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Dinner time. Photo credit: Karen Kao

Shanghai Noir

I love Amsterdam. It's not the sort of thing we natives like to shout about, given the tourist hordes that invade our city in ever-increasing numbers. But here on the unfashionable side of the Vondelpark, it's still possible to catch a heron out for a bite.

Amsterdam is home to some world-class cultural centers like the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk, and the Van Gogh. Two meccas for the performing arts are the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the International Theater Amsterdam. So when those two get together to put on a joint performance, it's hard for me to say no.

It was a gorgeous spring day, one of the first this year. It seemed like a shame to go inside for an afternoon matinee. We did anyway and we're glad we did. Death in Venice is a co-production of the RCO and ITA. It knocked my socks off. You can read why in this week's blog post: Deaths in Venice.

Meanwhile, Bookish Asia has done me the honor of publishing another one of my book reviews. This book was gifted to me by my BFF, in memory of a lovely summer's day spent on Angel Island. Wild Geese Sorrow is a selection of the Chinese wall inscriptions found carved into the barracks that once housed immigrants waiting to enter Gold Mountain. You can read the review as published on Bookish Asia or the slightly more personal account posted on my website as Writing on the Walls.
From Amsterdam to Venice to Angel Island, I find myself at home in all these places. Is identity a mere circumstance of geography? This theme has crept into my newsletter as I prepare for Wednesday night's panel discussion: Me, Asian?! I'll let you know how it went next week.

Mass: Formulae
Fever & Famine
Female Language
The Smell of Memory

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