If you don’t live in Hanoi then maybe you’d be forgiven for not knowing that the capital is about to celebrate its 1,000th anniversary on October 10th. 10-10-10. Which in somebody’s math equals 1,000 (edit: Oops, ten times ten times ten does equal 1,000). And I’ve heard it’s an auspicious day even outside of Hanoi (evidence). So anyway there’s quite a lot of hubbub going on about that. Hoan Kiem Lake has a giant stopwatch. Stages are being built everywhere. Construction works are supposed to be completed by the special day. Roads cleaned up. Markets apparently moved, if my local one-stop shopping complex is anything to go by (it’s just gone). There’s this kind of mild, underlying panic on the streets. It’s strange. I’d like to be here but I’ll be away in New York. I’m not sure if the festivities will go off with a bang or with a whimper. But either way it will be interesting to see.
In lieu of this anniversary, I was sent out onto the streets of Hanoi by Tiger Airways’ inflight magazine, Tiger Tales, to photograph the emerging youth culture in contrast with the ancient streets of the capital (see spreads above). So I tramped around for two days taking pictures and sweating my ass off and meeting all kinds of amazing people. Skateboarders, break-dancers, hip-hop crews, designers, stylists, boutique owners, restaurateurs and more. Though Bobby Chinn was out of town so I missed another opportunity to take his portrait. Which is his loss. Overall it was a great few days of shooting and I think the final spread looks amazing. The writing (his Twitter) and layout make my images look way better than they normally would. So thanks, guys. I owe you one.