I think cities are the most beautiful places in the world. As a kid, I used to walk through airports with my parents and just marvel at the churn of lives in motion. In my short years, I had the privilege of living in a handful of major cities around the world, a fact that I find astounding and deeply humbling.
Here, I thought my first time living on my own in a big city, is where so many stories converge. Where each path I could take is less predictable than the last. Everyone and Joan Didion tell me that I’ll outgrow the fascination. New York, Didion writes, is “a city for only the very young.” But at dusk, when the sun hasn’t quite set and the urban light-scape flickers to life, all I see is promise.
Last week, I explored Golden Gate park with my mom and discovered even more reasons to be enchanted – figuratively and literally.
This weekend, my friend So Yun and I meandered through the crisp, perennially sweater-weather air of San Francisco. We were in Hayes Valley for the San Francisco Urban Air Market, a marketplace that features independent artists and sustainable design. Vendor tents lined several blocks of the neighborhood, with a free painting party in the center and live musicians tucked into the corners. So Yun and I weaved through wares from jewelry makers, illustrators, alpaca fleece weavers, and a surprising number of handmade baby clothes makers.
My dad and I drove seven hours up the coast from LA to SF on Sunday, during which time: he gave me advice on making friends in a new city (maybe I should actually go out on Fridays?), we bought buckets of drive-through soda to stave off the 110° heat, and I found out that my dad can rap the first full three minutes the old-school funk classic, “Rapper’s Delight.”
We made the drive so that my dad could visit me, and so that we could cap off the summer by watching the LA Dodgers play the San Francisco Giants. It was more than a game — the victor of this match would settle, at least for a night, the grave and virulent debate of which is the superior half of California.
Not to perpetuate a stereotype or anything, but summers growing up in Southern California were amazing. With the ocean a quick drive away and warm nights in Los Angeles, there was always a wealth of fun, carpe diem-y things to do. Summer was a sparkler – bright, ardent, and fading fast.
There is no bliss like fresh mochi.
Growing up, I would associate the gooey balls of sweet rice paste with trips to the Asian supermarket with my mom. We almost always chose Daifuku, or mochi with a sweet red bean paste filling. It was the tasty, sticky snack at the end of a family errand. So it seems appropriate that it was my mom (through impressive Internet-sifting) who found out about the Benkyodo Company.
Loads of people on the Internet have more informed opinions on lip gloss and trends. I highly recommend checking them out. I’m still scrabbling for wisdom myself, so I’m really not in a position to impart any.
What you might get out of this blog is an exciting, impressionistic portrait of one person’s embarkation into a new city and post-grad life. This is where I’m documenting newness of moments before they pass.
Like this stage in my life, La Pia en Rose is bright and inchoate. It is, at least, a promise to myself to savor time, write more, and in doing so understand more. Maybe, at its grandest, this blog can be an act of love.
By way of this blog, I hope to generate new experiences, perspectives, pieces of text, and sending creativity into the world like messages in bottles.
Maybe they’ll wash onto your shore. Maybe you’ll even enjoy them.