Jin Yi: Ithaca, Roman Holiday, and Buvette

Jin Yi: Ithaca, Roman Holiday, and Buvette

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

City: Ithaca, New York - Not glamorous, but it is the place I transformed the most, grew up the most in, and also still go back to when I need to reflect. It is one of my most favorite places to go trail running and I go back periodically on the weekends when I have important decisions to make, or feel overwhelmed. I also know it so well from living there so long that I can just put on my sneakers, run in any direction until I cannot go any further and know I can always find my way back.

Building: None - I know this is bizarre but I've never had an affinity or a strong feeling for a single building. I've admired details, processes, materials, certain architects, specific renderings but I literally spent all week thinking about this and I don't have one and realized I never really have.

Book: Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut – a new favorite as of last week. I read a lot so this changes quite often but I love the way he writes sci-fi because its not in the terse, mechanical language and sentence structure that a lot of science fiction type books are written in and it is fantastically descriptive and thought provoking throughout.

Film: This one is a tie between Roman Holiday and 300 - I know they are polar opposites but I find I re-watch these two movies all the time and I never get tired of them. I love Audrey Hepburn, and I also love completely over the top epics.

Public Space: Any clean, well-designed, public restroom. A little explanation: not a specific space, but there is no sensation quite like finding an accessible, respected, well-designed public bathroom when most in need. Also I love when a public restroom is clean, which means people are respecting the space, using it responsibly, caring for others and also because if you have ever had to find a public bathroom urgently there is no sensation like finding one when you need it and finding it a reasonably nice environment to be in to boot!

Laura Allen of Smout Allen

Laura Allen of Smout Allen

Architect (that is also a woman): Smout Allen (from a practice led by partners Laura Allen and Mark Smout). The pair are professors at the Barlett School - not sure they are practicing built work, but I love their research and projects, and it inspired my thesis trajectory and my obsession with infrastructure-architecture hybrids forms that extends to this day. I love their imaginative technicality and rationalized complexity.

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Restaurant: Buvette - I first went to Buvette with a close friend from high school who is much more of a foodie than me, and I've gone back countless times. I've never had a bad conversation or a rushed meal there (this is a good thing!) and the food is just fantastic.  

Artist: Francis Bacon - Bacon's work was challenging for me in the beginning because it was fearful to me, but he has become my favorite artist over time. His work always looks like it is in motion, about to change in an instant, endlessly interpretable and therefore endlessly relatable, and I like the explicit emotion evident in his work.

Memory: Walks with my dad at the end of every year when I'm home for the holidays - I'm not much a creature of habit, but one thing that I have done every since I left home is I always go on one long walk with my dad when I come home for the holidays - we are very similar and often times don't need to communicate out loud much to understand each other, but this one walk, we talk the entire time and it always serves as my reset button before the start of each New Year.

Object: Childhood blanket quilted by my mother - I don't hold on to many objects or trinkets for very long, but this one item has traveled with me to every city I've lived in and is always the first thing unpacked in a new place.

Still from  Roman Holiday , Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Still from Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Danei Cesario: Manchester, White Teeth, and Bryant Park

Danei Cesario: Manchester, White Teeth, and Bryant Park