Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New York Day 4

Playing: Abolish Confusion-Patrick Wolf
Reading: The First Millisecond of a Nuclear Explosion is the True Face of Atomic Death by Jesus Diaz
I started off my day at the 9/11 memorial with my family. It was much larger than I thought it'd be and the last time I was here was a month before 9/11 actually happened, which is a pretty odd thing to think about. I suppose I'm lucky I went when I did. After we saw the 9/11 memorial, my family ran off to SoHo to see some stores I wanted to see (such as the Alexander Wang store).
We stopped off at a trendy Vietnamese restaurant called Bun SoHo and I got the Pho Beef because I was freezing and needed to warm myself up. It was good, but for some reason, I felt like it needed more flavor or something. It just tasted bland after the first few bites.
Then I waltzed off to the Marc Jacobs store to further worship this man's work. The Marc Jacobs store in Hawaii was disappointing, since it only had handbags, so I had to visit the one in New York. I was surpirsed by how casual it was and at first, I thought I went into the Marc by Marc Jacobs store instead. Either way, I still oggled over the clothing and tried some on only to have to give it all up back to the sales person. Definitely worth going back to!
After hearing Lily tell me about Dylan's Candy Bar and seeing it on Food Network quite a bit, I decided that it was mandatory for me to go visit one of the world's largest candy stores. Took awhile to get there from SoHo using the subway, but we got there eventually and the colorful windows certainly helped.
When my brother and I spotted the fudge, we figured why not get something? Fudge is easy to bring back home on plane, so it made perfect sense to get some. We got chewy praline, salted peanut, caramel apple, peanut butter explosion, raspberry chocolate, and chocolate chewy praline of which the best was the salted peanut.
Afterwards, my brother and I grabbed a quick snack at a road stand. The chicken kebabs were actually pretty tasty, but if I were to get another one, I'd skip on the hot sauce. Got too spicy for me after awhile, so my brother finished mine.
Luckily I got to go see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying before Daniel Radcliffe left. This musical was recommended to me by my musical lover friend, Katrina. It was extremely humorous and Radcliffe blew me away because I never knew he could sing and dance so well. I wish I had seen more musicals, while we were there because there are actually quite a few I would've liked to see.
Since my brother and I were starving after the musical, my parents took us to Carnegie Deli to get a huge meal. To tell you the truth, Carnegie Deli isn't my favorite restaurant in New York, but I like to go because it reminds my parents of when they lived in New York. However, I do like their chicken broth with matzo balls and noodles very much. Usually, my whole family shares one order.
How could you not get a pastrami sandwich there? I shared this with my mum because it's impossible for me to finish one on my own. My grandfather is a rather strong willed person and when he first came to Carnegie Deli, he refused to share a sandwich with my dad, even though my dad kept telling him to share one and when the sandwiches came, my grandfather glared at my dad and said, "We should've shared one. Why didn't you tell me?" Needless to say, my dad just rolled his eyes.
It was quite late by the time we finished dinner. In fact I think it was close to midnight, so we just walked around New York looking at all the Christmas decorations. I especially liked the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. I liked how it wasn't as full as the trees in California, which get extra branches tied to them (I suppose all Californians like plastic surgery.), because it was closer to its natural state. I can see myself living in New York one day, just not when it starts to snow. What do you think?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New York Day 3

Playing: Boston-Augustana
Reading: A Modest Proposal by Jonathon Swift
Started off our morning at St. John's Cathedral, which is still being built. Inside they had so many different displays, just trying to raise some money to finish it. It was awfully dark inside and at some places, you couldn't even see the ceiling.
We went to Sylvia's Barbeque, where I got the Ribs and Fried Chicken Combo with Baked Mac and Cheese and Candied Yams. The ribs weren't my favorite because I prefer mine smoky, while these were tangy. I did like the fried chicken and mac and cheese, but it was by far, the candied yams that blew me away. They're probably the best I've ever had. According my parents and brother, the collared greens there were the best they've had.
Afterwards, we went to Central Park, where they were having a Holiday Craft Fair and I fell in love with this one booth. I wanted every single one of their pocket watches, but I was good and only bought one. I received my first pocket watch five years ago, so I was glad to buy another.
While at the Holiday Fair, my brother and I bought a De Throwdown Wafel from Wafels and Dinges. With spekuloos spread and whipped cream, it was one of the best things I ate the whole time I was there. My brother and I weren't going to buy one until we saw that they had beaten Bobbly Flay in Throwdown, so we had to get one. It was absolutely amazing.
And hey everyone, this is the rock from Limitless that Abbie Cornish was running down, when she was running away from the antagonist's helper. I have no idea how she did that in heels because even in my sneakers, I had a hard time going at a fast pace. (Although, I do blame it on my over sized jacket.)
Since these are the only ducks I could find in Central Park, this is the best photo I can give you. The importance of this? Holden Caulfield was wondering where all the ducks go during winter. (High five for nerdy allusion?) I passed this pond, while walking to the zoo, which I'll probably talk about later on.
I really wanted to visit FAO Schwartz because it's an amazing toy store with brands I've never even seen before like these Tonner dolls. All of them had the most elaborate outfits and I wanted them for them for myself. I simply loved how detailed they were.
For dinner, we headed over to PJ Clarke's for a "Handpicked" Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sandwich. Although delicious, it was rather small especially for the price. Considering it was pricey, it should've been big enough to fill me up. I ended up eating the rest of my mum's dinner to fill my stomach.
Before sitting down for the opera, I walked around the Metropolitan Opera Shop. I love all the props they have and the clothes. My dad used to get me CDs and children books from their website, when I was smaller. I really wanted these binoculars and when asked what I would do with them, I told my parents, "I sit in the back in most of my classes, so these would help me see the board!" My dad liked the idea, but my mum said no. So until we meet again my lovely opera binoculars, please keep me in mind.
My dad had bought us tickets for La Fille du Regiment, which was absolutely hilarious. I used to go the opera once a month, but the production I went to went out of business. I really liked how the Metropolitan Opera's costumes were really complex and well thought out. Also, I'm kind of obsessing over these chandeliers they have hanging up. They have at least a dozen of them throughout the building and I'm wondering if they'd notice one missing. Really want one for my house. What do you think? Can I get away with it? Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An After Christmas Update

Playing: Celebrity Status-Marianas Trench
Reading: January 2012 W
Hello everyone! Today is just everything I've been meaning to share with you and just some photos I want to show you. Nothing big or incredible, but nonetheless, a post about what I was up to on my non-busy days during winter break.
Over my winter break, I went to Little Tokyo to take my brother to my newest find, a nice restaurant called Wakasaya in LA, specializing in fish bowls. I got mine with chopped salmon, negitoro, and maguro. The chopped salmon is my favorite and the maguro is sublime and melts in your mouth practically. At first, I found the negitoro to be too slimy for my liking, but if you get it with some green onion or their don sauce, it's really quite delicious. However, after my brother and I were done eating, we were still hungry because the bowls are very small. Since the portions don't leave you full, it's actually on the expensive side.
The next day my brother and I were just being lazy and decided to go grab the Honey Baked Ham for New Year's. Afterwards, we went to the gardening store across the street and looked at fountains and fruit trees, even though we knew we weren't going to buy a thing from there. So we walked over to Cavanaugh Park because I'm an extreme Something Corporate/Andrew McMahon/Jack's Mannequin fan. "Cavanaugh Park" is a song Andrew McMahon wrote about the times he spent pondering life at this park and I think this is my fourth time wandering over to it. The first time I went there on purpose and the three times afterwards were just accidents. It's not a big park, a very local kind of park, but I still go there just because well, Andrew did.
And because I like to organize my objects and take photos of them, here is my Christmas haul. I got two perfumes, L'eau D'Issey and Burberry Brit Sheer. I really like wearing the light Burberry, but the L'eau D'Issey is too strong for my taste. I meant to write down the Florale version on my wishlist, but I made a mistake, so my mum will probably use it now. Then I received the Coraline, Big Fish, and 9 DVD's because I'm a Tim Burton fanatic and had to grab some more of his movies. I also got the Big Fish book, since that's my absolute favorite Tim Burton movie. My parents also got me some CD's I've been begging for from Patrick Wolf and One Night Only, some of my favorite musicians. No store near me sold these, so I couldn't get them myself and had to rely on my parents to grab them from the wonderful thing called the Internet!
This year I didn't exchange gifts with my friends because we agreed upon it, so I only exchanged gifts with two friends I believe and one of them was Christine. She feeds my cute Japanese obsession. My brother took one look at my gift and exclaimed, "Why do we have so many zombie bunnies? When is it going to be enough?" Haha, it's never enough. I love the Frixion pens she got for me too because I used to always borrow her pens, so she probably got annoyed of me asking her to borrow them so much. Oh, she knows me too well!  
I know this is really late, but what did you get for Christmas?

Monday, January 23, 2012

New York Day 1

Playing: Slowmotion/House-Patrick Wolf
Reading: Rare Ultra-Blue Stars Found in Neighboring Galaxy's Hub
For my first day in New York, we didn't even get into the city until late at night, so we didn't do much that day. We mostly just dropped off out baggage at our hotel, the New York Palace, and unpacked everything. Then we waited in line for a taxi and when we go to the front, some actor from Driving Miss Daisy cut us in line. The person working there recognized them and gave him the next taxi they could get, so I was left there with my family feeling awfully confused.
Once we got a cab, we headed over to Little Italy, which is my favorite area for great food. I love their festive light decorations and how they set up outside vendors to help celebrate Christmas. I wish there was a Little Italy in LA for me to go to. Then I wouldn't have to fly all the way out to New York.
We went to my dad's favorite restaurant there called De Gennaro, where I ordered the Fettucine Alfredo Con Pollo. I love their Alfredo sauce and it was the perfect thing to warm me up my first night in New York. The chicken was tender and the Parmesan on top added a great bite to it.
Then I went to my favorite bakery ever, Ferrera Bakery. They have the best cannolis in the world and I love their chocolate coated shells. Once I had these, I could never eat another cannoli on the West Coast again. These are seriously the highlight of every trip I've ever taken to New York and I go to this bakery multiple times per trip. I think I went four or five times this trip and each time I bought half a dozen, which I shared with my family obviously otherwise I would be obese I believe.
This is actually a photo I took on a different day, but look at all the flavors. You can get chocolate covered shells or plain shells with chocolate or vanilla ricotta cheese. If you don't like ricotta, you can get a whipped cream filled one flavored with mint, vanilla, chocolate, or raspberry. I personally prefer the vanilla ricotta cheese one with the chocolate covered shell. The whipped cream ones aren't nearly half as good.
Afterwards, since it was late and we couldn't really do anything other than look at the city, we just walked around 5th avenue, looking at all the Christmas displays. This was Cartier's display and I thought the bow was a cute idea because it made the whole building look like a gift. A building filled with fabulous diamonds and jewelry? Sounds  like my mum's dream come true! Here's a hint to all men looking to please their girlfriends, diamonds are a girl's best friend. Hope I just improved all of your dating lives! Until next time, have a nice day! (And wish me luck on Finals!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New York Afternoon+Night of Day 2

Playing: Forever Young-Cash Cash
Reading: Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
On the afternoon of Day 2, we met up with my uncle, aunt, and their twin daughters. It took us some time to find them because their were so many tourists at the place we agreed to meet at. Surprised we found them at all. My yellow pants and my cousin's lime green jacket probably helped us find each other.
When I look at the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, I think about Holden Caulfield's date with Sally Hayes. Yes, I am going to make a nerdy allusion. Anyways, I have plans to go ice skating here with one of my guy friends, when I'm older. He will wear a red hunting hat and hopefully, teach me how to ice skate.
My dad and I admired the suits in Ferragamo's window, while we walked to Trump Tower with everyone else. I really like men in suits and my dad likes wearing suits, so we often discuss suits together. Advice from a man (and by that, I mean my dad)? "Buy Burberry, it's classic and makes you look trim."
I never understood the purpose of Trump Tower because it's too closed off to be a shopping center and too big to be a fine dining place, but I like how everything is reflected in the copper walls. I like the angles the patios make, when they intersect. I also like the outdoor gardens, which overlook the Burberry, miu miu, and Dior stores.
While inside, we decided to get some warm coffee to help us fight the chill. Drinks were on me and when I told the guy that my name was Audrey, he wrote down Hagi. Either his spelling or my pronunciation is really off. When they kept yelling, "Hagi," I didn't pay any attention until they yelled it eight times and I realized it was my order.
We took the subway to Little Italy, which is my favorite place in New York to go to for meals. My goal is to try every restaurant there and so far I've tried five of them, I think? We decided to try Casa Bella Ristorante, where I ordered the Papardelle Alla Funghetti. With five different mushrooms and homemade pasta, this made a hearty dish that felt cozy too. I like how they put shitake mushrooms in it and how spacious this restaurant is. Most restaurants in New York are too crowded for my liking. Afterwards, my dad and uncle bought a bunch of my favorite canolis from Ferrera Bakery. Then our two families separated, so my relatives could catch a train home and we just walked around admiring the city.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jack's Mannequin's People and Things Tour

Playing:She's So High-Tal Bachman
Reading: Just Before the War With the Eskimos by JD Salinger
So for my birthday and my friend's birthday, we went to go see Jack's Mannequin with The Academy Is... and Lady Danville.  I took my good friend, Rebecca, with me because her birthday was two days before mine, so we had to celebrate our birthdays together and her favorite band is The Academy Is...Since The Academy Is... broke up and was replaced by Scars on 45 for this tour, does that make them The Academy Was...? They should've at least waited for this tour to end before breaking up because I felt really bad, when Rebecca let me know they broke up. They could've sucked it up for a month more, since this was our first time going to see them. Pssh, whatever.
It was held at the Fox Theater in Pomona, CA and it was my first time going to this theater, so I was really excited to see that it was an old-time theater with beautiful architecture and lighting fixtures. (I'm quite the architecture nerd. I kind of want to be an architect, but more for the design part, not the math part.) This is my 4th time seeing Andrew McMahon live and I will spare you the love story that I have told my readers so many times. Either way, I was extremely happy to see him again.
Lady Danville was the opener and they were so endearing. I loved their set and how they sounded good, even when they were playing acoustic! I loved how funny they were and how they seemed like a great group of friends. After the show, they were posing with fans at the merchandise booth and I wanted to get a photo, but the line was too long and I was hoping to catch Andrew. I've actually been listening to their music, ever since I saw them live.
Scars on 45 came all the way from England to replace The Academy Is... and I really liked their music too. They were charming, but I'm not sure if it was their accent charming me or if it was their personality. Either way, I liked them. I liked how they kept on joking around about how in England they only have two fans and they're the mums of two of the members. After the show, the members were outside selling CDs, but Rebecca and I thought that no way the members would be out walking around with us fans, so we left. Then we realized it was them and thought, "We should've taken a picture with them, huh?"
When Jack's Mannequin got on stage, there was a lot of fan girling coming from me and a plethora of screaming from me. I can't help it; I just love this band way too much. What can I say about them that I haven't already said? They had a new bassist because Dr. J left, but other than that, their performance was just as great as always. Andrew's dancing was as spastic and charming as ever. He's still the best musician  I've ever heard and I still think he's great at connecting with the audience. I STILL LOVE HIM TREMENDOUSLY, so there's nothing new...
Part way through the show, Andrew asked Bobby Raw, "Is is it time for the lights? It's time to turn on the lights. These are meant to blow your mind. I'm sorry if anyone feels cheated for not having these lights on for the first half of the show." Then, bam! Christmas lights lit up his piano and the microphone. Andrew, why are you so adorable and charming? You're personality is kind of geeky and I love how you always wear collared shirts whenever I see you. I always have to include the songs played at a concert, so that I can remember every little detail, so here goes the list:
He played for almost two hours and I count every hour that I've heard him live as some of my best hours spent. I don't know why I keep on going back or why I find his shows so much better than anything else, but I do know that I'm going to go back again. I'm going to keep on going back until I meet Andrew McMahon and even after that I'll probably keep on going. He is my biggest inspiration and I want to know who your biggest inspiration is? Is it one of your parents, your friend, an actor, a historian, etc? (By the way, I linked the videos I took for some of the songs, so if you click on them, you get to see my videos!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

New York Morning of Day 2

Playing: Not a Love Song-Ross Lynch
Reading: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Day 2 was terribly cold and even my relatives that came to join us, who live in New Jersey, thought it was freezing. I could not feel my toes that day and my brother would tease me every time I stomped my foot on the sidewalk to get some feeling back. According to the news it was less than 20°F that day and the coldest I've ever experienced in California is 36°F, so it was definitely a shock to my system.
I chose Lily's Restaurant for breakfast because it was so wonderfully artsy. Everything was organic and sustainable with statues and paintings decorating the whole place. Although a tad too pricey for breakfast, my whole family enjoyed their meals very much. I got the smoked salmon on bagel, which was served so nicely and as you can see, I started to spread the cream cheese before I took a photo. I really enjoyed the yellow tomatoes in it and the whole wheat bagel for a change because I usually get mine with red tomatoes and on a garlic bagel.
After our breakfast, we just walked around and waited for my relatives' train to come in. I love the sleek glass skyscrapers and how they seem to stretch on and on. I love geometric buildings because they just look so clean and modern. These buildings are one of the many reasons why I love New York so much.
We ended up going back to our hotel to get a hat for my dad, so we went to the Eden Fine Art Gallery because I had been wanting to go. Super playful and imaginative, but not something I would buy. It reminds me of the art you see at festivals and such.
When we got back on the street, we passed American Girl, which I loved when I was in 4th-6th grade. I love older fashion, so I always enjoyed looking through their catalogs and my parents actually got two dolls for me. Although I don't play with them anymore, I have found memories of them and the 19th century clothing I bought for them.
We just continued to walk around and we found this nice pocket with a clever fountain. I quite like the statue in the middle of the fountain. I love how New York has all these little pockets filled with art. Wish my town was more like that.
Although this trip, we tried to avoid the super touristy areas, we still had to stop at Times Square because I adore the feeling of life happening there, the pulse of life and so on. I also like looking for people from foreign countries there. I eavesdropped on French tourists' conversations and passed it off as "practicing" my French skills.
We turned down a street and came across Famous Dave's, which is supposed to be known for excellent BBQ and it was rather good. My brother and I shared the Southside Rib Tips with Drunken Apple and Mac N' Cheese. The rub was so good that we didn't even use any BBQ sauce, but I didn't like how one bite, the meat would be tough and the next bite, it'd be all fat. This restaurant must be pretty well known because when I texted my uncle to let him know where we were, he texted me back with, "I've been wanting to try that place. My friends say it's really good and I think I could go for a second lunch, so I'll join you guys." My uncle is friends with foodies, so must be good, right? Stay tune for the rest of Day 2!

Friday, January 13, 2012

"School's Out Forever, School's Been Blown to Pieces"

Playing: Divine Intervention-Patrick Wolf
Reading: Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes by JD Salinger
Hello everyone! Although I'm back in school now, there was a time when I was free of school, if only for two weeks. This year was the first year, where I did not have an early out for school before Christmas break, even though everyone else in my school district got out at lunchtime. I just spent my day taking tests and counting down the minutes until I was out of school.
From Left to Right: Hans, Adam
As soon as school was out, I ran off to Hans' house with Adam, Austin, and Sophie just to hang out and be teenagers together before I had to get on a plane for New York. We pretty much just sat around and listened to records, while talking about "vintage" music and movies. Hans still has everything on records and VHS tapes, which proves I'm not the only one still using VHS tapes.
From Left to Right: Hans, Sophie, Austin
Sophie and I decided it'd be fun to dress up as kitties, so I brought kitty ears over and I learned that one of my pairs looks more like hamster ears. So Sophie was a hamster and I was a kitty that day...
Since Hans has so many random props and costumes lying around, we literally horsed around, putting his horse mask on him. Sophie decided to prove how ridiculously flexible his mask is by slapping him across the face. (Don't worry. No Hans was hurt during the course of us messing around.)
For the majority of the time, Sophie tried to figure out how to ink wash and then attempted to teach me, while I stared at her confused. I ended up just trying to do watercolor paintings by using some markers plus Sophie's ink and then using water to blend it all. Sophie worked on filling in her comic and Adam just drew random faces. My artistic mediocrity is showing right now, especially when compared to their work.
While Sophie, Adam, and I continued to paint, Austin tried on Hans' hats and just played the guitar with Hans. Overall, we just sat around and did whatever struck our fancy that day. For once, we didn't have to worry about having to finish our school assignments or any of that and we could just relax. I wish I could relax more often and I suppose most students do, but we're all tied up with too much homework and studying to do much.
PS I was supposed to hang out with them again today, but I got sick. High five for having severe stomach cramps, anyone?