Other Places

Love Letter #1

Love Letter #1

Let’s be clear: I have never left my heart in San Francisco. It’s not for lack of trying. But in my handful of visits over the last decade, the city in the bay has never wormed its way in. It’s left me foggy and shivering, perpetually freezing and somehow lost, as my otherwise impeccable sense of direction is challenged at every turn and I am unable to get my bearings. I can’t follow the direction of the sun because I cannot see the sun for all the hills and fog and hippies.


I should have warned you

I should have warned you

But I really didn’t know.

When I sat on that plane to LAX, muscling my way through Night at the Museum II: The Legend of Curley’s Gold, I knew this trip home had a lot waiting for me. I just had no idea what that meant.


Late Day, San Francisco

Late Day, San Francisco

City of Angels

City of Angels

Well, if one is going to go on vacation, one may as well Go On Vacation with capital letters. I know it seems with all my gallivanting around northeastern Asia this year that I’ve done plenty of vacationing. But the truth is that in the last year I took one day off and had a […]


Dear California

Dear California

It’s been awhile, and I have to say, you are making me a little bit swoony. Love, Stephanie


Sunset

Sunset

How the ocean sunk its teeth in me last weekend:


Island

Island

This is how it works: sun, hot, beach, book, sandals, purple yam soft serve, sleeping cats, shrines, tiny shops, steep steps, shady path, stunning view, Fuji, incense, garden, hawks, observatory, music, magicians, yaki soba, cold beer, book, sun, hot, terrace, long shadows, flat rocks, big ocean, meandering path, cool breeze, sun sets, thai noodles, more […]


Enoshima

Enoshima

Japan, you had me at konnichiwa. Sure we had that falling out last week with all those earthquakes. You made me think long and hard about our future. But then you surprised me with a weekend on the seaside, and well, let’s just call it a wash.


Adventuring

Adventuring

Ganghwa Island, just 90 minutes and 4,200 Won west of my front door, is a lush and quiet landscape of rice paddies, verdant mountains, Buddhist temples and mud flats on Korea’s western shore. The island lies just at the edge of the North Korean border and has a long history of blah blah blah invading […]


Into the Presence of Still Water

Into the Presence of Still Water

Two months before I moved to Austin, I stopped through the city on my way back to Massachusetts from California. I took a small room at the Hotel San Jose on South Congress, where I drank cold beer on the patio, stuck daisies in my hair and listened to Toni Price sing her heart out […]


The Disney World of Giant Buddhas

The Disney World of Giant Buddhas

Just west of Hong Kong and Kowloon is Lantau Island, where you will find Hong Kong International Airport and a big, giant Buddha on top of a mountain. For $99 HK (that’s about $12.75 US), you can take a thirty minute cable car ride over turquoise waters and pristine rolling hills, through the delicate lace […]


Through the Window

Through the Window

I could see farther than anyone

I could see farther than anyone

While lunching on warm afternoon air and asparagus stuffed chicken breast with saffron polenta, I was instructed by my local guide to make sure I took a trip down to the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. The previous day he’d instructed me to take my camera to Kowloon in the evening and watch the […]


Towers and Signs

Towers and Signs

Did you have Dim Sum?

Did you have Dim Sum?

In February, I was tasked with the very difficult assignment of going to Hong Kong to acquire my work visa. Difficult because Hong Kong was enjoying temperatures well above 20ºC while Seoul was enjoying temperatures well below 0º. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Hong Kong, I implore you to eat as much […]


Perfect

Perfect

In case you didn’t know, the perfect day includes: A latte your father made with homefries your mother made. Salty hair and sandy toes. Small ones collecting crabs and shells in the tidepools. A Cheez-It or two. The sound of the waves and distant laughter when you are falling asleep in the sand with an […]


New York on Film

New York on Film

Boston

Boston

I learned a lot of things at home this summer, but the most important things were these: I am excellent at Wii Golf. Just like a good little Birdie. Or perhaps an Eagle. Former state prisons make excellent boutique hotels and fancy bars. There is not a suitcase big enough to get everything I need […]


The Law of Reversed Effort

The Law of Reversed Effort

When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink. But when you try to sink, you float. Alan Watts


Into the Future and Out of the Past

Into the Future and Out of the Past

Things are moving… Into the future and out of the past, into the future and out of the past. Ryan Adams Jacksonville City Nights


All things go, all things go

All things go, all things go

Drove to Chicago All things know, all things know. I fell in love with the place, in my mind, in my mind I made a lot of mistakes, in my mind, in my mind. Sufjan Stevens See all the photos here.


Dear Vancouver

Dear Vancouver

It was love at first sight, really it was. I have scoured this continent for the better part of the last 15 years and have not yet found a city that romances me as much as you do. Sure, you showed up to our first date in your finest clothes, all that glorious sunshine and […]


Things I’ve Learned in One Week

Things I’ve Learned in One Week

1. Every male on Vancouver Island, and quite possibly all of Canada itself, is named either Dave or Joel. Mostly Dave. This can be confusing in large groups, but makes meeting new people much easier. 2. In summer, British Columbia is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth. Figure A:The people who live […]


Maybe the sun will shine today

Maybe the sun will shine today

If you ride the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, this is what you will find waiting on the other side of Puget Sound: Snow-capped mountains that reflect into the deepest blue water you’ve ever seen. The tallest of pines that stand vertically at attention along every strip of landscape. Picking fresh […]