Like most megacities, you never really catch up with Bangkok. The abundance of venues is overwhelming. Like the open-air mall and amusement park, Asiatique Riverfront south of the Taksin Bridge. We spent a few hours there yesterday and we were just about the only Europeans there. The Raboff’s enjoyed a beautiful sunset, a very local atmosphere and a scrumptious Easter seafood dinner. Start with the young lady we met by the pier and then click your way through to the amazing ferris wheel which I couldn’t resist giving a spin.
Despite being a veteran consumer of Thai food, I consistently make the mistake of assuming I can manage a reasonable level of chili without consequence. Tonight’s dinner at “The Never Ending Summer” â a new restaurant next to the Millenium Hilton â on the Thonburi side of Chao Phraya River â was no exception. Having neglected to ask for a less spicy version of the crunchy egg noodles and fried tofu in coconut cream that I had ordered, I found myself soaking from head to toe with perspiration after just a few chews. When will I learn? Still, it was definitely a Good Friday Dinner!
In Bangkok again after a surprisingly smooth, long-haul flight with Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner. Considering it rained 90% of the time, I still feel I had a productive visit and accomplished more than expected. My mother’s sister passed away while I was working in Sweden â which was surely a coincidence as aunt Lillemor was likely unaware of me being in the country. Still, you never know. The saddest part of her passing was that she never got to meet our daughter Elle â an amazing young woman that would of impressed her on many levels.
Shot this morning using a hovering, so-called hexacopter at about 100 meters above MalmÃ¶ Harbor. The recipe? A combo of perfect weather conditions, an interesting perspective, an extremely agile pilot and a bit of enhancement work in Adobe Lightroom. There you have it, the cover shot for my new book, “VÃ¤stra Hamnen 2014″.
From yesterday’s excursion to the Oresund Bridge with Freddy. When it comes to having good photography weather for exterior projects, I’m usually reasonably lucky. So far during this visit to MalmÃ¶, not so much. Persistent rain showers, gusty winds and clouds dispersed almost mockingly even above VÃ¤stra Hamnen is what I’m up against here. Being the measured optimist that I am, I still have hope that the rest of the week will align with my usual, aforementioned meteorological luck.
Back in the hood for a spell. Woke up severely jetlagged at first light and stumbled out for a lengthy walk. Unsurprisingly, I discovered several new building projects in various stages of completion â like the entirely new and mostly residential area on VÃ¤stra Varvsgatan adjacent to Ankarparken (pictured above). Curious to see which projects make it into my new book, “VÃ¤stra Hamnen 2014″. In a week, I’ll know.
The wide range of entrepreneurship along the crowded sidewalks of Bangkok continue to amaze me. Like this fellow whom has identified the popularity of shaved ice with syrup topped off with condensed milk and found a means to exploit the seemingly endless demand for this frozen desert. Last time I enjoyed shaved ice was a couple of years ago at the Matsumoto Shave Ice shop in the North Shore village ofÂ Haleiwa on Oahu, Hawaii. During our most recent visit, the lines were just too long.
We’re in the midst of summer here in Bangkok and it is hot, hot, hot! Oh, and did I mention the insane humidity? On the bright side, it’s peak season for those of us that can’t get enough of the King of Fruits, the mango. I’ll be flying to Sweden soon and plan to bring with me a few ripe and juicy samples â should the urge for a thick, Mango Ginger Mojito arise whilst I’m in the not-quite-so-warm-and-humid MalmÃ¶.
From yesterday’s walkabout in “Jet Sip Rai” â a gigantic slum area in Bangkok. Charlotte and I are contributing to a charity project there run by tireless enthusiast, Annika Jonasson. A few years ago, Annika initiated “Hang On Hangers” to give young mothers and single women in the slums an opportunity to create beautiful, fabric-covered hangers in their homes. The hangers are then sold and generated income allow the women to support their families and live a decent life in the midst of an adversarial environment where drugs, crime and extreme poverty are prevalent. Please visit the site www.hangonhangers.net where you can also order these beautiful hangers.
Today the family experienced a few hours in one Bangkok’s hippest area, Soi Ari. We visited Neverland Siberians which is one of the country’s most well-known kennels specializing in huskies. The owners recently opened up “True Love CafÃ©” where they serve excellent Thai food and tasty, albeit calorie-packed deserts and bakery treats. We had lunch, desert and then spent time with about 20 gorgeous huskies of varying size, age and markings. Getting decent shots and video footage of these playful and extremely sociable dogs in their huge and fan-cooled garden was a definitely a creative challenge.
Thought I’d share a few images from today’s travel shoot for a piece I’m writing about Rattanakosin in Bangkok. I’ve been creatively inspired by this city for a long, long time. And it was a sidewalk market that started it all 25 years ago. I’d been working at a hotel on Koh Samui for six months and was going to spend a week in Bangkok before boarding my flight back to Europe… (more…)
Creating a book in Bangkok about a neighborhood in MalmÃ¶ is weird enough. What’s even weirder is that after just a four days, the layout is done and 80% of all the photos are already chosen â a gruesome process that usually takes me 2-3 weeks to complete. The new book, my ninth in the series and aptly titled “VÃ¤stra Hamnen/The Western Harbor 2014″, should be in bookstores everywhere (at least if you live in MalmÃ¶) before June arrives. For a fix on VÃ¤stra Hamnen until it arrives, please visit the new gallery at www.gallerivastrahamnen.se
After years using a wide range of pro camera bags, backpacks and cases â and never really feeling I got what I needed, I discovered FSTOP GEAR sometime last year. And so satisfied was I with the model I chose, an olive green backpack dubbed “Kenti”, that I wrote the company and told them as much. After looking at my work, they in turn asked if I would like to be featured in their beautifully designed March newsletter. Check it out here.
The Mango Mojito â arguably the ultimate cocktail that demanded to be documented last night at Hotel Sala Rattanakosin’s restaurant along the Chao Phraya River. The patio where we enjoyed dinner lies opposite the majestic and magnificently lit temple Wat Arun. This part of the capital, called Old Bangkok, is hands down my favorite part of the city. I shot the well-balanced, rum based drink with the compact yet omni competent Fujifilm x100s dialed to f2.0 at 2 seconds exposure time. Just love the bokeh of the background.
The cool weather we had upon arriving in Bangkok is now long gone. The midday air is boiling hot and thick with humidity. This morning during training at our neighborhood boxing gym, a series of torrential showers flooded the streets, alleys and sidewalks. The Thai new year Songkran (à¸§à¸±à¸à¸ªà¸à¸à¸£à¸²à¸à¸à¹) is on April 13th and is celebrated throughout the country several days before and after. Among the younger generations, the holiday also means a whole lot of spontaneous water-dousing and combats with elaborate, pump-action, water-squirting contraptions.
Yesterday, New York design studio and award-winning architectural and landscaping firm, James Corner Field Operations, purchased several of my images from Tongva Park of which they were design lead. I’ve admired JCFO’s work for many years, ever since they started working on Manhattan’s High Line project. Their design of Tongva Park obviously had a much smaller scale and narrower scope than the elevated railway that runs through the Meatpacking District on the Lower West Side. But their execution is nonetheless equally if not exceedingly brilliant and admirable.
From a sleazy diner somewhere in between two derelict motels along Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Fla. Most days, I stick to my cold pressed veggie drinks for breakfast. Yesterday, after spending a night at one of Bangkok’s newest boutique hotels, I went all-out and ordered a scrumptious bagel breakfast similar to the one above except that instead of bacon, I had thinly cut, smoked salmon. Come to think of it, there weren’t any hash brown potatoes, either.
Chatuchak â or Weekend Market â is by a wide margin the largest outdoor market in Thailand and with over 15,000 shops sprawling over 27 acres (110,000 m3) one of the most expansive on the planet. As hot and intense as Chatuchak is, I really enjoy spending a late Sunday afternoon there. Yesterday, I got there just after 4 o’clock and had plenty of time and good light to get a few shots with the Fuji while discovering new section and stores. Like the 25 or more niche shops selling vintage Hawaiian shirts. One of my absolutely favorite pit stops is a small, family run ice cream parlor where fresh strawberries are just one of 30 available toppings for their delicious, homemade coconut ice cream. Read more about Chatuchak here.
After visiting a few of Bangkok’s new open-air sky bars the other night, I came across this pimped-out refreshment vehicle on Soi 11. The Thai capital is easily the most audacious city when it comes to entrepreneurship. If there seems to be a market for something, anything, really, you can count on somebody tapping into it pronto. And with over 14 million people living, working or visiting here, no niche seems to be too small for it to be financially viable.