All posts filed under ‘Places

New York, 2023

From the moment we landed, I felt a jarring disconnect, a clear mismatch in my gut. I was overwhelmed, irritated, and disheartened by the disrepair of everything. The grime and cacophony, once merely backdrop, have now taken centerstage, coloring every sight and experience. As if to epitomize the experience, my LIRR train constantly lost power […]

Phin Cafe

Tucked away in a shaded nook of a typical suburban shopping center in South San Jose, Phin Cafe is an oasis of beautifully crafted Vietnamese drinks with a lo-fi atmosphere. The interior, themed with walnut wood and concrete, is equipped with outlets, tables, and bright natural and overhead lighting, perfect for a comfortable work session […]

Fiero Cafe

It’s been a while since I’ve written about a cafe. Maybe I just haven’t visited anywhere inspiring, maybe I simply forgot to keep up. Fiero Caffe, a low-key Italian diner at the edge of San Mateo downtown, fired up my passion to be a snobby cafe connoisseur again. On a breezy and sunny Friday, we […]

Cup of Blooms

On a hot Saturday day in the Pennisula, Cup of Blooms is an unassuming and relaxing destination. This cafe, situated east of Central Park in Downtown San Mateo, specializes in fruit and milk tea with ample seating for groups small and large. For an urban-minded worker trapped in the suburbs, hangout spots like this one […]

Nakamura Tokichi Hong-Kong Store

I have this habit of hitting up local Muji stores wherever I go. Sometimes, if lucky, I find interesting products unavailable in the states. Today, as I strolled back to my hotel from an afternoon excursion in Hong Kong, I took the liberty to visit a Muji store. I noticed a place next to the […]

Matcha One

One of my favorite things about walking around in cities is discovering wonderful spaces in unassuming neighborhoods. Most of the residential buildings in Taipei are rather uninteresting, cookie-cutter slabs of concrete and steel. In the west side of Zhongshan Park in Da-an District, however, things felt more lively. Expressive storefronts lined up the alleyways with […]


COFFEE DPT is literally surrounded from three sides by bamboo bushes and buildings and yet feels open and inviting. Perhaps because the table area is located right alongside the passageway connecting one of the Huashan 1914 Creative Park complexes and an open parking area, COFFEE DPT brings people watching and seclusion to the same cozy […]