DTLA

Chinatown by john cheng

Something that I wrote up a couple years back and never published. Better late than never right?

I went on a photo walk through Chinatown at night with a friend. The plan was to see what interesting street shots we could find in the evening when Chinatown is practically deserted.  

Three shots stood out to me that night. The first is Burgerlords with the man waiting for his burger. I find myself relating with him in that there are time where I just want to go somewhere at night and sit in silence in attempts to escape my current realities. I wondered who he was, what he was thinking about and why he chose to be there in that moment staring off into the distance rather than into his phone like so many of us do. 

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The other two are very similar. Both were images of men working in the kitchen of a restaurant. The first man was on his break I assume, sitting near the back door searching for a moment of privacy. Of course, that was before he caught me invading his personal time. 

The second man was diligently either washing dishes or cooking. I couldn't tell from where I was standing but both of these men made me think of my uncles. I grew up hearing stories of how my uncles worked tirelessly in the kitchen as busboys, working thier way up the ladder when they first came to America.  

Seeing these two men in present day brought these stories of my uncles to life. It was if I was Ebenezer Scrooge peering into the past to see what life was like for my elders. It made me appreciate more what my present day circumstances are. My life as it is now is not the result of my own doing, but the fruits of my family's labor. 

The question now is how can I follow in thier footsteps in present day context to provide for the generation that follows me. Am I really up for the task or will I find myself trying to escape to a nearby burger joint?

Stay Connected by john cheng

Last night I had the opportunity to meet up with some good friends Sean Miura and Adrian Wong. Both of these guys are super talented in their fields whose minds are a rich gold mine of ideas, concepts, and ambition. It's been a while since I've had conversations about art and culture and the implications behind the concepts that construct these topics.

Recently I've been holed up in my own world, trying to create on a schedule while simultaneously maintaining a full-time job and working on freelance gigs. Although the drive is there and gradually bearing the fruits of my labor, it gets physically and emotionally draining. It was definitely refreshing and a good change of pace meeting up with a couple of friends.

Our lives are made to interact with one another and it is a lesson that I'm continually learning as I progress through this life of mine. Work is challenging, but friend will always challenge you more and mold you into a person that is better than you were the day before because they can see you from a perspective outside of you. Stay connected with friends! Especially those that will challenge you and provoke you in a productive manner. Surround yourself with good people and your life will be that much more satisfying.

It was great hanging out with you guys and we should do it again!