I’m so impressed with Fresh Café. Having grown up in Seattle, I’m no stranger to the cool, hip coffee shop/creative center. Those have been around since before laptops. What I love about Fresh Café is that owner Tiffany Tanaka is constantly working to improve it and keep it, well, fresh. She is open to new ideas like a seed trading station, using old honey jars as water glasses, and Jeff Hamada’s Fresh Letter Project on the corkboard. This past weekend I thought I was just doing a favor for a friend by agreeing to with a video project Fresh is doing. Tanaka’s smile will pretty much always get me to do whatever she wants. What I didn’t expect was to walk in to a full-on legit set, complete with craft services, hair and makeup, a call sheet and script, and multiple shots scheduled by Banzai Media masterminds Mikey Inouye and Vincent Ricafort. While Ricafort just embarked on a mainland journey with John Hook and the rest of the Analog Sunshine Recorders to create their first photo book, (a tremendous project in itself), Inouye is continuing to work with Tanaka to develop a series of videos for YouTube to promote the café’s new menu items (King Kamehameha poi glazed donuts and poi haupia-filled donuts) and events (Art & Flea every fourth Thursday and Poetry Slam every first Thursday). I’m sure it’s going to rock, and not just because of young producer Mylen Yamamoto’s attention to detail. They know what it takes to pull off a project, and their organization was flawless.
Coming off a pretty damn good weekend, it’s hard to concentrate on work right now, especially because of that road trip with Ricafort, Hook & Co. A team of eight artists and photographers are road tripping across more than 3,000 miles in a van for the next two weeks, taking photos for their “Wake Up We’re Here” book. Hook is by far one of my favorite photographers simply because he is so unique with his composition. I remember celebrating with a glass of prosecco when he made his Instagram (@john_hook). I can’t stop looking at their #WUWHBOOK hashtag, and am really looking forward to getting their book when it’s all said and done. It’s one thing to take your photo in front of a bunch of landmarks, but it’s another to really learn about the people the places and document that. Navigating a road trip is something everyone should do at least once in their life. It really teaches you that things in life don’t always come out as planned; you need to be flexible and adapt. The more flexible you can be and fires you can put out–figuratively and literally–the less stressful your life will be. That’s a fact. I always say it’s not the end result; it’s how you get there. This book, that hashtag and their posts on the Facebook page will undeniably prove it.