It is a privilege in this age to know personally the human whose hands molded, cut, forged and fired the items that we hold dear to us. Mass-made objects hold no meaning but their function. The more hands it takes to assemble them, the less consequential these hands are to the end user. As I’ve become more aware of the detriments of most of humankind’s capitalist, consumerist habits, I’ve found more joy in seeking out objects that serve as a material connection between myself and the maker. When an artisan puts intentful thought and care into their craft, each piece is a part of their story and a gift unto the receiver. I received such a gift from such an artisan during my time abroad in Florence.
Dear Los Angeles,
I should have written this months ago, but I think the fact that it took me this long says something about how strongly I felt about you and how compelled I was to reflect. As in, I feel strongly that you—sprawling, suffocating, and shallowly pleasing mostly because of Instagram-able gentrification—are not the right place for me. Though I have found a few gems scattered across the city?region?blob?, they are not nearly sufficient to counteract the whole unsavory experience of being in LA.
Venice, despite being quite completely consumed by tourism, is one of the most magical places in Italy. I’ve always loved the pairing of city and sea, and Venice is just that, with none of the beach in between. Some narrow streets lead you directly onto the water, the shadow of the buildings cut by a sudden bright openness. Gondolas drift lazily, but the gondolier is anything but lazy, perched on the stern, skillfully cutting and dragging the water with his oar. What I savored most was not my own visit to Venice, but instead how it lured my imagination towards Venice-past, a time when the city was untouched by hoards of foreigners and Venetians simply went about their lives, sailing to and fro with family, friends, and lovers.
late night thoughts
will globalization affect Italy in the same way that it’s affected the United States? with products being produced all over the world becoming taken for granted? here everything is so rooted in Italianness, it’s such a young country, the development of Italy as a nation only really starting with the end of WWII
facetiming my friends really has been such a game changer, i can’t believe i never really thought to do it until now. it makes me so elated to just spend an hour or two catching up with them and hearing about what’s going on in their lives.
today at the grocery store i saw the waiter who served me my gnocchi last week
the town is becoming smaller already
What does it mean to connect high level theories to every day work? How can we be more cognizant of the things we learn through our readings?
Today was my first day of class, as well as the first day I actually had a little bit of time to myself. All of my housemates had 9am classes while my first class started at 11am today, so I stayed in the apartment a little while longer in the morning. It was nice to have the place to myself, but I also felt restless, and as soon as I left for class, I realized why. Strolling through the city alone, I realized how much I missed just walking by myself, window-shopping, observing, taking in the streets of the city, which is something I do often at home. My Google Map of Florence is speckled with saved locations that I want to try, shops and restaurants that I hope will turn out to be gems of establishments. I hope to be wandering around more often, on my own especially — it’s a personal space that I’ve been missing
I’m not usually a fan of the hours before a flight, especially since I’m the kind of person who doesn’t usually feel much excitement about the upcoming trip until I have literally landed at the destination. Sitting on my bed at home, going through my mental packing list over and over even though I’ve packed for trips so many times, always feeling like I’m missing something. I suppose that’s the anxiety of being in between. Even though this time around, I’m leaving for a trip that I know will change my life, in a city that I’ve only heard wonderful things about, I still feel apprehensive, not quite sure what do with myself … so I hope that my mood starting off this trip isn’t indicative of how my study abroad experience will turn out. I hope that the beauty of Florence will shoo away my sadness over leaving home and entering into a long distance relationship
Janice Wong // Tokyo
If fineness of sand is any indication of the age of a beach, then she was a young one, speckled blush and beige, waiting for the waves to smooth out her edges. She was a beach that never saw the sunset in all of its glory, only able to catch its muted afterglow. We sat, sand seeping into the pockets of our denim shorts. The tide came steadily over bare feet, unsurprisingly cool at first touch, then warmer at each arrival.
Dear New York,
I fucking love you.
I understand why you have such a reputation now. I get why you’re the subject of so many dreams. You got me.
To say that 2017 was a year of immense growth would be a bit of a strange statement. That would imply that I didn’t grow and change as much or enough during all the other years of my life, and I don’t think that’s true. So in that sense, 2017 was just another year.