travels

Munich Hi-End Show: SORAsound, Amazon Audio, DaVinci Audio, and Moerch Tone-arms

April 22, 2010 :: Tags: , , , , , :: Comment

SORAsound will be attending the Munich Hi-End Show from May 5 to 8. Aside from spending a good amount of time at the AMAZON Audio / Moerch Tonearms room as well as with DaVinci Audio, I will be renewing vows with as many friends as possible!

My dear friend Hartmut Janssen of Amazon Audio will be showing off his latest masterpieces: First Choice turntable, and a beautiful pair of speakers he has been working on for the last many years. Hans Henrik Moerch, the ever perfectionist he is, will be demonstrating his reference tonearm, Finally!

The great folks of DaVinci Audio will be exhibiting their mouth watering products, un-paralleled in performance and build quality, as you would expect from such a high caliber Swiss manufacturer.

Couple of European friends are kindly driving to Munich to meet me. I look forward to visiting with as many of my friends and audiophiles abroad as possible. Frankly, it is even easier to meet my Audiophile American friends abroad than in America as I do not normally attend the CES (never had the Vegas itch). If you are there and available, please let me know. Maybe we can grab a good beer or at least shake hands and talk a few minutes. You can always catch me via phone, text, email, and of course a call to my hotel (Le Meridien Hotel) where the annex part of the show is taking place.

Expect some exciting NEWS after I return.

Istanbul April 2010

April 5, 2010 :: Tags: , , :: Comment

Istanbul is an amazing city. Those who know my love for San Francisco are surprised that for the first time I wondered why my Turkish friends in San Francisco, decided to leave Istanbul.

I have been to Istanbul before and was eager to show it to Nami and SORA. We stayed in a pretty nice design/boutique hotel in a plush area of Istanbul. The European side of Istanbul appears a lot more advanced/progressive than its Asian side. Like many major cities in the world, there are pretty rich areas of town, and some poor areas. Not so surprising though. When I go a few miles to the South side of Chicago, I find life very different from the North side of Chicago. The beauty of the poorer areas in Istanbul is that I felt absolutely welcomed, and safe. So much so, that I took Nami and SORA for a tour.

Once we left Tehran, I told Nami that would only eat sea food in Istanbul as I was tired of all the (delicious) meat we had in Iran. Lo and behold, our hotel recommended a great Kebab restaurant to us on our first day, where we ended up going three times. The Bazaar has now become a tourist Mecca, worth avoiding or not spending longer than an hour there. The ferry rides are inexpensive, and fun. People welcoming and hospitable as ever.

Visiting Istanbul, Turkey

March 31, 2010 :: Tags: , , :: Comment

Visiting Turkey again. What a beautiful country. What a great people. Delicious food.

Istanbul has been selected as the 2010 European Culture Capital. I wonder which city be the 2011 Culture Capital in Europe. Feels such a difficult task to meet or surpass Istanbul’s rich heritage.

I have been to Istanbul before. First, around 22 years ago when I met my parents after being away from them for nine years. At the time, I could not go to Iran, and they could not easily visit America. So, we selected Istanbul as our meeting point. Ever since then, Istanbul has a special place in my heart.

In the last 20some years Istanbul has changed a lot. It is a modern European city now. Nowhere as polluted as then, and significantly less scary to cross the street than before (which in Tehran is still an activity more risky than kissing your mate naked on a crowded sidewalk).

I am glad SORA is experiencing Istanbul at such an early age. He will of course be traveling here again, and again. It is important that he learns about different cultures, people and diversity.

Keep an eye on SORAsound blog for pictures.

Tehran March 2010

March 30, 2010 :: Tags: , :: 6 Comments

Isn’t this amazing? I avoided going to Iran for over 32 years, and now within six or seven months, have visited Iran twice. All I can say is the hospitality you see in Iran, is second to none. Pictures below are a mix of family pictures, parties, and celebration of the Iranian new year among my family in Iran.

Happy Iranian New Year

March 20, 2010 :: Tags: , , :: 1 Comment

First day of spring. In fact the very first second of spring is the start of new year in Iran.

Last time I celebrated the Iranian new year in Iran was around 34 years ago. As a family (parents, my sister, brother and I) have not all been together for 34 years. So, given that I now have less fear of going to Iran (maybe not so smart), and that my sister who lives in Dallas, Texas also decided to go to Iran after about 20 years, I decide we go too.

My parents are naturally filled with joy and were anticipating our trip for a while.

I want SORA to experience Iranian new year. I really want SORA to be a global/ culturally aware person, respecting and enjoying the diversity of our world. So, we are in Tehran for a quick visit, and then Istanbul for a short stay. I have been to Istanbul a few times but this will be the first time for Nami and SORA. I will be posting many pictures soon.

I continue to be proud of President Obama for his message to the Iranian people on this day. Unfortunately the message is blocked on most sites, but as always information have a way of getting around in an open society, or one aspiring to be.

As some of you have already found out, I am only an email or a phone call away. I check my voice mail regularly and return calls.

Happy Iranian new year. Let us each pray in our own way for peace, freedom, and justice across the world. Wishing you and your families happiness and health.