Monthly Archives: August 2012

Coming of Age, or When September Ends

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When September ends, my story will be complete – at least for now.  The pieces are falling into place: I’ve put my deposit down for a rental apartment; my flights to and back from New York have been booked; the … Continue reading

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A Walk Down Rue Catinat, Saigon

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Rue Catinat is the most historic street in Saigon, the Champs Élysées of the city in its heyday, housing the city’s most famous hotels, restaurants, bars, boutiques and retail establishments.  It was named for Nicolas Catinat, a maréchal of France … Continue reading

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Postcards from Saigon

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I came to Ho Chi Minh City expecting to find the essence of Saigon in all the noise and the pollution. I came away from Ho Chi Minh City thinking I had seen nothing but Ho Chi Minh City – … Continue reading

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Hotel Majestic, Ho Chi Minh City

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One to rival the French In Ho Chi Minh City, I chose to accommodate myself in the Hotel Majestic, rather than the older and much much more legendary Hotel Continental.  In Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, the Majestic is mentioned … Continue reading

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The Grand Tour III – Searching for Saigon… Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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“I’ve known you for years. Everyone says you were beautiful when you were young, but I want to tell you I think you’re more beautiful now than then. Rather than your face as a young woman, I prefer your face … Continue reading

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14th St: D/F (9th to 11th Aves)

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9th to 11th Avenue plays host to what is now only nominally known as the Meatpacking District.  Up until the late ‘90s, this area packed in meat of two different kinds.  For almost a century, it contained the city’s largest … Continue reading

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14th St: Our Lady of Chelsea (6th to 9th Aves)

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14th Street between 6th and 9th Avenues sits squarely in Chelsea, one of the most eclectic, beguiling and bi-curious neighborhoods in Manhattan.  Architecturally, one sees a transition from the macho, Type-A glass, steel and cast-iron of contemporary Big Capital, to … Continue reading

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14th St: Big Capital (3rd to 6th Aves)

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Between 3rd and 6th Avenues, another kind of American landscape prevails – one that is infinitely more dramatic and that belies the big forces that have shaped the very identity of the Nation. At the very centre of these three … Continue reading

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14th St: The Theater of the Everyday (1st to 3rd Aves)

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The boundary between Alphabet City and the rest of Manhattan is strikingly obvious. Suddenly the streets and sidewalks become thronged with cars, cyclists and people – commuters rallying to start a new work day. Between 1st and 3rd Avenues, there … Continue reading

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14th St: Border Politics (Avenue C to 1st)

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North of 14th Street sits one of the most iconic and architecturally imposing private housing projects in New York City – Stuyvesant Town. Named after Peter Stuyvesant, the last Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, the complex opened … Continue reading

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