Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

Each time I re-visit Philadelphia, I fall deeper in love with the city. It’s because the city does something very right, something I wish more cities in the US did: Philadelphia celebrates its past with an almost reverent abandon while it has its feet firmly planted in its present, all the while focusing a steady gaze at its future.

Here’s a brief chronicle of the impressions and memories I gathered the few times I’ve been in the city.


If you want to explore the different facets and histories of a city, there’s no better way than to go directly to its honest (and unvarnished) roots. And how do you do that?

  • By seeking out the varied and mouth-watering local produce and homemade goodies in its farmers’ market(s)
  • Or walking through the hallways of its long-standing monuments or along the well-worn cobbled streets in its residents’ shoes (or in their ancestors’ attire, as the case may be 😊)
  • Or adding your own colors (not literally, of course) to the murals of its walls that bear a silent and detached testimony to the changing times and mores
  • Or delighting in the hidden gardens you happen upon, which you didn’t know existed
  • Or…the best avenue yet: losing yourself in its quaint independent bookstores bursting at their seams with treasured books. I’ve lost my heart to these rare gems of bookstores at first sight and will definitely re-visit them whenever I’m in their neighborhoods

I look forward to adding more pages to my continued discovery of this wonderful city.

How do you make friends with a new city? Please share!

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There’s a definite nip in the air. Autumn, which has nudged summer to its rightful place, is here to stay; at least until it colors the world in brilliant hues and moves on to find greener pastures.

The leaves – soon to turn into mature yellows and sober reds and ochres – are preparing to part with their moorings. There’s a sense of restraint, a sense of brooding expectancy, in the air.

While I won’t say fall and winter lower my spirits, they definitely have a more subduing effect on them. And both the seasons invariably push me into a meditative mood.

My taste in reading begins to gravitate towards reflective, lyrical and dark. Think: The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray; The Taj Mahal Trilogy by Indu Sundaresan; The Sano Ichiro series by Laura Joh Rowland. (My sister recently suggested another candidate for this list: The Janissary Tree series by Jason Goodwin. I haven’t had a chance to dig into this treasure trove yet; I can’t wait to retire to my alcove with it.)

I begin to seek music that is more grounded and ponderous; music involving a cello or a bass. The dignified timbre of these two instruments manages to lend the exact emotions for the season. Think: Yo-yo Ma.

Some Chinese movies have made use of these instruments in their soundtrack to stunning effects: Fearless, Hero, The House of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and so on. The music strums the baser feelings — core sensibilities — inside of me.

What does Fall mean to you?

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