Day 2: Power Outage Apocalypse; Climbing to the 12th Floor


Location | New York, NY

The morning began with the alarm blaring. 9:20am. Too early to wake up when you have the week “off” during a power outage. At 9:30am I had already dialed into a conference call for work. Sitting on the floor with pen and paper in hand, I diligently took notes on the upcoming projects.

After the call, I lounged around and headed up town to meet Lindsay and Carly for lunch. We headed over to Pasta Lovers and had an overpriced pasta meal. Then off to the Rockefeller Concourse for my caffeine fix at Blue Bottle.

Back to the safety of Lindsay’s apartment, aptly supplied with wifi, I spent an uneventful afternoon until Lindsay returned. Then we were off to dinner, when I received a call from Christine. Princess Ellie was stuck in her tower and needed to be brought down to pee.

So off to Princess Ellie’s tower, 12 flights up. Ellie in a harness. 12 flights down. Walking Ellie back and forth and back and forth pleading with her to pee. Finally, around the corner and there was some pee action. Then back up 12 flights of stairs… Ellie panting like crazy… me panting like crazy. Then back down on my jelly legs, back to the dark and into a cab to home!

Day 1: No Power, A Lost Cause


Location | New York, NY

As you know, the East Coast was hit by Hurricane Sandy on Monday, October 29th. At about 8:30pm that night, the power went out in my area. According to reports, it’s been out from 39th street down to the southern tip of Manhattan. (this is about 2/5th of the island). From what we hear, power is to be out for 4 days. This is my account.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today was the first full day (24 hours) without power in my apartment. I felt that this could have been a great promotional stunt for the show “Revolution” and I probably should have tuned into the show for tips on what skills I would need if the lights went out… For real. From what I deduced from the commercials, I will definitely need to know how to use a bow and arrow. That will come in handy when I’m fighting off wandering vagrants. (Although I hear that muggings are up in the dark parts of town).

I spent my morning peering out of my window into the gloomy atmosphere when I noticed 2 men looking up toward my building. As creepy as a dark and moody television drama, I eyed them suspiciously from my curtains with a frown on my face. Then I realized it was my landlord and electrician. In the dark hallway, I carefully tiptoed downstairs to let them into the building… My landlord asked what I’d do without lights. I told him that I would manage, it isn’t as if I would die without lights.

Soon I found myself cleaning my apartment and making the connection that no power equated to no hot water. I would have to make my way north, above 39th street to the land of electricity. I carefully packed my bag. A fresh set of underwear and all my electronics.

Outside I realized there was a multitude of revelers moving about. Photos snapped, people looking in wonder at the downed trees. For me, I had to move nearly a mile and a half to get to my destination. A hot shower awaited and I was eager to get to it.

I passed groups of people huddled by outdoor power outlets, eager to plug in their electronics and get connected to the world again. One man was even squatted down next to an electric stove cooking something in a pot. I will have to make note of where these outdoor plugs are for future power emergencies.

After a 30 minute trek, I arrived at my destination and found my legs covered in mud. Lindsay promptly asked me to go shower before entering her clean apartment, and I obligingly  and blissfully showered . After becoming mud-free, I excitedly connected to the internet. I was drawn back into the world wide web immediately, hungry for news and excited to talk to my friends in the small 13-inch screen.

After greedily staring at my glowing screen for 8 hours, I found myself clamoring into in a cab and returning to the wild. Darkness had taken over my neighborhood. The only lights from the cars that silently moved in the night. Back into my apartment, 2 Kraft singles lined my pocket, secured from Carly’s stash in her working fridge I had just left.

The gas on the stove set to low, the lighter hit the flame and my pot set on for some tomato soup. Then the cast iron griddle for a grilled cheese sandwich.

Cooking by candlelight seemed romantic, but not for me as I realized I was all alone in my empty apartment. Not a peep from my neighbors or any sounds from the street. Soup, sandwich, and a magazine to keep me sane until I went to sleep, and until morning.

Goodbye darkness, until tomorrow.

5 Years in New York


Location | New York City

July 21st marked my 5th year anniversary since moving to New York. I made it! From the way I feel now, I know that it’ll be another 5 years until I move away. I love this city and hope that when I do decide to move away, I’ll feel like I’ve ended a wonderful and memorable love affair.

I love the variety this city brings and the neverending heartbeat that beats on even when you’re done for the night. Of course, I’m not crazy about every aspect. So I’ve decided to list the top 10 things I hate about New York, and then close it off with a positive note of the top 10 things I love about New York.

Ten Things I Hate About New York City

  1. The Smell – New York smells, and I don’t mean that lovely maple syrup smell you sometimes catch a whiff of in random parts of the city. I mean the smell of trash, urine, and wet trash, and sweat, and poor hygiene. It’s what you get when there’s 8 million + people crammed into such a tiny space.
  2. Trash on the Streets – This contributes greatly to the smell. Growing up, I always thought that there were alleys in New York… dark, dark alleys that people got killed in… but nonetheless alleys. Alleys where trash would inevitably go in dumpsters. Sorry kids, I hate to break it to you, Manhattan (at least), does not have alleys. Trash bags go in piles in the street. You have not become a real New Yorker until you’ve run into one of these walking hazards.
  3. Rodents & Pests – Mice may be cute (to some people), but they do not make welcome house guests. It’s said that no restaurant in immune to rodents or pests, so don’t let that gleaming blue “A” pasted on the doors fool you. Not that the restaurant isn’t a place you’d want to go eat, by all means, I even frequent “C” restaurants, but just don’t trick yourself into believing that they are immune to rodents and pests. After battling cockroaches in my first apartment, and now mice that just “pass through” my place (they don’t live in my apartment, they just explore my apartment, gee thanks), I feel as if I’ll never be immune of these issues. Then again, having a disgusting Thai restaurant below my apartment does affect how “clean” my building is and how bad this rodent issue is. At least they’re mice… and not rats.
  4. The Noise – If you’re looking for a nice quiet place to live, New York is all wrong for you. I did live in one semi-quiet apartment, I’d only hear the occasional “backyard noises” when I opened my window (someone playing a saxophone, or music loudly). Now I live in a street-facing apartment on the front of a building. If I had a quarter for every time I could hear every word of a conversation on the street, I’d be a very very rich girl. From the dump trucks, delivery trucks, construction, drunk people yelling loudly, domestic disputes, barking dogs, noise from the neighbors upstairs, loud music, the club that used to be below, and everything else, I can now successfully sleep through anything.
  5. The Skyrocketing Rents – Hi, I get that I make nearly 100% more than my peers for an equal level job in the midwest (then again, my job wouldn’t exist in the midwest the same way it exists in New York), but proportionally, I am making less than them due to the lovely insane rent I pay for my 400sq foot shoebox. For the same amount, I could be living in a 2 or 3 BR in Chicago. Not only that, I live in a non-doorman building, facing the street (see above for “The Noise”).
  6. Dating – You’d think when you cram 1.5 million into the island of Manhattan, you’d get enough singles to be ripe of the picking. WRONG. You get a bunch of people who think they can all do better, so dissatisfaction runs rampant. Furthermore, bars are not the place you want to meet someone. Anyway, this could end up being a long rant, so I’ll save it for a future entry.
  7. Tourists – People who can’t walk straight, take up too much space, believe that the large sidewalks are meant to be 2 lanes (sorry, the sidewalk is big because it needs to be that size to accommodate the large mass of people who are trying to get BY the tourists).
  8. B&T-ers – These are almost as bad as tourists… actually no, they are worse. They believe because they live in close proximity to New York, that they UNDERSTAND New York. So they walk around, strutting their stuff like they own the city. I’m sorry, but we (I know, obnoxious right, I’ve only been here 5 years) can tell that you’re from Jersey or Long Island by your atrocious dress and theatrical make-up and skyhigh heels not made for walking New York City streets.
  9. Waiting – When you’re in a city this large, you have to wait for everything. Lines for coffee, a table, drink. Not saying this problem doesn’t plague other cities, but when it comes to getting to the movie theatre over 30-minutes early just to get a good seat, you begin to wonder what the draw is of living here.
  10. The Weather – Hello atrociously long winters, and steamy summers. Ah, the 1 month I get for Fall, and the 1 month I get for Spring are coveted. The hot weather brings out the smells and rodents and pests; the cold weather brings horrible conditions to get out of the apartment, very bad landlords who don’t properly heat their buildings, and so much more.

Ten Things I Love About New York City

  1. The Food – Yes, there are many places where you’ll find great food you can’t find anywhere else, but every major chef comes to New York to open a place to say that they’ve “made it” or have a place in the city. There’s always a new place to try, a new flavor to taste, it’s so diverse here.
  2. The Variety – There’s always something going on in New York. One day you could be at “Sleep No More” and the next you’d be watching the Mets play. Or even gallery hopping in Chelsea, or doing yoga in Bryant Park.
  3. Convenience – You can’t beat the late hours, millions of stores within proximity of your apartment (or office place, or frequent hangout) anywhere else. Plus with the following topic…
  4. Public Transportation – Subway and buses are everywhere. They’re something you love to hate too (cursing the train or bus when they aren’t on time or aren’t working); but without them, we’d be stuck in Carmageddon forever.
  5. Architecture – You can’t help but be awed y the amazing architecture that is in the city. Hell, they have a whole weekend dedicated to exploring the cool things this city has to offer architecturally (Open House New York, check it out)
  6. The Intellectual Elite – Incredibly snobby, but I love that there’s an intellectual elite in New York. Smarts have always turned me on and I’m excited when someone can respond when I say “They have have discovered Higgs Boson” and someone can go into deep conversation with me about it.
  7. Fashion – As much as fashion is snobby, I LOVE fashion in New York. You find the most well dressed people (and often the most poorly dressed or strangely dressed people); but the style is svelte.
  8. Cool Jobs – People come to New York to build their careers (or leave completely dejected); but it is the place where some of the coolest jobs are… I have to say that I’m extremely proud to have had and still have cool jobs.
  9. The History – So many amazing, pivotal events have happened in New York over its long history, everywhere you go, you are touched by something amazing that has happened in that space.
  10. Being Able To Say “I Live In New York” – THIS IS AWFUL, but I love saying “oh I live in New York” and be the envy of everyone who doesn’t live in a cool metropolitan city. Don’t roll your eyes at me, I’m sure everyone enjoys doing this every once in awhile.

Phew, that was the longest blog entry I’ve written in a very, very long time. I hope I’ll be writing much more as I travel around the country (and world) in the next upcoming month to a year!

Big Bambu at the Met


Location | New York, NY

Jiye and I wanted to catch Big Bambu at the Met before it ends this week

The big mess of Big Bambu

So we headed up to the rooftop and it was a really crazy exhibit. It was amazing to see how far they had come after many months of working on this thing. Bamboo was everywhere, was were the ropes to tie the pieces together.

View from the rooftop

We stayed on the rooftop for a bit. The view of the city and Central Park is really nice and well worth a visit if you just want to chill. There’s a cash bar on the rooftop too, so good for a chill get together if they have a nice exhibit.

Flickr Set.

How Dem Apples?


Location | New York, NY

(Almost) every year, I go apple picking. I think in the past 10 or so years, I’ve only not gone once or twice. Well, this year was excellent, for the most part.

I woke up via alarm, but guess what… I was sick from alcohol. I had gone to a “crazy” party the night before (ie: 30 people, 29 gay men, 1 straight girl). How did I end up there? I blame Kelvin. I blame my hangover on him too.

Well, I ended up not feeling well the whole ride up to the apple orchards. Let alone, Kelvin was also there – and also hungover – and another mutual friend – Tae was there – also hungover too. I had the worst of it…

Kelvin and Jiye eat.

Anyway, we went apple picking at Lawrence Farms in upstate New York. Jiye and Kelvin spent most of their time picking and eating veggies, versus actually planning to purchase anything (ha). Christine and I got a lot of apples and vegetables that we planned on cooking up.

Up close and personal

We even had a cute little wagon that Christine pulled everywhere.

Christine and our wagon.

I think the best part of the whole exploration of the orchard was the corn. Mind you, I’ve been to Lawrence Farms twice before, so being the third time, you’d think we’d seen everything. Nope, we missed the corn. This time we climbed into the stalks and pulled out  lot of beautiful corn!

Something isn't right here...

After our trip, I drove back and we ended up at Costco where we enjoyed it a little too much. The worst was getting back to the city. Tae had to be at culinary school and the traffic was atrocious. We ended up making everything work, but what a rush. Next time – full day rental!

Flickr Set.

Grant’s Tomb Amongst Things


Location |  Flight from JFK to SFO

One of the coolest things in regards to NYC are how many historical sites there are on one tiny island. There’s so many random things to find and I love discovering something new.

After an amazing (and very filling) lunch at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on 131 & the West Side Highway.

My plate from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que!

After that, Drew had told us Grant’s Tomb was only down the way, so we headed over there (in the cold) and walked up a hill. Greg’s poor friend Jake must’ve been wondering where we were taking him!

The area is a little obscure, but very nice (and quiet). The Tomb is HUGE! It’s just sitting there in the middle of the park.

Grant's Tomb

President Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States and a decorated and much celebrated Civil War General. Despite is general unpopularity when he left office in 1877, his tomb is considered the largest mausoleum in North America (crazy!).

Near/next to Grant’s Tomb is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It’s MASSIVE. That’s really all I have to say about it. I’d seen it before when I went up to the Cloisters, but this was the first time I actually stopped to take some shots.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

After all of this, we walked through Columbia… which isn’t very large (nor exciting). I was kind of surprised about how small their campus felt. I guess that’s the problem with going to a large school, everything else feels small.

Hopefully I can get some more shots of the city this summer. So much more to explore!

New York Botanical Garden


Location | New York City

I went to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx this past weekend. This was my first time there, but it’s 250 acres of land dedicated to one of the best plant collections in the world. (Yes, I was listening when they were giving a tour).

Inside the conservatory

The conservatory was amazing. It was a giant greenhouse filled with a ton of exotic plants/flowers. I loved how they tried to let you see every inch of their jungle of plants. In the rainforest section, you could climb up into the canopy and in the dessert, they tried to give plenty of examples of plants that look like rocks.

Multi-colored Tulips

Outside we went to the rock garden & the children’s garden. There were a lot of beautiful tulips (a lot of them were past-peak). We also walked through some marshy wetland then to take the trolley around the grounds. There’s a lot of forest, but I wouldn’t walk through it (unless I was maybe jogging?).

Anyway, it was a lovely day and hopefully I’ll return once the chrysanthemum festival occurs.

Snowy Central Park


Location | New York City

Went to Central Park to see how the snow covered the park. The Mall was closed unfortunately, but you could walk around and take photos. Went around the Mall to Bethesda Terrace then up to the boathouse.

Central Park Mall

The Mall looks really peaceful without anyone walking through it.

Little snowman

Not much to the post besides that I adore Central Park :)

Best Single’s Day in Recent Memory


Location | New York City

I’ve had a fantastic day. I decided to go on a date with myself. It began with a trip to H&H Bagels, which, if you have never gone there before, you must. I was incredibly happy with my favorite toasted everything bagel w/ lite lox spread (delectable!). Sat there enjoying my lovely bagel and writing in my journal.

Facade of the Cloisters

Then I walked across town and got on the M4 bus to go to the Cloisters. The bus ride literally took more than an hour. When I got there, I decided to take some shots outside first because the daylight was perfect. Then I went in and walked around. It’s really a lovely museum. A lot of courtyards and places to rest and just enjoy the museum.

Stained Glass

I definitely need to return in the spring when the gardens open up.


Then afterwards, I walked through Fort Tryon Park (the museum is located in the middle of the park). I walked through snowy pathways and to the entrance where there was a playground. Of course, me, being the child I am, totally went on the swingset.

The bus came and I took the hour and a HALF long ride back to the city where I stopped off at Book-Off and then Zaiya before running 10 blocks to meet up with my coffee date, and specified lover from SF, Albie. We sat around and had 2 coffees, fries and sweets before he walked me back home.

I believe tomorrow I may be going to the opera with Albie. Soooo excited to finally go!

*humming opera songs