Digital Cameras in Tehran, Iran Aghdasieh, Tehran, Iran Converse Shoes in Tehran, Iran Carwash in Tehran Stick shift cars in Iran Childhood Stuffed Animal Iranian barber Persian Carpet Eskan towers, Mirdamad, Tehran US Postal Service motto -- Persian Empire Paykon, Iran's national car Child worker in Tehran, Iran Female workers in Iran Army Service in Iran Plumbing Stickers, Tehran Mellat Park Iranian Pizza Confronting Iran -- Ali Ansari Quartet Bus stop, Tehran Verite Film Festival Dating in Tehran Tehrani Girl Autumn Tehran Fall Fruits in Tehran Gandhi Shopping Center Electrician Tehran, Iran Tehran Conference Donation Box, Tehran Aghdasieh, Tehran
My cousin and her friend lit by the red focusing light of a point and shoot camera at a party. Seems like everyone here has a digital camera. But with sites like MySpace, Facebook and Orkut being blocked by the Internet censors there isn't as much of a venue for their photos.
Aghdasieh, a posh neighborhood in northern Tehran where apartments start at US $1 million dollars. They remind me of the apartments in yuppy neighborhoods of New York.
The same kind of people who wear Converse shoes in the US wear Converse shoes in Iran. Not sure why that is an important detail about life in Tehran, but it is.
I would hate to start repeating myself with my photos. So I wasn't sure if I should post this picture when there's another shot of my car at this carwash in one of the previous issues. But you know what... Life is full of repetitions. But you know what... Life is full of repetitions.
Almost all cars in Iran are stick-shift. If you plan on visiting and driving here (if you're actually crazy enough), you better learn how to use a clutch.
This here monkey was given to me when I was only a week old. This makes him my oldest friend and the only survivor of my childhood.
My newfound barber spraying the heck out of a young dude's hair. Earlier I watched him spend half an hour on styling and ironing another youngster's hair. Kids these days...
Persian carpets are famous around the world. In Iran, almost every home has at least two. In fact, some people pile them up as they think of it as a savings account of sorts.
Stuck in the rush hour traffic on a road leading up to Mirdamad Avenue where Eskan Towers are located.
The often falsely cited motto of US Postal Service -- "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" -- refers to the courier service of the Persian Empire around 500 B.C. The postal service of the Islamic Repubic however can't even deliver letters on dry summer days!
There's something very Iranian about the look of Paykon (the car on the right). It was Iran's national car for more than 40 years and its production ended only two years ago.
Little 5 year olds from the poor neighborhoods of southern Tehran are dropped off in middle-class neighborhoods of northern Tehran to sell Hafez fortune envelopes as well as an assortment of goods such as bootleg DVDs and Scotch Brite. They're sneaky little fellows! But also a sad reminder of the high percentage of those who live way below poverty levels.
Girls in the public service sector are told to not ever smile at you as that is deemed un-Islamic. They can't appear to be flirting. This is in sharp contrast to the actress-wannabe girls in LA who smile as if their lives depended on it. "OMG, so what can I like get you?!!!" Can't we just have genuine medium smiles worldwide?
The soldier and the dimwit, waiting in line to take the written part of their driving exams. Every man in Iran is required to serve in the army for two years. Unless they get exempt for medical reasons or if they buy their way out of it. The dimwit is the type of dude that makes you wonder if democracy is the best system of governance. "Huh?!"
I don't know why plumbers can't advertise their business in a more classy way. There are a ton of stickers near every door in Tehran. They usually belong to plumbers. Very strange.
Hundreds of people were gathered at Mellat Park to watch an episode of "Forbidden Fruit," a TV series made for the month of Ramadan. I am amazed at how the state-run TV manages to entertain millions of Iranians with these low-quality soap operas. During Ramadan, 5 shows were on back to back every night, during which the streets were empty.
Iranian pizzas are small. Same size as the ones at California Pizza Kitchen back in the US. Italian food is by far the best foreign food Tehran has to offer. You'll find very tasty pastas, calzones and pizzas. I just don't know why Iranians pour ketchup on everything -- as evident by this pizza.
For the history of US-Iran relations, from CIA's overthrow of Mossadegh -- Iran's democratically elected prime minister in 1953 -- to the hostage crisis of 1980 and the recent nuclear standoff, Confronting Iran by Ali M. Ansari is a good read and comes highly recommended.
At a modern play named Quartet. The audience was seated in the four corners of the room and four actors were sitting behind four tables, each facing one of the stands, together telling two separate stories. It's less confusing live. Roll over for the line outside leading into the main theater.
A couple waiting at a bus stop and a bus passing by from this side of the street.
People gathered outside the main theater of Palestine Cinemas in anticipation of one of the screenings of Cinema Verite International Film Festival. The festival featured hundreds of documentaries from across the globe.
There's a lot of public display of affection -- in private. A visitor once asked whether young Iranians date each other. Even though there are still the traditional Muslim families who forbid pre-marital relationships (like the Christian families in the US), most secular middle-class Iranians date the same way as young people anywhere else.
As for what girls wear this side of the wall that separates them from their public lives -- clothes similar to girls anywhere else in the world. They spend as much time in front of the mirror, doing their make-up, picking their clothes and doing their hair.
Autumn falling on concrete.
New season, new fruits. One benefit of having fruits available only during the season in which they're supposed to be available in is that you appreciate them more. Because you won't have oranges, sweet lemons and persimmons (khormaloo) for the whole year.
The Gandhi Shopping Center on Gandhi Avenue features a number of cafes -- with names like Mint Cafe, Cafe Shuka, Cafe de France -- that are prime locations for Tehrani hipsters to hang out. It's like the Silverlake of Tehran.
Took this local electrician 10 days to tell me that our wireless phone needed new batteries in order to work again. This is after he had originally said "come pick it up in a day." It's very common to not get the service you want in a timely fashion. They need a corporation or two to teach them how to pay their bills on time with overpriced late fees.
In our neighborhood rests a 200 year old building that hosted one of history's most significant meetings. It was here that Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill first met in 1943 during the Tehran Conference. Decisions made here helped defeat the Nazis in World War 2. Now on the brink of "World War 3," they're building an apartment complex across from it.
You'll find these donation boxes all over the city at almost every street corner. Allegedly the money goes to the poor and the needy. But the ever-so-pessimistic Tehranis think "they" steal the money for "themselves." They're still raising a lot of money, because Iranians are generally superstitious. "Donation prolongs life" reads the writing on top.


An view of Tehran from atop a building in Aghdasieh.

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