Another successful hour of getting lost in the moment and dancing till the sun went down!

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For the first half of the Golden hour we had a guest dj set by Miro Belle:

Followed by this playlist (Flying Lotus “Melt!” was the music for the opening dance performance!) :

Car, Jamie and I made the short drive from Portland to Oneonta Gorge and were transported into another world.

First we had to make our way past the human/ log traffic jam- a slightly sketchy scramble over slippery logs with rushing water passing below:


Once past this obstacle we were enveloped in the mossy gorge.  At some points we were splashing through shallow water as pictured below, but at others the water was up to our armpits and we had to wade through with our bags and phones held high above our heads, hoping we wouldn’t slip:



and then at the end of the gorge is this:

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So I have been talking about these magical little guys for awhile now.  I first discovered them while listening to radiolab podcast about color.  (If you haven’t heard it, check it out here:  ANYWAY, the radio show talks about how these shrimp have something like 16 cones in their eyes where we humans have a mere 3.  This means that the color spectrum that is visible to the mantis shrimp is MASSIVE.

Upon further reading, it turns out, their eyes are even crazier than I thought.  They actually have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom!  Besides all the colors they perceive, they can also detect different light spectrums that we can’t see, they have trinocular vision meaning their eyes are split into 3 parts that allows them to see an object in 3 different ways at once (form, motion, color), and some species of mantis shrimp can detect circular polarized light  which is speculated could be applied to a new type of optical media that outperforms Blu-ray.[1.]

What does the world look like to a mantis shrimp?!  Gah!  What are we missing out on?  I can’t even comprehend.

Look at those crazy eyes!:


THEN I went to OMSI  to watch “Deep Sea” on the Omnimax (giant dome movie screen- also something you should check out!) and who should make an appearance?  The Mantis Shrimp!

Not only does this animal look super cool and have super vision, it’s also a badass.  The speed of the “punch” (or kick?) accelerates at 102,000 m/s2  at speeds of 23m/s from a standing start- which is roughly the same acceleration as a .22 calibre bullet. [2.]  “That makes him the most powerful animal for his size in the world”[3.] Insane!

Check out this scene from the film where he fights off an octopus:

  1. info from: “Eyes” section of wikipedia article
  2. info from: “Classificaion and the Claw” section of wikipedia article
  3. quoted from “Deep Sea” film

So part of the Golden Hour that I didn’t mention in my previous post is that we kicked off the hour with a dance performance.

During one of the long drives between factories on my China trip, I was listening to music and day-dreamed the choreography for the 2nd Golden Hour in my head.

I made it back to Portland and my good friend from L.A., Car, had moved into my house for a summer sublet!  I worked out some kinks in the choreography and she made us costumes for the performance.


Another amazing golden hour dance party with friends left everyone feeling cleansed, exhausted and ALIVE.

Playlist below (First song is the one we performed to):

2 weeks of exhausting factory visits in China for work, but still managed to make the most of my free time:


Enter the Void


Rainy day

I was fortunate to have a free weekend to myself in Shanghai.  When I’m in a new place I like to wander around by myself with no destination in particular and just see what happens.



drama in the intersection

Navigated public transportation for a solo trip to an “ancient water town” and temple:


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instagramming monk?

I forced myself to go out to a bar alone on Saturday night and gave myself the rule: stay for one hour and if you’re not having fun after that then you can go home.  I ended up making an awesome friend, Gerry, who lived in Shanghai but coincidentally worked as a designer for the Portland-based design firm Wieden & Kennedy.  I also started a dance party, as per usual:



Gerry and I basically met up every day when we got off from work and walked all over the place and ate all the best food:


Gerry! (Yang Guang)


no idea what these are, but they tasted great


shrimpies – Shanghainese style


rooftop drinks with Gerry’s friends


more awesome food


bike transportation


meditation pebble pathway


Japanese style park


Back Story:

The “Golden Hour” is the last hour of sunlight, when the sun is set low in the sky and the light quality becomes especially vibrant and magical… and Portland’s golden hour is more magical than any other place I have been.  I can’t really even explain it, but when I first moved here I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was.  I would be driving around listening to some public access old time jazz radio with my windows down, noticing how the light made everything glow and feeling like time had somehow slowed down.  And I would genuinely feel myself overflowing with enthusiasm and appreciation for where I was in that moment.

After experiencing this several times, I started dreaming up other ways to make the most of the “golden hour” and I started to imagine the best thing ever would be to gather all my friends outdoors with lots of space to run around and dance like crazy people to all of our favorite music…

that was about 2 years ago…

Current Story:

FINALLY last month I hosted my first golden hour dance party in my back yard.  We started dancing at 7:30pm and didn’t stop dancing until the sun set at 8:30.  Every one of us gave it our all and we danced full out, judgement free for 1 hour straight with no breaks… and we were sore for days after- ha!  It was INCREDIBLE.


Check out the playlist for the first Golden Hour with spotify:


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