Happy Leap Day: Rediscovering the Nature of Place

First off, my apologies for the absence—turns out Word Press (as well as most other blogging sites I attempted to access) are blocked in China. Not surprising.

As I attempt to readjust to life back in the States after a three week sojourn to Asia, I wanted to post a quick link to a book I recently heard about on NPR: The Nature of Place, by Avi Friedman. The author traveled the world to answer the question of why certain places resonate more deeply with us than others, why some places are ‘good’ and others ‘bad.’ I’ll be exploring this exact topic in future posts about my past few weeks. In the meantime, check out The Nature of Place and enjoy this ‘extra’ day in our calendar this month. In celebration of the Leap Year, do something unexpected today, whether that’s as simple as taking the roundabout route home from work or hopping on a flight to Peru. For me, after a week of train travel around Northeast China, the unexpected will include staying home and ordering take-out.

What's the nature of a place like Harbin, China? I took this photo on the Songhua River in freezing Harbin last weekend when in town for the Ice Festival (more on that shortly). Not sure why below freezing temperatures are conducive to cotton candy eating, but the locals seemed to think the two were a perfect match, as 'naturally' paired as peanut butter and jelly.

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About Kaitlin Solimine

Kaitlin Solimine was raised in New Hampshire but has considered China a second home for the past two decades. She is the author of the award-winning forthcoming novel Empire of Glass and co-founder of Hippo Reads, a media start-up connecting academic insights with real world issues. She lives in Singapore.
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2 Responses to Happy Leap Day: Rediscovering the Nature of Place

  1. francesco solimena says:

    maybe they were trying to make snowcones and screwed up the recipe

    • That’s exactly what I thought (would be logical given the cold weather). But no, it was cotton candy. I also saw several people walking down the street eating ice cream and not wearing gloves or hats. One would’ve thought it was warmer than the 10 degrees F that it was during the day (in the sub-zero temps at night). Guess you can take the girl out of New Hampshire AND take the New Hampshire out of the girl. Alas.

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