Belly Dancing, Bay Area and Submissive Smoking …

Of all the places in the world one might expect an international belly dancing competition to take place, Long Beach is unlikely to make anyone’s list.

Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition

Yet, much to my surprise, the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition has been taking place in Long Beach for 20 years. So this year I decided to go photograph it. The dancers were quite impressive and included women from a variety of countries. I was tired just watching them shake and shimmy throughout the evening.

Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition

Spent a wonderful weekend up in the Bay area, taking in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco. Among the highlights were a strikingly beautiful cathedral in Oakland, the best (and only) Burmese meal I’ve ever had and a night out with a great friend laughing enough to feel sore the next day.

The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland is one of the more impressive buildings I’ve ever been in and certainly one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve seen.

Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland

It just opened in 2008 (the first cathedral built in the twenty-first century) and if you’re ever in the area, I recommend going to have a look. The way the light enters the building is memorable.

Another Bay area suggestion: eat at Burma Superstar in San Francisco if you want to have a tasty, creative & fairly-priced meal. I had never had Burmese food before and I’m guessing I was lucky enough to try one of the best ones around. The food is most definitely Asian but not quite like any of the more traditional Asian foods we’re more used to in the US. The tea leave salad and Japanese squash appetizer (kabocha) were both really delicious. And every person who worked there was kind and attentive with us. I was most impressed.

I also really enjoyed THIS place.

But nothing beats getting together with a true friend, talking about life, drinking, making fun of people and laughing throughout the evening. Thanks Stevo.

Finally, here’s a poster from a new anti-smoking ad campaign in France. The ad says “Smoking, it’s being a slave to tobacco”.

New French Anti-Smoking Ad

Whether or not using a not-so-subtle gay fellatio ad campaign is the best way to get the message out will likely cause many French people to light up a cigarette and debate it.

Some photos of the week …

No Cruising

Get off that bus! (Thanks to TS for this photo)


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tracey Lelah on February 25, 2010 at 3:19 am

    That Burma restaurant sounds delicious! I will definitely put that in the bucket list. Love as always your photos! Thanks for sharing


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