Cafe Kashkar by Nicholas Doyle

Deep down in the belly of Brooklyn, minutes from the water of Brighton Beach, lies a lone outpost of Uyghur Cuisine, the food from Xinjiang region of China along the border of Kazakstan.

Cafe Kashkar is named for the city of Kashgar, the westernmost city in China, just before the borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. It sits directly on the ancient Silk Road, making it a literal cultural crossroad from the far east of China to the world of the Turks and beyond.

I didn’t know all that at the time, so I missed out on the dish that most prominently displays that connection, Lagman. It’s a dish of hand pulled noodles topped with spicy lamb that for some reason is hidden under the “soup” heading on Kashkar’s unintuitive menu.

But don’t let the confusing menu or far-flung location stop you from adventuring out there. The food is amazing and transporting. Plus, you can always take a dip in the atlantic in the warmer months.

A journey to Asbury Park by Nicholas Doyle

A soft glow in the doorway always calls out the wandering heart.

A soft glow in the doorway always calls out the wandering heart.

Kyle (above) is always trying to convince me to move to his little nook of NJ, so he tempts me by taking me on tours of all the spots he thinks I’ll enjoy.

He’s always right.

On a trip last year we did a tour of new hotels, restaurants, and bars in Asbury Park, which has seen some pretty radical revitalization. There are many incredible cocktails and delicious bites to be had there, and then you can go dip your toes in the ocean. Pretty amazing place.

Who said New Jersey was terrible?

Whoops, cat’s out of the bag.

The Googie Architecture of P. Terry's by Nicholas Doyle

Have you heard of Googie architecture?

It’s amazing.

You have if you ever watched The Jetsons, whose imaginary architecture borrowed heavily from real life Googie buildings just outside the animators’ studio. You might also have encountered while driving around Los Angeles, California, New Jersey (where I first discovered it in the form of the Caribbean Motel in Wildwood, among other examples), or, in the case of these images, Austin, Texas.

The style came to bear from post World War 2 futurism in the 50’s and 60’s. Americans has fresh optimism about the future and fantastic new technologies, along with money to burn.

Automobiles became common and everyone wanted to travel.

And what does the traveling soul need, but somewhere to stop, rest, and get a bite to eat?

In the east you’ll find toll roads and parkways aplenty with intentionally placed rest stops, which are wonderful all in their own right. Since moving to the Hudson Valley and exploring northern and western New York I’ve discovered some really amazing ones.

Way out west in California is the land of the freeway, where one is not on a guided tour but has the freedom to stop wherever they please. So if they can go anywhere, how do you get them to stop at your restaurant?

What if you made your building look CRAZY? Like NOTHING they’d ever seen before.

So that’s what they did. The result was wild, super futuristic architecture and signage.

Architectural Historian Alan Hess said “Googie made the future accessible to everyone… it wasn’t custom houses for wealthy people - it was for coffee shops, gas stations… the average buildings of everyday life”. 

That last line got me thinking. I’m a big fan of residential architecture and really gorgeous homes, but a home like that really only exists for the person that owns it and their social circle they invite over. These other structures, though, coffee shops, gas stations, the other places of business and leisure - those are the places we all experience together that may go even further to define our lives than our own homes.

There’s something really special about so much thought and intention being put into making our communal spaces, our spaces that everyone lives in.

Sure, we don’t get as many buildings that look quite as crazy as this anymore, but there are still some marvels out there to discover, and wonderful new things being made every day.

An early vlog from the archive by Nicholas Doyle

I was cleaning off my hard drive last night, which I like to do to prepare for the new year, and came across this footage that I shot back on July 4th, 2018, as I was trying to get into vlogging. I was going to just delete it, but inside the video itself I talk about how I want this stuff to last and that tossing it out runs counter to making that happen. So I spent a little time putting the clips together and put it up. Hopefully many more to come.

Philadelphia - Cheese Steaks, Neon Lights, and Jojo Mayer by Nicholas Doyle

Trip to Philidelphia-1.jpg

What you need to know:

The best cheese steaks are, counterintuitively, at John’s Roast Beef in the middle of nowhere on 14 Snyder Avenue. It will blow your mind.

The two places covered in neon, Geno’s and Pat’s King of Steaks, are fun to behold rivals facing each other down across the street, but they’re both absolutely terrible. If you only have one philly cheese steak and it’s at either one of these, you’ve been horribly cheated.

Also, I don’t go to many shows, but Jojo Mayer and Nerve really rocked it. Would highly recommend you check them out.

Case Study - Splinter Creek Model Home, Day 1 by Nicholas Doyle

I flew to Mississippi to photograph the Model Home and grounds of the beautiful new Splinter Creek lakeside community. I spent 3 days there producing images and in this video I’ll detail what images I made and how I made them to showcase the incredible work by Lang Architecture and all their partners on the project.

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Update, July 13th Part 2 by Nicholas Doyle

I shot this video immediately after the previous one but wanted to space them in publishing so you get a chance to digest them both.

What I yammer about:

- Photographs I made of apartments in a big new tower in Williamsburg. Beautiful rooftop views
- The speed demanded by real estate rental photography in NYC
- I get it, I was an agent once.
- I wanna move to the west coast and embrace the chill life.
- My focus is on photographing modern residential architecture
- I haven't been back to Oregon since I was born there.
- I'd love to do photo projects all over the country / world.

Video Update #1! by Nicholas Doyle

A writer I like introduced this idea of sending simple updates to the people to care about most with the happenings in your life, and it is simply called "Update". I really like the idea of doing this sort of 'open journal' where I tell you what's new and we're able connect over that a bit better than just another post of "here's a photo I took." So here's the first crack at that. Let me know what you think, and let me know what you've been up to!

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