Category Archives: Writing

Falling Back to Blog

I have been beset by crises.

Personal, political and moral.

Six months of quarantine have amplified my sense of loss, from relationships severed by sickness, distance or lack of attention

The mismanagement of the pandemic has hit a nerve.

The racism, authoritarianism and incompetence of our government over the last nine months (at all levels)… And the loss of life and property they’ve exacted on this country have pushed my pressure cooker past the highest setting

Add in Americans’ continued ignorance of East Asian COVID policies that could get us out of this mess (or of best practices from non-white countries in any policy area), and I am on the brink

Righteous anger can motivate creative outpouring, but it can also degenerate into a bottomless pit of contempt and misery

I’ve been wallowing in the latter state for several months now. My energy has plummeted, causing creative paralysis. I indulge in social media or sweets or substances, mistaking the instant high for productive energy. It creates an illusion for one minute, until I get distracted.

The only solution is to write as often I can. It doesn’t have to sound pretty. But it does have to speak for my heart and the principles I value.

At this juncture in history, silence is complicity. Therefore, I am obligated to dust off my pen.

I started this blog with the lofty goal of creating an interdisciplinary intellectual space, where people could engage with “great questions” in multiple social, political and personal spheres on their own terms. For the sake of efficiency, I feel compelled to narrow my scope for the short-term to the following areas:

  1. Comparative analysis of transportation and housing issues (with a focus on LA vs. foreign countries)
  2. Random urban planning, history and food trivia
  3. Causes of American political decline (entre-pocalypse series will come out of the woodwork!)
  4. Political ideology vis a vis the election

For the same reason, expect my writing to be less formal and more blunt. As always, comments are welcome. No snark without provocation.

A New Kind of Blog

What exactly is “blogging” these days?

Once upon a time, a blog was an online personal journal, with minimal formatting and detailed writing on niche subjects. In the past decade, with the rise of social media, blogging has become more capitalistic, with a focus on obtaining mass appeal (and revenue) through posting popular content. My search for popular blogs in 2019 reveals a slew of sites that boast top-notch web design but primarily serve to teach a practical skill or offer cliched self-help advice.

Solopreneuer Hour, example of a “new wave” self-help blog

While the former type of blog lacks widespread readership, the latter type of blog has superficial content. Very few blogs manage to say something interesting in a way that is accessible to a large audience. 

Enter Entrepot. A site devoted to sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world. A site intended for self-expression, yes, but also for education and dialogue. 

I will offer insightful perspectives on topics ranging from transportation to film.

I will write well-researched content in words that are easy to follow.

I will encourage discussions by asking questions more often than I provide answers.

By challenging so-called “conventional wisdom,” I will provoke the imagination.

Me reading

My aspirations come from a very personal place. I have always enjoyed sharing knowledge with others. Being on the Asperger’s Spectrum, I possess a rich repertoire of thoughts but find the process of landing traditional academic careers too stressful and rigid (My two year planning master’s degree was intense enough). Blogging allows me to pursue my passion in the most rewarding way possible. 

Content-wise, I will post two pieces at the end of each week.

One will be a short review or diary piece, documenting or reacting to a particular movie or experience I encountered during the week.

The second will be a more in-depth “thought” piece about a conceptual topic that interests me.

Topics that I expect to cover include Cities/Planning, Culture, Transportation Geography and Personal Relationships. However, I don’t want this blog to be defined by any particular subject, and I will write on different themes as I see fit. 

Overall, Entrepot embodies a new type of digital environment, one that is deep, open, informed, curious, down-to-earth and often funny:)

I am excited to begin posting and even more excited to receive responses.