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year of the horse

by Kasia on February 27, 2014

This is the year of the horse. In the Chinese zodiac, that is. The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Returning to Paris just in time enjoy the local celebrations, living close by to one of the cities Chinese neighborhoods. In NYC I lived not far from Chinatown and reveled in the yearly parade that wound it’s way through the streets. This felt much like those days, living amidst an ethnic people and sharing in their traditions.




IMG_6156The traditional costumes were elaborate and impressive!

IMG_6097The parade took place near Arts & Metiers, close to the Marais. There lives a small population of the Wenzhounese from the Zhejiang province of China. The majority have settled in Belleville, which along with the 13eme arrondissement, is considered Paris’ Chinatown, the largest in Europe.

My quest this year of the horse, in addition to improving myself,  is to find a dim sum restaurant!


all aboard

by Kasia on April 22, 2011

What I love about traveling is not merely arriving to the destination but the actual movement from one place to another. The travel. While on the road for 13 months I embraced this ‘time inbetween‘, as it allowed me to reflect on the places seen and to anticipate those waiting to be discovered. Many 12 hour plane rides gave me plenty of time to muse, but it is via train, traveling over land (and perhaps under sea), that I always feel most connected to the journey. Put me on a train, and I am happy. (Even simply the Long Island Rail Road or these days, the Trenitalia.)

My most memorable train ride to date was 48 hours enroute from Lhasa, Tibet to Beijing. I could have easily flown and spent more time exploring China’s capital, but I chose the option of adventure.

With only my thoughts to accompany me, I observing as the worlds of Tibet and China converged in my midst. I was one of a handful of Westerners and shared my sleeping cabin with 2 Chinese men, a Tibetan, and a few good books. My conversations were limited to very basic English as I taught the Tibetan man to play backgammon and in turn he taught me a Tibetan game.

I became a voyeur. Much of my time was spent observing life on the train.

The dining cabin became my ‘room with a view’. The landscape my vista.

The sun rose and night fell. And again. I could have easily spent another 2 days enroute.

One day I hope to board the Orient Express to destinations unknown… But these days I will happily settle for the night train from Paris to Venice.


the Great Wall

July 12, 2007

Tweet The morning was misty. The arduous climb felt like the combination of a dream and trial of strength, hiking up to the Great Wall, the longest and most time-consuming ancient defense system, taking over 2,000 years to construct, a length of 6,300 kilometers. This piece of the wall was not restored and not easily […]

798 Art Centre

July 12, 2007

Tweet I agree with Duchamp’s conception of art that a person’s “life” is “art” in a way, and neither is more important than the other. 798 Art Centre is one of China’s largest art spaces, the former facility of state-run 798 electronic factories. Since 2002 artists have built their studios in these old warehouses, now […]


July 11, 2007

Tweet I became quite the diligent tourist in Beijing with little time and very much to see in this city filled with sights. My life in Shanghai seemed to follow me as several of my friends appeared during my week of cultural jaunts. The history lesson began in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, a […]

48 hours enroute

July 9, 2007

Tweet Two days of my life were spent aboard a train headed from Lhasa to Beijing. A journey of 4,064 kilometers to be exact. This time was filled with visions of sheep grazing in verdant pastures, and snow capped mountain peaks. These vistas became scenes of my life as I sat in deep peace upon […]

a life in Shanghai…

June 30, 2007

TweetThe past week has been a whirlwind, feeling much more like a month with all that I have seen, eaten, experienced…and all those that I have met. I feel completely immersed in the life here and have even begun to find my way around the city, taking subways, speaking with the locals (still limited to […]


June 22, 2007

Tweet I arrived to Shanghai not knowing a soul. On my first night I made my way to ‘3 on the Bund’, a prime location including Jean Georges and many other fine eateries and bars. It was there that I met several strangers who soon became friends and began what feels like a very privileged […]

Hong Kong

June 17, 2007

Tweet From one island to another. I arrived to Hong Kong after three weeks under the Bali sun, it was not easy to leave, yet I was eager to enter a new space of culture and movement. Hong Kong is a unique city with it’s Asian flair and European influences, filled with habitants from all […]