Last Day in Hanoi

Not sure where I read about Suzanne Leicht but when I mentioned her to the woman at Sophie’s Art tour she connected us.  The piece she is standing next to is about matriarchal society.  That is a woman crushing a man.
We went to meet her at her place at 10am.  What an incredible human being.  Suzanne has been living in Vietnam for 23 years.  Prior to this, she was living in Tokyo with her husband although Americans they both fell in life with Japan.  He died way too early and she decided that her love of art and desire to live somewhere else in Asia drew her to Vietnam.  She has done more for the art world here than anyone.
Suzanne has had a series of galleries although now she shows in her house.  All the artists in Vietnam gravitate towards her.  She is putting on a show at the end of October highlighting the Gang of 5 who were the first Hanoi artists of the contemporary art movement here.  This is inside her home.  Really beautiful.
She knows the stories of each of these artists and understands why commercial art (as they call it here) has a hard time evolving because of an artist sells then the gallery world wants them to stick with that look.  It pays for their livelihood.
Suzanne has this charming calming zen-like aura that makes you feel as if you have known her for decades.  It was truly wonderful to meet her, hear her story and see her place.  The neighborhood she is in is outside of where we have been so when we started walking down the street everyone knew where we were going.
Afterward, we were supposed to get in Vespa’s and hit the town and see many of the historical sites but the rain got in our way.  Rainy season should be over but global warming has extended the rainy season here.  Instead, we got a car and went to see them that way.  Lenin Square.
Ho Chi Minh mausoleum isn’t open right now so we just walked around the place.  Huge monument
Then we had lunch before heading over to the Hanoi Hilton has been a jail a lot longer than I realized.  Many photos of the past there.
We hit up Frannys for ice cream afterward.
Then went to Tan My Design store that is run and owned by a local family.  Three floors with local wares from art to home decor to clothing.  Refreshing to see totally different clothing here that I would never find in the states.
Walked back to the hotel, around the lake, and took a shot of the Pagoda that sits inside the water.
Dinner tonight was the best meal we had.  We went back to the bar Ne for a cocktail before going to Grandmas for dinner
Delicious food and service.  Sometimes the service here is a bit overwhelming.  They just want to make you so happy that they are overly attentive.   This is grilled chicken in lemongrass.
And the rice rolls.  Good spot!  Tomorrow….Cambodia.