Morning Coffee: Tao Dan Park

I knew I would like Ho Chi Minh City the minute I had my first cup of coffee. Any city where it’s normal to take a leisurely mid-morning coffee break is fine by me — especially when those coffee breaks take place with birdcages and newspapers in a public park. Last year, I wrote about […]

Moving Day

Another July 1st, another year I breathe a sigh of relief that I didn’t have to move on Moving Day. I must be exceptionally lucky: I’ve never had to move on the same day as more than 100,000 other Montrealers. Instead, I have been able to wander the streets and watch, with voyeuristic glee, as […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Moving Day , ,

Late Lunch

2:30pm in a restaurant on the outskirts of Saigon’s District 1

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Food, Interior Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Late Lunch ,

Saigon’s Other River

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czd7OC2LOuc[/youtube] Saigon owes its existence to the Saigon River, but its languid current and fetid waters aren’t quite as impressive as one might expect. The city’s real river can be found in its streets, where a roaring current of motorcycles, buses, trucks and cars rushes unceasingly for all but a few hours of the day. […]

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Saigon Streetlife (I)

“Nobody walks in Los Angeles,” people often say, which is of course completely untrue. There are plenty of places to stroll around, even if LA is a vast, sprawling, auto-oriented city. But in Saigon? Really, nobody walks. You’ll come across tourists wandering around the city’s historic centre, or some people ambling from one shop to […]

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The Nervous System

I’ve always had a thing for overhead wires. People tend to complain about their unsightliness, especially in cities where they are abundant, like Toronto. But they add a gritty, functional dimension to the streetscape. If roads are the city’s veins, wires are the nerves, carrying the electrical currents, telephone signals and other bits of power […]

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Morning Coffee: Coffee on Demand

Coffee is a big part of the social life of Saigon, a city that somehow manages to be both languid and relentlessly energetic in nearly equal measure. Hundreds of cafés and coffee stands dot the city: relaxed neighbourhood hangouts with a few plastic seats out front to watch the city go by; leafy park cafés […]