Feb 20 2016

The mystery of Jiande 建德

I often hear people from Dongzhi (Anhui) mention Jiande 建德. I vaguely remember it’s an ancient city/county that no longer exist. But I was wrong. Google 安徽建德 I got the following:

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  1. zh wiki, from Qing dynasty 清朝安徽建德縣知縣
  2. baike, this not only claims one of tourist spots in Anhui 建德是安徽省旅游景点最集中的地区之一, the web is sizable.
  3. baike, an old county in Anhui 安徽省原建德县

I was confused. An inquire with a local official, I was told, “the web site is inaccurate.” Gosh! Some official sites, for example, this Dongzhi page links to its government site at www.ahdongzhi.gov.cn, in fact isn’t working (www.dongzhi.gov.cn works tho). Hello, is anybody home?

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Feb 20 2016

Is Jiande still exist?

Jiande, Anhui province in China. This article is sizable:

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Feb 11 2016

Xiao Pangu in 2016

My cousin Zhou Qun 周群 just visited the garden and took these photos today, in comparison with his grandfather’s, in black and white, which were taken over a century ago. He wrote “今天回到扬州曾经的祖宅参观,感谢大家多年来投入很大力量,与我八十年代和两千年初到访时相比,园子很好地保持和恢复了原来的风貌。每一组图中,黑白照片是祖父拍摄于一百年前,彩色照片是我拍摄于今天下午。”

Thanks cous, nicely done!

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Feb 9 2016

The Butterfly Lovers @ Lincoln Center

I just love this violin concerto. To celebrate Chinese new year, New York Philharmonic put on a show, featuring Maxim Vengerov. (wiki)

To my surprise, the Center invited the Secretary General of UN Ban Ki-moon to give a speech. Are you mad? I paid for music, not someone who’s not even eloquent nor funny, taking up my time.

纽约交响乐团在林肯中心演奏梁祝🎻协奏曲[强] 难得. 特别喜欢这个和黄河🎹协奏曲. 梁祝从认识,恋爱,分离,永远在一起… 好浪漫. 每次看到后院的蝴蝶就会想起梁祝. 🇨🇳艺术家或者音乐都会吸引大量的中国观众. 📞声,说话声,糖纸声,咳嗽声… 此起彼伏 [惊恐]😱[发怒] 开场时有联合国秘书长讲话。开玩笑吗?我付钱是来听音乐.

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Feb 7 2016

Dupont Circle Freshfarm Market

Sunday market at 20th Street and Massachusetts Ave NW. We visited it again in May

It’s a lovely weekend market, near our hotel. All the vendors seem can tell some stories. It’s pretty neat that they don’t start sell until 10 am when a lady using a small bell to ring, gives a little flavor, as if in old times (really?). Many items are priced high. Many items are not necessarily good. But over all, it’s a great place to shop on a weekend.

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I enjoyed the Qualia Coffee the most. Seeing the guy brewing the coffee, we stopped by and bought. I asked if they sell “concubine”.

Concubine?” They looked blank.

“You mean geisha?” the brewer asked.

“Oh, yes …” Silly me. Must be the age.

They have at store but not at the market, unfortunately.

It seems only yesterday that Americans drink brown water. My first taste of Starbucks coffee was in 1986 in Seattle. Now it’s US$74.81 billion market capitalization (SBUX on NASDAQ, closed at $54.14). Small coffee houses are everywhere.

Picture below left, he looks like a sea captain …

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Pinch: two white guys selling dumplings. Chinese food must be in vogue? Neat name. Pic on the right: kimchi, any one?

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These Brussels sprouts below look like undernourished. Maybe Long Island’s are better or in season? Pic on right: $11 a pound of kale: Lacinato kale, green boar kale, … Have you eaten your green yet?

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Feb 6 2016

DC Zoo 动物园

National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20008

Many animals are either hiding or being tucked away for the winter but we weren’t the only visitors. It’s warm for February so sizable crowds was at the park.

There is indeed a bird named Baltimore Oriole.

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This colorful bird, Micronesian Kingfisher is extinct in the wild. They’re originally from Guam, Palau Islands, Micronesia, and died from tree snakes. There are about 150 (?) in captivity and (yes someone is keeping a tap on them) Saint Louis Zoo  (58 in 2002) called them the Stradivarius of birds.

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Feb 6 2016

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

7900 Tysons One Place
McLean, VA 22102

This is a chain restaurant in a mall, specializing in seafood, aged steaks and live music. We made a last second reservation at 2pm, could only have a booth at the bar area at 5pm, by the door. The dining area to the other side was empty but the restaurant explain that by 7pm it would be full, and they prefer to have 30 min turn around time window. Good policy and understandable.

Surprisingly, I find Chilean Sea Bass steamed Hong Kong Style with Light Soy Broth on the menu, as well as fried rice as a side. The market price was $43. Ha, wondering what make they using “Hong Kong” instead “Chinese”? Hong Kong cuisine really is Cantonese. The bathroom water is very weak. Thanks lord the water is hard, so the soap is quickly rinsed away.

  • Maine lobster tacos
  • Shrimp and crab chopped salad – could use less mayo
  • Halibut filet
  • Jumbo gulf shrimp – a little sweet for my taste
  • grilled cod with asparagus
  • fried rice – too greasy and the rice is under-cooked

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Feb 6 2016

Renwick Gallery

1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20006

The small building, built in 1859 by architect James Renwick, Jr. is across the street from the Old Executive Office Building. At the time, it’s knows as “the American Louvre”. Now it houses American craft and decorative arts, reopened last November after a renovation. During our visit, Feb 2016 it’s the inaugural exhibition Wonder with nine exhibits:

  1. House of cards – Untitled by Tara Donovan
  2. Rainbow –  Plexus A1 by Gabriel Dawe
  3. Nest or incubators – Shindig by Patrick Dougherty
  4. Janet Echelman
  5. tree of life – Middle Fork, by John Grade
  6.  – Chesapeaker by Maya Lin
  7. Michelin tires
  8. bugs life – In the Midnight Garden by Jennifer Angus
  9. codes are beautiful – Volume by Leo Villareal (Renwick’s)

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Feb 5 2016

National Portrait Gallery

A very well curated gallery, cross street from Zaytinya. We pass by this museum hundred times till my daughter suggested. I regret for not going in sooner. We visited it two days in a row during our last 4-day trip.

Although it named Portrait but there are plenty history, as well as arts. At one corner is Irving Penn exhibition.

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The courtyard is lovely to have a quick bit or read a book.

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Central Park, Golden Gate, Cape Cod

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Irving Penn’s exhibition, his wife Lisa Penn

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Girls rule. The window on the third floor, looking out to the National Archives. Helen Gurley Brown – the American version of Coco Chanel? The record setter: Katharine Hepburn and her four Oscars.

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Feb 5 2016

Chinese New Year at Met

The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative is the organizer of Lunar New Year Reception at the Temple of Dendur: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection. It’s already so crowded as it is, without all these marketing.