Wednesday, July 18, 2007

a new (york) day.

you know how i can now carry on a decent conversation on US politics, when before this i have never bothered. which also means i'm now more knowledgable about singapore politics. ok that's where this paragraph ends. my west wing addiction is really getting somewhere. not to mention my rob lowe addiction.

speaking of rob lowe, i just found out, to my UTMOST surprise, where i never thought this day would come, my favorite new show Brothers & Sisters is now playing on channel 5 in singapore. i first watched this on tv when i was in seattle midway through the season, got totally hooked, mostly due to rob lowe. i never ever dreamed that singapore cable/tv would show it, due to its liberal protrayal of the modern american family and values, and the show's venture into american politics, gay issues, drug and alcohol addiction issues and everything right and wrong about america. that means all of which singapore govern*ment does NOT embrace. so i'm wondering what our censorship boards are going to do with the gay kissing and gay storylines part. i hope not much is cut (considering it plays way after primetime, like all american dramas on channel 5), because kevin walker, the gay brother is just so cute and adorable.

anyway i strongly recommend this show to everyone. even if just to watch rob lowe. and if they do cut too much, borrow the dvds from me when it gets here in fall.

anyway part 2, i have gotten good at recognizing guest stars on tv shows who have acted in other shows. like i just saw thatcher grey from grey's anatomy, meredith's dad, on west wing protraying some guy who is a whistle blower for his oil company.

anyway part 3, another day starts in new york city. =) we met up with zhihui and edlyn to go to the museum of natural history on upper west side, just next to central park. if you watched night at the museum starring ben stiller (which is hilarious), this museum is where everything took place. it's huge!! i didn't finish. i seem to not finish museums in US. no idea why.

so there were many man exhibits on, what else but natural history. the animals and humans and evolution and genetics and the different civilizations through the ages and in different parts of the world. here are the animals, which i like.

"dum dum wants some gum gum"

this little girl is the cutest. her dad is feeding her to the t-rex while mum takes a picture. and dad convinced her to put on a really scared face. =)

a giant telescope at the museum's space exploration program.

the whale from the movie "the whale and the squid" starring laura linney.

after the museum, zhihui and edlyn introduced us to shake shack, this outdoor organic fast food place in the middle of a madison square garden in chlesea. the food is good!! we also tried some shake which i cannot remember. i shall go back to eat there when i'm in nyc.

this familiar steel tree stands at seattle's olympic sculpture park too, but a different shape of course. this tree is at madison square garden. so many people were chilling out there in the middle of a work day! zhihui was wondering why they are all so free.

here is a place where dogs are not leashed and can run and play with other dogs. =)

on the way to the empire state building, we passed by the museum of sex. seemed interesting but it was already closed.

the empire state building looms over everything else in mid-town manhattan.

and once we were up there, the view was nothing short of magnificent. this is east river and lower east side.

and this messy array of buildings is the east side of mid-town and bits of upper east side.

this is mid-town, and you can see central park peeking just behind the buildings. it is really quite conspicuous, 'cos everywhere else is just packed with buildings and you have this rectangular void of green things in the skyline.

here is that void i'm talking about.

favorite photo of the empire state: sun rays over the east river.

this is lower west side and the cluster of sky scrapers to the left is the financial district in lower manhanttan. that's where wall st. and the new york stock exchange is located. the twin towers of world trade center used to be on the right of that cluster, just next to the hudson river.

this is bits of chlesea and soho, noho, little italy and chinatown. it's very interesting looking at the architecture of the buildings in new york. 'cos each one is so different from the next one, which explains a lot about the culture of new york. everyone wants to be different, which gave rise to the heterogenous culture of the city. where you could never feel out of place.

the weather is just splendid.

empire state by night. after we came back down to ground level we did some shopping around the usual shops. forever21, H&M, aldo, banana republic and i cannot remember where else.

and i've gotta include a picture of the world's largest store yes.

after satisfied shopping, the shoppers gathered and headed to chinatown in search of the famous xiao long baos of shanghai joe. and after exploring dark streets and chinatown we finally found it. and it was a real treat after not having juicy xiao long baos for 6 months.

and that concludes another new york day. =) good night.

Monday, July 16, 2007

new york new york.

i'm in a mood to relive my new york experience. a city whose energy and cosmopolitan-ness and shopping i miss. but bearing in mind i took about 700+ photos in new york, it's going to take a while to sort it out.

so we arrived at la guardia domestic airport, got ourselves on a bus to the nearest metro station, heaved our heavy bags up 2 flights of stairs to the subway platform. traveled through queens to get to mid-town manhattan. our hostel was on west 33rd st. prime location. mid-town, garment/fashion district. walking distance to major tourist attractions, times square, empire state building and ALL the major shops you can think of.

after checking in, which took ages, we ventured out to the streets of new york, and i can not be happier to be back.

despite it being my 2nd time in nyc, i realized i was right. i haven't seen new york at all. i walk around and i barely recognize anything. then i realized i've never been to mid-town manhattan. so this is madison square garden, near our lunch place.

back at times square. i can never get bored of this place.

indulgence. reese's peanut butter cups. is. so. good.

more ads.

then we got very brave and bought $60 tickets to les miserables. it was SO good. as i said in my recap, it's better than phantom of the opera. that concludes day 1.

day 2 was a miserable rainy day. and rainy days in new york city is a nightmare. we had breakfast at this place where many working new yorkers rush in, grab breakfast, and rush out. we sat by the window and it was fun people-watching. seeing how they dress for wet weather and how they walk so tremendously fast. and despite the rain, we still headed out for a walk down 5th avenue. visited many shops and got reminded of sex and the city locations.

"don't even THINK about parking here". you gotta love their sense of humor. and cynicism.

the beautiful apple store along 5th ave. free internet access on 50 macbooks and macbook pros.

next door is FAO schwartz, upscale toys "r" us. very cute toys. =)

southeast corner of central park overlooks 5th ave.

central park by a gloomy day. not very nice, but we make do.

the ballpark. i can just imagine a lazy sunday morning, tiffany-blue skies, white fluffy clouds, couples walking their dogs and looking at their children playing, a bunch of kids playing baseball, their parents watching and bitching about work, all shielded from the noise and bustle of manhattan by the trees around central park.

or just quiet reading on a cool summer monday.

the strawberry fields, in honor of john lennon, for world peace.

the big fluffy (yes really) sausage dog.

big majestic fountain. its name slipped my mind.

wow, so dark. this is 5th ave. along upper east side.

after visiting hunter college (which is on upp east side where we were) and wondering if we could sell our textbooks at their bookstore, we subway-ed to soho for some shopping and to revisit my favorite shops.

and the sun is out! then we met up with zhihui, edlyn, glenda and glenda's brown university friend sharon for some italian dinner at little italy. very charming town. nice dinner albeit over budget.

and that's all for day 2. and that's a full lid everyone. (first sign that i'm watching too much west wing)