Above/featured: “Auténtica Cuba, auténtica fun”.
I’ve remained within metro Vancouver during the CoVid19 pandemic, but I’m curious about how the city’s airport appears in this unusual holiday season.
With no-travel recommendations and other travel restrictions, all international airports are operating at a small fraction of the usual traffic. At YVR Vancouver international airport, about 100-thousand passengers (pax) pass through the airport every day around Christmas. But numbers are way down; there are few daily international flights among the scatter of domestic departures throughout the B.C. province and other parts of Canada.
With these photographs, I present a view of both domestic and international terminals at the airport on Tuesday afternoon, 3 days before Christmas. Walking the empty and quiet concourse is surreal; I wonder if there are more airport staff than travellers at any given moment. (Completing my time at the airport, I stayed to the ground by hopping on rapid transit, shopped for some food, and returned to the family house: how extraordinarily mundane.)
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Honouring the surname
In the mid- to late-1970s, our parents took us to single-screen movie theatres with names like Olympia, Golden Harvest, and Shaw for cinema night to watch movies made in Hong Kong. There were dramas; some high on the melodrama and low on character. Some were historic-period pieces, and there were kung-fu movies for which Dad passed his love to me.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a kung-fu action sequence on a big screen. I was mesmerized the first time I laid eyes on a memorable fight scene set in Rome’s Colosseum, that epic scene observed by little stone dragons between “Little Dragon” himself, Bruce Lee, and Chuck Norris’ character in the 1972 film “The Way of the Dragon“. As a kid, I was proud to have had the same surname as this Bruce fellow, and memories of seeing his on-screen characters prevailing in fights have stuck over time (e.g., “Boards don’t hit back.”)
Tragically, Bruce and his son, Brandon, died too young. I’m certain when I was a teen that I asked where Bruce Lee was buried; my parents didn’t know and in pre-internet days, it was more of a challenge to find those answers. But the mystery has long been solved: Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon, lay side by side in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.
Despite multiple visits to the city in years past, this particular return trip to Seattle has been decades in the making for a chance to honour a part of my childhood and a part of my heritage. When I find the Lees, my arrival means another answer has been quietly realized. On a crisp bright autumn morning under blue skies, I feel my father’s spirit with me; he never had the chance to come to this cemetery. My lips move without voice, a prayer I utter into the ether, pushing for hope to reach him. Because I know now that this, is also for my Dad.
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For many, the German city of Cologne brings to mind the Cathedral, Karneval, and perfumed water.
For me, Cologne brings to mind great friends, tasty Turkish nibbles, football side 1. FC Köln, and Ehrenfeld.
My friend Y wanted to test her new camera on the streets, and when she suggested the Ehrenfeld neighbourhood, I readily agreed. My many visits to this city on the Rhine have frequently ended up in Ehrenfeld that’s largely Turkish and working class, an immigrant blue-collar area with which I readily identify and it’s why Ehrenfeld is my K-‘hood.
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