Flowers for a grey day (PPAC #45)

It’s that time again where I feature public art from some part of the world outside of Los Angeles. I first came across Jeff Koons’ bouquet statue a few years ago in the Broad Museum in downtown LA. While vacationing in February 2020, I saw the bouquet of tulips again but this time in Paris. The statue in Paris includes a large hand, whlie in

Continue reading Flowers for a grey day (PPAC #45)

Life according to my first digital camera

The first digital camera I ever bought with money I earn from my first job was a Canon point-and-shoot camera. Before that I would buy a series of cheap point-and-shoot 35 mm cameras and one-time-use cameras with money I earned through meager allowances and babysitting gigs. The Canon camera was my first big purchase in my life — it was the first items I bought in my life that was more than $50 — actually I remembered it was around the ballpark of $250+ in the early 2000s. At the time, my Canon point-and-shoot was the most expensive thing I owned and I was devoted to taking care of it, hoping it would last me a long time. From my senior year in high school at 17 years to 23 years old, it had a pretty good lifespan. Here is where it took me according to my Canon:

Lens Artists #133– My Photography Journey

Tuesday Photo Challenge: The Campaign

This photo goes back to 2005 when my family and I went to Paris one summer. We were on a bus and we saw all these rollerbladers. It appeared to be an impromptu parade by the Parisians. There were also runners, people dancing on parade floats, and music — though I do not have any pictures of that. Anyways this parade was a campaign bid for Paris to participate in a future summer Olympics. It was lively to watch.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Action

Five things Friday: Greetings from Vallée de la Loire

Five Things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

Learning a foreign languages

I saw this quote on my Facebook feed, “If a child can do advanced math, speak three languages, or receive top grades, but can’t manage their emotions, practice conflict resolution, or handle stress, none of that other stuff is really going to matter.” Of course the person who shared it on my feed is obviously a mom.

I do have to argue that learning and speaking a foreign language (though not perfect) opens you up to a lot of opportunities. It helps you deal with people better. I work in a hospital where a lot of the patients we serve are non-English speakers. I find it unacceptable when an employer or a volunteer at my work turns away a patient or a visitor because they “only speak English.” That’s not good emotional intelligence, that’s just plain ignorance. When I am in a foreign country or a place where I am the only English speaker, I do try to speak that language. I struggle and it really shows, but I have never been turned away from a service.

Paris Syndrome?

Today (Thursday) I just left Paris for Loire Valley. The last time I was in Paris, it was almost 15 years ago. It may be an unpopular opinion, but my second visit to Paris exceeded my expectations. Why would I want to come back if I already done every touristy thing back in 2005? Well, my husband has never been to Paris. As a Vietnamese person, he wanted to visit the country that heavily influenced the Vietnamese (vietnamien) dishes he has grown up with. Paris was great, I do expect to come back for more visits.

Anyways, back to “Paris Syndrome.” When I was planning for our trip to Europe, I was writing different itineraries. A lot of people advised me to avoid Paris for a variety of reasons. My husband’s coworker went to Paris a week before is and felt “embarrassed” because it was dirty and he thought the food was not that great. Some people had an awful time to the point where they never want to visit Paris again. Anyways I learned this type of disappointment and it is called “Paris Syndrome.” Maybe a better name is “culture shock.” Paris is like any other major city with its fair share of problems. A city is not a theme park.

Avoiding to post my photos on social media

So far I have not posted a single thing about my trip on any of my social media. Well…this photo below has so far been the only thing I’ve posted from my travels. In previous excursions, I would post up-to-moment stuff we were doing on our trips. But I thought it would better to put it off. After all, we do not have the most reliable cellular network everywhere we go. If we thought posting on social media was important, we’d probably be camping in a McDonald’s everyday for free Wi-Fi.

Sending postcards

I have a really good friends — far beyond what I deserve. When they travel, they send me postcards of each of their destinations. For me, I had the intention to send and it slips my mind (ugh!). This is why I made sending postcards to friends when I travel a thing on my 20 for 2020. For this trip, I bought postcards and wrote a short story that happened at that location. Now I need to find a post office to send them them out.


A row of lanterns in Chinatown Milan

I thought participating in another weekly photo challenge could liven up my weekly recap. I am participating in the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Something to Ponder About. This week’s theme is Row. I think what will make this Friday Photo Challenge a little different from my Tuesday Travel postings is that my Friday Photos will be a bit more recent and will not always be related to travelling. Some of my Travel Tuesday photos dates back many from many years ago.

This week, I just happened to be travelling so I am posting a travel photo. We were passing through Chinatown Milan on Sunday. It looks like based on the lovely row of lanterns they are still doing Chinese New Year festivities.

Bridges around the World

Wow, I had to dig really deep to find some photos of a bridges from my travels. There’s something so charming, pensive, or adventurous about bridges no matter what the size.



Bridges in Italy (2015)
Top (from left to right): Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast
Bottom: Florence, Amalfi Coast

costa rica monterverde cloud forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica (2016)

New York City Highline

Highline Park, New York City, USA (2012)


Bridges of Japan (2007)
Top: Shirikawa, Tokyo
Bottom: Kanazawa, Takayama

Somewhere in the California Central Coast (2006). This view along with a cup of coffee makes me feel pensive.

San Francisco (2015). This was from the Google San Francisco office.

From the top of the Eiffel Tower (2005)

And of course, home

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge