The Buzz of the City

The buzz of the city filled the air with endless possibilities. From the moment we saw the bay bridge we knew we were in for an adventure. I imagined young people working in their studio offices making creative decisions that would influence our culture.

The first stop we made was a hidden coffee shop. When I walked in the doors, I saw tables full of people talking and visiting with one another. I was tempted to ask them what they did for a living so I too could be in a coffee shop on a Tuesday morning at 10am hanging out with friends.  We ordered our lattes and pretend we were one of them.


We later made our way to watch the sun set at the beach. The people of the city seemed to be searching for a connection with nature, the parks were full of runners and the beach with surfers. I saw business people in their cars, looking in to the sunlight and an older couple standing at the edge of the sand taking in the moment. Then there was us, talking about hopes for the future.

The drive down the city streets made me forget about what was happening on-line and enjoy the present moment. We kept telling one another to stop taking photos, to look out the window and see what was all around us. 

Once we got inside a pub for dinner, I was glad to see there were no big TV screens on. We told one another to place our phones in the middle of the table and enjoy hanging out with one another. Conversations about business and dreams of making money seemed to light up the room.

We tried to imagine the lives of those who call San Francisco home. Its here that the city encourages individuality.

My favorite part of the trip was when we visited a fancy coffee shop that sold toast and coffee for $10. I figured I was paying for the experience of living a life style I’ve only dreamt of. I was inspired by the big groups of people exchanging ideas. I imaged staff from twitter, or from a new high tech company meeting at these very tables, planning on the next big thing. It made me want to create an encouraging community like this back where I live.

We gave ourself the afternoon to be tourist and to visit some well known locations.

A friend told us to visit the Golden Gate Bridge from a different location. I enjoyed hanging out by the water, listening to the birds pass by, laughing and making jokes with one another.

On our final night we left the car behind, and took public transport. We wanted to blend in and feel what it was like to live in such a thriving city. One thing is for sure, living in the city there is very little room for personal space.

I thought the city was beautiful at night, but at sunrise, it glows with hope.

I’ve been to San Francisco many times, but this time I finally captured the heart of what San Fran is all about.

Be yourself…no matter how weird you are. 

Road Trip: Portland

The  moment we drove in to Portland we could tell it was different from any other. The streets were full of bike riders, dog walkers and skateboarders. We got off the highway to find a coffee shop. We picked a small place called The Red Square, which made it easy to find because it was a red square.

As we drove the streets of Portland, we laughed at how accurate the TV show Portlandia is. We parked the car and did some exploring.

When we had to leave after only spending a day in Portland, we couldn’t stop talking about it in Seattle. “Can’t wait until we go back home.” When we returned, we both took a deep breath of relief.

The first thing we did was walk around Old Town. We found a great comic store in China Town. It was a young boys dream.

When we walked around the block we discovered the Portland out door market. The whole city was outside doing something creative.

By the end of the day, we were all tired. It was time to look for a hotel. For some reason every room in the city was booked. We all looked at each other hoping one of us would have a solution. After spending hours calling around we finally found a room open at a fancy hotel, which meant lots of money. Sleep in the car or in a palace? Us California kids chose the palace.

The next morning we all agreed to go to a rose garden. As we walked around and relaxed in one of Portland’s beautiful garden we all felt refreshed.

When Monday finally came along, hotel rooms were open in abundance! Living out of a suit case isn’t easy but it never loses its excitement. (I’m sure it does at some point haha.) But you never know what kinda room you’re going to get. At the Shilo Inn, we got a retro room that we adored!

Our last and final day in Portland, we did a Portlandia tour. I found a site that named all the places the show  filmed at.

Oblique Coffee Roasters – This coffee shop was in the middle of the suburbs. We ordered the house coffee and enjoyed the morning paper.

In Other Words – This store was pretty exciting to visit. I was astonish that this place was real. I figured the show created it for the skit but when I looked in the window everything was exactly the same.  Video Clip

The last Portlandia location we went to is where they filmed the Pilot… which turned out to be a music video. We understood why, when you walk around Portland, you can’t help but sing how special it is.

We were finally understanding the city. Not everything is open during normal business hours, people make old houses in to coffee shops, you can’t buy a book but you can borrow one and weird is normal.

While we were out we came upon our own great Portland discoveries. Record stores!

The first thing we saw driving in to Portland were these space ship looking things going across the city. We spent all afternoon looking for it. Finally we found it at the Portland Hospital.

There was this book we found in the hotel room that explained that Portland is divided unto four parts. North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West. “Ohhh, now we get it!” We were finally understanding the city.

The last thing we did was hanging out at Powell’s Book Store. We must have been there for a few hours, there were floors and floors of books. I of course wanted to see if they had a Christian section, to my surprise they did with a lot of old vintage books.

After we walked around looking for an open coffee shop but no luck. I guess every one went home for the day. We went back to our car, left the city and said good bye to a place that felt like home.

Portland, I love you! 🙂

A Day with Friends

Let the day unfold before you, enjoy the company that surrounds you. Don’t worry about the details but appreciate them. Make up things to do in a new city, have a cup of coffee, take a walk, but more than anything remember to have fun. Life changes fast, delight in the people around you.

Alta Coffee, Newport

Huntington beach

Sgt Pepper’s Dueling Pianos

Blog: Coffee and Great Company

One of my favorite things to do is drink coffee and have a great conversation. Sometimes I have one that is so inspiring I wish I would have recorded it for all to hear. We began to talk about the church and creativity. I shared that it was the Puritan church that shut down the theaters in London in the 16th century, stopping all future play writers and the possibility of more geniuses to develop. When I read this in the current book I am reading, I was disappointed, “It is the church that should be birthing the most creative art, music, movies and books.” I started to share how far along we have come.  Creativity has allowed people like me, who aren’t pastors to have a voice. How powerful that is and how much God wants to use that. As we got deeper in to the conversation I knew this is what Imagine, How Creativity Works was talking about. People meeting in coffee shops and talking about ideas, ideas that will lead to insight which can lead to solutions. Maybe it was the relaxing atmosphere or the great company that allowed this conversation to take place. Either way, it got me thinking about my place on the earth.

Audio: Interview with Seanloui (A Busy Creative)

Seanloui is always up to something creative. He loves helping others and is full of ideas.

I recently went to Long Beach for a visit and had the opportunity to interview him. Here is our conversation. He had some great advice about dreaming and doing. Hope you enjoy our talk.

Audio:

A List of my Favorite Things

Favorite Song: Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Guy Friend: Daniel, my neighborhood, 1990

Type of Drink: Chai Tea

Time of Day: Sunset

City: Sydney, Australia

Bookstore: The Devonport Vintage Bookshop, New Zealand

Coffee Shop: Bauhaus Books and Coffee, Pine Street, Seattle

Fav Lens: 85mm

Movie: Splender in the Grass

Fav Movie Scene: Classroom

All time Album: Parachutes – Coldplay 2000

Fav Non-Date: Ridding bikes at night in Newport, Ca

My favorite Aussie: Nick Khoo

Book: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Message: “Your rejection is your direction” by Paul Scanion

Fav Photo shoot set: Miranda

Fav. Pastors: Pastors Jim & Deborah Cobrae

Holiday: 4th of July  (United States Independence Day)

Fav music friend: Jonathon, 2009

Fav Cousin: Sonia, 1995

Fav Photo: My parents, 1976

Place to eat in LA: Molly’s Charbroiler,  Vine St. (Closed down), 2011

Holiday Trip: Puerto Rico, 2009

My favorite blog post: “Monday”

Soundtrack: Friday Night Lights Movie Soundtrack

T.V. Show: The Wonder Years

Best Friend: Veronica, 1999

Fav. Date: “New Years Bash”, 2011

Traveling Friend: Anabel, Empire State Building, 2010

Thrift Store: Redlands Thrift, Alabama St. Redlands, Ca

Conversation: Mark Larratt, “The appearances of happiness”  

Sister Trio: The Jimenez Girls

Time to go to church: Sunday evenings

Social Network: Twitter

Podcast: Back to Work

Favorite type of Journal: The Composition

Text message: Dad, “I forgot to tell you, I love you and you make me a proud dad, and I’m proud of all your achievements you made in your life. ” 9.08.11 9:48am

And those are a few of my favorite things.. 🙂

 

 

 

Audio: Coffee with the Briano Sisters

Today I called for an emergency meeting with my sister.

A few years ago, we would meet up once a week and have a bible study at a coffee shop. Since then my older sister started law school, my middle sister had two kids, and I became obsess with work.

Siting there sharing coffee (we bought two and spilt it). We began to talk about social media.

“Its a reality away from reality.” – Sarah

“Because we have each other on facebook doesn’t mean we don’t have to visit in person. Put down the media and lets talk to our family.” -Eva

Eva started telling us about helping one another, helping strangers. To listen to those who are talking to us. To not be so distracted by things that eat up our time.

“…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 1 Tim 6:12

Hearing from my older sisters about their every day battles made me realize this bible study wasn’t for them but for me. Everything they were saying was hitting home. Sarah began to talk about loving God with our mind…

“…”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; ..” Luke 10:27

“The more you read [the bible], the more you’ll be able to hear from God.” – Sarah

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Gal 5:16

It was my turn.. I had no idea what to share.. so I began to tell them how good things are, but one thing I lack and miss.. My hunger. “I feel like I’m sleep walking.”

I shared, Psalm 89:1

“Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.”Ps. 89

“Every morning, I gotta remember who God is. Things may be good but no matter what I have to keep my trust in God. ” -me.

We ended the night by praying for my dad. He almost got killed a few weeks ago at his job. He works with trains and one almost ran him over. We prayed that he will be safe, that he will get a better job that gave him weekends and night off. We just all missed him.

“Many will ask us, how did we get to where we are at? -Years of perseverance.” – Eva.

I share this family meeting to encourage you to connect with people you love, sit and talk with them. It will leave you refreshed.

 

Monday Morning

Reading my blog is like having a cup of coffee or tea with me. I would be shy to listen to this audio blog with you but I’m pretending no one is listening so I can be open. I know sharing my journey and being honest can help others..actually expressing my thoughts is helping me.

Here is Monday morning.

Last night, I drank this latte in Pasadena and I couldn’t go to sleep after that. It was 12 o’clock and I was still awake, and this latte started to make me feel delusional as if I had drank alcohol or something. When I woke up I had less than 15 minutes to get to work. So I tried to make myself presentable and ran out the door.

Maybe I’m blaming it too much on the latte but I woke up feeling lost, like I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t seem to find a deep thought happening. I usually wake up with this profound thought, and I’m so use to that. Today, when I woke up.. thinking nothing, I got to my desk and felt like I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. So I did mechanical work. I did burning of DVDs, scheduling, prepping things and getting things ready. I even did a tutorial cause I couldn’t – I couldn’t get it out of me.

I remembered a quote from proverbs, or somewhere, I tried looking that up and I couldn’t find it. A quote in the bible about, “The beginning to wisdom is realizing you know nothing at all.” And I felt like I didn’t know anything. And I thought of, “What can I write on my blog.” I hadn’t written anything deep or subjective in a while, everything was kinda.. I just felt like I was being a know it all which this morning I woke up not feeling that way, woke up feeling like I knew nothing at all. What can I give?

Maybe its because I’m in the middle of this transition to – go to that next level in creativity. And I am starting at the bottom. I don’t know what I am doing. And I’m having these conversations with people who do know what they are doing and its so inspiring, I love talking to them but I can’t help but feel like I know nothing at all.

But this is good right? This is growth? That means that.. It’s the beginning to grow. It’s the struggling part. it’s the chicken in the egg trying to come out of that shell. it’s the – butterfly coming out of the cocoon, right? It’s the girl, the video editor girl, use to 30 second videos, trying to learn the art of telling the story in a medium that’s usually 90 minutes or more.

And then the adventure of Canada its self. It is brave people are telling me. I guess I don’t know what else to do. Keep on living life comfortable? Or struggle to come out of the egg-shell right? I know the pay off will be well worth it. In ten years from now, maybe I’ll listen to this audio bite and remember the beginning feeling of growing in to a new “planet”, I guess.

I mean I sure hope this feeling passes. And maybe, the more books i read or the people I talk to who do it -I will feel a little bit better. That I wont feel so lost.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

 

The Door

An exit, an entrance.

One major reason I enjoy traveling so much is because my ears, eyes and heart are open. The first few days in Seattle, I felt like I couldn’t see what this city was trying to tell me.  Though my purpose for this trip was to be a student at a workshop, I knew I was in this city for deeper reason. As I walked downtown I was looking at the buildings, the strangers walking the streets but still it wasn’t saying anything to me.

A Door: Any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another.

One of my random goals has been to enjoy a cup of coffee in Seattle. I thought I accomplished this on the first day but it wasnt until I shared one with others did I get the full experience.

The first cup was with Jenny. She lives in Vancouver but is from Ireland. She was the first person I met from the workshop.  After the class, we went to a corner cafe and talked about film making and life back at home. I told her she needs to make a film cause I know I would like her style. She joked and said she would make 200 days of Autumn for me. I laughed and told her how I really want her too.

The second was with Corey and his friends. We drove away from downtown and ended up at this cool place where the streets were full of fixie bikes and young people with laptops.  We enjoyed our drinks and talked about Seattle’s love for coffee.

The last was with an unexpected person. Just a few hours before he was a complete stranger. We sat and talked about family and shared our life stories.We walked around Capital Hill and ate burgers from Dickie.

As I was getting my stuff ready to go to the airport, I realized the city had spoken to me after all. I was looking for the door alone, but I needed others to be a part of opening it. The people I met brought the city to life and gave me confidence to exit the door of fear and enter with courage.

Now I see that Seattle was preparing me for Vancouver next year. If I could meet amazing new people in a few days imagine a year in a new city. I have nothing to fear and everything to hope for.

What I’m listening too..

Seattle Tourist

Today I marked off a dream.
“Drink a coffee in Seattle on a cloudy day.”

I’m not just here in Seattle on holiday but I was selected by Creativelive to attend a workshop with D.O.P Gale Tattersall. He’s one of the guys in Hollywood who started this whole HD DSLR revelation. The workshop starts tomorrow. You can watch live online if you like http://www.creativelive.com/courses/hddslr-filmmaking-gale-tattersall.

As for today I walked around the city and enjoyed a cool cloudy day in the middle of Summer. More Seattle adventures to come. 🙂