Nancy's Annual Letter
Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! I hope 2021 will get better every day and we can come out of the shadow of the coronavirus and go visit our loved ones!
It’s been a big year for Andrew and his family. Andrew campaigned for Joe Biden, joined CNN as a commentator and started a new organization, Humanity Forward to advance Universal Basic Income and cash relief. He lobbied Congress to help get stimulus checks passed. He also brought his family to Georgia to knock on doors for the Senate candidates there. The family was in New York for most of the year. Evelyn has been working on a book for children and parents about how to talk about their bodies. Christopher and Damian have been in school online but run around outside every day. The family is very grateful that everyone is happy and healthy. They are looking forward to a big year in 2021, as Andrew is now running for mayor of New York City! He feels like the city needs help and he may be able to provide it.
Larry, Lyla and their 1 year old daughter Fenris have had quite a year together. Lyla and Fenris left Korea to come to New York early in 2020, where they have settled along with Larry in a home upstate since the pandemic has started. Luckily there is a lot of space to walk around and hike outside, and to take Fenris on walks by a nearby lake where she loves to drop stones into the water. Larry has learned how to cook a lot more and the three of them share a lot of family time. Professionally, Larry has had several major developments at NYU. He has become Vice Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and also has become Associate Director for the Global Center for Implementation Science at NYU. In addition, he has published major work from his project in China in a top tier medical journal (JAMA Psychiatry) as well as received another major $1.6 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance scientific methods in global mental health.
I went to Oviedo, Spain in early March as Taiwan’s delegated keynote speaker at the Pastel Society of Spain’s Fifth International Pastel Biannual Show. Taiwan and Japan were the featured countries. This was my third time in Oviedo. I had a great time, especially seeing old friends. On my way back to US, I went to the very charming city of Barcelona. I even thought of staying an extra two days. I’m glad I didn’t. My flight was on 3/13 and Trump announced the last day planes could fly from Spain to US was 3/14!! The airport was so crowded! There were very long lines. I went three hours before departure and stood in the check in line for almost two hours!
Back in NYC, it wasn’t much fun. Andrew asked me to stay with them in New Paltz to be safer, but I much preferred to self-quarantine for 14 days in NYC. My children worried so much about my catching Covid in NYC, I decided to wrap up important things and go back to Taiwan. The flights kept getting canceled. I wasn’t able to leave until April 9. Getting to JFK from my apartment was more difficult than I thought. There were no taxis, my usual car service couldn’t guarantee a ride and I felt too uneasy to use Uber. Andrew offered to drive me, but from New Paltz, it would have been a 7 hour round trip to pick me up and drop me at JFK. To my pleasant surprise, my cleaning lady Ana’s niece offered to take me. I had never met her before, but I will forever remember her warmth. I went through the JFK Customs at lightning speed. Most stores were closed. Not even a place to eat! Then sixteen hours on the plane with a mask! And quarantine was so strict in Taiwan, I couldn’t leave my studio at all for 14 days! But art keeps me busy here. PAT had an International Pastel Show in November. It went well, but sadly our honored guests from US, France and Japan couldn’t come. I am very excited that I’ve been invited for a group show in March by one of the most famous galleries in Taipei!!
At age 80, Kei just got a new job, as a consultant at the Education Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Taipei Medical University. We are happy that he can still contribute at this stage of life!!
We felt relieved when Andrew’s campaign ended in the fall, but now he runs for NYC mayor, of course, a whole new and difficult campaign is about to begin.
We are glad vaccinations for COVID-19 have started in the US. I hope life will be restored to normal within a few months. We feel fortunate to have lived in Taiwan in 2020. Here, people have been able to go to work and school as usual during the whole year. May you all do the same soon.