The last leg of my return home is a twelve minute cab ride from LaGuardia at 2am on a Tuesday. The passenger TV blares but can’t compete with the driver’s stereo, which blasts hip hop.The cabbie and I don’t talk. I’m lost in my thoughts, soaking up the sights and sounds of New York on a late rainy night. I’ve now lived here more than half my life, but it always feels a little strange to return. Everywhere else is so different from here.As he drives down my street he says, “this street used to be all African.” It sounds like an observation, not a judgement.I ask where he lives, suspecting that he must be in the neighborhood from his African accent. I’m right – he lives up on 148th, not too far way.We pull up to my building and I pay my bill. We wish each other a good night. I’m his last fare of his shift. It’s late and we’re both happy to be home.(Grand Central Parkway, Queens)
When I knew I was heading to Eugene for DisOrient, I also knew I’d have to bring my trusty Bike Friday New World Tourist. That’s because Eugene is not only the home of a great little film festival and UO, but also where Green Gear makes their world-class folding bikes.
My 1994 NWT hasn’t been back to its birthplace in almost 15 years, so it just seemed wrong to go without it. Plus, Eugene is a great biking city and I wanted to enjoy it on a great bike. Soon after a tune-up at the factory, my NWT and me were wheeling down Eugene’s great bike paths well into the evening.
(Green Gear Cycling, Eugene, OR)
There are now several good Asian American film festivals in the US and filmmakers and audiences of all stripes are the better for it.DisOrient in Eugene is, as far as I know, the only one not in a large city. But the smallness of place hides a bigness of community-mindedness and hospitality.
I’m having a great time here at what I think is becoming the Asian American Telluride. Kudos, dudes!
(Bijou Art Cinema, Eugene, OR)
The Ghost Bikes give me pause every time I ride by one. They’re a reminder to bike carefully and that there’s much more work to be done to make NYC the safe biking city it should be.But today’s otherwise splendid visit to Philadelphia was marked by this lesson that New York isn’t the only place that needs improvement.(Philadelphia, PA)