Here are the books I read in 2015. I’ve noted regions next to the titles, in some cases to highlight the author’s origin or indicate the viewpoint from which they write; in others the location is like a character in and of itself, and shapes the narrative as much as any of the people or … More Reading List 2015
People, Places, Things is a twee, matured-hipster 2000s version of the classic hapless dad movie from the 90s with a criminally underused cast of comics. Will Henry (Jemaine Clement) is woe-befallen graphic novelist cum professor whose partner leaves him for an off-Broadway monologuist, a career that out-Brooklyn’s Clement’s own. He struggles to cope, co-parent his … More Review of Jemaine Clement’s People, Places, Things
Confusing weather patterns were something I got used to while living in Boston, although the mercurial weather of New England could not prepare me for going to sleep in a Japanese spring and waking up in a New Zealand fall. It was odd, one day smelling flowers on the breeze, the next seeing trees with dead leaves dispiritedly waving, then falling in the wind. … More New Zealand: good on ya!
Every spring cherry blossoms erupt all over Japan, to the extreme delight of locals and tourists alike. The blooms last about 2-3 weeks, and the nightly news has bloom forecasts (which are uncannily accurate, like their weather reports – Japan, please share your secrets with the world). … More Japan: where to begin?
In Hong Kong, people were strutting around in designer labels and driving Ferraris, and everywhere I looked there was a Chanel store with people lined up outside. It was like The Capitol in the Hunger Games, and I greedily lapped up the luxury after six weeks of roughing it in India. … More Hong Kong & China: one hundred days in!
Sometimes, wonderful experiences have horrible beginnings.
Two weeks ago I was on a bus from Mysore, Karnataka to Ooty, Tamil Nadu in India when the ticket taker looked at my ticket, and started speaking rapidly in Kannada. ‘Madame, ನೀವು ತೆಹ್ ತಪ್ಪು ಬಸ್ನಲ್ಲಿ !’ … More India: started from the bottom, now we here
During the past few weeks people’s continued polite kindness has been the grease that keeps me going, as most of my days look like this:
4.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … More India: spiffiness is next to godliness
For me backpacking seemed like an exhausting, grubby, low-budget-to-the-point-of-desperation travel option that only hippies and eighteen year olds entertained. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere without a suitcase on wheels because the thought of stuffing all my clothes and other sundry items in a backpack, heaving it on my back, and sweatily schlepping all over the … More How I went from skeptic to backpacker
The Case for Reparations introduced me to Ta-Nehisi Coates, and his latest interview with Terri Gross has piqued my interest in his new book, Between the World and Me. I love hearing someone breakdown concepts that have trouble articulating, especially to people who are hearing/thinking about them for the first time. One highlight of the … More Ta-Nehisi Coates schools, discusses race on NPR’s Fresh Air
I’ve long known that Solange Knowles oozes cool, but what’s recently made me sit up and take notice is that she’s using her style to parlay a major corporation like Puma into showcasing the thoughts of Black, creative women in their latest ad campaign. Genius. The sneakers are cool, but the women are cooler; take … More Fresh = Solange + Puma