explore ATX: Bouldin Creek Cafe

Bouldin Creek Cafe is probably my new favorite restaurant in Austin. I briefly mentioned it in one of my other Explore Austin posts, but I feel like I should do a separate post just on this cafe to do it justice.

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explore CSTAT: Fusion Peru

One of my good friends and I decided to catch up during the last week of summer before school started, and she mentioned there was a really good Peruvian restaurant that she’d heard of in College Station. Of course, both of us being food lovers, we decided to try Fusion Peru, located in the mall at the intersection of Texas Avenue and Southwest Parkway.

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Wanderlust: Gulangyu (Xiamen), the piano island (part two)

Just off the coast of Xiamen is Gulangyu, a pedestrian-only island that is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. At only 2 km2 area and home to about 20,000 people, Gulangyu is a major domestic tourist destination and is one of China’s most visited tourist attractions. However, all cars and bicycles are banned on the island, which helps to preserve an air of antiquity and tranquility.

Shuzhuang Garden

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no one alive who is you-er than you!

Wishing my brother a happy happy birthday! My little wasabi bean (who is no longer little — he’s the tallest in the family now — but he’s always going to be little in my ❤ ) is turning 14 today, so we made dumplings to celebrate. I’m incredibly slow at making them haha (like, by the time I finished one, my mom was done with a solid seven), and the ones that I made certainly weren’t very attractive, but hey, food is food! My mom also made some really good tiramisu, but I forgot to take photos first so now it’s all gone, LOL.
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Between the Pages: Refund: Stories (Karen E. Bender)

Refund: Stories Karen E. Bender

Refund: Stories
Karen E. Bender

I bought Karen Bender’s Refund because it was on sale at Barnes & Noble (and because it was one of last year’s National Book Award finalists and the excerpt looked interesting); it was only until after I arrived home that I realized how fitting it was that I had chosen this particular novel: on the first page were the words, “We think about it every day, sometimes every hour: Money. Who has it. Who doesn’t. How you get it. How you don’t.” Every decision we make in our lives, including my decision to choose the cheaper book on sale, seems to have some sort of underlying financial motivation, and the lengths each of us will go to in order to find a temporary happiness, to make sense of our situations or to fight our battles differs because of, once again, money.

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Between the Pages: The River Why (David James Duncan)

The River Why David James Duncan

The River Why
David James Duncan

As I was first scrolling through my English teacher’s list of recommended books to find one that could fit into my thesis project, I most definitely ignored David James Duncan’s The River Why. As someone who has absolutely no idea what the difference is between fly-fishing and bait-fishing, I figured that I would be equally indifferent towards a novel (with a fish hook as the cover art) about Gus the fishing prodigy.

Fortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong: as soon as Gus introduced me to his parents and asked me to consider whether large quantities of water near a person’s anterior should elicit similar results as a small quantity of water inserted in a human posterior would, I was hooked (by Duncan’s humorous writing and memorable depictions of characters, that is).

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Between the Pages: Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)

Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge, a deeply empathic and human novel, strives to commeasure human tendencies and social attitudes.

The novel is divided into around ten chapters, each involving different characters but all revolving around one woman, Olive Kitteridge, a stubborn, middle-aged woman who doesn’t exactly like the changes she witnesses in her small town.

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From the ears to the heart: Tower of Power

On January 17th of last year, a legendary brass player passed away. Mic Gillette, who joined the Gotham City Crime Fighters (which later evolved into the Tower of Power) at age 15, played a variety of instruments — from the trumpet and trombone to the baritone and tuba. Tower of Power is an American R&B-based horn section and band from Oakland, California that has been performing since 1968. Its horn section has often performed separately, but Tower of Power is best known for their funky soul sound highlighted the horns and bass-guitar lines. Among their most highest-charting songs is “Soul with a capital S,” though Gillette was on hiatus during the production of this album, T.O.P.

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