Portland, the Quirky City of Roses

Tattoos, nose rings, murals, trees, food carts.  These are all characteristics that make Portland so quirky and fun at the same time.

I knew nothing about Portland before arriving here, except the fact that this was where Nike was born.  From my blog post in Athens, we learn that the name Nike belongs to the Greek goddess, the goddess of Victory.

Prior to travelling here, I researched more about this city – about what to do, what to eat, where things are located, and more.  One key interesting fact is that Portland is one of the more ‘active’ cities in United States – currently for those who commute, the current percentage of people who bicycle to work is 7%.  The state’s target is to aim as high as 21%, and that means making infrastructure so that it becomes more cyclists’ friendly.  A second fact is that it tends to rain a lot… lucky for me though, I experienced only an afternoon of light rain and that was it. Continue reading Portland, the Quirky City of Roses

Sunrise at Grand Canyon

I may be one of the luckiest persons on earth.

Last year in the summer of 2016, I was in Nice during the Bastille Attack.  This year, I was in Las Vegas during the Route 91 Festival Shooting.  Both times, I/we almost decided to have dinner or participate in night activities near both of these shocking events.  And both times, my fatigue decided to not pursue such activities.  Laziness does help you sometimes.  By the way, my heart goes out to all those affected.

That said, I was attending a wedding in Vegas but not on the strip, but on Henderson at a beautiful location.  The day after the Route 91 Festival Shooting, I did end up having to go to the Strip, specifically Flamingo Hotel, because that was where I rented my car to go to Grand Canyon (and for the next few days in Los Angeles).  While ubering to Flamingo, I managed to get a glimpse of the Mandalay Bay… not the two windows that were both exposed, but definitely seeing the cops barricading the whole area around it.

I am also one of the luckiest persons on earth because I get to witness the magnificence of breathtaking Grand Canyon.  During my uber ride, my amazing driver did tell me that pictures cannot define Grand Canyon, and I simply cannot agree more.  Grand Canyon is quite astonishing, and its massive size and grandness just isn’t something that can be captured even by the most professional Leica camera. Continue reading Sunrise at Grand Canyon

I Didn’t Leave My Heart in San Francisco

Tony Bennett’s song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, isn’t a good impression of San Francisco.  He makes the song so silky, smooth, deep, vibrant and charming, but my impression of San Francisco didn’t give me that.

After my PCH trip, I started driving up to San Francisco and of course, I had to be greeted by the severe traffic that doubled the time for me to get to downtown San Francisco.

San FranciscoFrom my car window, you can see a pile of cars waiting behind me.

San FranciscoWhile driving there, you get to see some cool train tracks.  Not the best weather that day btw. Continue reading I Didn’t Leave My Heart in San Francisco

Missed My Bus at Napa Valley and Sonoma County

As a day trip on my stay in San Francisco, I decided that I had to visit Napa Valley.  So, I signed up via Viator for a Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour that picked you up at your designated hotel before 9am and ended the journey at 5pm (well it ended up being around 6:30pm since we also stopped by Golden Gate Bridge to take pictures).  You will be joining the tour operator Gray Line actually.

The drivers / guides were funny, informative and professional and in general I had a good time.  During lunch time, I even missed the bus (more on that later) but another driver from the same tour operator was able to drive me back to catch up with my old tour group. Continue reading Missed My Bus at Napa Valley and Sonoma County

Pacific Coast Highway, Not Really

I got the idea of driving along the Pacific Coast Highway from one of my Bucket List links illustrating some of the top 10 drives in America.  Since I had to be in the west coast, and I wanted to minimize my time in Los Angeles due to the lack of things to do as a tourist visitor, I thought to myself… why not drive PCH?

I was extremely excited by the prospect of driving along the sea coast; I was imagining all the magnificent views I would be getting. Continue reading Pacific Coast Highway, Not Really

Los Angeles – Fun For A Few Days Only

So I grew up studying university in Los Angeles for 4 years, and those were some of the best years in my life.  I think to a certain extent it was also because I was situated in Los Angeles, and as a university student, it was a good place to have fun there, especially when you have a car.

Los AngelesLA during the night

After graduation and moving out from the city, I would periodically come back to Los Angeles every few years, for differing reasons (nostalgia, music festivals, weddings etc.).  Each time finding myself needing to do more and more research to find out what else is there to do in Los Angeles besides typical city stuff, like eating. Continue reading Los Angeles – Fun For A Few Days Only

What Happens in Vegas, Stays In My Stomach

Las Vegas has always been one of my favorite destinations to go to; no other place matches its sinfulness, its exoticness, and its desirability.  My favorite time to arrive to Las Vegas driving from Los Angeles has always been when the sun is just about to set so that the lights from the Strip start to light up… it’s one of the most beautiful and exciting scenes to enter into.

Las Vegas StripLas Vegas strip at night – what a beauty.  This is the view from the Eiffel Tower Experience. Continue reading What Happens in Vegas, Stays In My Stomach

Twenty Five Amazingly Helpful Tips To Enhance Your EDC Vegas Experience

Nooo, I’m not talking about drugs!!!  I’m talking about practical tips so you can avoid the hassle and actually experience EDC with ease.  Friends of mine have told me that EDC Vegas is a life changing experience, I kid you not.  By the way, even though I’m specifically referring to EDC Vegas in this post, I guess some of these tips are applicable to other dance music festivals as well.  (SPOILER ALERT) This post contains pictures of last year’s EDC event. Continue reading Twenty Five Amazingly Helpful Tips To Enhance Your EDC Vegas Experience

Living In The EDM World With Skylar

With the EDC Las Vegas festival fast approaching, and with electronic dance music (or dance music as some may prefer) manifesting itself globally while intertwining with today’s pop music, I brought along Insomniac employee Skylar Hardenbrook for a quick interview with us about his work life and his views on today’s EDM scene.  Here’s what he has to say – Continue reading Living In The EDM World With Skylar

MADArt Strikes New York

Raised in Hong Kong but now based in New York, Santino Lo has always been passionate about the arts disciplinary.  His company, Madart Creative, has just officially become a non-profit organization, and he’s excited to be a 25-year old founder of a non-profit organization in a highly competitive industry.  I invite him to talk about how he’s changing the face of arts by enhancing the overall experience of both the performers and the audiences themselves. Continue reading MADArt Strikes New York