Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Missing Ansel Adam Negatives Found and may be worth over $200 million!

A man named Rick Norsigian bought two boxes from a garage sale for $45 (talked down from $75) in 2000, and he may be holding some extremely valuable Ansel Adams lost negatives. Art, forensic, handwriting and weather experts teamed up to evaluate the negatives and concluded that the 65 glass plates were photographic negatives created by Ansel Adams more than 80 years ago! If authenticated by Adam's descendants, art dealers say this could be worth more than $200 million! In a recent auction, Sotheby's sold a large number of Ansel Adam prints -- with one print grossing $722,500! I can't even imagine what rare negatives will run for... wow! I don't know about you, but I'm going to check out every garage sale that I happen to come across! :D

To read more about the discovery, read the article on CNN Entertainment.

For more information on the recent Sotheby's auction, check out my Polaroid Collection blog posting.

btw, in the article, it mentioned that the negatives will be displayed in museums -- um, hope it makes it out to New York!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ever get stopped by a police officer while photographing something on public streets?

Have you ever been stopped by a police officer while taking a photo in a public place? If the answer is yes, then you should read this article from the Washington Post.

"Courts have long ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of citizens to take photographs in public places. Even after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies have reiterated that right in official policies.

But in practice, those rules don't always filter down to police officers and security guards who continue to restrict photographers, often citing authority they don't have. Almost nine years after the terrorist attacks, which ratcheted up security at government properties and transportation hubs, anyone photographing federal buildings, bridges, trains or airports runs the risk of being seen as a potential terrorist..."

Last year, New York City police sought to clarify the rules on photography with a directive to all officers. It said that photography is "rarely unlawful" and that officers have no right to demand to see photos or to delete them. Like Washington, New York is a potential terrorist target but also a major tourist destination, and as a result, the directive said, "practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct."

For more info, Carlos Miller's website, has posted commentary on the subject as well.

Personal Tip:

A few years ago, I happened to be at a cafe on Prince Street when a fire broke out across the street. I of course had my camera so I decided to take photos of the fire (keeping a safe distance, of course)... but as I was photographing everything, a police officer came by and the following transpired:

Police Officer: What are you doing?
Susan: Just taking photos.
PO: Do you work for a newspaper?
Susan: No, just taking photos for fun. Just taking it for school (um, wasn't in school)
PO: Are you going to sell these photos?
Susan: No, just doing it for myself. (silence...) Do you want to see a few?
PO: Sure...

I started talking to them in a non-threatening way ... And that was the end of that... I think the point is -- the police officer wanted to tell me I couldn't take photographs; I, however, knew that I could since it was a public place. However, some police officers just want to tell you something that you can't do (even if they are wrong) -- its a power trip, in some sense... but if you keep your cool and just show them a little something (PHOTOS) then you may be okay.

Blog posting of the fire: Fire in the City - Prince Street.
Photos of the event: Photos of Firefighters doing their job.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saturday Summer Streets on Park Avenue - August 7, 14, and 21st

The third annual Summer Streets event will kick off August 7 and continue for two consecutive Saturdays! Summer Streets is an initiative encouraging healthy recreation and greener modes of transportation in New York City. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 7, 14, and 21, people are encouraged to play, run, walk, and bike along the designated route from Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street on Park Avenue and connecting streets. These streets will be closed off to any motorized traffic.

This year, MacroSea will be providing above ground swimming pools, made from unused shipping containers, for people to enjoy the open space. The pools will be set up near the Grand Central viaduct and free entry bracelets will be handed out for time slots on a first come, first serve basis. Last year, these pools were an underground sensation in Brooklyn.

The New York International Fringe Festival will present FringeJR and FringeNYTEASERS to the Soho rest area on all three Saturdays. FringeJR will feature family-friendly theater shorts and interactive theater-based activities for kids. FringeNYTEASERS will feature short screening samples of plays being presented as part of the theater festival by over 200 theater companies from NYC and around the world.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New York City: Summer Restaurant Week - July 12 to 25, 2010

New York City Restaurant Week happens twice a year -- January/February or June/July -- and its happening now! NYC Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to try a new restaurant that may be out of your normal budget or minimize the risk of spending a lot for something you are unsure of.

Diners can sample a three-course prix-fixe menu for $24.07 at lunch or $35 at dinner. The prix-fixe excludes beverages, tax and gratuity, and are not available on Saturdays, although some restaurants have the option of offering it on Sunday.

For a list of restaurants and to make your reservation, check out

Additionally, if you plan on visiting more than 3 restaurants during restaurant week and use your American Express card to pay for your meal, you can receive a $15 statement credit on your next bill if you register online at

Lastly, at, you can also register to win a trip for two from Jet Blue to NYC (if you live here, you can use it to fly elsewhere), Broadway show tickets, $500 AMEX gift card and more.

Weekend getaway in Georgetown, South Carolina

Wedding season is upon us, or me, and its a great opportunity to get-away for the weekend and see another part of world. Most recently I attended a wedding in Georgetown, South Carolina. I've been to a few other confederate states like Louisiana (New Orleans!), Florida (Miami!) and Texas (Houston and Dallas) -- but none of those states reminded me of what I envisioned as the typical "southern" state... When I think of the south, I think of movies such as the "Notebook", "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Forrest Gump" ; I also think about great big plantations, people talking in a southern accent and drinking sweet tea on their wrap around porch. Yes, a much more relaxed life than New York city. However, one thing New York City has in common with South Carolina, well at least recently, is the HEAT. The temperature there in June was in the 90s, but add the humidity factor and you're around 95 to 100 -- quite unbearable (and the locals, said the heat was nothing during the time I was there)! So, if you could bear the heat and manage to leave your air conditioned room, then there are a few must dos if you happen to find yourself in Georgetown, South Carolina.

Top 5 Things to do in Georgetown, South Carolina:

1. Beach.
2. Visit Walmart (I'm a city girl and haven't visited a Walmart until now!).
3. Go into town, eat at Kudzu Bakery and see one of the oldest churches in town.
4. Debordieu - check out the houses, see the alligators/flying fish, and play a round a golf!
5. Take a day trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

For more detailed information on this trip, check out my travel blog --

Monday, July 12, 2010

What should I Cook? Shrimp with Rosemary

Shrimp with Rosemary

-- 3/4 to 1 lb of shrimp, with shell on
-- approx. 1 tablespoon of rosemary
-- 3 cloves of garlic
-- 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt crystals
-- pepper to taste

Prep time: Approx. 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 minutes

Some people go to the supermarket, knowing what they want to cook; I however, sometimes just go to market not knowing exactly what I want to cook, but sometimes knowing what I want to eat... So last week, I bought shrimp and thought I'd figure out how I want to cook it when the time came. Previously, I've made shrimp with lemon in angel hair pasta (substituting lemon instead of tomato sauce) to have a light summer dish... but this time, I decided I wanted to try something else... I didn't want to look up a recipe, so I just kind of cooked it on a whim. Below is how I went about cooking it. I later paired with some bok choy.

I had already bought "cleaned" shrimp, with the shell on and with minor deveining left to do. So I prepped the shrimp and chopped the garlic. I heated my saute pan, threw in enough olive oil to coat the pan and then threw in the chopped garlic. I let that cook for a minute or two, and then added in the shrimp, salt, pepper and rosemary. I covered the saute pan and let the shrimp cook for approximately two - three minutes on one side, under medium heat. The shrimp starts to turn pink and I flip it onto the other side and cover again for a few more minutes. You'll know the shrimp is ready when it has a nice even pink tone -- usually taking 5-7 minutes to cook. And that's it -- easy!

Side notes:

I left the shrimp shell on -- why? I can say it preserves the flavor when cooking, but that's just retarded... I just plain messed up and thought it would taste better with the shell on -- but I you make it easier on yourself and peel the shrimp beforehand.

(Note: if you think you aren't going to cook the shrimp right away, throw it in the freezer and take it out the day you want to cook it -- believe me, I've had seafood go to waste in my fridge because I didn't get a chance to cook it ... and its such a sad thing).

UPDATE: p.p.s. With the BP oil spill in the gulf, approximately 84,000 square miles of the gulf have been closed off to fishing, or 35% of the area is now closed to fishing as of July 13th (watched Diane Sawyer report it today); With that, a lot of seafood fisherman will be out of work, and our seafood sources are diminishing. I wonder who the biggest exporter/harvester of shrimp is?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Twilight Fans: Did you watch Eclipse with the cast?

Summit Entertainment announced that approximately 20 cast members of Twilight's Eclipse will be secretly appearing in movie theaters this July 4th weekend and will watch the movie with their fans. Which theaters? What dates? When? Don't know which dates or specifically what time they will be appear at the theaters (why ruin the fun), but if you live in one of these cities, you may be in luck!

Atlanta, Chicago, CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Kona, Hawaii, Las Vegas, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, Los Angeles, MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Orange County, CA, PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY, Phoenix, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington D.C./Northern Virginia. (per the Eclipse Website and Fandango)

Eclipse is the third book of the Twilight Saga -- where new vampires are created, where "werewolves" join forces with the Cullen family to fight other vampires, and where you will watch one of the biggest fights in Twilight series; oh, not to mention you will witness the love story between Bella and Edward evolve! This will be the "darkest" of the three movies and will be one of the most interesting you will watch (or at least this is one of my favorite books of the series!)

We know Twilight fans continue to love Stephanie Meyer's books and the movies are also receiving the same acclaim -- especially as you see the box office receipts continue to climb -- the movie is estimating to have pulled in $161.7 million since the five release, topping the charts for this July 4th weekend (competing against The Last Airbender and Toy Story 3). In comparison, Twilight's two previous movie releases (over five days) -- The Twilight Saga: New Moon's had $164.7 million first weekend and even the first Twilight's $80.1 million debut per Box Office Mojo). And, it will continue to climb!

So, enjoy the movie, Twilight Fans and hope you are one of the lucky few who watch it with a cast member!

For an exclusive interview with Twilight's Ashley Greene per Fandango, click here!

If you don't want to pay $13 for a movie ticket to see this movie, SAVE YOURSELF SOME MONEY and read this posting to learn how you can watch a movie in New York for $6 (yes, that's unheard of!)

UPDATE: I just watched the movie and I think you'd feel better if you paid $6 for the movie as opposed to $13. I'm a big Twilight Book Fan and also a believer that the imagination is more creative than any movie you can watch -- so watching it on the big screen was different, and sadly, in my personal opinion, any movie you've previously read, is usually more fun to read than to watch on the big screen. However, that still doesn't keep me away from the theaters. :D Just set the expectations low. :D

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4th in 2010!

Happy July 4th!

How are you going to spend your July 4th this year!?!?!

Whatever you do ...

Drink responsibly, eat merrily, and enjoy yourself!

If you're not sure what you are going to do, you can check out the Macy's July 4th Fireworks, and check this page for NYC activities on July 4th.

Here are some interesting and fun facts about July 4th, aka Independence Day from The U.S. Census Bureau (yes, those survey you fill out do help! jk)

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

309.6 million

The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: Population clock

Flags - $3.0 million

In 2009, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($2.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

Fireworks -- $209 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2009, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $42.9 million in 2009, with the United Arab Emirates purchasing more than any other country ($14.5 million).
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

$331.4 million

The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.
Source: 2007 Economic Census

Fourth of July Cookouts: More than 1 in 4

The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 18.9 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2010. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation's total. North Carolina (9.1 million) and Minnesota (7.2 million) were the runners-up.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6.5 billion pounds

Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2008. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (3.9 billion pounds).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Please Pass the Potato Salad

Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Half of the nation's spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2009.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Macy's July 4th, 2010 Fireworks on the Hudson

Macy's Annual July 4th Fireworks (Last Year: 2009)

The 34th annual Macy's July 4th Annual Firework celebration begins at approximately 9:20 pm tonight, along the Hudson River between 24th and 50th street. The 26 minute pyrotechnic show will feature more than 40,000 displays of "jaw-dropping" effects over the Manhattan skyline. The theme in this year's fireworks display is American Harmony, which is a new "one-of-a-kind" score featuring a selection of America's musical traditions from gospel, a-cappella pop music, barbershop quartets and choral singing. The score will be performed by the New York Pops and the Grammy award-winning Mormon Tabernacle Choir. For information on access points to see the show and how to get there by subway, bus, or train, click here for "how to get there". Or for more information about the show (i.e. musical score, the fireworks, and other details), click here for "About the Show".

If you do not want to brave the crowds this year, you can watch the fireworks from your couch and see the live broadcast on NBC starting at 9:00 pm. Justin Bieber will be on the broadcast.

Enjoy and be safe this July 4th!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest -- July 4th -- Coney Island

Every July 4th, the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating contest takes place in Coney Island. Last year, Joey Chestnut competed against Takeru Kobayashi and won by eating 68 hot dogs (w/ buns) in 10 minutes -- 3.5 more than Kobayashi. It was Chestnut's third win. Patrick Bertoletti finished in third place with 55 hot dogs. Every year, thousands of people descend on Surf and Stillwell avenues to watch this incredible challenge among some of the most competitive eaters in the world. The event is sanctioned by International Federation of Competitive eating.

Unfortunately, this year, Kobayashi will not compete in this year's contest and the re-match between Chestnut and Kobayashi will have to wait. In 2006, Kobayashi was the reigning champion and had won against Chestnut by eating 53.75 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

So, don't forget to check out this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. If you don't have an opportunity to watch, you can view it live on ESPN at noon.

If you haven't seen the competition before, below is a video I took in 2008 (its not a perfect recording, a little jumpy). It was an impressive match-up between Chestnut and Kobayashi, where Chestnut won in a five-dog overtime match, after both ate 59 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute regulation match.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Xi'An Foods coming to St. Marks in the East Village! aka Xian Foods

I previously blogged about Xi'An Foods in the Golden Mall, Flushing Queens (click for past review) and discovered that they will be opening their fourth store on St. Mark's Place in the East Village! Woo Hoo! Its coming to their second location in Manhattan this weekend!

You definitely should order the Spicy Lamb Sandwich!

Place: 81 St. Mark's Place.
Date: July 3rd
Time: 11 am - 11 pm:

Below is their email they sent out to past customers! If you respond now, you can receive a free burger on the day of their opening (available to the first 400 people who show up).

Facebook event

Xi'an Famous Foods is opening up its 4th store location in St. Mark's Place in the East Village of Manhattan, NY!

We have come a long way since our original basement store on Main Street in Flushing, NY (which still does exist, by the way), and it's all thanks to our fans! :D:D

Mr. Liang Pi would like to say thanks to our fans for their support with some free giveaways and promotional prices! Here's how it works:

1. RSVP as "ATTENDING" to this event, and also send invites to anyone you know on Facebook. If you have friends that do not have Facebook, please have them email their full name (as shown on any photo ID) to

2. Show up at our new St. Mark's Place store at 81 St. Mark's Place on our event date with a photo ID that matches your Facebook profile name or a name that you emailed in.

3. Each guest on our "Attending" list will get their choice of one of our famous burgers for FREE! Our current burgers are: Savory Cumin Lamb Burger and Stewed Pork Burger. See menu at to see what they are!

4. Other promotional pricing will also be offered that day on our most famous dishes! Please check for Updates in your Inbox, or on here, for detailed info!

*The date of the event may be changed due to unforeseeable circumstances, but we will let you know of any changes ahead of time, so please check our Facebook/Twitter/your Updates inbox.

** Due to production capacity, free burgers are limited to 400 burgers total, so after you have RSVPed here, come earlier rather than later on the day of!

Expensive Movie Outings No More -- AMC Theater / Regal Cinema Deals!; $1 Each for Popcorn or Drink this July 4th Weekend

I went to see a movie a few weeks ago and was just shocked at the price (yes, I thought I would be numb to it already ... but no, sticker shock is still prevalent in NYC...). Guess how much one ticket costs? $10? Nope, that was "soooo, 5 years ago.!! Guess higher. $13! Yes, $13 for a movie. Matinee? You're in New York -- only Broadway shows have matinees, so you're out of luck -- or are you?

MATINEES DO EXIST in New York! You can watch a movie for $6 at AMC Theaters (i.e Kips Bay, Lincoln Center, Time Square Empire 25 -- everyday before noon). The days vary for each theater (i.e. includes/excludes weekends), so click here to see if the theater near you is $6 and for which days.

Want more?

So, this is what I found out for you New Yorkers who want to watch a movie, but don't want to spend your lunch money on a two hour experience.

AMC Gold Experience Tickets
$34.99 -
If you can't do the math, that's $8.75 per ticket
No Restrictions/ No Expiration (from Costco)
Includes S&H

AMC Gold Experience tickets are good at any AMC theatres, Loews theatres, Cineplex Odeon theatres, Magic Johnson theatres and Star theatres nationwide, excluding Canadian theatres.

Present ticket at box office to exchange for the movie and time of your choice. Tickets are valid any day of the week. Tickets do not expire.

Visit for showtimes and locations nearest you.

Regal Entertainment Group
Premiere Super Saver Tickets

$32.99 - $8.25 per ticket
No Restrictions / No Expiration (from Costco)

Includes S&H

Premiere tickets are valid for any movie, any day, any time at any Regal Cinemas, Edwards or United Artists Theatres nationwide - without ever expiring. There is a surcharge fee for all IMAX, Large Format or 3-D Films and Manhattan, NY locations. Regal Entertainment Group is the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world with over 500 theatre locations in 39 states.

Visit for showtimes and locations nearest you.

Only caveat is -- you need to have a Costco Card. If you don't have it, I am sure someone in your family or one of your friends has it. So ask them! They'd probably be happy to get in on the deals!

Add popcorn and a drink to that $13 ticket -- you're looking anywhere around $20-$22 per person. So, do you want some deals with popcorn and drinks? Of course you do!

For this weekend only, you can get popcorn or a drink for $1 at AMC Theaters on July 4th. Yes, you read that right - $1 for popcorn or $1 drink, or splurge and get both! I just stumbled upon this on the AMC website.

Click on this link here: AMC $1 popcorn and $1 drink.

And for any other days, Costco has this deal.

2 AMC Tickets, 2 small drink vouchers, 1 small popcorn

Take advantage of the All-in-One AMC Movie Bundle. 2 AMC Gold Experience™ tickets (unrestricted), 2 Drink Show Snacks® vouchers and 1 Popcorn Show Snacks voucher all together in one envelope. Perfect for date night, holiday gifts, employee incentives & rewards. Save up to 35% off in-theatre prices!

If you've made it this far, that means you're still looking for deals. So here are a few other, ODDS & ENDS for savings that I know of.

- Check your place of employment to see if there are any movie ticket discounts. Beware, some of these tickets will have an additional $1 or $1.50 surcharge at the movie theater box office for NYC. But cost anywhere around $10.

- Regal Cinemas Super Saver Tickets, variety of deals, but would need to buy a pack of 50 or more to get the deal (um, hello Costco!)
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