Zim Photography Blog

Now in Shikoku

Posted: 21 February 2011 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

On Saturday I took the bullet train down to Shikoku and stayed in a town called Kagawa; apparently it’s known for it’s UDON noodles and true to form, everywhere I went there was an Udon shop, no ramen just udon. Below is a picture of Zim Air passengers enjoying their traditional lunch. (Also had Udon for dinner but there was not point in shooting that again!)

The best thing I’ve eaten in Japan.

Posted: 16 February 2011 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

While here in Japan I am being hosted by a local. A local who is as much of a foodie as I am. He is dedicated to having me try something new everyday. This is my fourth trip here and unbelievably the best thing I’ve ever eaten in the country ain’t Japanese! Crazy. Yesterday I was taken to a “bread shop”, supposedly a famous and popular place. I was told that, there was some sort of special bread that you pulled apart. And though I was reluctant to go because we had just eaten a huge lunch, I agreed to do. Well there I ran into something kind of strange looking it looked like a baguette but it was very strange in color. Almost black. As a matter of fact it was darker than a black rye bread with what seemed like white chocolate chips melted on top. They had a little sample bowl and guess what? It was chocolate bread with white chocolate chips. It was nice and chewy like a really good artisan bread too! So hands down this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in this country and it ain’t even Japanese.


Then at the local Circle K, and yes there are circle K’s here, I found some nice snacks. Melty Kiss, gonna have to try that one. Then there was the Fish jerky next to the beef jerky.

Touchdown Yokohama, Japan! (Zim Air update too)

Posted: 14 February 2011 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

Arrived last night into Tokyo and immediately on a bus to yokohama. Once again an uneventful unexciting fight. Just the way I like to fly. I must say though, there was a lot more leg room on this flight than the last time I flew Delta. I was actually comfortable and not missing the exit row!If it weren’t for the woman sitting behind me kneeing my chair for nearly the entire 12 hours! When I arrived I was “treated” to a rare snow fall here in Yokohama; my hosts were going on about how “lucky” I am.  Geeee, let me jump for joy, cause I’ve never seen these white things flowing from the sky before because I live in NYC. OMG… Luckily none of it will stick.


Then this morning watched some Japanese Morning show talking entertainment gossip, hmmm. So some beautiful little actress is divorcing her rat bastard cheating husband who’s dating some young Spanish tramp. It’s apparantly a big scandal here. I’m like that’s kindergarten stuff man! Ok, Here’s a picture of the current Zim Air passengers enjoying their time in the Zim Air Cubic  Zirconia Sky Lounge. Due to more seats being sold on this flight the Zim Airplane passengers are having a great time getting to know each other. The interesting factoid on this flight is that all but one passenger is from california! how that happened I don’t know. So who’s traveling this time? we have one married couple, one mixed couple traveling only as friends (this is what I’m told anyway, although no questions were asked, because we respect people’s privacy here at Zim Air), there is also a group of 4 pretty young women traveling together looking for a good time, and lastly one lonely male from NYC also looking for a good time (I wonder if they will take advantage of the intimate traveling conditions on   http://zimphotography.com/blog/?p=475&preview=truen this trip?).

Off to Japan today

Posted: 13 February 2011 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

Heading off to Japan for 10 days. I’m wondering why I’m going to be in a Northern country in the middle of the winter?

Indianapolis, IN – Broad Ripple Art Fair this weekend

Posted: 13 May 2010 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

Today it’s off to Patton, PA first and then onward to Indianpolis on Friday for the Broad Ripple Art Fair. It’ll be a first for me. Let’s see how it goes!


On the road… to Austin

Posted: 21 April 2010 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

I’d like to say “Nothin’ quite like a cheap hotel in the middle of nowhere” but I guess when there’s not much to shoot and I’m not totally in the middle of nowhere (Nashville), there isn’t much to brag about eh? off to bed cause it’ll be another long day on the road in the mornin’. 


off to Art City Austin

Posted: 20 April 2010 . / Categories: Where's Zim?


Heading off to Art City Austin in the morning. Stop by and visit my booth this weekend #557

Austin, TX

Posted: 20 January 2010 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

Looks like I’m heading down to Austin, TX this year for Art City Austin in April!

Shootin’ in the woods (Patton, PA)

Posted: 07 December 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

So how did it go and were ya cold? These were the two big questions everyone asked after the “hunt”. Overall it went just fine.


The day started before dawn. After getting dressed with Under Armour, Carhart, Camo and bright orange gear, we hopped onto an ATV and rode across the family farm to the “blind” (if you don’t know what that is look it up). It was still dark when we got there and as the sun came up it began to snow. I was with Cousin Andy (Cousin Kathy Jo’s husband).


The night before, Andy prepared us for the hunt  by showing us his riffles, telling us about deer and their keen sense of smell and hearing.  He talked about not using deodorant and wearing clothes that didn’t make noise.  Everyone had asked if I was going to carry a gun and I said, “Yes.” I figured, in for a penny in for a pound! Right? Having been very unsuccessful shooting with pistols previously, I had no fear of actually hitting a MOVING deer!


So there we sat waiting.  The sun came up, the snow began to accumulate, the wood peckers and squirrels came out. The time passed… and the snow accumulated some more. And then… I had to pee, uggg. It was only 9 a.m. and I felt like an idiot. But alas, Andy, a good guy, offered to run me back to the house. Although just a couple of minutes away, it meant revving up the ATV and making a lot of noise! Peeing in the woods is not new to me, but having to remove that many layers before doing so with only armed MEN running around the woods made me nervous! Did I mention the NEON orange clothing?


By 11 a.m. nearly 2 inches of snow had fallen and things were looking beautiful, but no deer. Then a rumble of ATVs. Everyone had gathered near our blind to discuss a “plan”. No one had seen deer. The question begs – who were these people? Well, as mentioned in the previous posting, we were on the family’s land. Almost all of the cousins are hunters. Whether or not they farmed, they hunted. And since the hunting season in PA only lasted 2 weeks it was a given that everyone would be out there on Saturday hunting. And everyone, all 11 of us were related one way or another. As no one had seen a deer that morning, they decided to do a “drive”. This too was fruitless.


After lunch, Andy and I returned to the blind until 4. The woodpeckers had mostly disappeared, the squirrels were gone and it had gotten so still that a spider started to build a web in front of our blind! In the end I was glad we didn’t see any deer. On Sunday Andy set up some targets so I could do some shooting, and as it turned out I was a better shot than I thought – at least with a rifle (we won’t talk about the pistols). So had a deer come by, there was actually a small chance that I might have hit it.


So how was it? I must say I had fun, I’m glad I went cause now I “get” it. I had a lot of one on one time with Andy. We discussed family, politics and shooting (both with a camera and rifle).  Much of hunting is about being in and enjoying nature; there is a lot of time to sit and contemplate. And although I was the only girl in the group, Andy told me that he would support his daughter if she wanted to get into hunting when she is old enough. My respect for these cousins has grown even more. They eat everything they shoot (deer, turkey, squirrels etc). They only shoot bucks and not does, because a doe represents about 2-3 deer. They sell the hides and process their own kills rather than paying someone else to do it. In other words, nothing goes to waste and they are willing to do the dirty work themselves.


As some of them raise cattle, I asked about the hormone free grass/corn fed beef thing. In these discussions I came to find that for all these people represent: meat eating, beer drinking, gun tottin’ folks, they fundamentally eat in a manner that is more sustainable and more environmentally friendly than most of those tree hugging environmentalists do.  I have come to believe that they are among the very few who have a right to remain meat eaters. Andy told me that he doesn’t eat chicken because he knows what happens to them before they are processed, and since they don’t raise their own chicken…  He also doesn’t eat meat from Walmart for more or less the same reason. When I asked him, “don’t you think the other grocery stores buy their meat in the same manner as Walmart?” He explained that he knew how each of the local stores were getting their beef and it informs his purchasing decisions. They also occasionally slaughter their own cattle; so that’s always clean.


I also learned about their sense of family. While they were all strategizing that morning, Cousin Tommy’s father asked him to introduce me to his uncle. He said, “Uncle Bob, this is my cousin Zim.” Wow.  That night, I cooked a “Vietnamese” dinner and although they didn’t enjoy everything, I give them a lot of credit for trying everything I cooked. Although it was just supposed to be Cousin Danny and Joe’s families for dinner, eventually everyone else (who weren’t at the hunt) showed up to pay us a visit too. They knew we were there and just stopped in to say hello.


Would I go back? The answer is hell yea! That was always true. Would I go back for hunting season again? Yes, definitely. Do I think it’s a contradiction because I am a vegetarian? No. Presently most of my reason for being a vegetarian are environmental; and as stated above these folks are eating more sustainable than anyone I know. What about the non-violence thing? Am I somehow encouraging the slaughter of animals? To say that they love hunting is an understatement.  They certainly don’t need me around to encourage them to do more. And ya know? Not a single person out there has ever given me a hard time about being a vegetarian. On the contrary they go out of their way to make sure that I’m taken care of; that’s more than I can say for some people. But Andy does call me a Food NAZI (a title I am WILLING to own) because I like to give THEM a hard time for doing things like, spreading partially hydrogenated soybean oil margerine on a homemade chocolate chip cookie!!!!! OMG! To this I object vehemently :P


The best part is, on Saturday I was the only one doing any shooting! My weapon of choice was a full titanium Canon automatic, firing 5 frames a second loaded with a 105mm, baby!  Click here.


Having traveled to 34, countries, I have learned that EVERYONE wants the same things in life. We want to be happy; happiness is the ability to provide for ourselves and our families while living in peace. And although these folks seem to live on the far side of the moon (and I’m sure they see me the same way), we are the same.


Thanks for a GREAT weekend Cousins! Looking forward to next year.


Heading to Patton, PA to shoot Bambi

Posted: 04 December 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

I’m heading off to  Patton, PA momentarily. The stated purpose is actually to go hunting. But I suspect that the only real shooting I’ll be doing is with a camera. Although I don’t actually intend to injure, mame or kill a live animal, I am looking forward to trying out a shot gun, if only to hit a tree.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and one of the things I was really hoping for was the opportunity to do some photographic shooting.  We’ll be escorted by Mike’s cousins, who are real hunters. They live in rural PA on the family homestead. Some of them are still farmers  and most look forward to hunting season with much anticipation every year. So it should be fun to hang out and to see what this is all about.

I guess for this city slicker it should be an education. I’m going to try not to embarrass myself.
(I’ll post pictures tomorrow after the hunt!)

Panama City and my own pillow.

Posted: 01 October 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

I finally arrived into Panama City later that expected on Monday night. I spent Tuesday driving myself to the Miraflores Locks and other parts of the city. I must say that my visit was not a happy one. By about 10 a.m. the pain started. It would seem that I had caught some sort of flu. First the shivers (even while outside in 80% humidity and 90 degree temps), and then the aches, followed by stomach cramps. Thank God there was no vomiting or diarrhea, but the smell of food did make me nauseous. I fought my way through the rest of the day and went to the old town and took a few worthless photos (I’m sure). I did finally manage to find some tylenol which seemed to help break the fever. So I must say that my impression of Panama was very much colored by my poor health.

I did manage to get myself back home yesterday (2 flights) and all I can say is that there really is nothing worse than flying when sick and nothing better than the comforts of your own pillow and bed. Things are not great today but they are looking up.

Columbia??? Really??

Posted: 29 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

So my flight left on time from Buenos Aires to Panama City, Panama. We finally came in for a landing. The airport seemed rather small but I didn’t know what to expect. The airplane pulled up short of the gate, the engines shut down and the flight attendant opened the door. I figured, we were going to have to walk to the concourse, but after a couple of minutes there was an announcment in Spanish. As my Spanish is a bit rough and the announcement was not clear all I caught was “40 minutes” and all the passengers seemed rather… agitated. I figured we were going to have to sit there for a while before being allowed to disembark the plane. But 40 minutes later the engines reved up and the plane pulled away from the building and we seemed to taxi down the runway and then we were in the air! I asked the person next to me “Do you speak English?” “Yes” “Where are we?” “Calli”… I’m like what???? where is Calli? She explained, we had run out of fuel!!!! and so had to stop in Calli for more fuel!!! It wasn’t until I looked in the onboard magazine that I figured out we were in COLUMBIA! Now that’s a first)

Beef, Pasta, & Caramel… I must be back in Argentina

Posted: 27 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

I got back to Buenos Aires this morning. I think that Argentina can be summed up by three things beef, pasta and dulce de leche (caramel). Every restaurant I have entered in this country has had beef and pasta as main offering. It seems to make sense, esp. considering all of the dry land I have flown over. As I am sure it would be difficult to raise or grow much else.  I am told that 30% of all Argentinians can trace their roots back to Italy and hence the pasta. Everywhere you go they claim to serve home made pasta. And as for the Dulce de Leche? I have no idea why but the people here are infatuated with the stuff (and that’s an understatement). I saw someone order flan (aka, creme caramel) with dulce de leche, and it looked as if there was more of that than the flan itself. Often restaurants offer you the option to add dulce de leche to your dessert. On the morning flight to Patagonia, they served 1 roll + 1 croissant side of butter and… you guessed it Dulce de Leche. Not jam, but Dulce de Leche.

All manner of pastries can be found with Dulce de Leche on top or squeezed inside. At the breakfast buffet yesterday, not only were there the usual offerings of bowls jam and honey, but there were not one not two , but three different bowls of dulce de leche. Regular, low fat and with coconut! As a matter of fact they love it so much I found this at the grocery store!

Since Argentina is the home of the Tango, I suppose it’s only natural that if you were looking to make a buck or two performing on the stree that you would dance for it. This is what busking in Argentina looks like:

Tomorrow off to Panama.

Altitude & Weddings

Posted: 26 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

Today is Saturday in Bolivia, and it would seem that I’ve gotten over much of the altitude problems I had yesterday. Everything feels better. (man was I in pain yesterday!). Although walking up a flight of stairs this morning still left me breathless.

So the day started at 8 this morning in the market, and all I can say is boy do these people like to get a late start! Nothing really opened until about 10; there were many stores that did not open at all. The day was spent in center city La Paz. I wanted to see the local sites and visit the markets and to try the local street food. After visiting several churches it became clear that Saturday is wedding day. Today was also clearly first holy communion day and baby baptism day. Here is a video clip I shot at the end of today of a marriachi band after a wedding ceremony on the grounds of a church.

My impression of Bolivia is that they do like to keep the streets tidy, there are plenty of public restrooms and there is not a culture of grazing all day long. You know what I mean, people who eat all day long (like me). Breakfast is available only for a couple of hours. Lunch is only available for a couple of hours, and so is dinner. There really is not much of a culture of cafe’s or snacking. So if you want to eat outside the meal window, you might find yourself very much out of luck!

Tomorrow back to Argentina.

La Paz, Bolivia

Posted: 25 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

This morning, got up, and took the 1.5 hour drive to Tiwanacu (about 1 hour in traffic). Another World Heritage site, this time of Incan Ruins. Although it was rather disappointing I must say I’m really happy to be in Bolivia. It’s exactly what I was looking for as far as experience is concerned. But right now with the altitude I’m feeling like I got hit by a truck. Thus far no amount of food or Coke Cola is helping. A short walk up hill leaves me wanting to sit down. It’s crazy.

Here is me on top of Tiwanaku.

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This is having lunch with the locals and the local town.

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Tomorrow morning, a sunrise call, let’s see if I can get anything noteworthy

This is Great! We’re in Trouble! This is Great! This stinks.

Posted: 24 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

So we arrived into El Calafate, on Monday (Patagonia). All I can say is WOW. This place is seriously spectacular. We were nicely surprised because there was a parade in the downtown that day.

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Yesterday, we started before the sunrise and drove 3 hours to the small settlement of El Chaltan from El Calafate, to take a look at a peak called Fitz Roy. The landscape here is awe inspiring. It reminds me of places like Colorado and Utah only much much bigger (at least so it seems. Well that’s the story i’m tellin’ myself anyway.). The weather was perfect. I saw crazy stuff like blue blue lakes and crystal clear rivers (when I say crystal clear I mean totally clear!!). I have never seen anything like it.

With a 3 hour drive ahead of us, we stopped for gas at the only gas station in El Chaltan, only to discover that it was out of gas! Along the way we noted that there were no towns, no cities; basically nothing but the airport stood between us and the El Calafate, and that was more than 2 hours away. With only a quarter tank left, the happy day of cruising around seeing the scenery went south in a hurry. There was no businesses around to ask to siphen gas from either. The tourism season had not quite started here so many businesses are still closed. The people at the gas station suggested that we go to Tres Lagos,  75 miles away (and 30 miles of which were in the wrong direction), on a quarter tank of gas in a Chevy Corsa (not Corsica)… they all felt that this would not be a problem; it did not inspire confidence. Aren’t American cars gas guzzlers? Needless to say we made it. The gas station was a bit off the road, with no signs indicating that it was a gas station. For a momment I noted that it looked like a ranch. Had we not taken a second look to notice the two 1970’s pumps we would have missed it. For a while we wondered what we would do if they didn’t have any gas. It’s amazing how fear made me take note of the tall yellow poles along the road with solar panels labeled SOS. Had we not been in our predicament I would have sworn these never exsisted.

Aside from the gas shortage, the day was perfect. The temperature was perfect. Blue skies and perfect little clouds; except for the perfect little cloud that covered the PRIMARY mountain peak we had came to view, which never actually cleared all day. (see photo). Other than that a perfect day. So today it was off to see Perito Moreno Glacier and an actual trek on the glacier itself. I had visions of another perfect weather day so that I might get some wonderful shots of the glaciers. Wouldn’t you know it? It started raining just before we arrived. And I arrived at the most open part of the viewing aread for the glacier, it was raining sideways. As for the trek? Yes it rained then too. During the whole thing. I had 5 layers on and was still cold (waterproof parka, fleece, sweatshirt, long sleeve T-shirt, and undershirt). After the trek they gave us time to eat lunch (which we had to pack ourselves) and wouldn’t you know it? they don’t have enough indoor seating for everyone, so I ate my lunch outside on the porch, continuing to freeze.

So it was beautiful and amazing and it sucked all at the same time.



I wrote that post last night at the airport and am uploading it now. After arriving at the Hilton last night after midnight we were informed that they did not have a room for us and had put us in another hotel down the street! All this at 1 a.m.!!! Now I have to find a place to get a yellow fever vaccination before heading to Bolivia today. Wish me luck.

The Price of Citizenship & Yellow Fever.

Posted: 24 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

So you are wondering Bolivia?? What’s up with that right? Well, after a few days in Buenos Aires I had pretty much seen and done everything on the A list and then some. I had even been to some places twice. So in lew of staying on for a few more days with not much to do but to go to museums, so Bolivia looked like a good option. There seems to be a lot going on in this little country and I’m not sure when I would get the opportunity to go again, so why not, right? After booking the tickets it was discovered that one of the prerequisites for entry into BOlivia was proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. So with the help of American Express’ Global assist, who gave me a list of hospitals in B.A. that could provide the vaccination, I asked the concierge at the hotel to call. Unfortunately the #1 choice – the British Hospital told her that they could not do it and referred us to a public facility. This did not inspire confidence, especially since they did not answer her calls. LUckily it was 6 blocks from the hotel. The office was in a non-descript little building with a very little sign that said “Fiebre de Amarillo” (Yellow Fever).


As I opened the door to a small room with 2 benches on each side there were 4 people waiting. There was someone talking to a man who seemed to be hiding behind a door. When he was done he gestured to us to do the same. So we did. I said to the man “Yellow Fever Vaccination?” He said “Si. Tarjeta  identificaccion” So we handed him our passports. I asked him in spanish, how much time. He replied “10 years” I asked again, “how much time to wait” He gestured like it was a stupid question, so we sat and waited. About 5 minutes later, they called our names the woman asked only one question (if I was pregnant), administered the shots and that was it. We did not fill out any paperwork (it was done for us) and no money was collected nothing. She handed us our passports and certificate of vaccination, and said “Ciao”.


After arriving into Santa Cruz tonight I discovered that the Visa fee of $135 US Dollars was ONLY for Americans. Everyone else gets in free and no one asked for the proof of Yellow Fever vaccination either. After using the airport restroom it became clear to me that I am clearly back in the third world, and it feels exciting.


This is a video clip in the La Paz airport, I noted that the belt which brings up the luggage is actually missing, if you look way in the back of the frame you will notice that there are men manually bringing in the luggage and putting them on the belt!


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Colonia, Uruguay

Posted: 22 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

So how was Colonia? It was a really wonderful visit, perhaps because the weather was perfect, blue skies with little white clouds. There were people out and about enjoying the good weather and the cafes had spilled into the sidewalks with live music to boot!


Tomorrow off to Patagonia.


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off to Uruguay today

Posted: 20 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

After 3 days in Buenos Aires I feel like I’ve seen mostly everything I wanted to see and now it’s off to the World Heritage site Colonia – which is accross the bay in Uruguay. Let’s see what’s there. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some video footage tonight.

Day 2 Buenos Aires – more rain.

Posted: 18 September 2009 . / Categories: Where's Zim?

Well Buenos Aires is not what I was expecting that’s for sure.

I spent a second day walking around and seeing both the major and minor sites of the city. I mostly got rained (again).I am finding that Buenos Aires, much like Turkey, is a very pleasant surprise. The city is very clean, the beggers and hawkers were far and few between (even fewer here than in Turkey), mostly everyone is friendly and it’s all very modern. It feels a lot like the city of Marseille in southern France or even Montreal, Canada. The streets and buildings here are very reminiscent of Europe, just a little more modern. I’m also surprised by the lack of street food. Thus far I have only seen candied peanuts and hotdogs. It has also been surprising that many restaurants seem to be non smoking; and although they do smoke here it’s not as popular as I would have assumed.

The other surprising aspect life here is the Italian influence. Apparently 30% of all Argentinians can trace their ancestry to Italy and hence the pasta! They do love pasta here. They also speak spanish with an italian accent, and of course they don’t say Adios here, they say Ciao!

In my usual fashion of speed tourism I feel that I have already seen just about everything note worthy and have started in on the “less” noteworthy. Only to find that thus far the less noteworthy is more interesting.

And the photos of the day are pets. The first is a cat who doesn’t seem to want his picture taken. And the other  was taken when I passed a pet shop. Two women were standing at their window giggling so I stopped. There was a fellow in the window holding an animal that looked a lot like a monkey. So I stopped. The critter was being held up on his hind legs and seemed to have a skinny body with a big head. If you look closely it is a furry cat that just got a nice close hair cut!


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