Grace Tu

Grace Tu

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Kitten Story

It’s amazing when something as small as an image, a voice, a smell, a anything, brings back to me memories that I thought were long lost.

When I was 5 and my sister was 3, our mom would walk us to the kindergarten every day, and every day we would walk through this narrow street with apartments on one side and restaurants on the other – A very typical kind of narrow street in Taipei twenty something years ago. The buildings were built of concrete but old.

There was this one building with a hole a little bigger than a shoebox at the bottom of it. I doubt any adult would ever notice it, but me and my sister were 5 and 3 years old, so our height allowed us to discover things that were just closer to the ground. One day we noticed one cat moved into the hole with her two kittens.

This discovery was really big for us because we were truly city kids who just basically stayed in the city and we weren’t allowed pets. My mom noticed how excited we were and she told us even though we couldn’t take them home, we should feed them or they might not survive. From that day on, my mom would let us bring some milk on our way to the kindergarten every day for the kittens.

This story does’nt have a dramatic ending. I was too young to remember how long it last and one day, those cats just disappear and we never saw them again. What’s interesting is that to this day, my parents still sometimes feed random animals on the streets. They’d take stray dogs to the vet for viccination and feed them really good food , just like so many years ago my mom would say we should feed the kittens.

I completely forgot about this kitten story until I saw this cat on the road close to Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma County. He was so comfortable with me and let me took many pictures of him. For a very long time I didn't think I would be a cat person but maybe I should be. After all I do have a nice little story with them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Palace of Fine Arts

Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chinatown: SF vs. Vancouver

The first time I went to San Fran during my secondment months, I stopped at Chinatown to read my map. An old man with his full bag of groceries stopped and asked me whether I was lost and where I was trying to go. After telling him I wanted to go to the Fisherman's Wharf, he told me how to go there by foot, by bus, or by cable car. And he insisted on me finding something to eat if I decided to go by foot - in case I got to tired and fainted.

This pretty much sums up how I feel about Chinatown - there is something we called 人情味.

The Chinatown in SF is what I'd call...alive. It's full of people and full of energy and it's something that I wish would stay the same forever. It's is something that in my opinion every city should protect, not destroy, because this is where you see stories; this is part of who the cities are.

Here instead of spending over $15 for your lunch, you spend $5, and trust me it's delicious. You see things sold at the right price and nobody is trying to gain ridiculous margin on anything - they know how much it costs to make these stuffs and they're trying to earn the most reasonable amount. Here you see a generation of Chinese who a long time ago bravely moved to the other side of the world and tried their very best to make good livings and how they brought with them wonderful things in Chinese culture.

Why did we make the Chinatown in Vancouver such a dangerous and uncomfortable place to visit? Instead of making it a must-visit attractions, it's now a place that visitors in Vancouver avoid (if you google "Vancouver Chinatown" all you could see is "avoid", "DO NOT GO", "dangerous" from the travelers).

It's such a shame

And it's too late...

San Francisco - The Ferry Building Marketplace

Located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street, the Ferry Building Marketplace is as much fun as our Granville Island.

San Francisco - The City of Steeps and Stories

It is difficult not to fall for this city - everything here tells that this is a city of stories. You see it, you feel it, and you could probably even smell it - it's in the air.

And I not just enjoy but I want to be close to whatever or whoever with stories - how else am I supposed obtain enough to become who I wan to be with the limited stories of my own? But this is off-topics now - the topic is San Francisco and how I adore the city.

If I were asked to describe one of my perfect Sunday during the secondment months, it would be when I took the Caltrain from San Jose to SF, walked along 4th from the train station to Union Square, to China Town, take a turn to Russian Hill, and finally to which ever Pier the road took me. It wasn't even necessary for me to stop and shop or dine because just to walk around this beautiful city was satisfactory enough.

And to proof how I enjoyed the Sunday described - with the never ending workload and with the limited weekends we had, I kept going back.

My pocket was full of Caltrain tickets.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California

Strolling from one end to the other because I was still not confident enough to bike - It might actually take me longer to ride across the bridege since I might fall a lot and might refuse to continue in the middle of the bridge.

It was too cold and windy for us to walk back so the nice Hop-on and Hop-off bus driver gave us a ride. Thank you!

The shadow of the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is the most pupolar place to commit suiside in the entire world as per wiki. There are emergency phones set up at different sections of the bridge in order to save some broken hearts.

From the other side

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Birthday Weekend - One Speeding Ticket and Lots of Clam Chowder

And I hope all that free clam chowder samples I had make up for how much I'm going to pay for the speeding ticket!