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Music City

2017 February 8
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by Stanley Quan

After a pit stop in Kansas City, I spent the weekend in Nashville!

This might be a strange highlight, but we stayed at the Union Station Hotel, which was one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. It was originally a train station built in 1900 that was eventually converted into a hotel. The high ceilings, chandeliers, and design were awesome.

After marveling at the hotel, we walked over to eat at a cool Indian fusion restaurant called Chauhan Ale and Masala House. Loved the ambiance and creative dishes like Tandoori Chicken Poutine.

Next day, we started by exploring the Gulch, an up-and-coming area. We stopped for some beer flights at Jackalope Brewery, which was started by two women. I don’t see many of those in the male-dominated brewing world, so it was great to support some #nastywomen.

We walked and bussed around the downtown area a fair amount after that, checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame, Pinewood Social (a hip hangout spot with bowling and bocce), some workout circuits and swings along the waterfront greenway, the State Capitol Building, and Bicentennial Park.

At night, we got dinner at Acme Seed & Feed and dessert at Mike’s Ice Cream before hitting Broadway for the honky tonk bars and live music. One thing we noticed was that there were a lot of pretty sloppy drunk people out at night. There were lots of bachelorette and bachelor parties, so maybe that should have been expected, but there were also lots of smokers (the public health part of me hated that).

Anyways, live country music ruled the bars here. Nashville is “Music City” after all. Tootsie’s was a fun honky tonk with three floors of live music. The Stage at Broadway was really fun too.

After a sleepy morning, we went to see the Parthenon replica at Centennial Park. I don’t really understand this nation’s tendency to replicate things like this. We should be encouraged to visit other countries and see and understand other cultures and history. Sigh, this was peak America…

On a better note, we got a chance to do a driving tour of the Vanderbilt University campus. It was cool to see a lot of classic Southern brick architecture.

To cap off the trip, we got some hot chicken at Hattie B’s. The food was good, but to be honest, after a week of being on the road, all I wanted after that was a big bowl of steamed broccoli.

Overall, Nashville didn’t have as much stuff to do as I had expected and things were quieter in general (probably because winter isn’t a popular time to visit), but it was still a fun weekend.

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KC

2017 February 8
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I made a short trip (less than 24 hours actually!) to Kansas City at the end of last week mainly for work orientation but also got a chance to explore the city a bit.

Started off by getting some really good food at Reiger and then moving underground for a drink at the speakeasy Manifesto.

The next day was spent at orientation, which ended with my first time playing whirlyball, a combination of lacrosse and bumper cars. It was fun but also a little hard to pick up.

Before leaving KC, we made a few quick stops to see outdoor art pieces at Nelson-Atkins Institute of Art and took in the city skyline view at Liberty Memorial.

Something interesting is that Kansas City actually straddles two states: Missouri and Kansas. It was funny to drive around and pass by a bunch of “Welcome to Missouri” and “Welcome to Kansas” signs everywhere.

From the parts I was able to see, Kansas City felt like a fun, spirited city.

I hope to return in the future to explore more.

Kansas is state #44 in the state race!

 

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Women’s March

2017 January 26
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Last Saturday, I participated in the Women’s March in San Francisco.

I made a sign and was proud to be there in support.

It was estimated that over three million Americans (plus more overseas) marched on Saturday.

There have been so many women in my life who have stood with me and made me who I am today that it felt only right to help strengthen their voice in this important time.

It was inspiring.

The fact that so many people still marched in the pouring rain made it that much more powerful.

To see people from all ages and walks of life- women, men, children, old people, young people, and everything in between- gave me some hope in fighting for a better, more equal future.

I stand with them and I march with them.

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The Coolest President We’ll Ever Have

2017 January 20
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Today’s a sad day because President Obama is leaving office after serving eight great years.

He was the first President I ever got the chance to vote for and I still remember the morning of his historic inauguration. I was a bright-eyed college student up before class watching on a big screen at Sproul Plaza. It was extremely inspiring.

He made us believe that opportunity was real, and not fake. He was cool too, someone the younger generation and minorities could really relate to.

Some great photos from his Presidency.

Thank you, President Obama, for everything you did, all of the hope you motivated, and the dreams you inspired.

And you said it yourself at last White House Correspondent’s Dinner, but damn, you’re right. We’re going to miss you when you’re gone.

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2016: Riding the Startup Roller Coaster

2016 December 31
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by Stanley Quan

At the end of last year, I returned to the Bay and was reinvigorated by joining a small startup called analyticsMD that I really believed in.

This year was defined by that move, and all of the ups and downs of learning through an early stage company.

I worked there for almost all of 2016 (except for the last two weeks), and learned a ton from the experience. Apart from playing a key part in growing the team and setting up processes and structure, I greatly valued the opportunity to do things that I wouldn’t get to do in a larger company, expanding my skill set and gaining a deeper understanding of other roles and functions.

I not only got to learn about different areas like marketing, sales, and product management, but got to actually contribute and do work in those areas.

It’s been a roller coaster of a ride.

There were many successes and many struggles, but I don’t regret it one bit.

In moving on from analyticsMD, I decided to join Accenture in a consulting role a few weeks ago. My first project takes me to Los Angeles for half of each week, but I’m excited to have some more free time to pursue personal hobbies in the near future.

Outside of the startup, a few other notable things from the year included going on a trip to Cambodia and Thailand, running the San Francisco Marathon, and meeting my now girlfriend :).

I think I’ve done a good job of challenging myself this year both personally and professionally.

It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been humbling and inspiring.

Here’s to seeing where the next roller coaster takes me!

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