with 12 floors! It has a nursing room too, for any moms out there.)

Anyway, when I was still in Japan, I wandered around the streets of Ginza with my tiny Rollei 35SE, one of the smallest full-frame 35mm cameras ever made. It looks and feels kind of like a toy and I had no idea how my photos would turn out. It’s all about zone focusing (or in my case, some serious guess-focusing) since there’s no rangefinder or anything to assist you when you focus. I’m not good at guessing distances so I just preset to infinity and took a few shots, hoping that they would turn out decently.

Not knowing how your photos will turn out until you get them developed is another part of film photography that I love.

The photos I took in Ginza didn’t turn out too bad.

And I found they made me a tiny bit homesick for Japan.

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Joshua Tree

 

The scenery changed for a third time as we drove through the final stretch of Joshua Tree. The large Dr. Seuss trees were replaced by smaller, strange-looking trees that made me feel as though I were scuba diving in the ocean.

There were fewer tourists around, and everything around us seemed to be slowing down, getting ready for night time.

And for a while it was just the three of us, in the middle of this beautiful desert.

No struggles.
No deadlines.
No worries.

Just us, embracing life and feeling thankful.

And slowly, quietly, the sun sank behind the mountains, leaving a lingering yellow stain across the sky.

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untitled

 

Before I share my last post on our trip to Joshua Tree (there’s a part one and a part two), I thought I’d share some of the shots that E took with her little point-and-shoot. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I look through the shots that my little three-year-old takes. Children have no rules of composition in their heads. No restrictions. Nothing holds them back. Sure, a lot of the shots are blurry messes, but some of them…some of them are amazing. (*I did post-process some of these, but just the colors. I didn’t crop or straighten them.)

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Santa Monica
 
While my sisters in New York deal with the endless amount of snow that’s piling on their driveways, I’m out in the sun, worrying about things like, “Should I be wearing more sunscreen?” and, “Hmmm. I think E needs to hydrate more, it’s getting pretty hot.”

It feels very strange to experience such a drastically different type of winter than what I’m used to. I mean, can you even call this winter? Sure it gets pretty chilly at night but I’m not gonna be throwing salt on my driveway any time soon.

Anyway, here are a few shots and a video from when we went to Santa Monica a while back. It felt so very Californian (if that’s even an expression), and even though I live here now, I’m pretty sure I looked like a tourist gawking at the lively streets and beautiful beaches.

Everything was just so very, very… blue.

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Joshua Tree National Park

 

So here’s part two of my photos from Joshua Tree. The first few shots have basically the same feel as part one but the last few (plus the first photo) show a totally different side of the park. Since we have a toddler, there was no serious hiking in our schedule but it was still fascinating to drive through the park and see the landscape change in just a couple of hours.

E seemed to enjoy the view as well, and she took some incredible shots with her little camera. I gave her my old point-and-shoot as part of her birthday present. It’s small and light–perfect for her tiny hands. I’ll have to share her photos later too. (I know I’m totally biased because I’m her mom, but seriously, she’s got a great eye.)

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