City Snaps: Amsterdam July 2022

Once again, it’s long overdue, but I’m finally looking through photos from my Europe trip last year. It was possibly my longest solo trip to date (at a solid 7 weeks) and as expected, it was tremendous fun and full of eye-opening experiences. I haven’t written anything publicly for a long time now, and it feels strange to pen my thoughts for both friend (or foe) to read. Don’t take anything too seriously. As usual, it’s just my ramblings written on hindsight while looking back on these old photos I’ve taken.

Amsterdam is such a charming city, and I thoroughly enjoyed the curation at Stedelijk museum, as well as the opportunity to view some of Rembrandt and Vemeer’s classics. Importantly, I also discovered the name of an artist whose print I’ve been looking for over a decade (before Google image search was a thing), and that made the entire trip worthwhile. Long story short, those prints are now mine (2/3 of them anyway), and now the lifelong search continues for the last, and perhaps the most treasured piece in the collection (at least to me, because of my personal connection with it.) Ah, just thinking back on the memory makes me reflect on what a serendipitous encounter it was! It was undoubtly a good day.

Well, well, well, look who’s alive…

On hindsight, 2021 was an absolutely terrible year. It was abysmal (not being dramatic here) now that I actually have the capacity to say “on hindsight”. In the years to come, I hope to recall 2021 with mere disdain on my face, yet knowing it has shaped my character for the better.

2022 was (is) the year of healing, recovery and analyzing this existing life. Now that we’re more than midway through the year, I am pleased to self-profess that it seems to be working! I’d like to think I’m clearer than I’ve ever been before on what my values are and where I’d want to go. Here’s to no looking back, but acknowledging that the past is the past.

As Rick Warren put it, “we are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”

Wow, is this a motivational blog now? Well, it was a good saying so take what you will.

Dramatically: Send help

There are too many pictures and so many things to do and not enough time I am just caught in the minutiae of the everyday and so many things are due. Sdnxaskdbasjnaksdnkasmdnka

Lately I’ve been thinking about what Charles Darwin wrote to Charles Lyell, “But I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.” Me too, Charles, me too.

City Snaps: The Time is Now November 2021

It’s been more than a drag for me trying to forget about the struggles of reality, but photography is still that one singular thing that doesn’t stop being fun. I don’t entirely know the process of how I take photos yet, but I’m aware it’s a feeling that washes over me. At that moment, it feels like an impulse I can’t control, and I snap before I can even think. I do hope that everyone has something in life that they feel this way about. It’s a mystery I’m still trying to unravel myself.

City Snaps: Ainsworth Estate November 2021

Gloom & doom indeed! The weather has changed drastically. While we aren’t quite in freezing temperatures yet, the minimal sunlight and sombre atmosphere has turned the city so dreary. I insisted on going for a walk despite the overcast conditions, which seemed to suit my subject of the day. Boy, I really love all the brutalist architecture peppered around London, so this trip to the Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate was a treat. Perhaps I could consider a trip to Serbia or Ukraine one day – when it seems… safer? For now I will settle with London’s rich brutalist and bauhaus scene.

City Snaps: Autumn in London October 2021

It was a pleasant October, with an increasing number of activities once I acclimatised back to the city. It’s a new feat for me to announce that I no longer need the map to return home from various tube stations despite all the winding paths and narrow shortcuts.

The city is in fall mode, but the weather has quickly transitioned to winter once the clocks went back. I’ll probably never get used to the sun setting at 430pm, but hopefully this means that I will try to sleep earlier and get in more hours. Now it seems more necessary to seize what little sunlight we have during the day. In addition, most of the ducks have left London, or are hibernating somewhere nice and toasty (on a grill perhaps?) so there’s less poultry to terrorise while frolicking in parks.

Recently, I’ve moved over to digital photography (again.) Most of these photos were taken with a Fuji xe4, and it feels oddly strange to edit the resolution down fit for digital screens (bandwidth and plagiarism), when a phone camera would do. A strangely backward process.

City Snaps: Duck Tales October 2021

Had a ducking good time at Regent’s Park one random day in October, then again at Hyde Park shortly after. The weather has been lovely (a perfect 15 degrees) and the parks are filled with ducks looking for food. Obviously I terrorised them, and learned that ducks can give the side eye too just like cats. Now that’s something to remember.

Art: The French Dispatch at 180 Strand

It’s almost the end of October, and I’ve been trying to find the time and capacity to catch the tail end of several exhibitions before they transition to the next. Recently, I caught The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson at Regent Street Cinema, and it was quite adorable – as expected. It’s still no The Darjeeling Limited or The Life Aquatic in my opinion, but I am biased for sentimental reasons. The exhibition at 180 The Strand was rather beautiful as well, and I probably would not go for something like this, but it was wonderful to witness Sandro Kopp’s artistry with my own eyes.