Hanoi, Day 2

Today was about art.  To really understand art in Vietnam, you can go back to the stone age but we went back to when the French ruled in Vietnam.  We booked a morning with Sophies Art Tour which I highly recommend.  We were able to learn about what we saw.  We started out the morning at Tang Tret coffee shop, where local artists hang out.

This is a sign that hangs in the shop.  Might be my new mantra.

It is down the street from the Museum of the Fine Arts.

Notice the influence from France?  This piece was done in 1935 by To Ngoc Van.  Many artists of that time went to France to study art and others came here to teach.

Lacquer art is a traditional technique still used in Vietnam today.

They love Uncle Ho, Ho Chi Minh.  It is clear to all of us that we should have never been fighting a war in Vietnam or at least figured it out sooner and pulled out.

After a full on history tour of the art at the museum we went over to Tan Dan.  Tan Dan was a painter and son of a Vietnamese playwright, Vu Dinh Long.  Their home is an open artists salon. Both the artist and his father was now gone but their wives/mother continue to live there and tell the story of their art.

This is the playwrights wife.

Our next stop was the GreenPalmGallery that sells commercial art.  What is of interest is that there are a handful of artists who have made a name for themselves.  Some of them are called the Gang of 5, who led the development of contemporary art in Vietnam.  Those artists are in their late 50’s now and there is a retrospective happening on their work in Hanoi beginning on Oct 21.  Commercial art is really what can be sold.  The artists that make work that people want are guided by their families and galleries to continue to make the same work again and again because in reality is pays the bills.  Few are being embraced to think and grow when it comes to their work.

I picked up this piece from Dinh Cong Dat.  We continued to see his work in other places around Hanoi.

Our next stop was Manzi which appears to be a coffee shop that also installs art work but above is a gallery that represents all the young up and coming artists in Vietnam.

Lunch was calling so we made our way over to Banh Mi 25 which is the best we have had.  They definitely get the new way of life…great branding.  It was so good that we had one pork sandwich, strolled around a bit and then returned to have another one with the pork pate.  If you only have one, go for the pork pate.

And life goes on around us.

Old school living is alive and well.

Before dinner, we had a tour of the bunkers in the Metropole Hotel.  Don’t run but seeing the actual bunker is of interest.

Dinner was definitely a better experience this evening.  We went to Madame Hien.   Pho is generally a breakfast dish but we went for it at dinner.  The food experience reminds me a little bit of when we went to Spain on our honeymoon.  We ate boquerones every day because they were on every menu and would discuss which one was better.  The food here is consistent at every place, although some better, some not.

Fun fact…50% of the people in Vietnam was under 30 years old.  We are seeing huge ranges of pricing.  The cabs, the food is all extremely inexpensive.  Two sandwiches and four beers can be a whopping $4.  Yet when it comes to tour guides, the prices are high.  Will be very interesting where this country is in another decade.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I work with a young french software engineer who is living in Vietnam right now. Can you imagine pulling down $200/hr in your 20’s while living in Vietnam? These kids are all gonna retire when they’re 35 (as many boast they will). It’s something I think the industry needs to be thinking about.Love the art pics as always and really like the piece you purchased.Craving a burger yet? 😉

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s story for sure.Not craving the burger yet. Lol

  2. William Mougayar

    “It is clear to all of us that we should have never been fighting a war in Vietnam or at least figured it out sooner and pulled out.”- so true. That made me re-read parts of the history of that horrible war.

    1. Gotham Gal

      We were talking about other areas we have stuck our foot in. Fifty years from now I am sure that we will wonder what the hell we were doing in the Middle East too

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup. Iraq already was a big mistake.

      2. P Donohue

        First, they came for the Mexicans…Hell, what is happening in the USA today, is just as crazy and messed up as any of our foreign escapades, possibly more so. For we are essentially in a cold civil war, the electorate divided by a PsyOps operation run by Bircher Libertarians who fear the future may bring further socialism and resultant onerous taxation due to universal health care and “basic income”. https://futurism.com/next-y…So virulent is their fear that they are willing to destroy democracy to preserve their wealth. Some have openly spoken about the return of slavery as an alternative to “basic income” and/or personal bankruptcy. Peter Thiel has said that true liberty is not compatible with democracy. https://www.cato-unbound.or…We are at the “knee of the curve” of a geometric rate of technological change that promises concomitant societal collateral damage in the form of bouts of massive and seemingly sudden structural unemployment. Those that drive will be the first to feel the pain.https://www.technologyreviehttp://www.businessinsider….https://www.engadget.com/20…”In July, the powerful Teamsters union successfully pushed Congress to slow legislation for states looking to broaden the use of autonomous vehicles. After arm-twisting by the union, the US House of Representatives energy and commerce committee exempted vehicles over 10,000lb from new rules…”https://www.theguardian.com…This is the tip of the proverbial iceberg.So what will come of this?I believe the 0.001% have already decided and they are motivated by crazy fear not unlike that of the plantation owners of the South prior to the Civil War. The British cotton trade journals of the day regularly debated the unsustainable nature of slavery and its eventual demise well before the war. So the most wealthy in the USA, the plantation owners, must have been aware of that conversation and planned accordingly to protect the source of their vast wealth, slavery. That war was all about the money.Today, the threat of massive, sudden structural unemployment, its social ramifications and their possible threat to the vast fortunes of the most wealthy are no less real than that which faced the vast fortunes pre Civl War. Their fear is already bearing crazy thinking and action (see Trump, Bannon and Fox “News”). The country is divided against itself in an ugly way which seems to be by design.There are not enough wealthy to make a dent in the vote, so they divide and conquer using race and “religion”, just as was done prior to the Civil War.Again the Union is in peril and again its all about money.Big mistakes are being made right here, right now. Therefore, it’s morally repugnant to be silent because things can get ugly fast.Additionally, we are under cyber attack by Russia, China and North Korea. Equafax was breached financial information on 1/2 the population seized along with ID. They are probing our utilities, financial institutions and other key points.North Korea and the White House are talking crazy talk. Two of our most sophisticated battleships, both the same kind, were rammed broadside by cargo ships designed with an underwater bulbous protruding bow while in South Asian waters, the incidents strikingly alike. So much so that it seems to be act of war by a hostile nation that hacked into and guided the collisions in an attempt to sink the destroyers. The culprit, most likely NK, because those ships can shoot down anything they put up (all of this conjecture on my part).Furthermore, Russia has a friend in the White House under special investigation by Mueller and the FBI. The Special Prosecutor has been deposing people close to POTUS and raided one in the middle of the night. The heat is being turned up to get rats to sing.A boiling point will come soon. Anxious, desperate people do crazy things, especially if they already have mental health issues. Trump has issues. http://adutytowarn.orgDoing nothing is not an option, if one cares for their fellow humans and the future of their children and grandchildren.

        1. Gotham Gal

          totally agree. we are at the knee of the curve. doing nothing is absolutely not an option.

          1. Gotham Gal


    2. awaldstein

      I sat with the owner of a local wine shop yesterday over a bottle of natural juice and we spoke about the new Vietnam documentary.Both of us grew up with this, kids leaving high school and not coming back, and it was the core thing, the shadow over our times. Protested against it and listened to our folk heroes who created poetry against it.I really don’t want to relive it in any way honestly and will skip the documentary for now. We both agreed on this one.

      1. Gotham Gal

        I have seen three of them so far. I want to finish themFreds father retired as a one star General in the army. He was in Vietnam and Korea. Haven’t discussed with him for years but Fred grew upwith that obv in the background

        1. awaldstein

          I’m sure I’ll see them sometime but it grates me a bit on the emotional side.However, have looked at a few of cnn docs on the 60s dealing with the birth of TV, Kennedy assassination, Cuban missile standoff and so on with Lianna as this was my very early childhood and before she was born so telling to watch together.Tom Hanks did a good job I think putting these together.