Why the Chungking Mansions are actually awesome

When I emailed my uncle the address for Delta Hotel, a small budget hotel in the Chungking Mansions, he immediately called me to express his concerns about the safety and cleanliness of the area. "You should cancel the booking and stay with us," he urged. "A Chinese girl was raped there before. It was all over … Continue reading Why the Chungking Mansions are actually awesome

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god of beginnings

My dad, who has been hosting on Airbnb for several months, asked me to make some paper cranes as gifts for honeymooning guests. Miraculously, I didn't feel weird about it, despite the strong connection between these cranes and my mother. I placed a pink crane (her favorite color) in front of her photo and burned some incense, and I … Continue reading god of beginnings

Highlights of the week: Poetry, race relations, and cat altars

I think my life satisfaction this week was the highest it's been in over a year. Very pleased to see that grad school hasn't totally beaten away my capacity for positive emotions. Highlights: Mon: Quiet Lightning reading. Met and read with some really talented writers and had a blast! Talked to people about race relations, yellowface, … Continue reading Highlights of the week: Poetry, race relations, and cat altars

Between Riverside and Crazy: a world-class performance at ACT SF

I don't often feel compelled to write about the plays I see (yes, I've become one of them bougie cultured folk in my old age), but holy smokes, that was amazing and hilarious and unexpected. Between Riverside and Crazy tells the story of a wounded former NYPD cop, Walter Washington, fighting to keep his rent … Continue reading Between Riverside and Crazy: a world-class performance at ACT SF

How did Jennifer Pan slip so far, and why are so many people sympathizing?

I read about Jennifer Pan yesterday over breakfast, how she doctored her report cards, pretended to go to college, and hired people to kill her parents when they found out about her lies. At lunch, I read some of the comments after the Toronto Life article (I know, I know, never read the comments), and I had to … Continue reading How did Jennifer Pan slip so far, and why are so many people sympathizing?

The Improbable American Dream: Independence Day reflections

"You were born with [an American passport]," my cousin said over WeChat yesterday, "So you will never understand those who desire it so much." I will point out that my cousin was born in Australia and now lives in Makati, the wealthy district in Manila, with two live-in maids. His father, my uncle, is a tenured professor … Continue reading The Improbable American Dream: Independence Day reflections