January 20, 2008 |
Even if we hadn't already spent a week in the bustle and hustle of Hanoi, the mist-shrouded limestone peaks of Ha Long Bay, echoing birdcalls and water lapping our ship would have been enchanting. But by the time we arrived at this UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin, we badly needed a break from the mad motor-scooter traffic of the nation's second-largest city, the swarming pineapple vendors and the ceaseless capitalist hustle.
December 24, 2007 |
"Sorry, underground hip-hop happened ten years ago." So read a T-shirt on sale at abstract rapper Busdriver's homecoming set at the Troubadour on Friday night. The slogan seemed an apt summation of Busdriver's left-field aesthetic, mordant wit and salient desire to push the boundaries of hip-hop forward, a stark contrast to many of his peers who are a decade into their careers and still writing lyrics about how good their lyrics are. Of course, the L.A.
December 7, 2007 |
Ha Jin is a winner of the National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His day job secure at Boston University, he and his wife live in a fine suburban house, close enough to Gillette Stadium to hear the fireworks on Sundays as the New England Patriots routinely beat up on an NFL opponent. He is an immigrant success story, arriving from China 20 years ago as a graduate student and staying on for good after the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989 made him decide he couldn't return.
November 25, 2007 |
At home in China, every element of Nan and Pingping's existence was dictated by the government, including Nan's college courses. Sent to the United States to attend graduate school, he has been slogging his way toward a PhD in political science at Brandeis University. Nan and Pingping had to leave Taotao, their young son, behind, and now, four years later, the family is reunited.
December 23, 2006 |
Tan Dun has done it. Well, not for all of "The First Emperor," not even for most of his important new opera, which had its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday night. But for a little while, this frustrating yet momentarily glorious affair -- which brings to the Met stage everybody's favorite tenor, Placido Domingo, along with a lot of people's favorite Chinese film director, Zhang Yimou, and novelist and poet Ha Jin -- is one big, wild and wonderful wow.
August 14, 2006 |
RAIL commuters like to brag that they have cushy commutes compared with people who drive to work -- they can nap, read a book, work on laptops. But commuting by train is also stressful, a new study has found. And the longer the commute, the more stress levels increase. Researchers studied 208 commuters taking trains from New Jersey to Manhattan.
May 21, 2006 |
RIGGO HERNANDEZ steered his palomino toward a smallish tree, plucked a leaf and held it over his head. "Smell one of these," the guide hollered over his shoulder to our group of four riders. I followed his lead and grabbed a long, oval leaf to sniff. I expected a woodsy, grassy or floral pungency. We were, after all, in the jungle. "Pumpkin pie!" I blurted in surprise. "Allspice," Hernandez corrected. An allspice tree might as well have been a pumpkin pie tree as far as I knew.
June 3, 2005 |
You wouldn't know it from watching Hollywood movies in which young people ace glamour jobs while inspiring articulate dreamboats to declare their love in public, but as David Rakoff once wrote, "Youth isn't wasted on the young. It is perpetrated on the young." Exactly how is brilliantly captured by Andrew Bujalski in his debut feature, "Funny Ha Ha," a deceptively simple portrait of a young woman trying to survive her dispiriting entry into adulthood.
May 2, 2005 |
It's hard not to love the Tribeca Film Festival. It's democratic, it's egalitarian, it's for the public. Robert De Niro always makes an appearance. And there are more bouncers and hip young black-T-shirted volunteers running around than snooty art-house cinephiles. And in May 2002, its first year, the festival brought people in droves back to a lower Manhattan devastated by 9/11.
March 24, 2005 |
Ha Jin's "War Trash," a novel about Chinese POWs under American captivity during the Korean War, has won the PEN/Faulkner prize for best fiction by an American author. He will receive $15,000. In announcing the award Wednesday, PEN/Faulkner co-chairs Robert Stone and Susan Richards Shreve praised the book as "a powerful, unflinching story that opens a window on an unknown aspect of a little-known war -- the experiences of Chinese POWs held by Americans during the Korean conflict."