Wednesday, April 19, 2006

San Francisco remembers the 100th anniversary of the Earthquake in 1906

San Francisco just celebrated their 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that brought the city to it's knees. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake which struck at 5:12 a.m on April 18, 1906 killing more then 3,000 people and leaving more then 225,000 people homeless was remembered with a moment of silence, a wreath laying and short interviews with the survivors which was followed by a parade down Market Street in downtown San Francisco. Some experts say that if the same magnitude earthquake were to hit San Francisco today we would have an even worse outcome. Does everyone have their emergency 72 hour survival kit put together?(L-R) Francis Mae Duffy and Olive Carroll both 101 join survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake as they take part in the 100th Anniversary ceremonies San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom shares a laugh with Chrissie Martenstein, 109 a survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
(L-R) Survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake Francis Mae Duffy, 101,Olive Carroll, 101, Violet Lyman, 102, Herbert Hamirol, 101 and Chrissie Martenstein, 109 have a moment of silence at 5:12am the exact time the earthquake hit 100 years ago.
Thousands of people join survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake take part in the 100th Anniversary ceremonies on the corner of 3rd and Market Street
With the Energia Samba dance group behind her Debra Mugnani dances in period costume during a parade down Market street.
Ciji Ware of San Francisco is reflected in the mirror of a vintage firetruck as she takes part in a parade down Market street.
Richard K. Pierce dressed as Teddie Roosevelt who was President at the time of the earthquake.
Samba dancers from the Energia Samba group take part in a parade down Market street
People drive in vintage firetrucks down Market Street.
Dressed in period costume people drive in a vintage car after the end of the parade.
A dog marches along with a period fire truck as they take part in a parade down Market street.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Comes to San Francisco

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was in San Francisco today at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. The Dalai Lama broke his regular schedule which is normally planned seven years in advance to come to San Francisco after he was invited by Muslim leaders to discuss how to promote understanding and compassion among Muslims and people of all faiths. This summit marked the first time the global Muslim community has engaged the Dalai Lama who was also joined by 100 world-renowned scholars, teachers and leaders of the Chirstian, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist faiths. It is pretty ironic that this event would take place on one of the most religiously significant weekends of the year---Easter, Passover and The Prophet's birthday. I was there representing Getty Images. Here are a few images of the Dalai Lama as he made his way through the hotel lobby enroute to the conference. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama greets Tenzin Dickyi in the lobby of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco as he prepares to enter the conference. The Dalai Lama pauses for a moment and blesses an emotional Tenzin Dickyi as he makes his way through the lobby of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. The Dalai Lama who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, smiles at some of his followers he makes his way to the conference.Surrounded by Secret Service officers the Dalai Lama walks through the lobby of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Goodbye Bangkok, Love You Long Time

After 2 weeks in Bangkok and the outskirts it was time for me to move on to the next assignment in Japan. It was a great time working on an interesting set of stories from protesters in the streets to high end fashion to people dying with dignity. Of course there was the socializing and catching up with friends I haven't seen in a long time, as well as making new, life long friends. First of I'd like to thank Ron Gluckman, my brother on the road, for his insight and introductions as well as his hospitality and the use of his place to crash. Jolanda for the use of her phone chip! Communication is key and I couldn't have done it without her sim card. Okay, I could have gotten my own sim card but that would have been a hassle :) Thanks to the lovely and talented Korakot Punlopruksa better known as Nym for her humor and her wonderful smile, her help when I was returning to Bangkok, her insight of Soi 5,6, and 7 in search of the great food stall, and turning me onto the best foot massage place in Bangkok. Only 10 steps from the front gate of Nym and my buddy Ron and his wife, Jolanda's apartment building. I loved it and I am ticklish....go figure. If you ever need a fixer or someone to help you in Bangkok, Nym is the person to go to. Jutamanee Nilthamrong but I know her as Kay for her company and brilliant conversation. What a beautiful person both inside and out. Awesome photographer Paula Bronstein of Getty Images for her insanity and giggles. Paul Lakatos for his generosity and grand tour of Bangkok one fateful night. And Paul Ehrlich and his beautiful wife Zeny for their wonderful dinner company. Okay here are a few places I would recommend to check out if you are going to Bangkok. For great street eats try Lang Suan in the Ploenchit district down Soi 5, 6, and 7. Great street stalls here with amazing food and cheaper then you can even imagine. I bought lunch for 3 and spent about US$5. But this is a lunch place so better to be there before 2-2:30. Also there is a great mango freeze stall on Soi 6 more towards the end. Great smile and really fresh mangos as well as any other fruit you could imagine. You can get away with a freeze of your choice that will delight your taste buds for about 75cents. For dinner you have to try the Bed Supper Club. Here you can eat a fabulous Thai dinner and then go next door and dance the night away in their live DJ or band club. Housed in a custom-built new building and set in a modern and futuristic all white environment. This place is on the cutting edge of the dining and entertainment scene in Bangkok and is a showcase for all the arts-culinary, visual, musical and theatrical. Check it out. For live music you have to go by the Saxaphone Bar just off the Victory Monument BTS exit. Really easy to find and really a great bar with some of the best musicians in Bangkok grinding out some great blues, rock and jazz. They don't have a website but you can search them easily on Google. Below are some last minute photos from Bangkok. Thanks for reading my posts. More later!Great writer and best friend Ron Gluckman(C) at one of the many awesome dinners we had.
Nym in her apartment just before leaving for Lop Buri. Kay and Nym at the Saxaphone Bar. Great bar with fantastic live music.
People pray at a small temple in the shadows of a big shopping center.
People pray at a small temple in the shadows of a big shopping center.
Young girls sell flowers in Nana Soi 4.
My buddy Paul Lakatos and his charming girlfriend Nannapat Chunnaeb or Nong at his comfortable home.
Some guy named Jimi on Kho San Road.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Talk about a reality check. After shooting the Bangkok Fashion Week 2006 where the people are alive and beautiful coming to Lop Buri really put things in perspective. After getting a last minute invitation from Nym to go to Lop Buri it took me about 3 seconds to decide to postpone my trip back to Hong Kong a few days and agree to go. I have always wanted to visit this AIDS hospice located about 2 hours north of Bangkok but for some reason I never did. I wanted to see what ever other photographer who has either lived or worked in Asia had seen. I am convinced I was the only photojournalist never to have visited the special temple or Wat as it is called in Thailand. Wat Phrabaht Namphu is a place where most people who go to live never leave. In the hot season, up to five or six people may die a day. Some people arrive and are already very sick. Some people die within a day of their arrival, others merely need some time to recover from an infection and then are well enough to go to one of the cottages that is located on the property. The majority of people come when they are so sick that they can no longer hide the symptoms of their illness, or so tired that they can no longer work. There are many volunteers who come to work here with the majority coming from Japan, Australia and the United States. One man I had the pleasure of meeting was Father Mike Bassano from New York of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. He has been working in Lop Buri for the past 3 years and plans on staying for another 2. I was very impressed with his ability to engage and connect with the patients. I could see it in their faces when he was around that he was really their only real friend. More people like him are needed in this world. Many thanks to Nym and Mont for allowing me to come along. I will be going back for sure. Below are a few images from my brief visit one hot afternoon.
Nym (L) and Mont visit with patients in Wat Phrabaht Namphu
Father Mike Bassano visits with one of the patients.
Father Mike Bassano wheels a man into the shower area with some help from one of the patients.

Father Mike Bassano washes the back of a man in the shower area.

A patient cries in pain as he has baby powder put on. The powder helps to keep the skin dry.
Volunteers dress a patient in the Wat.
In the AIDS museum located in the front of the Wat some bodies of victims of AIDS are on display for people to see. Two women look at a young victim of AIDS. The baby was a year and half old when she died from AIDS that was contracted through her mother.

Bangkok Fashion Week 2006! End of Day 2

These have been a great two days of fashion photography. The days were spent waiting in long queues for up to 2 hours to fight for a space of about a half a meter square so I could shoot the 10-15 minutes show. But the fashion was cool and the atmosphere even cooler except when we were photographing the Grey collection outside. Phew, not only was it hot, hot, hot but the show was running on Thai time and delayed an hour so we all had to sit in the Bangkok sun melting slowly into the dirt. It was all good though and I had a great time. Many thanks to Peter Oh for my last minute request and to photographer Cedric Arnold for his company and humor. Well done, mate! These three photos are just an ender for the other posts below and I wanted to post them cause I liked them. Please have a look at the interesting fashion in my Bangkok Fashion Week 2006 series found below. Thanks for looking! A woman gets make up put on during a break in fashion shows at the Bangkok Fashion Week 2006 at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre in downtown Bangkok, Thailand.
Aom, Cedric's lovely and talented girlfriend as we wait to go inside for another fashion show.An artist paints a mural during Bangkok Fashion Week 2006.

Bangkok Fashion Week 2006! Day 2, TUBE GALLERY

The last show of day 2 was with the Tube Gallery designers. Their work is highly regarded in the fashion world. So much so that Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Narirantana of Thailand a fashion designer herself attended. Saksit Pisalasupongs and Pisit Chongnarangsin two of the designers at Tube described their concept as highlighting a simplicity yet elegant look and focus on the pattern and structure of the shirts. The collection is inspired by the beauty of the arts created by British artist, Gilbert & George. An outstanding feature in this line is the structure of the shirts and its fine details. The fabrics used are mainly made from silk, chiffon and testler. I can say I sat next to a real princess! Have a look at what we saw.(2nd right) Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Narirantana of Thailand enjoys the Tube Gallery fashion show.

Bangkok Fashion Week 2006! Day 2, BOUDOIR

Disaya Prakobsantisukh the chic designer for Boudoir said that the Autumn/Winter 2006-2007 collection places much of the emphasis on the sexiness and loveliness of Boudoir's style of girl. Material used in this series is mainly fabric with printed jewelry-like graphics and macrame pattern. The color scheme consists of various tones including white, grey, black, blue, golden and dark green. The fabric is made up of different textures such as chiffon, satin, cotton, wool and knitting. Here's a small look at the collection!

Disaya Prakobsantisukh the designer for Boudoir greets the crowd after her show.Disaya Prakobsantisukh the designer for Boudoir outside the Fashion Dome just after her successful show.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bangkok Fashion Week 2006! Day 1, NAGARA

In the evening of the first day people were enlightened when designer Nagara Sambandaraksa showcased his special collection of casual silk wear suitable for the hot weather of Thailand and Southeast Asia. Most of the fabric used in this collection is made from silk and a specially dyed silk that is cast in a beautiful lightly colored hue. As Nagara said "This design will reflect the charisma of oriental living clearly and will come in many forms and shapes such as a cocktail dress, an evening gown or men's trouser". Check it out!

Bangkok Fashion Week 2006! Day 1, GREYHOUND

Greetings! After two days of protests, listening to people yell and walking several miles both days I was ready for a different type of marching. I was assigned to cover some of the events during Bangkok Fashion Week 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. This high profile fashion event was between March 15th and 19th and was one of eleven projects composing a grand project called Bangkok Fashion City. Ultimately, this event hopes to make Thailand the fashion center of Southeast Asia. And after photographing some of these very talented designers and their creations I can see why. The first event I photographed was Autumn/Winter 06/07 designs by Greyhound which was under the theme "All We Need is Love". It was a journey to the countries of the northern part of Asia and a glimpse into the childhood of those people living in that area. Their clothes are not quite a fashion statment but useful to protect their bodies from the biting cold. Also some of these clothes are oftern passed on from generation to generation. Greyhound is led by designer Bhanu Ingkawat. Have a look!

Back online and back from Bangkok, Japan and Hong Kong

Hiya! Sorry for the long delay in posting, but after a successful trip to Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan from February 22nd through March 29th, I am posting some photos. Starting off in Bangkok, Thailand where the weather was warm and pleasent, the food most excellent (more later and where to go for chow and great local music) and the people with their warm smiles and gracious hospitality. I was sent to Bangkok by Getty Images to cover two days of the anti Thaksin Shinawatra demonstrations. Thaksin, the embattled Prime Minister of Thailand has been accused of corruption and abuse of power while in office and hundreds of thousands of people in Thailand have been marching for weeks demanding him to step down. He has called a "snap" election for April 2 when voters in Thailand will go to the polls for what the Prime Minister insists will be a referendum on his leadership. The election however is unlikely to end calls from critics that he resign after weeks of political turmoil. The main opposition parties are boycotting the ballot in protest at what they've described as Mr Thaksin's authoritarian rule. His unpopularity resides mostly in the big cities but in the Thai countryside it's a different story - with the prime minister enjoying great popularity among rural voters. Here are a few photos from those two days.A man waves the Thai flag during one of the many night protests in Bangkok.A young girl looks on during a protest near the Royal Palace in Bangkok.Two men stand and yell during a protest near the Royal Palace in Bangkok.
A woman carries a portrait of the King as she joins thousands of people marching in the streets of Bangkok.
A young girl watches the events during a protest near the Royal Palace in Bangkok.A man wears a bandana with the word "peaceful" written on it as he takes part in a silent protest in front of Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.
A man with the Thai flag looks on as he takes part in a protest in front of Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sondhi Limthongkul one of the main anti Thaksin leaders greats the crowd during a protest in front of Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.