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Hackensack River

Who knew interstates could be pretty.
Leaving Tri-State 2022/03


She likes dharma rice. Tenleytown mascot

Update on Rock Creek Park

2022/02/10 Update: We’re getting mentions on social media:


I wanted to let everyone know that I have heard back from Councilmember Mary Cheh’s legislative director and they’re finally moving forward with making the trails in Rock Creek Park safer for our neighborhood.



Hi Philip – just to follow up on this: I have confirmed with DDOT that is District property and there is space for signage. I’m working now with them to see what it would take to get signage and painted markings here. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.




My reply:


Hi Michael,

Thank you for this update, I am very pleased to hear this news. I appreciate your help and I look forward to more updates.




I will continue to give updates once I hear them.

My previous updates:

Conversations with Lu Episode One: Robert Klitgaard

Professor Robert Klitgaard from Claremont Graduate University and I discuss his new book, Prevail: How to Face Upheavals and Make Big Choices with the Help of Heroes.

Purchase here:


Host: Philip Lu

Producers: Brandon Mansur, Albert Cramer, Philip Lu

Set Design: Liqing Peng

Episode 1 Transcript:

lightly edited

Philip Lu: Welcome to Conversations with Lu, I’m here with Professor Robert Klitgaard, University Professor at Claremont Graduate University, and we’re here to talk about his new book, Prevail: How to Face Upheavals and Make Good Choices with the Help of Heroes.


We Are Only Visitors Here, We Are Not Permanent

In the face of looming conflict between nuclear powers, this quote from Thoreau comes to mind. Homo sapiens, despite all of their intelligence, will not have the same lasting power as an ordinary deer mouse. Emphasis mine.


My Neighborhood

I wrote to our Ward 3 councilmember, Mary Cheh’s office (specifically her legislative and committee director, Michael Porcello) about a dangerous intersection in the Forest Hills neighborhood. I received a reply and if this issue impacts you as well I recommend expressing support and contacting her office here:

My email to get the issue addressed:


2021 in Review

What began as a year of optimism for the upcoming reduction in the pandemic’s influence has undoubtedly turned out to be a mixed one. My family and I are still hunkered down in DC working remotely while the rest of the country is sending its white-collar workers back in fits and starts. I’ve been doing a ton of reading in lieu of commuting and hope to share my thoughts on what I’ve read soon. During the dip in COVID cases, my first flight since early 2020 was taken in June to Denver to meet up with friends for a roadtrip to explore the West. We also got to see my extended family (one member started their own small business this year) for Thanksgiving, whom I hadn’t seen for nearly two years up to that point. I also celebrated my second holiday season in DC.


Luria and Erik’s Wedding

The Vows
The Gardens

Great anecdote shared with me by the bride and groom:

For their wedding favors, they wanted to give away local Brooklyn candy and found a wonderful candy shop that will remain undisclosed for reasons soon to follow. The candy maker, a self-stylized modern-day Willy Wonka, was initially unsure he could take their wedding order since the largest one he had ever done prior was for about 15 people. He expressed reservations because he wanted to, “save his stock for many other customers to experience.” When their parents offered to pay more he refused saying he wasn’t doing it for the money, but for the craft. Fortunately, the bride and groom are some of the kindest people and the candy man relented. Needless to say, this artisanal candy maker does not want to be discovered.

National Mall Memorial

18 months and counting…

Vipassana Preparation

It’s been about three years since I’ve been doing any Vipassana-related activities. Although I’ve relocated to DC, I still consider NY in many respects to be where I call home. I still have property here, my family still remains here, my grandfather is buried here. When I saw that the local NY Vipassana Association (NYVA) needed volunteers to assist when I was in town, I enthusiastically signed up. I have done two other 10-day silent meditation retreats before, but it wasn’t until last weekend that I realized how much effort goes into setting up one of these courses. We started Saturday morning and did not finish until the next day. Bear in mind this was with several dozen volunteers. One of the NYVA coordinators, Janice, helped communicate between the prep teams and servers (volunteers during the 10-day course) well. I got to know several of the volunteers including Eric, who runs his own furniture business, Don, a retiree who lives and breathes Indian culture, and Liqian, a travel vlogger.

It was a shame it was overcast Saturday evening since you never get this kind of darkness and therefore visible stars where I Iive.

It's a lot of work.

Converting the space into a dhamma hall

Zabuton placement

Ready for meditation

My cabin for the night

Pitch black moments later