As I wrote in the last post Jason Pan's tights got a little too tight and he returned to roost back in New York. After 5 years on the road I realized you can't be Peter Pan forever. The adventures will continue in New York, just at a much less frequent pace because lets face it, I'm from America and have lived in New York for so long that I am jaded and don't find life here as eye opening and new as it was when I was moving to a new country every year. That's just the way it goes I suppose. The good news is I will be able to focus more time on my artwork and career because I won't be spending as much time exploring a new city by foot or bike and taking photos all the time and partying all the time and making new friends and eating new things and experiencing new things every day. Sounds like the life right? Try it for 5 years and your tights will start to get a little tight in the thighs too, mr/ms potential Peter Pan.
Continuing French things. Using that Opinel folding knife I got at the market in Paris. I have searched for the best Baguette in New York and have failed to find one that come even remotely close to what they have in France. I have heard many theories including the water is just different here. I suppose it doesn't help that the bread is only baked once a day in the morning here as opposed to twice daily in Paris.
playing my Peter Pan flute.
Pool at Fat Cat, and then some Jazz
Chicken and waffles at good old Amy Ruth's. A liter of gross wine
Outside Jonathan Bartlett's studio in Greenpoint. Time to visit some illustrators and be part of the illustration community for real in person instead of just online and oceans apart.
view from his studio window. Pas mal
Jonathan Bartlett in his studio. What a nice F'ing guy. Although he looks maniacal here. Who's he gonna choke with that USB cable?
some of this stuff
James Bascara's studio in Bushwick
Chi Birmingham in his studio, they call it "Brushwick Studios".
Ok New York, more NY posts coming at you soon. I wish I could look at New York the way my friend's from other countries look at New York. Everyone wants to live in New York and think everything is amazing here. That's how it felt when I lived outside of America but I don't think that feeling can return but I can delve into other aspects of life here and embark on different types of adventures. Fellow New Yorkers, if you are feeling down and wishing you lived somewhere else, just remember that everyone else in the world wants to live here.
My last Paris post for a while. I have moved back to New York and am writing this in a cafe, drinking un café as we speak, missing France. Peter Pan is hanging up his tights. 5 years and 4 months and 20 days ago on June 1st, 2008, I left the USA for Beijing and started down a long road that saw me living in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Barcelona, London, and Paris. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago. I have evolved, mostly for the better. Thoreau, Whitman, Emerson all have amazingly true things to say about what traveling does to a person and it has definitely shaped me into a better Jason. Today I am officially back in New York, and I live, guess where, Brookyln, off the Lorimer L stop. There are too many things to say about living abroad in 6 countries for 5 years. So many adventures, triumphs, follies, and experiences. I saw the Olympics in Beijing, traveled the remote southern mountains, cruised down the Yangtze river. I went to Japanese language school in Tokyo everyday for 3.5 hrs for a year. I experienced the big earthquake first hand and fled to Korea. I was hit by a taxi and had a broken skull and woke up a day later in the hospital remembering nothing. I fell in love with Korea again. I hung out with North Korean defectors. I soaked in the Barcelona sun for a whole summer. I got the most drunk I have ever been in my life and may or may not have run with the bulls. I saw the London riots, I drank an uncountable number of pints. I learned Britishisms. I learned how to relax in Paris. I rode all the streets of Paris on my French bike. All food has been ruined for me after eating the finest cheese, bread, meat, misc French cuisine for a year. I made lifetime friends. I have a million crazy stories. I learned 5 languages enough to have basic conversations (all forgotten now, sad isn't it). When I left New York in 2008 it was still unsure if I was going to make it as an Illustrator, but here I am 5 years later having lived off the strength of Illustration. I have explored the world, I have no regrets, I went and did it all. I did it my way more or less, and because of this I have no regrets and will forever be changed for the better. Will this Peter Pan look over longingly at his green tights hanging on the wall from time to time? You bet, but it feels good to be back in New York. Thanks to all my friends and family for humoring Peter Pan all these years and letting him fly around for a while (aka thanks for the support). Just kidding New York, I'm back after that 5 year distraction. Now the question is, what's stopping you from doing what I did? If you're just tuning in you can see all of my misadventures on this here travel blog www.misadventuresofjason.blogspot.com the Best of France/conclusion and afterthoughts post will come soon.
I had this plan to photograph a bunch of cafes on these obtuse angled corners at night with my tripod and timer. Time was running out in Paris so I only had a chance to go out for one night. Only 3 out of these 8 cafes I did manage to shoot are actually on these obtuse angled triangle corners and the other 5 are on normal 90 degree corners. The obtuse corner cafes are a unique thing to Paris and look cool. This is the cafe that sparked the idea, right next to Hemmingway's old apartment, but by the time I got to shoot it they had changed their lighting from green to this. Le Descartes off of Rue Mouffetard. I never actually got the chance to go here.
Le Saint Regis on Ile Saint Louis. Touristy but good for people watching since it's at the foot of the bridge connecting the two islands.
Café Louis Phillipe. They shot gossip girl here if you care about that. I tried this place once.
Chez Julien, is not a café actually and across the street from Café Louis Phillipe. Supposed to be good but didn't get a chance to try it.
Le Conti in St Germain, I've been here a few times. This is the first thing I sketched in Paris from Le Buci, across the street.
Le Buci across the street from Le Conti. Been here a few times as well.
Bar du Maché in Saint Germain. Been here a few times, seems like a mix of tourists and Frenchies, nice people watching spot.
La Palette, the coolest of the cafés featured here in my opinion because the tourists are few and the locals and Frenchies are many and it's off a side street in St Germain that doesn't get as much foot traffic, especially tourist foot traffic.
yet another RATP ad via Publicis Conseil by the awesome Japanese Illustrator Tadahiro Usuegi
Did I post this already? I have to get so many new tubes and a new tire on my bike over the summer. Popped two in one day even.
Will always remember the summer of working and watching the Tour de France, wishing I could be out on my bike. What a summer full of friends visiting and picnics and wine and bike rides!
summer canvas and leather shoes by French brand Shmoove
pretty awesome toy car playground thing in Parc Montsouris. I must say the playgrounds in France a pretty sweet.
My one regret. This is still in Paris. The color comp and sketch is all done it was just waiting to get painted on. My bike is still there too.
brought this back and it was awesome. Their normal Chablis is awesome too
Why? The day before I leave my favorite wine store in our neighborhood tells me about their wine tastings they have every Saturday. It would be interesting to see where I would be in another year in Paris after learning more French. I'm already pretty friendly with people and they in turn are friendly with me. This is the guy's explanation of Burgundy grapes and how the grapes get better as you move up in elevation. The decent grapes are on the plains but the Grand Cru grapes are higher up. I thought Burgundy produced mainly red pinot noir grapes but the Chablis region is in Burgundy also and they make loads of white Chardonnay grapes too.
how many times have I done this in the last 5 years? This is the 7th time packing up my whole life and moving to a different country. But this time the loop is getting closed. The good ship Jason Maru is returning to port (Japanese ships always tack on a maru at the end of their ship names because maru means circle so the boat will always safely return back to port, there will be a pic of that coming up in the future from NY).
last sunday market to pick up a special Opinel folding knife. They sell them in the US for 3x the price
Awesome view of the wing, it's almost like what's the point of having this window? I'll take what I can get though. Flew Air Europa to Madrid then New York, had a 3-4 hour layover so I hopped out of their airport to meet my good pal Marco for one last time. When is the next time I'll see him? When is the next time I'll see anyone? I've already seen people from London, Paris, and Beijing. The world is a small place, and when you live in New York you're gonna see your international friends again. Now world traveling is instilled in me and I will be back to these countries again for sure. So for now, all I can say is à la prochaine, mon Paris. I'll be back (and I have to because I had to leave a bunch of my stuff there because it was going to cost 400 euros to ship it via the post office). Ok readers, I'll see you back in New York!
"but it is the Yankees!" is what google translate says
Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. We heard from friends that they really enjoyed the guided tour of the Basilica and they learned a lot so we decided to try it out and now I can say that I am down with guided tours and don't think it's for lame-o's and old people. Or maybe I am old people now. Did I also mention Vatican Museums to see the Sistine Chapel etc fail again? AGAIN! Entrance to the museum closes so early! and doesn't even happen on Sundays.
Michelangelo's Pietà. Legend has it that he snuck in one night and carve in his signature since artist's weren't allowed to sign their stuff for the Vatican. He was actually a huge badass, painting giant buttocks on the Sistine Chapel as a middle finger to the Pope who was commissioning it and wanted him to hurry up, and painting one of his negative critics going to the depths of hell in a prominent place where everyone could see it. I'm sure there are many more tales of Michelangelo's badassness.
look at those elephant eyes
oh what a lucky coincidence. just as I snapped this photo a turtle popped in for a drink in the background.
We saw a bunch of females in a coral that were denied entry to the Vatican City because they were showing too much leg or their shoulders weren't covered. I think eventually they are able to buy these cheap shawls to cover up with. There are tons of females walking around the Vatican city covering up their goods. I even saw old women who had to do this. I think anything showing above the knee is a no no.
Back in the Piazza Navona area of old Rome.
they had frizzante wine here on tap
Dinner at Al Bric once again. It was awesome again, although Jen said the Cacio e Pepe at Roma Sparita was better. I beg to differ especially since the one we ate at Al Bric this time around was made with Bucatini noodles instead of spaghetti like it is supposed to be like when I had it with Bob.
I forget what was going on here but it was awesomeness. I remember at some wine bar we had this cheese that tasted like gorgonzola but was hard instead of soft and i was in love. I think that one blue cheese over there has a blueberry topping
this was awesome. looks like some kind of mushrooms, zucchini flowers, some kind of extra special pasta.
Calisto 6 Bed and Breakfast
A highlight of everyday was a cafe latte and croissant downstairs at the cafe below the bed and breakfast. Amazing coffee, those italians (croissants are better in France of course, but I think the Italians have the coffee title).
Our flight back to Paris was at 12:35 pm. The Vatican Museum opens 9am so we said F it lets do it, I was going to miss out on my chance to see the Sistine Chapel twice and Jen was going to miss it for the first time. Neither one of us intended to come back to Rome ever again so we said this is our one and only chance and woke up at the crack of dawn to be at the Vatican Museum entrance before it opened. We got there 30 minutes early and there was already a line to forever. Our hearts sank and it started to sprinkle. We got in line and ended up waiting for 2 hours to get in, with frowns on our face. Our time inside had dwindled to nothing because we had to make it to the airport. We still went in, paid a bunch of money. The Sistine chapel is far from the entrance and a labyrinth packed to the gills with tourists awaited us. There is a scene in Jean Luc Goddard's "Bande à Part" where they try to beat some American's record of visiting the Louvre in 9 minutes and 45 seconds and you see them running through the museum. We literally had to do that. We ran past everything in every art history book crying straight to the Sistine Chapel, it was so crowded it took almost 20 minutes. This mean we had 3 minutes to look up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling before we had to run back through the gauntlet to the entrance, claim our luggage, and try to find a taxi to the airport. All this was actually accomplished in the nick of time. We were waiting in the EasyJet line to check our suitcases. When we got up to the counter they said we were 5 minutes too late for check-in. What a punch in the balls. We said we've been waiting in line for 5 minutes and if we knew that policy we would have come up to the front!!! They had no sympathy. Anger, and other emotions washed over us as we slinked over to the ticket counter where we had to pay like $215 each to change our ticket to a flight 6 hours later. We ate and drank some wine and then went over to our gate and drank more wine at a wine bar literally 50 feet from our gate. We got over to the gate and they said sorry you're 4 minutes too late to board the plane, we were calling your names so many times. We couldn't believe it. The ultimate punch in the balls. How did this happen? was it really the wine? maybe, it's totally our fault both times too. Jen has never missed a flight in her life, and today she missed 2 in 1 day. This really stings for someone that is kind of anal. hahahahaha. At this point Jen had reached her limit and she claims she had a mega melt down but it was like 3 tears, which is not a meltdown by any definition. We dragged our knuckles down to wherever they throw luggage from passengers that checked in but somehow never made it onto the actual aircraft. After waiting a long while we got the luggage and dragged our knuckles back up to the ticket office in shame and paid $215 more dollars each to change our tickets, on top of the insult that there were no more flights back to Paris that day so we would have to stay at a hotel near the airport and fly the next morning. I'm sure Jen was thinking this is what I get for hanging out with Jason Raish. I'm sure this is what many have said, including my mom and bob.
We left the airport to get a taxi. A taxi driver was like come on, but then we told him the hotel we were going to and he said oh you have to ask those guys over there, but we were like it's seriously next to the airport and he said ok fine let's go. We ended up driving around for a while as he asked us in Italian where it was and how to get there because he didn't know the address and it wasn't in the gps. We had no idea, just an address. We had the map partially loaded on googlemaps but he just wouldn't look at it. Finally we convinced him to actually stop on the side of the road to look at the map. He finally figured it out and wasn't very happy with us. He was saying that we were supposed to take the other taxis for this area and not him because he is a city of Rome driver and doesn't know the countryside. Finally we arrived at Agrisesto Bed and Breakfast. They have a restaurant that was awesome. We were so strung out from waking up at the crack of dawn to run through the Vatican Museums, missing 2 flights, and this awesomely bad taxi ride that we were laughing at everything and had probably the best time of the whole trip at this random bed and breakfast somewhere outside Rome. Bonus, they have horses.
wild or stray dogs
We finally did make it back to Paris.
Amazing stuff here but today's star is the Truffle gouda. It is absolutely amazing. I even brought some back from Paris. The 3 fish terrine was not that great, although maybe it's just because of the pairing. All this is from Le Bon Marche Epicerie. If you want to be swept off your feet seek out truffle gouda wherever you are
Jen finds these photos with this small cloud above my head super amusing for some reason.
Well we had quite a trip. Thanks for being such a good sport and my final visitor in Paris Jen. See you super soon in New York!