Oregon Coast

After spending Friday night and Saturday in Portland, we drove south toward Newport where we met up with some other good friends of ours. They had secured a beach house for the weekend in the town of Waldport. The weather was sunny and awesome. We explored the beach and flew kites Sunday afternoon. Monday, my friend Jon and I caught some rock fish in the morning, and we ended up grilling them up for dinner. We were having so much fun being social that I didn’t really get any snaps (except a sunset) with a real camera. So there are a mix of celly shots in this post. Apologies for the crap quality.

Tuesday morning we drove up the 101 north. One of the highlights was Cannon Beach, and Ecola State Park.

B snapped this one of me below, posing at one of the 10 or so view points along the 101, where we pulled over to take in the sights.

The pano of Crescent Beach below was a celly shot. Here is a link to the full resolution, for kicks.

Portland OR

We spent memorial day in the pacific northwest. Some good friends of ours were tying the knot in Portland, and it gave us a great excuse to explore the Oregon/Washington coast. It always blows my mind how green it is in that part of the country. We arrived in Portland late on Friday night and spent the next morning exploring the city by foot before the wedding. Luckily, we were still on NY time. So we were up early and did a lap of the waterfront and most of downtown before noon. It was overcast and a mild temperature. Here are some snaps. The Faith47 piece below was one of the highlights for me.

Oslo

On our way home from Morocco, we stopped in Oslo for almost a full 24 hours. It was a gorgeous spring day, so we took advantage explored the city a bit. The city center was pretty easy to navigate and small enough that we did the whole thing on foot. The airport is a very quick train ride from the main train station in the center of Oslo. Some of our favorite spots were the opera house (top photo was from the roof of the opera house), and the Mathallen food hall. I didn’t get any photos of the latter. But it has a similar vibe to Chelsea Market or Gansevoort Market. Here are some other snaps from various spots around the city.

 

Ourika Valley

The last day in Marrakech, we did a day excursion and hired a driver to take us to the Ourika Valley, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains (as seen from Marrakech in the image directly below). It rained on and off for most of the day that day, so it turned out to be a good time to spend riding in the car. Those who know the desert, know that it completely changes when rain falls. Most notably, all of the green comes out. I wouldn’t really recommend this excursion to anyone because honestly, it turned out to be super touristy. But seeing the desert in bloom from the rain was worthwhile. The fast moving clouds also provided for some dramatic lighting at times.

Marrakech

I had the occasion to spend some in Morocco recently with B. Actually, she put together the whole trip, and I was just along for the ride. As Morocco is a very visually stimulating place, I put on my shutterbug hat and went wild. During the span of our 10 days there, I snapped well over 1000 frames. And judging by the length of this post, one would think that I put them all on here, haha. The images in this post are from the five days that we spent in Marrakech. I’m have organized them into three groups:

  • Places and People
  • Things
  • Details
  • Landscape/Night

A bit about Marrakech:

I wasn’t really sure what to think about it before I went. When I arrived it certainly wasn’t what I expected. We stayed inside the medina section of the city. The Medina is the old city center, a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways enclosed by a perimeter wall. To say that it is easy to get lost is an understatement. It took us a solid day just to get our bearings, using the riad we stayed in (seen in the first image above, and would highly recommend to others) as a reference point. It was a very invigorating and occasionally frustrating experience. I will say that 5 days was more than enough time to spend there. If I could do it again, I would probably have shortened it to three days.

Here is what I saw, starting with Places and People:Continue reading

Some Art, Some Running

Even though it is March and the days are getting longer, it still 100% feels like winter out there. Despite the temps, B and I forced ourselves to be out and about last week. Thursday night we hit the Retna opening at Chase Contemporary. I have been a fan of his for a while. Here is a sample of his Bowery wall mural, as I saw it in March 2012. Anyway, we saw some equally awesome stuff at the gallery opening on Thurs.

That being said, I kind of feel bad for anyone who opened an exhibition last week in NYC, because the town was all abuzz with the fact that Banksy was back in North America and had put some work in NYC. So much hype that even the local news covered it, hahahaha. Lordy, it was like listening to a couple of elderly ladies talking about “the grime raps” or something. Speaking of the Bowery Mural, B*nksy has turned it into his latest propaganda piece.

I haven’t made it over to see that one yet. But we did wander into Chelsea to look at the rat. Here are a couple of snaps, along with a couple of my faves from the Retna opening.

Aaaaand finally, B and I both ran the NYC half on Sunday. It was a new course, starting in Prospect Park, ending in Central Park. The course went over the Manhattan Bridge, which was awesome for me since I mix that bridge into most of my longer runs anyway. The difference being that I usually have it to myself instead of sharing it with 20k other runners. Back to the weather…. this was probably the coldest race I have ever run. It was fine, once I finally got going and the sun came up. But man, waiting for it to start was brutal! New course is amazing. B got a PR. Overall, a really decent day. Here is a crappy pic from my celly of my fellow runners freezing their booties off in Prospect Park.

Happy Valentine’s Day – A Love Letter to New York

Happy Valentine’s Day, New York! I have been with you now for the vast majority of my adult life. Like any relationship, we have been through our ups and downs. We have known each other through various of our phases. You put up with me when I was an annoying student who thought I knew everything. I put up with you when I had to push past the protestors in Zuccotti park for all of those weeks, every morning on my way to work.

Over the years, I’ve tried to do my part to be there for you. I can say that you have definitely really come through for me on more than one occasion, as well. I owe you the credit for introducing me to all of my closest friends, including my lovely, B. There was that time when my daughter was born. I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have survived birth had it not been for the deep bench of skilled professionals you seem to attract.

Your beauty constantly inspires me, often when I’m not expecting it. For every photo of you that I have taken with a camera or my phone, I have 100 more that were only recorded by the camera in my heart. I have been with you in all seasons, and have shared with you every emotion under the sun. You have taught me what it is like to be broke, and what it is like to have excess.

Despite all of the highs and lows, despite the MTA (I’m looking at you, G train), and the smell of hot trash in August, I still love you. I hope that we can spend many, many more years together.

Love, Jake

Rainy Weekend

Same Brooklyn, different weather. Some of these are from walking around doing errands on Saturday, shot with real camera. Some are cell phone shots from my Sunday morning run. I normally don’t take a phone with me when I run, but I did in the rain? Go figure. Try to spot Lola. She was wearing Camo.

Good Reads: ‘Never Use Futura’

Book reviews are not something that I usually do on here, but whatever. I got a couple of books for xmas that I really enjoyed and I decided that I may as well pass along my thoughts for any like-minded people who may come across this and are looking for a good read. I had actually not even heard about this book. But B heard some design nerds say some good things about it and naturally thought that I would enjoy. She was right.

The book is a good mix of history, design, opinion, wit, and dry humor. I don’t even hold it against Douglas Thomas (the author) that he has affiliations with Brigham Young University. For those who don’t know me well, it is a pretty big deal for me to be able to overlook that fact, hehe. Futura is a typeface that was originally developed by a guy named Paul Renner and released in the late 1920s by the Bauer type foundry in Germany. In the past couple of decades, it has been popularized by the artist Barbra Kruger, then Shepard Fairey (as a nod to Kruger), and Supreme (as a blatant rip-off of Kruger).

Reading this book was like taking a guided tour through the museum of Futura. The text is pleasantly broken up by visual examples of the subject matter. Whether it is examples from old publications or overlaid examples of modern variations to illustrate distinction, the visual aides are always on point. It is one of those books where I couldn’t help but think the entire time I was reading “I wish that I knew as much about ANYTHING as Thomas does about Futura.”

It is a super easy and fun read, barely 200 pages. I read it in a single sitting, partly because I couldn’t put it down, partly because of its relatively short length. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is into design aesthetic, art and/or history.