5 Day Trip (Packing List)


This Mind-Map is a list of everything I took with me on a 5 day trip to Portland.
As you can see I went light and minimal.
The one thing I decided to take regardless of need, is my classic Voigtlander Vito II camera. Yes it is 60 years old and l could easily just take photos with my iPhone, but there is something special about that camera. I love it.
I also took along a Weston Master III light meter. Again old: it was made in the late 40s, but in conjunction with the Vito, it is like stepping back in time.

This is the first trip I have made that I have decided to leave my MacBook at home, and take my iPad instead. I debated this decision for a while, but in the end decided that if there was anything I really needed a full fledged computer for, I would just VNC back to my Mac at home. This trip is for pleasure anyway, I am going to try and avoid any ‘real work’ if I can.


Poetic Coffee

Poetic Coffee by Ezra Hilyer
Poetic Coffee, a photo by Ezra Hilyer on Flickr.

There is something deeply poetic about coffee. The grinder pulverizing the beans, the ritual tamping of the fresh grounds, and that beautiful smell when the first coal-black drops of liquid cascade into the cup.

When the steamer sings its song; and the union of sound, sight, and savor meet in that moment -such is the stuff of perfection.

I remember when my romance with Coffee started; it was on my first visit to Starbucks, in Portland Oregon in 2002. Before this; coffee was something that only came in luke-warm pots, and had to be dosed heavily with sugar, and then mixed with milk.
It was a part of the day, but never the hightlight.

Upon that first visit; I entered a new world. I remember how the entire building was drowning in the heavy scent of the sacred bean, and the sounds of the drinks being prepaired was an alien music.

Throughout the rest of that 2 week visit, I took the chance to return there many times, and it started what has become a lifelong love.

When I returned home, there were no local coffee shops nearby, at the time the nearest Starbucks was over 100 miles away.
So, over the next few years; the only time I would get to visit Portland would be heavily filled with visits to coffee shops. I would wander the city always with a cup in my hand.

Eventually, a small shop opened up in Warren, (20 miles from where I then lived) and I could then expirence good coffe regularly, and would sometimes make the trip into town just for a sip of that heavenly liquid.

I even took my future wife Ami, on our fist date to that small local coffee shop; and not long after that, she started to work as a Barista there. Many of my memories of our dating life are laced with the scent of coffee, and the whirr of the machines.

Last year Ami bought me a Breville Espresso machine for my birthday, and from her expirence as a Barista; she taught me to prepare all of my favorite drinks. The world has come full-circle, now I can re-live those memories, and moments whenever I take the time to start the ritual process, and turn those dark roasted beans into sacred powder.


Walking To Live.

Walking To Live. by Ezra Hilyer
Walking To Live., a photo by Ezra Hilyer on Flickr.

So what do you do when there is no time in the day left to be human? No second free in the daily routine to simply be a man under the open sky?

You walk. Early in the morning, you walk to work, and when the day is done, and the sun is falling again; you walk home.
It is my reprieve from the demands of the day, and the pressures of life.

I can not adequately explain to you how important it is do take the time away from the city lights, and to walk under the stars like one of their long-lost children.

There are moments that can not be captured by word, or photograph, those moments of beauty that rush upon the senses, and drown out the worries, and cares of this petty existence.
Walking under the dark canopy of night, and likewise; to see the sun rise over the hills -gives a sense of place to life on this earth.