I am back in a place where seasons exist! 3 days is enough to be feeling that cold... I'll be in the plane to Bangkok tonight. Trying to pack again, taking summer/beach clothes and forgetting about the hats and gloves. Always the same issues with cameras and photo equipment: what should I take to travel there? Do I need the digital one? Is it too heavy? But will I regret it if I don't have it? Etc etc



Goodbye San Francisco, Goodbye America -for now-, and thanks. I will be traveling to France and then Thailand for the next 3/4 weeks so I am not sure I will be posting much during that time...


Today someone that I was meeting for the first time told me how I was feeling. I was explaining to that guy, who happened to be french too, that I was in the middle of the packing process, about to leave after almost a year and a half in SF. He said, "yes, that's a lot of memories to pack". And it's exactly how I was feeling. Looking back and putting experiences and emotions more or less in order, just like I did with my clothes and books. The "unforgettable" box. The "wasn't that big of a deal" box. The "could only have happened in america" box. The "new friends, people I want to see again" box. The "lessons I've learnt" box... there is so much to pack, and take away with me.
Photography: I love to take pictures with my blackberry. Knowing that the quality will be so bad that they will never be used in any website or on print, makes them free of any kind of pressure. It's all about a special moment I'd like to remember, when I don't carry my camera. The roots of photography, I guess.


4 days ago (meaning 5 days before my plane to Paris), my bike got stolen. Actually they took everything that could be taken, and left only the frame, locked in the street, half broken on the floor. I got that bike only a couple of months after arriving in San Francisco. It is an object, a thing, parts of metal and plastic put together to help me go through the city. I rode my bike everyday, morning and evening, all these months. Obviously, on that bike I felt free, fragile, happy, desperate, excited, overwhelmed, balanced, talented, crappy, ashamed, proud, lonely, tough, insane; I cried, I sang, I laughed, I talked, I whispered, I smiled, and so many times I just enjoyed the light and the air and the feeling that my own body could take me wherever I needed to go.
When I saw what had happened I just left and could not look back. But 2 days later I decided to come back, pick it up, and take it to a bike shop in my neighborhood. I hope they can reuse that frame, and that someone else will be using it again soon. It was interesting to carry it on my shoulders like a wounded body, switching roles, and seeing the "oh i'm sorry" faces of the bike riders along the streets.
I guess taking public transportation is a very special way to be/feel part of a city; but in SF, riding a bike up and down the hills has been a daily source of pleasure.



Well yes, things are getting blurred. I still live close to the nicest park of san francisco. I have my nest on valencia and 20th. When packing, getting ready, and especially when walking around, all the little hardships I had to go through pop up in my mind: I got lost on that street. I did not know that store would be closed. I had to use that payphone before getting a cell phone. I got lost again there. I paid twice the regular price for that, because i had no idea. I took the wrong bus and got yelled at by the driver but did not understand what he was saying. I survived.



Nothing is easy and everything is fantastic when traveling. Every departure is a lesson of letting go. We never know anything but going away makes it obvious: who will I be when I see this light again? When these moments become memories? How long will I carry them with me, how much will they change the way I see things? Am I really leaving?...



...or can i even do a little better than that, before 2008 ends?... The good things is, we still have books, paper, markers, and music. I am not really taking pictures lately, just making random, bad quality videos with my point and shoot camera. Probably trying to capture the purity of San Francisco's air, the feeling of speed riding my bike downtown, the shape of the buildings, and all the discoveries, thoughts, feelings, emotions, that will obviously never be recorded on a memory card. But I keep trying -just pretending, as if we had tools to prevent things from ending.

Ah voilà, c'est ca:
"Nous ne voyageons pas pour le plaisir de voyager, que je sache. Nous sommes cons, mais pas à ce point.[...] Que notre devise soit donc lenteur et circonspection, avec des embardées à droite et à gauche et de brusques retours en arrière." Samuel Beckett, Mercier et Camier





sometimes i think that i can notice this or that particular color only because i carry my camera. also, there are some people that i would never dare staring at; i can only photograph them very quickly (not looking through the camera).



"La photo qu'un autre que moi pourrait faire, qui ne tient pas au rapport particulier que j'ai avec tel ou tel, je ne veux pas la faire". Hervé Guibert, Le mausolée des amants - Journal 1976-1991



I have spent about 20 days in Paris in the last 15 months. I wonder how long it will take me to get physically used to the city again, the pace, the light, the lines, the people. At some point I might forget about its magic, and start cursing again in the metro if I have to wait for the train for more than 5 minutes... probably only after a couple of weeks there. But I am sure it will take much longer for me to modify this thing here saying that I live close to the nicest park of SF, since I will still be living here for a long time... in a different way.



I photographed Louise once over the summer, and going back to Paris for a few days I thought it could be a good opportunity to do it again. I was happy she was willing to do it, and even though we both had busy schedules, we managed to meet one evening in a bar in St Germain. What happened with travis also happens with her; I am not sure if it has to do with their age. But she always seems honest to me, and therefore very easy to photograph.



Flo is one of my brother's best friends. He happened to be in San Francisco when I first came here, and he is the person that introduced me to the city when I had no idea what the muni or the civic center were... he lived in SF for a while when he was a kid, and in many other countries. Now he is a parisian, I guess (and a special mix of freedom, sensitivity and cynicism).