the ancient past travel

A hotel? I'll show you a hotel

Business travel is not so bad sometimes

At this point, I know my way around a hotel. I have seen a lot of em, and I can tell you pret­ty quick­ly how to nav­i­gate them. I could be blind­fold­ed and tossed into the lob­by of a Court­yard, and I'd be in my room, iron­ing my shirts, and drink­ing a Coors Light from the mini-bar with­in 5 min­utes. Every once in a while the busi­ness trav­el stars align, and I get to stay in a place like the Ames Hotel in Boston. Not only are the rooms deeluxe (pic­tured above), but the build­ing itself is on the Nation­al Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places, and the door­man told me that it was Boston's "first sky­scraper." And Wikipedia agrees. Not pic­tured here is the nicest com­po­nent of my room: A huge arched win­dow that looked south over the Old City Hall, the Old South Meet­ing House, and what appear to be many oth­er old things. No Coors Light, but hey you can't win em all.

cinema the ancient past travel

How cool was Hong Kong in the early 60's?

Walk­ing around the Maxwell Food Mar­ket near Singapore's Chi­na­town remind­ed of Wong Kar Wai's excel­lent movie about Hong Kong in the ear­ly 60's In the Mood for Love. After I watched it last night, I couldn't decide whether I want­ed to actu­al­ly trav­el back in time, or just walk inside an imag­ined ver­sion of the past. Wong Kar-Wai - In the Mood for Love - MahjongWong Kar-Wai - In the Mood for Love - CafeWong Kar-Wai - In the Mood for Love - Alley


For NPR News, I am Dougslas Yelapa

A for­mu­la for deter­min­ing your NPR name:

You take your mid­dle ini­tial and insert it some­where into your first name. Then you add on the small­est for­eign town you've ever visited.

Yela­pa is a tiny vil­lage near Sayuli­ta, Mex­i­co, and the nam­ing for­mu­la was con­coct­ed by Liana Mae­by.

california san francisco travel

This marimba could be yours

San Juan Bautista - Marimba

If you haven't been to San Juan Bautista, you need to go. It's a lit­tle ways south of San Jose, an hour east of Big Sur, a long but not impos­si­ble trip from San Fran­cis­co. Mara and I were there last win­ter, and I keep mean­ing to spread the word. It's a real get­away with good old-fash­ioned Cal­i­for­nia her­itage and big cac­ti and a nice bak­ery and a good vibe.

San Juan Bautista - Chicken
Chick­ens run­ning around.
San Juan Bautista - White hearse
What can you say? SJB got style.

It's also got a mis­sion, and it's in the heart of arti­choke coun­try. They say that hard times are when the big ideas real­ly take hold. Maybe it's time to get that marim­ba you've always wanted.

flickr ixd the ancient past travel

Archaeology of UX Weeks past

Flickr photo

It's kin­da strange (and thrilling) to browse through the many alley­ways and avenues of Flickr and sud­den­ly unearth a pho­to of … your­self. Just now I came across this pic­ture of myself and a shad­owy fig­ure, who I sus­pect is UX it-guy Jan Chipchase tak­en last sum­mer dur­ing UX Week. My hazy rec­ol­lec­tion: We met and hung out dur­ing a late-night trek through the Mall to the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment, a epic walk that includ­ed UX Week speak­ers, the entire event staff, and the mul­ti-tal­ent­ed Mag­gie Mason of Mighty Goods (and, more recent­ly it seems, Mighty Junior), who record­ed the jour­ney here. We left late, got back *real­ly* late, and some­how Jan looked none the worse for wear dur­ing his keynote the next morn­ing; epic, indeed. 

architecture new york travel urban

New Yorks, new museums, new coffees

Flickr photoThis is an incred­i­ble mosa­ic in the bath­room of the New Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary art in New York. It is also EASILY the most impres­sive thing in the whole museum.

New York was filled with good times, as usu­al, but a cou­ple of the things that total­ly blew my mind (and that are link-friend­ly) were Jamaican beef pat­ties at a place called Christie's in Flat­bush and an off­shoot of San Francisco's Blue Bot­tle jug­ger­naut that recent­ly opened in New York, Abra­co [a nice NY mag review]. Yoshi insist­ed that we stop at Christie's even though we'd just eat­en a big brunch, and we got a cou­ple of warm, spicy pat­ties to share on a walk through chilly Prospect Park. The first thing I noticed is that they're not real­ly "pat­ties" in the sense of ham­burg­er pat­ties. They're like hot pock­ets, but fresh­ly baked, with an amaz­ing crust and filled with super-spicy beef. Pret­ty much the per­fect walk­ing food.

On an unre­lat­ed note, last week's This Amer­i­can Life was the best I've heard in a long time. Every seg­ment is good, but the third is about what hap­pens to chim­panzees after they "retire" from movies, and it reveals that Chee­ta — the chimp from the 40's‑era Tarzan movies — is still alive, liv­ing in Palm Springs, enjoys drink­ing Diet Iced Tea, and was once quite fond of beer and cig­ars. There's more in this fun­ny Nation­al Geo piece from 2003, awk­ward­ly titled Tarzan's Cheeta's Life as a Retired Movie Star.

flickr travel

Travel / Some places that got between me & my beloved blog

Flickr photoIt start­ed in Lon­don. I was there for, wow, how long? Three days? Seemed like three weeks. Cold, rainy, dark at 4pm, transcon­ti­nen­tal trav­el, Ambi­en, fish & chips, trucks unload­ing just out­side the win­dow the Radis­son all night long. I wasn't sure if I was sick, tired, both, half-awake, or what. Good times, as always. Thanks, London.

Flickr photoOn to Paris, where there was a rail strike going on. We were here for a total of 24 hours, maybe, but it was AWESOME. Amaz­ing light, cool old peo­ple, and insom­nia just meant that I got up ear­ly enough to get some good pic­tures of the sun­rise. Is it impos­si­ble to take a bad pic­ture here? Cham­pagne bot­tle on the curb. A not-so-inter­est­ing sub­ject, unless it is backed by the win­ter light of PARIS. I took like 500 pic­tures on the trip, 5 of which were good and they were all in Paris. 

Flickr photoWhen you're in Ger­many, you don't have to ash in the sink.

Flickr photoFinal­ly, Poland. These are spar­rows, I think, swirling around a big plaza in the mid­dle of War­saw. Trippy.

Flickr photoA cou­ple weeks after I got back from Europe, and just as I was emerg­ing from an Ambi­en haze, I went to India for a cou­ple of days. Just, you know, to check it out. Was two days real­ly long enough to take it all in? Maybe not. Bet­ter make it three so I make sure I see every­thing. In real­i­ty, I was there to teach a class, and I would have loved to stay longer. Instead, I left imme­di­ate­ly after so that I could attend … 

Flickr photoAdlai and Shinobu's wed­ding! Good times. To be hon­est, it was also a bit of blur, but I remem­ber enjoy­ing every wak­ing moment, even if those moments were tech­ni­cal­ly half-waking.

Flickr photoFor the hol­i­days, Hawaii. I did some choco­late-mak­ing with Mara and her fam­i­ly. I drank that milk­shake, for sure.

Flickr photoThis crazy rock was last seen on the beach in the cen­tral coast of Cal­i­for­nia, north of San­ta Cruz and near some moan­ing ele­phant seals.


2005 / The cities

Inspired by the list-mak­ers here and here.

  • San Fran­cis­co
  • Kailua, Hawaii
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Ham­burg, Germany
  • Ams­ter­dam, Netherlands
  • Eind­hoven, Netherlands
  • Munich, Ger­many*
  • Lon­don, England*
  • Cardiff, Wales
  • Wash­ing­ton DC
  • (A small town in the Ital­ian Alps)
  • Ali­cante, Spain
  • Hong Kong
  • Syd­ney, Australia
  • Ade­laide, Australia
  • Mel­bourne, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • War­saw, Indiana
  • Chica­go, Illinois
  • Kansas City, Missouri*
  • Lea­wood, Kansas
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Pitts­burgh, Pennsylvania
  • McK­eesport, Pennsylvania
  • Buf­fa­lo, New York
  • Nia­gara Falls
  • Toron­to, Canada
  • Detroit, Michi­gan
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Kala­ma­zoo, Michigan
  • Port­land, Oregon*
  • Seat­tle, Washington
  • Austin, Texas
  • Puer­to Val­lar­ta, Mexico
  • Sayuli­ta, Mexico
  • Peo­ria, Illinois
  • Gainesville, Flori­da
  • Atlanta, Geor­gia
  • Min­neapo­lis, Minnesota*
  • Newark, New Jersey*
  • Bask­ing Ridge, NJ
  • Spring­field, Missouri
  • Las Vegas, NV

Holy crap. I had no idea that there were so many. Qual­i­fy­ing cities had at least one overnight stay, except Hong Kong, Pitts­burgh and Detroit, where I spent most of a day and then escaped before night fell. Actu­al­ly, I'm kid­ding; I real­ly loved both of those cities, which is why I want­ed to put them on the list. * indi­cates that I vis­it­ed the city mul­ti­ple times, usu­al­ly in total­ly unre­lat­ed contexts.