Day OneNovember 2, 2012
Learning Mandarin

Chinatown Post-Sandy

I was supposed to volunteer at the marathon this weekend, but I didn't feel the event should happen, so I went to Chinatown instead.

The streets of New York City were supposed to be filled with marathon runners this Sunday, and I was supposed to be volunteering at the pre-race expo and at the marathon itself, using my language skills, but I didn’t…

November 4, 2012 | Mandarin

Chinatown, Day Two

Brandt and I did more volunteering in Chinatown.

Yesterday Brandt and I volunteered through the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for an afternoon shift of supplies distribution at Confucius Plaza, which is, according to Wikipedia, “the first major public-funded housing project built for almost exclusively Chinese…

November 10, 2012 | Mandarin

Chinese Field Trip: Kung Fu Class

In which Brandt and I try out a Chinese martial art.

I have been plugging along with my Pimsleur Mandarin lessons, but also, more than with any other language to date in this project, I am undertaking some complementary cultural explorations.  Election Day Signs this Week, 28th Street A Chinese…

November 16, 2012 | Mandarin

Acupuncture and Chinese Pimsleur

My experience of Chinese culture is not being limited to grammar.

I am working away on Chinese Pimsleur. Each lesson is taking me three or four tries, though maybe things will speed up at some point. I am making my way multiple times through lessons 11 and 12 (Level I) at present. I…

November 17, 2012 | Mandarin

Chinatown Tour: Museum of Chinese in America

I roam Chinatown with a guide named Alice.

This afternoon I went on a tour of Manhattan’s Chinatown, organized through the Museum of Chinese in America. I had never before been to this museum, which is located at 215 Centre Street, near Canal. Museum of Chinese in America,…

November 20, 2012 | Mandarin

Chinese Pimsleur and Spa Services

In which I pimsle and get an Asian massage.

I admit it, “pimsle” is now a full-fledged verb for me. I use it regularly in speech. Probably daily. Today, as on many other days, I carted my Pimsleur lessons everywhere around town with me. I walked across Central Park…

November 23, 2012 | Mandarin

I Might Be Falling in Love with Chinese

I am growing enchanted by the language I was most afraid of.

My curiosity about the Chinese language is being significantly helped along by my curiosity about other aspects of Chinese culture. On a Thanksgiving Day Walk Yesterday, Central Park I am reading about tea, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and various other things…

November 24, 2012 | Mandarin

Chrysanthemum Tea

In which I visit a Chinese tea place in midtown.

Yesterday I wanted to buy chrysanthemum tea, because I had read about it in one of my books on Chinese medicine. Chrysanthemum tea is not something you can easily buy at your local grocer’s.  I didn’t have…

November 25, 2012 | Mandarin

Chinatown in Flushing, Queens

In which I visit the second of three New York Chinatowns.

I went to Flushing yesterday. I have been to Flushing many times, but the majority of those times were many years ago, and the area is much changed. From what I have heard, the Chinatown of Flushing is considered by…

November 28, 2012 | Mandarin

New Spam Software

Yep, this is going to be an exciting entry for sure.

Dearest Non-Robot Readers, I have been getting hundreds and hundreds of spam comments a month on this site. Sometimes, on a bad night, I will get 100 or more just between the time I go to sleep and the time I…