Jun 30, 2010

Quiet moments

Last Wednesday's dinner spot.

Jun 29, 2010

Dreaming of a room like this

Anna Kern's interiors portfolio is some serious eye-candy. In the summer, I especially love white for everything. I would own 30 white and slightly sheer loose button ups if I could. I'd probably get coffee stains on at least half of them.

In the room above, I am digging the slanted walls and nifty clothing rack. I'd kill for that light, too. Such a happy, uplifting room.

Just one more beautiful shot from her portfolio, but the whole thing is really worth checking out.

Jun 28, 2010

Oh sweet jesus

These babies are calling my name so badly. I saw the grey and black in the J.Crew on 5th avenue today and I cannot stop thinking about them. Wonder if I should pull the trigger now before they are hardcore back-ordered (as this has happened to every pair of shoe I have lusted over at J.Crew)...just can't decide between the grey and red, or rather "cobblestone" and "dusk red." The grey would be more practical but I love the red too. Why can't I have both? (Oh duh, they come with a $228 price tag. Damnit.)

Today was such a sauna. I trekked all around in my new-ish Camper Laura wedges, which I am also in love with. The thick straps hide all the ugly parts of my weird feet. Also only 2.5 inches high or so, which accommodates my arch-less feet. A few blisters in the beginning but nothing I can't handle. Highly recommend. Now I am inclined to try more Camper styles.

Even though it kills my shoes and feet, there is something so wonderful about pounding on NYC concrete with heels on. I instantly feel better about myself. Silly, I know. Maybe it is because I am so petite otherwise. I will also never show I am in pain, no matter how bad blisters are. Gotta keep up an image, ya know. ;)

The only thing that got me through walking so much in this heat was blasting John Mayer and embracing the anonymity that a city like NY offers you. (Generally speaking. Yes, we all know it can be an uncomfortably very, VERY small island sometimes.)

[images taken from jcrew.com and zappos.com]

Jun 27, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (iv)

Tons of great food and friends this weekend. Here's just a (long) snippet.

1 + 2) Cappuccino at Kaffe 1668 on a Saturday. It was a little strange coming here not on a workday.
3) Joyce and I checked out the new Takahachi Bakery in my neck of the woods. So overwhelming. So many good choices. I left with this cherry blossom macaron and an earl grey financier. Both DELICIOUS. I was also eyeing their pain au chocolat. Must return to get.

4-8) Wafels & Dinges! Considering how close this place is to me, it's a wonder how I haven't tried it yet. We were on our way to brunch...but decided to share a waffle anyway. We got the Dinges unlimited aka WMD (Wafel of Massive Deliciousness). Our weapons of choice included ice cream, bananas, strawberries, nutella, and chocolate fudge. Massive deliciousness indeed. This sucker lasted no more than 1 or 2 minutes in our hands. (I then later had another belgian waffle after dinner at Petite Abeille with bananas, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and strawberry sauce.) The enormity of my appetite never ceases to amaze me.

9-11) Brunch at Fresh Salt. $10 prix-fixe. I have been here once for snacks/drinks but have been wanting to try the brunch. Very good food all around. :)

12-17) There's all this crazy shit set up in the Seaport for the World Cup. Not dressed appropriately at all for these games, we had our hand at it anyway. Too bad it felt about 100 degrees with humidity today. Ughh.

18-22) My friends put up with a lot of paparazzi-ing on my part. Sorry, guys! I love these shots of them though. :P
23-24) Outfit/accessory details. :) Loving my friend's new Minkoff bag.

Whew. Just cannot slow down in this city.

Jun 24, 2010

For the Pops

Not so elegant as last year's setup, but on limited time and resources, it's the thought that counts, right? :)

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Jun 23, 2010

Another meal worth mentioning

Some ridiculous treats from wd-50 in the Lower East Side. Shot with my oldie point & shoot in low light, so unfortunately not the best presentation. My friend and fellow foodie adventurer, Joyce, made a fairly last minute reservation here. I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't heard of the place when she asked me! (How can I call myself a foodie now!?) Anyway, what happened then was like when you learn a new word, you start seeing it being used everywhere. After I agreed to dinner, intrigued by the menu, I saw the name wd-50 pop up in all my food readings and various magazines. Naturally. Or maybe it's just that I noticed it instead of glossing over it ;). Well, no matter. We were later joined by another friend. The more the merrier, I say, especially when it comes to new and interesting foods. I am a huge fan of sharing and will avoid at all costs, ordering the same thing as my dining companions. I know that some people like to keep their dishes to themselves, and only maybe then will I get the same thing.

I know most people come here for the tasting menu ($140 a person, +$75 for wine pairing), but I already struggle to support my current lifestyle, so that'll have to wait (plus I'm not sure how I feel about the massive slab of foie gras on that menu)...now, onto the goods. I should have taken notes, because there were so many ingredients in these dishes, I felt like we were listening to speeches each time something was brought out.

1) pH cocktail - I sadly cannot remember what was in this, but it was sweet, fruity, and strong. Yum.
2) Sesame speckled crispy 'bread.' No baguettes here, sir.
3) Eggs Benedict. For real! The Hollandaise was hiding inside the fried cubes. And there were super thin pieces of bacon embedded into the solid yolks which were a fantastic consistency.
4) "Hanger tartare, smoked almond, banana, hibiscus" - Good, but I still am more a fan of tartares of the tuna variety. Banana was great.
5) "Corned duck, rye crisp, purple mustard, horseradish cream" - possibly my favorite of the appetizers. Plus you can easily pop the whole thing in your mouth and get all the flavors at once.
6) "Duck breast, apple, cheddar, kimchee-cous cous" - I've been in a duck phase ever since the quacker from Eleven Madison Park. This one also did not disappoint. Plus the broth was so interesting! Cheddar and kimchee!
7) "Skate, sweet and sour salsify, wild rice, butternut squash." I still do not know what salsify is haha. I will always be drawn to anything that has butternut squash in it. What can I say? Good all around.
8) We chose a Rooibos for the dessert round. I'm really glad we did, too. I have a tendency to get the jasmine whenever I choose tea over coffee, and I need to branch out. I love how Rooibos doesn't get bitter no matter how long you steep it.
9) "Hazelnut tart, coconut, chocolate, chicory" - again, hazelnut is my weakness. So many textures in this. Love the crunchy and creamy together. I think I accidentally ate like 80% of this when it was supposed to be split among 3.
10) "Cheesecake, pineapple, raisin, saffron, lime" - yes that is cheesecake! My favorite part might have been the lime ice cream. Plus there was pineapple done like 3 ways or something ridiculous. The cheesecake almost took a side role.

Hungry yet? :D

Tumbling down a rabbit hole somewhere

Been slacking on taking pictures these days and feeling a bit uninspired despite my daily consumption of TONS of beautiful inspiration blogs. Not sure if it's the heat or what. Now that I have so many cameras, it's almost harder to take pictures, ironically. Whenever I leave the house, I have to choose which camera(s) to take and I get so weighed down - literally and figuratively - from them. Need to get back to basics.

However, I always welcome looking through my archives, and I found this gem hiding in an early 2006 folder. I was in Boston for a Math competition held at Harvard/MIT (I was seriously so much smarter back in the day), and this was a legit sign on the train. I often reference my namesake (Lewis Carroll's Alice), so I was pleased to see this. Count me aboard.

Jun 21, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (iii)

Hello, and happy official summer! The summer solstice has actually always made me a little sad (emphasis on little), because I know that the days only get shorter and shorter from here on out. Today, I'm actually a little bit at a loss for what to do with all this daylight. I have also reached that point in the month where I realize I have $x amount of money to last the rest of the month and getting antsy about it. So while an ice cold drink or two (I'll take a mojito, thanks) sounds like a perfect way to celebrate summer, I think I'll have to hang on to some money for the weekend. 6 months on my own, and I still have no concept of budgeting. Well, that's that...moving on to some Polaroids I snapped over the weekend while I was at home in NJ.

These vintage soda bottles caught my eye at a garage sale, and came home with me. The lady was also selling a huge lot of vintage cameras, which were tempting me, but I really would have no space for them!

1. Big bowl of watermelon that I pretty much polished off during my stay at home.
2. My mom makes great Bao Zi with innovative innards, as I am actually not a huge, huge fan of pork/chive buns.
3. Panna cotta for dessert! I was amazed at how simple it to make. I wish I could say they came out perfectly, but I think they were a little too dense for my liking, and some of the gelatin settled to the bottom of the pseudo-ramekin which was weird. Will have to try a different recipe next time.

Now, I'll be off to find something free to do with the rest of my night. :P

Jun 20, 2010

I first met my father when I was almost 3

A little late on the Father's Day posting, but I was at home hunting through old photos to scan (the photo scanner can be crossed off my wish-list! :D). I had a blast, really. I only wish I had taken more pictures when I was younger. It is impossible to go back and recreate pictures, so I will have to savor and cherish what I do have. It's funny how old pictures tend to evoke completely different feelings as more and more years pass since they were originally taken. Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures of my dad and me when I was wee high...and apparently a boy. Proof below.

Somehow between 3 years and 5 years old, I transformed into a girl. :P Whew.
Oh yes, and we were super-FOBs who took pictures in supermarkets. So great.

So, Happy Father's Day to a brilliant man and great dad. I could go on, but let me not get too mushy on this public space.

On another tangent, how damn stylish does my mom look in these super old pics?? I love it, I love it.

Jun 17, 2010

I love me some carrots

So I've got a horrible addiction to the frozen yogurt at the Forty Carrots cafe in Bloomingdale's. Here are five separate occasions in the last 2 months or so. The best part is how high they pile the yogurt! No skimping here. :) I remember a while ago, they had a peanut butter flavor that I loved. Sadly, I haven't seen it since. I usually take my yogurt without toppings, but I'm tempted to try honey with the plain next time. Also...once you buy 7 yogurts, you get your next one free. Did I mention I'm a sucker for "Buy x amount, get the next free" loyalty cards?

Jun 15, 2010

West Village treats

1) Tiny table squished with brunch goodies at Tartine (253 W. 11th St.)
2) Brunch companions! Not that this will mean much to you, but L-R: Grand Big, Big, Great Grand Big, Me, Little. So happy we all made it out together and relatively last minute too. :)

Tartine is seriously tiny and they use up all the space they have. So I found myself sitting against the window bumping elbows left and right. We also waited ~25-30 minutes for our table for 5. Nonetheless, the place does have its charm and I left feeling a bit overly full. Nice thing is prix-fixe $15 with orange juice and coffee/tea.

3) Came across this cupcake truck by Washington Square Park (though I think it changes location). If I hadn't been so full from brunch, I would have loved to try it. The menu boasted 20 different cupcake varieties! They are all cutely named as well, including "Sweet Side Up," "Rich Guy," "Mr. Incredible," and "Whatchamacallit" hahah. I wonder if they have them all everyday though.
4) And how precious are these Mast Brothers chocolate bar wrappers? Would make nice wallpapers or decorative accents for my card-making. Definitely something I could find myself collecting, but at $9.99 a bar...I will probably have to admire from a distance.

Jun 14, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (ii)

This weekend involved a ton of good eats (including a dinner at the famed wd-50!) and a lot of walking and wandering around on my part. On Saturday, I stopped by the Union Square market and came out with a few Polaroid shots and 2 big bunch of peonies for only $10. I counted and there were roughly 20-25 buds! The last time I bought peonies, I paid $20 for 6 measly buds. No more shopping at NYC sidewalk flower stands. I found out if you go late enough to the market, the flowers go on sale, from $8 a bunch to $10 for 2 bunches. Sweet deal. :D I'll have to pick up some different flowers next time.

Jun 11, 2010

An invincible summer

I read something today that reminded me of a simple joy in the summertime, that is, the cool side of a pillow. We warm up one side and when it gets uncomfortable, we can just flip over the pillow. That first touch to the skin of the chilled sateen is pleasantly refreshing and a feeling that is not easily recreated.

Speaking of summertime, I've been lusting over the portfolio of Mikkel Vang for the past week. I discovered him in an old Martha Stewart magazine and was so glad I looked him up. Serious, serious porn for the aesthetes out there. These select pictures just screamed summer to me and are styled so beautifully, it actually aches to look at them. Mikkel sure knows how to tug at my heartstrings :P.

A great way to kick-off a weekend, no?

Jun 10, 2010

The beauty of instant gratification

More like 2 minute gratification, but that's pretty good ;).

First four shots out of my Polaroid SLR 680 with the Edge Cut film I bought last week. I was terrified at first because I put the first pack of film in and nothing happened. The black card didn't eject. I couldn't release the shutter. I took the pack out and put it in a Polaroid OneStep that I got at a garage sale. The pack worked fine. However, I had never used it before and totally forgot you had to manually "focus" it. Needless to say, I kinda wasted that first shot but I guess the beauty of Polaroids is that even the mistakes can look kind of cool. I'll probably do a "messed up" Polaroid entry at some point.

Anyway, continuing with my SLR dilemma, I calmed myself down and thought maybe it was just a dud and I put it in wrong or whatever. I tore open another box and nervously tried inserting it again. NADA. I looked through the viewfinder and it was all black. I figured the mirror was stuck, but I couldn't figure out how to knock it back into its right place. After a failed Google search for troubleshooting this problem, I fiddled around some more and have no idea what eventually did it, but something clicked and the black cover page came triumphantly out. Whew!

I hated to shoot in the dim yellowy light of my room, but I couldn't possibly wait until morning, so I shot the one of my umbrella since it was such a nasty rainy night. I'm pretty impressed with the detail. You can see droplets of rain on it still! On the original at least.

On the coneflower shot, I didn't even notice any defects that are probable in the Edge Cut film. Sweet. Ice cream truck in the background hehe.

Whoops just realized this collage layout is the same as last post's. I need to get more creative at laying out my pictures.

Jun 8, 2010

Paradise lost

Taken March 2009 in the beautiful Dominican Republic. It is almost painful to go through these pictures because it seems like it was such a different time/place in my life (I mean literally and figuratively). I suppose a lot can happen in a year.

Anyway on a completely unrelated note, here are some things I desperately "need" and am "saving" (HAH!) for:
-Canon 5d Mkii (first and foremost)
-50mm f1.4
-Faster computer (27'' iMac will do ;])
-Epson film/negative scanner
-French press that won't shatter (for the third time...)

Things I really do need:
-Sharp cuticle clipper for my horrible habit
-Tea kettle/water boiler
-Chairs/table for the completely empty living room
-Alllll of the above. :D

Obviously, this will be a painstakingly slow process. Sacrifices will have to be made. The worst part is that the list continues to grow. AY.

Jun 7, 2010

A divine meal

Warning: slew of pictures ahead.

I was lucky enough to have my graduation dinner at Eleven Madison Park, a meal I had been looking forward to for a very long time. Before I even got there, I had read so much praise for the place, I was worried my expectations were too high. They did not disappoint. I was definitely still wowed by the amount of care in every step of the night. They seemed to do it effortlessly, too. Given the reputation of the place, the service was not at all pretentious and our waitstaff could not have been friendlier or more entertaining.

The place is beautiful and spacious. I really appreciated the low noise level. Despite a full dining room, we could easily hear each other. I'll probably let the pictures do the rest of the talking. You can see the sun going away throughout these, as the lighting gets more and more difficult to work with haha.

My duck was prepared table-side. It smelled amazing. Thanks, Kevin! :)

By the end of the night, I was too full to stomach all the macarons. Actually, it was more the case that the photographer in me wanted to take them home so I could photograph them properly in daylight. :P Also took home a lovely box of jelly candies. Yum.

I need to go back ASAP.

Jun 4, 2010

Too many vases, not enough flowers

Currently I have 3 empty vases. :( Will have to do some flower hunting this weekend. I really wish Ranunculi were still in season.

In other news, I picked up 10 packets of the Edge Cut film from the Impossible Project. Yay! (Many thanks to a friend who helped me pick up 5, because they limited to 5 packets a person. :P) Their server was crazy busy this morning when the film went on sale at 9am but I was incredibly happy to snatch some up before they sold out. Now, just patience until they arrive.

Tomorrow, I'm finally having dinner at the highly celebrated Eleven Madison Park. I think I've been wanting to go there for at least two years now. I also had to snatch up a reservation exactly 28 days before. In fact, 2 or 3 minutes after the reservations opened up on Open Table, there were only two time slots left. Ridiculous. Anyway, I am terribly excited. Would love to bring my SLR with me, but I think that would be pushing it. ;)

Happy weekend!

Jun 2, 2010


{Minolta X370s, Plus-X film}

Photos taken from various long walks around the city.

1. Mud Coffee Truck near Astor Place
2. Girl checking out window display at boutique in Soho
3. Just chillin'
4. Le Pain Quotidien jams
5. Sidewalk sale
6. One of the many street fairs that litter the city in the summer

Keeping up with a daily blog is exhausting but I am doing my best. I'm also thinking of it more as a way to unwind after a long day than a burden, which makes all the difference. Thank you kindly for the comments. It is nice to have readers. :)

Jun 1, 2010

Backyard tales

After living in the city, it is nice to come home to enjoy the green life and clean(er) air. In the summertime, my parents don't even have to shop for vegetables, as their garden is abundant. Over the weekend, I ate a ton of bok choy from the garden. It was fantastic.

Think we have enough garlic? :P