September 29, 2011

Storm Clouds Over DUMBO

POST #    3083

No rain was falling while the clouds passed overhead, but shortly afterwards, there was quite a downpour!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:29 PM



June 21, 2010

In the Statue of Liberty's Crown

POST #    3045

Way back in April, Shannan and I made a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Unlike our last visit, when we just visited at night, we were making a trip to the crown on this visit. The crown reopened last year after some security and safety upgrades (it closed after 9/11). I hadn't been up since the 80s while with my family.

From the very base of Lady Liberty's pedestal, the climb to the top is 354 steps — many of which are in a tiny spiral staircase.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:58 PM



March 30, 2010

At the Circus! Ringling Brothers at MSG

POST #    3024

Yay, the circus is in town. For the first time in ages, I went to the circus! I'm positive I went at least once as a child, but it was my first time as an adult. Sunday morning, Shannan and I went with the Epsteins to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time that Jonas and Willa went to the circus and Shannan's first time seeing Ringling Brothers.

And while watching the 7 motorcycles in that cage was very impressive, the greatest show on earth may have been watching Willa devour gummies off Neil's hand.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:00 PM



March 17, 2010

Kobayashi Likes the Meatballs

POST #    3023

Takeru Kobayashi really likes eating. Last Monday, he set the Guinness Record for most meatballs eaten in one minute when he devoured 29 meatballs. I was lucky enough to be there in person, but if you're curious what that meatball eating pace looks like, I have video below. It seems like he had to swallow each meatball and show the judge before moving on. I suspect that's the reason for the low count.

Takeru Kobayashi Sets Meatball-Eating Record from tienmao on Vimeo.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:10 PM



March 3, 2010

Record Snow in February

POST #    3022

From last Friday, when New York's new record for snowfall in February was set. As you can see, Shannan was very, very scared by the record-setting snow. Climate change! Ahhhhhhh!!!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:50 PM



February 23, 2010

Glove Gives F Train/MTA The Shocker

POST #    3020

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:50 PM



February 10, 2010

Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon/SnOwMG Greenpoint 2010

POST #    3018

From this morning in Greenpoint. I'm not sure how Betty Boop feels about the snow. She seems underdressed.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:59 AM



January 28, 2010

Greenpoint in This Morning's Wet Snow

POST #    3016

Look! No aluminum siding!

And sometimes, you just want to over-process the photo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:31 PM



January 11, 2010

A Deflowering at Di Fara

POST #    3011

I've had a lot of pizza in my life, yet strangely this was my first time to Di Fara. Di Fara is a legendary pizza joint, in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn where Dom DeMarco has been toiling away for over 45 years, making each pie himself with the best ingredients. Is the pizza good? Yes, it's very good. Is it the best in the city? No, I don't think it is. Especially with all these new "artisanal" pizza places that are popping up all over the place. I'm not even sure if, taste-wise, Di Fara is better than a Patsy's (original) or a Grimaldi's.

First, the bad parts: Perhaps it's just my preferences, but I wasn't a huge fan of the end crust. While the crust to support the cheese, sauce, toppings, etc., worked, the ends just seemed to be lacking a little flavor. It's possible that the end crust was even slightly underdone on the first pie we had (plain). And, of course, there's all the olive oil that is poured (not drizzled) onto the pie. I know olive oil is healthy, but I think a drizzle of the stuff could have been better (note napkin pile). Our second pie (broccoli rabe and sausage) didn't seem as oily, nor did our final one (plain square). Maybe there was just more stuff to distract us from the oil. Some of the pies started off so "wet" that attempting to slide a slice from the pie onto our plates resulted in a pile of hot cheese on the pizza pan and a relatively cheese-less slice. And all the toppings and overall wetness, lends itself to a floppy slice of pizza. That wasn't the case with the square pie we had as it's a naturally firmer crust.

Now, the good parts: The ingredients and the care that are put into each pie is excellent. It's easily on par with all the "fancy" pizza places you go to in the city. You can taste the quality of the ingredients with each bite you take. The fine mozzarella, the grana padano he sprinkles on top, the fresh basil, and even the plentiful olive oil, lend to a delicious bite of pizza. Of course, that shows up in the cost of the pies (we paid just under $100 with drinks for 7 people), but quality doesn't come cheap. It's the ingredients and the care that Dom puts into each pie that seems to set this place apart from many pizza places.

Am I being overly critical? Perhaps. But going into my "virgin experience" at Di Fara, I was expecting a lot. Some people talk about Di Fara pizza as if it were a nectar of the Gods. Sure, Dom DeMarco has done something at Di Fara that exceeds the pizza of any neighborhood pizza place in the city, if not the world, and it's excellent pizza that I would eat again. I'm just not sure if it's as mind-blowing as I had hoped (or expected) and I certainly wouldn't wait in line for two hours just to get a bite of it. That said, I would like to go back sometime in the future to try it again. After all, it could have just been an off day at Di Fara, right?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:00 PM



January 6, 2010

Trees Don't Grow in Brooklyn, They Come Here to Die

POST #    3008

They sure do like Christmas trees in this DUMBO building.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:21 AM



December 17, 2009

Pat, My Mounted Turkey Head

POST #    3001

New to the walls of Gothamist HQ, my mounted turkey head. It's the remainder of Pat, the wonderfully crafted piñata that Mari created for Fakesgiving.

I managed to make the board for the head myself. Well, after Shannan drew the lines.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:04 PM



November 2, 2009

Halloween and the 2009 NYC Marathon

POST #    2991

For Halloween, which I really hate dressing up for (as an adult), Shannan made us some bobble heads. They both came out really, well and actually bobbled. Somewhat creepy though, were the eyes that were painted onto the head.

The day after Halloween was the 2009 NYC Marathon and event with almost 44,000 people from around the world running in the streets of New York. I love the marathon, but I don't think I would ever run it. So maybe I should say "I love watching the marathon."

In the 1st marathon photo, you can see eventual women's winner Derartu Tulu (blue top on the right). Leading the men at mile 12 was eventual winner Meb Keflezighi, the first American to win the NYC Marathon in 27 years. Does that guy in the 3rd marathon photo look familiar? That's because it's Anthony Edwards! You may recognize him from such movies as Top Gun and Revenge of the Nerds and TV shows like ER. If you're wondering, he does respond to people (me) yelling "Go Goose!" Edwards was running for the charity Shoe4Africa, which is raising money to build a public children's hospital in Kenya. And, yes, that last photo is of a guy carrying an Eiffel Tower replica.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos, Sports at 8:48 AM



October 12, 2009

Last Mets Game of the Long, Long 2009 Season at Citi Field

POST #    2988

Last Sunday finally brought and end to the miserable 2009 Mets season. A season where I went to entirely too many games (curses to that season ticket). But through a stroke of luck, we ended up in the front row on the field level for the final out of the stadium's inaugural season. Following the game was the Mr. Met Dash on the field for season ticket holders (not that they actually checked). Also, the word dash is very generous for the event. You're really just walking around the field as the people tell you not to stop. But at least we got to step on three bases (2nd, 3rd, and home).

If you're wondering what's going on in the 3rd photo, it's David robbing a home run with his newspaper.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 3:51 PM



September 30, 2009

An Evening at the Statue of Liberty

POST #    2987

Last Friday, the National Park Service allowed night visitors to the Statue of Liberty for the first time ever as part of National Parks Week NYC. Two boatloads of passengers headed over to the island at about 7pm, just in time to catch the end of the sun set over New Jersey. I took a lot of photos of Lady Liberty, but eventually they all end up looking the same. The ones here are the ones I liked the most.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:30 PM



September 25, 2009

Let's Be Sure to Get This Dumpster Full!

POST #    2986

The people sure got their money's worth in this garbage haul.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:16 PM



September 22, 2009

Those New Bike Lanes on Kent Avenue

POST #    2985

Not surprisingly, the new dedicated bike lane on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg and the change in traffic patterns have caused some outrage in north Brooklyn. The new lane was just finished a couple of weeks ago and people are still getting used to it (see cyclist using right side of road in 2nd picture). As much as I like the new, dedicated lanes, I had no problem at all with the old lanes. In my opinion, this mostly seems like a pain in the ass for people that used Kent before. But once people get used to it, I'm sure it will be fine.

One person that wasn't used to the change (or just decided to ignore it) was a minivan driver that went south (against traffic) IN THE BIKE LANE despite the obvious green paint and signs saying the street is now one way. This guy drove the whole block in the bike lane, forcing me and another cyclist to move out of the way into the parking lane. I can only hope I don't see this happen again.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:45 PM



September 3, 2009

Totaled Car From a Fatal Greenpoint MVA

POST #    2983

Sunday when we returned home from upstate, we saw this this horrifically mangled car sitting across the street from our apartment. With a police station also across the street, we'll sometimes see impounded vehicles and cars that were damaged in accidents before they're moved to another location.

This accident occurred early Sunday morning in Greenpoint (Green and Provost) and it looks like the car just flew into some sort of pole. The car was bent right at the driver's side door. People were saying that the accident killed the driver (not surprising given the damage) and that the girlfriend in the car was at Bellevue and had regained consciousness by Sunday night. It also looks like the jaws of life were needed to extract the victims since the roof is totally cut off.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:14 PM



August 20, 2009

On the Roof of 5 Pointz in Long Island City

POST #    2982

Anyone who has taken the 7 train into Queens is surely familiar with the graffiti covered building in Long Island City called 5 Pointz. The building owners allow for graffiti artists to use the exterior as a canvas as long as they don't use curses, religion or race in their artwork. Inside, the building was mostly used as artists studios. But earlier this year, after an exterior staircase collapsed, the building was shut down until the appropriate renovations could be made. The owners later determined that the repairs were impossibly expensive and the tenants were told to have everything out by this Saturday. Last weekend, I went over to the building to take some pictures of the interior and roof (the exterior should still be a canvas for graffiti). More photos over at Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:23 AM



August 3, 2009

Friday's Rainbow Over CitiField

POST #    2981

I was thinking that the gold at the end of it would be a Wild Card, but then they lost 2 of 3 to the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. And yes, the Wild Card is a case of extreme optimism, but I guess you gotta believe?

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 5:57 PM



June 29, 2009

The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour

POST #    2975

Way back in early June, Shannan and I went on a tour of the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel in Brooklyn Heights. The tunnel, built in 1844, is the oldest subway tunnel in the world and is a half mile long. It was originally built to accommodate LIRR trains that lacked breaks good enough to run above ground.

The hour and a half long tour, which is led by Bob Diamond, goes deep into the history of the tunnel and all the research and work that Bob did to find the long abandoned tunnel in 1979. The tunnel is an impressive piece of work and it's almost hard to believe that it's in perfect condition to this day (gotta love those Sandhogs).

I would recommend making a reservation with the BHRA for its next tour of the tunnel.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 6:31 PM



June 23, 2009

Our 1st Week From the Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA

POST #    2974

Pictured are strawberries, a bunch of lavender, pea shoots, and garlic scapes. Not pictured asparagus, cilantro, rhubarb, sugar snap peas, mesclun, kale, and eggs.

Some of this helped make a tasty dinner on Sunday night!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:47 PM



June 18, 2009

Willa at the Big Apple Barbeque

POST #    2973

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:23 PM



June 15, 2009

Stumbling Upon the Hare Krishna Parade and Festival of Chariots

POST #    2972

Apparently the parade (Festival of Chariots or Rath Yatra)culminated with a vegetarian feast in Washington Square Park. Of course, I had just left Madison Square Park where I, and thousands of other people, were gorging themselves on pork and cow at the Big Apple Barbecue. New York City is random like that.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 1:58 PM



June 2, 2009

Manhattan From a Helicopter

POST #    2970

My transportation out to Long Island for that little airplane thing wasn't by car, or by train, but by helicopter (!!), which was also a first for me. It was surprisingly calm, but really, really noisy (I took the headset off for a second to take a listen). We flew up the West Side from 30th St. and, over Manhattan, over Queens including LGA and eventually into Long Island.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Travel at 6:37 PM



May 18, 2009

Who Needs A Beach?

POST #    2966

Why go to the beach when you can use your American Flag umbrella on the old, ratty couch that you keep in the garbage room of your basement. What better way to protect your eyes from the fluorescent lights.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:18 PM



May 7, 2009

Between the Garbage, a New REVS Piece

POST #    2963

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:45 PM



May 4, 2009

Cirque du Soleil's Big Top on Randall's Island

POST #    2962

If you're debating whether to see Cirque du Soleil's Kooza this summer or hold off and see their holiday show Wintuk, let me settle that little quandary. DO NOT see Wintuk. It sucked. Kooza, in comparison, was awesome. There were parts that I thought were stupid (specifically, the juggler) and parts that I thought were unnecessary (I don't care about the storyline), but there were a couple acts of the show that were just amazing.

One small pain about the show was getting to it. Randall's Island is not easy to get to unless you have a car.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:49 PM



April 28, 2009

Spacebuster in DUMBO

POST #    2961

Last week, when the Spacebuster (a portable event space) made a stop in DUMBO last week for an architecture contest, I was able to take some photos from outside and even got to go inside while they were setting up.

Full set on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:24 PM



April 16, 2009

More From Opening Day at Citi Field

POST #    2959

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 12:25 PM



April 15, 2009

Panorama of Citi Field on Opening Day

POST #    2958

Monday night, I headed out to Flushing for the first official Mets game at their new stadium, Citi Field. It's a very nice stadium (especially in comparison to Shea), but there are some quirks: I can't see the whole field from my seats, the food lines (for the really good stuff) are insanely long, and I found the seats kind of uncomfortable.

I'm sure I'll learn to love the stadium though, just like I loved Shea.

And if you want, you can click on the image for a much larger version.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 12:47 PM



March 25, 2009

Thom Mayne's New Cooper Union Academic Building

POST #    2954

Rising up on Bowery St. on Cooper Square is a new addition to Cooper Union — an academic building designed by famed architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis. The building exterior is partially clad in a perforated stainless steel panels, which can be moved to maximize energy efficiency.

Faaancy! Cooper Union has a nice page full of renderings of the project if you want to see what it's supposed to look like when finished.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:55 PM



March 11, 2009

Storage Office

POST #    2950

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:17 PM



March 9, 2009

Happy First Birthday, Willa

POST #    2949

Yay Willa! 1 year old.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 11:25 AM



March 2, 2009

Snow Covered DUMBO

POST #    2948

The largest snowstorm this winter hit NYC last night and continued into today. It doesn't look like it from this picture, but there are at least 7" of snow out there. I would have been even happier with some more. Oh well.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:17 PM



February 17, 2009

Red Bull Snowscrapers Panorama

POST #    2944

Here's a panorama (click for larger image) from the top of that 90-foot snowboard ramp that Red Bull constructed in East River Park.

Sorry updates have been so sporadic. Ever since finishing up last year's project of taking at least a photo a day for a year, it's been hard to get motivated to take photos. I usually only break it out when I have a specific event/item to take a photo of and not to fulfill a daily need to use it. Not sure if that makes sense at all.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 3:57 PM



February 9, 2009

On Top of Mt. Red Bull

POST #    2940

Last Thursday, the Red Bull Snowscrapers competition took place in NYC on a man-made 9-story ramp in East River Park. The morning before the event, I went down to East River Park to take some photos for Gothamist. It was cold and windy — and that's before I walked up the stairs to the top of the 90-foot ramp.

But the views from the top were pretty ridiculous. I'm not terrified of heights or anything, but I'm happy that I didn't look straight down over the edge of the platform.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 11:44 AM



February 2, 2009

Bacon Explosion!! Ka-Bloom!

POST #    2938

Any thoughts that people had about Calvin being crazy were confirmed yesterday. Last week, the Bacon Explosion was featured in a Times article and what does Calvin make for a Super Bowl party? The Bacon Explosion, of course. Two pounds of bacon, two pounds of sausage, all rolled into one huge log of pork. It was ridiculous and insanely over the top (and I love bacon). That said, it was surprisingly tasty, if not really salty. It's a good thing I was stuffed on lots of other food, otherwise I might have wanted to eat more than one piece of this monster.

Oh, that exploding sound was my heart from eating the Bacon Explosion. My heart aches a little just from looking at these pictures. At the same time, my stomach grumbles.

And if you're wondering what a Bacon Explosion is, here's the breakdown: a woven bacon exterior, with two pounds of sausage inside, and even more bacon inside that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:36 PM



January 29, 2009

Panorama of Madison Square Garden

POST #    2935

You can see this larger on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:08 PM



January 27, 2009

Madison Square Garden on Chinese New Year

POST #    2934

It was the Knicks versus the Houston Rockets, but on the first day of the New Year, there was no Yao Ming to be found! Despite all the Chinese New Year themed activities and pre-game warmups, Yao left all the Chinese people in the stands disappointed as he sat out another game to rest his knee.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 1:49 PM



January 22, 2009

Mosstika Graffiti Lasts Into Winter

POST #    2931

Based on the Mosstika website, this moss graffiti probably went up sometime in the summer of 2008. But as you can see, it's yet to fall completely off the wood or degrade.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:15 PM



January 21, 2009

The Empire State Building Lights Up for President Obama

POST #    2930

Last night was apparently the first time that the Empire State Building has changed its colors just for the Presidential Inauguration. That's special, but I don't think the color combination is very different than the building's standard red/white/blue look.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:00 PM



January 15, 2009

Looking Back at Warmer Times

POST #    2929

With the weather brutally cold in much of the United States, I thought I would put this photo up from last summer. It was one of the photos I nearly overlooked as I was doing Project365, "Oh shit, how did I end up 3 photos short with only 10 days left in the year!"

I wonder what the man on the platform is thinking.

Posted by tien mao in Film, NYC, Photos at 11:14 AM



January 14, 2009

Strange DUMBO Clouds or Strange DUMBO Contrail?

POST #    2928

I saw this last Friday and wasn't sure if it was a cloud or a contrail.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:28 PM



January 12, 2009

Quiet at York Street

POST #    2927

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:34 PM



January 7, 2009

Jonas Saves Some Cake For Later

POST #    2926

The cake that Margaret bought for Shannan was so tasty that Jonas kept some around for eating later.

Jonas actually did a very good job of washing the cake off moments after this photo was taken.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:33 PM



January 6, 2009

My Year in Photos / Project 365 For 2008

POST #    2925

On January 1st, 2008, I started out on an insane project that many other people have done: taking at least one photo every day for the entire year. After taking the photo, I eventually (usually not the next day) put them onto flickr. Some, but not all, of the photos have appeared here. But the photos are all in one set on flickr.

You may think taking a photo every day for 365 days is easy, but I actually found it really, really hard. It was extra hard in 2008 because there were 366 days.

I encourage you to take a look at the photo set that turned out. It's an interesting capsule into one year of my life.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Illinois, Mortimer, NYC, Photos, Randolph, Sports, Travel at 12:08 PM



January 2, 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

POST #    2924

Woo! Or maybe good riddance? More on flickr.

It seems like we really, really loved those 2009 glasses.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:10 PM



December 22, 2008

Our Trimmed Christmas Tree

POST #    2921

I'm heading to Illinois to do some cold-weather farming tomorrow morning, so no updates until next week! Have a nice holidays, everyone!

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, NYC, Photos at 5:23 PM



December 18, 2008

Big Snowflakes Hit DUMBO

POST #    2919

These were real snowflakes from Tuesday, not the cutout paper kind at the holiday party.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:50 PM



December 17, 2008

Snow Hits the DUMBO Holiday Party

POST #    2918

In a yearly bout of goodwill towards their DUMBO tenants, Two Trees had their annual holiday party last night. Maybe it's me, but it seemed very crowded last night. And unlike 4 years ago, they didn't have any rice krispy treats from Rice for dessert. Tough economic times!!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:43 PM



December 16, 2008

Bottom of the Rock

POST #    2917

In #174, they store track lubrication. I'm not exactly sure how they get the lubricant onto the track. I assume they have some sort of tubes, hoses, pipes.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:00 PM



December 15, 2008

The Rockefeller Center Tree

POST #    2916

Almost immediately after entering Rockefeller Plaza, I cursed myself for using it to cut from 5th Ave to 6th Ave. Gone was the, "Oh, I might as well see the tree while I'm up here" attitude, replaced by "Why can't these tourists walk faster!?!" I still ended up taking a picture though. But I did make sure I was out of the way.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:21 PM



December 11, 2008

Unboxing Shannan's MBP

POST #    2914

There's nothing quite like unboxing a new Apple product. Sadly, this one isn't mine, but Shannan's new MacBook Pro. It's pretty, very pretty.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:16 PM



December 10, 2008

Framing Prints

POST #    2913

We had these frames at home that we've been meaning to use and I finally got around to ordering prints. This is how they seem to be turning out.

Posted by tien mao in Film, House and Home, NYC, Photos at 6:32 PM



December 9, 2008

Daisy May's Cureall

POST #    2912

When your girlfriend is working late into the night, having Daisy May's BBQ delivered and joining her for dinner is a nice thing to do. At least, I thought it was a nice thing to do.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:08 PM



December 8, 2008

Boatloads of Food at Danny Ng's on Bowery

POST #    2911

Saturday night, we headed to a farewell dinner for a family friend at Danny Ng's Place on Bowery. There was a ridiculous amount of delicious food, including that conch dish in the second picture. Incidentally, I think conch is my favorite seafood item. The "food item" in the third picture is a pig's hoof, which still has hair on it. Ew. I didn't have any of that dish.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:57 PM



December 4, 2008

Shannan Models on the Stairs

POST #    2909

I thought she was sitting somewhat model-like, so I told her to hold the position while I took some pictures.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:55 PM



December 3, 2008

Beware of the Bear

POST #    2908

You don't have to worry about the football Bears, but on occasion you have to watch out for bears walking the streets of NYC. Or drinking beer in NYC.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:07 PM



December 2, 2008

Dante in Brooklyn

POST #    2907

I've never met Dante and the last time I saw Mike and Rion was a year ago, but over the weekend, they brought Dante to Brooklyn to meet everyone. Even though Dante's everywhere on the Internet, meeting a baby in person is still totally different. I mean, I've never seen him fall, hit his head on the floor and cry in pictures, but in person I was able to see it three times! And he managed to stop crying soon after each time.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:12 PM



November 26, 2008

Subway Entrances/Exits

POST #    2905

I want to start taking photos of the entrances/exits to the subway. I'm sure it's been done already, but I just thought it would be fun. Not really all the stuff actually at street level, but looking up the stairs, down the stairs, stuff like that. It's kind of similar to an idea Shannan had a few years ago, to take a photo of every station in the subway system, but that never got off the ground. I'm not nearly as ambitious -- I just hope to take photos of a few stations here and there when the opportunity arises.

This photo is from the Nassau Ave. G stop at the southwest corner of Norman and Manhattan Avenues.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:12 PM



November 25, 2008

Hope is Not Copyrighted

POST #    2904

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:14 PM



November 24, 2008

Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park

POST #    2903

Saturday night, we went out to Sunset Park to check out Zach's new apartment (very nice and it seemed to have a woman's touch) and to have some good Mexican food. We went to Tacos Matamoros, which Peter Meehan of The Times said, "were some of the best, if not the best, tacos I’ve had in New York." Pictured (not that you can see the meat) are two carne asada tacos (left, center) and a chorizo taco (right). I actually liked the chorizo one better, though the carne asada tacos were pretty good.

So much for hating Mexican food, huh? Well, I still hate the bean aspect. And I'm not so into all that enchilada business.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:35 PM



November 13, 2008

Who Likes Beer?

POST #    2898

Neil does!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:30 PM



November 12, 2008

Empire State Building is in Christmas Mode

POST #    2897

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:12 PM



November 11, 2008

Submarine in the East River

POST #    2896

I had never seen a submarine moving in the waters of NYC. Until last week, that is. The U.S.S. Growler was returning to the Intrepid Museum via the East River last week when we spotted it in our office.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:30 PM



November 10, 2008

No Dumping (Poo) in Chinatown

POST #    2895

Garbage, okay. Poo, no.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:08 AM



November 6, 2008

Best Halloween Costume from 2008

POST #    2893

As usual, there were several great Halloween costumes, but I think this is the best one I personally saw. Dan is dressed up as the Gorton's Fisherman. Well done, Dan!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:54 PM



November 5, 2008

And The Winner Is...

POST #    2892

It felt really good to open The Times this morning to this cover.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 11:27 AM



November 4, 2008

I Voted in 2008, Though It Looks Like 1978

POST #    2891

I've never voted anywhere but in New York City. In 1996, I voted in the presidential election by absentee ballot from Michigan, but the voting system in NYC is the only one I know. And photo #2 is what it looks like. I've used them since high school school, when we used them for school-wide elections (class president, etc). NYC is so old school.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:31 AM



November 3, 2008

The 2008 New York City Marathon (Congrats Calvin and Maggie!!)

POST #    2890

Sunday was the best sporting yearly sports event in the city, the 2008 New York City Marathon. Almost 40,000 people from around the world participated - top-notch athletes, wheelchair athletes, blind athletes, and regular people. Even entering a marathon and running is impressive, but finishing it? I can't even imagine doing that.

Paula Radcliffe (right in the first picture) won the women's race for the second year in a row and third time overall in a time of 2:23:56. Marilson Gomes dos Santos (yellow shirt in the second photo), not leading at mile 12 where I was, won his second NYC Marathon title in a time of 2:08:43. Very impressive on both parts.

More impressive? Calvin and Maggie both ran the marathon...and finished. Calvin finished in 4:15:28, beating his goal of 4:30 despite a leg injury that almost kept him from running. I suspect he finished early because he didn't stop to pee. Maggie, who had lots of energy at mile 12, finished with a time of 4:26:17. Congratulations to both and all the people that competed (and finished) yesterday. To celebrate, Calvin had some White Castle.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 9:46 AM



October 29, 2008

In July, Ugly Betty

POST #    2888

Way back in July, we saw this scene in Long Island City. I would find out later that they were filming Ugly Betty with Lindsay Lohan at this fast food joint. I think the episodes that they were filming then have been airing recently. At least, that's what I gather from the commercials I've seen on ABC.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:07 PM



October 28, 2008

Before It's Too Late?

POST #    2887

Um, it's already too late, no?

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:15 PM



October 27, 2008

Congratulations Jori and Matty!

POST #    2886

Last night at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Jori and Matty got married! The wedding reception had the most dancing at a wedding that I've seen in a long time. I think there was maybe one song the band played that wasn't danced to. It was crazy.

And the table I was at had an insanely large centerpiece (it didn't even fit in the picture). The most popular food related item last night had to be the chocolate fountains. Right after I took this picture, people swarmed the fountain - like bees to chocolate, if you will.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 3:53 PM



October 23, 2008

Manhattan From the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

POST #    2884

Everytime I finish up a checkup at my orthodontist, I walk to work via the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. And whenever I do this, I try to take a picture. This photo is from today. I wonder what it will look like in January when I have my next appointment. I'm guessing it will be so cold that I won't want to stop to shoot a photo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:27 PM



October 22, 2008

Yes! I Can Move Your Car

POST #    2883

With Shannan away on vacation for 10 days, I was given the task of moving her car. That's no easy feat considering it's a stick shift (something that I'm pretty bad at driving) and that finding parking in NYC is never easy. But the other night when I got home, I noticed 5 parking spots on my block! I figured that no matter how many times I stalled driving the car around back to our block, there was a good chance that there would be a spot for me.

Lucky for me, I didn't stall once and the spot I pulled into was actually two spots so I didn't even have to parallel park.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:40 PM



October 21, 2008

Double Shack Burgers Do Not Travel Well

POST #    2882

They don't travel well, especially from the Upper West Side all the way to DUMBO. Though it would have still been really good if I didn't already eat lunch.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:57 PM



October 20, 2008

Vendys Under the Brooklyn Bridge

POST #    2881

Saturday, the Vendy Awards took place at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. It was a fun, tummy filling event that resulted in the Calexico Carne Asada cart winning the Vendy Cup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 7:22 PM



October 16, 2008

Big Cloud Over DUMBO

POST #    2879

I didn't want to leave work until the above cloud passed. Thankfully, it moved north, so I can now leave. I just hope I don't catch up with it by riding the subway.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:57 PM



October 15, 2008

The Leaves They Are A-Changin'

POST #    2878

Even right outside my apartment!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:43 PM



October 14, 2008

Dusk in DUMBO

POST #    2877

People seemed to really like this photo on flickr, so here it is on the site. When I took it, I just thought it was "eh", but what do I know.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:52 PM



October 13, 2008

More From Banksy's Village Pet Store and Grill

POST #    2876

In the top photo, chicken nuggets are dipping themselves in BBQ sauce and a just hatched nugget is drinking egg whites. On the bottom, a rabbit is grooming itself in its display.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:45 PM



October 9, 2008

Now Open in NYC: Banksy's Village Pet Store and Grill

POST #    2874

Banksy recently opened a new exhibition up in the West Village at a storefront he's named The Village Pet Store and Grill. Pictured is fish sticks in a fish bowl. Brilliant!

See the full gallery over at Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:38 PM



October 8, 2008

Photographers LOVE Michael Phelps

POST #    2873

From Bowlmor Lanes' 70th Anniversary Party last night.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:25 PM



October 7, 2008

Daytime Sleeping in Greenpoint

POST #    2872

This was over the weekend, but in the summer, people just sleep in the park all night.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:34 PM



October 6, 2008

"Bum Rush The Show" - Chuck D

POST #    2871

Guess who won the Chuck D Cup in Brooklyn Kickball yesterday? The Bacon Bits! We beat the John Cougar Mellencamps in thrilling fashion, 8-7. It was a tense 9-inning game that featured a few lead changes and several ties.

The other side of the ball features Hillary Duff's signature. Cool, I suppose, but she's no Chuck D.

The Bacon Bits have come a long, long way in three seasons. Congrats to all the other people on the team.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 3:54 PM



October 2, 2008

REVS: Death From Above

POST #    2869

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:16 PM



September 25, 2008

The Sun Sets on Shea Stadium

POST #    2865

I've been a Mets fan for 20+ years and this week (maybe early next week) the final regular season game will be played out at Shea Stadium. I think most Mets fans will agree that they won't be missing the stadium, but it's still the place the Mets have called home since 1964. Next year, the team will move into the sparkling Citi Field (cost, $610 million) leaving their $28.5 million stadium to become a parking lot.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 2:30 PM



September 24, 2008

C215 in DUMBO, B/W

POST #    2864

Jake's got it, and plenty more C215 in color over at Streetsy.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:18 PM



September 23, 2008

My Best Friend's Girl Gets a Makeover

POST #    2863

The stars of 'My Best Friend's Girl' get a makeover in this movie ad in the NYC Subway system. From left to right, that's Kate Hudson, Dane Cook, and Jason Biggs. The poster with the original photo is on IMDB.

Posted by tien mao in Movies, NYC, Photos at 6:08 PM



September 22, 2008

Two Bridges

POST #    2862

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:28 PM



September 18, 2008

Sunset Steeple

POST #    2860

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:27 PM



September 17, 2008

Dumpster Borf

POST #    2859

Outside the stone dealers.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:28 PM



September 16, 2008

Wide Angle Grandma Syle Pie From Drigg's Pizza

POST #    2858

Grandma style pizza from Driggs Pizza with pepperoni and pesto. It was quite delicious, but also quite oily.

What's grandma style, you ask? Adam's got a pretty good description:
"Essentially a thin-crust Sicilian. I've gotten guff for saying that in the past, so if any of you out there want to correct me and argue for a workable definition of this style, please comment. It was sort of a Long Island thing until the past couple of years, when it started making inroads into the boroughs of New York City. Typically has a fresh, lightly seasoned sauce."

In fact, Sliceboy lists out many regional style pizzas. I didn't get an upskirt for the pizza-perv though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:59 PM



September 15, 2008

Sunflower From the Greenmarket

POST #    2857

Randolph generally likes to chew on flower petals, and I thought he would at least investigate the sunflower petals. But to my surprise, the sunflower hasn't experienced a nibble yet.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, NYC, Photos at 5:17 PM



September 11, 2008

Seven Years

POST #    2855

It's further and further away, but still remembered by all in New York City.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:12 PM



September 10, 2008

Under the Manhattan Bridge

POST #    2854

Recently in DUMBO, the city opened up a passageway under the Manhattan Bridget that makes it easer to walk from one side of the bridge to the other. It's nice, but I don't really understand the artwork. It's like DOT fencing on leftover DOT steel. I suppose it does add some color to the dreary archway.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:05 PM



September 9, 2008

Another Trip to Spicy & Tasty

POST #    2853

A couple weekends ago, we took another trip out to Spicy & Tasty with my parents. I thought it was better this time than it was previously. Also, that 3rd photo is some strange pork dish covered with rice. It was pretty strange looking and I didn't love the taste. I liked that fish dish (last photo) the most.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:31 PM



September 8, 2008

Sunset in DUMBO the Friday Before Hanna

POST #    2852

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:57 PM



September 2, 2008


POST #    2848

Not like the No Homer(s) Club.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:51 PM



August 28, 2008

The MS Caribbean Princess in Red Hook (It's Ginormous)

POST #    2846

While we were taking the Water Taxi between Manhattan and Red Hook, we saw the MS Caribbean Princess. Launched in 2004 at a cost of $500 million, the boat is 951 feet long and holds 3100 passengers (plus 1200 crewmembers).

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:14 PM



August 27, 2008

Carts a Plenty at IKEA Red Hook

POST #    2845

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:00 PM



August 26, 2008

Somebody Loves Roger Federer!

POST #    2844

And it's not me. Besides, it's not really my shade of lipstick.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:03 PM



August 25, 2008

Sunday Eats in Red Hook

POST #    2843

Late Sunday morning, Shannan and I headed to IKEA in Red Hook to check things out. After taking the ferry to Manhatan and back, we met up with Jeannette and Yvan at the Red Hook Ballfields for some more food. Nothing like eating Swedish meatblals, a pupusa, plantains with sour cream and Mexican corn in a span of about three hours.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:28 AM



August 21, 2008

Jane's Carousel in DUMBO

POST #    2841

In a storefront in DUMBO, Brooklyn sits a carousel that is unused during most of the year. It's a vintage carousel that was restored by Jane Walentas (her husband David essentially shaped/created the neighborhood of DUMBO). Without a place to go since its restoration, Jane Walentas' carousel sits in this space and is only open a few days a week. I've never seen it lit up before, but spotted it lit with nobody around a couple of weeks ago.

Below is a piece CBS Sunday Morning did on Jane and her carousel.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:58 PM



August 19, 2008

Mr. T's* Community BBQ

POST #    2839

Sunday in Prospect Park, my first BBQ in that park. There was tons of food. Seriously. More than one could possibly eat.

*By Mr. T, I mean Terrance.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:35 PM



August 18, 2008

Tasty Ronnybrook Yogurt

POST #    2838

Saturday afternoon, after getting brunch at Lokal (poor service, undercooked eggs), Shannan and I stopped by the green market in McCarren Park. On our way out, we spotted the stand selling Ronnybrook Yogurt. Shannan was hesitant about buying a drinkable yogurt at first, but I decided to get a blueberry and pomegranate yogurt. Just after crossing the street, we opened it, tasted it, and promptly turned around to buy some more. We ended up bringing seven home. I wouldn't be surprised if they're all gone by the time I get home.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:12 PM



August 14, 2008

Sean Bell Tags The Subway

POST #    2836

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:31 PM



August 13, 2008

Spicy & Tasty in Flushing

POST #    2835

Way back in the middle of June (almost exactly two months ago), Matty and I went to Spicy & Tasty in Flushing. We were planning on a Mets game, but torrential rain put a damper (hahahaha) in those plans.

After waiting briefly for a table, we were seated and ordered some of the items that Frank Bruni mentioned in his NY Times review a while back. While the food was occasionally spicy, and occasionally tasty, I didn't think it was all that spicy or tasty. It was good, but it wasn't blow my socks off, give it two stars good. Granted, it was only one meal, so it's hard to judge the place on that visit.

I'll just have to go back another time. Hopefully just with the idea of eating and not going to a baseball game.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:58 PM



August 12, 2008

A Brewing Storm

POST #    2834

This is what it looked like yesterday when I got into the office. Shortly after taking this photo, it started to rain heavily. The storm system also brought hail to parts of the city.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:41 PM



August 11, 2008

Kim and Mike's Wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2833

Whenever I go to an outdoor wedding, I always worry what the weather will be like. What happens if the couple experiences bad weather?? All those plans down the tubes. That wasn't the case Saturday evening for Kim and Mike's wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The weather was beautiful and it was one of the best venues I've attended a wedding at.

There was also lots of vodka at the reception (thankfully, I didn't have much) - we're talking like 10 vodka options.

Anyway, congratulations to Kim and Mike, both of whom I've known since sometime during high school.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 2:37 PM



August 7, 2008

Pete's Downtown Brooklyn Bridge

POST #    2831

I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone eating in Pete's Downtown, yet it seems to have been around for a while.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:03 PM



August 6, 2008

OBEY by the Williamsburg Bridge

POST #    2830

I wonder how difficult it was to get parts of the piece in the ridges of the fence.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:10 PM



August 5, 2008

Whispy Clouds

POST #    2829

The evening clouds in recent weeks have been really cool looking. This photo was the sky over Greenpoint Monday night.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:23 PM



August 4, 2008

Willa Margaret Gets Baptised

POST #    2828

Sunday afternoon, I attended my first Baptism ever! It was for Willa Margaret and I guess it went as planned. There was crying when the priest put holy water on Willa's head, but in all fairness, the older boy also getting Baptized cried as well.

Considering all the other religious people I know with children (like 2), this could very well have been my first and last appearance at a Baptism.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:32 PM



July 30, 2008

105 Hudson Street

POST #    2825

While some people might know this building for Nobu, I know it as the first apartment I lived in. Until Nobu moved in (after we moved out), I think there was a string of unsuccessful restaurants in the space.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:14 PM



July 29, 2008

Jonas Eats Cotton Candy at Mets Game

POST #    2824

After Jonas finished (what could have been his first cotton candy ever), he was a sticky mess. Just brushing against me left a sugar stain! Longtime readers will know that I too love cotton candy at baseball games!

And it should be pointed out that I was using a wide angle lens. Really, really wide angle.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:34 PM



July 28, 2008

Western Union Building

POST #    2823

The Western Union Building in TriBeCa no longer houses the headquarters of Western Union (they moved out in 1973). Now it serves as a "carrier hotel" for telecommunications companies and is apparently the most important carrier hotel in the world.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:13 AM



July 24, 2008

No Parking 24|7

POST #    2822

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:01 PM



July 23, 2008

Williamsburg's Happy Handyman

POST #    2821

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:09 PM



July 22, 2008

Monty the Kickball Cat

POST #    2820

This past Sunday at kickball, there was a team that had a cat at the field! Awesome! His name was Monty, he wasn't on a leash and he had a cute little blue bandanna on his back. He was quite the well behaved cat despite the fact that he gravitated to David, who is allergic to cats.

I did hear that Monty held his own against some curious dogs though.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:49 PM



July 21, 2008

Not Exactly the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

POST #    2819

There's nothing like cramming copious amounts of food down your throat on a hot and humid day. The challenge: first to 6 hot dogs (max of 10 minutes) and no reversal of fortune. That's what went down Saturday afternoon on Adam's roof, except the Marlon didn't need 10 minutes to down 6 HDB, just a little over 5:30. It wasn't really much of a contest for Marlon.

I think with training, Marlon could be a contender on the professional eating circuit.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:49 AM



July 17, 2008

Clean Apartments Are the Best

POST #    2817

There's nothing like coming home to a clean apartment after you've been at work. An apartment that is clean and where your feet squeak on the freshly cleaned floor. That's like the best thing in the world.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, NYC, Photos at 5:59 PM



July 16, 2008

The Most Affordable Food Option in DUMBO...

POST #    2816

assuming you have an unlimited Metrocard. If you don't, this is still a reasonably priced meal for the area.

All you have to do to buy food at this restaurant is take a trip on the F into Manhattan. One short stop from York Street to East Broadway, you'll find a restaurant at East Broadway and Rutgers Street. There, you can get what's pictured above (three treasures over rice or san bao fan in Mandarin) for the super cheap price of $4.50. It even comes with those veggies. My order had two types of pork and chicken and for an extra charge, I think you can get a fried egg on top.

If only the name of the restaurant didn't escape me right now. But if you go, it's right on the corner with meats hanging in the window. And if you work in DUMBO, you'll be back at your desk in 30 minutes.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:15 PM



July 15, 2008

Yesterday's Sunset at East River State Park

POST #    2815

Apparently, it got even more absurdly beautiful later.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:33 PM



July 7, 2008

Lots of Shannan, Lots of Yellow

POST #    2809

More photos of Shannan in the yellow/black and white hallway of the Olafur Eliasson exhibit at MoMA.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:59 PM



July 3, 2008

P.F.1. at P.S.1

POST #    2808

The winner of the 9th annual young architects program from MoMA/P.S.1 was WORK Architecture Company. As winners, they got to do the summer installation at P.S.1. They called their winning entry is called P.F.1 (Public Farm 1) and has live chickens and is constructed with large cardboard tubes.

From MoMA/P.S.1:
P.F.1 (Public Farm One) is an urban farm concept that evokes the look of a flying carpet landing in the P.S.1 courtyard. Constructed from large cardboard tubes, its top surface will be a working farm, blooming with a variety of vegetables and plants. The structure will create a textured, colorful, and constantly changing surface in contrast with P.S.1’s angular concrete and gravel courtyard. P.F.1 will work as an interactive bridge between outside and inside, creating multiple zones of activity including swings, fans, sound effects, innovative seating areas, and a refreshing pool at its center. The installation will be a living structure made from inexpensive and sustainable materials recyclable after its use at P.S.1.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 5:33 PM



July 2, 2008

Olafur Eliasson's Take Your Time at MoMA

POST #    2807

Pictured here are parts of Olafur Eliasson exhibit at MoMA: I only see things when they move, 1 m³ light, Room for one colour.

I only see things when they move: Bright light shines through rotating color-effect filter glass panels, creating shifting prismatic bands of colors on the surrounding walls.

1 m³ light: In a dark room filled with fog, the beams of twenty-four spot-lights articulate one cubic meter of space.

Room for one colour: Monochromatic bulbs emit light at such a narrow frequency that they affect your normal color perception, making the contents of the room appear in yellow or shades of black.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 11:07 AM



July 1, 2008

Olafur Eliasson's Take Your Time at P.S.1

POST #    2806

If you really did take your time, you probably missed the Olafur Eliasson exhibits at P.S.1 and MoMA. I'm happy to say that I got off my ass and made it on the final day.

Pictured here are the Inverted Berlin Sphere and Take your time, both at P.S.1.

Inverted Berlin Sphere: Light radiates out through the lamp’s reflective components, altering your experience of the space.

Take your time: A large circular mirror affixed to the ceiling at an angle rotates slowly on its axis, destabilizing your perception of space.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 8:01 AM



June 30, 2008

Mr. Met Hangs His Head

POST #    2805

I think the only way Mr. Met can show sadness is by dropping his head, slumping his shoulders and looking at the ground. I guess that's what happens when you have a permanent smile on your face.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 8:02 AM



June 26, 2008

Soccer Fans Go Nuts for Showdown in Chinatown

POST #    2803

Apprently, soccer stars + NBA stars = big crowds. At least that's my assumption based on yesterday's Showdown in Chinatown. NBA players included Jason Kidd and Baron Davis, while soccer stars included Thierry Henry (with freetime after that Euro 2008 showing by France), Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Ángel and Claudio Reyna.

I couldn't see any action, but people were excited!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 7:29 PM



June 25, 2008

Cubed Subway Art That I'm Too Square to Understand

POST #    2802

On the west end of the L train platform at Union Square.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:41 PM



June 24, 2008

Coldplay Plays Free Show at Madison Square Garden

POST #    2801

Coldplay took the stage at a packed Madison Square Garden for their final free show on Monday night. The group played many of its songs from their new album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, as well as several previous hit songs.

Working out the kinks in only the fourth performance of the new material, lead singer Chris Martin joked several times about the quality of the band's performance "We come over here, we steal your women and we can't even play one song," Martin joked. With concert goers given free tickets, Martin said that there would be no complaints about ticket prices.

In addition to playing "plugged" and acoustic sets on the stage, the entire band took to one of the concourses at The Garden to play a two-song acoustic set, which included "Yellow". They concluded the concert with a confetti filled performance of "Lovers in Japan".

Much thanks to Kathryn for hooking up the free tickets to the free show.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, NYC, Photos at 5:51 PM



June 23, 2008

Calexico in SoHo

POST #    2800

I remember when I first started working in SoHo, I told Jake that there was no way I was paying $7 for a burrito from a cart. But after several months of working here and paying that much for lunch every day, I broke down last week and got a $7 burrito from Calexico. At this point, I think paying $7 for lunch is a bargain. So sad. The biggest downside of eating at Calexico is the 20-30 minute wait for your food. It makes sense considering the small amount of grill space they have and the devoted following.

Pictured is the tasty Calexico carne asada: grilled skirt steak with rice, beans, cheese, pico de gallo & avocado sauce wrapped in a giant flour tortilla.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:54 PM



June 19, 2008

Rain on the Concrete Field

POST #    2798

No matter what the weather is, people like playing softball in this park. Even when it's raining and there's lightning in the skies. Lightning + metal bats = not good.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:36 PM



June 18, 2008

Concrete Field Through a Fence

POST #    2797

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:20 PM



June 17, 2008

Renegade Craft Fair Takes over McCarren Pool

POST #    2796

I kind of preferred it when it was abandoned to what the pool has become. Though I guess using it for something is better than using it for nothing.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:02 PM



June 16, 2008

Walking Over the Brooklyn Bridge

POST #    2795

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:09 AM



June 12, 2008

Wide Angle at Shea's Field Level

POST #    2793

The outcome of last night's game took a while, but at least they won in extra innings after a blown save by Billy Wagner. This afternoon, Wagner blew yet another two-run lead, but the Mets lost when Aaron Heilman decided he had enough of this extra inning stuff and gave up a run in the top of the 10th.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 5:12 PM



June 11, 2008

Eating at Peter Luger Steakhouse

POST #    2792

If you go to Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn, this is what your eating experience will look like. That is assuming you've ordered a steak for three with creamed spinach and German friend potatoes and a "Holy Cow" sundae for dessert.

That thing to the right in the 1st picture is the fish of the day. Sole, I believe it was.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC at 12:38 PM



June 10, 2008

The 2008 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

POST #    2791

Because I didn't sweat enough Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, I decided to hit up the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party on Sunday. I was actually cooler while stuffing myself with meat than I was watching horses running in circles.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:35 PM



June 5, 2008

Spazmat on Jersey Street

POST #    2788

Previously on Jersey Street: hula hoop, Michael De Feo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:12 PM



June 4, 2008

Hillary Clinton Supports Barack Obama

POST #    2787

Okay, maybe she hasn't/won't be supporting Obama, but at least in some graffiti in New York City, Hillary is wearing an Obama hat.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:23 PM



June 2, 2008

TMI Sunset, TMI

POST #    2785

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:24 AM



May 29, 2008

Faile on the Rocks

POST #    2783

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:28 PM



May 22, 2008

Sunset on the Russian Orthodox Church

POST #    2780

From Tuesday's sunset.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:23 PM



May 21, 2008

Guernsey Street in Greenpoint

POST #    2779

One of my favorite blocks in Greenpoint is Guernsey Street between Meserole and Norman Avenues. While the buildings on the street are nothing to speak of and it always smells like piss halfway down the block, the canopy of trees is kind of beautiful.

Alternate photo on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:02 PM



May 20, 2008

Riding the Escalator at 42nd St.-Grand Central

POST #    2778

I remember running up the stairs in the middle when I was a kid. I'm not sure I could do that anymore without passing out at the top.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:40 PM



May 19, 2008

Shea Stadium with the Holga

POST #    2777

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 8:02 AM



May 15, 2008

OBEY Posters on Lafayette

POST #    2775

One set on the right side of the construction shed, the other set on the left side.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:50 PM



May 14, 2008

Lonely Ping Pong Table

POST #    2774

The ping pong table at Iona sat idle for a brief moment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:44 PM



May 13, 2008

Dancing Your Big Booty Off

POST #    2773

I have no idea why this girl was dancing on 22nd St, but I was told she was promoting some show she was in. I was also told she was dancing for about an hour and a half before I saw her. Odd.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:25 PM



May 12, 2008

Sitting in the Cherry Esplanade

POST #    2772

Getting up to speed after a hard drive dies is slow! And painful. So here's another cherry blossom photo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:41 PM



May 5, 2008

Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2769

A trip to the BBG for the cherry blossoms. It's like an annual rite of spring.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:26 AM



May 1, 2008

Fortitude in the Rain

POST #    2767

Fortitude in front of the New York Public Library.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:08 PM



April 30, 2008

Angry Garage Face

POST #    2766

I think the garage door is mostly mad at being across from the Edge building.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:13 PM



April 29, 2008

Viva El Neck Face

POST #    2765

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:16 AM



April 28, 2008

Dark Cloud by the Empire State Building

POST #    2764

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:12 AM



April 24, 2008

Jonas Does Shake Shack

POST #    2762

A plain old hamburger (with lots of ketchup) and a vanilla shake.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 12:00 PM



April 17, 2008

Optimo Cigars

POST #    2758

Taken with FUJICHROME-T64 film.

Posted by tien mao in Film, NYC, Photos at 2:43 PM



April 3, 2008

At the Tom Otterness Workshop, Broken Feet

POST #    2752

Gotta feel sorry for this little dude. His feet are broken off his body!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 5:52 PM



April 1, 2008

Nathan's on Coney Island in Black and White

POST #    2750

I'm trying some stuff out in Lightroom. You can see the original photo on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 9:16 PM



March 26, 2008

Humpty Dumpty at Tom Otterness's Studio

POST #    2746

A couple weekends ago, I went on a tour of Tom Otterness's studio in Brooklyn. Organized by OpenHouseNY, Otterness was there to give the tour himself. Some of the items in the studio were models of finished project, while there were others that were projects in development. One of these finished models was of his Humpty Dumpty balloon, which made its debut in the 2005 Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here's a nice photo of the balloon in action.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:45 PM



March 25, 2008

Heart Gaia

POST #    2745

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:40 PM



March 24, 2008

Sarah Marshall Sucks

POST #    2744

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:08 AM



March 19, 2008

Finally Some Results from the Holga

POST #    2741

Way back over Christmas, I got a Holga as a gift. Well, I finally finished (or at least thought I finished) the roll last week and got it developed. I'm pretty pleased with the results considering it was my first time using it and I haven't used anything with film in it since like 2003 (or earlier).

Posted by tien mao in Film, NYC, Photos at 11:39 AM



March 18, 2008

And the Future of Coney Island

POST #    2740

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:08 AM



March 17, 2008

Final Opening Day at Astroland?

POST #    2739

First, they said that last year was going to be the final year of Astroland - the end of Coney Island as we know it. Then, Astroland got a reprieve. But now they're saying it's Astroland's final year again. I guess we'll see if it's really the final year or not. Maybe I'll finally ride the Wonder Wheel.

Whatever happens, it's obvious to any visitors on opening day that you're seeing everything at its cleanest, everything with a fresh coat of paint, and minimal crowds. Yesterday's lousy weather didn't help either.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:27 AM



March 12, 2008

Midtown Blues

POST #    2736

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:30 PM



March 11, 2008

The Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar

POST #    2735

Mmmm...Bo Ssam.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:04 PM



March 10, 2008

Shadow of a Tree Grows in Brooklyn

POST #    2734

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:59 AM



March 6, 2008

Evening View of Houston (Street, Not City)

POST #    2732

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:25 PM



March 4, 2008

Wanted in Liberty City

POST #    2730

The first time I saw one of these wanted posters was around the corner from a police station, so I actually thought it was real. That is, until I looked at it more carefully. I could then see that it was really a marketing campaign for the newest Grand Theft Auto title. Those sneaky bastards!

I spotted the ad above today while walking around in SoHo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:55 PM



March 3, 2008

Jonas Attempts to Eat a Rib at Hill Country

POST #    2729

Some of the meat items at Hill Country are rather large. For some reason, Jonas wasn't keen on trying much of the food (perhaps it was the ice cream that he was eating), but he did seem to enjoy the spare rib once he got his hands on it. It's unfortunate that actually eating the rib wasn't an easy task. Jonas also enjoyed dancing around on the stage with some random kids, but I don't have any pictures of that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:35 AM



February 28, 2008

Crossing Over

POST #    2727

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:04 PM



February 25, 2008

The Beautiful Chaos of Hot Pot

POST #    2724

The first hot pot of the winter.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:57 AM



February 21, 2008

Domino Sugar

POST #    2722

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:06 PM



February 20, 2008

Blowing Tarp in Chinatown

POST #    2721

The wind was blowing like CRAZY yesterday. Of course, you can't really make out the motion in the tarp in the picture.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:19 PM



February 19, 2008

Croque Madame from Cafe Henri in Long Island City

POST #    2720

Sunday brunch at Cafe Henri in Long Island City.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:40 PM



February 18, 2008

21st Street - A Beautiful Gritty Subway Station

POST #    2719

I think the 21st Street station in Queens is one of my favorite subway stops in the city. It's so run down and in such a huge state of disrepair. Beautiful.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:07 AM



February 14, 2008

Taco Bite Reopens in Williamsburg

POST #    2717

When I relayed what Janelle told me to Shannan - that Taco Bite had reopened - Shannan was very excited. How excited? She insisted that we go that night AND she said I should have kept it a secret and taken her there for a Valentine's Day dinner. Ever since Taco Bite closed way back in 2006, she hasn't been happy. She would go there as many as three times a week for dinner, so when it closed she lost a major part of her diet.

Taco Bite just reopened this past weekend, but it's no longer all that close to us. Now it's on South 4th St at Rodney (by the BQE). They've expanded their menu and are a full fledged restaurant now, no longer just operating out of the side of a restaurant. They're still waiting on their liquor license, but their menu spans a whole two pages now (not including booze/desserts).

After talking to the owners/employees, it seems that they'll deliver all the way to our apartment. I'm not sure if we're really in their delivery zone or if they're just willing to deliver to us because they still remember Shannan.

Taco Bite 310 S. 4th St (at Rodney) in Williamsburg, 718.302.1117, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner except on Mondays

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:32 PM



February 13, 2008

Sausage and Peppers from the Crosby Connection

POST #    2716

It may not look appetizing, but it sure tasted good. And I don't even love sausage and peppers that much!

It's not on the regular menu of the Crosby Connection. It was the special that day. Yum.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:22 PM



February 12, 2008

Streamlined Periscope

POST #    2714

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:50 PM



February 11, 2008

Union Square Street Sessions

POST #    2713

If I ever tried to pull the things the competitors do at the Union Square Street Sessions, I would break a few bones.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 9:00 AM



February 6, 2008

Super Bowl XLII Champs New York Giants Honored With Ticker Tape Parade

POST #    2710

Did someone say ticker tape parade? Oh yeah! The last ticker tape parade I witnessed was way back in 1994 when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. While there have been parades since, I'm not a fan of the team that was feted.

And even though the Giants have won Super Bowls before, this was their first parade in New York City. As you can probably imagine, it was a pretty awesome experience.

Maybe in late October or November, I'll be at another parade. This time for the Mets!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 11:57 AM



February 5, 2008


POST #    2709

That candidate shown above is an option. Not saying it was my choice. But merely an option.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:20 PM



January 31, 2008

Marketing for Chinese New Year

POST #    2706

If you have a performance for Chinese New Year, the best marketing is to make your performers wear their costumes home. Cruel, but cheap. They were even handing out fliers. It's possible that they're related to a cult though. Who knows.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:32 PM



January 30, 2008

Acapulco Deli and Restaurant in Greenpoint

POST #    2705

Now that I've determined that beans are the main component I hate in Mexican food, I've found that there are actually some items that I like.

With Taco Bite near our apartment closed, we've turned to Acapulco Deli and Restaurant, which is almost as north as you can get in Greenpoint. The typical items I order are pictured - Pacifico (complete with frosty mug!), chips with red sauce, and a steak burrito (no beans). Not pictured is the Mexican Coke I always get as well.

And it's not just me that loves it, the users over at Yelp are big fans too.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 2:10 PM



January 29, 2008

Throwing Out Christmas in January? Really??

POST #    2704

It's been more than a month since Christmas. And way too long since normal people throw out their Christmas trees. But last night in Greenpoint, I saw a tree waiting for disposal on the street. Who the hell keeps their tree this far into January. This is certainly the latest I've ever seen a tree on the streets of New York.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:58 AM



January 24, 2008

Deceptive Subway Globe

POST #    2700

How shitty would it be to: run to the subway station only to find that the green subway globe you see leads to you a station entrance that has long been shuttered? I think that would be pretty damn shitty.

That's almost like notification that a train is arriving at a station only to find that it's a garbage train or a construction train.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:25 PM



Deceptive Subway Globe

POST #    2701

How shitty would it be to: run to the subway station only to find that the green subway globe you see leads to you a station entrance that has long been shuttered? I think that would be pretty damn shitty.

That's almost like notification that a train is arriving at a station only to find that it's a garbage train or a construction train.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:25 PM



January 23, 2008

From the Crosby Connection

POST #    2699

One of the better lunch options in SoHo is the Crosby Connection. Pictured here is the meatball sandwich (Crosby special), the smoked gouda and ham sandwich (with apples), and the beautiful prosciutti (freshly sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, sundred tomatoes, sweet roasted peppers, basil, virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar). Yumm.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:12 PM



January 22, 2008

Love. Vote.

POST #    2698

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:09 AM



January 17, 2008

Lost Shoes on Crosby

POST #    2696

I wonder if these shoes were thrown out or if someone dropped them into the nasty pool of water and determined they weren't worth salvaging.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:25 PM



January 16, 2008

Michael De Feo on Jersey Street

POST #    2695

The 50mm lens that I've had on my Canon 20D for the past week or so can't really capture this Michael De Feo piece on Jersey St. very well.

Previously on Jersey St. was that half-faced hula hooping girl.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:18 PM



January 14, 2008

Greenpoint's Physical Culture

POST #    2693

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:03 AM



January 10, 2008

Fuerzabruta at the Daryl Roth Theater

POST #    2691

Over the weekend, Shannan and I went to see Fuerzabruta, the new-ish performance by the people behind De La Guarda. The show consists of the same dancing, yelling, and some similar aerial tricks as De La Guarda, but I didn't think it was great like the older show. Fuerzabruta also featured a random story line of a guy running on a treadmill and getting hit with foam/cardboard walls (I found this kind of boring). What is cool is the water pool that drops down from the ceiling of the theater, the energizing music parts, and the dance club feel at points (not that I like dance clubs).

I would say that the Times review summarizes the show pretty well. I would say that it was good, not great, and not nearly as good as De La Guarda.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, Culture, NYC, Photos at 3:27 PM



January 9, 2008

A Warm Day is a Good Day for Shake Shack

POST #    2690

While it can probably be said that ANY day is a good day for Shake Shack, yesterday was almost the perfect day to go. They may be putting heating lamps in for the winter, but I'm still not sure I would want to sit in the cold eating a burger. After all, those things can only warm you up so much.

Besides, isn't it possible to have too much of a good thing? Waiting for Shake Shack to open used to make the burgers that much more satisfying. Now they're going to be open all year, making a shack burger that much less special.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:27 PM



January 8, 2008

Nekst in Chinatown

POST #    2688

I took this photo last Thursday in Chinatown when it was super, super cold in New York. It was so cold that the neighborhood didn't even stink and I don't think the fishmongers needed to use ice to keep fish fresh. Today's forecasted high is going to be about 50° higher than it was on Thursday. Fucking global warming.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:08 AM



January 7, 2008

Celebrating Shannan's Big 3-0 at The Gutter

POST #    2689

To commemorate her 30th birthday, Shannan decided to have a bunch of friends meet up to go bowling at The Gutter. She was treating 30 as a big deal, so she was happy that so many friends came out. I'm not sure how I'll be treating my 30th birthday when it rolls around in two months. Probably as just another year.

Note: There were more people than just the few pictured. There were actually LOTS of people.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:55 AM



November 28, 2007

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

POST #    2663

Last night, we went with my parents to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. With my new, youthful haircut, it made sense to sit in a crowd with all the other children. But seriously, The Rockettes were amazing. But I could have done without the dancing bears, the Santa Claus mumbo jumbo (though the dancing Santas were entertaining), and the Jesus story. Just make the show 100% Rockettes exhausting themselves for an hour and I think you've got a hit!

Then again, they've been doing it for 75 years, so they probably won't listen to me.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, Culture, NYC, Photos at 3:50 PM



November 27, 2007

Ronald McDonald Consumes the Balloon Form

POST #    2662

I like to think that this is Ronald McDonald consuming the world's resources, but it's just the juxtaposition of the two balloons from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:00 AM



November 22, 2007

Happy Shreksgiving

POST #    2659

The new Macy's Thanksgiving balloon, Shrek. From last night's insane scene at the balloon blowup.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:55 AM



November 21, 2007

Lady Liberty as an M&M

POST #    2658

Lady Liberty with M&Ms that were made to help the Central Park Conservancy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:20 PM



November 20, 2007

New York Subway Station by Edith Kramer

POST #    2657

In the Spring Street entrance for the C/E, there's a mosaic in the stairwell as you enter the station. It was made over the course of a year by Edith Kramer using glass, marble, granite, slate, brick, and ceramic tile.

To my expert eye, it looks like the downtown 4/5/6 platform at 14th St.-Union Square to me.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, NYC, Photos at 2:34 PM



November 19, 2007


POST #    2656

Now open in the United States for the first time at 455 Broadway in SoHo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:45 PM



November 14, 2007

La Nueva Conquista in SoHo

POST #    2653

Lunch options in SoHo are generally not cheap. A good sandwich runs $6 or $7, depending on where you go, and anything else tends to be $9+ for lunch. Salads (not that I eat them for a meal) can sometimes set you back more than $10. No thanks!

On Lafayette St. near Spring is La Nueva Conquista (formerly just La Conquista), which will stuff you silly for the same price as that good sandwich - $7. Pictured is my lunch from Tuesday - yellow rice, pork chops (which are briefly fried in oil), rice crust (I would call this guo ba in Chinese), and topped with onions and gravy. I usually get plantains as well, but I went with the rice crust this time as I've never seen it as an option. La Nueva Conquista seems to be described as a "hole in the wall" quite frequently, but I think it's slightly larger than a hole. And if you're walking by at any time, you'll see that the restaurant has quite a devoted customer base.

More information:
- La Nueva Conquista is located at 236 Lafayette Street
- Eat for Victory (Village Voice)
- Yelp

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:17 PM



November 13, 2007

CPH Experiments at the Storefront for Architecture

POST #    2652

Currently on exhibit (through Nov. 24th) at the Storefront for Architecture in NYC is the CPH Experiments. The exhibition shows 5 different examples for high-density living from BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group from Copenhagen.

It's almost like watching all those futuristic movies where people live in huge towers, but in model form. The coolest model has to be the one that is made entirely out of Lego.

See also: on Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 1:23 PM



November 8, 2007

Night View from the SoHo Grand's Penthouse

POST #    2648

The penthouse of the SoHo Grand is very nice. And it's got a gigantic terrace that almost seems bigger than the living area. Then again, I was only in a small part of the penthouse.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 3:17 PM



November 7, 2007

Hula Hooping on Jersey Street

POST #    2647

Partially faceless hula hooping?

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:38 PM



November 5, 2007

A Lobster Roll from Ed's Lobster Bar

POST #    2645

Eating this lobster roll at Ed's Lobster Bar last week made up for that horrible, horrible seafood that Jake made me eat at City Island.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:16 PM



October 31, 2007

From Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant in City Island

POST #    2642

After going up to Westchester yesterday, Jake and I stopped in City Island (The Bronx) for lunch. Somehow we ended up at Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant, which I was pretty disappointed in. I think, in hindsight, I would have preferred a McDonald's (though I didn't see one). Pictured are the fried calamari and fried clams. Not pictured is the horrible stench of sewage that seemed to permeate the establishment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:08 PM



October 30, 2007

A Header in Greenpoint

POST #    2641

The ever-knowledgeable Jake Dobkin says that this is Plasmaslug.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:01 PM



October 29, 2007

Candy Porn from Papabubble

POST #    2640

From Papabubble, the new candy store that opened up last week. This is their fruit mix, which is my favorite so far. While there are some fruit flavors that I like more than others, it's nice to mix it up on occasion. And the fruit on the sides is a nice touch.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 11:47 AM



October 18, 2007

Dinner at Tang Pavilion

POST #    2631

I feel like the quality at Tang Pavilion has dropped off a lot since I last went there a couple of years ago. But it's still popular enough that members of the head of the UN mission for China dines there (he was there on the same night).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:40 PM



October 17, 2007

Is Jonas Pregnant or Is He a Dog?

POST #    2630

Toddler Soccer Interrupted from HarperBklyn on Vimeo

When asked where his baby is, Jonas will point to his belly. And with the ball, which he seems to enjoy eating, stuffed under his shirt, he really does look pregnant. Too bad he's just not built to handle pregnancy.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 3:19 PM



October 16, 2007

From the CFA-IAMS Cat Championship Preview

POST #    2629

These aren't even my cats! These are extra fancy cats from the CFA-IAMS Cat Championship press preview. I have a few more pictures that I'll put onto flickr tomorrow.

In order the cats pictured are a British Shorthair, a Sphynx, a European Burmese kitten and then two cats that were up for adoption (Bebop and Jazz).

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:00 PM



October 10, 2007

Lighting MSG

POST #    2625

I'm heading back to MSG today to hit up the press preview of the CFA-Iams Cat Championships. I hope my cat allergies don't go haywire with all the cats around. I should have sniffed Randolph and Mortimer fur more last night. Damn.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:17 PM



October 9, 2007

Met Life Tower

POST #    2624

Did you know that the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower was at one point the world's tallest building? From 1909-1913, it held that distinction, until the Woolworth Building passed it.

I think I have to take this picture while waiting in line for Shake Shack at least once a year. Last night, we went after going to Shaffer City Oyster Bar for their $1 oyster night. Four people combined to eat 54 oysters. I followed that up with a Double Shack Burger. Mmmm!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:07 PM



October 8, 2007

Totaled NYPD Police Cruiser

POST #    2623

Early Thursday morning, there were two separate police cars that crashed while in pursuit of a stolen vehicle. This car one got the worst of the damage. I believe this car, which flipped onto its side, hit a utility pole on McGuiness Boulevard near Calyer before flipping. The police officers were fine and the suspect was arrested.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:33 AM



October 4, 2007

Bloc(k) Party Madness at MSG

POST #    2620

Last night at The Garden, besides many bitches and hos, there were two block parties. There was Bloc Party at the WaMu Theater (what a horrible name) and the La Kalle Block Party Concert 2007 at the arena, making for a somewhat confusing evening. It even led to Garden security to say, "this entrance is for the English group 'Bloc party.'" Kele Okereke even made mention of the dual bloc(k) parties at The Garden during the show.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, NYC, Photos at 12:23 PM



October 3, 2007

The Gutter in Brooklyn

POST #    2619

In the long-standing tradition of putting things up way after I take the pictures, here are some pictures from The Gutter - a new bar/bowling alley in Greenpoint/Williamsburg (it's really right on the border). Almost the entire bowling alley is made of old lanes, which gives the place a nice look. The best part about The Gutter? It's conveniently located to my apartment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos, Sports at 12:28 PM



October 2, 2007

Borough Food and Drink

POST #    2618

Last night, I went to Borough Food and Drink for dinner with a bunch of people. At Borough Food and Drink, their menu is a homage (said with an H - think hom-age - by our waitress) and they outsource (again, according to our waitress) their dessert cakes and pies.

Pictured are the dumplings (surprisingly good), the mac and cheese pancake, tobacco onion rings (very good and oily), the jerk lobster (I wouldn't order again or recommend it), and the banana split (the candied walnuts were virtually missing).

I'm guessing the restaurant will be closed in less than two years. It's only okay in my book and Shannan got a martini with glass in it and some possible food poisoning from her braised pork shoulder. That's at least two reasons we won't be passing on another homage to NYC. They also seem to spill maple syrup on occasion.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 3:00 PM



October 1, 2007

Christan Paine - "Not for Nothing"

POST #    2617

I remember when I was on a trip to China one summer, there were these two sisters from Long Island. One was a "model," who probably modeled stuff that would appear in local circulars or something like that. There was one thing that the sisters would always say, "not for nothing." When starting a sentence, it was always, "not for nothing, but..." Over and over again. It was incredibly annoying and it didn't even make sense in the context they used it in.

Naturally, when I saw this graffiti in Williamsburg, I thought of those two annoying girls.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:25 AM



September 27, 2007

The Harvest Moon Over Citi Field

POST #    2615

The harvest moon from last night that rose over Citi Field didn't do much to help the Mets make their way towards the post-season. In fact, they seem to be doing everything they can to miss it entirely. Sigh.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 1:29 PM



September 12, 2007

Six Years

POST #    2600

It's hard to believe it's been six years since 2001. It's probably the only think I actually remember in detail six years later.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:48 AM



August 23, 2007

Yacht, The Baltimore Bass Connection (with guests), Ghostland Observatory at McCarren Park Pool

POST #    2585

Sunday was the last Pool Party at McCarren Park Pool in Greenpoint this year and possibly ever. Performing was one man show Yacht, who stopped his performance at one point to take Q&A and got into the crowd to perform; The Baltimore Bass Connection with The Cool Kids, Kid Sister, Santo Gold, Spank Rock, and Amanda Blank; and Ghostland Observatory, who are awesome.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, NYC, Photos at 10:35 AM



August 21, 2007

Celebrating Kaoru's Birthday at Beast

POST #    2583

Friday night, we celebrated K's birthday at Beast in Prospect Heights. Not only were some of the items finger licking good, but the mussels were so good that Kate had to help herself to some of the sauce when the mussels were finished. And I don't know what it is with all the bike helmets at birthdays recently, but things devolved as the night went on.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 8:26 AM



August 20, 2007

2007 U.S. Air Guitar Championship at Irving Plaza

POST #    2582

I've been pretty busy using my camera for the past few days, so I'm going to go in order of event.

Thursday was the 2007 U.S. Air Guitar Championship at Irving Plaza (now dubbed Fillmore New York - guh) where contestants vied to represent the United States at the World Air Guitar Championships in Oulu, Finland. 2006 champion Hott Lixx Hulahan was defeated by William Ocean, who came in 2nd last year.

See also: Last year's championship at Bowery Ballroom

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, NYC, Photos at 8:54 AM



August 13, 2007

Love & Basketball, Briggs N Bunz

POST #    2576

(Click to enlarge image)

I saw this note (click the image to enlarge) at the Greenpoint Avenue subway stop on Saturday. It was scrawled from right to left and reads:
"It's hard loving someone whose [sic] in love with someone else." 8-4-07
"But thank God that's not the case 4 me anymore."
"Lovers & Ballers. Briggs N Bunz since 10-4-06."

I thought it was a pretty nice message.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:13 AM



August 1, 2007

NYC's Kwik-E-Mart

POST #    2566

As I'm sure most people know, for the release of The Simpsons Movie, 7-11 turned a bunch of their stores into Kwik-E-Marts modeled after the convenience store from the TV show. They have some blow-ups of lovable Simpsons characters, some products from the TV show (Squishee and red sprinklicious donuts), as well as employees dressed in Kwik-E-Mart gear.

Yesterday was the last day of the promotion and it took me the whole month to get there. Crazy, considering how HUGE a fan I am of The Simpsons.

Posted by tien mao in Movies, NYC, Photos at 9:21 AM



July 23, 2007

Oxford Collapse, Annuals, Band of Horses at McCarren Park Pool

POST #    2558

From yesterday's Pool Parties at McCarren Park Pool in Greenpoint (I think it's Greeenpoint). Performing were Oxford Collapse (myspace, Annuals (myspace, and Band of Horses (myspace).

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, NYC, Photos at 9:04 AM



July 19, 2007

Overindulgence at Hill Country

POST #    2553

Tuesday night, a group of us went to Hill Country Barbecue - one of the latest 'cue joints to open here in NYC. A little different than your typical restaurant in NYC, at Hill Country you line up at various counters to order your food. There are counters for the meat, the sides and the drinks. While at the meat counter, you order meat by weight. The first picture is about 1/2 lb of the moist brisket (it didn't seem like enough to share with Calvin). We ended up with 1 lb of the brisket, 1/2 lb of the pork spare rib, and 1 jalapeno cheese sausage. We also had the white shoepeg corn pudding, sweet potato bourbon mash, and corn bread (with ancho honey butter) for sides. It was sooo good (especially the brisket and sides), but super filling. So if you ever go and you like to eat, eating a pound of meat and sides should be your upper limit. This would have been useful information to some of the other people at the table - I think someone got about 2 lbs of meat for himself.

Note to large groups, you can make reservations for 8 or more people, but they only allow a limited number of reservations each day for those groups. Although we didn't have a reservation, we only had to wait about 50 minutes for our table after getting there at 7:30.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 9:57 AM



July 16, 2007

Homer's Got Eyes for Budweiser

POST #    2550

No TV and no beer make Homer something something...good thing Homer has beer for eyes.

Posted by tien mao in Movies, NYC, Photos at 9:10 AM



July 2, 2007

The iPhone iNsanity on 5th Avenue

POST #    2537

Friday evening, I headed up to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue to catch the insane scene surrounding the iPhone launch. There were tons of people in line and a huge amount of media on hand to cover it. The girl in the 3rd photo - who was 3rd in line - said that she knew what it was like to be homeless now. How would someone who bought two iPhones know what it's like to be homeless? Because she didn't shower for the several days that she was waiting in line.

Shocking as it may seem, I didn't get an iPhone. For now, I refuse to switch carriers for it. Once I play with it a little more, I wouldn't be surprised if I did get one though.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Tech at 8:51 AM



June 29, 2007

Wiimbledon at Barcade

POST #    2535

I keep forgetting to put these pictures up from last Saturday's Wiimbledon at Barcade. Shockingly, I did not play.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports, Tech at 3:17 PM



June 28, 2007

In Williamsburg and Splashfree...For Now

POST #    2533

Pieces by Shepard Fairey and the Faile collective that are currently splash free.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 5:06 PM



June 21, 2007

Berry and N. 10th is Growing

POST #    2525

I bet this doesn't make those living on the South side of the building next door very happy.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:55 PM



June 20, 2007

Remnant Pictures from BLT Burger

POST #    2523

This was from a trip to BLT Burger before going to Asia. The 2nd picture is of "waffle bites" - kind of like potato skins with waffle fries instead.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:36 PM



June 16, 2007

Mets vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (Game 4 of the 2007 Subway Series)

POST #    2519

Neil and I were on hand last night for the 4th game of this year's Subway Series. It was a great game, and that's not just because the Mets won 2-0. Oliver Perez pitched a phenomenal game, shutting out the Yankees for 7 1/3 innings. Since they didn't welcome Billy Wagner with Enter Sandman, I had to improvise a little. It was just like Shea Stadium. Well, kind of.

Because of my travel earlier this year, I missed two games at Shea that I had tickets for.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 3:07 PM



June 14, 2007

From the 2007 Big Apple BBQ Block Party

POST #    2516

I couldn't bring myself to see these photos from the Big Apple BBQ Block Party on my site until today. I simply had too much BBQ on Sunday to see them again. I'm not sure when I'll be able to eat it again. Maybe when summer's over?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:33 AM



June 4, 2007

Richard Serra at MoMA

POST #    2503

These photos don't really do the new Richard Serra exhibit at MoMA much justice. You can't see how large the steel sculptures are, how they lean or open up over you, and how grand each piece is.

Anyone in New York City through September 10th should really take some time and head to MoMA and check it out.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 8:26 AM



June 1, 2007

50mm Shake Shack Deliciousness

POST #    2501

Nothing like a double shack burger. Plus that grilled/burnt cheese stuff at the top was pretty tasty too.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 4:17 PM



May 29, 2007

Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale

POST #    2494

A week from today, if you've got lots of money to spare and some storage space, you can bid on Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale through Christie's. Lot #0311 was built in 1950-51 and is a prototype by French architect and designer Jean Prouvé. Be sure to save your pennies though - Christie's estimates the house to go for $4-6 million.

Prouvé thought that the Maison Tropicale would be a perfect house for French colonies in Africa, where the mass-produced houses could be easily shipped (this one fit in six containers) and assembled. Only three of the houses were ever built in the late 40's and early 50's, with little interest from the colonialists the houses were meant for. The house for auction next week was in Brazzaville in the Congo. The house - 16' tall, 59' long, and 32' wide - comes wired for electricity, but with no plumbing. All you get is a one room designer house. The house has been restored (removing bullet holes and evidence of squatters) to its original form except for one bullet hole.

A second Prouvé house is on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, while the third house will be a traveling Prouvé museum financed by the sale of this house. If you're in NYC anytime soon, you should definitely check out the house before it's sold.

I wonder what a more beautiful backdrop for the house is - the jungles of Africa, or the industrial settings of Long Island City with Manhattan in the background.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 9:16 AM



May 15, 2007

From the Lower East Side

POST #    2481

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:47 AM



May 7, 2007

New York's May Day Immigration Rally

POST #    2473

Last week, in cities across the United States, there were rallies for immigration reform. They weren't as big as last year's marches, but the crowd in Union Square was still loud and numbered in the thousands.

To view the photos in that slideshow, you can just click on the image and it will scroll to the next image. Don't like the slideshow, here's the flickr photoset.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:25 AM



May 2, 2007

Waiting for the L Train

POST #    2468

Nothing like reading a menu while waiting for the subway. Also, don't they put garbage on top of those bins?

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:17 AM



May 1, 2007

One More from Sakura Matsuri

POST #    2467

Matty claims to be itching his beard, but I'm not so sure.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 8:00 AM



April 30, 2007

Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2466

A little break from the Japan photos with a day of Japanese cherry blossoms and Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Due to the poor weather in New York recently, the blossoms weren't in full bloom yet, like they were last year. Nevertheless, Shannan and I had a fun time. I'm thinking of going again when the blossoms on the Cherry Esplanade are in full bloom.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:57 AM



April 2, 2007

50mm Food From the Weekend

POST #    2439

Perhaps a little too much food that had a casing?

From the Bohemian Hall, Nathan's, and Totonno's.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:01 AM



March 26, 2007

New York, New York - So Close to Taipei 101

POST #    2431

So, if I walk down the street from Taipei 101, I should stumble upon New York, right? Too bad I can't do that and have to take a super long flight back to New York.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 5:46 AM



March 15, 2007

That's a Lot of Frankfurter Rolls

POST #    2420

I guess you can never have enough if you're running Grey's Papaya.

I'll be traveling some over the next couple of weeks, but I'll try to update when possible. Things I may miss - hot dogs, a good burger, maybe steak. Good thing I had all those recently!

And yes, I know there's a new error somewhere in the redesign.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:32 AM



March 14, 2007

Photos of a Restored Bethesda Terrace Arcade

POST #    2426

Almost two weeks ago, NYC's Parks Department and the Central Park Conservancy unveiled the restored arcade at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. What they did is really beautiful, but they essentially restored and replaced 15,876 of the tiles on the ceiling of the arcade. Total cost - $7 million.

A lot more photos, including some of the tools they used for the project, in my flickr photoset.

Oh, and if you didn't see, there was a site redesign that went live last night. We're still working out the bugs.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:25 AM



March 13, 2007

Lucali in Carol Gardens

POST #    2424

Ever since it opened, I've been hearing things about Lucali. I'm not sure I heard one bad peep, but until last week, I haven't made it to the Carol Gardens restaurant. I was not disappointed. You may recall that I tried to go to Lucali a couple of weeks ago, only to find that it's not open on Tuesdays. So keep that in mind if you're going. This time, I made the trip with Matty, Adam and Janice. We ordered one plain pie, the calzone, and a pepperoni pie. While the menu may be sparse, the food certainly doesn't lack in taste. Something else to note is that Lucali doesn't have a liquor license, so you can bring your own alcohol. Conveniently, there's a deli a couple doors down from Lucali.

More on Lucali:
- Gothamist
- Slice
- NY Times
- NY Magazine

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:59 AM



February 27, 2007

Pigheadded for the Year of the Pig

POST #    2404

There are still lots of reminders that Chinese New Year was recently celebrated in Chinatown - confetti on the sidewalks, festive lights and decorations, etc. But I think this display is there no matter what time of year or what year it is.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:25 AM



February 22, 2007

Spazmat is Garbage

POST #    2400

If only because he's on a dumpster.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:56 AM



February 21, 2007

Working around REVS

POST #    2399

This REVS sculpture in Williamsburg has been there so long that they painted around it when the rest of the building was painted. I'm surprised nobody has "removed" this one yet.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:34 AM



February 15, 2007

Sad Valentine

POST #    2390

I had a good Valentine's Day, but this balloon failed to fulfill its promise. That is, unless it was destined to be caught on a crosswalk in Greenpoint.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:20 AM



February 12, 2007

Union Square Street Sessions - Snowboarding in NYC

POST #    2387

Last Thursday, some top snowboarders came here for New York City's first snowboard competition - Union Square Street Sessions. There was no need for a mountain as the riders were just doing tricks on the rail and they were coming down a manmade "hill." I tried to catch the actual competition in the evening, but it was just too crowded. These pictures are from the early morning preview. It looked as if the competition would be much better if it were on an actual mountain.

More pictures in my flickr photoset.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 8:54 AM



January 29, 2007

The 2007 Idiotarod

POST #    2379

When Calvin was telling people that he ran in Saturday's Idiotarod, the explanation that I would tell people is that it's like the Iditarod in Alaska, except with idiots replacing dogs. That and they're using shopping carts instead of sleds and dressed in ridiculous outfits. Conveniently for me, the race started in Greenpoint. I decided not to follow it to Long Island City (it was too far to run) or risk getting pelted with any projectiles from the participants.

And if you're wondering, it was cold on Saturday.

There are a couple of more photos in my flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 8:37 AM



January 4, 2007

Afternoon Special: Lighting by Obey Lepos WK

POST #    2360

Jake tells me that there are lots of Obey and WK pieces around together. He had yet to see this one with Lepos between them though.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:50 PM



December 13, 2006

Night Sky Above Shake Shack

POST #    2337

From the night before it closed for the winter. They actually ran out of burgers.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 7:58 AM



December 11, 2006

Visiting 11 Spring

POST #    2335

Saturday afternoon Jake took me on a tour of 11 Spring Street. The building was recently sold and the new owner is allowing street artists to fill the interior with their work. After a three-day open house in the near future, the building will be scrubbed and eventually converted into condos. There was a good deal of work already finished, but I'm curious to see what the finished product will look like.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:16 AM



November 1, 2006

A Greenpoint Tigger

POST #    2295

I got home a little early yesterday and saw lots of little kids walking around the neighborhood. I spotted more than one tiger costume, but only one Tigger. The best was probably a kid in a prisoner costume (you know, the stripes) with a hat that was exiting the police station.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:47 AM



October 31, 2006

Manhattan Ave is Greenpoint's Financial District

POST #    2294

With the recent opening of Bank of America (in the former Jennifer Leather/Convertables store), there are now several banks on Manhattan Avenue. It almost seems like there are more banks in the 5 block stretch from Greenpoint Avenue to Norman Avenue than the most bank-dense stretches in Manhattan. Starting from the north, there's HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America, Dime Savings Bank, North Fork (formerly Greenpoint Bank), Chase, Apple Bank, and Sovereign/Independence Bank (the only bank between Meserole Avenue and Norman). It's possible that I've even missed one. There's also an H&R Block for all of Greenpoint's tax needs!

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:36 AM



October 17, 2006

Chinatown Wedding

POST #    2282

I've determined that the best part of a wedding in Chinatown isn't the fact that wedding gifts are generally cash (everything is so easy for the guests) or that they are apparently very casual. The best thing is how there's a HUGE airbrushed glamor photo of the happy couple.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:28 AM



October 12, 2006

Sexy Government Architecture

POST #    2276

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:14 AM



October 10, 2006

Misplaced Phonebooth

POST #    2273

I gather nobody has made a call from that telephone booth in a long time.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:29 AM



October 3, 2006

Fountain in City Hall Park

POST #    2264

I was in City Hall Park last week and killing time before a photo shoot (BWHAHAHA, but yes, really) when I took this picture. I also experimented using flash.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:54 AM



September 12, 2006

Five Years Later

POST #    2242

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:46 AM



August 10, 2006

More Action in Greenpoint - Donuts and ICE CREAM!

POST #    2219

I can't count the number of times that I've finished dinner and had a craving for ice cream. Soon my problems will be answered with the newest addition to Greenpoint - a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robins on Manhattan Ave and Bedford Ave. The are moving into the old Moon Shadow space and the store next door. From the looks of it, the store will be open pretty soon. They lights are done and they've got a freezer already delivered.

The donut/ice cream combination will certainly open before the We the People bagel spot which now has an awning and real name. They should have kept the old name and the notary. People are always in need of a notary with their bagel.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:17 AM



July 26, 2006

Schwartz Chemical Company

POST #    2204

The Schwartz Chemical Company building was orginally a power station for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Built in 1909, the building became a chemical factory in the 50's and later housed tennis courts. Now, the building is awaiting development into apartments, which were supposedly supposed to have smokestacks as part of the structure. Clearly those are gone right now, but I'm not sure if they are returning later or not.

More information:
- Bridge and Tunnel Club, which has good pictures of the pre-construction structure
- Industrial New York, with great pictures from inside the building

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:58 AM



July 24, 2006

The View From Gantry Plaza State Park

POST #    2202

This was the view Thursday evening from Long Island City's Gantry Plaza State Park. I remember looking across the East River from the United Nations at the gantries with "Long Island" on them. Back then, there weren't any of those fancy buildings or landscaping.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:49 AM



July 17, 2006

Governors Island National Monument

POST #    2194

Saturday morning, Janelle organized a small group trip to Governors Island in New York Harbor. The island is so close to Manhattan, it seems like one could swim there. That would probably be deadly though as the island is at the junction on the Hudson and East River. While never used in any battles, the island was used to protect New York City from naval attack. Parts of Fort Jay (part of it seen in the 4th picture), the oldest structure on the island, were first built in 1776 and repaired and added to through the 1800s. The cannons in the fort date back to the Civil War. Castle Williams (1st picture) was built between 1807-1811 and used as harbor defense, barracks and a P.O.W. holding facility during the Civil War.

The rest of the island has a lot of living quarters that were used by the Army when they occupied the island from 1794 until 1966 and by the Coast Guard for 30 years after that. Use of the island ended in 1997, when the Coast Guard left the island and it's been in disuse ever since. Some of the more surprising things that were on the island were a YMCA, a Super 8 Motel, and a Burger King.

Who says there isn't any good real estate left in Manhattan?! There's plenty, it's just all on Governors Island. The big question is what they'll end up doing with it. There's already a pro-am golf tournament scheduled there for later this year.

Now, if they would only solve the problem off the hot dog monopoly that exists on the island. The lone food vendor sets the price of a Sabrett hot dog at a pricey $2. If only that Burger King was still in business!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:56 AM



July 13, 2006

Friday's Walk Home

POST #    2189

I took advantage of the nice weather last Friday to take a leisurely stroll home. I kind of wish this hot and humid weather would all end right now. Bring back winter!!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:42 AM



July 12, 2006

Wythe and N. 9th

POST #    2186

This building, pictured in late March, has already made a lot of progress in it's conversion to something fancier since then. The old windows are gone, waiting for their replacements, and something is being added onto the roof.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:57 AM



July 6, 2006

From the Brooklyn Kickball North American Invitational

POST #    2179

Over the weekend, I competed in the Brooklyn Kickball's North American Invitational. Unfortunately, the team I was on didn't make the playoffs after a last minute change in the number of teams that made the playoffs and being shortchanged one run in our first victory. It's unfortunate that we didn't advance because of that recording error. Providence Kickball came to play and they had the most unique uniforms - not just t-shirts - but whole outfits. And when you're in Brooklyn, you definitely want to write "Fuck You Brooklyn" on you belly.

And for some even more disturbing imagery, I recommend you click here and here.

It should be noted that I took none of these pictures. I'm not sure I would want to get that close.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 7:49 AM



July 4, 2006

The Buildings of New York Celebrate Independence

POST #    2177

Happy July 4th, everyone.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:54 AM



June 29, 2006

Spazmat Says Cellphone = Death

POST #    2173

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:41 AM



June 22, 2006

Isaac vs. Daniel Graffiti 2

POST #    2167

I think Daniel wins this matchup.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:39 AM



June 21, 2006

Isaac vs. Daniel Graffiti 1

POST #    2166

I have no clue what's going on, but I've seen a couple of these Isaac/Daniel things near work. Isaac seems much more sensible than Daniel in this pair.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:45 AM



May 31, 2006

Williamsburgh Savings Bank

POST #    2135

From the roof of the Smith Gray building.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:35 AM



May 17, 2006

New York City Beard and Moustache Championships

POST #    2128

Last night I went to the New York City Beard and Moustache Championships, which left me feeling painfully inadequate in the facial hair department. Despite the fact that I hadn't shaved in a couple of days, I even had less facial hair than some of the women on hand.

For more photos (and I have a lot) - including a hirsute dance troupe - check out the full set on Flickr.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:56 AM



May 8, 2006

Me at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2119

This always happens. I say I haven't done something here and my parents are all "yes, when you were so and so age, you went." Last week, I said I've never been to the Cherry Blossom Festival before, but of course I was wrong. And these are the pictures to prove it. I was two months in the first picture and four in the 2nd. There's also this picture from when I was 3 with a nice Tonka truck.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 7:58 AM



May 3, 2006

The Greenpoint Terminal Market Fire

POST #    2117

Yesterday the biggest fire in recent New York City history (not counting 9/11) hit the Greenpoint Terminal Market/Warehouse, which I've previously said is what I love most about Greenpoint. It's sad to see it go, especially in such a dramatic fashion. Before heading to work, I biked over to the site, getting as close as about two blocks from the fire. It was easily the largest fire I've ever seen and it eventually grew to a 10 alarm fire with 400+ firefighters. After work, I went down to the site again, but it was essentially blocked off and I couldn't get nearly as close as I was in the morning. I'm very sad to see the building go. Next up for the site - really nice condos.

- A lot more photos in my Flickr set

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:47 AM



May 2, 2006

The Sakura Matsuri Festival (Cherry Blossom) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

POST #    2116

Sunday afternoon, a group of us went to take in the Sakura Matsuri Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Screw the flowers, the highlight of the day was clearly Jonas. I don't think I've ever been to the festival before [note to mom: going while I was Jonas' age may count, but I don't remember], so it was quite an enjoyable time despite the throngs of people.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 7:53 AM



April 27, 2006

There's a Blimpie Up in This Biatch

POST #    2113

You just can't stop the improvements in Greenpoint. With local residents unsatisfied with just a Subway up Manhattan Avenue, a Blimpie opened up just recently at one end of the Nassau Avenue G stop. While it doesn't seem like they bake their own bread or to have Hershey's Ice Cream in the store (Subway has both), they seem to have some little cart that is destined to serve some craptastic Mexican food. On the plus side, they have an eager and helpful staff and plenty of seating.

So it's T-Mobile, "We the People Bagles" (which hasn't made much progress) and now Blimpie. What's next?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 7:58 AM



April 25, 2006

Mourning Moses Teitelbaum, the Grand Rebbe of Satmar

POST #    2112

Last night, I went over to Williamsburg with Jake and Jesse to document the crowds mourning Moses Teitelbaum. There were so many people in the two-three block radius of the Satmar Synagouge. By the time I arrived, the police already set up a good number of barriers along the street in an attempt to control the crowd. By the time I left, those barriers were useless as people filled Bedford Avenue.

It's reported that there are about 120,000 followers worldwide of the Satmar sect of Hasidism with the biggest number of them living in Williamsburg. The 2nd largest contingent lives upstate in Kiryas Joel. It's unclear which of his sons will be the next Grand Rebbe, Aaron or Zalmen. Teitelbaum was 91 when he passed away Monday.

- Jesse's gallery of the funeral

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:13 AM



April 24, 2006

Spring 2006 Taste of Chinatown

POST #    2110

Saturday afternoon I went over to Taste of Chinatown despite the weather forecast. The turnout was surprising as well as the miniscule amount of food I ate. Not sure why I didn't eat that much despite my hunger. Maybe it was the imperfect system of walking around with food in my hands and camera under my arm while trying not to get wet.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:02 AM



April 11, 2006

More From Coney Island

POST #    2096

I just had to take a picture of the Bump Your Ass Off sign. Adam noted that it's an annual tradition. I don't think I posted one last year, but I did in 2004 - almost the exact same picture.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:52 AM



April 10, 2006

Coney Island Opening Day - 2006

POST #    2095

Yesterday, I headed to Coney Island to meet up with Adam for his Pizza Club. Of course, I had to have a hot dog beforehand. I also rode the Cyclone three times. Each time, we moved up one seat until we ended up in the front. I've never sat in the front before, but it's an awesome, awesome experience. And for the people that are going to ride with me in the future, I have a strategy to get to the front.

Special Bonus: I'm on the cover of today's Metro newspaper! (.pdf file)

There's nothing like having a band (the Hungry March Band) around to entertain you while you wait either.

More from Adam and from Dan.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:56 AM



April 6, 2006

Move Over Pierogi, Here Come the Bagles

POST #    2093

Not only do we have a T-Mobile, but it looks like some bagels are coming to Greenpoint. I, for one, welcome them. Especially since the bagel place on the corner of Meserole and Manhattan is horrible. I also think they should keep the canopy and name of the previous occupant.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:15 AM



March 30, 2006

St. Stan's at Dusk

POST #    2080

I wonder how crazy it must have been in Greenpoint when the Pope came to visit St. Stanislaus Kostka.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:12 AM



March 29, 2006

McDonalds, the BQE, St. Stan's

POST #    2081

Monday night, I took a leisurely walk home from work. If I didn't take any pictures, I probably would have been home in about 30-40 minutes, but it took me about 50 minutes because of pictures and a few stops on the way.

Time to consider which way to commute:
- Subway: 22 minute best
- Bike: 13 minute best
- Walk: 30-40 minutes

The summer will be too hot to walk, but in the spring, walking is a viable option. But riding a bike would be healthier.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:34 AM



March 28, 2006

The Ugliest Building in Greenpoint - The Polish & Slavic Credit Union

POST #    2079

Greenpoint has a lot of ugly builings, especially all those apartments with aluminum siding, but I think the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union takes the cake. I mean, look at those crests!

For full on ugly Greenpoint, be sure to check out Bridge and Tunnel Club's page on aluminum and vinyl siding and Brownstoner's little compilation of the images.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:52 AM



March 20, 2006

T-Mobile - Now Open

POST #    2071

Well, T-Mobile is now open. Sure, it's no crazy Trader Joe's action, but it's all Greenpoint's got. Although, that Jennifer Convertibles location did close down. I wonder what that will be come. Seems too big for a Starbucks. Maybe it can be another discount clothing store or a 99¢ store. I'm not even sure what I want in that location. Maybe they're just tearing down the building to put up a new apartment building.

It also looks like the store has taken up at least half of the old hardware store. After assuming they have some storage space, I can't imagine that the YMCA will have much space left if they are indeed supposed to expand into the building.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:08 AM



March 14, 2006

T-Mobile Coming to Greenpoint

POST #    2066

Well, it looks like the Germans are pushing the Polish out again. The Polish-run True Value Hardware store, that is. I find it kind of strange that T-Mobile seems to be building out a store here in Greenpoint. I guess there market research tells them that they have a good Polish customer base? Maybe it's that they like the GSM.

I guess the authorized dealer less than a block away isn't very happy.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:59 AM



March 1, 2006

The Blue Metrocard

POST #    2023

Well, at least a sign depicting the blue Metrocard. It was only available in a few dollar amounts, including $3 and $15, but no more or no less. Back then, the fare was only $1.50, but the Metrocard didn't even give you a transfer. I think I have a few of these lying around somewhere. And I think it's a commemorative Rangers Stanley Cup Metrocard.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:59 AM



February 28, 2006

Signs of Gage & Tollner at T.G.I Friday's

POST #    2057

It's good to know that while changing Gage & Tollner to Friday's they were still able to preserve some of the historical interiors. Despite Friday's not even close to being the oldest restaurant in New York, let alone that stretch of Fulton St, I like how they kept the old window signs. On the inside of Friday's, they still have the lamps that used to be gas lamps before Gage closed down. Obviously there's no gas there anymore.

All this comes from that awesome heart attack inducing trip to Fridays.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:07 AM



February 22, 2006

The Mountains of Lower Manhattan

POST #    2054

As we don't have actual mountains here.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:04 AM



February 15, 2006

NYC Dept of Sanitation's Snow Melters

POST #    2047

With all this snow from the "Blizzard of '06" on the grounds, the Department of Sanitation has got to put it somewhere, right? While in high school, I remember watching dump trucks empty loads and loads of snow into the Hudson River. Apparently, that wasn't too friendly to the environment. Since 2000, Sanitation has used these super-fancy snow melters that can handle up to 60 tons of snow per hour. The machines use water to dissolve the snow and drain the water into the sewage system.

Near my office, they shut down several blocks for one snow melter and have a HUGE pile of snow that gets dumped into it all day. Two front end loaders, one melter, but about 15 sanitation employees on hand. Now that's municipal efficiency. The best part was when the machine operator looked into the machine, grabbed his rake, and pulled out a pair of jeans. I wonder what else is in the pile of snow.

The NY Times had a great article on these $200,000 machines yesterday.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:45 AM



February 12, 2006

The Blizzard of '06 - Greenpoint

POST #    2044

Here we are, in the "Blizzard of '06," which is currently the 2nd biggest snowstorm in New York history! These photos are from Manhattan Ave. on the way to brunch, which was delicious (see photo here). There is a car somewhere under that snow drift.

And I just couldn't pass up the chance to make a snow angel.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:23 PM



February 9, 2006

Hellbent Ill...

POST #    2038

or is that Ill...Hellbent. So confusing.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:09 AM



February 6, 2006

Chinese New Year Parade for the Year of the Dog

POST #    2042

Lots of dogs were on hand to celebrate the Year of the Dog, the most famous of which was Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Obviously, no comedic stuff going on, just Triumph sitting on a rickshaw.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:59 AM



January 26, 2006

Friends All Over the Place

POST #    2027


Last night, my friend Margaret was on Jeopardy!, which I think is one of the best game shows on TV. I remember watching it during dinner when I was a kid, but from what I understand, playing the game in real life is much harder than watching at home. There's the clicker, the penalty for clicking early, and of course the prospect of making a fool out of yourself on national television.

Margaret, however made her hometown in New Hampshire proud. She was up against a Naval officer and some bald two-day champion. That Navy guy was such a jackass, building off Margaret's "Happiness is a Warm Gun" answer. Not only that, he had a retarded story about how he got out of a ticket on a Saturday. It certainly didn't match Margaret's story about how Steve proposed to her on the Jumbotron of Yankee Stadium. I especially like how Margaret is "from" New Hampshire but actually lives in New York. And can I just ask how the answer for the $2000 baseball answer was "Commissioner Bud Selig is a former owner of this Midwestern Major League Baseball team" - come on! That's just tooo easy. Despite coming in 3rd behind douchey Navy dude and cue ball, you can't help but be impressed. Despite watching plenty of Jeopardy as a kid, I'm not sure I could have made it all the way to Final Jeopardy. I just wonder what her parting prizes were. Clearly Margaret needs to do an interview with me so I can find out all the juicy details.


Another pair of my friends - Jeannette and Yvan - are currently selling their apartment in DUMBO. They even have a nice looking website to show prospective buyers their apartment. I must say, their apartment cleans up nice. It looks like they put a lot of stuff in storage and I don't know that I've ever seen it so clean. They don't even have the extra bed in their living room that I've slept on before. And I'm not sure if I've ever seen their bedroom (pictured) so well lit before.

Also, showing the house over Chinese New Year is a nice touch - they won't even have to sweep after people come. That would be bad luck!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, TV at 7:58 AM



January 25, 2006

The Hidden Faces of Club Med

POST #    2026

Shannan spotted these faces in some Club Med ads on the G Train the other day. There were about five ads, but we only saw faces in two. Even the faces are all happy in the blue and green water, I can't help but feel they are a little creepy looking. Maybe the good folks at Club Med think New Yorkers need some happy faces in the water of their subway advertisements. Although, in the lower left of the 2nd photo, there is what seems to be like another, not so happy face.

I suppose the question is whether these ads are subliminal at all as they almost look too obvious to be so. I wonder if the MTA picked up on these at all when they were looking at the ads.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:05 AM



January 23, 2006

Old Graffiti

POST #    2022

Or should that be "Graffiti of a Certain Age."

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:30 AM



January 12, 2006

The Sofa King Hates the Game

POST #    2012

I never thought I would see a vanity plate as a store sign, but last Friday, I did. What the store was, I'm not sure. I'm not even sure there was a store. But it's clear that someone hates the game, no? Enough to get a ladder or hang out a window and then write the hilarious message in the 2nd photo.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:10 AM



January 4, 2006

New Yorker Hotel

POST #    2002

The New Yorker Hotel recently received a new sign. Spotted on a fun trip to the car pound.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:08 AM



January 1, 2006

Happy New Year

POST #    1999

Goodbye 2005, hello 2006. Resolution already broken. Oh well. I wasn't going to keep it anyway.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 2:27 PM



December 23, 2005

Obligatory NYC Transit Strike is Over Post

POST #    1993

If I have a strike post, I have to have a strike over post, right? No bike riding for me today! Yay!!

And excuse the swipe retardedness, it's been a while and I was using my left hand, and well, it's the G Train so that turnstile is never working.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:49 AM



December 22, 2005

Obligatory NYC Transit Strike Post

POST #    1991

With the transit strike of 2005 somewhat over, I figure it's about time to do a post about it. After all, what kind of New Yorker with a blog would I be if I didn't. The thing is, while the strike certainly affected me, it wasn't quite as bad for me as it was for a lot of the stories that you're hearing out there. I didn't have to walk several hours to get to work, I didn't have to share a cab, I didn't even get to miss any work. If anything, I actually worked longer hours this week because of the strike. All I had to do was ride my bike less than 20 minutes to work in the sub-freezing temps. So the strike for me saved me a few dollars in transportation costs and made me exercise a little.

I was even riding/driving a car a couple of times during the strike. I can say that traffic was a mess though. The last three photos here came while actually driving into and out of Manhattan. That was a poor, poor plan, but I wasn't the one driving, so I had to entertain myself in some way. And for those outside of New York who drive to work and don't depend on mass transit, the strike was so bad that some Starbucks stores didn't even open.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:27 PM



December 15, 2005

Odd Greenpoint Seating

POST #    1974

Oh how those Polish people like to sit on their buildings. While the chair is next to the signage of a furniture store, it still strikes me as odd. Then again, it does kind of catch the eye, maybe accomplishing exactly what the store owners intended.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:04 AM



November 30, 2005

New York City Transit's New R160 Car

POST #    1953

After work yesterday, I hustled over to Hoyt-Schermerhorn to check out the MTA's newest subway car, the R160. Scheduled to roll out next year for testing, the only feature that is obviously different than the R142 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and R143 (L) is the new FIND system (Flexible Information and Notice Display). The display shows the next stop, nine after that, five more "further stops" which vary along the line, and the last stop. Below each station, the display also shows transfers, if there are any, and it shows handicap accessible stations next to the station name. A screen also shows the line the train is on and any other information the MTA want's to put on it. During the open house, various videos were running, including one with a race car. The best thing about the FIND is that if the train switches routes, all the information can easily change, unlike the current trains which are stuck with one map no matter where they run. The MTA employee that was explaining the display said that there would be three per car so people in each section could see the coming stops.

- SubText on the new train
- NY Times: New Subway Cars Promise All Kinds of Information
- R160 set on flickr

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Tech at 8:05 AM



November 24, 2005

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

POST #    1960

I'm convinced that I've never gone to seen the inflation of balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but I have been in the parade. How many people can say that? Not a clown or even a balloon handler, but a "floater". This was in 1998 after that woman was injured in 1997, so I didn't have the proper training. I did get to drive a John Deere down Broadway with no traffic and to the cheers of the people waiting to watch the parade. That was kind of strange and unique. Oh, and I made the cover of USA Today.

- More photos on flickr

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:37 AM



November 22, 2005

Please Pardon the World Trade Center

POST #    1958

Walking around the World Trade Center, you see a lot of different things. Besides the obvious hole in the ground, there are lots of gawking tourists and there used to be various people hawking their wares, but it seems like they've cut back on that. One odd thing I noticed was a sign from the Port Authority, "Please Pardon Our Appearance While Construction Restricts The Sidewalk." I'm guessing most people would understand.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:03 AM



November 10, 2005

Queens is the County, Jamaica is the Place

POST #    1946

So these really aren't from all over Jamaica, but a very small slice right around the Airtrain Terminal. I just wanted to reference Q-Tip from Tribe because how often can you actually do that.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:55 AM



November 8, 2005

2005 New York City Marathon - Some Outfits

POST #    1944

When you're racing with 36,000 people, it's probably good to stand out in the crowd. While most people just went with comfortable looking athletic gear, some went over the top.

Funny story about the first photo. The runner continued to look at me as he ran and eventually ran into someone else. So if you are running in the marathon, it might be a good idea to at least have a view of those in front of you.

All my marathon photos that were even semi-decent are now in a gigantic flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 7:55 AM



November 7, 2005

2005 New York City Marathon - Wheelchair Athletes

POST #    1942

I'm impressed by everyone that finishes the marathon, but there are just some people that look like they have a harder time of it. People like this are the heroes of the New York City Marathon.

- NYC Marathon flickr set (I've got more to add tomorrow)

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 7:48 AM



November 6, 2005

2005 New York City Marathon - Lead Pack

POST #    1941

Adam had some people over to watch the 2005 New York City Marathon, which truly is a great event. I would never run, but that doesn't detract from how great it is. Pictured here are the lead packs of both the women and men at around mile 7. In both lead packs, the eventual winners are in at least one of the pictures.

More photos tomorrow.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:18 PM



November 5, 2005

Hey Dumb Fuck, Maybe That's Not a Good Idea

POST #    1940

So last night, I'm waiting for the L train at 1st Avenue at around 12:15 and across the way, this douchebag decides to get off the 8th Avenue bound platform to switch sides. At first I thought, "Oh, he's sitting down. I've always wanted to do that." I'm not quite sure why I want to sit on the dirty platform, but it seems like it would be fun.

Anyway, so before getting on the tracks, the guy takes a quick look to see if there's a subway coming. I suppose he feels that there isn't one, but there actually was. A Brooklyn bound train was about 200 feet from the station. The jackass proceeds to cross the tracks, not looking as he crosses onto my side of the station, and climbs onto the platform and nonchalantly walks away.

I think everyone was kind of shocked as to what he did and I think there was only one person that said something. It was just crazy. The train was so close. Once it finally pulled into the station, the subway conductor stopped and asked people if someone just crossed the tracks. He was told that the douchbag/jackass already got back onto the platform and it was okay to proceed.

I don't know what was running through that guy's mind. Even if he was on the wrong side of the stop, without money on his Metrocard, or in his wallet, he could have asked the token clerk to let him back in. Just not worth risking your life over, I would think.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 2:19 PM



October 27, 2005

Wanted in Greenpoint: Window Treatments

POST #    1924

There's nothing quite like moving into your brand new apartment with your plasma TV but using newspapers for blinds.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:10 AM



October 15, 2005

Mayor Mike and His Ads

POST #    1914

I was reading today's NY Times article on how Mike Bloomberg is blanketing the media outlets with advertising and drowning Fernando Ferrer and when I got to the 2nd page of the ad, what popped up? A Bloomberg ad, naturally.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Politics at 8:55 AM



October 11, 2005

A Green Bridge

POST #    1909

Gotta love digging through archives to find photos you haven't posted. Some you forgot about, like these, others you just haven't gotten to like the rest of my San Francisco photos (over a month ago). At some point, they probably become pointless to post, but what can you do.

These were from August when we went to Ward's Island for some BBQ.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:55 AM



October 10, 2005

OHNY - Synagogue Circuit

POST #    1908

Yesterday, I briefly went to two openhousenewyork sites on the Lower East Side - the Beth Hamedresh Hagadol Synagogue and the Eldridge Street Synagogue.

Beth Hamerdresh, pictured in the first four photos, was built in 1850, originally as a Baptist church. In 1885, after a period as a Methodist church, it was bought by orthodox Russian Jews and converted. There are murals on the walls that depict several towns in Israel. A fire has damaged the synagogue and they are in the process of raising money to restore it.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue, pictures 5-7, was built in 1887 and one of the first built in the US by Eastern European Jews. It's already being restored and repaired with the bulk of funding from the city in the form of grants that total $2.9 million. Major improvements, besides roof repair, include the installation of an HVAC system.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:00 AM



October 5, 2005

Subway Smell That Lasts

POST #    1887

Contrary to my dislike of bad smells on the subway, "good" smells on the subway can also be annoying. For example, the woman with the overwhelming perfume who is standing in your personal space, causing you to choke on the scented air you're breathing. Or the man who slathered on waay too much after shave in to cover up the late day odor he'll have.

Even worse is when you grab the bar on the subway, something I usually never do, only to come away with a hand that smells like aftershave. That's what happened to me a few days ago. Yet another reason for me not to grab the bar. You would think that a nice washing of the hand would get rid of the smell, but somehow, just somehow, the scent doesn't go away.

But then, what happens if you neurotically think, "If there is a subway accident, and I'm not holding onto anything, I could go flying!" But really, what's worse, life threatening injury or someone's smell plastered to your hand all day (I'm not even talking about germs)?

Then again, if the scent is actually Jovan for men, I might be in luck!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Random at 8:05 AM



September 12, 2005


POST #    1874

In New York, September 11th is remembered in one way, in Chillicothe, Illinois, it's remembered in a different way.

Oh, and Chilli is "where the rails cross the river."

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:54 AM



August 29, 2005

Cyclones vs Yankees at Keyspan Park

POST #    1864

Sunday night was the last Cyclones ticket in my weekend package, so it might be the last time I head to Coney Island this year. The last trip to Nathan's, the last ride on The Cyclone, the last time to hear the PC Richards jingle, to hear the "We Deliver" song for a local car dealership. Okay, maybe another trip to Coney Island has to happen. If not for a baseball game, then at least for rollercoaster fun and eating.

The game against the Staten Island Yankees wasn't pretty. The Yankees started with two quick runs in the 1st inning, hitting balls that had eyes and proceeded to shut the Cyclones out. In fact, Brooklyn failed to get a hit until the seventh inning.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Sports at 7:53 AM



August 21, 2005

Because You Can Never Go to Coney Island Too Much

POST #    1853

I feel like every time I go to Coney Island, there is a requirement that I ride the Cyclone and eat a couple of hot dogs from Nathan's. Not really the healthiest trips in the world, but they are oh so fun and tasty.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:45 AM



July 23, 2005


POST #    1810

Boy, that New York Stock Exchange is really patriotic.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:29 AM



July 20, 2005

Inside McCarren Pool 2

POST #    1806

I alluded to McCarren Pool's transformation into a dance space sometime this year in yesterday's photos, but in his post, David had a link to what they are actually doing. It looks like it will be a performance space for a short period, but I would think the pool would need some serious work. No more graffiti, no more smell of urine or feces? I can get with at least two of those.

I'm going to try to score some tickets to check it out, as I would love to see what they end up doing with the space.

And totally unrelated, check out Jake's site today as I make an appearance in his "Blue Project" - aka, I'm traveling and I must have something on my site. There's stuff from my archives up there, some New York, some California, and some Norfolk.

More information:
- "Inside McCarren Pool 1"
- "Foggy and Dark McCarren Park Pool"
- David's McCarren Pool Flickr set
- David's "Night In McCarren Pool" on Tangentialism
- Ben's McCarren Pool photos

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:43 AM



July 19, 2005

Inside McCarren Pool 1

POST #    1805

Last night, I went over to McCarren Pool to take a look inside the once lively, now abandoned pool. I had previously taken pictures from the outside looking in, but last night was my first time inside. I was later told that the pool is undergoing renovations to become a dance space (?!?). Parts of the pool will be filled in and the whole area cleaned up.

I suppose it's good that they've finally decided to do something with it, but wouldn't making it a...pool make more sense?

More information:
- Previous entry: "Foggy and Dark McCarren Park Pool"
- David's (Tangentialism) McCarren Pool Flickr set
- Tangentialism: "Night In McCarren Pool"
- Ben's McCarren Pool photos

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:59 AM



July 18, 2005

Some Coney Island Photos

POST #    1802

Really, I'm not sure how to follow up that whole cheesecake thing. It was really hot until it started getting misty. Also, I ate the hot dog and most of those fries about 4 hours before the cheesecake, plenty of time.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:29 AM



July 9, 2005

The Beautiful Art of Court Street

POST #    1787

Okay, maybe not. But really, how much of a sign can possibly be out at once before you actually replace it. All the letters were out except the ones above. Of course, the logo was well lit.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:57 AM



June 19, 2005

Rooftop Sunset from Calvin's

POST #    1766

I tried to stitch these photos together, but it didn't look too good because the colors in the sky weren't cooperating. As you can see, Calvin's got a pretty good view on his roof.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:29 PM



June 16, 2005

Subway Watermelon Nastiness

POST #    1761


On my way to dinner last night, I was on the 4 to City Hall when a passenger broke out a 1/4 watermelon piece. If that wasn't somewhat odd enough, he decided that he wanted to share it with his friend. To break it, the two geniuses decided to push down on each end of the melon while balancing it on a knee. Not surprisingly, one half of the watermelon tumbled to the floor and skid about half a foot. The man who was going to eat that half said "Damn!", picked up his half thought about it for a second and then started to pick a few things off his half and dug in. As you can see, I captured it on the cameraphone and for that one man, the 5 second rule applies to the subway too.

Quite possibly one of the more disturbing things I've seen inside the subway. It's up there with the pile of shit I once saw.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:05 AM



June 14, 2005

Visiting The United Nations

POST #    1759

Over the weekend, I visited the United Nations for a free tour as they are celebrating their 60th anniversary this month. As a "thank you" to New Yorkers, they are encouraging citizens of their host city to make the trip to visit. I've always had fond memories of the UN as my mom worked there. While they give tours every day, the Sunday tours this month are free. One thing I found out, from the guide that has been there three months, is that the cafeteria has increased their prices.

The minimalist tour includes trips to the Security Council and to the General Assembly. Pictured above is the Secretariat Building, a mural depicting the formation of the UN, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, the General Assembly, and some reflective globe sculpture.

Fun facts: the United Nations is international territory and not part of the United States or New York City; there are 191 member states now; the first seat in the first row of the General Assembly rotates between all the members (who are seated alphabetically by their English names), thus preventing Afghanistan from being in the first seat all the time; currently, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has the first seat and Saint Lucia is last.

The actual 60th anniversary of the UN charter's signing is on June 26th, the last Sunday of the month.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:46 AM



June 12, 2005

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2005, Part 1

POST #    1756

Much like last year, the Big Apple BBQ Block Party was an insane eating extravaganza. So much food, so much over eating, so many people. All very bad on the waistline, but it seemed like such a good idea at the time. I believe I had one of each barbecue item at the event except for the snoot and anything from Blue Smoke.

So, a list of what I had:
- Brisket with sausage and beans from Southside Market & BBQ in Elgin, TX
- St. Louis spareribs with coleslaw from Whole Hog Cafe in Little Rock, AR
- Whole pork shoulder with beans from Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL
- Baby back ribs with beans from 17th St Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, IL
- Whole hog with coleslaw from Mitchell's BBQ in Wilson, NC
- Beef brisket, sausage and coleslaw from The Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, TX
- Pork shoulder with coleslaw from Ubon's in Yazoo, MS
- Pork shoulder with beans from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York

Insane, I say! INSANE!!!! More later. Damn, I could go for some more today...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 10:40 AM



June 10, 2005

Broken Olympic Dreams

POST #    1753

The remnants of a dream from the 7 train last night.

I'll be away all day for forklift (hi low) training for work. I suppose that will all be explained next week.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 6:35 AM



May 21, 2005

St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University

POST #    1719

Katie and Johnny's wedding today is at St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia. Yesterday was the wedding rehearsal (I play a semi-integral part) and I took a few pictures of the chapel while I was waiting around.

The chapel was designed by I.N. Phelps Stokes and was the first building at Columbia that was not designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White. Construction began in 1904 and St. Paul's was dedicated in 1907. In 1966, as they point out on the website, it was one of the first buildings in NYC to be designated a landmark by landmarks preservation.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 9:29 AM



May 17, 2005

Designing Shoes at the Nike iD Store

POST #    1708

Anybody that knows me knows that I love me some sneakers, so when the opportunity to visit the secretive and exclusive Nike iD store Design Lab in SoHo came about, I was naturally pretty excited. Or should I say very excited. I was going to get the chance to design my own shoe at a store that is by invite only. And by design, I mean pick one of 7 shoes and choose among various colors for each item on the shoes.

Designing your shoe at the store is exactly like the one on the Nike iD website, but there are colors at the store that are not available online. The sneakers available to design in the store change every now and then but Friday's selections included the Nike Free, Air Presto, FC Futebol, Air Rift, Air 180, Dunk Low, and the Waffle Racer. The Waffle is a shoe that is only available for "individual design" at the Nike iD store. Since the whole store is about exclusivity, I had to go with the Waffle.

After a few clicks of the mouse and some discussion with the design consultant, I came up with a Waffle that is granite, black, and clementine. Clementine is one of the colors that was only available at the store (others I remember included ice, a pink, and hyacinth) and I was warned that the orange of clementine really popped. Perfect.

If you don't know what size Nike you might have to go with, don't worry. At the store, they have each shoe in every size they make of it in a grey sample shoe that look so good by themselves that you want to design your own pair. Unfortunately, they don't have the options to design your grey on grey shoes.

This is going to sound quite cheezy, but the store is really more than a store (since you don't walk out with a pair of sneakers). It's an experience and clearly a brand building piece. It seems like every element was designed down to a tee. The wallpaper has sneakers in the design (no, it's not for sale...yet) as do the coasters and the cocktail napkins. Coasters and cocktail napkins, you ask? People walk around offering hors devours and drinks. While some might be put off by a store like this, they have to realize the store isn't meant for them. Sneakerheads know that there are shoes that are only released in limited numbers and Nike is doing the same thing with the store because it is by appointment only as the bouncer will tell you.

Supposedly, there is a lottery for an appointment to the store that started sometime Sunday on Nike's site, but I didn't find any info. To say I enjoyed myself would be a mild understatement. I hope I have the chance to go back again.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 7:55 AM



May 16, 2005

A New York First

POST #    1710

It's not often that I experience firsts in New York anymore. After 27 years, how many things haven't you seen? Sunday afternoon, I experienced a first. I was entering the Nassau Avenue stop of the G train at the Norman Avenue entrance. On the stairs, I saw a large pile of human feces. I should say, what I assume was human feces as I didn't really try to inspect it. I just held my breath, hurried past the pile and tried to get through the turnstile as quickly as possible.

Obviously, I've seen plenty of shit on the streets, but that's dog shit. I can say that I've never seen human shit anywhere outside a bathroom in New York. Some of you might be thinking, "you need to get out more because I see the big deuce all the time on the streets." Well, if you have, I guess you're lucky and I'm not.

What's more flabbergasting is that there was no paper to be seen around the shit. Did the shitter not have the time or the materials to wipe up? Or were they courteous enough to dispose of their wipingings in the garbage can. And how bad did the shitter have to go in order to drop trou right there on the stairs? If it was explosive diarrhea, I would understand a little better, but solid crap? Can't you hold it until you get home or find a store?

As disturbing as this sounds, I think it might have been better if the shit was actually fresh. A steaming pile of fresh shit is better than a festering pile of fly attracting shit. Of course, no shit at all would be best. I feel bad for the guy that has to clean that mess. Unless it's still there.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:43 AM



May 11, 2005

What I Love Most About Greenpoint - The Terminal Warehouse/Market

POST #    1699

With the coming rezoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, a lot of the buildings along the East River will likely be torn down and replaced by huge apartment buildings. I have no major qualms with that. It's the way things go. People like to live on the water and it was only a matter of time until apartment buildings would make their way to North Brooklyn.

There are a couple of things I would like them to designate as landmarks on the waterfront - the Domino's Sugar Factory and the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse/Market. The Terminal Market, as described by NYC's Greenpoint-Williamsburg Environmental Impact Study (Chapter 9, pg. 3):

The Greenpoint Terminal Market site occupies over three blocks of land along the East River between Greenpoint Avenue and Oak Street. This site, which is largely vacant, includes six industrial buildings ranging in height from one to seven stories, several of which are severely deteriorated. Immediately south of the Greenpoint Terminal Market is a now vacant piece of land formerly occupied by Consolidated Freight, a national freight forwarding company that declared bankruptcy in August 2002.

It might be severely deteriorated, but it's beautiful and it's historic. Continental Iron Works was located there, which is where the Monitor was built, which as everyone know played an important role in Civil War history. Put some minor-major repairs to the building, shore up the structure, and the Terminal Market could remain as is. The freight area that Consolidated Freight is suitable for an apartment complex and the warehouse could be made into a commercial space. I'm thinking something like Chelsea Market which would preserve the building and its character while developing the area.

To be a landmark, the NYC Landmark's Commission says, "to be designated, a potential landmark must be at least 30 years old and must possess 'a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the city, state, or nation.'" Hmm...I think Greenpoint Terminal Market has that heritage for the nation.

So if there's anyone that wants to work on this with me or is already working on this, I think the Monitor deserves more than a little plaque.

UPDATE: Much of the whole complex burned down on May 2, 2006 in a huge fire.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:01 AM



April 25, 2005

Fun City Mental and Physical Health Survey

POST #    1669

I was just called by the City of New York to participate in a survey about my mental and physical health. I normally don't pick up calls when I don't recognize the phone number, but it did say "City of New York" on my caller ID, so it could have been important.

They asked me all sorts of probing questions, which I didn't have to answer, but I thought it might be beneficial for the study if I did, so I answered away. Somehow, I'm supposed to represent my zip code...I wonder how many New York born Chinese people live in Greenpoint. They probably don't need any more of us for 11222 now.

While there were many, many questions, the best question they asked was about sex in the past 12 months. They asked the same thing about men and women, "In the past 12 months, have you had sex with a woman/man, where sex is defined as oral, vaginal, anal, but not masturbation." When I quipped that the questions were quite detailed, I got a pause and I'm guessing a smile from my questioner, but she read on.

Other questions included ones about where I was during 9/11 (below Canal St or below Chambers St.), if I worked on 9/11 recovery, if I was severely depressed at all, etc, etc. I'm curious as to what the results of the study will be.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:12 PM



April 24, 2005

Short Walk to and From

POST #    1666

A few photos from my walk to and back from the Brooklyn Brewery.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:01 AM



April 13, 2005

Sunday Bike Ride

POST #    1649

I was supposed to ride around Brooklyn this past Sunday with Jake, but do to a minor miscommunication and some undercharged technology, we never met up. So I just rode around slowly for an hour and took a few pictures.

I've still got a lot more China photos, but I haven't had the time to sit down and edit them yet.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:19 AM



March 9, 2005

Finding the Cure for Man in Greenpoint

POST #    1601

I didn't have a chance to venture into the salon last night to actually find out what the "man cure" was. Too bad, I'm sure it would have been fascinating. Hopefully, nothing to do with waxing because that would be an awfully painful cure.

Damn, I want to know what the cure is.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:57 AM



February 27, 2005

I Am The Lede and The Kicker

POST #    1591

So for the second time, I'm in The New York Times. Crazy, I know. I never imagined being in The Times once, let alone twice. The first time was about that whole middle finger crosswalk thing, this time, it's about that potential NYC slogan, "The World's Second Home." I expressed my disdain over the slogan over at Gothamist and was contacted about it earlier this week.

The creepiest thing about the article was the constant "Mr. Mao" references. Damn style guides. And I have no idea what this quote means, "I guess they're pretty strong words, but it is pretty bad."

For those without a membership, the full article is in the extended entry.

- NY Times: "Who You Callin' Second?"
- Gothamist: "NYC: Brought to You by the Number Two"

February 27, 2005

Who You Callin' Second?

TIEN MAO, 26, grew up in Manhattan and lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In short, New York is his home - his first and only home. Which may explain the distaste that Mr. Mao feels for "The World's Second Home," the phrase that could wind up as the city's slogan, if U.S. Patent No. 78484751 is approved and the political stars align.

"Could this possibly be the worst slogan of all time?" Mr. Mao wondered on the Web site Gothamist, of which he is editor-at-large.

"I guess they're pretty strong words," he conceded later by telephone, "but it is pretty bad."

Mr. Mao is part of a small but opinionated contingent of New Yorkers who disdain the slogan, which the city is seeking to trademark for possible use in the future, possibly in connection with the city's Olympics bid. As long ago as 1996, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff used the phrase in his capacity as the city's chief Olympics booster. But by seeming to question the city's primacy, it rubs people like Mr. Mao the wrong way.

"Don't you think the city could have come up with something better?" he said. "No. 2? The city should be No. 1, you know?"

Barry Popik, who researches New York words and phrases on his Web site,, is of similar mind. "Especially if you live here," he said, "it's kind of insulting. This is not your second home."

Mr. Popik, who made a name for himself researching the non-trademarked, public-domain nickname "The Big Apple," sensed another injustice. "They're probably spending thousands of dollars on 'The World's Second Home,' " he said. "They have attorneys, they have publicity people, they have someone in the mayor's office explaining what 'The World's Second Home' means. They did none of that for 'The Big Apple.' "

That venerable phrase, which according Mr. Popik's research was popularized in the 1920's, does have a street corner named for it, at West 54th Street and Broadway, where John J. Fitz Gerald, the sportswriter who popularized it, once lived.

Several out-of-towners walking by that corner one afternoon last week described themselves as less than enchanted with the potential new slogan, although not for the reason Mr. Mao and Mr. Popik cited. In their view, it seemed presumptuous.

"It's a bit cheesy," said Doug McWilliam, a visitor from England who was photographing the "Big Apple Corner" sign. "It's kind of like blowing your own trumpet."

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:48 AM



February 24, 2005

Nearly Run Over

POST #    1586

I am an unabashed aggressive pedestrian. I'll jaywalk, stand in the street while waiting to cross against the light, pretty much anything to get me from point A to point B faster. I know that this is dangerous, but I accept the danger that goes along with these risky activities.

Yesterday, however, I was minding my own business and exiting the office and nearly run over by a van that was going about 10 mph on the sidewalk!! On the freaking sidewalk! the van grazed my left elbow and my right hand. The van was a neighboring company's vehicle that was making it's way to their offices and the sidewalk isn't very busy, but it was still a little insane. The van was maybe three feet from the building and several feet away from the curb and the cars parked in the street. My only reaction at the time was something along the lines of "what the fuck?" and not the anger that one might normally exhibit when they are almost run over. The only reaction of the driver, "are you okay?"

The crazy thing is, I normally push that door open much wider, swinging it all the way open. If I would have done that yesterday, the door would need replacing, and the van would need some body work. Two of my coworkers were walking back from lunch and were more shocked than I was and immediately told me that I should buy a lottery ticket.

I'm pretty sure if I were in the same situation as the driver, I would have been going much slower, and closer to the curb. You can easily see if you're going to hit something on the driver's side and there aren't going to be any people popping out of doorways on the driver's side either.

Just crazy I tell you, crazy.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:56 AM



February 21, 2005

The Gates, Dusk to Night

POST #    1579

Walking through the ramble late at night by yourself isn't the most comforting thing to do. Then again, there's nobody out when it's that cold at night, but what about the rats? Too cold for them too, I assume.

- More Chisto and Jeanne-Claude

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:52 AM



February 20, 2005

Christo's Gates Around Sunset

POST #    1578

While you and I might be completely tired of looking at photos of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Gates, I went back to Central Park yesterday afternoon for some pictures. Since I've already seen them during the day, the idea was check out the orange crush (or saffron crush) at night. I also wanted to get there before the sun went down so I could see sunset, dusk, and dark.

For some reason, I didn't mind sifting through these photos quite as much as I did the last set.

- More Chisto and Jeanne-Claude action on this site

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:21 AM



February 19, 2005

Harlem Panorama of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Gates

POST #    1576

(click image for full size)

This is from last weekend's trip to see The Gates.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:33 AM



February 18, 2005

NYC's Skyline Made of Cards at GMA

POST #    1574

To raise money for the tsunami victims in Asian, Brian Berg has been in Good Morning America's studios since February 11th building a skyline of NYC with playing cards. He's using 178,000 cards to honor all the victims of the disaster.

It's kind of an insane task, but it is for a good cause. In the last picture, he's working on a replica Yankee Stadium.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:13 AM



February 14, 2005

The Wide Gates on

POST #    1568

Okay, so promise broken. But this isn't my picture of The gates or even really a picture at all. It's technically a screen grab of a picture. But The NY Times likes The Gates so much that they even made made one of thier main page's boxes double wide.

All for this feature.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:43 PM



February 13, 2005

The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Pt 2

POST #    1566

More of those annoying gates. I promise no more gates until next weekend because, as you can imagine, I'm already suffering from orange overload. It's like the Orange Crush, but much, much worse. That's not to say you shouldn't check them out, but all the photos are overwhelming.

More info and annoying gate photos:
- The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Pt 1
- Snow covered gates from January
- A healthy list of pictures at Gothamist.
- Satan's Laundromat, Lex's Folly, Corie, Rion, Joe and Bluejake

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 1:15 PM



February 12, 2005

The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Pt 1

POST #    1565

The Gates are just beautiful. But seeing them in person is one thing. Going through more than a hundred photos is another. So many similar pictures, so much orange. I almost want to say I never want to see another orange gate in my life. Then again, I have some today, some tomorrow, and I'll probably go back for more at some point.

These photos and the ones tomorrow are all from around the Harlem Meer. Some people might think this whole thing is a pointless piece of art and there are better uses of money, but when you hear little kids running around yelling, "coooooollllll," I think you've got a good idea.

Also, snow covered gates from January and what's sure to be a growing list of pictures at Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:39 PM



Shots From Yesterday

POST #    1564

A few pictures from yesterday. First one from DUMBO because you can't not take that photo when you're heading to Jacques Torres. The second and third at JFK's Terminal 4, which I think it's beautiful. Terminal 5 gets a lot of press for it's classic look, but I think there's something to be said for new as well. It definitely could have been worse.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:25 AM



February 7, 2005

More From the Weekend

POST #    1559

Totally overstuffed from the weekend. I wish I biked more on Saturday. Maybe I'll bike to work this week since the weather will be kind of nice.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:03 AM



February 6, 2005

Yellow Building in Williamsburg

POST #    1558

I took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday to ride my bike (!!!!) and of course I took some pictures. I was nice to get out and exercise a little. Sadly, I'm a little sore today.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:50 AM



February 5, 2005

Late Night Waiting for the G Train

POST #    1557

You haven't waited for a subway until you've waited for the G train after midnight. The first one was after 10, but it was still kind of painful. That said, I like the G train. That shit's got character.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:59 AM



January 25, 2005

"The Gates" Covered in Snow

POST #    1536

I have finally seen the start of The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Earlier this month, I briefly tried to find them, but had no luck . Sunday, it seemed like they were all over the place, but they were covered in snow. The orange markers were still visible, as were some other dog pee! Well, I assume it's dog pee. Of course, this makes me wonder what has been happening all this time. Have dogs been treating the metal bases as a fire hydrant, urinating and marking territory every 10 feet?

The bases were all covered in snow, which made it difficult to walk on them. It was fun though.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:44 AM



January 24, 2005

Snow Fight in Central Park

POST #    1535

With all the snow in New York City, it was naturally time for a snowball fight. Youngna and Jesse organized one for Sunday and it was a grand old time. The only problem, besides being late, was that the snow wasn't exactly packing. People had already been playing for a little bit when I got there, but there was more fun to be had.

I didn't take any photos of the actual fight, just photos from after. As you can see in the last photo, Jake looks kind of cold and dreading life. Not like what he said on his site at all. Need photographic evidence? Two photos from Keith are proof enough, no?

More photos:
- Dan on "The Snowdown"
- Jake on "People I Destroyed at the Snowball Fight" (all lies)
- Jesse's photo gallery
- Karen's photo gallery
- Keith's Flickr gallery
- Rion on "Fresh Snow for a Snowball Fight in Sunny Central Park"
- Youngna on "Central Park Snowball Fight!"

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC at 7:32 AM



January 23, 2005

Fire in Greenpoint

POST #    1534

Yesterday, there were a bunch of fire trucks in my neighborhood and I didn't know what it was until I went outside (they were outside for at least an hour before I ventured out). Apparently, there was a fire on Manhattan Avenue, not far from my apartment. A fire anytime of year is horrible, but during a cold time and with snow falling has to be the worst. It looked like everyone from the building was evacuated. Luckily, emergency services were there to take care of those misplaced.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:58 AM



January 14, 2005

Foggy and Dark McCarren Park Pool

POST #    1521

Sadly, the McCarren Park Pool is no longer open, because it's just sitting there in disrepair. I've always wanted to take some pictures of it, but I've never taken the time to. But as I was biking to work yesterday, it seemed like a perfect time to take a photo. Alas, I was only able to take one. Before taking the picture, I kind of took a quick turn and a spill on the bike. that wasn't exactly fun, but what can you do.

Forgotten NY says that the McCarren Park Pool, which opened in 1936, is Brooklyn's largest pool and could hold 6000-7000 people. Perhaps I can explore the pool one day...

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:28 AM



January 13, 2005

9 West 57th St.

POST #    1517

Or should I say W. 58th. They have some big plant candy canes.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:16 AM



January 11, 2005

Dangerous Snowman

POST #    1513

In the East Village last night. Good thing Con Ed has those light poles all secure. Wouldn't want a dog sticking its nose in those electrical wires.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:58 AM



December 24, 2004

Bridges at Night

POST #    1483

While waiting for Jeannette and Yvan last night, I took these photos. Cliché? Maybe, but I still love standing in DUMBO and looking up at the bridges, buildings, and across the river.

And I couldn't decide if I liked #3 or #4 better, so I used both.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:00 AM



December 23, 2004

Skating at Wollman Rink

POST #    1482

I totally forgot I had these images around. They are of Wollman Rink from last Friday's freezeathon in Central Park. Again, I didn't skate because I don't know how, didn't want to bruise my ass, there was only an hour left to do it, and it was going to be expensive.

Since skating is all the rage these days, Youngna's photos from Wollman Rink that night and Rachelle's skating photos in Chicago.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:45 AM



December 18, 2004

Central Park at Night

POST #    1473

After the pizza club, there was supposed to be ice skating. I didn't participate because I don't know how to skate and because there was only an hour left to fall on my ass anyway. So I just walked around in a very limited area and took photos with Youngna. Limited because it was very, very cold and I could not feel my fingers and limited because I had no tripod. I did get to play with my camera's settings a little though.

Parts of the pond were even frozen. Mental note, no park exploration at night unless it's 40+ degrees.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 4:18 PM



November 23, 2004

More From MoMA

POST #    1427

Some more images from MoMA on Friday, this time from my mom. Maybe I should set her up with a photoblog. She, apparently, was able to go to the sculpture garden, unlike me. Curses to work again!!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 7:56 AM



November 20, 2004

The "New" MoMA

POST #    1421

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to check out the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art, which had a member's preview before the official re-opening today. I went to the preview first thing Friday morning before going to work. There was a line in front of the entrance that seemed to included mostly retired people. Almost making up for the early opening was the free breakfast food and drinks.

I think the space is beautiful. So open, so clean, so simple. After two and a half year of renovations, there is now 630,000 square feet of space, almost double the pre-renovation space. It was almost an overwhelming collection of art. It's a shame that I had to breeze through the collection, especially since they say this is the "most extensive display of the collection ever—showcasing work from each of the Museum's collection departments", but I plan on going back another time when I can view all the items at a more leisurly pace. Too bad the sculpture garden was still being worked on when I left.

My previous trips to MoMA QNS and P.S. 1.

More information:
- About the new MoMA
- NY Times: Special Section on MoMA
- NY Times:Racing to Keep Up With the Newest (art review)
- NY Times: Art Fuses With Urbanity in a Redesign of the Modern (architecture review)
- New Yorker: Outside the Box (architecture review)

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 9:32 AM



November 19, 2004

Walking LED at Tweed Courthouse

POST #    1420

Tuesday night, after leaving the concert, we walked by Julian Opie's installation outside Tweed Courthouse. Two LED sculptures of a man and a woman walking. I've got to say, that his website is possibly the greatest site I've ever seen. Okay, maybe not, but it's really cool.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:00 AM



The New MoMA Card

POST #    1419

New space, new card, classic image. Well, the old drab MoMA membership card has a new look. It's also thinner and attractive as the accompanying letter states. Maybe they are trying to say something?

But the thinner is good because, like the letter says, it takes up less space in your wallet or pocket. And the image? Apparently it will change each time you renew with another image from MoMA's collection.

I'll be using this today to get a special member's preview of the renovated MoMA. Breeze through, take some pictures, and return to visit some other time.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC at 6:50 AM



November 10, 2004

I Say "Damn"...that Mofo is Cold

POST #    1402

Yesterday, I took the initiative to bike to work, using my bike for the first time since the Brooklyn bike ride. It might not have been the best idea. I was mighty out of biking shape and it was kind of cold. It was in the 40s when I left in the morning, but the sun was out, which made it somewhat acceptable. Unfortunately, I didn't have the benefit of the sun when I went home.

No heat from the sun and 38° temperatures make for a cold, cold ride. I had a windstopper fleece jacket and windstopper fleece glomits, so those portions of my body were acceptably warm, but any exposed skin was very cold. My one leg that was exposed due to the rolling up of the pants and my ears. Mental note for future, wear a hat.

The good news is that I didn't encounter the painful breathing due to extreme exertion in cold. I'm curious as to how low I can go before my ears fall off and I get frostbite on my right leg. With the temps in the 30s today, I'll just hold off on the bike until it gets a little warmer.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:00 AM



November 8, 2004

NYC Marathon 2004

POST #    1397

Yesterday, I went to Park Slope to check out the New York City Marathon. Why Park Slope if the marathon also passes through Greenpoint? Because Adam was cool enough to host a small gathering of people. Despite living in New York my whole life, it's the first time I've actually watched the marathon. The number of runners - 36,000 - is pure insanity.

The crazy thing is that I actually saw my friend Yvan (finished in 3:59:22) running in Park Slope. All I knew was that he would be wearing a yellow shirt and was in the orange lane. At one point, I look up and there he was. I'm not sure if me yelling his name helped at all though, since that was only around mile 7.

Pictured in the 3rd photo above are the eventual 2nd and 3rd place men's finishers in the middle of the photo, Meb Keflezighi (bib #2, 2nd place) and Timothy Cherigat (bib #8, 3rd place). In the 4th photo, #17 on the left is the eventual men's winner, Hendrik Ramaala.

More information:
- Youngna's series on yesterday's events (including two pictures of yours truly)
- Gothamist on the marathon
- Corie's thoughts on actually running the race
- Janelle's take on the drunken events

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 7:48 AM



November 6, 2004

Lunch on a Skyscraper Cruising Around Manhattan

POST #    1395

In Manhattan yesterday afternoon, I spotted the Sergio Furnari sculpture of "Lunch on a Skyscraper". It's a life-size sculpture of the famous photo from 1932 over Rockefeller Center. Since I've never seen this before, my first reaction was "wow, lots of those silver robot guys strapped to a truck!" Obviously, that would have been a bit insane. The detail of the sculpture is amazing.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:35 AM



October 25, 2004

Saturday Ride, Part 1: Williamsburg to DUMBO

POST #    1365

Saturday morning, Halo and I took advantage of the nice weather to go bike riding. This was really my first non-commute long ride since getting my bike. After he tweaked a little bike issue I was having, we set out. We started in our day in Williamsburg with a target of DUMBO, but that we weren't sure where we were headed.

It was breezy and windy, but sunny when we started. Really, quite a lot of fun. After we got to DUMBO, Halo tried some Jacques Torres hot chocolate and I scoped out his new bakery. Debating between lunch at Grimaldi's or Bubby's, we elected for Bubby's because we lacked locking equipment for our bikes. After lunch, we forged on. Those pictures tomorrow.

And, how good does that photo of the burger look? Damn, this camera has some good macro settings. I can shoot from 4 cm away. Quick, someone convert that!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:05 AM



October 15, 2004

Signed Up for AMEX's In:NYC

POST #    1350

Over at Gothamist, we've been running a AMEX campaign for their new IN:NYC card, their new credit card targeted at spendthrift New Yorkers. The idea is that you can earn points, much like any credit card, and redeem them at local "hot spots". With some purchases, you can even earn double points, getting you that much closer to your "rewards". I'm always a sucker for new products, so once the campaign launched, I signed up.

One thing I wonder is if the rewards more valuable than the 1% I get back on my credit card? Probably not. Will I be using this card much? Probably not. Then again, I don't use my AMEX Blue card all that much either. So I guess I can cancel the Blue card. And for those that wonder why I even need an AMEX card, I have been to places that only take the American Express card. Crazy, I know.

This AMEX card differs from their original because you can carry a balance and there is no annual fee. Like I said, I'm a sucker. Only then would I get a card I don't need. On the plus side, it's interest free balance transfers until April, 2005. That and it looks cool and is much better than getting a credit card with an American flag on it.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:38 AM



October 13, 2004

Green-Wood Cemetery

POST #    1342

And to finally complete my series of photos from openhousenewyork, here are some photos from Green-Wood Cemetery. This was my second trip to Green-Wood, which might seem a bit odd, but I really like it. It's so vast and there is so much to see. The fact that we made it there a little late is another issue.

The main difference between this year and last year is that it seemed like a bigger production this year. There were people pointing the paths the tour went on, accordion players, piano performances, and even strange performances within the catacombs. There were a few people in the vaults that would yell the name of a dead person and ring some bells. Creepy. I much preferred the wandering, non-creepy version from last year.

The Steinway Tomb was new to the tour this year. The last picture happens to be the first member of the Steinway family to come to the United States. It was an unplanned coincidence.

More information:
- Last year's trip to Green-Wood
- Corie's trip to Green-Wood

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:00 AM



October 12, 2004

New York Marble Cemetery

POST #    1340

After visiting the NYC Marble Cemetery, I visited the New York Marble Cemetery, which was only a block away. The New York Marble Cemetery was the first non sectarian burial place in New York City and was incorporated in 1931 (the NYC Marble Cemetery opened afterwards because the NY Marble Cemetery was so popular).

There are no markers for the entombed on the ground in the New York Marble Cemetery, but marble plaques on the walls mark who lies in the tombs below. The cemetery is showing signs of aging, as the walls are deteriorating, with some in dire need of structural support. The vaults however, are in good condition. Something I found interesting is that the reason for burial in vaults below the ground, as opposed to regular in-ground burial, was because of the fear of yellow fever. Laws during the time prohibited earth graves, which resulted in the marble vaults 10 feet below ground.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:57 AM



October 11, 2004

New York City Marble Cemetery

POST #    1339

Saturday afternoon, I went for the cemetery trifecta. A trip to the New York City Marble Cemetery, the New York Marble Cemetery and Greenwood Cemetery. Yes, it was extremely morbid to hit up all three in one day, but with the closure of Terminal Five at JFK, there really weren't too many things that fit in my schedule. All three of the cemeteries were part of openhousenewyork, a weekend with houses. One hundred places were open to the public, free of charge, as part of OHNY's second year.

The New York City Marble Cemetery was New York's second non-sectarian cemetery and started in 1831. The first one, the New York Marble Cemetery, started in 1830. James Monroe was buried at the Marble Cemetery before his body was moved to Virginia. Other well known people there are James Lenox (a founder of the NY Public Library), James Henry Roosevelt (as in the hospital), and Moses Taylor (a financier). But the most important is the Kip family, as in Kip's Bay. What would the movie theatre be named without Kip's Bay? Loews Midtown East?

More information:
- OHNY Last Year: Day 1, Day 2

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:45 AM



September 20, 2004

Mourning Indian Larry

POST #    1299

Yesterday, scores of motorcycle enthusiasts gathered in the Greeenpoint/Williamsburg area to memorialize "Indian Larry" Desmedt who died on August 30th after an accident during a stunt in North Carolina. Larry was a builder and sculptor of custom motorcycles and the gathering took place outside of his shop on N. 14th Street.

It was a bit odd this morning when I kept hearing the distinct sound of the Harley Davidson motorcycles throughout Greenpoint. I even saw a pack of NYPD bikes parked outside the local police precinct. Nothing like seeing a pack of bikes pull out.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:51 AM



August 30, 2004

Police, Cheney, Delegates and Protesters

POST #    1246

Yesterday, I wanted to check out some of the protest, but apparently missed it all. I did, however, find some protesters on my walk west from Grand Central. They were waiting outside The Lion King for delegates to leave the show. Once that happened, the chants started. One included, "RNC go home" but I wonder how many of the protesters are actually from New York. The members of the convention seem to be having fun so far, enjoying The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera.

As the convention starts tonight, I might have to tune in. It's slightly masochistic for me to watch though as I will quickly become so angry that I will change the channel.

- More on this at Gothamist

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Politics at 7:52 AM



August 28, 2004

A Clear Link Between the RNC and Hookers

POST #    1243

I've noticed that in the recent days, that there has been an increase in searches for "NYC Hookers" coming to my site. With the RNC in town, is this a coincidence? I think not! For shame to all the Republicans descending on my fair city. Where did all the those family values go? And what about your children and wife at home? And you want to lead this country?

Much to their dismay, the are either finding this entry which is related to this entry.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:39 AM



August 2, 2004

Twilight in Williamsburg

POST #    1192

I briefly rode around the area on Saturday night and took some photos. I'm just going to put this out there, but taking photos in twilight without a tripod might be harder than any time of day. Bright sunlight is a bitch too though. I think I need a new camera and to find my tripod. Then again, where's the fun in riding a bike on a humid day with tripod and heavy camera in tow.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:43 AM



August 1, 2004

NY Times Advertising Bags

POST #    1194

Has anyone else that gets home delivery of The New York Times get their papers in bags with advertising on them? This weekend was the first time it has happened to me. No more of the distinctive blue bags that are nice and transparent. Now, I've been hit with ads for Eclipse and Lexus.

If this continues, I'll miss the old blue bags, but since I'm behind on my paper reading (so typical), I'll have some lying around. Although...if they are going to give me free samples of Eclipse everyday, I'll take them.

And I think "Drink a latte. Kiss a lot, eh?" would have been better than the current lines of "Drink a latte. Kiss a little."

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:40 PM



July 26, 2004

Taking the Hangover to Coney Island

POST #    1178

Not necessarily the best idea after having a housewarming party, but Sunday, I went to Coney Island. How could I resist. The G train nearly thwarted my attempts, but I still got there, albeit an hour late. Nothing like a ride on The Cyclone to cure that hangover and then some a hot dog, fries and coke at Nathan's.

This is my third time out to Coney Island this year. Last time, I went to the Phish concert and the first time, I rode the cyclone and ate pizza and dogs.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:35 AM



July 21, 2004

The G Train - Learning to Love It

POST #    1146

When my cousin lived a certain part of Brooklyn that was only served by the G Train, I would always joke that it was the G was for ghetto. Hey, it's the only non-shuttle like that never enters Manhattan. As I moved to Greenpoint, there was naturally some consternation about living off the G Train. While I've been living here though, I've learned to accept the train and even enjoy it.

Sure, the stations are dirty and it's never on a reliable schedule, but what trains are? I'm lucky that I don't have to take the train late at night to return home, but can just walk from the Bedford stop on the L. But one thing the G does provide is excercise. What other train is so short that it only takes up half the station? The G Train, which was apparently shortened during budget cuts, is only six cars long. Because of that, if you hear the train coming into the station, you have to sprint from wherever you are to the front or back of the train. If not, you won't catch it. Thankfully, the train operators are pretty cooperative for those that are running. Who needs exercise when they have the G train?

You know what's funny? Despite what the mural depicts, the G Train never actually goes above ground in Greenpoint. Oh well, in art, there isn't always accuracy.

Also, this just in, the Straphanger's released their subway report card and the G Train is ranked high! Well, at least in some categories. The service is "regular" but not frequent, clean but breakdown a lot, they also don't have enough data on the G to rate the crowds. I, however, can tell you that you can always get a seat on weekends and sometimes during rush hour. And I'm convinced the in car announcements are good because of all the service changes they have on the line.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:12 AM



July 20, 2004

Leftovers from Saturday

POST #    1164

Here are a few more images from my weekend exploration. Don't ask what that thing in the first two photos is, because I really don't know. I think it's kind of cool though. Lucky I didn't hit my head on it though, otherwise I would be out.

Previously from Saturday, the water tower and greenpoint graffiti.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:30 AM



July 19, 2004

Greepoint Graffiti

POST #    1163

So am I making more use of my bike? Quite possibly. This Saturday, I took my bike and ventured North of my apartment to do some exploring. Admittedly, I didn't really look at too much of the area, but I saw some pretty cool things while I was out. In the process of taking the last photo in this entry, a man approached and asked me to take his picture and wondered if I could mail it to him. Of course, I was thinking, maybe I can e-mail it to him, but he had never heard of e-mail. He had also never heard of a fax until recently. We chatted for a few minutes before parting ways, but it's somewhat of a shock, you know? I'm thrilled that I finally got my Internet connection, but this man doesn't even know what e-mail is. (Yeah, I know this happens all over the world - I'm not that sheltered.) Anyway, Keith, your print is in the mail, hopefully you like it.

So all of these photos are of "graffiti", the former scourge of society, but I would consider a lot of this graffiti art and no longer something to be painted over. Perhaps, that's why the building owners where these were taken didn't paint them over either. This isn't the work of some punk who just takes some spray paint to a wall, but something that should be preserved. At least in photos anyway.

See also, Rion's photos of Greenpoint graffiti.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:05 AM



July 18, 2004

Greenpoint Water Tower

POST #    1162

I've always loved water towers and how they look in New York. Looking up into the sky and seeing old looking structures that supply the apartments below. In Manhattan, it's usually difficult to see water towers for apartment buildings since they are so tall. But if you're in the outer boroughs, you tend to see them better, since buildings are lower. For the taller buildings in the city, the towers are required because they are too tall for they city's water pressure alone to supply the buildings. See How Stuff Works for more info about water towers.

In Greenpoint, there aren't too many water towers, since many of the buildings here are pretty low, but there is one huge tower in the area - the water tower for the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse. It's one of those things that you can see from almost any part of the neighborhood. On one side, a Polish flag is painted (barely visible from the third picture) and the other side says, "Save the Palestine".

The way the water tower is visible from all of Greenpoint makes reminds me of the Brooklyn Union Gas Tanks, which were visible off the BQE and from parts of East Williamsburg. Man, I wish those were still there, they were like a lighthouse for the area. If you were lost, you could just go towards the tower to find your way.

Because I wanted to show you the view from elsewhere in the Greenpoint, here is another shot of the water tower.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:24 AM



July 5, 2004

Rooftop Fireworks for the 4th

POST #    1139

After coming home from a thrilling game yesterday, I sat got ready to watch the 4th of July Fireworks. Since the buildings in Greenpoint are relatively short, I was able to watch fireworks from my roof. Unfortunately since there is a school across the street, I was unable to see the midtown fireworks (except for one or two which seemed insanely close). Seeing the downtown one was good enough for me. You see them once, you've seen them a million times.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 12:11 PM



June 21, 2004

Exploring the Area

POST #    1115

Yesterday, I took my bike out twice - once to ride to work and again in the early evening. Since one of the reasons that I bought the bike was for my commute to work, I wanted to know how long it would take and how to get there. It took 16 minutes to get to work at a semi-leisurely pace and 25 minutes to get home at a very leisurely pace on a different route (note to self - don't ride by a waste water treatment plant again).

In the evening, I decided to ride around one last time, just for the hell of it. This time, I stayed in Greenpoint going north and south around Kent Ave./Franklin St. One of the blocks I turned off on led to West St., which was very deserted. There was a nice set of warehouses that were in disrepair and rusty. Creepy, but very cool looking.

Overall, riding the bike went very smoothly, but my butt is still slightly sore right now. While the seat might have something to do with it, I also think I need to get used to riding a little more.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:01 AM



June 11, 2004

Maybe Some Common B.O. Courtesy?

POST #    1097

So I'm riding the G Train and I sit down on the end of a row. This woman is standing next to the doors arm raised, holding onto the bar. I'm there for two seconds before I pick up her stank. I think to myself, I can deal with it for a stop, but then my senses finally recover from the stench and I moved one seat over. Thankfully, she left after one stop so I didn't have to smell her sour body odor anymore.

I can understand that maybe she works in a very warm environment, but could she at least make an attempt to wear some deodorant? I mean, if you know you're going to stink, make an effort. For the public's sake. Maybe do the French thing and pour some perfume on. Anything!

I know that living in New York during the summer and taking the subway, this is going to be a common occurrence. I'm willing to accept that. But can people everywhere please make an effort? It's for the good of mankind. Thanks.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:24 AM



June 7, 2004

Tribute to Broadway - "I Wanna Fuck Her in the A$$"

POST #    1089

With the Tony Awards last night, I thought this would be a great time to write about an incident on the subway yesterday.

[The scene takes place in a subway car after a Mets game. The subway car is full of people, including Mets fans and regular passengers. Main characters include an overweight disheveled man wearing a Mets hat and a female Mets fan.]

Overweight Man: Did the Mets win?
Man: Yeah, 5-0.
OM: 5-0? Any homers?
M: Yeah, Mike Piazza.
OM: Fucking Piazza, I hate him. He doesn't respect the fans. Did the Mets win? Were there any home runs?

[Overweight Man exits the train as doors open, throws most of game program into stairwell, boards train again.]

OM: Mets won, 5-0. Fucking Mets, I hate the Mets. Did the Mets win?
Female Mets Fan: Yeah, the Mets won, 5-0. I hate the Mets too. Fucking Mets.
OM: I hate Piazza, fucking Mets.
FMF: Oh yeah? Me too.

[Overweight Man exits the train as doors open, throws pages of program out of the elevated station onto the street, boards train again.]

OM: You know Radio City Music Hall?
FMF: Yeah, I know Radio City.
OM: The Tony Awards are tonight.
FMF: Oh yeah, you know the Tony's? Who do you think is going to win?
OM: Yeah, I know the Tony's. It's at Radio City tonight.
FMF: Yeah, Radio City.
OM: You know Rene Zellweger? She's going to be there tonight.
FMF: She's going to be at Radio City?
OM: Yeah, I wanna fucker her in the ass!

[Overweight Man exits the train, the doors close as all in train burst out in laughter.]

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 4:14 PM



May 24, 2004

Greenpoint Street Fair

POST #    1057

It's almost like the street fair in Greenpoint yesterday was welcoming me to the neighborhood. Obviously, that can't possibly be true, but it was nice to think that for about five seconds. When I lived in Murray Hill, it seemed like there was a street fair every month of the summer. I generally had no complaints except when it inconvenienced me. And of course, I loved the smell of grilled meat that was on every block.

For some reason, I thought that a street fair in Greenpoint would feature some Polish flavor and maybe some Zywiec, but no. It was pretty much the same as any other street fair. Corn, sausage, and cheap crap.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:38 AM



May 17, 2004

Abandoned Train Line in Queens

POST #    1040

Yesterday, Mike led a tour of an abandoned LIRR line in Queens - the far reaches of Queens. I don't have too many details on the line, which was off the J train, but maybe Mike can share some in his entry or in a comment. All I know is the "entrance" was in a park, the rail line passed behind houses, and that there were some transients that scared the shit out of me when they came up from behind.

A special thanks to Mike for leading everyone on the expedition.

More information:
- Matt on "Urban Hiking"
- Jake on "Abandoned Tracks"

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:55 AM



May 9, 2004

Jefferson Market Library on a Beautiful Spring Day

POST #    1015

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day and I had some time to kill in the West Village. I walked by the Jefferson Market Library and took some quick pictures of the building. The building itself dates back to the 1870s and is a New York City landmark. It originally served as a courthouse, jail, and a market. In 1967, it was converted into a library after several years of disuse. Incidentally, it was the place I did most of my research during my elementary school and high school days.

I previously visited Jefferson Market last summer during openhousenewyork, when I was able to enter the tower.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 12:18 PM



May 2, 2004

Beyond Manhattan at The TriBeCa Film Festival

POST #    992

Yesterday afternoon, I went down to TriBeCa for the 3rd Annual TriBeCa Film Festival. It was my first time attending, but it was a lot of fun. The film festival was originally started to help revive the economy in Lower Manhattan after September 11th and to "celebrate New York City as a major filmmakingcenter." Movies from around the world are shown and include shorts, documentaries, independant features, and even some studio releases.

One of the screenings that I watched yesterday was Beyond Manhattan, a collection of seven shorts that take place in New York City. The short film committee screened over 1500 entries and narrowed it down to Last Night, Transit, Exactly, Avenue X, Skips, Belle, and Gowanus, Brooklyn. Strangely, three of the seven movies took place in Manhattan despite the name of the series. While all the shorts were good, I really enjoyed Avenue X and Belle. Avenue X is about two teenage friends who are deaf and looking for something to do on Memorial Day. The film looks at the two friends as they make their way to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone. Belle is about an older woman from Brighton Beach and follows her as she sits on the boardwalk with her friends, goes shopping, and has a slight accident. It's kind of a sad story that isn't often told, but you know happens all the time.

The TriBeCa Film Festival started yesterday and runs through Sunday, May 9th. Beyond Manhattan plays one more time on May 7th at 9 p.m.

More information:
- TriBeCa Film Festival listing for "Beyond Manhattan"

Posted by tien mao in Movies, NYC at 10:12 AM



April 29, 2004

First Trip to The Empire State Building

POST #    987

Last night's trip to The Empire State Building was actually my first trip ever to the NYC landmark. The ESB always provided the best views of Manhattan, but I just never took the opportunity to visit. I must say, the views did not disappoint. I took over a hundred photos while on the 80th and 86th (top) floor. A very select few are above and can be enlarged if you click on them.

- Jen on "Empire State Building"
- Neil on "empire state building at night"

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:03 AM



April 19, 2004

Van Cortland Park

POST #    953

At the end of the 1/9 train (or the Nostalgia Train) in The Bronx is Van Cortland Park. I had never been there before yesterday, but it was certainly rewarding to visit. To me, it's almost like it is a "hidden treasure", despite the fact that so many people know about it. It's not the same as Central Park, with it's manicured fields, but is unique in its own right. Van Cortland Park, the third largest park in the city, has fields for sports, a cross country track, a golf course, and more than a few poorly marked paths to walk on.

More on the Van Cortlands and their history at the Van Cortland House website.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:55 AM



Nostalgia Train - The Bronx Express

POST #    952

The R15 at Grand Central

Corie waiting for the Nostalgia Train to start

The abandoned 18th St station

Bowling Green Station

At our destination - the R12

Van Cortland Park, not the Polo Grounds

Stars at Van Cortland station

Inside the R12

Trains make their way around a bend in The Bronx

Yesterday, I took a trip on one of the MTA's Nostalgia Train ride - The Bronx Express. Corie, her friend Jie, S. and I all boarded the train at Grand Central's Shuttle station Track #1, which is a remenant of the original Grand Central Station. From there, the train went south via the Lexington Line, which was also part of the original 1904 IRT line. When we reached the southern extent of Manhattan, the train switched over to the 7th Ave IRT line, which is "new" from South Ferry to Times Square - new being constructed in 1917 and 1918. The route from Times Square north to The Bronx dates to 1905.

In 1948, some stations were forced to close due to a lengthening of subway platforms to accommodate more cars and passengers. This rendered the City Hall stations, 18th St. (pictured above), and other stations, obsolete due to their proximity to other stations nearby and, in the case of City Hall, due to the curve of the station.

I had seen many of the subway cars when I visited the transit museum, but the best part of the whole thing was actually riding on the trains. We passed many people that gave the, "what the fuck is going on" look. A great time though.

- Corie on "Spring Sunday"

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:17 AM



April 7, 2004

The Life of Steinway Piano No. K0862

POST #    923

Since last May, The NY Times has documented the life of a Steinway concert grand, piano number K0862. Coverage started from the selection of the wood and ended last week with the final article and a finished piano 10 months later. It has really been interesting to read about how a piano is made and all the care and demands that go into making a concert grand.

From the times:

It is something of a mystery. The same 450 workers bend and shape the wood the same way. The sounding boards are made to the same specifications. The strings and pins, hammers and keys - there should be no variation.

Yet every piano that Steinway & Sons produces has its own sound. Some are modest, some monumental. And no one knows exactly why.

This is the last article in a series following one concert grand as it was made at the Steinway factory in Astoria, Queens.

The articles are lengthy, and there are nine of them, but for those interested, it's worth the read.

- NY Times: "Invention for 900 Hands" - Steinway No. K0862

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:31 AM



April 5, 2004

Gage & Tollner Transforms to T.G.I. Friday's

POST #    916

Looks like T.G.I. Friday's is in the process of transforming Gage & Tollner's storefront already. They have a huge banner up and signage on the building already.

Gage & Tollner just closed in February and in the beginning of March, it was announced that T.G.I. Friday's was taking up the space. I wonder how long it will take to remove all signs of the classic restaurant.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:30 AM



April 4, 2004

A Coney Island Experience

POST #    915

Today, S. and I met up with several people - including Janelle, Adam and Marc (aka Seltzerboy) of Slice - in Coney Island to take part in Slice's Pizza Club on it's trip to Totonno's. While there, we took the opportunity to hit up some other "must dos" on the island - Nathan's Hot Dogs and The Cyclone. Our trip to Totonno's coincided with the opening of The Cyclone, which brought out Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

The turnout was good despite the rain, with several people showing up for Nathan's and The Cyclone and some more showing up for pizza. I got to ride The Cyclone for the first time in my life despite living in New York from birth. I met the Borough President, who clearly loves Brooklyn more than anything (it was evident in our 15 minute conversation with him), I had some great pizza at Totonno's, where we met Ed Levine, a NY Times food critic. Ed Levine is the critic that wrote the article that resulted in the "Cheesecake Challenge".

- Slice on "Slice Pizza Club No. 2: Marty, Ed, And Totonno's"
- Janelle on "i went to coney island and all i got was this lousy "brooklyn" lapel pin"

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 5:18 PM



March 11, 2004


POST #    836

This morning, I got a parking ticket. I was in a street cleaning zone where the street cleaning starts at 8 A.M. So I get downstairs at about 8:03, see the little police cart slowly driving up the block towards my car where it stops (my car was almost two blocks away). As soon as I saw the cart, I ran towards my car, only to get there as the police officer was writing the ticket. At that point, I knew it was too late. There's no arguing with a police officer when he's already written the ticket, that and I was tired and out of breath. I said, "You can just give the ticket to me, since I'm right here." I followed that up with a un-sarcastic "thanks." Not a peep from the officer.

The crappy part is that the cops don't ticket right at 8 for the block in front of my building. Damn uneven ticketing. All that running for nothing too. I think the ticket is going to run $45, which isn't too bad. It's much better than getting the priciest fine in NYC, $180 for no parking in a handicapped plate/permit spot.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:17 AM



February 25, 2004

Subway Germs...Ewww!

POST #    786

In the past few years, I've developed this sort of germ-phobia while in the subway. I avoid holding the handlebars at almost all costs. When I lived in Murray Hill and took the train from 33rd to Union Square, I knew exactly where the bend in the track was and would only touch the bar if I was going step on someone. When I can, I lean against the doors. If I must touch the bar, I touch with minimal parts of my hand and then wipe vigorously after I let go. If I were really insane, I would bring some hand sanitizer with me everywhere, but I'm not quite there yet. The strange thing is, while I despise touching the handlebar, I'll lean my head against the wall of the car while I sit without giving it a thought.

I'm no better in public bathrooms. I turn the faucet off with the paper towel I use to dry my hands, then open the door with that paper towel, and finally throw the paper towel in the garbage can while holding the door open with my foot.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Random at 7:15 AM



February 18, 2004

OHNY - 2004

POST #    774

Van Gogh's Starry Night, at the Terrapin Gallery in October, 2003.

I just got an email from openhousenewyork, which will have it's 2nd annual weekend this year, on October 9th and 10th. They reported that over 45,000 people participated in the events last year. This year, they plan to "include an even more diverse array of sites of architecture and design interest in neighborhoods throughout the city."

I went to a few places last year and it was a lot of fun, but quite tiring. Trekking all over NYC isn't easy (and I didn't really go that far!).

My OHNY experiences:
- Open House, But Apparently Not for Sale (Day 1)
- openhousenewyork, Day Two

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:18 AM



February 15, 2004

Message to Southern Baptists, "You're Not Welcome in New York!"

POST #    767

I have a message to the Southern Baptists that have targeted New York as a "strategic focus city", "get the fuck out of my town!" You have no place here. We are happy with one group of fools campaigning for religious conversions, we don't need two. It's like they are a cult, trying to get people to convert and join their crazy group. Can't they just leave New York alone? Let us choose our own faiths, don't push your crap on me.

I may sound crazy, but when you read quotes in a NY Times article that say, "we want to make New York the Jesus center of the world," something has to be said. They are targeting bars on 8th Avenue and the "temples of materialism" on Madison Ave. So in plain english, they are targeting gays and businessmen. God fucking forbid we have gay people in the world. And business? Forget about it. Lest you religious people out there say, "that Tien guy is really crazy," they have also marked Catholic churches, mosques and synagogues as parts of the world they also need to reach. While I am decidedly anti-religion, I am fine with people being religious. I just don't want to have it pushed on me or anyone else when I am cheerfully minding my own business.

The "little read book" reaches out to the hookers, pick-pockets, and crime element of New York, please don't let the Southern Baptists take over the city. I thought the RNC Convention this summer was bad enough, but both? Come on! Leave our fine city alone.

- NY Times: Southern Baptists Bring New York Their Gospel

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Rants at 1:17 PM



February 13, 2004

Goodbye to Gage & Tollner

POST #    764

Even more tragic than the closing of Lutce is the closing of Gage & Tollner, a Brooklyn institution. The restaurant has been open since 1879 and has been at 372 Fulton street since 1892. 1892!! How crazy is that? In its present location, there are 36 gas lamps in their dining hall, each one lit daily by a waiter. Gage & Tollner even has cut-glass chandeliers and mahogany tables.

Their were a few problems that Gage & Tollner faced, the Downtown Brooklyn are was not favorable to business and perhaps they didn't adapt to the times. The area around Gage & Tollner is full of discount stores and fast food eateries, with many things closing by nightfall, resulting in a "dead" area. Some analysts said that Gage & Tollner also failed to adapt to the changing palates of diners. The current owner hopes to re-open Gage & Tollner in a new location, but in my mind, a lot of history will be lost if Gage & Tollner isn't in the same four-story brownstone.

I've been to Gage & Tollner once, and I can see how they might have fallen behind newer restaurants. The food was decent, but not spectacular. The space though was charming and, in my opinion, reason enough to try to keep Gage & Tollner in the same location.

- Gage & Tollner
- Gage & Tollner's Citysearch listing
- NY Times: Eat and Be Merry; On Saturday 2 Classics Die

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Food/Drink, NYC at 1:51 PM



February 5, 2004

A Trip to Chumley's

POST #    748

The bar at Chumley's

Tables where people have carved things.

Rachelle and Jess (I'm not sure how the image turned out like this).

Last night, I took a trip to Chumley's, a historic bar in the West Village. I've been there before, but it's always nice to go to a bar that has been around since the 1920's. Since it's winter, they had their fireplace going, which you could immediately sense when you walked in and took a breath. Chumley's is a beautiful bar that everyone should go to at least once. Oh, and at $2, their assorted bread basket is a deal for those who want to load up on the carbs.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 4:11 PM



February 3, 2004

Graffiti on the High Line

POST #    742

Finally, the end of my High Line posts. It turns out that I have tons of photos of graffiti on the High Line. I don't have the skill they call restraint when it comes to deciding what photos to put up, so here are nine photos that I like. I remember when I was a kid in this fine city and there was much more graffiti. Subways were covered in graffiti, which gave the the Subway system a somewhat gritty quality that you don't see in today. I love the amenities of the new trains as much as the next guy, but I miss seeing graffiti covered trains fly by in a fury of colors.

More information:
- My previous entries, "Walking the High Line", "Seen on the High Line", and "Seen from the High Line"
- Rachelle on "The High Line"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 1"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 2"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 3"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 4"
- Friends of the High Line

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 9:51 AM



February 2, 2004

Seen From the High Line

POST #    741

Earlier, I had pictures of things I saw on the High Line, now I have some pictures of things that I saw from the High Line. The High Line has an endless supply of photo worthy items. While it may seem like the sky is artificially blue, I assure you that it was a beautiful day on Saturday, where the sky almost matched the Manhattan Mini Storage advertisement.

More information:
- My previous entries, "Walking the High Line" and "Seen on the High Line"
- Rachelle on "The High Line"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 1"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 2"
- Mike on "Winter High Line3"
- Friends of the High Line

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 11:14 PM



Seen on the High Line

POST #    739

As promised, more photos from the High Line. These are random things I saw on the walk, including remnants of things from the rail line, a sign for the Chelsea Market, an old Sony boom box, and some artwork.

I'll have more tomorrow, mostly of graffiti on the High Line.

More information:
- My previous entry, "Walking the High Line"
- Rachelle on "The High Line"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 1"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 2"
- Friends of the High Line

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 10:22 AM



January 31, 2004

Walking the High Line

POST #    736

Early this morning, I met up with Rachelle, Mike, and a couple of Mike's friends for a trip to the High Line. Not exactly the safest or wisest thing in the world to do, but a fun and entertaining time nonetheless.

Built in the 1930s, the High Line elevated rail traffic in New York City above the streets, reducing the number of accidents caused when railroad traffic, vehicles, and pedestrians mix. Completed in 1934, the High Line stretched for 13 miles and brought food and merchandise into New York, which made it known as the "Life Line of New York." With trucking on the rise in the 1950s, the decline of the High Line was imminent. The final freight train on the High Line ran in 1980. While sections or the High Line still stand today, it is in disrepair and there is much controversy regarding the fate of the High Line.

I have tons of other photos that I will put up soon, probably starting Monday since it's Superbowl weekend and everything.

More information:
- Rachelle on "The High Line"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 1"
- Mike on "Winter High Line 2"
- Friends of the High Line

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 6:34 PM



January 25, 2004

2004/4702 Chinese New Year Parade

POST #    722

The Monkey King

Chuck Schumer responds to calls of "Chuck for President!" from an un-named blog author. Note the looks of "who is that crazy guy?" from the old white and old Asian guy.

Parade banners.

More banner.

Police Pipes and Drums, Bergen County, NJ.


More dragon action.

Finally, another dragon.

After hitting up Jing Fong for dim sum with Eleanor, Jeannette, Jessica, Rachelle, Shannan, and Yvan, we headed over to the Chinese New Year parade, where we met up with Jen and Jake. What better way to ring in a new year, besides having dinner with family and dinner with friends.

I remember going to the New Year's parade when I was a kid, and while some things are the same, some things have changed. I remember firecrackers when I was a child. They were loud, but they added a lot to the parade experience and are an important tradition. The firecrackers are supposed to scare away evil spirits. I guess the Giuliani Administration wasn't too keen on making those evil spirits go away. I also didn't see the scary guy from my childhood that wore this mask that looked playful, but really wasn't. I think he banged a drum or cymbals or something.

Despite the cold weather, there were a lot of people there to watching it, including Gothamist and Bluejake. I was freezing my ass off, I can't imagine how those bagpipers felt...and what bagpipe has to do with Chinese New Year, I do not know. Despite my camera acting a little crazy because of the weather, it was nice to relive some childhood memories.

- Rachelle on "Chinese New Year Parade"
- Eleanor on "chinese new year"
- Bluejake on "Chinatown Parade" (with gallery)
- Gothamist on "Chinese New Year Parade"

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:02 PM



January 19, 2004

Fun at The Transit Museum

POST #    707

Rachelle proves that there is a working phone in the museum. They also have one broken phone, true to form.

Rachelle reads on an old train.

Rachelle Bowden starring in Speed 3.

Ooh, look what I found, a modern turnstile!

Rachelle locked into an old turnstile.

I don't usually associate museums with fun, but my trip with Rachelle to the New York Transit Museum was a lot of fun. There are bunches-o interactive displays that you can look at and even have some fun with.

- More on the visit to The Transit Museum
- Rachelle's entry on the transit museum

Additional Information:
- - a great resource on the New York City Subway system.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:30 AM



The New York Transit Museum

POST #    708

An old subway, circa 1907, the reason commuters are called "straphangers".

The bell that rings when a stop is requested on the same 1907 train.

Another old train, note the fans on the ceilings of the car. Circa 1916.

Seating on the old-time subway, circa 1928. They were made of a woven material.

Subway car circa 1949.

Metal "straps" on a subway car circa 1955.

"Deposit Coins Here"

"Every woman will eventually vote - for Gold Dust."

Signage for the 1964 World's Fair.

Yesterday, Rachelle and I took a trip to the New York Transit Museum. It was my first time going there, despite my parents living across the street from it since the late 90s. I'm thrilled that I finally made the effort to check it out and for $5, it was a great time.

The transit museum was no ordinary museum - there were interactive exhibits, making for a fun time for kids of all ages! This, of course, was in addition to a few items that required you to read, but since the museum is very child friendly, interaction is a must.

The New York Transit Museum is actually located in an old 1936 IND subway station. There are even warnings that the 3rd rail of the subway station is electrified.

The New York City Subway system is one of the largest in the world and turns 100 on October 27th of this year. Before the 1940s, when the city took over the subway system, three different companies all ran trains in New York - Interborough Rapid Transit, Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit, and the Independent Subway. The NYC system is the 3rd oldest in the world (London, 1863 and Paris, 1900 are older), the second longest (after London), and has the most stations of any system in the world.

- Fun at The Transit Museum
- Rachelle's entry on the transit museum

Additional Information:
- - a great resource on the New York City Subway system.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:25 AM



January 15, 2004

Maybe Long Island Isn't That Bad

POST #    700

Citibank drive-up ATM.

Yesterday, I was in Garden City Park for the second time in two days. Now, as a city kid, I rail on the suburbs a lot, but they have at least two things up on city life - 7-Elevens and drive-up ATMs (I also got a Slurpee for the second time in two days). A drive-up ATM obviously does you no good if you don't have a car, which is why there are none in NYC, but I think the Citibank ATM that I went to in Long Island has one of the coolest features I have ever seen. The ATM has an adjustable height. Maybe these are really common, but since I've used a drive-up ATM maybe one other time in my life, I thought this was the best idea ever. There are three buttons for different types of cars, short, medium, and tall. If that adjustment isn't close enough for you, you can use the fine adjustment buttons. Even though the medium height was good for the car I was in, I used the fine adjustments to grab the cash and the receipt. Why? Just because it was there.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:38 AM



January 4, 2004

Home Sweet Home

POST #    681

I'm back home. Despite nature's best attempts to stop air travel in the Midwest, I am home. Back from California, back to my apartment, back to work.

While in California, I briefly considered carpet-bagging and making a run for the governor's mansion, but quickly returned to my senses. I'll let the "real" politicians handle the budget crises in Cal-eeee-for-knee-ah. Besides, who would want to mess with the Über-governor/Gröpenfuhrer/AHH-nold anyway? That, and my heart belongs to The Empire State and The Big Apple.

My overall impressions of L.A. and Santa Monica (where I was staying) is that they were nice, but not for me. The palm tree lined streets, ocean breeze, and ocean access in Santa Monica are great. But since I'm a stubborn New Yorker, I'll take my cement sidewalks, subway smell, and roof access and like it. I'll take my four seasons, not two or three. Los Angeles, a nice place to visit, just not for me.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:38 PM



December 27, 2003

What Ever Happened to a Quiet Weekend in The City?

POST #    670

There are certain things you never want to hear in a New York City bar, "fire," "sir, you are too drunk," "last call," and anyone enthusiastically saying "where in Jersey are you from?!?" Last night, I heard the latter, prompting me to quickly buy another beer to drown out that memory from my mind. It was a strange night. I thought that this weekend would be like long weekends in New York where there aren't too many people around and all people here are native New Yorkers. No such luck, I guess. Thankfully, there is some football on tonight to keep me entertained.

- LIRR Schedules
- NJ Transit
- PATH info

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 6:42 PM



December 16, 2003

Slow News Day

POST #    642

Lisa Evers of Fox5 New York

With crime at its lowest rate in years, there is little news to report. This must be why Fox 5 called me to talk about my picture of the middle finger on the walk/don't walk sign. Apparently, they saw my picture on NewYorkish. Gawker then picked the image up and the rest is blog history. Okay, not really. But a lot of people have linked to it and Gawker's post was responsible for a lot of visits.

Tonight, Lisa Evers came over to interview me about the picture and the signs. The first thing I asked her and the crew was, "slow news day?" They all answered at the same time "yeah." Classic.

They said it will be on the 10 o'clock news tonight. So, if you're in the New York area, tune in and check it out. More later...if it makes the cut.

- As Seen In Brooklyn (the post that started it all)
- NewYorkish on the sign
- Gawker on the sign
- Turbanhead saw it too

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:05 PM



Inside Washington Irving and Eating at Pete's

POST #    640

Organ Pipes in Washington Irving High School's auditorium

Mural inside Washington Irving High School

Foyer and mezzanine at Washington Irving High School

Sunday's Greenwich Village Orchestra performance was at Washington Irving High School, which isn't the safest school in New York, which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I walked inside. The building has interior spaces that some say are worthy of landmark status. Features of note include a two-story foyer with a mezzanine balcony, the auditorium, several murals, and some impressive wood columns.

After the orchestra performance, we ate at Pete's Tavern, which has a rich history as New York's longest continuously operating bar and restaurant. operating since 1864. In 1902, Pete's regular, O. Henry wrote The Gift of the Magi while sitting in his favorite booth.

- More on Washington Irving High School's history

Post-show hunger - Rachelle and her cheeseburger

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:18 AM



December 9, 2003

Greenpoint Apartment - Redux

POST #    626

The stairs to the bedroom, which will be known as the "den of love" (okay, maybe not).

The stairs from the basement to the main floor. Me climbing the stairs, dad making cameo in blue jacket.

This summer, I thought I found an apartment in Greenpoint to live in, but that deal fell through for reasons which I won't go into. Yesterday, I went to go see another apartment in the same building. Unlike the last apartment, this one is a one bedroom. The bedroom is about 9' x 14', living room about 12' x 14', and the basement is about 300 square feet. It's a pretty substantial apartment, about 900 square feet, and you can't beat the price, which I won't mention here either. The apartment needs some work, but the parents have seen it and they like it. I love the tri-level aspect of the apartment and think that it would be a great place to live. Now to make an offer, design, and renovate.

Anybody have renovation tips or advice?

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 2:37 PM



December 5, 2003

As Seen in Brooklyn

POST #    612

Aitken Place and Clinton Street, Brooklyn

I was strolling around Brooklyn Heights in the snow tonight and saw this at Aitken Place and Clinton Street. Someone clever taped up the rest of the don't walk hand, leaving a middle finger.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:30 PM



Woo!! Snow!!

POST #    611

With all this snow enough snow on the ground, I am able to partake in one of my favorite winter pastimes. No, not skiing, that is my favorite. But with the snow that we now have in New York City, I can run for a few feet then stop and slide for a few more feet. Hmm, if I were reading that, it would make little sense. Essentially, I run for like 10 feet, then do a small hop and plant both feet and then, because of the snow, I can then slide for about 5 feet. It's great! It can be dangerous on uneven sidewalks though so streets might work better.

It should be noted that any injuries that might occur do to this post are not my problem.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 12:24 PM



December 3, 2003

GOP to NYC Hookers: "We Now Want Your Lovin!"

POST #    606

The GOP has backed down from staying in a cruise ship during their 2004 convention in NYC. Tom Delay's office says he "fights for what he believes in," and apparently being an elitist snob isn't one of those things. A shocker coming from the GOP, but the New York City hotel industry is quite pleased with the decision. Now they, and many other businesses, like restaurants, shops, and independent female (and male) contractors in the sex trade, can breath a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, this means that there will be no contraction of the Norwalk virus.

In a funny side note, the NY Times reports that Rosie O'Donnell plans to be on the boat next year. She is going on a lesbian family holiday cruise on the same ship. That would have been a great headline, "GOP member shares room with lesbian."

- NY Times: They'll Take Manhattan: Republicans Drop Ship Idea
- Gothamist's take on the GOP's change of heart

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:07 AM



December 1, 2003

City Hookers Not Good Enough for GOP

POST #    603

The Norwegian Dawn.

It seems that Republican leader Tom Delay wants a cruise ship to be a floating entertainment center and hotel for Republican members of Congress and their guests. This has some New Yorkers up in arms because it would take the visitors and money away from NYC hotels, restaurants, and shops. I guess Delay thinks that New York isn't good enough, or doesn't offer enough fun and entertainment for his fellow Republicans.

The ship, the Norwegian Dawn is a 2,240-passenger luxury cruise liner, has 15 decks, 14 bars and lounges and babbling brooks. New York City may not have many babbling brooks, but I think we've got everything else covered. But, if Tom Delay wants to spend his time on that ship, it's his prerogative (no matter how wrong he might be). Protesters will know exactly where to focus their attention for post-convention activities as well.

Better yet, maybe they'll all come down with the Norwalk Virus. That would be classic, Delay is giving an interview to Fox News (because they are "Fair and Balanced") and he has to excuse himself to use the crapper.

- NY Times: G.O.P. Option at Convention: Luxury Liner
- Gothamist on the GOP and their fancy boat

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:42 AM



I'm SO New York

POST #    601

While some people I know like to tease me about how I'm not a New Yorker because I don't know much about NYC history, I really am! I swear! In fact, I'm a recently approved invitee of the Magic Garden, a monthly party for people that were raised in New York City - only people that were raised and schooled in NYC are invited. As a lifelong resident of this fine city, I'm one of those (schools include: The Washington Market School, P.S. 234, St. Luke's School, Stuyvesant H.S.). This of course, doesn't mean that people from outside New York can't love the city, they are just adopted New Yorkers.

The party was started by Zo Schneider, a fellow U of M alum, because as everyone knows, it's hard to meet a "real" New Yorker in New York City. I've said this before about my time in Michigan (I can't find where though), but there's nothing worse than asking someone where they are from and getting the response, "New York City," but then when you ask where in New York, you get answers like, "New Jersey," or "Long Island." Zo actually says the exact same thing in the NY Times article. Now, all I have to do is find a fellow New Yorker to go with me...

- NY Times: I'm a Native New Yorker, and You, Buddy, Are Not

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 12:03 AM



November 30, 2003

Subway Question Solved

POST #    599

Has anyone else ever wondered why the conductors on NYC Subways point up at a black and white panel after they enter a subway station? This has bothered me for a long time, to the point where, on Saturday, I almost asked a conductor why they did it. Of course, I didn't, because that would be un-New York of me. Lucky for me though, the NY Times has me covered. Apparently, when a conductor's cab is in front of the panel, the train is completely in the station. And if the train is in the station, no doors are outside the station and nobody will step into the tunnel accidentally. The Times found that in a random check at 2 stations, 12 of 15 conductors did this, which is not very comforting, buy at least my question is answered.

- NY Times: Pointing a Finger Toward Safer Subways

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 3:52 PM



November 18, 2003

Seaplanes On the East River

POST #    573

The cockpit of a seaplane.

On the front page of today's NY Times, there is an article of a breed of pilot that is not too common in New York, the urban bush pilot. They fly seaplanes from NYC out to the Hamptons for $375 one way. In the article, there is a link to some photos of the spectacular views that the seaplanes offer. The shot above is the view of the skyline from the seaplane. If you don't want to pay the $375, you can try to fly into LGA to get the view and if you're lucky, you'll see it off to the left of the plane.

- the aforementioned article: Clear to Land, but Dodging East River Flotsam

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:34 AM



November 17, 2003

Friday Night Party

POST #    569

Halley showing off his light saber - yes, light saber.

Friday night, Halley had a pseudo housewarming/going away/plain ole party at his apartment (and no, he couldn't decide what the party actually was). There was plenty of beer to go around, which is always nice. He even had "Jamaican Ginger Ale - Original Brew." For some people, who had a few beers on an empty stomach, this sounded and looked (I hear it was in a green beer-like bottle) like actual ginger beer. Much to the discontent of those people, it was just ginger ale (I hear it was pretty tasty though). His party was an interesting mix of people, lots of architects from Cornell, which is a crowd that I don't usually hang out with - architects and Cornellians. Unfortunately, I didn't stay too long due to hunger and my nasty habit for drinking without eating. Oops. Minor detail. Thanks to Halley for the party. It was a good time...while it lasted for me.

- Halley's entry with more details and photos

Shannan and Halley - I "work" with both.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:11 AM



November 12, 2003

Brooklyn - The Virtual Humidifier

POST #    563

Currently, it's 55° and foggy in Brooklyn, NY. With these conditions, a humidifier is not needed. Luckily for me, my finely coifed hair withstands all atmospheric variations.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 6:51 PM



November 11, 2003

Tax Burden

POST #    557

As if the cost of living in New York was not high enough, a recent study found that residents of New York State paid more local taxes than any other state in the nation. The combination of New York's income, property, and sales tax were 72% higher than the national average. For every $1,000, New Yorkers fork over $73.36 in taxes. The national average? $42.61. Ouch. The next highest is New Jersey at $51 per $1,000.

To lay it out, $200,000 in New York buys a modest house or a very very very modest apartment in the city, a happy meal costs at least $4.30, and we pay the highest taxes in the nation. Just dandy.

- Read more about the study.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:11 AM



October 31, 2003

I Am a "Halloween Scrooge"

POST #    538

Someone once called me a "Halloween Scrooge." I won't mention any names, but I guess she's saying this because I'm not joining her and some other friends in the Village parade tonight. Tonight is the only night that I would march in a parade in the Village, but I don't really get in the Halloween spirit anymore. The reason is that people don't tend to give candy to 25 year-olds dressed up in costumes, and as a kid, candy was the big incentive. I love candy. I've also marched in the Halloween parade before. So I guess I am somewhat of a Halloween Scrooge. Bah, humbug!

Here is my tribute:

Google rocks. The search results for Halloween.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:29 AM



October 25, 2003

Brooklyn Between The Bridges

POST #    503

The Brooklyn Bridge.

Today, I went on the Forgotten New York Brooklyn Between the Bridges tour with Jeannette, Jessica (the oh so mysterious one), Rachelle, and Yvan. The weather could not have been more perfect for this walking tour of Brooklyn. Forgotten New York attempts to show people parts of New York that are, for lack of a better word, forgotten. Some areas are not typical things that one would expect in the city, but are remnants of the past.

The first neighborhood that we went to after meeting up was Vinegar Hill, which is named for the location of the final battle of the Irish Revolution in 1798. The neighborhood was full of brownstones until the 1940's and '50s when the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and Farragut Houses left the neighborhood as it is today - small and forgotten.

The group then circled around, ending up in the DUMBO neighborhood (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), where Jeannette and Yvan happen to live. Robert Gair, who invented the corrugated cardboard box, built much of the neighborhood. The area also has many railroad tracks, which were once part of the Jay Street Connecting Railroad. When the DUMBO was a bustling industrial area, the rail line aided in the transport of goods to neighborhood buildings.

After DUMBO, our group skipped the rest of the tour for some ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and a trip to Jacques Torres. While outside Jacques Torres, we spotted Julianne Moore, working on her new movie, The Forgotten, which just started filming in the area today. I want to say one thing about her. She is damn fine.

- Rachelle's post on the Forgotten NY tour.
- The Mysterious One's (Jessica) photos on ofoto.
- Forgotten Tour 14 - Brooklyn Between the Bridges.

A bulletin board in Vinegar Hill. It reads Vinegar Hill. Est. 1798.

Jeannette (facing away), Kevin (the guide) and Jessica (the mysterious). Kevin is such a pimp.

I'm enamored with this piece of art.

The Manhattan Bridge with the Empire State Building in the arch.

The Brooklyn Bridge and the Jay St. tracks.

More Brooklyn Bridge.

Rachelle and Jeannette - They're insane, but not romantically involved.

An interesting take on birth.

The aforementioned Julianne Moore, shopping for chocolate items.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:59 PM



October 16, 2003

a special house and a movie

POST #    457

last night, a friend and i went to soho house. yes, the soho house (well, at least the one in ny). the one that was in this episode of sex and the city. the one that is membership based and extremely hard to get into. how did i get in? my friend's boss is a member. we went there to watch a screening of pieces of april, a movie about a young woman on thanksgiving struggling to make a meal for her visiting family. i'm going to stop with the synopsis, since there is a better one on the movie site. katie holmes was good, as was derek luke (i still have memories of him from antwone fisher saying "i'm still standing!" great movie.), but patricia clarkson as the mother was the best. actually, i think everyone in the movie did a good job in their roles, from the family to the supporting cast in the building.

back to soho house...we watched the movie in the "black room," which has 43 leather armchairs that made it about 1 billion times more comfortable than watching a movie at a regular theater. i don't care what loews is doing, i'll take soho house's seats over their reserved seating any day of the week. so they had a minor problem with showing the movie, i went for free, so i'm not complaining. with the $900 price tag and $200 registration fee, it's not exactly the cheapest club to belong to. but if you figure i pay about $1020 for the gym a year, soho house almost seems worth it. if only getting in wasn't so hard. and i'm not exactly in the industry, another minor detail. oh well. i'll just have to hit up my friend for invites. and as a bonus, some of the staff have british accents. nice ones, not spice girls british accents.

also at the screening was miramax big wig meryl poster. she seemed pretty laid back and cool. who knows what she's really like though.

soho house's entrance. a tad blurry, i didn't want to cause a scene.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:39 AM



October 15, 2003

living in the ci-TAY

POST #    454

a recent study, released by a real estate firm in new york, reported that the average price of an apartment in manhattan is now a whopping $919,959!! how insane is that? a typical american household in the u.s. makes $42,409, which, as the ny times reports, means they would have to save for about 21 years. 21 years without things like food, clothing and everything else. that doesn't even include the maintenance. the median apartment cost (which is the exact middle) was a measly $575,000. psh, most new yorkers can apparently do that in their sleep.

what does $919,959 buy, you ask? the times found twelve places for sale for $900,000 - one three-bedroom apartment, eight two-bedrooms, two one-bedrooms and a loft where you have to build your own walls. hardly the palatial living you would typically associate with those costs.

it should be noted that my apartment did not fetch nearly as much as the average studio cost of $303,895. nor was it close to the average cost last year of $258,826. c'est la vie.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:24 AM



October 12, 2003

openhousenewyork, day two

POST #    450

today was the second day of openhousenewyork, which opened up various sites in new york to the general public. after yesteday's adventures, i was a little tired, but willing to hit up a few more sites.

first, some food at the sidewalk cafe was on the agenda. after brunch with eleanor, jeannette, masako, and rachelle, we all trekked up to roosevelt island. despite being a new yorker, born and raised, i had never been to roosevelt island before today (it was actually the first trip for each of the people in the group).

after roosevelt island, masako, rachelle, and i went down to scandinavia house, which contrary to what you might think, is not owned and/or operated by ikea.

after scandinavia house, we had to eat, so we went to carl's steaks. now, i smell like cheesesteak. still smell like cheesesteak.

like yesterday, read on for more photos and descriptions of the visited sites.

farmers market outside tompkins square park.

a slight detour to venieros on the way to roosevelt island.

the roosevelt island tramway.

scandinavia house.

roosevelt island:
roosevelt island rests in the east river between manhattan and queens, but is considered part of manhattan. from it's original purchase in 1637, the island has has a long history which includes both private and government ownership. the current name of roosevelt island was only adapted in 1973. read more about the island's lengthy history.

to get to roosevelt island, there are a few options - car, subway, and tram. the tram is method of transport that we decided on. to take the tram, you still use subway tokens, which are now out of commission for the nyc subway system. old tokens, old turnstiles. i love everything old about the subway system, except maybe the crime. the tram was built in 1976 because at the time, there was still no subway service to the island. read more about the tramway.

see rachelle's entry on roosevelt island.

eleanor and rachelle using the old subway turnstiles to enter the tram station.

roosevelt island smallpox hospital.

masako, rachelle, jeannette, eleanor (front to back). citibank building and pepsi:cola sign in background.

scandinavia house:
scandinavia house serves as the headquarters of the american-scandinavian foundation and offers programs celebrating nordic culture. designed by james stewart polshek, the materials and furnishings are from denmark, finland, iceland, norway, and sweden. polshek and his firm also designed the rose center at the american museum of natural history.

see rachelle's entry on scandinavia house.

i think rachelle has a new friend - pipi.

ride it masako, ride it.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:06 PM



October 11, 2003

open house, but apparently not for sale

POST #    449

today was the first day of the inaugural openhousenewyork, a celebration of new york architecture and part of architecture week here in the city. the event opened up over 80 sites that are usually closed to the public.

i went to three locations today, the jefferson market library, the terrapin chelsea art gallery, and the green-wood cemetery. not only that, but there was a stop for pizza at john's pizza between events. it will be up on the pizza review page as soon as i get a chance.

here is a photo from each of the places i went to today. if you keep reading, there are details on the sites and some more photos.

climbing a few of the 149 steps to the top of the jefferson market library.

van gogh's starry night, constructed with marbles for the child's room at the terrapin gallery.

green-wood cemetery's main entrance.

jefferson market library:
the first stop we made (we being audrey, ingrid, jess, rachelle, and me), was the jefferson market library. the jefferson market library, built from 1875-1877, served many functions before becoming a library in 1967. jefferson market was originally a courthouse/jail/market (strange with the market, i know), and has had many functions: a courthouse for women, a prison, a woman's detention house, and a police academy training center. growing up, i used the library as a resource for some papers i was writing.

see rachelle's entry on jefferson market.

an abutment on the tower in jefferson market.

ingrid, jess, and audrey (left to right) on the balcony of the tower. the balcony, which offers 360° views of greenwich village, was once used by firewatchers.

rachelle on the way down some of those 149 steps. man, that was a long walk up.

thankfully, i don't have vertigo.

terrapin chelsea art gallery:
our next stop was the terrapin chelsea art gallery on 15th street, is an amazingly designed apartment, that serves as an art gallery as well. this owner renovated apartment incorporates wood, metal, and stone in a unique way, integrating design and function seamlessly. there are several ideas that i would love to use when i design my own apartment, but i'll probably just go with dry-wall.

see rachelle's entry on the terrapin gallery.

the master bedroom at the terrapin gallery.

the stairs and railings at terrapin.

unique lights.

green-wood cemetery:
after some pizza, rachelle and i ventured out to brooklyn, the site of the green-wood cemetery. founded in 1838 and with 478 acres, green-wood is about half the size of central park, but serves as the final resting place for almost 600,000 people. among those people are several famous (or infamous) people including: jean michel basquiat, leonard bernstein, the brooks brothers (h. & d.h.), peter cooper, charles ebbets, william poole (bill the butcher), charles pfizer (as in viagra), f.a.o. schwarz, henry steinway jr., louis tiffany, and "boss" tweed. the cemetery, which contains the highest point in brooklyn, is also an arboretum and a "bird watcher's paradise."

see rachelle's entry on green-wood cemetery.

stained glass in one of the mausoleums.

the catacombs, open to the public for the first time in 165 years.

ready for some of his family...creepy.

a tombstone at green-wood.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:33 PM



October 10, 2003

request a tree

POST #    446

so i'm browsing new york city's website and apparently you can request a tree. you have to be the property owner or have their approval to get the tree and because of the high demand, it takes 1-2 years, but it's still cool. i'm going to request a tree lined building when i move.

read about it here and apply online here.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 12:19 PM



the downfall of public office...

POST #    443

has already happened with some people i know in office, but now i join the ranks. apparently, i passed the exam to become a notary public. strange, because i left the test feeling like there was no way i could possibly have passed. this might have been because i was falling asleep while i was studying for the test. serves me right for studying on my bed at 11 p.m. so if you ever need anything notarized in new york state, i'm your man. i will have to charge $2 though. it's part of the notary law. (see the whole notary public license law - pdf file).

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 12:27 AM



October 6, 2003

adventures in nyc driving

POST #    435

since driving in new york city is often mundane, with the traffic and all, i play two games that add some fun to the experience.

first, i play beat the taxi. the best way of playing beat the taxi is at a red light. taxis in new york love to creep forward at the red lights and then surge ahead right when they turn green, sometimes even before so. they do this because the faster the go, the higher the passenger turnover, which means more money. i like to beat them off the line, while not breaking the law by going when the light is red.

second, i like to see how many blocks i can go before hitting a red light. this can only be attempted on avenues, since they tend to change one by one in order. today i went from the nexus of the universe (1st and 1st) to 42nd and 1st without hitting a red light. this was during rush hour too. the best way to do this is to start when the don't walk light just starts flashing. at this time, most of the traffic is already further up the road, resulting in less congestion.

it should be noted that if you try these, you should obey all traffic laws.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:45 PM



October 3, 2003


POST #    426

when i woke up this morning and checked the weather, it was 41° out. that's only 9° from freezing! by the time i was ready to leave my apartment, it warmed up to a balmy 44°. since i thought it would be super cold out, i searched for my windstopper fleece glommits from rei before heading out. once outside, i realized that i didn't actually need them. i was fooled by mother nature again. i can probably use them tonight at the springsteen concert though.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 9:19 AM



September 28, 2003

merchandise for sale

POST #    410

from the ny times:
"One section was devoted to Mao posters, quotations and speeches, as well as his famous 'Little Red [sic] Book.'"

there is a store that used to have sections dedicated to my merchandise! okay, not really. it had an area dedicated to another mao. minor detail. the store? none other than pearl river. it opened in 1978, the same year i was born, and is now located in soho. in 1986, it moved to a location on canal and broadway, which i remember going to when i was a kid. i might have even been there when they were renovating it. not sure why, i guess my parents knew the owners? i'll check on that. anyway, read about this new york institution.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:54 AM



September 23, 2003

mother nature? pssh, like i fear you.

POST #    397

so you dumped a little water on us today and some people got really really wet, but you cleared it up for a great night of baseball. the mets won 1-0 (i know! they actually won.) with al leiter getting a complete game shutout. it was a great game. fun to be back at the ballpark. feel free to read the recap here.

and tomorrow is going to be a great day too. nothing like great weather for a dave matthews band concert in central park.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:39 PM



September 22, 2003

welcome fall!

POST #    391

tonight is the beginning of fall. while i do like some things about summer (i can't think of any right now), i like fall a lot more. summer is actually my least favorite season, so i guess that doesn't mean much. fall brings cooler weather, beautiful leaves, and the end of humidity! and, it brings me that much closer to winter, which is the best season of all because i can ski! woo!!

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:39 PM



September 16, 2003

fizzle and food

POST #    377

last night, i trekked up to central park for the much hyped light cycle display, i was quite disappointed. maybe it was the fact that i missed some of it, maybe it was the rain, or maybe it was the short 5 minute duration of the event, but i would say that the whole thing fizzled in the drizzle. it was a good idea, but i in new york, if you've seen the 4th of july fireworks, other fireworks displays just seem rather blah. the times reported that there were some residents around the park that didn't know it was going on, so they called the cops. i guess in hindsight it sounded like artillery fire and machine gun fire, but did they really think that we were under attack? people, it's called watching the news or reading the newspaper. try stepping foot outside your apartment for once.

halley also went to watch the fireworks display, feel free to read his deafening experience.

i stood in the rain for this?

afterwards, johnny, sas, and i made a trip to brother jimmy's for some all you can eat/drink action and monday night football (which we won't talk about). the all you can eat wings and rib tips aren't that great, but for $12.95, who cares. plus there is all you can drink beer. i didn't quite match my 3.5 plates performance from the last time i went, but i did have 3 plates. the 3 of us also had 6 pitchers of beer to wash down all the meat. as if that wasn't enough, the waitresses brought out some concoction of alcohol that was in a fishbowl. that was the last thing i needed. at this point sas had already left, so johnny and i had to try to finish this ourselves. it was just bad news. i think right after my first sip, i started to get drunk. if it wasn't for that drink at the end, i would have been in decent shape, but it totally pushed me over the edge.

the chicken and johnny thinks people should eat more pork. (photo by saskia foley)

johnny doing what he does best. sucking. well, attempting to make a dent in the drink. no such luck.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 10:13 AM



September 14, 2003

shopping, bridge, and pizza

POST #    374

on this beautiful sunday, with the temperature around 80° and the humidity somewhere in the 90s, ingrid, jess, and i decided to go out and occupy ourselves. first stop, century 21. jess had broken her sunglasses and was looking to pick some up, so where else to go? surprisingly, none of us had ever been to century 21, which some people consider a shopping mecca. jess has only been in new york for a couple of months and ingrid for a couple of years, but me? i've been here all my life. pretty insane that i've never been. their website says it was rated the #1 discount store in the city. pretty impressive. while there, jess found her sunglasses, and ingrid found a new wallet. i just looked at the many packages of underwear (so did the ladies, but they were looking at the packages on the packaging).

after our virgin experience at century 21, we made our way to brooklyn via the brooklyn bridge for some pizza at grimaldi's. walking on the brooklyn bridge is always an adventure, with joggers and bikers always close to running the pedestrians over. thankfully, we made it over.

at grimaldi's, we came close to meeting seven people and confronting a fake pregnant woman before we ordered a whole lot of pizza. i really love pizza. i love it a lot. yum. everybody was then dropped off where they needed to go, using the navigational skills or jess. they all lived happily every after. the end.

ingrid - "look at my new red wallet!! i love red!"

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 11:42 PM



September 9, 2003

boats and booze, bad idea.

POST #    362

**disclaimer: i am writing this while recovering from a hangover, so it might not make sense or be very fluid, and might be chock full o'grammatical errors (which i think is the norm anyway).**

this is a lesson that i have learned before, but of course, when there is alcohol, lessons learned go out the window. last night, i went on the the comedy cellar boat ride with a my friends sas and tom (who happen to be brother and sister). it costs $15 for a ticket for 3 hours on the water and a show and you have to buy at least two drinks. anyway, sas and tom made a friend while waiting in line who joined us for the night, which was sloppy because of the alcohol and even sloppier because we were on a boat (for some reason, i feel like i'm on the boat right now). for our show (there were two shows to accommodate all the people on board), we had 5 comics, including colin quinn, that all seemed pretty funny (we were all drunk). actually, colin quinn might have been the least funny of the bunch, but he was still pretty good. i also had too much to drink - beer, beer, wine, wine, beer, beer, in that order - another lesson learned but discarded.

some photos from the night:

at the start of the night, from around pier 40.

a few minutes later, empire state building on the left and the two richard meier buildings on perry street in the center.

tom, sas, me, michelle - showing our asses for some reason.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 3:47 PM



get out and vote

POST #    361

sure, it's only the primaries, and there are no "major" offices in play, but if you live in new york city (or anywhere for that matter), you should get out and vote. it's one of those rights that is often overlooked by people who live here. has anyone noticed that? everybody complains about the people running the city/state/federal governments, but how many people really vote? not that many. granted, you have a right not to vote if you don't want to, but is it really that hard to go to a place in your neighborhood and pull a lever? i don't think so. i'm also of the frame of mind that people that don't vote should quit complaining. putting the soapbox

in new york city, find out where to vote on the board of elections site. for those elsewhere, check with local board of elections.

if you aren't registered to vote, check out rock the vote, where you can find details on how to register for every state.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 12:02 PM



September 2, 2003

shea stadium? not last?

POST #    341

on's page 2, they are reviewing all 30 major league ballparks, and their most recent review was for shea stadium. since i am a season ticket holder (sad, i know), i've been to shea about a hundred times in the past few years (including many times as a child) and thought that shea stadium would actually rank really really really low (as in bottom three), but i was pleasantly surprised at their review. shea didn't even rank in the bottom 5. how impressive.

read the whole review here.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 3:47 PM



August 30, 2003

long weekend at home in the city

POST #    331

with long weekends, many people around the country go somewhere to take advantage of the extra day off work, especially this weekend, the last weekend of the summer. new yorkers are no exception. they leave the city for the hamptons (to think that people look down on people from long island coming in to the about hypocritical) and other points outside of the city limits. i however, am one that thinks long weekends in new york are actually a good time. sure, there are a fair amount of tourists in town (us new yorkers think of them as a necessary evil for the economy), but there are also fewer "natives" so the normal throng of people everywhere is reduced to a tolerable level. this allows a new yorker to take advantage of the things that are sometimes harder to do, like eat at a chic restaurant. of course, being a lazy-ass, i probably won't do anything out of the ordinary.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:55 AM



August 16, 2003

blackout '03 + 1

POST #    301

on the day after the blackout of 2003, new york city has started to come back into the the 20th century. thankfully, the city is at full power and the subways are running. i am now at full power as well. damn hangovers.

the ny times has a whole mess-o-stuff on the blackouts including this op-ed by frank mccourt.

check out the rest of their coverage here.

some images from the noaa site of the northeast from space:


not so normal.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 6:19 PM



August 15, 2003

"i see the light! and it burns!!!"

POST #    300

in many ways, the blackout of '03 was similar to the events of september '01 for new york city. obviously losing power does not rival the tragedy of two years ago, but in some ways it was worse. with the attack on the heart of the city in 2001, the city could still function, but with no power, the city that never sleeps was brought to a screeching halt. much like '01, new yorkers came together as one in an unimaginable event that none of us will ever forget.

some photos, mostly from my journey home:

williamsburg, brooklyn - subway shuttle in foreground, elevated subway on j/m/z line in background.

williamsburg bridge - pedestrians and cars clog the bridge

lower east side - blackout special. smoking apparently allowed.

1st street and 1st avenue - at the "nexus of the universe" during the end of the universe.

36th street and 3rd avenue - the view outside my apartment.

me in my apartment. clearly insane after more than 24 hours without electricity.

see more coverage on gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:34 PM



August 13, 2003

new york? we can't be fat.

POST #    295

the city conducted a survey and found that new yorkers are somewhat overweight. apparently, the city said that 35% of residents are overweight and 18% are obese. additionally, the study found that 26% of residents didn't exercise in the month before the survey and 14% had not eaten fruits or vegetables the previous day. hmm, that sounds kind of familiar...thankfully, i'm in the "asian" group, so there are less of us flabbing around, but it's getting close for me. time to hit the gym. right after this gmat crap and in time for ski season.

read more about our fattyness here.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 8:57 AM



August 10, 2003

gone boating, dragon boating.

POST #    287

for the past two weeks (week 1, week 2), i have had dragon boat practice for the hong kong dragon boat festival in new york, but this weekend was the real thing. two days of fun in flushing meadows corona park, where the water is green and with garbage on the shore. there is nothing quite like two days of racing for a person that is sorely (plenty of soreness to follow as well) out of shape.

2001 philly worlds - photo from the philadelphia dragon boat team, arguably the best in the nation.

day 1:
with two races, saturday was not the most pleasant of days. the waking up early didn't help. i blame myself for watching drumline the night before, but i digress. the first race was the 250-meter sponsor's race where with 3 other boats. without a decent drummer, this race didn't turn out too well, but we didn't do much worse than we expected. we placed 3rd.

race two was the 500m open, which is twice as long, but arguably more than twice as hard. with a last minute change in the drummer, we took the water to face two other boats. from the start, the race was head to head, with each boat going stroke for stroke. it's possible that we even had a lead in the beginning (calvin and i picked up some good starting techniques when we rowed in college). all three teams gave everything they had for about 2:30 minutes. the final result was 3rd place, which again was expected. the surprising part was that the whole race was close with all three boats finishing within 10 seconds of each other. even more surprising was that my team, the multicultural radio broadcasting inc. (mrbi), had the 3rd best time in the division (the three boats in our heat had better times than everyone else). quite an exciting day of racing for us with a great performance giving us hope for sunday.

day 2:
day two did not go quite as easily as expected. despite having only one race and having the race in the afternoon, a night of partying resulted in a hangover that was less than desirable. with a healthy intake of fluids (water, cane sugar juice, coke, capri sun) and some food, i was ready to race (well, as ready as i could be). the team did some rudimentary stretching, which didn't help my sore back or arms at all. both of these were remedied with the warm up on the water, which were lead by our third drummer in three races, jessica.

this race was the 250m media race that involved 3 other teams. again, with the fast start, the mrbi boat jumped out to the lead. this time, we held onto it for about half the race before the wnbc team started to turn it on (i think they had outside help, although i guess that's what i am too). in the far lane, they pulled even with us and then past us to take the lead. the other boats, directly to our left and right) pulled even with us too, with each boat going stroke for stroke, with the teams jumping around between 2nd and 4th place. each good stroke had the ability to push a boat into 2nd. each bad stoke could drop a team to 4th. the three boats stayed neck and neck for last 100m, moving towards the finish line at a high stroke count and a dizzying pace (especially for those with a hangover). the race for 2nd place was a photo finish, with a difference between 2nd and 4th of 0.19 seconds. wnbc won by a relatively comfortable 3 seconds, we came in 2nd, and 3rd place was 0.03 seconds behind us.

overall, it was a good two days of racing, and surprisingly fun, but i'm not sure that i would do it next year unless we had control of one of the boats (i think i said this last year too). post race events included more eating, race watching, and water fights with sas.

a brief blurb about the event on gothamist (we all know that's when an even is really news).

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports at 6:27 PM



August 5, 2003

things overheard...

POST #    276

at white castle tonight with calvin tonight, i heard something amusing:

white castle patron: do you guys have café?
white castle employee: huh?
patron: café. you guys have café?
employee: huh?
patron: café, you know, expresso?
employee: huh?
patron: café, expresso, coffee?
employee: oh, coffee.
i'm not sure what's worse, the white castle employee or the customer asking for café and expresso.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:39 PM



August 3, 2003

practice again

POST #    271

today was the 2nd attempt at practicing for next week's dragonboat race. last week was our first practice which went horribly, with so few people that it was almost impossible to practice. what happens this week? totally different people, some of who have never seen the inside of the boat and some who have apparently rowed in the old country. one would think that the people last week would have a desire to improve, but i guess their "skills" are good enough in their minds. someone today also seemed to think that drinking a beer before working out at 10 in the morning was a good idea too. next week is going to suck.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Rants, Sports at 4:46 PM



July 30, 2003


POST #    262

today i went to go look at an apartment since i'm in the process of selling mine. i think i might have found a place to buy. the apartment is in the greenpoint section of brooklyn, but it has more potential than any existing apartment in the city right now. it's a 1000 sq ft two bedroom duplex (with the ability to add a third) with two bathrooms and 20' ceilings. a lot of work is needed, but there is so much potential that it's worth it.

potential roommates needed...

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 3:29 PM



July 28, 2003

wave ufo

POST #    257

last week, i walked by a building on 56th street and saw a strange structure in the atrium with a sign in front saying "wave ufo is now closed," but i did not have my camera so upon returning home, i just forgot about it. but tonight, i walked by again, snapped a photo and came home to research.

the wave ufo, a work of art by mariko mori (she is scary looking), is the artist's "exploration of the relationship between the individual and an interconnected cosmos." the structure is 34' long x 17' wide x 14' tall, made of fiberglass, and has an interior capsule that can hold 3 people at a time. when inside, people recline to watch a projection on the ceiling above. the actual projection corresponds with the viewers brain waves, with each person hooked up to some electrodes. there are also various images that are on at the same time. it sounds pretty interesting, so i'm going to try to check it out tomorrow after work, if anyone else is up for it.

the exhibition runs through the end of the month and is on exhibit at 590 madison ave. here in nyc. for more on the exhibition, read here.

wave "bye! bye!" to your sanity as you enter this contraption.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 10:34 PM



July 16, 2003

i used to have a metronome

POST #    225

so i was reading eleanor's blog and she was discussing the artwork in union square. while i knew that the digital thing was a clock, i had no idea what everything else was. so after a short search on google i found just about all the information you could ever need on it. check it out here. man, those artists go on and on.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 1:54 PM



June 29, 2003

"not that there's anything wrong with it."

POST #    8

after looking at an apartment in the village, i decide to grab a slice of pizza and walk up to get some key lime pie. my plan for pie was foiled by the gay pride parade which was crossing 8th street. it's a pretty big event here in new york and probably the biggest gay pride parade outside of san francisco. it even has of which i saw. it was an altoids strips float. hmm, now to describe the float...uh...there were men on it, wearing speedo like bathingsuits, and they were well oiled...there was music playing and gyrating as well. so i decided to take a detour and just look at some sneakers instead. oh well, they had reason to celebrate with the big supreme court decision earlier in the week.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 3:53 PM


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