A week ago today…

on our final day with our friends in Madison, Wisconsin, we took one last round of photos:

I posed for Rosita’s Portrait of a Feminist project:

We picked Noah up from school and headed to the airport:

My brother Teddy met us for dinner at the airport in Minneapolis, where we we had a longish layover:

Another airport, another “chonom” video:

Thanks for showing us around your new hometown, friends. Until we meet again! xoxo

You can find my friend Rosita’s blog “on being American, Asian and adopted” here.

More Madison

Our tour of Madison continued on past the Wisconsin State Capitol:

…where a philosopher had set up his “Socrates Café” out front.

We caught the very last day of the farmer’s market, where I admired the rather stunning cabbage bouquets:

and got to taste fresh “Squeak-a-licious” cheese curds for the first time. (Mmmmmmm)!

We had lunch at Tutto Pasta, where I caught up with a friend from China, who has just began her studies at the University of Wisconsin:

We visited some of the many great stores along State Street. We lingered at Ragstock:

No joke. This photo shows only a small portion of their vast collection of ugly Christmas sweaters:That evening I got to see my youngest cousin, who just relocated to Madison. We reminisced about old times, got caught up on family matters, and…well:

Gabrielle d’Entrées et une de ses soeurs, c. 1594 by unknown artist. Louvre

…we engaged in some art appreciation. Yep, that’s what it was: Art Appreciation. Because we’re super classy that way. (It must be genetic)!

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The Wishing Tree

My friend Rosita took me to the newly opened Central Library branch of the Madison Public Library.  It has been thoughtfully planned to meet the needs of a modern, urban community. Within the 119,200 square foot LEED certified building are dedicated spaces for children, teens, and adults. There are public meeting and study rooms, auditoriums, a cafe, art galleries, and a media lab. While we were there, a string quartet was rehearsing in one of the open spaces.

There was art everywhere:

One of the most remarkable things about this library is how the community has taken into consideration the needs of the homeless. In recognition of the fact that libraries are often refuges for the homeless, space has been allotted to social service agencies that work with this population to help them find housing, treatment, and work. The library provides other programming for the homeless such as book clubs and movies as well.

My favorite spot in the library was “The Bubbler,” an art studio within the library that offers “hands-on pop-up workshops” led by local experts on everything from animation to screen printing. I was drawn to the far corner of the studio, where there was a “Wishing Tree”:

The wishes were handwritten on the backs of recycled card catalog cards:


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Château des Poules

In the morning Noah gave us a tour of the henhouse, which he had helped to build:

He explained to us that the golf balls are there to encourage the hens to lay their eggs in that spot:


We met the royal denizens, specially selected to withstand the cold Wisconsin winters:

Nicholas picked up a thing or two: