May 2012

Postcard from Chico State

Chico State (officially known as California State University, Chico) is known throughout California as a party school. To be fair, it certainly had its hey-day in the 80s and 90s when it was named the top party school in the nation by Playboy. But since then, it’s become one of the top public institutions in […]

May 31, 2012 Continue reading…

Houses of Hoi An

I grew up in the suburbs of Sacramento, a city that was named the most diverse city in the United States by Time Magazine in 2002. The cookie-cutter houses are painted mostly neutral colors, with closely cropped lawns, blooming roses, minivans in the driveway. Every so often, however, a house is painted bright turquoise, neon […]

May 30, 2012 Continue reading…

8 (Instagram-ic) things to love about Sacramento

Sacramento is often dismissed as a cow town capital…because it is. The skyline rises out of flat farmland, recently converted to suburbia. It’s not nearly as sophisticated, or liberal, or fashionable as nearby neighbor San Francisco. There’s less traffic, less Botox, less sunshine than Los Angeles. But Sacramento has a certain charm to it, a […]

May 25, 2012 Continue reading…

Postcard from Hanoi

Drinking “fresh beer” while sitting on child-sized furniture, dodging a constant stream of motorcycle traffic, group aerobics by the lake before the sun rises: this is Hanoi. The city in Vietnam’s north is remarkably cold: in temperature, in ambiance, in attitude. I layered on all the clothes I had, wrapping my scarf around my face, […]

May 24, 2012 Continue reading…

Rock Long, Rock Hard: cruising Halong Bay

Eating a steaming plate of noodles while perched on a plastic chair built for a 5-year-old, I faced a dilemma. I had four days in Hanoi, a city that was a grey and chilly as Saigon was colorful and warm—in weather, in buildings, in people. Hanoi’s proximity to the UNESCO-recognized Halong Bay makes it the […]

May 23, 2012 Continue reading…

Highlights of Hue

I’ve learned that when a city is proclaimed as a country’s cultural capital, it usually means it’s cold. True to form, Hue (pronounced h-way) features gray-hued skies, a chilly wind drafting over the river and squat buildings crowding the winding streets. The Imperial City of Hue is a walled complex of temples, pagodas and extraordinary art: […]

May 21, 2012 Continue reading…

Because it’s commencement speech season

I don’t remember a word of what was said at my college graduation. I had been at the bar drinking Bloody Mary’s since 6 a.m., was force-feeding water to my friend passed out on my shoulder, the sun was blazing and I just wanted President Zingg to pronounce my name correctly as I walked across […]

May 18, 2012 Continue reading…