Ambling Around Amsterdam

  Our first morning, we walked to Amsterdam Centraal. As the main transportation station, it connected the trains and ferries and trams to the rest of the country. It was a hub of energy. We joined the flow of weary travelers and brisk pedestrians and zippy bicyclists. At a crosswalk, a man in a flower-adorned … More Ambling Around Amsterdam

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Capturing the City

For the first time in years, I drove into the city. I had forgotten the way cities smelled. Like fresh bread and diesel and business. I was looking for someplace to wander. Preferably cold. And clean. After parking, I decided on an unmarked coffeeshop tucked inside a hotel. It sat along a street of swanky … More Capturing the City

If You Like Piña Coladas and Gettin’ Caught in the Rain

Hankering for adventure, I suggested a nearby shopping square. We passed by a religious temple on the way, but it was raining too hard for us to step outside. As we arrived at the shopping square, the clouds cleared. Palm trees swayed. I skipped over rain puddles. I thought about the The Piña Colada song. … More If You Like Piña Coladas and Gettin’ Caught in the Rain

Vivid

We were at the bookstore yesterday, in the corner by the back of the tables, where I read Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. I was surprised by how drawn I was to the story, situated in Boston, and I was surprised by how vivid the scenes were. They reminded me of Pennsylvania, the suburbs on … More Vivid

The Broad Museum

“You are a goddess living in a city of angels.” We passed by the courier-sans painted declaration of love and self-love on the walk to The Broad, LA’s contemporary art museum. On the way, we were stopped by an angry protest in the streets. They marched in circles, shouting loud, the police surrounded. After a … More The Broad Museum

Pause, Rewind

“I wish I could pause time and moments like this without having to think about what’s next.” Pause. The sun set. We were quiet. It felt like the moment when my friends and I were in Central Park, New York. We’d found a pond with ducks and turtles facing a castle in in the distance. … More Pause, Rewind

String of Thoughts

A string of thoughts, in no particular order: The mind is the strangest thing. One of my favorite books reminds me that we’re all stuck in our heads, projecting our own distorted notions of reality onto the screen of our minds. It’s all constructed, pieced together by attention, a weird believable 3D fabrication that we … More String of Thoughts

Disposable Diaries: Tale of Two Cities

Hopping from the East to the South draws each region into sharp contrast. Against the tall and narrow East, the South seems wider. Twangy recorded voicemails, the norm, strike me as peculiar (“hah-lo, yoo’ve reached–“) Cityscapes turn to landscapes and steel structures melt to lake water. Welcome home, where it’s hotter, quieter, sunnier, brighter, lazier, slower, … More Disposable Diaries: Tale of Two Cities

Cali

Slow swaying palm trees–rugged rocks ashore– cliches washed up on the dense fog of memory– I’m skipping around humming the outdated song by Katy Perry, California Girls, which we’d blast and sing to at 13. Ah–many moments of fleeting teenagedom, of drive-through Sonic runs and post-pool walks to the movie theatre, were to the soundtrack … More Cali

City

The city is tired, the city is alive. The city is moving; the city lies still. Stop motion. Slow motion. When the light turns green I cross anyway, counting down the milliseconds, swiveling my sight in circles. The city, from far away, sparkles and sprinkles and glitters and glows. Juxtapositions sit at every street corner. … More City

Empire State of Mind

Photographed this about three years ago. I miss New York and all its lights; I’ve been itching to visit for the past year or so.  In my general consumption of rom-com movies–always based in NYC (of course) and around Christmas (yes), Christmas lights, in particular, have become somewhat of a myth. So I’m going back … More Empire State of Mind

Ephemeral

Wearing the familiarity of home like something skintight. It’s easy to forget that soon I won’t be watching sunsets in tinted car windows anymore, that in place of lazy comfort will be sprints through quiet city streets in slush and rain and snow. June 2015

Oxymoron

        Things I might be certain of: We’re swimming in norms no one person decided. Maybe the sky is blue. This may or may not be a dream. I like writing incoherent text posts at one in the morning. I deeply suspect that a part of me secretly enjoys–thrives on–the stress of procrastinating … More Oxymoron

Austin, Texas

Austin’s beautiful, weird, a city juxtaposed. Words that come to mind: Urban. Street art. Hills. Vines. Curving roads. Steep inclines. Mountains. Ponds. Chipped concrete. Gravel parking lots. Loose rocks. Sprawling lakes. Kayaks and paddle-boards. Arched bridges. Pointy-winged bats. Sunsets in high places. Wealth stacked atop mountains. Income disparity. Food trucks. Bars. Loud music. Crowded cafes. Shitty … More Austin, Texas

City Respite

To escape the city, venture deeper into the city; a necessary paradox when surrounded by people, crowds, movement and noise. Many weekends I’d escape into Center City, where I’d burrow myself in a coffeeshop or bookstore. Though I’d remain constantly surrounded by people, it was a way of finding solitude, an otherwise rare beast on the … More City Respite

Wandering the City

We meandered around the design district, searching for the museum of contemporary art. After circling around a few times, we realized it’d been in front of us the entire time. The space wasn’t what I’d anticipated; it was open, garage-like, with three moving art exhibits. … More Wandering the City

Jiangyin, China

Jiang Yin is beautiful (and for a million reasons).

There is a certain gritty you-do-your-own-thing feel to the streets of China. They’re often crowded; the markets always are. Sometimes people push and shove but after a while you get used to it. … More Jiangyin, China