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clue town scavengers in piedmont park

I’ve been living in Atlanta for over three years. Doesn’t sound like long when I write it, but it feels like this has been my home forever. I’ve still got so much to experience, so much to see and so much to eat! I’ve been to my fair share of cultural landmarks and city events, but sometimes you just gotta take a walk in the park.

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Piedmont Park, to be exact. The biggest park we have and right in the heart of the city, this is the site of some wonderful memories – dog watching, picnic-having, and playground merriment. On this day, we found our joy in the park through a scavenger hunt provided by Clue Town Books. Here’s my scavenger-hunting outfit for the day:

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view from chattanooga: part two

As if the beautiful vistas weren’t enough, Chattanooga holds all those delightful little wonders typically entwined with old Southern culture. Like your random tchotchke shop on the side of the road. The “quilts, fudge, moccasins” sign was all we needed to hit the brakes!

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dr. bombay’s underwater tea party

I have a thing for little local tea houses, despite the fact that I actually don’t love tea all that much. I guess I’m so infatuated with these places because they’re just so ridiculously and undeniably charming. Taking time to sit down and have a spot of tea with a friend is a lovely decision; taking a moment to (re)connect with someone, to truly enjoy their company. How many times can you say you do that on a weekly basis? Probably not that often.

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And so I present to you a set of lovely vignettes from my last visit to Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party. The name alone made me fall in love and the moment I stepped in, I knew it would be a lasting affair. I had the splendid pleasure of being joined by Cath of AsianCajuns, one half of a blogging duo that I’ve admired for quite some time now and we indulged in the Caroline Tea, which includes a pot of tea (your choice) and an assortment of delectable goodies. I mean, come on. Need I really say more? Probably not, but there IS more.

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lee’s sandwiches

No offense, but if you don’t know what bánh mì is by now then you’ve probably been living under a rock. Or maybe you just don’t like food in general. Whatever the case may be, I’m 100% sure that your taste buds need this in their life. Being half Vietnamese myself – although arguably one of the most American ones you could meet – there’s never been a time when I didn’t crave these. It might be partially due to the scarcity of Vietnamese food in South Florida as I was growing up (minus mom’s cooking), but I’m pretty sure it’s also because they’re so perfect. When made right, of course.

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dance daydreamer

I’ve been quiet for too long. In addition to drawing and wearing lovely stuffs, I’m obsessed with dance. Now that the annual season of SYTYCD is in full swing, I can let my freak flag wave and admit that if I had one wish at all, I might wish that I could be a professional dancer. There’s not a legit reason why I can’t since you can do anything you really set your heart on, but my heart seems set on so many things that dance usually falls by the wayside. Thankfully in college I got the chance to grow as a dancer and performer through a student organization – shout out to Dancin’ Gators – but unfortunately ever since I graduated it just hasn’t been a priority of mine.

Since I only have time to daydream about choreography, I’ll just go ahead and do the next best thing and share the choreography of others. And there’s nowhere I’d rather start than with my favorite hip hop choreographer duo, Keone and Mari Madrid. When they were revealed as a new choreo pair on SYTYCD, my heart jumped right out of my chest and stayed glued to the tube. I spent many a night in college watching and re-watching and re-watching their YouTube videos for inspiration. To see them get globally recognized with their moves on national TV was so… uplifting.

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I just can’t get over the way their unique understanding of movement and musicality. They fluidly mix dance genres (jazz, hip hop, contemporary, locking) and create formations that are so visually striking. I really can’t stop gushing over it. Their routines just embody everything I love about dance – fun, spirit, musicality, and diversity. These are all things I aspire to have in my own moves, if I ever get around to making some new ones. Let this be documentation that I promise I will choreograph new routines and remind my body of all the different and beautiful ways it can move. Until then, here are a list of my favorite routines from Keone and Mari.

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the bling ring

If I were to become a filmmaker, I imagine that my work would look something a bit like Sofia Coppola’s. Though I’ve not seen all of her films, I hold a deep reverence for three in particular: The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette, and now The Bling Ring. They make up a perfect trifecta that represent the limited and liberating prison of feminine youth. Dressed in shiny pretty things, all of Coppola’s main characters are archetypes that we see and recognize as ourselves and therefore both love and hate.

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In terms of simply “liking” to “disliking”, my preferential order of the three would be parallel to the linear order of the historical settings – Antoinette, Suicides, then Bling. Perhaps this is because the farther removed I am from the context, the more willing I am to buy into the romantic or poetic notion of the characters’ stories. Marie Antoinette is a visual feast for my eyes which makes me completely oblivious and almost ignorant of the actual truth of the history behind the character. On the flip side Bling Ring is similarly attractive to my material desires, but completely sickening for me to indulge in. The disparity in pure viewing pleasure is inversely related to how easily I can envision myself in their respective conflicts. For the purpose of staying focused I will try to remain on the topic of the Bling Ring.

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The reason you want to go see The Bling Ring is two-fold; the first being that you love Emma Watson and you want to see her embody what you think is hopefully the antithesis of her real personality. The second being that you still have that teenage (20-something, middle-aged, whatever) girl inside of you who wants to just surround yourself with pretty and luxurious things in order to feel valuable and admired. Add these two together with the fact that I love Sofia Coppola and there was really no way I wasn’t going to see this movie.