It’s hard to believe that we were walking along these side streets of Stockholm a week ago today. I really liked the holiday lights on these small streets, each depicting a different design. They’re by far the most elegant lights I’ve seen in cities around the world.
Last week we spent a long weekend in Stockholm, which was fabulous and much warmer than back in Chicago. One of my favorite things about traveling abroad is seeing architecture I don’t get at home. And Stockholm didn’t disappoint at all. From the our hotel balcony, which was such a treat, even in the winter:
And near our hotel at dusk, which happened around 3pm.
These were also near our hotel:
We hung out at this Espresso House after dinner one night.
This one was also near our hotel, on the way to the tram stop.
These are right along the tram terminus.
A building spotted on the tram route.
The central train station:
I didn’t see a lot of Art Deco architecture, but this came the closest.
As did this one:
These buildings were in Gamla Stan, or Old Town, across one of the many bridges from the part of Stockholm where we stayed:
Gamla Stan was mostly made up of small alleyways.
We spent a lot of time on yet another island of the Stockholm archipelago. The Nordiska Museet, or Nordic Museum, was phenomenal.
This house is across the street from the Nordiska Museet reminds me of a lighthouse.
The styles of architecture are as diverse as Stockholm’s vibrant population. It’s part fairytale and part utilitarian, and we enjoyed it all.
This year was not what many people expected or hoped for, but I have to say professionally and personally it was quite amazing. I wish I could share some exciting book news, but that will come in time. For now, here are some highlights from the year.
The year kicked off with a mention of Good Chinese Wife on the Writers’ Digest Guide to Literary Agents Blog with their first post of 2017: 81 Damn Good Reasons to Read the Guide to Literary Agents Blog in 2017. My book was 4th on the list behind Veronica Roth, Erin Morgenstern, and Sabaa Tahir!
February ushered in the Year of the Rooster! I always buy US postage stamps that commemorate the Lunar New Year animal for the new year.
I took my little ones to New York in early March to visit their big brother. We walked by Allen Street on the Lower East Side, which borders Chinatown. My paternal grandfather was born at 20 Allen Street, which is a new, nondescript building. So the intersection of that corner seemed much more picturesque. I would make additional trips back to New York in April, June, and September this year.
We traveled to Arizona at the end of March and early April. It was great driving around the state, from Phoenix to Sedona to the Grand Canyon to Tucson. I also met with author Tiffany Hawk, who became a great friend this year. We traveled to Hong Kong several months later. More on that in August…
I reviewed Karen Fang’s spell-binding book, Arresting Cinema, for the LARB’s China Blog this month. It turned out to be my last review for the China Blog before it turned into the China Channel (for which my first review will come out in early 2018).
In June, we traveled back to Paris as soon as school got out. The summer was a hot one around the world and Paris was no exception. So we stopped at many outdoor cafes for a cold Badoit and just gazed around at the scenery around us.
In July, we traveled to Washington, DC, and one of our favorite stops was Ford Theater and the Petersen House. This photo was taken in the Petersen House, where Lincoln died, and this tower is made from books all written about Lincoln. It was very impressive!
Hong Kong! Need I say more? Tiffany Hawk and I met up there with her friend Kara, who I’m seeing this week in Chicago. We went for super secret book stuff and had a blast.
This month my memoir made the Spirited Woman Top Twelve Book Pick List for the Fall Equinox. It was such an honor to be named with these other amazing women writers.
Speaking of amazing women, I met Senator Tammy Duckworth in October and there couldn’t be a more inspirational politician in America today.
I got into bookbinding with my niece this year and took two classes, one this summer and one in November. This book uses coptic stitching and it was really fun to make.
In December my first articles were published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal! It’s been a dream to write for them for a long time, and I was excited and so honored to have not one, but two film reviews in their “Writing Hong Kong” issue.
It’s been a travel-filled year and one I hope to replicate in 2018. I also hope to have more exciting writing news to share in the coming year.
A very happy and healthy new year to all!
One of the many things I love about Hong Kong is its banyan trees. They’re easy to spot with their flowing, above-ground roots. I saw the above tree at Kowloon Park in August this year. The following banyans are ones I’ve seen over the last five years.
The hands of gratitude sculpture is on Nathan Road just outside Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui. The street is lined with banyans and is just as lovely as it was when I first saw Hong Kong at the age of 19.
If you look closely, you can see roots climbing down the trunk on the far right of this photo.
The roots of this banyan grew down the side of a cliff in Lan Kwai Fong on Hong Kong Island.
I’m not really sure if there are banyans in this photo, but the public loo is so cute (although I didn’t dare try it!). This was taken on the Peak.
Another photo from my walk up to the Peak. The banyan roots are alongside a nullah, or drainage trench, carved into the side of the hill. Without nullahs, there would be horrible landslies. Hong Kong is efficient like that.
This beautiful banyan was on another part of the walk up to the Peak.
And here’s yet another banyan on that walk. It’s another example of engineering to prevent landslides. The banyan roots seem to adapting quite well to the cement protector.
This banyan is in Kowloon City, not far from the old Kai Tak Airport.
Another angle of the same tree.
And this banyan is behind a temple in Wanchai. It’s hard to see, but cement stairs have been built into the side of the tree on the right side of this photo.
I probably have more banyan photos because these trees really are everywhere in Hong Kong. There were many on campus where I lived up in the New Territories 20+ years ago. Hong Kong is known for its urban density, but it’s also filled with great trees and other flora.