B249 – AN UPSIDE DOWN TEMPLE TO A COIN LAUNDRY

From North Carolina to Shanghai, every build is different, foundations change, tactics differ and people’s ideas get thrown around. If you stand on the street in North Carolina, not in the city of Raighley, but on the outskirts in the suburbs. Things you take for granted like shops and restaurants are built quick and for maximum capacity’s. They are basically practical places to get done what you need to get done, they do what they say on the title. No messing about. 
If you travel to some where like Kensington in London, that little part of the UK where a flat will set you back £1M or will all of a sudden be standing in a building that’s meant to not only stand the test of time but built to look like something from Mary poppins. Red brick the works. 
Then you travel 12,000 miles to China and end up in Shanghai and all of a sudden you starring up at an upside town temple that looks like it’s been carefully put together out of 100 meter look match sticks. It’s literally like something that a baddest budist has dreamt up.  

What I like about that all these buildings is that they all serve the same purpose really and that’s for people to use to eat a task done. It doesn’t matter if that task is to pray, live in or some where to wash there clothes. A lot of the time, I’ll just get from city to city and not really look up, even in London a place I’ve lived my whole life, I just walk around and don’t really take it all in. but if you actually just stop for a second and look around, everything is actually pretty cool in its own weird way. 

Here are some photos that I’ve taken from the places I’m talking about. It’s a bit of a rushed post today, but we all have days like this right?

– the Mary poppins buildings around Kensington, London –
– the upside down temple in Shanghai –
– a coin laundry by the side of a road somewhere in North Carolina –

B243 – IM BASICALLY A CHEF 

Yesterday Amy and me had the family come round for some food and for a little catch up, I haven’t really seen any of them since my birthday which was like two months ago, so it was good to see them all, even Esme. 
It wasn’t all straight forward, amy and me had a lot of pressure planning today, from what everyone was going to eat ( I cooked a banging curry) to the most important thing the orange cushion that WE (Amy) had to get. 

Yesterday was the first time we played host to my family and I think I was a success, apart from being a bit short of cutlery and plates but who’s counting anyway.

I’ve normally always been the guy sat in the sofa drinking beers and watching TV so never really worried about what’s going on in the kitchen, I’ve just worried about what time it’s been served. My hat goes off to anyone that’s ever cooked a large meal I’ve eaten, it’s 100% pure stress. 

The cooking isn’t the stressful part, it’s the washing up that’s the stinger, you fill your face and then all of a sudden you’ve got a million plates and hundreds of glasses to wash up, and I don’t even have a dish washer, proper 1950s stuff. 

Anyway, it’s now 5am on Sunday and I’m up and out the door off to work, so I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. Here’s some shots from yesterday. 

– I know it’s weird for dogs to wear clothes but I think Mooney pulls it off –
– mum and flo haven’t a moment, or in reality. Mum trying to get flo to sit still –
– she was scared to the Xmas tree pines –

B227 – UP IN THE CLOUDS

Im staying in the Grand Hyatt hotel which is pretty cool, the hotel reception is on the 54 floor and when you take the lift up your ears pop. my room is only on the 79th floor which gives you this cool view of Shang hi, the only time i have been this high up is when I went to the Shard for some drinks and even then I think I was only on the 60th floor or something. Waking up with a view of the city is insane, even when theres loads of fog and all you can see if the clouds moving slowly past your window it creates this cool effect. 

When you come out of the tower and look up all you can see if the building disappear into the clouds. our building is trumped completely by the Shang Hi tower which is right next to us, that tower is the second tallest building in the world and stands at 635 meters tall and has 128 floors! it literally feels like two times the size of out building.

for the next week, Im going to just be using my Iphone, I cant really carry my camera around with me, which is annoying but I hope you like these photos. I got this taxi the other day and cant work out if the driver had a fake iphone or what phone is was, does anyone know? Shang hai is pretty famous for all the fake designer markets I really want to make it over to one and see what I can get hold of but not sure if I will have time.

 first impressions of Shang Hi, it’s absolutely massive and China is actually a pretty cool place, but not as futuristic as I thought it would be, I was expecting to see loads of really modern things but its actually quite traditional. 

Heres my photos from today, I hope you like them.

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– looking up from below the hotel –
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– the view from breakfast –
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– is this a fake iphone?

B204 – THE DAY MY CAMERA NEARLY DIED!

Back in New York and the main thing im going to take away from today is that New York rain seems to be something you cant find anywhere else. its non stop and literally everything just gets soaked through. I went out today not expecting to get that wet, it was just like a little bit of drizzle when I left, well that turned into some thing completely different, but a few years ago I watched that documentary of the New York photographer Bill Cunningham and in that documentary Bill talks about being out in all weathers in New York because thats when you get the best shots, and the guy is completely right, New York seems to go into this completely different mode when it starts raining. My highlight of New York in the rain today was seeing a women walk round with a metal Bin on her head to project her afro, she literally didn’t get a damm what she looked like as long as her hair stayed dry.

if you read yesterdays post you would know my plan for today was to stay around Hunter’s point and take it easy. Well after a quick chat with my parents my dad said I had to have a chill dog from a street vendor, so that became my mission, track down a street vendor and have a chilli dog on the “side walk”. and as soon as I got off the subway at 7th and 59th street, there he was a street vendor with all the goodies apart from Chilli dogs, sorry dad but I just went for a hot dog, I hope that counts. I did plan on not giving up till I got a chilli dog but I was hungry, so that will have todo.

My other plan for today  became getting a good shot of the smoke or stream that comes up from the ground around NYC and after hunting for ages to try and find somewhere, I finally bumped into the perfect location just by 42nd and Grand Central Street. ( im trying to remember the names of the streets, just so I feel like a local). Once I found this spot I only had to wait a few minutes before this guy walked past, it was a pure case of right place right time, but thats how street photography works really, the more hours you spend on the streets, the more places you end up in at the right time.  This is one of my favourite photos Ive taken in a long time, this whole photo feels quite peaceful at a time when everything is starting to get a bit crazy. Im not sure if that makes sense to you, but it does to me.

Here are my photos from today, Ive tried to take it easy today and just get some good rest, now I’m looking forward to laying in bed watching some movies and getting some proper sleep!

I hope you like my photos. oh and if your wondering about my title today, my camera nearly broke because the rain just didn’t stop and I really wasn’t prepared for that. Apart from that I would say its been a pretty successful day.

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– this is one of my favourite photos Ive taken recently –

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– mum is that you?  –

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– the rain today was proper rain, the stuff that no matter watch jacket you had on your T shirt was getting wet –

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– here you go dad, this is where I got my hot dog from –

B203 – I LOVE THIS CITY

today has been just a day of travel, I woke up this morning in 23 degrees weather at 6am and quickly packed up before leaving florida and catching a plane back to the crazy city that is New York. We are back at the hotel from last time, the Vue something its called near Queens Boro bridge, this hotel literally gives us such a good view of Manhattan, I think ive shown it before when I first got to New York, well anyway Im like two floors above my last room and dead on facing the city, so this time Ive got such a better view. Ill show you it tomorrow maybe.

Its now like mid night and Ive just edited my photos from today and now just thinking of anything to write and all I can think really is how nice Florida was and how happy I am to be back in New York, tomorrow is a pretty chilled out day I think, so my plan is to explore hunters point a bit more, thats basically opposite Manhatten on the queens side of the river. Normally when you head to a city you get drawn to the main tourist spots, but im just going to walk around Hunter point and then Maybe head into town, but the main mission for tomorrow is to take some cool photos of the city and the people that live here.

I would love to write about how I plan on getting up at 5 in the morning to go and take photos of the sun set over the river or people on their rush hour commute, but that would just be a big fat lie, I dont plan on doing anything like that. part of the whole three photos a day thing, is that sometimes its just a down day with no plans and those are the days were I have to get creative with my photos and tomorrow might be one of those days. Im trying not to think about it too much other wise, Ill end up doing something adventurous and not chilled out at all and thats not the point of tomorrow.

heres my photos from today. enjoy.

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– packing up the car at silly O’clock this morning, I already miss this SUV –

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– the last palm tree I saw in florida and look at that sun rise! –

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– back in New York where everyone is constantly moving at 1 million miles an hour –

B202 – 17 HOURS LATER…

Tomorrow we leave Florida and head back to New York, its fair to say that we are now in the middle of filming and if we can get through the next 11 days of pure craziness and long hours we will be sitting on that flight home with a beer in hand. But first back to reality, before we leave florida tomorrow morning, this place has left us with one last gift a heard of blood thirsty mosquitos, which have really just aimed for my legs and attacked both my pale white bread sticks with all they have. my legs have lost the battle and the war to these mosquitos and now I can stop itching them.

My post today is about the other famous restaurant in town, it wouldnt be fair to write about one and not the other, this time im talking about the BBQ joint called Sonnys. this place is everything I hope for an more, they know what they are doing when it comes to baked beans and BBQ meat, both times Ive gone for the two meat, two sides option and it hasnt let me down. today I had some kind of sausage and pulled pork with Mac “n” Cheese and BBQ Baked beans and it was just what I needed. its totally different to Catfish country which was more of a family run place, this is a small food chain in Florida, but it packs a punch, they even make their own range of sauces, from what I can remember I had only had the Spicy sauce and that had just the right amount of spice, not too hot not too mild. no one wants a really spicey BBQ, its just not right.

if you’re ever in Bartow, please go and try both Sonnys and Catfish Country and let me know which on you think is better! for the experiacne I would say Catfish Country but if you really want to reach food coma levels go to Sonny’s.

Anyway I think ill keep todays nice a short, I cant really keep my eyes open much longer, its been a proper long day.  the next few weeks are jammed packed, so ill do my best to keep these post top notch, but sorry in advance for any rubbish days that might pop up (like this one). I haven’t done Sonny’s justice.

Also you know the rules, any spelling or grammer just ignore them, we all know it’s one of my downfalls.

Enjoy these snaps.

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– it may look simple on the outside but this place serves some proper food –
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– It just looks like a southern BBQ joint, happy days –
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– did what to show a picture of my food, but it arrived I ate it and forgot to take a picture, so heres a photo of a beer and some of their own sauce –

B195 – I DELETED EVERYTHING!!!!

It happened, my first major major cock up in 195 days.

Well today started as any other shoot day does, really early and straight on the move, nothing out of the normal, and as normal I had my camera with me and would take photos as the day goes on, some cool, some terrible photos but all of it is still useable content in some sort of way.

well after I had been hustled by a bunch of boy scouts, no joke they literally called me over to tell me about a great offer on the cup cakes, and said that we could barter for the cupcakes. I was up for it and asked for 6 for $10 something I felt was completely fair, then the head scout with all the badges basically said no deal and sold me them for the standard price of 4 for $10. I didn’t even want the cup cakes, but thought it would be good to teach these guys a lesson or two in business only for me to end up losing out and falling for their tricks.  the lesson I learnt here is don’t be fooled by the scouts, they know exactly how to get your money.

The other thing is I took photos of is the crazy size of houses in this area, we are currently in place called Bedminister, New Jersey and these houses are like something out of MTV cribs, its ridiculous. Im not sure if its because theres so much land out here or if these people have just figured out life, but these houses are impressive.

anyway I had some great examples, but ill just have to see what I can do tomorrow.

its now obviously tough post today, I did find one photo on my phone that I took this morning so that is below, the fog looked really cool in the trees and reminded me of that old TV show Man Tracker, about I guy who could track down anyone even in the harshest conditions. The other two photos I was saving up for later on but I suppose now is a good as any. they were two photos I took in New York city, and I think they sum that place up quite well. Im a big fan of black and white street photography, so I try and do as much of that as possible. I feel like black and white adds an extra element to the photos, that I think is thanks to the film photography ere that everyone is so used to seeing. it has helped to give B&W photos a timeless feel.

so here they are, enjoy the snaps and sorry of the mish mash post.

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– new york Subway after rush hour –
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– this person definitly doesn’t want to have their bike stollen –
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– my only picture that has survived from today –

B194 – THIS PLACE IS SO CREAPY!

Today we left New York and headed up state to New Jersey. We are here until Wednesday and its looking like its going to be a solid few days of filming, so when we arrived at our hotel it seemed only right to go out and explore, New Jersey is just like proper american forest’s, and as they are just approaching fall, its got that cool look in the trees. Well anyway on arrival into Murray Hill, New Providence, we hear of this place called the deserted village and who can turn down the opportunity of exploring some victorian era deserted village in the middle of a forest?

When we arrived at the entrance, which is in a place called Feltville, we could only find these weird creepy head stones, which seemed to date back to the revolutionary war in the 1700’s, the one closest to the front had the name Joseph Badgley and the other read William Willcooks. From what I can find online they were just foot soliders during this period and must of died in battle. After that little de-tour we decided to head deeper into the forest and see what else was hidden, about an hour into the walk, which ran through some proper forest and after getting back to my childhood of climbing trees and just exploring, we came across this white hut that sat on top of this ridge and realised we must of discovered one of the old houses.

We then found a whole bunch of this old white buildings which were once home to the 19 century newly found rich upper class, who would have owned these properties in a time known historically as the Gilded Age. One of the main things that attracted the utlra rich and quickly rising entrepreneurs of the middle class was the clean air which “didn’t have a hint of milaria”  something which was found throughout america cities.

I suppose its just one of the cool old places which has slowly become relevant to the moving times. but lucky the local government has decided to try and keep this story alive by giving it some protection for local property developers and inquisitive kids, or maybe the place is just properly haunted and everyone knows not to go near it.

Anyway heres my photos from today, enjoy.

And Happy Birthday Amy! sorry Im not there today! love ya mush!

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– two tombstones from the revolutionary war in the 1700’s –
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– this is something from a horror film –
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– Good bye New York. you are something else –

B192 – THE ONLY WAY TO SEE NEW YORK

There’s a few main things everyone does when they arrive at a new city. Most activities are surrounded by the main tourist spots, eating food food and having a look around the individual shops that you always find scattered around city streets. But if your really looking to see a city and get to know the streets, there’s only one thing todo and that’s jump on a bike, get rubber side up and cycle around without a Scooby Doo of where you’re going.

That’s basically what I decided todo, this morning after waking up, getting my work done early I decided to head to the big smoke. When I got to down town New York I quickly realised that B&H camera store was closed and now I had no idea where or what I was going to do. So jumping on a bike was the best option. Nothing is better than cycling around a city just explore and finding your feet.

After a few Highway Code incidents I was pretty much a local, the main rule when cycling in New York or really any city is, if you see a gap, go for it and don’t hesitate. Once I got over the fact everyone drives on the wrong side of the road, my first stop was Brooklyn bridge I’ve always wanted to see the Hudson River from that bridge and today I actually did it.

New York is a place that’s basically featured in 80% of all movies America movies ever made and cycling around you start to recognise street corners or building that have definitely been on screen and that’s half the fun of this city. trying to figure out what street has been on what film.

I would give you a complete time line of what my day consisted of, but what’s the point. I would rather talk about the fact the only way to see New York and feel some way part of the city is to grab a bike and just see where you end up. And if by any chance you end up in Broadway, go and try the $1 pizza by the slice store it’s called joeys pizza and is the perfect place to finish up your cycle. who need some expensive gourmet sandwich when you can get a re-heat pizza for a faction of the price.
Tomorrow is the first day of filming and the end of my 12 hour holiday. My legs are pretty much dead. I’m not sure the total amount of miles cycled but it’s got to be about 15. From Times Square down to Brooklyn and back up and around noho / soho. in my defence today is an adjustment day, and the best way to get rid of Jet lag is to exercise. and thats exactly what I’ve done.

Heres my photos from today, enjoy.

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– cycling around this city early morning was pretty cool –
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– this was somewhere I always wanted to go, Brooklyn Bridge –
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– this is somewhere i just happened to find, New York Supreme court, how many movies do you know from this location –
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– In the distance is the statue of Liberty –
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– my typical New York photo –

B181 – PLEASE LET ME SLEEP

For the past months I’ve been properly excited to have a Sunday, and today that’s what I had. For some reason Amy and me woke up at like 6:30 this morning and decided we should head over to Cambridge road flower market first thing and grab some more plants for the flat, the plan is to basically have like an indoor balcony. We don’t have an outside bit so doing the best we can with the extra big window ledge.

I’m telling you now it’s coming along nicely, I’m not going to post any pictures because I want to reveal the thing look once it’s done m, which will hopefully be soon. I’ve got my eye on a few things that will finish it off. Anyone after getting hold of a pine apple plant and some other planets I’m not sure what they are but we headed back to the flat and make a plan to head over to Epping forest.

Who knew that Epping forest was actually anywhere near Epping tube station, I just imagined it would be like the new forest and you can just get off the train anywhere and be surround by country side. That was definitely not the case and the only answer was the head into a local pub for the good old English pub grub, no alcohol though just a pint of orange juice.

We basically just looked around Epping and headed back to London to grab some supplies for the flat, I have good news. As of tomorrow the flat will now have blinds, I’ve been here for 3 yeas now and finally blinds are going to be installed! It’s been a long wait, but it’s happening and I can’t wait.

I suppose this is a proper Sunday post, nothing to extreme just a chilled day out, on the other hand I can’t sleep through the night and keep waking up at like 2ish for a few hours I’m pretty sure it’s the jet lag and it’s happened to be again now, it’s 2:37 on Monday morning a few hours ago I was passed out now I’m wake awake! Does anyone have any tips to get back to normal, I love sleep and really want a full nights sleep.

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– this guys got a strong shirt –
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– I really want to get a proper tree for the flat –
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– this is amy getting excited about pillows, when did my sundays become about flowers and pillows – ” Green goes so well with orange –