San Francisco bay has long been a draw for the weird, the wonderful and the downright down and out.
Attracted by boundless Pacific sunlight and a tolerance bordering on the UV intense, today the city continues to watch America’s misfits pour in from all quarters. Some are drawn to an alternative lifestyle while others are not so deliberate in where they choose to hang out. The plain fact is that San Francisco, particularly around west Market Street up to Haight Ashbury, provides a kind of sanctuary to many sorry men and women whose psychiatric troubles would be better treated in a more centralised asylum. Instead, the old lady of the bay, San Francisco, IS the asylum. Except, this asylum is growing pricier by the day while its homeless population grows more prevalent but not more equipped to meet the economic (and dare i say psychological) bare necessities of existing in one of the world’s cutting edge metropoles.
In spite of the sometimes vexatious experience of walking San Francisco’s colourful and crazy streets, there’s yet so much life in the place, so much occasion to both weep and whoop at the state of the world.
San Francisco is one of those rare entities: a refuge where both the botched and bungled and the bold and beautiful have an equal share of its pitched paving stones. A screwed-up symbiosis, sure, but a symbiosis of tech and counter culture nonetheless.
Not to speak of its architectural beauty in a blessed natural setting. That is a whole other story.
At dusk the main street of Pai, North Thailand, comes to life in a menagerie of buskers and vendors, tourists and hawkers. Sizzling aromas share the air with the sound of laughter and banter in two dozen languages. The colours are so vivid, what else can the photographer do but shoot black&white?
A great dane would be a fitting side show if he wasn’t so central to the nightlife of Pai, north Thailand. The dog, seen here with his white-haired owner, put in a command performance in the cause of receiving doggie treats. After wooing the crowds, the big fella trotted off none the wiser that he had become the local celebrity.
A dozen tribal groups from the rugged and remote hill country on the Thai-Burmese border, including the famous long-necked Karen and the Shan ethnic Burmese, congregate in a small town called Maehong Son in the far northwest of Thailand to celebrate education, and to light votive candles in a ceremony of peace and togetherness during the Small World Festival, held on Christmas night 2016..
Three mountainous hours northwest of Chiang Mai, around 762 hairpin bends that Thai the rider’s stomach in whorls of knots, lies the little town of Pai, where old hippies go to die and young hippies come to live amid the colours and the food stalls.