Archive | Travel

Photos from Seoul

I recently passed through Seoul, my first time in the country, and came back with a few photographs. Link to more below these few:

Seoul City Hall

Seoul city hall

Seoul Fall 2015 (5 of 32)

See more Seoul 2015 Photos
Published on November 24, 2015

Places to Visit in Seattle

On a recent trip to Seattle I had a limited amount of time so I wanted to fill it with all of the best things that I could find. I spoke to friends, did research online, and browsed through Yelp listings. This is a list of the places that I checked out on my visit, along with a brief description of each. If you are going to Seattle and your interests are in line with mine, this will save you a lot of time. I went through a little more effect when I made a Map of My Favorite Places in Berlin, but this is the quick and dirty version of that.

35th North: Local Skate Shop

A skateshop with personality, which stocks a large selection of shoes and apparel in addition to skateboards and skating accessories. Features some interesting local apparel. When I first came to Seattle I got a Sea Town locally designed and produced t-shirt here which I still wear. Good place to meet friendly people and members of the local underground scene. I came here to collect information on other places to visit while I was in town.

35th North on Yelp

Sky View Observatory: 73rd Floor View of Seattle

An amazing 360 degree view of not only the city of Seattle but much of the surrounding landscape including the North Cascades which is punctuated by Mount Rainier. $12 admission fee. The observatory opens at 10am seven days a week so the best time to visit is around dusk. Food and drinks are served here but they are overpriced and not worth it, so I would plan to visit and spend 30-45 minutes circling the observatory and checking out the view.

Sky View Observatory on Yelp

The Raygun Lounge: Gaming Society

A local gaming store with a particular focus on board games and Magic the Gathering. Features a number of weekly events and large tables to meet and play with new and old friends. There are some stand-up arcade machines here as well, including some rare one like Marble Madness. This place has the personal touch and a great location on Pine Street in downtown Seattle. When I visited the owner was working at the cash register, which is a good sign.

The Raygun Lounge on Yelp

Bauhaus: Hipster Books & Coffee

Your friendly neighborhood hipster coffee shop. Super fast internet, great service, and a comfortable atmosphere. Located just down the street from The Raygun Lounge and the Starbucks Reserve also on Pine Street. Inexpensive and great local place to visit. Get your coffee here and visit the Starbucks Reserve down the street to see the spectacle of their enormous roastery apparatus. If you plan on bringing your laptop and getting work done, try to get here early, before 1pm. People tend to set up and camp here all day long. The woman seated next to me was drawing with colored pencils for what must have been three hours.

Bauhaus Books & Coffee on Yelp

Cupcake Royale: Decadent Treats

Every city has one of these nowadays, but this is novel for me living in Asia. As you may expect, this place is decadent. In addition to cupcakes they have other baked goods and make their own ice cream. The cupcake that I would recommend is the salted caramel, which is evidently their speciality. All of the flavors I observed were some kind of variation of flavors that you would expect to see, like Lavender Vanilla. Before leaving Seattle I grabbed a cupcake from this place and ate it on my flight to Shanghai.

Cupcake Royale on Yelp

HoneyHole Sandwiches: Delicious Irony

A sandwich shop filled with pop culture references. Sandwiches with names like The Gooch, Wave Rider, and Big Smooth. These are heart-stopping, greasy, gluttonous sandwiches. Has a large selection of draft beers and is also located on Pine Street not far from Bauhaus, Raygun and the Starbucks Reserve. It’s probably not good for you to eat here on a regular basis, but it is a delicious place to get lunch while you’re in the area visiting other local places like the Starbucks Reserve or Raygun Lounge.

HoneyHole Sandwiches on Yelp

Seattle Art Museum: Downtown with a View

Packs a large amount of exhibits into a very efficiently used urban space. Easy to find with the Hammering Man sculpture right outside. The entrance is dramatic, featuring the exploding Ford Tauruses exhibit by Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang. Entrance is expensive at $25 but the breadth of the exhibitions is impressive – from Africa to Asia to Americana and Native American art.

Seattle Art Museum on Yelp

Starbucks Reserve: Mother of All Starbucks’

The largest Starbucks in the world. They serve food and wine here in addition to coffee, but the most interesting part is the on-site roastery where they process their Starbucks Reserve beans. These elite beans are shipped to Starbucks locations around the world and comprise less than 1% of all Starbucks coffee beans. Each staff member inside the reserve is a certified coffee expert and they are anxious to talk about coffee and answer questions about particular bean types or the roasting process.

Starbucks Reserve on Yelp

Olympic Sculpture Park: Seaside Modern Art

Large, dramatic sculpture pieces dot this grassy area along the water just a few blocks from downtown Seattle. There’s a lot of modern architecture around this area and the Space Needle will be just behind you as you look out onto the ocean. Conveniently, there are dozens of modern art pieces that also serve as seating for you to watch the sunset.

Olympic Sculpture Park on Yelp

Big Picture Cinema: Indie Film Cave

One of the best theaters in Seattle, which features an enormous lounge and bar area to hang out in before the film starts. They serve food here but also have a full bar and wide selection of draft beers. Interestingly, they offer the option of ordering drinks before the showing which are delivered to your seat during the film. Located underground in the historic Belltown neighborhood. Big Picture only shows a single film at once and the screen is not very large, but the atmosphere is intimate and personal. This place is easily preferable to chain movie theaters.

Big Picture on Yelp

Pike Place Market: Seafood Vendors & Tourists

One of the most well-known tourist attractions in Seattle, but absolutely worth visiting. The best time to visit the market is in the early morning when the market is in full gear and seafood is being thrown all over the place by the hundreds of vendors who gather here daily. There’s a park just next to the market which is a great place to sit down and eat seafood or a sandwich picked up in the market.

Pike Place Market on Yelp

Shorty’s: Pinball Dive Bar

Located in the Belltown neighborhood next to The Crocodile and a late-night pizza place called Rocco’s, Shorty’s is a dive bar which specializes in pinball machines. The back room features a dozen of them packed into a small room, where patrons drink pints and try to beat high scores. Frequently features pinball tournaments with cash prizes and there are some more traditional arcade games in the front room. You will see a lot of neck tattoos here.

Shorty’s on Yelp

The Crocodile: Live Music

A fantastic performance venue in Belltown – the 9:30 Club of Seattle. One of my best memories from Seattle was seeing Lido, a Norwegian singer and producer, perform here along with a Brooklyn-based band called Brasstracks. Inexpensive and crowded when there are performances. I also visited when there wasn’t a performance and it wasn’t worth the time – check this place out when there’s a show happening.

The Crocodile on Yelp
Published on November 6, 2015

Photos from Seattle

Some photos from a trip to Seattle two weeks ago, with a link to more below:

Seattle Fall 2015 (40 of 54)

Seattle Fall 2015 (24 of 54)

Seattle Fall 2015 (7 of 54)

Seattle Fall 2015 (27 of 54)

See more Seattle 2015 Photos
Published on November 6, 2015

24 Hours in Changsha

Last week I went to Changsha to play at a music festival called Xiangjiang. A short trip of just 24 hours in the Hunan capital city. Some photos from the afternoon and evening there.

Chongqing Fall 2015 (3 of 146)

Chongqing Fall 2015 (2 of 146)

Chongqing Fall 2015 (1 of 146)

Chongqing Fall 2015 (4 of 146)

Chongqing Fall 2015 (8 of 146)

Chongqing Fall 2015 (6 of 146)

Published on October 5, 2015

Photos from Instinct, Chongqing

I went to Chongqing last weekend to perform at Instinct for the second time this year. It was really fun and it’s been great to see Chongqing’s underground nightlife scene develop over the last year. Here are a few photos:

Chongqing Instinct

Chongqing Instinct

Chongqing Instinct

Published on May 13, 2015

Berlin Street Art

Two weeks ago I was in Berlin for 6 days and had the opportunity to check out some amazing street art. Here are a few of those photos, with a link to more below.





See more photos of Berlin Street Art
Published on May 8, 2015

My Map of Favorite Places to Visit in Berlin

I just returned from my second visit to Berlin in the last few years, and this time I went with a list. A list of places that I most want to visit in the city. This is a collection of historical sites, shops, nightlife venues, and cultural and historical sites in the city.

My intention when creating this map was to list all of my intended destinations onto a Google map, and then walk or cycle around the city hitting places that are in proximity to my current location. While hitting these spots though, I noticed that Google Maps on iPhone does not support custom maps like this, so I had to use Google Maps through Safari on my iPhone. So if you are in Berlin and referring to this custom map, save yourself some time and access the map through Safari and not through Google Maps.

Below is a list of places on this map, which were mostly recommended to me by friends who are local to Berlin. It includes some tourist sites, like Badeschiff, the Reichstag building, Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Zoo.

More Info on These Places

There are 35 places listed in total, divided into four different categories which are color-coded:

  • Historical sites: yellow
  • Local culture sites: green
  • Nightlife: blue
  • Shops: orange

Dr Pong

A ping pong bar located in Prenzlauer Berg, in Northcentral Berlin. Started by an American guy named Oliver from Sante Fe, New Mexico almost 15 years ago. Grungy atmosphere and a round-table style of ping pong play, featuring a DJ on most nights, many of which who only play vinyl. Official website


One of the most famous clubs in the world, and notoriously difficult to get into. 2/3 of people who will queue at this club for hours will be turned away by the bouncers, who are famously strict about who is allowed inside. The club is located in an industrial region of the city and is made out of a former power plant in Friedrichshain, near the Berlin Ostbahnhof railway station. This place hosts 72-hour long parties and is known as one of the hearts of debauchery in Berlin nightlife. Judgement of any kind is sternly frowned upon in Berghain. Look at your cell phone inside Berghain and you risk being ejected. Take a photo and you will certainly be removed. Features mostly techno music, which is the foundational bedrock of the German electronic music scene. Official website

Computer Game Museum

Opened several years ago, the Computer Game Museum pays tribute to the last three decades of interactive gaming. The museum features every console you can imagine and tells the story behind the creators of PC and console games, from the original Sim City to Street Fighter II and Starcraft. The museum features small, curated “rooms” which emulate retro game settings, like a 1990’s teenagers bedroom with beanbags, a CRT television, and an original Playstation with Crash Bandicoot. You can sit down, chill out, and play these old games in these carefully curated environments, which have things like Nirvana and Madonna posters on the wall. Entrance is 8 euros. Official website

White Trash Fast Food

A greasy spoon American-style restaurant built out of a carefully created Mad Max-like environment. The restaurant is half indoor and half outdoor, and the entrance goes through an old and rusted school bus. Everything about the restaurant is designed to offend you, like the Fuck You French Fries and signs which say “Everything is dirtier than it looks”. Has the best hamburgers in Berlin and features a drink called the Radler, which is locally brewed beer mixed with Sprite in a beer stein, garnished with a lemon slice. Official website

This is my first time making a map like this of my favorite destinations in a city, but I think I’ll do this again. Perhaps in Seattle or London, which I hope to visit within the next few months.

Published on April 29, 2015

Photos & Stories from Hoodslam

One of the most memorable experiences I had on my recent trip to the Bay Area was Hoodslam, a monthly underground professional wrestling event in Oakland. It’s hosted at the Oakland Metro Opera House and features a dozen or so wrestlers performing theater on stage. It is incredibly self-aware and entertaining. Here’s the flyer from the event that I went to on March 6th, with video and photos further below:


Highlights from Hoodslam

  • The local hero is a wrestler named Drugs Bunny, a Prohibition-era gangster wearing a bunny mask who does fistfuls of cocaine on stage. The crowd chants “Drugs, drugs, drugs” to show support for Drugs Bunny.
  • A wrestling match between The Predator and a wrestler playing Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Arnold character comes out first amidst ambient music, red lights, and helicopter sound effects, as he creeps into the ring with a giant gun. As he gazes into the crowd, the Predator emerges silently behind him and sits poised atop the edge of the ring as the crowd goes nuts.
  • A bowtie-wearing referee chain smoking joints in the ring
  • Link of Hyrule (Legend of Zelda) versus Obese Gamer, a 300-lb shirtless slob. Obese gamer is invulnerable to Link because he pulls out a golden Zelda cartridge with a Game Genie plugged into it. Link overcomes this obstacle by throwing the stoned referee at Obese Gamer, which stuns him.
  • Scorpion Junior wrestling against Mexican Batman. Scorpion Junior is a pregnant adult male wearing a Scorpion mask (Junior is a 1994 film wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger gets pregnant). During the fight, as fans chant “Miscarriage” Scorpion Junior gives birth on stage and throws a tiny Scorpion at Mexican Batman with a rope attached while yelling Get over here!.  Scorpion Junior becomes the first wrestler in Hoodslam history to be disqualified for breaking the only rule of Hoodslam: “Don’t bring your f’ing kids”. This is a slogan that appears on some of their apparel.
  • Ken from Street Fighter wrestling against Juice Lee, or Bruce Lee on steroids. Other events have featured Ken & Ryu from Street Fighter as a tag team duo.
  • The band featured at the event, called Arnold Corps, features a lead singer that looks and sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The band is described on the flyer as “Pioneers of Austrian Action Adventure Rock ‘n Roll”.
  • Hoodslam is promoting an upcoming show called EnterTania

The entire production is ridiculous and a real joy. It’s filled with references to 1990’s American pop culture. If you are in the Bay Area or you visit there, I recommend you check this out. Here’s a link to their official website:

Hoodslam Video

Below is a video I found on Youtube describing Hoodslam and featuring its founder, a Persian American wrestler named Dark Sheik.


And finally some of my photos from the March event, which are part of the San Francisco 2015 set:









Visit the official Hoodslam website
Published on March 18, 2015