2014 Architectural Reflection Photographs

One of my new year’s resolutions is to sort my photographs from 2014 to 2016. I’ve been putting it off until now.

These photographs will be sorted into two major groups: architectural reflections and traditional photographs. This post contains a selection of architectural photographs from my 2014 travels. Enjoy!

Princeton, NJ

Over this Thanksgiving weekend, my uncle YiBing and his wife, Zhang Lin, came over. Along with my grandma, the four of us went to Princeton, NJ yesterday.

I haven’t been to Princeton since my road trip in 2006. That was ten years ago, when I drove around the east coast visiting all the good architecture schools! I thought I remembered much of it, but as it turned out I don’t remember much at all.

Ten years ago sure seems like a long time. I graduated from the University of Rochester in 2006. I can’t help to think what if I graduated from Princeton, how would my life change? Of course, going to an Ivy League means connections, not necessarily the education. I wondered what kind of friends would I have made by going here. What kind of future would I have had.

A phrase often uttered by my dad, “Hindsight is 20/20”, comes to my mind. Looking back, people often have regrets. One of my regrets was that I didn’t take college applications too seriously. I was waitlisted to some really great schools but I didn’t bother to suck up to them. University of Rochester is by no means a bad school. In fact, academically, it’s great. But it doesn’t have the reputation it properly deserves.

The good thing about a past that you might regret is that there’s plenty of room in the future for improvement. That’s what I told myself near the end of my walk around Princeton University campus as I met up with my uncle, aunt, and grandma.

I’m very hopeful of the future. To say that 30s is the new 20s is cliché, but to me it has its logic. For one thing, I still look like I’m 25. I can’t wait for the future. Life should get better year by year. And this year has been one of my best years. Let’s hope that next year will be better, though there is still a month left.

On Writing

I want to start writing again. This time with the intention of improvement. What I will write about? Maybe traveling? I don’t know, but I just want to write.

I think that’s how writing started, when people wanted to record their lives. I’m not a fantastic writer. I know there are plenty of great writers but I have to start some where.

Leisure writing has been a part of my life for a long time. I write a journal post every few days for the past six years and I wrote morning pages for a span of 12 weeks earlier this year.

What I like about writing is the feeling of freedom. Though it’s easiest to think, then to speak, last to write, I feel writing contains more craft than the other two. Since it’s craft, it can be learned and honed.

When I was in high school I used to write when I was upset about something – that one time when I was in the ER from a skateboarding injury and nothing got done prompted me to write about my experience.

Now, rather than playing video games, I feel writing is an entertainment when not taken seriously. It’s a way to pass away the time, to collect my thoughts, and perhaps to discover new ideas.

One idea that I realized was that nothing matters. I live then I die. What happens in the middle is useless since I’ll be dead anyway. Maybe I came up with this idea from meditation or just free thinking, but now I think it’s only half true. The true part is that I live then I die, but the other part is that what I do will have an effect in the future. If I choose to do nothing then the effect is very little. If I choose to do great things then that effect will multiply into the future. This simple truth is often overlooked and that’s one reason I think people are so passive about life. On the other hand, it’s easier said than done. But one has to start.

I would like to write everyday but that will not help me much. Repetition without improvement is idiocy. Writing well everyday will help me dramatically. And to write well I need to edit and reedit. So if anyone can assist me that’ll be great. Perhaps some book recommendations or writing tips?

If you are inspired about writing as I am, mark writing as a goal. I just did.