Wednesday, December 15, 2010

simplyMEinLA ...

I escaped the 30 degree weather in NYC (and the snow flurries) just in time to experience the 80 degree weather in Los Angeles... :D

Ah, the wonderful sun rays... I just blogged about my first day in Los Angeles, which seemed like yesterday (but really was on Monday).

Click here to read...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Self Created Photo Tour in New York City - Works by Bresson, Stieglitz, Steichen and Paul Strand to name a few

I was uninterested in doing any photography work, so instead, I decided to visit a few photo exhibits throughout New York City. My first stop was at the Early Photojournalism exhibit at the L. Parker Stephenson Gallery, followed by Anton Corbjin Portraits at the Stellan Holm Gallery, and ended the day looking at Stieglitz, Steichen and Strand photographs at The Met.

I don't want to ruin anyone's aspirations of visiting any of these places, but to the unknown gallery visitor, expect a small collection of photographs (20 or less) at the galleries aforementioned. The total time for these galleries were approximately two hours, with the most time spent at The Met. Here are a few highlights from my self-proclaimed photo tour:

L. Parker Stephenson - Early Photojournalism 1855-1945 on display until Dec. 10, 2010
  • Robert Capa photographed a French collaborator being paraded through town, with a shaved head and a child in her arms
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed Children playing in Ruins in Seville ($75,000) -- its a typical photograph of kids playing... but I found the photograph to be interesting because of the "layering" of people (i counted 8) which creates a visual depth of field that takes your eyes from the forefront of the photograph to the back
  • and, one piece was my absolute favorite! It was a photograph by Sebastiao Salgado who photographed a group of workers along a hillside that so-closely resembled an art farm (i wish i could find a picture of it online, but I can't)... But it may have been related to the Serra Perada Gold Mine series which I found some photographs on Flickr... The photograph was selling for $5,500.
Anton Corbjin - Inwards and Outwards is displayed at the Stellan Holm Gallery - on display until December 15, 2010
  • 10 photographs were exhibited here and all were being sold for $21,000. The one that was probably the most interesting to me, if any, was one of Lucian Freud. There are other photographs there of Alexander McQueen, Bruce Springsteen and Kate Moss.
  • Anton is a Dutch photographer, film and music director who through photography established himself with portraits of artists such as David Bowie, Miles Davis, Bono, Clint Eastwood, and Tom Waits.; and is known for directing music videos for the likes of Depeche Mode, U2, and Nirvana to name a few.
  • A brief Q&A with Anton Corbjin was written in The New York Times blog section, you can view by clicking here
The Metropolitan Museum of Art -- Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand on display till April 10, 2011

The exhibit opened today (Nov. 10) and exhibits a collection of approximately 115 photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand.

Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz's collection included a large number of photographs of a painter, Georgia O'Keefe (who he later married), and a few selected works from the publication "Camera Work". The photos I found to be the most interesting of Georgia O'Keefe was titled "Torso" and "Hand". The Torso image reminded me of a Roman sculpture, while the Hand image made me think of a elegance (now, do we all unbutton our jackets like so?)... After coming home and reading more about Stieglitz, I read this on The Met's website pertaining to the images of his wife, Georgia O'Keefe:

"His refusal to encapsulate her personality into a single image was consistent with several modernist ideas: the idea of the fragmented sense of self, brought about by the rapid pace of modern life; the idea that a personality, like the outside world, is constantly changing, and may be interrupted but not halted by the intervention of the camera; and, finally, the realization that truth in the modern world is relative and that photographs are as much an expression of the photographer's feelings for the subject as they are a reflection of the subject depicted"

images from The Met online library

Edward Steichen
  • J. Pierpont Morgan Portrait, January 1903 -- this is one of the most famous photographs that Steichen took during his career. Steichen was asked to photograph J.P. Morgan by the German painter Fedor Encke whose request was to minimize the sitting time required by the busy subject, Morgan. Within two-three minutes, he took two photos and the image you see below is the second photo that Steichen took for himself... I remember seeing this image a LONG time ago, and after hearing the story behind it -- it just made me chuckle. If you did not know, JP Morgan was a financier, owned the railroads and also known as a "Robber Barron" during his time. In an article at the Smithsonian, he was called a "Cutthroat Capitalist" ... and if you see the photo below -- do you see an "illusion of a dagger?" -- Its not really a dagger, rather the arm of the chair that JP Morgan had his hands around. For more of the story, you can read the article at the Smithsonian, by clicking here.

(L) Description of J.P. Morgan Photo, (R) J.P. Morgan
photo taken with the iphone

  • Autochromes - Autochrome is a one-of-a-kind color transparency composed of minute grains of potato starch dyed red, blue and green. Due to the sensitivity of the autochromes, only fascimiles were available for viewing, the originals will be available for viewing from Jan. 25 to Jan. 30, 2011. These autochromes were created by Steichen (but owned by the Stieglitz collection).

(L) Autochromes description, (R) Autochrome of Stieglitz
photo taken with the iphone

(L) Autochromes description of Mrs. Selma Schubert, (R) Autochrome of Stieglitz's Younger Sister
photo taken with the iphone

Paul Strand

Many of Paul Strand's photographs were of people, buildings and the streets. Sad to say, but after walking away from this exhibit, I remember very little of his photographic works. So to be fair, I revisited The Met website and have included a photo that Paul Strand was known for.

image from The Met online library

If you're unable to visit The Met, click the link here to view the collection online (not as nice as physically seeing it in person, but gives you an idea).

On a side note, as you leave the exhibit (if your facing the museum gift store), turn right -- walk down the ramp, and on your left you will see a daguerreotype print that is in very good condition. It was produced by Robert Vance.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ken's Asian Taste Restaurant - Lobster with Noodles - WOW!

Photo taken w/ the iPhone 3Gs

Ken's Asian Taste Restaurant
is an unsuspecting joint that has certainly made my tastebuds tingle, my stomach growl and my mouth crave for more Lobster with noodles ...

I don't even know the name of this dish, and not sure how YOU can order it, other than say Lobster with rice noodles to the waiter, or you can do what we did, which was show them a photo of it! Yes, we, or I should say, my good friend/mentor, who moonlights as a foodie for his second profession -- Ken -- showed the manager/waiter a picture of the dish and he instantly knew what it was (ha ha, thanks Ken!). I love it! Sometimes when I'm traveling, I have to play a game of charades for them to understand (yes imagine me gesturing and jumping up and down), but lucky for my friends, I saved them from the embarassment as Ken had a picture of it on his iPhone.

So what is this dish? 2 Lobsters with rice noodles (you can order it with vermicelli noodles as well). The dish is marvelously flavored with a lot of garlic, five spice, green onions and who knows what else ... but all I have to say is that this was a delightful dish (and the highlight of my day). Other than the fabulous flavors spewing from this dish, another highlight was the soupy-ness, or the broth that accompanied the noodles. If the noodles were dry, this dish would have been less appealing, but because there was a broth base that made the noodles sort of -- slurpy and wet -- it worked! As for the lobsters, "they are fresh", as one eater proclaimed as he pointed out the pinkish juice that emerged from a claw that he picked up. But, that wasn't our only good fortune, one of the lobsters was pregnant and we had lobster roe on our plate as well... My dad used to say, you are lucky if there are "roe" in your dish -- we usually had it in crab -- but nonetheless, I felt lucky for having been introduced to this dish! SO thank you ken!

And now, I am sharing this dish with you (sharing is caring)! If you find yourself in Chinatown with a few friends, I would highly recommend visiting Ken's Asian Taste Restaurant for an order of Lobster with Noodles for $29.95! Its a fun and plentiful dish to order with friends and you won't be disappointed.

As for the other items at this restaurant -- I can only vouch for the items I ate, which also include:
  • Clams with black bean sauce - ok, not fabulous (forgot which type of clams we ordered, but the razor clams were not available until nightime)

  • Dim Sum Entrees included: Chicken Feet (tasty and flavorful); Turnip Cake (a bit cold, but had good chunks of chinese sausage - definitely ask for the Oyster Sauce to accompany this dish); Shrimp Dumpling (aka Ha Gao -- think it was steamed for too long since the texture of the skin was spongy); Shrimp and Pork Dumpling (aka Siu Mai -- had good clumps of shrimp, flavoring decent; and again, think it may have been steamed for too long).
One last thing I would like to note is the space... They have two floors, though, I would prefer to sit on the top floor as there are more people and food options (i.e. waiters showcasing dim sum options) there. In my opinion, the ambiance is less important in Asian restaurants, so long as the food is good; however, I will note that restaurant had a sense of "cleanliness" to it. In addition, this restaurant was packed for lunch with a lot of locals on a weekday -- so that's always a good sign to me.

Before I sign off -- I know this is repetitive, but I would highly recommend the Lobster with Noodles dish to everyone. Download a copy of my picture and show it to the manager and he'll know what to do next. If you have more than three people, the dish is enough, however, I would suggest ordering a few other dishes just to get a good sampling of the food at the restaurant.

Happy eating in Chinatown!

Ken's Asian Taste Restaurant
40 Bowery
(between Bayard St & Canal St)
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhood: Chinatown
(212) 608-0806

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hsin Wong Restaurant in Chinatown - a good lesson learned

I overheard a friend talking about good roast duck at Hsin Wong Restaurant in Chinatown, so instead of going to my usual Great NY Noodletown for my Roast Pork with Roast Duck over rice, I headed over to Hsin Wong to try theirs.

The restaurant is unpretentious and filled with Asian people (a good sign that its a good local restaurant)... I stepped up to the counter, ordered my to-go food, and waited a few minutes while the butcher chopped up my meat. The butcher accidentally thought I asked for roasted pig (sui YOK) vs roasted duck (sui OP) -- and I had to ask them nicely to change it -- after a few "um, not so friendly comments by the butcher" -- because it was naturally "my fault?" for him not hearing me correctly -- i received my dish... I believe he gave me the "butt of the duck" -- "ah, just wonderful" i thought to myself. let's just say, i think i have to make a revisit to to try the duck ...

so why am i posting this review then? well, moral of the story is, don't mess around with the butcher, or you're going to get the butt-end of the deal. :D What can I say, eating with me is always an adventure!

Before I let you go... here are a few other comments about the dishes:

-- $5.50 for two choices of roast meats over rice (or $4.50 for one choice of roast meats) with a pleasant surprise of a good healthy soup (which, i loved!)
-- also tried the wonton soup (no noodles) - 8 for $4.00... tasty, and there was a good portion of shrimp - you can order this with less soup (aka smaller container) -- easier access to the wontons!
-- on my next trip to Hsin Wong's -- i think you have to sit down and have their Peking Duck... and make sure to annunciate or speak in English while ordering your dishes - for fear that something will get lost in translation... well, until next time!

Hsin Wong Restaurant
72 Bayard St (between Mott and Bowery)
Mon-Fri 9:30 am - 9 pm
Sat-Sun 9:30 am - 10 pm

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Story of Katy Perry's Project - Fireworks

Katy Perry is working on a project for her new song - Fireworks! - and is looking for 250 individuals who have a spark -- "that are buzzing and fizzing and has the potential to become fireworks... the whole project will be an emotional experience ... "

Katy says -- in life, people are challenged to get to where they want to be; to reach their goals; hopefully they can hear this song and find out that those challenges aren't really difficult to get past.

I can attest even in my own journey ... it has been difficult ... and finding this message or song, today of all days gives me inspiration to continue to work towards my own goal of becoming a successful photographer ...

In Katy's own story of getting to where she is, "there has been a lot of trials and tribulations ... and this project will be amazing to hear people get through things in life and reach their goals!"


This is your chance to tell Katy Perry about the firework in your life. Is it you? Your Mom? Your teacher? A friend? Record a video about your firework. Tell Katy who it is and how they light up your life or someone else's. Share your story and get a chance for you and your family (up to 4 people) to come to her show in London and hang out with Katy Perry. Katy looks forward to seeing all your amazing stories.

1. Make a 1-3 minute video about a "Firework" in your life.
2. Upload your video to YouTube.
3. Enter the contest at
4. Share your video for the opportunity to win!

Here is her music video for the song...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Crisp: The New Falafel in New York City

Photos above were taken with the iPhone 3Gs.

One bite of this falafel sandwich and you'll know why this place is called "CRISP"... Similar to Tony the Tiger's "They're G-G-G-reat" saying, Crisp should have their own motto of "ccrrrunncccchhh, ccruuunnccchhhh" because that will be the sound you hear after that first scrumptious bite. Crisp's falafels are all made with organic ingredients and are freshly baked, everyday!

Their menu offers a variety of options to add to your falafels - have it with peanut sauce (the African way), or with cilantro pesto/avocado/salsa (the Mexican way), chili sauce/eggplants (the Asian way), or just the plain old regular way -- with hummus/salad (the Crisp way). Either way you have it, you'll get that crunchy bite every time! As an added bonus, your order will be packaged in what the company calls "the handbag". At first, my friend and I thought it was such a waste of a cardboard box (but that is only because we didn't realize the potential of the bag)... If you rip along the perforated line, you'll notice the sandwich will be held in place -- a perfect way to hold your sandwich upright while you "pause" from your sandwich. :D Such an ingenious idea -- I wish I thought of it!

If you don't like falafel sandwiches, you can either order a salad or make your own hummus platter.

Ok, now, back to my review... I'm a harsh critic -- i thought the sandwich was good, but lacked flavor ... I went the traditional route by ordering "the Crisp" because I wanted a reminder of the foods I ate in the Middle East; however, it came up short in my opinion. The hummus would have flavored the sandwich had it been spread evenly within the pita, but of course, the hummus was only at the bottom of the pita -- leaving my last remaining bites to be tastier than my first. Aside from this semi-negative comment, while eating this you'll feel as if you're eating something healthy, afterall - there are a lot of vegetables in this thing. Ah, vegetables -- p.s. this is a VEGETARIAN restaurant!

Sandwiches: $5.75 - $8.75;
Salads - $7.25 - $10.25;
Make your own Hummus Platter - $7.75

Now, the question is -- is Crisp better than Mamoun's? That's a difficult decision.

Crisp Pros:
- healthy (falafels are baked)
- ingredients are organic (ok, organic is a very loose term by FDA standards)
- cool packaging
- falafels are crunchier and sandwiches may be slightly bigger than Mamoun's

Crisp Cons:
- only vegetarian food options
- menu is pricier than Mamoun's

But, at the end of the day, I have to say, I still enjoy Mamoun's over Crisp. Its a difficult decision, but for someone who likes the option of having meat, I'd prefer Mamoun's. On a mano-a-mano (aka Falafel sandwich comparison)... i might only slightly prefer mamoun's over crisp (though it is oilier) ... I think I may have to pay Mamoun's a revisit to retest this decision (or Rainbow which i just added below) ... :P

If you'd like to try either of these places, here is a listing of their locations:

Crisp: 110 West 40th St. Bet 6th and Broadway / 684 3rd Avenue Corner of 43rd

Mamoun's: 119 MacDougal St / 22 St. Marks Place / 85 Howe St (New Haven, CT)

At any rate, happy eating!

*** UPDATE *** I was just reminded of another falafel place in the city by a reader -- its called Rainbow, its a HOLE in the wall (u can walk by it and would miss it, except for the long lines that form outside of it during lunch time)... its on 17th Street between Broadway & Fifth ******

Did you know?:

Per wikipedia, Falafel is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. Falafel is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flat bread known as lafa. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables and hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a mezze.

Generally accepted to have first been made in Egypt, where the dish is widely known as طعميةta'amiya) in the Cairo dialect, falafel has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. The Copts of Egypt claim to have first made the dish as a replacement for meat during Lent. The hearty fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ibuprofen: My Best Friend after a Full Day of Football Games

photo created by Susan Lee with her iphone 3Gs

After a long day of football, ibuprofen is going to be my best friend today. But it was all worth it! (so long as the soreness goes away tomorrow! ha ha) For those that do not know, I am the quarterback on a girls church football team. My team has been practicing on the weekends for the last two months and yesterday was one of the first times we played competitively against another football team. We looked forward to yesterday's tournament and as we went in, win or lose, we were first and foremost a team. As the day came, all of my girls played with their hearts and we ended the day with a victory, winning 4-0! Yahoo!

And as expected, our bodies paid the price for the success... and today, ibuprofen will aide me as I go about my day. :D thank you ibuprofen, i heart you today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MTA finding ways to fine people

I saw this sign while sitting on the M15 bus... It says "if you enter a bus lane, your car may be photographed" by video cameras. guess how much your fine will be? $115. Doesn't that sound like a lot? This isn't the only new initiative to raise funds for the MTA.

Anyone who pumps gas, takes a taxi, rents a car or has to pay for car registration, are already subsidizing the MTA.

The way the MTA has gotten more creative at raising funds seems like the MTA's budget gap is like the abyss! And as we already know fare hikes are on their way! For drivers, bridge and tunnel toll hikes are increasing by at least 5% if you have an ez-pass (and more if you don't have one), both subway and LIRR fares are going up and more fines are on the way! Yes, more fines! The new M15 Select buses have a fine of $100 if you are caught on the bus without your receipt.

So watch out people, don't accidentally get into a bus only lane and be careful not to lose your receipt - or else you'll be fined! And, if you drive into new York, consider taking public transport because your commute will get more expensive December 30!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

News: 15 Major Fast Food Failures

I saw this on CNBC and found it interesting that big fast food chains have had some interesting food product blunders -- McDonalds surprisingly has had a few -- ever hear of a Hula Burger created to cater to Catholics (probably not since most of us weren't born yet) or the McDLT sandwich - a lettuce and tomato sandwich with NO patty? or what about the Arch Deluxe, a burger created for adults with a special bun and peppered bacon?; or what about the possibility of ordering a 100x100 at Inn-N-Out? Too bad we can only order a max of a 4x4 (still huge!); or what about the Noid, the mascot at Dominoes, that created the trademarked phrase, "Avoid the Noid" or, should I say avoid Dominoe's altogether?

Anyhow, have fun reviewing some of these previous fast food campaigns by clicking here and see if you recognize any of them!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Grub Street Food Festival this Saturday: October 16th

Grub Street pairing with the Hester Street Fair and hosting their fourth annual block party food festival this Saturday on the intersection of Essex and Hester from 10 am to 6 pm, rain or shine.

There are a lot of good restaurants there too! The list is below...

An Choi
Arancini Bros.


Bao Bing

Brown Café
Char No. 4
Cheeky Sandwiches
Ditch Plains
Employees Only
Georgia’s Eastside BBQ
Gloria's In & Out
Grandaisy Bakery
Hot Blondies
Il Buco
Kelvin Slushy Truck
Kickstand Coffee
La Newyorkina
La Sonrisa
Luke's Lobster
Macaron Parlour
Malbon Brothers BBQ
Melt Bakery
Mile End Delicatessen
Moo Life
Naya & Mila's Organic Dog Treats
Nijiya Market
P&H Soda
Pain D'Avignon
Patacon Pisao
Pies N Thighs
Purple Yam
Rhong - Tiam
Sigmund Pretzelshop
Skim Kim
The Smile
Wafels & Dinges

Reminder: Check out the Malaysia Kitchen Tour!

The Malaysia Truck will be at Bryant Park today from 11:00 - 3:00 -- so get your free sampling of Malaysian cuisine... food from the West Village Fatty Crab will be made available today!

The address for today's food truck: Bryant Park at 40th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues

the Malaysia Food Truck will be in select Manhattan locations from Oct. 11 - Nov. 6, 2010 and in select Queens locations from Nov. 8 - Nov. 19, 2010.

For more info about their truck locations, check out their website.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Google is testing Cars that can Drive on their own in San Francisco!

Google is no longer that small little search engine that helps you find anything you want... Google has created a software program that allows technology to drive a car. What?!?! Yes, remember the cool cars in i.Robot and Minority Report that drove themselves? well, that may soon become a reality. Who knows, maybe the idea isn't so new -- considering GM's EN-V concept car is designed to avoid accidents by automatically swerving around other cars by communicating with them.

Ongoing car tests at Google have shown that their software program is working -- but don't get too excited yet -- it won't move along as fast as you would like... according to the New York Times, under current law, a human must be in control of the car at all times, so laws must be changed before robot driven cars will be on the road -- (wait, does that mean the test cars were already in violation? tangent. :D )

Wow, first the Internet and now Robot drivers - we are an advanced civilization for sure!

For more information, read the New York Times article by clicking here.

A cool excerpt from the article:

"Robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated, the engineers argue. They speak in terms of lives saved and injuries avoided — more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2008. The engineers say the technology could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely while closer together. Because the robot cars would eventually be less likely to crash, they could be built lighter, reducing fuel consumption. But of course, to be truly safer, the cars must be far more reliable than, say, today’s personal computers, which crash on occasion and are frequently infected."

Halloween is right around the corner!

Where did the time go? Halloween is a few weeks away and before you know it thanksgiving, Christmas and then new years! Whew... Time is flying right make the most of it!

So what costume do you think the costume is from? My guess, Alice in wonderland ...

Why Living in the City Sucks... You miss the night sky

Just saw this posting on my friend's blog (John Duarte)... and thought it was sad, but true!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mark Your Calendars: Clinton Kelly book signing next week - featuring Steve Giralt's photographs!

Ok, this is the book everyone should check out. I had a chance to review this book today and I found it hilarious. The photos by Steve Giralt are "over-the-top" and Clinton Kelly's commentary is -- well, shocking and entertaining!

Clinton Kelly will appear at Borders Columbus Circle store on Tuesday, October 12 and 7:00 pm. And I think Steve Giralt should also make a guest appearance (ahem, hope you're reading this!) ... So make sure to get your copy and then find a place to people watch and see common clothing faux pas around NYC like the one I saw this afternoon

Ok, if you're into book signings and celebrity sightings, you may also enjoy Hillary Duff's new book. -- Elixir.

Hillary's book signing is on Monday, October 11 at 5:00 pm at the Borders Columbus Circle Bookstore.

The book is about Clea Raymond who has been in the spotlight her entire life, as she is the daughter of a renowned surgeon and prominent Washington DC politican. Clea is a photojournalist, who meets who I suppose will be her true love, and he helps her unravel the mystery behind her father's disappearance.

If you're interested in her tour schedule, click here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

M.T.A Approves Transit Fare Hike

According to the NY Times, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a package of fare increases for its subways, buses and commuter railroads. These prices increases is the third of its kind in three years and is at a bad time considering the curtailment of services this past year as the MTA attempts to close its budget gap.

A sampling of the fare hikes for the subway and bus system include: the 30-day unlimited card will increase to $104, up from $89, while the unlimited weekly pass will increase to $29, up from $27. Single rides will rise 25 cents to $2.50. According to the article, "The pricing regime places the biggest burden of the increases on the system’s most frequent riders, the third of straphangers who use 30-day passes.Transit officials said this action was fair, because that group also tends to be more affluent than other riders, according to the authority’s survey data."

The authority railroad price hikes for the Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road will rise anywhere from 7 to 14 percent, depending on the distance. An additional $1 surcharge will be implemented for riders who buy a new MetroCard vs. adding money on an old card.

The price increases will take effect on Dec. 30.

For more information, read the NY Times article.

If you missed the Malaysian Food festival in Meatpacking a few weeks ago, this is your chance to get your Malaysian food sampling again!

Malaysia Kitchen for the World will launch the first-ever Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck in Manhattan and in Queens where they will be offering free samples of Malaysian Street Food. The food is catered by local restaurants such as Café Asean, Penang (UWS ), Laut, Nyonya (Chinatown), Fatty Crab, and New Malaysia from Manhattan, Bentara from New Haven, Connecticut, and Malay Restaurant Inc. from Queens.

The event will be kicked off on Oct. 12th at Bryant Park, with a sampling of Malaysian breakfast foods at 7:00 a.m and then with lunch offerings at 11:00 a.m. After this kick-off event, the truck will be appearing in high trafficked areas in Manhattan and in Queens. The locations will be revealed on Oct. 11th on their website --

Food Truck Details - offering food from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm:

Manhattan: Oct. 12 - Nov. 6, 2010 / Queens: Nov. 8 - Nov. 19, 2010


Press-Release Below:

Catch the Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck

October 11 - November 19 in Manhattan and Queens, NY

Local Restaurants Offer Free Samples of Delicious Malaysian Street Food

Weekdays from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Grand Launch Event at Bryant Park, October 12

October 4, 2010, New York - In an effort to drive consumers to experience the exotic flavors of Malaysian cuisine, Malaysia Kitchen for the World will host a food truck offering free samples of delicious food from local Malaysian restaurants. From October 11 to November 6 in Manhattan and from November 8 to 19 in Queens, the Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck will offer free portions of Malaysian delicacies weekdays from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

Stationed at different, high-traffic locations in Manhattan and Queens, the Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck will feature food from restaurants such as Café Asean, Penang (Upper West Side), Laut, Nyonya (Chinatown), Fatty Crab, and New Malaysia from Manhattan, Bentara from New Haven, Connecticut, and Malay Restaurant Inc. (Restorant Malaysia) from Queens.

On Tuesday, October 12, the Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck will officially launch at Bryant Park (40th St. between 5th and 6th Aves). On that day, sampling will commence at 7:00 am with Malaysian breakfast dishes and continue with lunch offerings at 11:00 am. Samples available while supplies last. Chef Zak Pelaccio from Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue restaurants in New York, and Chef Hasni Ghazali from Bentara restaurant in New Haven, will be on hand Tuesday morning to discuss their culinary contributions to the truck. In addition, Chef Ghazali will demonstrate his dramatic cooking technique for Roti Jala, the signature Malaysian flat bread. Bentara will provide samples for the Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck November 5 and 6 to complement the "Eat| Drink| Explore Malaysia Kitchen" celebration at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal.

A schedule of truck sampling locations, dates, restaurants and dishes will appear on the Malaysia Kitchen for the World web site ( on October 11. Updates will also be available via Twitter by following @malaysiakitchen.

"We're delighted to give New Yorkers the opportunity to sample the flavors of Malaysia by bringing our food directly to them," said Wan Latiff, MATRADE Commissioner. "We think the truck will be an effective and fun way to promote Malaysian cuisine and entice consumers to visit their local Malaysian restaurants."

At the truck, consumers can enjoy a free sample of some Malaysian signature dishes ranging from Beef Rendang, a dry beef curry, to Chicken Satay, chicken meat on skewers served with a tasty peanut sauce, and Nasi Lemak, a coconut rice dish traditionally served with chicken curry and spicy chili sauce called Sambal. Menus from restaurants sampling food on the truck as well as a restaurant guide of local Malaysian restaurants and restaurants serving Malaysian dishes will be available for patrons.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chinatown wins again for offering cheap meals!

Photos from iphone

This is no gourmet meal, but if you have $4.50, you can have a five item entree with soup (taxes included) at this Chinatown establishment located on Hester and Centre street. I don't even think this place has a name other than $4.50 Combinations!

So what do you get? Just about everything you can order at a Panda Express and more. It's Chinese food on steroids with some good ole authentic dishes that Chinese American-born won't think about eating (well except me of course). Though the food is mass produced (think buffet line), the food is not lacking in flavor... There is however some dishes that have too much oil (some vegetable dishes). But overall, for the price - the quantity can't be beat!

You will see a lot of street vendors (aka people selling "designer" bags) taking a break from their work and eating here... Or just tourists getting their taste buds satisfied with the variety of chinese food here... Or someone like me who found this convenient spot to grab a quick bite before I went into work.

So if you happen to exit canal street on the 6 or n/r trains, this Chinese Combination food place is A few steps away (go north on Hester street) an if you don't have that extra 50 cents with you, take it to go and pay only $4!

Happy eating!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Le Da Nang at 75 2nd Ave in East Village; Vietnamese Food

Shrimp summer spring roll with iced coffee; Vietnamese sandwich with spicy shrimp

Rice and bbq pork chop; bun w/ tofu ; shrimp entree with soup/salad/appetizer

photos with the iphone camera

Finally, good and cheap Vietnamese food has made its way outside of Chinatown and into the East Village. Le Da Nang is on 2nd avenue between 5th and 4th street at the old Sea Thai restaurant.

This place has a variety of lunch special options starting at $5.99 for a Vietnamese sandwich with iced/hot Vietnamese coffee or $9.99 for a entree, appetizer, salad, soup and free drink. I ordered a main dish, appetizer and a iced coffee all for the price of $8.50. Wow! What a deal! You can get this deal everyday of the week from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm. This is definitely a food steal -- check out part of the menu here.

Overall it was a great place. Only comments are:

- watch the step as you walk into this establishment
- the menu is a bit confusing and on the verge of "daunting", but if you can navigate a NYC subway map, you can handle this
- if you order the pork chops and don't like the spicy Ginger sauce, you can ask for the typical fish sauce that you eat with the pork chops
- if you want the traditional Banh Mi sandwich, this is not the place to go -- they have some "fancy" options such as Spicy Shrimp, BBQ Pork Chops and more
- definitely get the iced coffee ... If it's not sweet enough ask for more condensed milk
- decor seems a bit upscale for the low priced meals, but that just ups the value of this place
- for the price you can't beat the convenience of the location and for the decent to good food!
- happy hour from 5-7 pm and it's $3 beer and wines, or 50% off on cocktails.

Alright that's enough... Happy eating!

About Le Da Nang from their website:

Da Nang is the largest city in central Vietnam and one of the country´s most important ports. Ringed by mountains on one side and the East Sea on the other, Da Nang has numerous cuisine with seafoods and mountain vegetables with the touch of French and Spanish influence.

Le Da Nang represents the taste of Vietnam, mixture of cultural crossover, as well as dishes from northern Vietnam and bordering country of Thailand.

The modern yet authentic flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.

John D's first portrait shoot wearing his Teddy Ruxpin Halloween costume!

Photos by Natacha P.

What do you do when you have a free studio all to yourself? "Its PORTRAIT time!" Yes, John took it upon himself to use this free studio to practice some of his lighting techniques.. and I was there to assist and support him through the way -- offering small suggestions and making the models feel comfortable.

John D. aka Film Director aka Moonlighting Photographer (haha, i know you're reading this!) decided to wear his Halloween costume - Teddy Ruxpin - for his portrait shoot. Knowing that he asked his two models (Joanna and Natacha) to wear "costume-y" outfits, he wanted to "fit" in so he brought along his own costume. :D ha ha. ok, he was being a good sport about it. :D

John's lighting set-up: 5.0' octabank as key light; two strip banks on the side to light the background.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Food Shoot: Cooking with pumpkins!

Pumpkin pie is not the only thing you can make with a pumpkin... Expand your cooking skills and think about Calzones, pumpkin pie tarts and lasagna! That's what we are videoing today !

Photographer/Videographer: Steve Giralt
Food Stylist: Liz Jezrow
Assistant Food Stylist: "Lauren"
Assistants: John Duarte and Susan Lee

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo of the Day: Random Note in the Subway

This was found on the floor of a "L" subway car in NYC.
Admittedly, not the best photo I've taken on a moving subway car, but you can make out the words in the love note. :D

San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy New York

Unfortunately, I was away and didn't have access to the Internet... if you did not know... the San Gennaro festival is happening now until Sept. 26, 2010 in Little Italy, New York...


Sept. 16 – The Feast of San Gennaro (aka San Gennaro Festival) be here again starting Sept. 16 through Sept. 26th. The festival has been in Little Italy for more than 80 years and every year, particularly on the weekends, the streets are jammed pack with tourists and residents alike who walk on Mulberry Street to participate in the festivities - cannoli eating competition, dining at the cafe/restaurants, eating at the sausage booths and more. So, bring your cash and enjoy the Italian festival in Little Italy.

Excerpts from the San Gennaro Website are below:

"... more than one-million people from the four corners of the globe to the streets of Little Italy to participate in the annual Salute to the Patron Saint of Naples.

Although this is an annual celebration of faith, the Feast of San Gennaro is known the world over for its festive atmosphere, an 11-day event featuring religious processions and colorful parades, free musical entertainment every day, a wide variety of ethnic food delicacies, charming restaurants and cafes and even a world-famous cannoli-eating competition! The central focus of the celebration takes place every September 19th, the official Saint Day when a celebratory Mass is held in Most Precious Blood Church, followed immediately by a religious procession in which the Statue of San Gennaro is carried from its permanent home in the church through the streets that comprise Little Italy."

"This Feast of San Gennaro holds a special place in the place of Italian people everywhere,” says Joseph Mattone, President of Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. "It is a festive period of faith and redemption, a time for remembrance and reconciliation, and a time for celebration. The delicious food, the free musical entertainment that reflects Italian-American culture and heritage are all there. The Feast brings the world to Little Italy and Little Italy to the world.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free 2 Year "Time Out" Subscription anyone?

Ok, first, since its not something that I am offering, but rather informing the public about this offer -- i must CMA -- and say -- "apply at your own risk" - is free a good thing?!?!

The Chicken Craze in New York City - Hill Country Chicken (Fried)

Photo taken late night at Mad for Chicken (K-town) with ambient light
by Susan Lee

Bok! Bok! Bok! The chicken are coming! The chicken are coming! Ok, I admit, that was a bit corny - but really, there are so many fast-food chicken establishments opening up in New York City that its just a bit -- well, overwhelming... First it was Mad For Chicken (or formerly known as Bon Chon), then there was KyoChon, then the opening of the real Bon Chon -- all of these chicken establishments are part of the Korean Fried Chicken craze (or as my friends call it -- the KFC, not to be confused with American Classic Sanders KFC) ... Prior to these establishments, there were other fried chicken restaurants that didn't get as much fame as the KFC craze -- such as Atomic Wings, Hooters, Baden Baden (Korean fried chicken in K-town), or "Something "King" in Harlem . Fried Chicken isn't a new food type, rather, people are beginning to popularize it. And just in time, Hill Country decided to extend outside of their BBQ realm and enter into the Fried Chicken business --- Hill Country Chicken!

Hill Country Chicken held their private grand opening party last night, celebrating the opening of their store on 25th and Broadway and held its public grand opening today. My sources say (I like how I can say that since it was only one friend that just told me about the situation) -- the lines were extremely long today -- which can be expected since its opening day!

So what will make this place special? Since I haven't actually tasted it -- here is a quick review of the interesting finds I see on the menu!
  • You can choose your own part of the chicken -- FRIED -- breast, thigh, drum, wing ($1.75 to $5.50)
  • Fire N Ice Pickles? $0.50 - wonder what that is?
  • Slice of pie? Pie Cup? medium or large pie? ) ($3 to $40)
  • Free refills on fountain soda (boylans!), ice tea and lemonade ($2-$3.50)
  • Milkshakes, ice cream floats -- yikes, gluttony! ($5)
  • BEER -- woah, what is this 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat beer I see or a Moo thunder Stout? ($6)
Aside from the chicken, you can also order sandwiches (fried chicken, chickwich, hill country club etc.... Its a very interesting menu... Will have to visit it to see what I think and to provide my review..

Hill Country Chicken is located at: 1123 Broadway (corner of 25th). Its open daily from 12 pm to 11 pm - call 212. 257.6446 or check out their website -

Happy Eating!

Behind the Scenes of a Food Shoot

Things I realized as I assisted on this shoot ... A food shoot can run more smoothly if you have the right people doing the prop styling, food styling and allowing the photographer to be ... the photographer ...

I have had shoots when I am all three and it is too stressful to manage three jobs when all you should be doing is photographing the food. This usually occurs when budgets are small ! So this food shoot was certainly a refreshing change of pace and hope my future food shoots will be like this one!

Mental notes:

  • Ideal shooting day - 4-5 plates; 8 is a bit excessive; and well 10 - expect a long day.
  • Larger budget - allows for more props, more skilled people working on set.
  • Smaller budget - what do you have in your cupboards to make this work;?

For the love of food photography! yippee!

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