Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: Boston

Endings and Beginnings

It's been awhile since I last blogged (a month!), and it's been a whirlwind month. I have:

  • traveled to Boston, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, and New York
  • had some job interviews in the Bay Area
  • signed a lease with a friend for an apartment in Berkeley
  • eaten out a ton, allowing me to reconnect with countless friends from all parts of my life
  • slept in many different beds
  • ridden on planes, trains, buses, and cars
  • packed up all my belongings into two moving containers to be shipped cross country
  • experienced the mixed emotions of watching the 117th Boston Marathon
  • been to a pig roast
  • presided at a wedding
  • done my laundry twice
  • reached the seventh week of my C25K training, now running a straight 25 minutes!
  • made the official decision to move out to the Bay Area

View of Oakland and the Bay Bridge from the Ferry Building in San Francisco

It's been a busy and productive month. And now my time in Boston is coming to a close after 14 years. I came to Boston to go to graduate school; and over the last 14 years, I have (note: as I have shared before, I love lists, and it seems apropos in this entry where I'm reflecting a bit on this past time period, so bear with me!)

View of the Boston skyline from the red line train crossing the Charles River

  • lived in six places
  • had three full time jobs and a few part-time gigs here and there
  • put in countless volunteer hours working on projects and initiatives with amazing teams of people, mostly on issues in the Asian American community
  • had great meals in restaurants and in people's homes
  • participated in three, maybe four, different CSAs
  • bought a car, my trusty 2000 Honda Accord
  • been on lots of weekend retreats, with youth and adults (I think over 20…)
  • grown my hair out and cut it short again
  • picked up yoga
  • watched lots of teens grow up before my very eyes, where many of them are now getting married, having kids, making a difference in the world
  • mentored and been mentored
  • met and become part of many people's lives, people I now consider family

The last time I left a place where I really felt connected and sad to leave was in college, 17 years ago. But then it wasn't really a choice. We had graduated, and it was time to leave. Now, I make this choice to leave voluntarily, not because of anything bad that is pushing me out. In fact, I have much to keep me here– namely, the people I know and love here.

Not really sure what kind of tree this is, but look at those buds and flowers on the branches!

I've made the decision to leave Boston because I'm ready for a new challenge, to take on a new city and see what I can make of myself and my surroundings. To push myself out of my comfort zone and build new things: work, relationships, community, space. I've never been one to do things “traditionally,” and I wonder what the future holds.

I'm looking forward to settling back down in a new place, cooking my own meals again and having a regular schedule. It's been an amazing 8 months traveling and exploring, but I'm definitely done with the living out of a suitcase, eating at restaurants, not having my own bed, and spending money that comes with traveling.

 

Ode to LA Comestibles

Pictures say a thousand words. Well, kind of. You might not know what some of these foods are without captions. And in these pictures, the main single word is YUM.

Korean cold noodle soup from Corner Place. I wish I had gotten a large!! This was delicious.

Earl grey ice from Sweet Crush Ice Bar. The flavoring was so intensely Earl grey, I just kept eating and eating...

Salt ramen with pork belly strips. Amazing broth, amazing pork belly. Great flavors at Santouka Ramen in the Mitsuwa Marketplace

Eight preparations of pork belly laid out on a cool tray. Plain, curry, herbal, spicy, ginseng, miso, and garlic. Oh so good when grilled at the table. My favorites were the plain and spicy.

The grill is tilted down so the grease drips down through the kimchee and bean sprouts. If you want, at the end of the meal, they do a fried rice with the cooked vegetables. We were too full to eat that.

These were the best of the best, as filtered through my cousins' palates. But I am of the opinion that even bad food in LA is not as bad as bad food in Boston. Why is that? Is it that food in LA is just so much better or that food in Boston just is at a lower level? I mean, not all Boston food is bad, but when it comes to Asian food, especially Korean and Japanese food, Boston just doesn't compare to LA.

Thanks to my cousins for cramming all this food into our stomachs! I felt like those poor geese must feel, when being prepared for foie gras!

V is for “Vast”

The world is both small and big at the same time.

Small in that we can travel to any part of it on a plane in, at most, two days.

Small in that we can talk to anyone anywhere anytime.

Small in that we can run into people we know in any part of the world coincidentally.

Big in that there’s so much to see that it’s really hard to see it all in one lifetime.

Big in that driving across the U.S. still takes a lot of time, in actual hours.

Big in that the sun takes awhile to cross the skies of all parts of the world.

I’m going to be seeing just a bit of that vastness in my travels.

Here’s my planned itinerary:

By car:

  • Boston to Niagara Falls, Canada to Chicago, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri to Aurora, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico to Globe, Arizona.

By plane:

  • Phoenix, Arizona to Los Angeles, California to Auckland, New Zealand to Bali, Indonesia…

And that’s as far as I’ve got planned right now.  I’m hoping to throw in a few more countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Korea at the end.  I’m leaving soon.  September 3rd to be exact.  Excited and nervous.  Trying to finish my packing.  Last night could only sleep 4 hours.  The days are passing [too] quickly.

R is for “Resonance”

Lots of things have been resonating with me recently:

  • connecting and reconnecting with friends whom I haven’t seen in awhile and are now seeing because I am leaving.  Talking with these old friends reminds me of why we are friends to begin with.  So many resonances!
  • walking through parts of Boston in the beautiful pre-fall weather, seeing places I recognize, seeing new places, smelling the familiar air, and appreciating the nice aspects of Boston.
  • talking with people who have traveled recently or in the past and them sharing stories of experiences they have had that are in line with what I hope to experience– adventures, volunteering, self exploration, lots of eating!

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These are pictures I took on my walk yesterday on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the result of the Big Dig where the highway was sent underground leaving above ground space for trees, grass, and a nice pathway in the urban jungle.

That mural was really eye-popping.  It’s on the area where the Occupy Boston encampment was located last year.  It’s interesting that this mural was put up (through the Institute of Contemporary Art) almost as a continuation of the spirit of Occupy Boston.

This past year I have been feeling a lot of resonance with everything around me.  Harmony.  Connected.  Antsy but at peace at the same time.  I was reminded of the concept of resonance structures from my college chemistry days when I was still pre-med!  Something about a stable form of a molecule or something like that.  What I take from that concept is the sense of stability, lowest potential energy where things are solid.  And even with so much changing around me, I feel grounded. I hope I can draw from that energy when things get hectic in my travels as I’m sure they will!

#35: Boston’s Esplanade Views

We went to the Esplanade Playspace with the niece and nephew and enjoyed the morning watching them use the kid zip line and other playground contraptions. Amazing how fancy these playgrounds get these days.n I remember in MY day, we were happy with a rickety swing set that had swings, a sliding board, and monkey bars! Kids these days…. (or should I say “companies making kids toys these days…”)

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We walked around the area of the Esplanade as the July 4th festivities were being set up and I saw this cool monument, sculpture, statue of Arthur Fiedler.

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Arthur Fielder was the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. I was reading that he was sometimes criticized for “over-popularizing” music when he did things like edited a longer classical piece for the audience or did orchestral arrangements of pop music. That’s an interesting critique- probably from elitist audiences who wanted classical music to be considered a high art form for those educated and with money to pay for the expensive seats! What’s wrong with making things popular and accessible?

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