Weekly Wanderings: Still Wrapping Up 2018 Edition

■ I have a minor flurry (a squall?) of new pieces to share this week, as several things I wrote in late 2018 got published all at once: At Dissent Magazine (subscribe!), I have a long review essay about new books by Carl Minzner (End of an Era) and Elizabeth Economy (The Third Revolution) thatContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Still Wrapping Up 2018 Edition”

Weekly Wanderings: Random Things I’ve Read Edition

A bunch of things I’ve read and want to share, with a bit of commentary here and there … ▪ Wait inside the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and you’ll notice the same announcement playing every ten minutes or so: a reminder (first in English, then in Japanese and Chinese) that Detroit is inContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Random Things I’ve Read Edition”

Weekly Wanderings: September 9, 2016

I decided to start a new feature here at the blog, as I often find myself holding on to little thoughts that are too long for tweets but not big enough to become blog posts of their own. “Weekly Wanderings [of my brain]” will appear here on Fridays and serve as a catch-all for stuffContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: September 9, 2016”

Panda-monium at the Bronx Zoo: A History

Last week, the New York Times ran a long article detailing the efforts of Representative Carolyn B. Maloney to secure two pandas for the Bronx Zoo. Maloney’s quest faces political hurdles in both New York and Beijing: Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t support any panda plan that requires public funding (building a habitat, leasing theContinue reading “Panda-monium at the Bronx Zoo: A History”

China: Through the Looking Glass

When I worked at a hospital during college, I had a co-worker whom I will call Mike. Mike was not Asian, but he had two Chinese characters tattooed on his arm. Whenever someone asked what they meant, Mike responded “mysterious,” which I’m pretty sure he meant in the film noir-ish sense of “handsome, mysterious, andContinue reading “China: Through the Looking Glass”

Postcard from Citi Field

I should do this more often. I spent yesterday afternoon watching the Phillies lose to the Mets at Citi Field. It was my first time to that ballpark, and there’s a lot to recommend it: easy subway access, a great seat for a reasonable price (thanks to Groupon), well-behaved fans, Nathan’s hot dogs, the occasionalContinue reading “Postcard from Citi Field”

4/30, New York: Women’s Rights Activism in China Today

On April 30, I’ll be the guest speaker at an after-work gathering of China Hands NYC, talking about the topic of women’s rights activism in China today. The jumping-off point for my talk will be, obviously, the five feminists who were detained in China just before International Women’s Day last month and finally released earlierContinue reading “4/30, New York: Women’s Rights Activism in China Today”

My New York Napkin Collection

At first I wanted the napkins. Anyone who has eaten a few meals at mid- or lower-end restaurants in China knows that getting table napkins can require the persistence and negotiating skills of a senior diplomat. You’d think the waitstaff were personally paying for each napkin out of their own paychecks (wait, maybe they are?)Continue reading “My New York Napkin Collection”

Knitters Take Manhattan: Vogue Knitting Live! NYC

(Random side note: although I loved both of my apartments in Shanghai, one thing neither ever offered was quiet, primarily due to the incessant renovations other residents were always undertaking. It just struck me how wonderful it is to sit down with my coffee and laptop early on a Sunday morning and write without theContinue reading “Knitters Take Manhattan: Vogue Knitting Live! NYC”