Akiko's. San Francisco. California. 3.26.2015.

My uncle Henry is in town from Shanghai right now as my grandmother is very ill. I took him out to sushi for dinner as I heard he loves sushi. Naturally, I took him to Akiko's for the super over the top omakase. This is what I have when I am there with the other executive chefs in town. I have been going to Akiko's for 15 years now, and it's become one of the best sushi restaurants in San Francisco in the past few years. It was extra special as my uncle Winter was a sushi chef and uncle Henry did not get to come for his funeral. So it was a really special meal in many ways.

431 Bush St
San Francisco, CA 94108


Love. The Mirage. Las Vegas. Nevada. 3.22.2015.

Since I am not a drinker nor a gambler, I ended up doing other things in Vegas instead. I love The Beatles. I am British. It was my birthday. Birthday Love it was. Another amazing show! Many people were brought to tears at the end; I can easily see why.

O. Bellagio. Las Vegas. Nevada. 3.21.2015.

O was the biggest reason why I went to Las Vegas. I have been told over and over how this is a lot of people's favorite show ever. This is by far the best show I have ever seen. I got chills from watching this and that has never happened to me before. I highly recommend you seeing this if you can. It's simply magical.

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on

Fiori Di Como. Bellagio. Las Vegas. Nevada. 3.20.2015-3.23.2015.

2000 hand blown glass blossoms by Dale Chihuly. Still impressive after all these years.

Bellagio. Las Vegas. Nevada. 3.20.2015-3.23.2015.

Pull him away
Jealous so with me
Go there for new
For new things there

Singing of a famous street
I want to love, I've all the wrong glory
But is it Heaven or Las Vegas?
But you're much more brighter than the sun is to me

He's a hustler
It's a role he'll never make suit
Hang on to this
Stay and stay and fail and fail

Pull him away
Jealous so with me
Go there for new
For new things there

Singing of a famous street
I want to love, I've all the wrong glory
But is it Heaven or Las Vegas?
But you're much more brighter than the sun is to me

Reaching this itch in my soul
Is like any good playing card
Must be why I'm thinking of Las Vegas
Why, it's more brighter than the sun is to me

Carnivals are bluster loud
I'm dizzy so I go, under the 'Big Dipper'
Come fantasy for a carnival
How fitting before a wedding

Singing of a famous street
I want to love, I've all the wrong glory
But is it Heaven or Las Vegas?
But you're much more brighter than the sun is to me

Reaching this itch in my soul
Is like any good playing card
Must be why I'm thinking of Las Vegas
Why, it's more brighter than the sun is to me

Maybe then you will swear
This is hardly personal
I suspect I'm singing to a tune
And still find that beats singing to your soon

-Cocteau Twins

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on

Neon Museum. Las Vegas. Nevada. 3.20.2015.

I highly recommend booking a tour here at the Neon Museum if you are in Las Vegas. You get to go to downtown Vegas and see all the buildings and pass all the Elvis wedding chapels. It's also a great way get the history of Las Vegas.

Neon Museum
770 N Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas NV 89101


Musée Mécanique. San Francisco. California. 3.15.2015.

Musée Mécanique
Pier 45 Shed A
San Francisco, CA 94133

The Progress. San Francisco. California. 3.14.2015.

So this year for my birthday we went to The Progress. As you would expect from the owners of State Bird Provisions, it was phenomenal. Thank you for hosting us!

The Progress
1525 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115 415.673.1294

raw japanese snapper with turnips & crème fraîche
first of the season asparagus with lime pickle yogurt & pistachio
shaved cauliflower-herbs & pig fries
'treasure chest' of fermented sausage, trout quenelles & pumpkin-rice dumpling in a 'creamy' pork broth
pecorino 'roti' with black truffle buttermilk
aromatic spiced squab with salted chili paste
lamb merguez with yellow eye beans, octopus & crispy squid
milk chocolate-black lager ice cream, cocoa sablé & caraway seed
elderflower floating island, guava sherbet & arnold palmer gelée


Sunset. Mount Davidson. San Francisco. California. 2.28.2015.

Hey little girl is your daddy home
Did he go and leave you all alone
I got a bad desire
Oh oh oh
I'm on fire

Tell me now baby is he good to you
Can he do to you the things I don't do
I can take you higher
Oh oh oh
I'm on fire

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley
Through the middle of my soul

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the
Middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh oh oh
I'm on fire

-Bruce Springsteen

Sunrise. Stinson Beach & Mount Tamalpais. California. 2.24.2015 & 2.26.2015.

I had to wake up at 4AM twice last week for sunrise shots for a shoot. The perk is seeing the sunrise at some pretty incredible places. It motivated me to shoot more sunrises. More to come!

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on


Liholiho Yacht Club. San Francisco. California. 2.19.2015.

So I have had Ravi's cooking at another chef's birthday party before. I have heard great things about his pop up Liholiho Yacht Club, but never made it. Finally, I was able to make it to the brick and mortar. It was actually incredible. One of my favorites so far. The baked Hawaii dessert is one of the best have had in town. Since he is friends with Stuart at State Bird Provisions (where I am becoming quite a regular), there is no wonder why there are a few similarities on both menus.

Liholiho Yacht Club
871 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

tuna poke, sesame oil, radish, mori cracker
duck liver toast, pickled pineapple, jalapeño
radicchio, smoke paprika honey roasted carrots, toasted quinoa, pistachios, herbs
bonito caesar, chilled brussels sprouts, broccoli romanesco, piccolo basil
marinated squid, crispy tripe, cabbage, peanuts, fried shallots, mint
fried game hen, cashews, tamari glaze, flowering kale
baked hawaii, caramelized pineapple ice cream, vanilla chiffon

The Road Not Taken. Point Reyes. California. 2.11.2015.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on


Live in Levi's.

17 videos in 8 languages and their respective :15 cutdowns later, here is this season's Live in Levi's project. I think I deserve a nap now after delivering all these.


Loews Madison. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.11.2015-1.17.2015

To die, to sleep -
To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come…

National Geographic archives. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.16.2015

At the end of the week of Seminar at National Geographic, I got a special tour of their archives with their archivist Bill Bonner. There are well over 8,000,000 pieces of slides, prints and other unpublished works here. All of which tells a story of the history of time. They also have the second biggest autochrome collection in the world. Those were my personal favorite. If you look through the loop, you can even see the potato grain on those autochromes.


National Geographic Creative Panel. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.14.2015.

National Geographic Creative invited me to speak on a panel a few months ago. To which I replied, it'd be a huge honor to be even considered. So here I was. The panel was titled Monetizing Social Media. Here was the list of panelists:

Kira Pollack
Kira is the Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise at TIME. In October 2011, she was named the photo editor of the year at the Lucie Awards. Since Pollack joined TIME in October 2009, the brand's photography has been recognized with many prestigious awards including the World Press photo of the year, and the Visa D'Or award at Visa Pour L'image. Pollack spearheaded TIME's Beyond 9/11 project, which was awarded an Emmy in October of 2012. In March 2011, she established TIME's photography site LightBox, and in August, 2013, she established TIME's new documentary film unit, Red Border Films. Previously, Pollack was the Deputy photo editor at The New York Times Magazine.

Allen Murabayashi
Allen is an avid photographer and frequently speaks on how photographers can use online marketing to grow their businesses. Before PhotoShelter, Allen served as one of the founding employee and Senior Vice President of Engineering at HotJobs.com, where he assisted in the company's massive growth from a 4-person start-up to a publicly-held company with over 675 employees. He oversaw a staff of 50 engineers, and was responsible for the development of HotJobs.com, Softshoe, and a number of internal applications. Allen graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor's degree in Music with distinction in the major.

Richard Kelly
Richard is a Pittsburg-based photographer, producer and director. He has been awarded the 2011 United Nations' International Photographic Council's Leadership Award and a 2009 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is the President of the multimedia production company Indigo Factory, Inc. that produces photography & multimedia projects for companies and organizations. Richard was the Director of Photography for WQED Multimedia and is the past president of the American Society of Media Photographers. He is currently the Visuals consultant at the Public Source, a Pittsburgh based Investigative News Organization.

Amy Yvonne Yu
Amy has thirteen years of experience on the agency and production side of the photography industry across different mediums, including stills, video and experiential. She attributes her diverse background to working alongside Albert Watson, Cass Bird, Jill Greenberg and The Selby. She has given many talks and interviews regarding the importance of promotion, focusing on social media. Amy stresses that one must understand each platform, its function and audience before pushing out content specific to each effectively. This is essential to successfully gain traction in social media.

It really doesn't ever get old. #inspiring. #nationalgeographic #ngmphotoseminar

A photo posted by Heather Perry (@heathfish) on

I am not here to discuss the panel itself, but to tell you of my experience of the Nation Geographic photographers. Lynn Johnson came up to me at the wrap party on Friday and said to me, "I have been wanting to tell you that you are a badass woman." I was utterly stunned out of words for a few moments. Then I asked her how many times she was arrested on assignment. She was never arrested, but has been detained, people tried to shoot at her, people tried to put her in the trunk of a car, and has been choked. What was in my mind but couldn't say as I was having one of the most surreal moments of my life was, "Lynn, you and all the men and women here are literally are the most badasses I have ever met!" Every time one of these incredible photographers came up to me this past week to tell me how great I was, I was thinking, "Do you know who you are? Because I am in awe of every one of you here."

Never in my life have I been in the company of a group of photographers more deserving to make a living out of their profession. These are the people that constantly remind us of our relationship to our planet, our relationship to other species, and our relationship with each other. In this age of extreme apathy and people that does not open their eyes outside of their smart devices, this is more important than ever. These are the men and women who risk their lives to re-educate us of the importance of staying connected with our world.

Jim Richardson said during panel that unlike David Guttenfelder, the rest of us are not interesting, so it's really intimidating going on social media. Naturally, like the extremely logical person that I am, I wholeheartedly disagreed and reminded them all that they are indeed the most interesting photographers I have ever met and that anyone would have to be blind to miss that.

Here are some ways for you to help:

Hire one of these National Geographic photographers for an assignment.

Donate to National Geographic Society

Subscribe to National Geographic.

Spread the word on how amazing these people are.

Stay connected to the world around you and explore.

The rest of my 2015 will seem dull compared to this. But exploration awaits.

If you are interested in my lectures and interviews, you can always read them here: http://www.virtuallynonexistent.com/about.html

National Mall. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.13.2015.

Daikaya. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.13.2015.

My brother, who also has a sophisticated palate and quite a cook loved this place, so naturally I had to go. Besides, it's near the National Gallery of Art.

705 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

National Gallery of Art. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.12.2015-1.13.2015.

They have assets worth $1.07 billion. This was my favorite museum in DC. I had to visit the West Wing of this twice to see everything.

National Gallery of Art
4th and Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20565


Zaytinya. Washington. District of Columbia. 1.12.2015 & 1.17.2015.

Right across the street from the National Portrait Gallery & Smithsonian American Art Museum is this fantastic restaurant. It was so good that I ate there twice, much like my repeated visits to the galleries. They serve Mediterranean small plates.

701 9th St NW Washington, DC 20001 202.638.0800

Chicken Soup Avgolemono
roasted chicken, 63° egg, local kale

Crispy Brussels Afelia
Brussels sprouts, coriander seed, barberries, garlic yogurt

Sea Scallops
carrot, molasses, yogurt, orange, harissa

Octopus Santorini
grilled Mediterranean octopus, marinated onions, capers, yellow split pea purée

Grilled ground lamb and tahini stuffed pita, garlic-yogurt

Turkish Delight
walnut ice cream, yogurt mousse, honey gelée, orange-caramel sauce, caramelized pine nuts

Turkish coffee