2013 has been a crazy year for Hangzhou. We have endured a summer of record-setting heat with three straight weeks of the mercury rising above 40˚C. Families hung out in the subway for hours with no intention of actually going anywhere. This fall, we saw enough rain to shut down Xueyuan Road for three days. Waves from buses engulfed pedestrians as they waded through the knee-high water.
L.A. City Beat Magazine inducted him “The King of Hancock Park!” Norwood Young doesn’t just live up to but thrives within his royal Hollywood socialite status. A longtime veteran of the entertainment business, he started singing at 6. Norwood soon after signed his first album deal with major label, MCA/Magnolia records, where he recorded an album titled “I Can’t Let You Go!” This album garnered major critical acclaim and was quite successful in the UK. Songs like the remake of, “Time Be My Lover,” (a classic by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes) and “Shoulda Been US Together,” turned Norwood into a UK celebrity, and are considered R&B classics! This album toured Norwood all over Europe, Japan, and even Lima Peru where fans loved the music of “Norwood B.”… Norwood got his first big break on “Star Search.” He later became owner of a very lucrative nightspot Club Collage in Germany, saw the world as a singer on both concert stages (as one-time lead singer of the R&B/Jazz band Pieces of a Dream on its gold-selling single, “What Can I Do”) and Broadway musical theater stages as Jimmy “Thunder” Early in an off-Broadway revival of “Dreamgirls,” and was a regular on the reality TV series “High Maintenance 90210” (on the E! channel).
- from Norwood Young, A Biography
It would be worth going to South Africa just to be in the wilderness, to see animals from big to small, meat eater to ant eater, primate to reptile. It was on one of the game drives that I began to realize just how much life is teeming under this big canopy of the national park – both seen and unseen by my untrained eyes.
adoration: (1) The state or condition of adoring, which is more or less like a state or condition or loving, but with antiseptic properties, the aroma of white linen, and the taste of weak, warm chamomile tea; (2) an unspecific expanse of time, e.g., “I’ve been waiting for quite adoration to get my 12-piece McNuggets.”
She had peed on her feet, something the taxi driver had no way of knowing. Indeed he had no way of knowing that she had peed on her feet for the first time ever in her life, and had done so while wearing sandals and shorts, in a public convenience with poor ventilation, trillions of fat flies, and all the unpleasantries found in and around popular municipal lavatories at the zenith of summer.
This ”City of Learning and Burning” may be lacking in grandiose icons like the extravagant marble mausoleum in Agra, or the historic forts and opulent palaces of Rajasthan, but Varanasi is to be experienced, to be felt, and to be touched.
I’d say caveat emptor, but since you didn’t pay for this magazine, I’ll just figuratively flick a desanquinated slice of lime in your general direction and deliver the intel with no more pomp than either you or the circumstances deserve.
Yu Hua, one of China’s most internationally-renowned contemporary writers, and the first Chinese author to receive the James Joyce Award, often chronicled the Cultural Revolution with startling ruthlessness. His most famous novel, To Live, was turned into a film by China’s most famous director, Zhang Yimou and starred China’s most famous actors, Ge You and Gong Li. While it was banned in China due to its politics, it went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Ecuador, also known to many as the “Middle of the Earth,” straddles the Equator, from which its name derives meaning, “equal.” My journey began in Quito, the country’s capital, situated at an altitude of 2800m above sea level, ringed by six volcanoes, two of which are still active.
The other day I was having dinner and drinks with some Singaporean friends. The topic turned to living in Hangzhou, as conversations among foreigners are wont to do. I asked them to list the top five things they liked about Hangzhou.
What? You mean Xinwen Lianbo, the nightly national news from CCTV? Or perhaps the ever-charming and always candid Yang Rui, who demanded a sweeping-up of foreign trash and called Melissa Chan, an American-Chinese reporter at Al-Jarzeera, a “bitch”?*
Heavens, no – we mean The Voice of China, the runaway hit reality show produced by Zhejiang Satellite TV.
Imagine you are a fish – a shimmering, iridescent pelagic beauty, fluttering about and zipping through a three-dimensional world that you feel weighing upon your every scale. Life is good – you had a whale of a time in school, and now your friends include Hollywood starfish. But in your suburban saline universe, scallops live in the sorts of places your fish mother warned you about -- the muddy, gunky parts of town you don’t want to visit after dark. But you are not a fish, thank Neptune, and so none of the foregoing is relevant. But not being a fish, you know that these fascinating marine molluscs are among the finest flowers in the aquatic protein bouquet. My hometown, as it happens, is as famous for its scallops as it is for the heroin junkies and Azorean riff-raff who harvest and shuck them. They are my favorite treat from the briny breadbasket, and one among the very few edible creatures I know anything about. (Woodpigeon is the other. Long story.) Now I can tell you, preparing scallops adequate for the domestic dining table is considerably easier than whipping-up lobster thermador, and roughly on par with the skill-level needed not to hopelessly screw-up a tolerable Shrimp Mozambique. But to cook scallops well is no easy feat, and those served to me at Kikaboni by Stiller weren’t good. They were divine.
From the moment you meet her, it’s easy to see why Kerry Dixon knows all about babies. The proof isn’t just found in her own big family (which includes four children by birth, two children by adoption, a husband... and even a dog named “Twix”) but also in her naturally calm, reassuring, and nurturing demeanor. On top of that, I can personally attest to her ability to operate under duress as well. After all, she had only been in China for about 48 hours, but still graciously allowed me to thoroughly “grill” her, in spite of the effects of jet-lag.
Of course, I tried to make it as painless as possible. Here’s what we discussed:
For the past quarter century, China has undergone a sustained period of economic growth and development, giving rise to a middle class hungry for all the accouterments that come with accumulation of excess income. Just look at the development in our cities over the past ten years. Gone are the utilitarian 6-story walk-ups. In their place are luxury high-rise apartments and freestanding homes that wouldn’t look out of place in any Western suburb. Gone as well are the rickshaws and pedi-cabs that once shared street space with city buses and smog-spewing agricultural conveyances. Replaced they’ve been by a gridlock of gleaming new BMWs, Mercedes, Volkswagons, Peugeots, Ferraris, Fiats, and, inexplicably, Buicks. Revolution area uniforms have been pack away to make room for European couture, and old peasant homes have been renovated to house French restaurants and tapas bars. Read on.
This has been a rough month for this intrepid food reviewer. When the editor asked if I could do a review of all the brunches in town, I was thinking, “Yes. A million times yes.” But after roughly a gazillion brunches in a week, it may be a while before I go to another brunch/eat ever again. Lucky for you, I’ve done the hard work of checking out the breakfast/lunch combo options in Hangzhou, so when you get up late on Sunday morning and want some good brunchtime eating, look no further than these great options, so eat, enjoy, and then go take a nap.
Travelling is an experience of landscapes. People who choose to travel are captured, usually at an early age by the idea of seeing strange places, places unfamiliar. We tend to focus on places to see when we think about travel, but travel is an experience of the senses. What makes a place unique is more than geography.
More than any other element of the culture, it is the sounds of China that makes the place such a mystery. As soon as you arrive, the sounds of the world here, the sound of language, the sound of music, signal that indeed you have arrived in a foreign place. Yet, it is impossible to describe the sound of China to people who have not visited this place, where everything has a different cadence and tone. If you attune yourself to listening you will hear that even the ambient noise signals a world on the other side of the world.