July 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
There’s a unusual storefront tucked in the alleys of Da’an district. At first glance, it looks like a bookstore, with the large floor-to-ceiling windows and piles of books. If you stop to take a good look, it more closely resembles a deserted storage room with endless mounds of books that extend deep into the space. I have never seen anyone enter or leave during the few times I’ve walked past it.
October 17, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’ve always dreamed of telling people that I have a green thumb. That I have the capability of creating a stunning garden that is fit for a full-page spread in Better Homes and Gardens magazine one day.
The truth is I haven’t REALLY had much experience taking care of plants. Growing up, I would occasionally help my parents water the tiny flowerbed in the backyard of our Miami home. There was an abundance of sunshine and water, and the vegetation grew as if someone placed an Engorgement Charm on it. As an adult, I like having green plants around the house, but usually opting for durable houseplants, like aloe or philodendron heartleaf, that don’t die easily from negligent care. To be fair, my small Taipei apartment hardly gets any natural light. Even my mother, who is a self-claimed gardening guru, has difficultly keeping plants alive in the apartment. Since moving in, I’ve kept away from plants and gardening, wistfully thinking that I’ll get another shot of it in a not-too-distant-future, when I find a new apartment that has more space and sunlight.
I stumbled across a tiny succulent nursery near Dahu park (大湖公園) during a family outing back in April. My inner-hipster immediately fell in love with the succulents and all the wondrous colors and variety that they come in. The small ones cost about NT. 50-100 (USD $1.50 – $3), a fair price. I decided to get 4 – two for my mom, and one each for myself and my boyfriend.
Succulents are considered low-maintenance. Idiot proof even. The instructions I received were to water them once a week and make sure they receive a lot of sunlight. Easy right?
May 2, 2012 § 2 Comments
When I stepped foot into my somewhat health-obsessed university in Virginia 5 years ago, I was genuinely shocked to learn that people ran as a hobby – even more bewildered that people actually enjoyed it! None of my family or close friends ever just…ran. Running belonged in high school gym class and my worst nightmares. I automatically assumed that people who ran were athletes. It’s boring. And exhausting. No one in their right mind would want to run when they can sit around and eat cookies.
It’s safe to say that my stance on running has change drastically since then. I ran my first official 6k this past weekend at the 2012 Nike Be Amazing Run! It took a while, but I’m so thrilled to have made it through that god-awful journey to get where I am now.
September 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
For my piano lessons in college, one of the only assignments I had to do each semester was write up 3 concert reports. Any concerts that had a pianist in their ensemble was acceptable, and it wasn’t limited to just Classical concerts. In fact, it was a simple 2 page observation on the music, the atmosphere and of course the way a pianist plays. When I first started writing these concert reports, I hated it because I felt that taking notes during a concert was NOT the way to enjoy live music. Usually I loved just sitting back with my eyes closed, surround myself with the music and let the notes do their thing.
Of course, it wasn’t before long that I started to enjoy observing the different play styles and techniques of different pianists (cause I’m nerdy like that). For classical pianists, I developed a spectrum. On one end, you have Lang Lang, who is known for grandiose gestures and flourishes. On the other end, you have Horowitz, who is stoic and a minimalist in terms of movements. Most pianists fall somewhere in between on that spectrum.
The point of this written assignment for this class was for the student to be exposed to a wide range of pianists and examine the different techniques they applied. Some students that may have less movement (like myself) might find it beneficial to add more gestures to express the notes more, like raising your hand higher and let gravity help create a fortissimo sound (it helps a lot). 21 concert reports later, you kind of realize all the great pianists have more or less tailored a unique style of playing. There’s no “correct” or “incorrect” way of playing, there are just different ways that suit different people.
April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
If you have a few minutes to spare, this interview with Michael Wolff is definitely worth your time. As one of the founders of design firm Wolff Olins, Michael Wolff shares his insight on how he views the world around him and how he keeps his passions alive by his observations.
I love the shots of the ordinary things around us, like the pots, umbrellas, and supermarkets. Most people may take them for granted but Wolff guides his passions with his curiosity and appreciation for everything. This idea is the central theme I had when I created this blog and the last few posts, and it’s great to see an interview that is aligned with my thoughts right now.