Thursday, June 30, 2011

PLACES: High Line

After a nice weekend brunch with friends we decided to explore the High Line, an old railroad track turned into a lovely park. The track is completely transformed with fresh greenery, interactive artwork, benches and lounge chairs, and running water to dip your feet into. The water fountains spout some of the best tasting water ever according to our friend. 

Claire and I cooled our feet off in the water and Bryan (pictured below) enjoyed running through the water, and splashing it all over my dress!!

The benches on the High Line are perfect for reading a book, having lunch, or wooing a lovely date.  

I feel like I'm constantly walking around models in the city. We spotted a photo shoot on the High Line. The model was fabulously tall and her dress was breathtaking. 

There are even some food vendors dispersed on the High Line, so obviously I was happy. Bryan and I tried People's Pops. I tried a shaved ice because they shaved the ice right in front of me on a giant ice cube and I couldn't resist. Bryan got a popsicle. It was a tasty, refreshing treat!

Forget Bryan's popsicle flavor...I believe it was cherry berry of some sort.

My pear flavored shaved ice!

Stunning views, tasty treats, and great friends - it was a good day!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PLACES: Oh Jin Soon... you were so much more than just a pedicure

When I read Refinery29's article on New York's best beauty spots, I knew I had to try at least one! So, when I was feeling particularly pooped 2 weeks ago I decided to treat myself to a pedicure at Jin Soon. I love/rely on R29 (and Yelp) for this reason... I could barely find the place because the door was so hidden on the street! How did anyone find this place before?? I have a serious hypothesis that the best spots in NYC are the hardest to find. Literally. (Side Note: Every great restaurant we've either passed or gone to has no name or sign on the building or in the front. sketch... but effectively cool.)

When I finally found Jin Soon and opened the narrow door, my breath was taken away. Def heard the angels singing as I told them I was here for my appointment.  Isn't the display so artful and charmingly asian?  YSL, Chanel, NARS, Zoya, OPI... this place had the best collection I've ever seen! I particularly love the floor-lighting and stones.  Aside from museums, this was the most calming indoor experience I've had all summer.

This is strange to say, but NYC has helped me appreciate what peace feels like more than ever.  The picture above speaks to that... seeing the urban jungle right outside this sanctuary only pushed me into a deeper calm. Whoa got a little flowery there.... is it a disgrace to say I miss high school English? *shrug*

Sigh... that was much, much more than your average pedi. f'sho.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

THEATER: Spiderman

So, despite awful reviews and many cast injuries, I decided my New York summer wouldn't be complete without seeing Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark on Broadway. My morning started at 9AM when Brandon and I went to Broadway to get in line for student rush tickets for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The line was ridiculously long and I knew we would have no chance of getting tickets so instead we walked a few blocks to the Spider-Man theater. After a 45 minute wait we had tickets in our hands for the 2PM matinee for a reasonable price of $30 each. We didn't get to choose our tickets since it was general rush, so we were placed in Orchestra row ZZ; at first we were excited that we had orchestra seats until we realized we were literally in the last row.

The first 20 minutes of the show were awful and nothing how I would imagine a Spiderman show to be like. It started with a history of Arachne, a Greek mythology of the first spider. Women flew across stage, weaving a web as Brandon and I stared at each other double checking we were in the right theater.  20 more minutes into the show I was surprised that the actor playing Spiderman was not the best singer, which was made even worse by the cheesy songs he was singing. I was rather disappointed in Bono, who wrote all the music. The song "DIY world" was probably one of the worst. As a craft girl who loves DIY (Do It Yourself_ projects, the song about turning the world into genetically modified creatures was quite disturbing. The only catchy song was "Rise Above," which was repeated multiple times in the show. They never even sang the Spiderman theme song though!

The best part of the play was the set. Screens in the background displayed action packed comic scenes and views of New York City. Backdrops bended and folded into new scenes and the best was a downward view from the Chrysler building with taxi lights down below. The setting was all very comic-book like with backdrops that looked like sketches, over exaggerated costumes and colorful clothing. Fight scenes were accompanied by "bam" and "pow" and other comic book fight noises. After Peter Parker's transformation into Spiderman he flies across the stage and through the audience. Unfortunately since I was in the last row I missed some of the stunts that took place in the balcony above us. The many flips and stunts were possible by having about 8 different actors playing Spiderman, which was obvious sometimes when Spiderman would fly to one side of the stage and then appear in the balcony a moment later. I was really curious if the actor playing Peter Parker was even doing any of the stunts.

Act Two was significantly better than Act One. There were much more stunts that were very good, despite the few minute "technical difficulty" pause where the audience laughed and slow clapped until the harness was fixed. The second act was much more Spiderman like with fighting and interactions with Mary Jane and Peter and I felt more involved in the play than the first act. The whole play I was wondering when the famous Spidey kiss would take place, and it finally happened during the bows.

One of my favorite scenes from the TV show The OC, replicating the perfect Spiderman kiss.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PLACES: If Heaven Were A Park....

Sheep's Meadow in Central Park is by far my favorite place in New York so far.  It is better than the futuristic gourmet cafeteria I went to for lunch with Aislinn today, dishes; better than all the museums; better than Strand Book Store; even better than the Barneys shoe salon. And that is saying A LOT, people. It is a giant meadow--at least 4 times the size of Memorial Glade--where you can be surrounded by people and still feel as peaceful as ever.  My favorite part is the cityscape behind the trees.

All the picnic necessities: baguette, crackers, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes & raspberries. 

Aislinn looking so picturesque!

This day was even more enjoyable because it was Father's Day--we called our dads, family-watched, read our books, and ate those carbs + cheese like it was all we needed to live.

I proclaim this... my New York haven!


PLACES: Such a New York Block Party

Another reason why NYC is so cool: every summer there is a Museum Mile Festival, where 5th Avenue is closed off for a block party in front of the 9 museums on the mile.  Due to long, snaking lines and rain later in the evening (all the chalk above was washed away! so sad..), we only went to the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures inside, but I loved how I was looking at so many contemporary and design-oriented things inside probably the oldest mansion I've ever been in.

Van Cleef & Arpels exhibit was tres great and tres sparkly.  So many women captivated by all the jewels and diamonds.... funny sight to see.  What I liked about it was the idea of such expensive, rare jewels being used as a materials.  I remember reading a description I really liked, which talked about how VC&A used materials that were already beautiful to create even more beautiful works of art.

Loving the bright green & blue against the old brick.

View of the Guggenheim. I wish the streets were always car-less...

"Design is art people use." 

-- quote inside a book at the Cooper-Hewitt shop.... SO true, right?


Monday, June 20, 2011

FOOD: Land Thai Kitchen

I ventured to the Upper West Side with my friend Doreen and we tried Land Thai Kitchen for dinner. We waited outside for almost an hour as plates of delicious smelling food surrounded us on nearby tables. By the time we got to sit down and order I was basically drooling on the menu, everything sounded so good.

I ordered the Wok Ginger & Garlic with Shrimp, which was delectable. Paired with a glass of wine and lovely company, it was a charming dinner.  The neighborhood around Land Thai Kitchen is filled with many other cute restaurants that I must try soon. But maybe I should be blogging about something other than food... nah.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

FOOD: Dining at the Jane Hotel

Who knew hotel food could taste so great? Cafe Gitane in the Jane Hotel defy all expectations of hotel restaurants. I went with a group of friends and we shared some Petit Plats to start off our meal - Brie and Apple and the Avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, chiliflakes on seven grain toast. While the servings were pretty small for 4 people to share, it was a nice tasty few bites of each item.

Bryan ordered Moroccan couscous, one of their specialties. And I got Salmon Pot Pie, which was nothing like I was expecting. Instead of creamy, dense pot pie it has delicious layers of fresh salmon crusted in crispy batter and olive sauce. Claire got a baked pasta and Aislinn took the healthy route with a salad.

Apparently the Jane Hotel is not only known for their food but for their night life. The bar is frequented with celebs, such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. While the food was tasty, the thought of meetings the infamous Olsen twins is enough to make we want to return to the Jane Hotel.


FOOD: Momofuku

Momofuku is quite famous in New York City. There's a Momofuku noodle bar, milk bar, and three other restaurants as well as cookbooks for sale in every bookshop. Momofuku noodle bar is the cheapest of the bunch so I decided to give it a shot.

I ordered the Smoked Brisket (chilled somen noodles, thai basil, soy egg). It was different than anything I'd ever tried before, the mixture of noodles, meat, egg, and crispy cucumbers. The exotic tastes were surprisingly tasty. It was a hot day and the cold noodles were refreshing. Plus, the hip environment of the Noodle Bar added to the experience and I was accompanied by my good friend Surya, so dinner was filled with great conversation. Surya, who is a vegetarian, ordered basically the only vegetarian option of the menu, Ginger Scallion Noodles (pickled shiitakes, cucumber, cabbage). Her dish was jam packed with ingredients. Neither of us finished our large noodle bars, but we enjoyed every bite.

We finished off the night with dessert from Momofuku Milk Bar. We shared an order of pretzel cake truffles, which tasted just like a chocolate and pretzel explosion. The Milk Bar serves all kinds of truffles as well as cakes and ice cream and sundaes. Guess I'll have to make a stop there soon!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

STYLE: Making the most of "casual business casual" in 90-degree weather

J. Crew tank, H&M skirt, Calvin Klein sandals, L.A.M.B. messenger satchel, Marc by Marc necklace

Diane von Furstenberg dress, Sam Edelman flats, Longchamp tote

Fun fact! Aislinn and I work in the same building... but for 2 different companies.  We both have a "casual business casual" dress code... so we're doing our best to look professional yet casual without melting outdoors/freezing indoors. Hopefully, we are starting to get the hang of it!


FOOD: Ici, you have some serious competition!

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream........

Me and my tastebuds have no words. 


PLACES: Random street fair + Little Italy

En route to lunch in Little Italy, we wandered into a bustling street fair.... so many colors! and people! and things! and of course... FOOD.

This is our lovely friend Dori (part of the group of Berkeley London-ers from last summer).. looking not too pleased with her fried oreo... even though it was her idea! It was actually pretty good... unexpectedly soft. Let's not try to estimate the calories of that little snack.

And so, the colorful street fair seamlessly flowed into the equally vibrant Little Italy. Blogging is fun because I get to use flowery language to my heart's content.

How many green/white/red things can you see in this picture?

Carbs, carbs....

and more carbs! We so happy.

Sadly, I forgot what restaurant we plopped down to eat at... because we passed at least 50 Italian restaurants that looked exactly the same. Very yummy nonetheless! Love the sidewalk seating.