Archive | Travel

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.

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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

Berghain

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:

Hoodslam

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: BirdsWillFall.com

Hoodslam Video

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

Photos

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

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Visit the official Hoodslam website
Published on March 18, 2015

Photos from San Francisco, 2015

I got back from San Francisco just a few days ago and have posted all my photos online here. Here are a few of them, with another link to the full set at the bottom of this post.

Tommy's Joynt

ROTC Rapper

SF Park

Qbert

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See more photos from San Francisco, 2015
Published on March 13, 2015

Photos from Xinjiang: Urumqi & Karamay City

I just returned from a week in China’s Northwestern Xinjiang province, which borders Pakistan and Kazakhstan. There is a world of difference between Xinjiang and the rest of China: aside from being home to the majority of China’s Muslim population, it’s a desert oil-producing region made famous by violent protests in 2009.

Thousands were killed in May of that year when a failed uprising attempted to create a new country out of the region, called East Turkmenistan. Since then Xinjiang has become an oppressive police state as China struggles to stabilize the region and its marginalized Muslim population. It is a fascinating but tense place to visit.

Below are a handful of photos from my trip. The entire set of photos is available here, and there’s another link to this page at the bottom of the photos.

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More Photos from Xinjiang
Published on February 27, 2015

Photos: Weekend in Chongqing

Spending the weekend in Chongqing has become an annual summer tradition. This last weekend I played at the new Nuts Club in Chongqing along with Jovian. A handful of photos from my trip are below, the rest are on a page dedicated to the photos, which you can access by hitting the button at the bottom of these photos.

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Chongqing

Chongqing

More Chongqing 2014 Photos
Published on September 3, 2014