Stay Sharp

Friday, June 29, 2007

New Okubo Ghetto Style

Renowned owner and brain behind Tokyos true underground culture center "The Ghetto". Mr.Ako in person.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Queen Mary Ink Bash

4th Annual International Ink & Iron Festival 2007. What is there to say except "Otsukare sama deshita...Yoroshiku!!"

J-Frog A.K.A Detail Demon

My companion and brother in arms during long high way stretches and dusty diner stops. He just wouldn't stay out of that corner in many pictures and I realized that it gave the whole composition a more reachable scale to lean your eyes on. Many times when the big empty was just that, big and empty, J-Frog became the rule of third....always there somewhere in the view finder, lurking with some obscure angle in mind.

Check his blog on : (There's some great stuff there!)

Thanx for not getting too pissed off when I almost killed us both twice in the same day on the HighWay...that dead angle could have been a death angel bro.

Friday, June 22, 2007

California Uber Alles...

From Long Beach to Salton Sea and Bombay Beach to Salvation Mt on the way to Yoshua Tree to North Hollywood, Venice & Down Town L.A via Bakersfield and Santa Barbara.

I don't have much to say about either Bakersfield or Santa Barbara except that where the self proclaimed upperclass have made their playground the edge of things getts dull. Safe but dull, like the knife your parents let you play with as a child, no real purpose. In a hangout in Bakersfield I met a Mexican man who with pride showed me a photo of his 5 year daughter branding a loaded machine gun while a girl named Lisa felt a certain bond between me as a Swede and herself since her grandfathers family came from Limerick. In Santa Barbara I met an Irish man (Limerick?) who taught all realistic black&grey tattos were made by Kat Von D and I had a great ice cone (Rockyroad / Cookie&Cream) while some Mexican dudes caught mackerel from the pier just to feed the sea lions who were to well fed to eat them anyways.

It's at outposts like Bombay Beach, Mecca and Ludlow life starts to make sense in a strange kind of ways. From one more extreme environment to another i.e. Tokyo downtown or somewhere on State Highway 58 doesn't really matter as long as you keep it real. The desert in California is a world away from what you think you know about this sunshine state. Sure, it's sunny alright, but the sun doesn't give you only that "nice day" out here, it gives you MORE, it kills. It kills the colors and luster of any material, it kills in form of heat that drills through any crack. It's a spectacular thing to see and be in, I loved everyminute I could spend out here in the open nothingness of the high desert. Trivial stuff like you opt for in general gets a whole new meaning out here. Colors and compositions can not be found anywhere than in remote areas like this. Outback Australia has the same feel to it. Man is that sky blue or what?

Another thing that sneeks up on you as the days goes by is this, how can you beat the life enchanting feeling to know that you don't have to live in Los Angeles, I thought China and then especially Shanghai was tacky with it's poor taste & quality. In LA I had the pleaseue to hang with some of the best people I have ever met over in the States, that was really cool,. But it's the shallowness of the core culture of everydaylife other than friendship that kinda gets to you like a bad taste that just doesn't wash away. One thing that the Gringo Americanos (This is Mexicoland, remember?) know how to do is to make superb sidewalks, skateboard paradise. I was rolling down Hollywood Blvd one afternoon on a brand new SantaCruz board when I saw George Orwells "star" imbedded in the black pavement. I wonder what he would have said if he knew that the minnions of the "Big Brother" State of the world trampled with tired feet on his name day in and day out? I think he would have liked some rebellion even in the form of a solo skateboarder breaking some petit rule and holding the free will intact by his actions. But that's just me thinking out loud. Maybe he would have enjoyed being pissed and puked upon as a sheer metaphor. I might be back in the land of the free, home of the brave within short, also this a road trip following the spectacular Pasific Coast HWY 1, a job for a major airline.

Here is a farrago of images from some of the places I visited and stopped up to spend a couple of MB or so on. California Uber Alles....Hallelujah i.e Allah Akhbar!