October 6, 2013 § 3 Comments
Street art, the rebellious younger brother of the classical European art was out in full force yet again during my annual Europe trip last month. This time it took form in the “Do Not Enter” sign. The sign sits at the entrance of one way streets, nonchalantly denying drivers passage of entry. The seemingly mundane and predictable sign quickly turns into something unexpected and delightful for observant passersby.
Using the traffic sign as a template, the artist (Clet Abraham, is that you?) uses its original element to create a completely new symbol. The new symbol detracts the traffic sign’s original purpose and takes on a new meaning.
Street artists are like ninjas, how i the world do they put everything up without getting caught?
July 1, 2012 § 3 Comments
All the stress and tension that has been building up in my body from the months of unbearable overtime melted away the second I stepped foot in Italy. The sun was shining and the weather was impeccable; 75 degrees and clear blue skies each day.
Anyone that’s been to Florence can’t possibly question why Forbes ranked it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The rich history, art and culture oozes out of every corner. Everywhere you look is a visual feast for your eyes.
Firenze is a city flooded with tourists. In fact, it felt like tourists outnumber locals by 1:5, easily pinpointed by the DSLR camera around the necks and city maps in their hands. The locals must get tired of all the visitors all the time.
In addition to taking a million pictures of all the famous sites such as the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, I also spotted some cool street art along the way. As always, I love seeing the new urban art settling in and coexisting with all the classics.
It was probably the weather, but the colors of Firenze were so vivid! Everything appeared so sharp and bright. Taipei doesn’t quite emit such radiance (it’s been mostly grey and rainy).
If you plan on going to see Michelangelo’s David, please remember to book ticket in advance or pay a visit early in the morning. I neglected to do either and ended up waiting in the longest line ever. One hour later and a bitch mood to boot, I was still flabbergasted when I set my eyes on David. A lot of masterpieces aren’t really that amazing in person (ahem, Mona Lisa) but it really is worth seeing this in person. It’s unbelievable that a man can create such a masterpiece of a sculpture, without forgoing the intricate details. You can see the veins in the thighs and the tension in the face.
Hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo and watching the sunset was by far my favorite part of the Firenze leg (Pisa, San Gimignano, Pienza and Orvieto pictures will come shortly!) The atmosphere was relaxed and cheerful, everyone seemed happy to be there in the moment. Lots of people brought snacks and a bottle of wine. If you forgot to pack something (like me), there are food vendors selling sandwiches and a variety of alcoholic beverages. What more could you ask?
I wonder what it’s like to live in this city, with such beauty around all the time. Do people ever get tired of it?
March 11, 2012 § 5 Comments
Going to Amsterdam was a spontaneous decision. The Netherlands wasn’t part of my (poorly planned) Europe itinerary and now that I think back on it, I’m not sure why.
It was a freezing cold Saturday and my dad was already in hibernation mode and firmly entrenched on the sofa. I could barely see his face as he was submerged under a rather impressive mound of blankets. Trying to coax him to get out of his nest and to drive us 2+ hours to Amsterdam was like trying to separate a fat kid from his half-eaten chocolate cake. Fortunately for me, I mastered the puppy eyes as a young child and my mom perfected the “she’s-only-here-for-two-weeks” speech. Between the two of us, we managed to guilt trip my dad to abandon his blanket cocoon and into the driver’s seat.
During the drive up, my eyes eagerly embraced the lush green pastures, a variety of farm animals, and quaint countryside. Once we left the border of Belgium, windmills began to slowly emerge into the view. The numerous pictures and travel shows I’ve seen all my life slowly developed into something real and tangible, as those same images began to unfold in front of my eyes. It was exhilarating.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Amsterdam. Friends who have visited before, bring back stories of getting high, tripping out on shrooms and watching tons of (unforgettable) sex shows. I have a great relationship with my parents, but I have no desire to watch any sex shows or do any form of drugs with my parents. It’s bad enough when nudity comes up when you watch a movie with your parents, I can’t imagine how awkward it would be to watch a sex show in Amsterdam. No doubt it was going to be a rated PG trip.
One of my marketing projects during college was to write a marketing business plan. My group somehow decided that we wanted to sell bicycles in the Netherlands since apparently everyone owned a bike. Turns out we picked a severely competitive and mature market to try and enter (hence the low marks) but I was attracted by the idea of a bike-friendly environment. I never lived in a city where bikes were the primary form of transportation, so I was pretty intrigued to see how the city would look.
February 28, 2012 § 102 Comments
Luxembourg is often considered the stuff from fairy tales, with the abundant castles, the picturesque valleys and the romantic atmosphere infecting everyone that steps foot into the tiny country. I almost cried when my dad causally brought up that we should just skip Luxembourg and head straight to Germany.
Sunday is probably the worst days to travel in Europe since everything is closed. I was disappointed that nothing in Luxembourg city was open that day. Not only was nothing opened, it was freezing and no one was in sight – a hint of resemblance to a ghost town. The only perk was not having to deal with hoards of tourists squawking about. After a while I became used to the stillness and I refocused my attention to the elegant architecture and stunning scenery. Luxembourg sits on precipitous cliffs, which suddenly drops into deep valleys and circled by two rivers. It was clear that the city was built at a place of strategic military significance. The old walls and towers still surround the city, making it almost too easy to imagine the bustling city life during the middle ages. It’s so different from Asia where everything was built in the last century or so.
October 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
You never know what unexpected surprise may be lurking in the corner…
January 7, 2011 § 3 Comments
If I’m not unloading my miseries onto my friends when I’m having a bad day, I’m probably sitting in front of my computer, pouting at the screen. The internet is my go-to place to escape reality and just immerse myself with the endless (and mindless) flow of data, images and videos out in the virtual space. It’s distracting but in these cases, a distraction I welcome.
These awesome rainbow graffiti’s have been showing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico: