Sunday, August 31, 2008


This bowl of gazpacho was from Le Pain Quotidien, the Belgian chain restaurant/bistro. I had my first gazpacho soup probably about 5 years ago at a french bistro and since then, it has been a love affair that knows no bounds. . . . except when it comes to me having to make it myself. :-) It is especially delicious during the hot summer months when the last thing I want to eat is a warm soup.

So do you have a favorite soup for winter and/or summer?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reflection on Madison Avenue

This photo was taken at the corner of Madison Avenue and 58th Street in midtown Manhattan. Madison Avenue, especially north of 60th Street is the prime shopping district for high end fashion goods like Ralph Lauren, Hermes and Versace. South of 60th Street, the avenue is comprised of mainly offices for big corporations and financial institutions.

So what is your plan for the three-day Labor Day weekend? I will be in Boston visiting with the family.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fanelli Cafe

This is the Fanelli Cafe on Prince street and Mercer Street in SoHo. The restaurant bar has been around since the 1800's and it is still a popular hang out place among the locals and tourists alike. I have had some decent sandwiches here after an afternoon of wandering the streets for photo-op.

So how often do you go out to take photographs?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tricycle Taxi

These tricycle taxis are a fairly new phenomenon in New York City. I started seeing a few of them on the streets about two years ago but now, they are everywhere. These young fellas will "drive" you anywhere in Manhattan if you pay the right fare. I don't know how much it would cost since I've never ridden on one. And it is not an efficient way to travel around the city but for a tourist, it is definitely a fun way to explore the city.

So have you ever ridden on a tricycle?

Update: Went to my 7:20 AM appointment at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue this morning and my iPhone was replaced within 10 minutes of "diagnosis". I'm back in the 21st Century again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Restaurant Flowers

This is a macro shot of a simple flower arrangement at a Thai restaurant on Court Street between 3rd and 4th Place in Brooklyn where I had dinner with a friend last week. The small pink bloom with yellow center is probably about 3/4 of an inch across.

My iPhone died on Monday night. Since I don't have a land line at home, I had to wait till I got to the office on Tuesday morning to call the 1-800 tech support hotline to for advice. Unfortunately, nothing can be done so I will have to make an appointment to visit one of the tech support guys at the Genius Bar inside the Apple Store.

It feels weird not to have a cell phone (or a telephone, in general) available even though I have no need to call anyone right now. My only access to the outside world now is the internet. Please, please, please....don't let my internet connection fail before I get my iPhone working again.

I feel soooo vulnerable. Have you ever felt so lost?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Greeley Square II

This is a regular summer scene on Greeley Square, a small triangular plot of space bordered by 32th Street, 6th Avenue and Broadway in midtown Manhattan. Around the square is one of the busiest intersections for automobile and pedestrian traffics in the city. If you have been to the gigantic Macy's store on 34th Street and Broadway, you will understand that this is an oasis tugged inside a concrete jungle.

A year and a half ago, I posted a winter scene (January) of the same square. It looked very different from the photo above because of the cold weather, i.e. few greeneries or people around.

So are you happy summer is almost over and the cold weather is approaching? I am! I love cold weather. :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lost Bird

Last week, I lost my camera but I found it the next day. On Saturday, I saw this sign posted on a lamp post in SoHo -- apparently someone found a lost bird. My question is how does one find a lost bird? Did it fly into someone window and said, "I'm lost?"

So have you lost something recently? Did you ever find it again?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nutella Sandwich

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would have figured out that I rarely eat/cook at home. But I do . . . sometimes. This photo above is an example of my cooking reportoire: nutella (hazelnut chocolate spread) sandwich. My other specialty is a scrambled eggs over peanut butter and toasts. When I tell my friends that, they all said, "EWWWWWWWWW!"

So have you ever had scrambled/fried eggs on top of peanut butter and toast? If not, what weird food do you like to make at home?

Reflections on 5th Avenue

The yellow building in the reflection is the Sherry-Netherland Hotel on 5th Avenue and 59th Street. The glass building doing the reflecting is the GM Building, one block south between 59th and 58th Street. You can also see the Apple Cube on the bottom right corner of the photo.

I apologize if I have not been visiting your blog lately. It's been a busy week for me so hopefully, I will be able to do some catching up in the next couple of days.

Hope you all have an enjoyable, relaxing weekend.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gruyère Tartine

I had lunch this afternoon with fellow NYC bloggers, Lisa of Gramercy Cafe and Todd of Postcards from Hell's Kitchen at Le Pain Quotidien, an amazing Belgian cafe/restaurant in Union Square. Unfortunately, I "lost" my camera this morning so was not able to take any photos except this one with my cell phone.

Lisa and Todd took a lot of photos including one with actor, Jesse May who starred in a Pepsi commercial. Go to Lisa's blog to see the commercial on YouTube.

My lunch included a bowl of gazpacho (you can see part of it on the top right of the photo above) and gruyère tartine with mustard. It was super delicious and I think everyone had a good time. So what did you have for lunch today?

N.B.: I found my camera in a grocery bag from yesterday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Otafuku NYC

This is the front entrance to a tiny (and I mean TINY) Japanese take-out restaurant called Otafuku in the East Village. There are only three items on the menu: okonomiyaki (Japanese style savory pancake), takoyaki (octopus balls) and yakisoba (stir-fried noodles). Customers can mix and match any combination of two of the above items for less than $5. Now, that's cheap eats.

So have you eaten octopus before?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ferns For Now

Everything I photographed lately has turned out . . . blah!! I have been lacking inspiration or been visiting the familiar haunts too frequently. I need to find a new place to visit instead of tSoHo, Little Italy, Union Square and East Village.

So here is something from the archives. It's ferns for now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Accept Euros II

The real estate market may be battered in some parts of the country but it is doing very well in NYC (Manhattan) , thanks to the foreign buyers in the market. Some realtors, like this one in SoHo, are targeting European buyers with their strong Euros. The apartment listed on the chalkboard is a condominium loft in the NoHo (north of Houston Street) district and it can be yours for a reasonable €888,000 or an affordable £766,000 or an unbelievably absurb price of US$1,532,000. Ouch!!

So where do you go for an affordable dinner or an expensive dinner in your hometown?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Old & New in East Village

This is the skyline of East Village on Lafayette Street, just south of 8th Street. The blue glass building on the left is a new $5 - $12 million condo/coop building that sits on leased land. This is an interesting concept in residential real estate because the building does not own the land it sits on. At some point (way in the future), the lease on the land will expire and a new contract will have to be drawn up. How will that affect the prices of the apartments? Only the future can tell.

So how was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fancy Schmacy Dresser

I saw this elderly gentleman waiting outside the Christian Dior store on 57th Street near Madison Avenue yesterday evening. He was probably waiting for the car service to pick him up after an afternoon of shopping.

Notice the canvas tote with the green handles on the floor next to him. That is such an upper middle class NYC thing, i.e. older men carry canvas totes. I'm not upper middle class (not even close) but I do have one of those totes at home. A friend gave it to me because it was too big for her small frame. The bag is great for picnics, except I haven't been on a picnic in ages.

So what kind of bag do you carry?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Parachute Jump at Coney Island

This is the Parachute Jump, a relic of an old amusement park attraction in Coney Island, Brooklyn. I found out on Wikipedia that it was built in 1939 for the New York's World's Fair in Flushing-Meadows, Queens but was moved to the Coney Island Steeplechase Amusement Park in Brooklyn later. Incidentally, I have also photographed the famous structure from the 1964 World's Fair -- the Unisphere which I posted earlier this month.

I have lived in NYC for exactly 10 years now -- I came out here in August 1998 immediately after graduate school. In all that time, I have never visited or seen the Unisphere and the Parachute Jump until very recently. That was because (1) both the Unisphere and the Parachute Jump are located outside my usual haunts or places I regularly go; (2) they were both featured in a Louis Vuitton advertisement and a Gossip Girl promotional photo respectively; and (3) after seeing those images, I decided to photograph them myself for this blog.

So what is your motivation in your photography?

Friday, August 15, 2008

subway Day: Three Wise Men

Today is August 15, which means it is another subway theme day. The photo above is an enlarged view of a subway sign for the N and W trains at Union Square. I was waiting for the train when I noticed an interesting smudge on the N circle. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a stenciled graffiti. I couldn't help but like the "artwork" because I think it is quite hilarious and very original. But I don't know what it represents.

Three other cities are participating in the mid-month subway theme:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vinny's Nut House

Mulberry Street, the main restaurant and tourist alley in Little Italy, is usually closed to automobile traffic on weekends so the locals and tourists can enjoy browsing and hanging out in the neighborhood. One of the regular vendors on the street is Vinny's Nut House, which sells nougat candy (egg white, sugar and almonds), candied apples, marzipan (almond paste) fruits, lemon iced cookies and different types of biscottis.

I tried the nougat candy once and I didn't like it very much. It tasted like a dense, sticky version of mashmallow and it stuck to the inside of my mouth. Eck! Biscottis, on the other hand, are devine. I can eat those for breakfast, lunch and dinner...with a good cup of coffee.

So have you ever tried any of these sweets mentioned above?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wasp & Cicada

I saw this wasp carrying a cicada up the tree outside my apartment building last weekend. Upon further research, I found out that it was a cicada killer wasp that preys primarily on cicadas. Incidentally, I heard the cicadas singing outside my office last recently. I guess it's cicada season.

So have you ever heard of a cicada song?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We Accept Euros

The decline in US dollars has made NYC an affordable vacation spot for many Europeans. This week alone, I saw a couple of stores advertising, "We Accept Euros" on their windows including this restaurant in Little Italy.

So if the situation was the other way round (i.e. US$1 = €1.50), where in Europe would you like to go? For our European readers, where in the US would you like to visit aside from NYC, of course.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vespa Lock

I was walking down Lafayette Street in the East Village when I saw this interesting lock mechanism on the Vespa's handle. Vespas have always fascinated me and I have professed on this blog my fantasy of owning one one day and cruising down the street (of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, perhaps) on it. Hopefully, my dream will come true soon.

In the photo, you can see my reflection on the back of the mirror. I have just bought a copy of the September 2008 issue of Vanity Fair with Carla Bruni-Sakorzy on the cover and was trying to juggle between holding the camera and the magazine while taking this photo.

So what magazine have your read lately? Do you have a favorite?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Union Square From Above

Here is another view of Union Square from the 6th floor of Filene's Basement (discount retailer) on 14th Street. It was taken last Sunday afternoon when I was there to buy some new pillows for the apartment. Normally, the area would be crawling with people but it was surprising sparse that afternoon.

Notice the funny looking hat structure on the bottom left? That is the entrance to the subway station for the N, W, R, Q, L, 4, 5 and 6 trains. Yes, it is one of the major interchange for the NYC subway system.

So what did you have for dinner last night? I had skirt steak with chimichurri verde at a Peruvian restaurant in East Village.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Booth Theater at Times Square

This is the facade of the Booth Theater on 45th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue at Times Square. Currently, Thurgood starring Laurence Fishburne is playing here.

Sorry for the grainy photo. I used the regular daylight/highspeed setting on my camera to take this photo and the lack of light in the surrounding area tends to produce this graininess in the photo quality. If I had switched to the nightlight/lowspeed setting, the graininess would improve but it would require a tripod or a stable surface to take the photo or else it will come out blurry.

Such is the dilemma of taking photos at night when there isn't enough light in the area. What are some of your photography dilemma?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Empire State Building

This is the view of the Empire State Building from the 6th floor of a building/shopping mall (Filene's Basement) on 14th Street and Broadway.

No question today. Been super busy this week and am too exhausted to think straight at the moment. So I'm posting a photo and going to bed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Alma Restaurant at Columbia Street Waterfront District

Last night, my out-of-town friends (former college buddies) and I met up with another alumnus at a restaurant in Brooklyn called, Alma Restaurant in the Columbia Street Waterfront District. This is a part of Brooklyn that I have never visited before so I was excited to see the neighborhood. The restaurant is set near the water so the Manhattan skyline was clearly visible from the third floor rooftop dining patio. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera (UGH!!!) and missed out on a great opportunity to photograph the awesome view of the city.

This photo above was taken with my cell phone. The other photos I took with it did not come out great. I will have to make another trip back to the neighborhood with my camera in the near future.

So have you ever have a missed opportunity?

N.B.: Click on the two links above to see what scenery I was talking about.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Murakami Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum

I went to the Brooklyn Museum a couple weeks ago to see the Murakami Exhibition but it had already closed. All that was left were a balloon and a statue by the artist at the inside entrance area of the museum. The day wasn't a total waste though. I got a chance to visit an old friend and we explored the different neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Like the saying goes: when life gives you lemon, make lemonade.

So do you have a favorite quote or phrase to share with us?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dinner at Taverna Kyclades

Since my out-of-town friends are still in NYC, we decided to go to my favorite Greek seafood restaurant for dinner last night. Taverna Kyclades on Ditmars Boulevard and 34th Street in Astoria serves mostly seafood cooked on the grill. This is one of my favorites: grilled shrimp. The dish comes with roasted lemon potatoes on the side. We also ordered a serving of Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives and feta cheese.

So do you like Greek food?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Purple Carrots, White Carrots, Yellow Carrots!

I saw this at the Green Market at Union Square this past weekend -- purple carrots, white carrots and yellow carrots (not seen in this photo) displayed along the regular red carrots. I did not know carrots come in these rainbow of colors. I thought all carrots are red. I guess I was wrong.

So what did you learn this weekend?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Body Art

Some out-of-town friends and I went to an Off-Broadway show called Naked Boys Singing yesterday evening when we came upon this impromptu body art project on 43rd Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue in Times Square. The artist was painting the bodies of some youngsters, including a very pretty girl who was also topless like these boys. I did not get a chance to ask the name of the artist nor what the project was about because the crowd was clambering over one another to take a photo of the girl's chest.

How serendipitous is that?!? Two R-rated events in one afternoon.

So what is the most serendipitous thing to happen to you?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Unisphere Closeup

This is a close-up shot from beneath the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. The 900,000 lb (409,000 kg) structure made of stainless steel was designed by landscape architect, Gilmore D. Clark for the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. The structure and its surrounding area received a complete renovation in 1994-1995, which cost a couple millions of dollars.

The Unisphere is the unofficial symbol for the Borough of Queens.

So where around the globe would you like to be?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Theme Photo: Metal

It's August 1st and the theme this month is Metal. This globe called, Unisphere is located at the Flushing Meadows Park in Corona, Queens. Come back tomorrow for more information on the Unisphere.

This month, 183 bloggers are participating in the theme photo. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants. Or you can click on the list below:
Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Baruch, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brantford (ON), Canada by Nancy, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, Chesapeake (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Cincinnati, USA by Erik Laursen, City of the Blue Mountains, Australia by Richard, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Edmonton (AL), Canada by , Evry, France by Olivier, Folkestone, UK by Piskie, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Gabriola, Canada by Snapper, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Kansas City (MO), USA by Cate B, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Leipzig, Germany by weltbeschreiber, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Lynchburg (VA), USA by June, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Mashhad, Iran by Meead, Melbourne, Australia by John, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Menton, France by Jilly, Mesa (AZ), USA by Mesa Daily Photo, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Middletown (MD), USA by Bernie, Milwaukee (WI), USA by karl, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Scott, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Molfetta, Italy by saretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, New York City (NY), USA by Kitty, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Stephanie Craig, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Pretoria, South Africa by Sam-Ruth, Quezon City, Philippines by ann pablo, Quincy (MA), USA by slim, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, South Pasadena (CA), USA by Laurie, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Villigen, Switzerland by z, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn.