As we approached today’s Thai festival, my wife started testing me on my geographic knowledge of Thailand. Having experienced years of ball busting, nipple twisting and chain pulling from my wife. I’ve come to not let her thrice daily jabs get to me. During our short ride, she tried to imply that I was unaware that though both are located in Southeast Asia, Thailand and Taiwan were two distinctly different places. With Thailand being a kingdom bordered by Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. Taiwan, on the other hand is an island located south of China. Despite the fact that we eat mass quantities of Thai food and that I grew up with a number of friends whose families had immigrated from Taiwan. She continued to push the envelope. Despite any nudging on her part or geographic miscues on mine. We made it to the festival and had a great time enjoying the food and festivities. In conclusion, I’d really like to start working photographing and covering events for the press here. It’s something I enjoyed doing back east and something that always seems to teach me more about other cultures, expression and rituals. The money I’d earn would most likely go towards all the great food these festivals offer.
Each week, usually by Wednesday, my wife’s line of questioning goes from “What do you want for dinner?” to “What do you want to do this weekend?” Inquiries that keep me on my toes while keeping my mind in a continuous creative mode. Over the years I’ve come to learn that this particular line of interrogation has a readymade answer most likely calculated long before the question was ever served to me. The key to my success has always been about taking the time to research and come up with the proper match to said answer.
This week she emailed me three compelling options for the coming weekend. A list which included a trip to Philly for a festival. One to Connecticut for some tasty food and a zombie walk in Asbury Park. Knowing my wife pretty well, you can imagine my surprise when my answer “Zombie Walk” matched hers perfectly.
As we came upon Asbury Ave. the traffic hit a stand still. One that brought to mind the first episode of “Walking Dead” where all the cars are left abandoned along a silent highway. I began to look at the clock and think “We’re never going to make it on time.” “And if we do, we’ll never find parking anywhere near the event.” I thought for a second about jumping from the vehicle and walking the rest of the way. But somehow the thought of leaving the security of our vehicle, being eaten or leaving my wife to be devoured by the zombie apocalypse kept my seatbelt firmly in place. Within a matter of minutes the wheels of the cars in front of us began to move and the end of the world was upon us.
As we hit the boardwalk I quickly realized two things. 1. I’d probably have to wait a few hours before the sun began to set and diffuse some of the harsh light that was shining down on the boardwalk. 2. I wasn’t going to get many worthwhile shots if I wasn’t willing to personally connect with the undead I wanted images of. Luckily I was able to slip through the growing crowd rather seamlessly while stopping to interact with the ones who really caught my eye. During the day we came across some amazingly imaginative takes on zombie culture. I managed to stop a wide variety of individuals, groups and families to get lively images. While most were very cooperative and friendly, I often had to remind them that “This ain’t Disney Land.” “It’s the god damned Zombie Apocalypse.” In all 9,592 Zombies walked Asbury parks boardwalk and beach. Enough to set the Guinness Book of World Records previously held by Minneapolis. We had a really fun day that completely took us out of out element. We promised that if Zombie Walk comes back to our area in 2014, We will be in full blown character for the event. I’m looking forward to the experience.