Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Photo of the Day continued... 2012 Rockefeller Tree Lighting

I avoided the 40 degree weather and watched the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Tree at home ... And how else would I be able to see this amazing view of the tree and lights!

Photo of The Day: 5th ave and Rockefeller Tree

I liked the reflection on the Louis Vuitton building tonight... And also captured a quick photo on the bus of the Rockefeller Tree before its lit tonight... Lots of people are there waiting in the cold to see it lit but at least they will be entertained by Mariah Carey, Ceelo Green, Rod Stewart and others.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gas Station Line, Sunday 11/11/12 @ 830 am

The line at one of the few Manhattan gas stations were not too bad this morning... However, my cab driver said yesterday it went from 1st street to 7th street... Which doesn't sound bad, but still took a hour...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photos of the Nor'easter - Wed, Nov. 7

Images from the Nor'Easter... Left to right:  Snowed on bikes in UWS; Old Fashioned Car - b/c I was taking this photo, my friend and I avoided the falling tree branch that would have likely hit us had we not stopped; Fallen Tree Branch - missed the car, missed us;  and statue on 59th Street @ the entrance of Central Park (i also lost my glove here)

The Nor'Easter didn't stop people from walking their dog or me from taking photos... 

After Hurricane Sandy comes to NYC, we are experiencing the Nor'Easter - Wed, Nov. 7

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NYC 2012 Marathon Cancelled, but that didn't stop some people from running in Central Park

So amazing... Even after the NYC ING Marathon was cancelled, I am glad people decided to run their own marathon in central park.  I know there was a lot of controversy over the marathon -- but many of these runners had trained for months and flew here after Bloomberg initially said the marathon would continue.  So though I am glad the marathon was cancelled, I was happy and supportive of those people who decided to run.  Also, I was happy to hear some of these runners decided to volunteer with the NYC relief efforts, helping those impacted by Hurricane Sandy...

Building community - support one another!

Friday, November 2, 2012

4th day post Hurricane Sandy - What I see around NYC - 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Times Square - Friday, Nov. 2

Photos from my walk from 57th and 5th Ave to Rockefeller Center to Times Square

NBC's Democracy Plaza - gearing up for Nov. 6 Election Day Coverage

Map of the United States on ice!

Fans eagerly camping out outside the SNL Rainbow room hoping to get tickets for tomorrow nights show. Some have been camping out since early this morning!

Who is hosting SNL tomorrow? A comedian named Louie C.K.

"The show must go on" @ NYC Times Square

Hurricane Sandy tv advertisement by BAC... Even though things may appear normal, NYCers will feel the effects of this for a long time... So please volunteer, or donate to help those who were impacted from the Hurricane!

How are New Yorkers feeling after the storm? Stories from people in the city on Friday, Nov. 2

Everyone is trying to return to normalcy after Hurricane Sandy.  Below are a few photographs and stories from people I met along my walk from near Grand Central to 57th Street on Friday, Nov. 2 -- and a few heart-warming stories detailing how and what NYC'ers are feeling or how they or their friends were impacted by the Hurricane and what they are doing a few days after the hurricane ...

The New York Post's front page -- Abuse of power ... Per the article, generators are being set up in Central Park as parts of New York City are out of electricity.  There is a lot of controversy over this.

This seafood truck came into the city from New Jersey.  The driver started his journey before 6 am and only just reached New York around 8:00 am.  He noted that it took him 45 minutes to get through the Lincoln Tunnel. 

Meet Abraham, the delivery guy who started his work day at 5 a.m. and is making his last delivery at 8 a.m. He delivers food to businesses throughout New York City, however today, he only had six deliveries, when he normally has an average of sixteen. He mentioned that his deliveries were lower due to the downtown power outages. 

As I was walking around, I began to see a lot more delivery trucks in midtown -- trucks carrying steaks and others shipping in supplies for Duane Reade.

I thought this man had just flown into NYC, but I was wrong.  With his 4+ bags in hand, he decided to evacuate his apartment on 10th street (power went out monday night and its Friday). 

Meet Billy Rohan.  He spent the night outside St. Bart's on 51st and Park.  When asked if he was affected by the Hurricane he said "yes, it was difficult to find transportation back to Edgewater Park in the Bronx."  As for what he plans to do today -- he's going to the financial district to skate (see his skateboard?).  Billy was a very interesting person who invited me to breakfast (but I already ate), told me about his night adventure (um, too x-rated for this blog), and shared with me his thoughts on Obama and other things.  If you're interested in learning more about him, check out this site or you can google him - he has twitter feeds, youtube videos and has been in the press.

Everyone has been impacted by the storm, but we all are trying to achieve some normalcy in life.  I saw the man in the suit walking his dog near midtown before heading into work.  He evacuated his home earlier this week and is currently staying at a hotel nearby.

Meet Louis the UPS man.  Its his first day back on the job and when asked how he was doing.  He said, "I'm doing fine."  After speaking with him for a little while, I discovered that his mother lives in Coney Island and her home was one of the few houses left standing after the Hurricane.  I noticed he was wearing a Cross and asked him about it... He began to share his testimony with me and how he found God - quite an amazing story - he was previously catholic, but somehow got into a dark period in his life where he believed in satanism (inc. witchcraft, astrology, etc), but he reached a low point in his life where, while high on cocaine, he almost took someone's life ... while in shock and realizing he almost took somone's life, he felt a presence over him and that was the moment he found God.   Its been four years since he made this discovery.  If anyone wants to hear more, he handed me a two page, handwritten testimony of his journey in finding God.  Truly heart-felt. 

Meet Magic Al.  I met him on Park Avenue and 56th street and noticed him and his colleague hauling what you see in the photo and another pink suitcase.  Though they were impacted by the Hurricane, they weren't evacuating their home, rather they were on their way to a child's birthday party.  Al's business has been impacted by the storm - with many halloween party and birthday party cancellations.  Today was his first performance since the Hurricane and he will be providing magic tricks and face painting at the birthday party.  What a perfect solution to keeping kids occupied and smiling during this tumultuous time of returning to normalcy after Hurricane Sandy.  For more info about his works, you can search his website --

And finally, meet Roy, a security guard.  Roy was the last person I spoke to before heading into the office.  He ended my walk to work with a very profound statement.  When asked about how he was feeling, he said -- "On the outside we have to appear 100%, but on the inside, we feel sad, scared and not right...  We have to be strong on the outside to offer our strength to other people."

There is a lot of truth to Roy's statement and I believe it was fate that he was the last person I spoke to before concluding my search of figuring out how New Yorkers are really feeling during this time... a little like Cinderella Man or like me who wants to feel a sense of normalcy?     

Outtakes from my walk:

three people walking into work

Long lines inside coffee bean

Seems like nothing happened in the city... People are buying coffee and breakfast at Dishes before heading into work ...

Signs had fallen after the Hurricane and many signs still remained on the ground.

This Waldorf Astoria bell man is counting his tips from the day.

NYC Waterway Ferry bus heading to the west side to drop off passengers as they commute to work.

A random deli with people buying their morning breakfast.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Video of area without power after Hurricane Sandy, near Empire State Building on Thursday, Nov. 1

Complete darkness; Actual image was slightly more lit, but this is what my iPhone captured.

What I see around NYC - Thursday, Nov. 1

Long lines as people wait for their buses home - to Brooklyn, New Jersey, Queens
Plenty of water at Duane Reade -- NICE!
Darkness in the areas without power ... but buses are running
Another location where people are lining up for buses to go home

Hurricane Sandy in New York City -- Feeling a little bit like Joe in Cinderella Man?

During the day, people seem normal. But are they -- feeling normal?

As I was walking to work yesterday (on Park Avenue going uptown), I thought to myself -- wow people are going to work with nice pressed shirts and are in their finest suits - and I look at myself - t-shirt, jeans and sneakers.  Was I the only one impacted by this storm? It sort of reminded me of the movie Cinderella Man, where Paul Giamatti's character, Joe Gould, acts as if he's one of the guys whose wearing a nice suit as he talks up Russell Crowe (Jim Braddock) to get him a boxing match.  However, when you look at what is really happening in his home - it's empty. Empty because he had to sell most of his belongings to get food amongst other necessities for him and his wife.  So, even Paul Giamatti's character was keeping up the pretense that everything is fine, when it was apparent that it wasn't.  Now, I know we aren't experiencing a depression in New York City, but we are going through a difficult time -- no power, no running water and many New Yorkers (and adjacent states) are now homeless as homes were destroyed during the storm.

So as I walked to work yesterday, I couldn't help but think about the movie - are people really ok? Sure, some people live in non-impacted areas (anything above 39th street on the east side and above 26th street on the west side did not lose power) and are fortunate to have things running normally.  But what about those that haven't returned to normalcy yet?  I am one of the fortunate few, who only lost power and water, and was able to seek refuge at a friend's apartment north of 39th street.  I also just picked up a few things from my home - a few simple cotton dresses, shoes, and some make up that I can wear to work.

But, how am I feeling?

I want a sense of normalcy in my life -- so, I appear normal on the outside -- I'm wearing make up and a cotton dress and appear a little less distressed.  However, on the inside I can't help but feel this heart-wrenching sadness that people have lost so much more and assistance needs to be given to those people in need. So even I have resorted to that character in the Cinderella Man -- we look okay on the outside, but on the inside, feel a sense of loss and sadness.  But now, I'm wondering how other people in New York are coping with this situation? More of the same?

I will try to take some photos for you today and share with you what I see and hear from people who live in or around New York City ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween - October 31, 2012, 2nd day after Hurricane Sandy

I am glad to see parents were taking their kids out for Halloween trick or treating... But for some adults, it probably feels like a trick has been played on us with the effects of Hurricane Sandy still lingering...

But you gotta smile with this cute astronaut!

Thank you parents for providing kids with some normalcy and bringing a smile to NYers like me!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tripperbus to Maryland - How does it compare to Megabus or the Boltbus?

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"First time riding the Tripperbus to Bethesda, Maryland... Will it be the same, worse or better than the BoltBus or Megabus? We shall see, so stay tuned..."
Update: Tripper Bus is a great transportation option if you're going to Maryland/VA and want to avoid heading into Washington, DC.  As for the amenities, not many differentiators from other buses -- Wi-Fi was a bit slow, bathrooms were on par (though, people have to learn how to flush them), comfort of seats were on par ... I will note that the outlets were working!  Ah, I thought of one differentiator -- they provide you with one bottle of water, which I think is a nice touch.

Price is about the same, however, if you book your ticket early enough, you may be able to score $1.00 seat. 
Other Notes about stops and traffic

NYC -> Bethesda - no stops, took about 4.5 hours (leaving NYC around 2 p.m.)

Bethesda --> NYC - had one 15 minute stop, took about 5.5 hours getting back (leaving Bethesda around 11 am)

Departure Times:  Not as frequent as MegaBus or the BoltBus.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meet Hani the Sidewalk Street Artist

You can see more of Hani's sidewalk street work at his website.

I can't get enough of the Excellent Pork Chop House

What can I say, this is Excellent! I personally like this type of pan fried pork chops (unfortunately loaded with MSG) that is served with a meat sauce (pickled cabbage with ground pork) over rice (~$5)

Other items that may interest you:
- pork chop noodle soup (I prefer the thin noodles)
- bean curd (tofu, it's in the background)
- seaweed is good, but it's an acquired taste and many people may not like it
- cucumber
- herbal soup - if you're not feeling well, you may want to consider this (but beware this taste medicinal)
- shaved ice - taro, red bean, jelly and condensed milk

Location: 3 Doyer Street (between Bowery and Pell street, across the way from the post office) in Chinatown, NYC

Note: if you like the deep fried pork chops, like many of my Taiwanese friends, you will not like this place. maybe try May Wah's on Hester street between Mulberry and Centre street)
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