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

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February 4, 2011

Honeymoon: Our Cottage in the Mara

POST #    3082

Back to the photos from our honeymoon in August! I should really get through all of these sometime soon before the details slip away.

While in the Masai Mara, we stayed at The Lodge at Saruni. This wasn't a rustic camp at all. It was a beautiful lodge with six cottages overlooking the planes. As an open camp, animals were free to wander through the area. We saw elephants on the first day, saw water buffalo off in the distance another day, heard hyenas one night, and I saw a zebra steps away from our actual cottage (it saw me, we stared at each other for a few seconds before it snorted and ran off with its group).

These luxurious cottages weren't without their drawbacks — it would get really, really cold at night. When we were in Africa, it was winter and colder than we expected. While it wasn't cold like much of the United States is experiencing now, it was still pretty cold. You have to keep in mind that there was no heat and the sides of the cottage were essentially canvas with screens for windows. One thing's for sure, the cool temperatures meant we got dressed very quickly before our morning game drives.

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Kenya, Photos, Travel at 7:30 PM

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January 11, 2011

Christmas in Lacon, 2010

POST #    3081

My first Christmas in Illinois with the in-laws! In previous years I was just a boyfriend or fiancé. But now a son/brother-in-law. Crazy times! As always though, it was a fantastic time with an absurd amount of gifts.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 5:43 PM

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November 9, 2010

Honeymoon: Day 2 in the Masai Mara

POST #    3079

Finally, the photos from day 2 on safari. This was our first full day on the Mara — waking up at 5:30 AM in a freezing room, heading out before sunrise, a bush breakfast, heading back out in the afternoon after a nap and watching the sunset with a sundowner. The long day was not without some great sightings.

It seemed like this day was a lesson on the lifecycle of the Mara. While we would head out each morning hoping to witness a kill (predators hunt in the early morning and evenings), we didn't see one this morning, but we did get to see hyenas feasting on the carcass of a wildebeest.

The previous night at dinner, we were told about a lioness who had her cubs killed by a male lion that recently took over the pride. In the morning, we spotted her walking across the plains calling out for her two cubs, which all the other animals took note of (3rd photo). Our bush breakfast was cut short when our guides heard that someone spotted a leopard. We quickly made our way to the scene to look at the rarely seen cat. There wasn't much to see as the leopard was just lounging around on the rocks.

In the afternoon, we saw two lions mating (the same lioness looking for her cubs). Let me tell you, if you weren't watching, you would miss it. Except for maybe the fact that the male lion lets out a furious roar at one point. On our way up to our sundowner, eagle-eyed Shannan spotted a cheeta. It turns out that cheetahs are very rarely spotted in the mountainous area where this pregnant cheeta was spotted.

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Kenya, Photos, Travel at 10:48 AM

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October 19, 2010

Honeymoon: Day 1 in the Masai Mara

POST #    3078

After our stop in South Africa to kick off the honeymoon, we were off to safari in Kenya's Masai Mara. The number of animals in the Mara was especially plentiful while we were there because of the Great Migration, when nearly 2 million wildebeest zebra migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Mara.

In our first day in the Mara, we managed to see three of the big five (lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos). Not to mention the zebras, wildebeest, ostrich, Thomson's gazzelles, giraffes, topis, Grant's gazelles and other animals.

Posted by tien mao in Kenya, Photos, Travel at 1:20 PM

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September 25, 2010

Honeymoon: Lion's Rump in Cape Town

POST #    3076

After recovering from cage diving with great whites, we made our way to the Lion's Rump, also known as Signal Hill. This flat-ish hill is right next to Lion's Head and Table Mountain. The hill offers views of Cape Town and Table Bay.

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Photos, South Africa, Travel at 12:46 AM

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September 20, 2010

Honeymoon: Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai

POST #    3075

One of the main reasons we added South Africa was because of the great white sharks that swim in the country's waters. I've been fascinated with sharks since I was a kid — probably because of the Jaws movies. While the movies portray the great white shark as a terrifying creature, I was always interested in seeing them (as well as other sharks) up close. Not where a shark is taking a piece of my leg, but close enough to observe.

Our time in South Africa provided us with this opportunity and it was one of the highlights of our honeymoon. Shannan even says that it was her favorite part. We were originally scheduled to go white shark cage diving with the White Shark Diving Company the day after our arrival in Cape Town, but the waters were too rough to venture out. Thankfully, the water on the second day was "calm" enough for our adventure.

After an early-morning pickup (before 6 AM) at our hotel, we were transported about two hours to Gansbaai (Bay of Geese) where we would be viewing the sharks. Following breakfast and an orientation ("we've never had accident while using this cage"), we were off to find the great white shark. The White Shark Diving Company provided us with all the gear we would need for the cold water (it's still winter there), including wet suits. They didn't provide any sea-sickness pills though, which is something that I should have purchased before going.

Once we set out and found the spot that we would anchor, the crew of our boat, "The White Shark," started to add chum to the water (crushed tuna/skipjack or sardines). The smell was pretty awful, but similar to Chinatown in NYC on a summer day. Sure enough, the sharks arrived shortly. In groups of 6 people (I think it was 6), we made our way into the cage to view the sharks from the water. The crew would yell "down!" whenever a shark was close, occasionally adding a direction to look once we were underwater. We did this several times. On occasion, we saw more than one shark once submerged.

The most frightening part of our time in the water was when a smaller shark managed to get its head caught in the cage between me and Shannan. The shark was lured in by a fish on a rope and as it went for the fish, the shark managed to lodge itself in the cage. The shark seemed to be stuck for minutes, but it was more likely just a few seconds. Another group had a white shark land it's front quarter on top of the cage.

All told, we saw eight sharks, the largest one at 3.5 meters (11.5 feet). I think I came out of the experience a little more scared (at least of snorkeling in the trip), and missing my breakfast. But it was an awesome experience and I'm very happy that we were able to do it.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, South Africa, Travel at 6:50 PM

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September 16, 2010

Honeymoon: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

POST #    3074

Also in Cape Peninsula National Park is the Cape of Good Hope. As you can see in the sign (taken at the tail end of golden hour) is that it's the most south-western point of the African continent! Yep, we can say we were there.

Not only can we say we were in the most south-western point of the continent, but we also saw ostriches walking next to the road. Shannan was a big fan of the park (and the ostriches).

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Photos, South Africa, Travel at 6:53 PM

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September 15, 2010

Honeymoon: Cape Point, South Africa

POST #    3073

The destination that we were driving to on our first day in South Africa was the Cape Peninsula National Park, which is home to Cape Point. Cape Point is thought to be the meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, but the actual meeting point varies in an area between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape of South Africa.

But what Cape Point does have is a lighthouse (ooOOOooohhh)! Two, in fact! One is still in operation. The historic lighthouse, which has many visitors and signs marking distances to other cities, was in service from 1860-1919. It was found to be somewhat ineffective during fog, causing some ships to come dangerously close to land. In fact, a 1911 wreck of the Portuguese boat Lusitania resulted in a new lighthouse being built that is closer to the water and closer to sea level.

If you visit the lighthouse, you can also walk on a path that gets you very close to the new lighthouse. You can easily see the new lighthouse in the last photo.

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Photos, South Africa, Travel at 6:42 PM

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September 14, 2010

Honeymoon: Boulders Beach, South Africa

POST #    3072

After our stop in the surf town of Muizenberg, we made our way down the coast to Boulders Beach, home of an African Penguin colony.

The penguins roam the area around the beaches, but are largely fenced in. Despite that fencing, park signage asks those visiting to check under their cars for the birds.

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Photos, South Africa, Travel at 5:51 PM

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September 13, 2010

Honeymoon: Muizenberg, South Africa

POST #    3071

Ahh. Wedding done and we're back from our honeymoon in Africa. Now you get to live through all the photos I took! We went from South Africa to Kenya and finally onto Tanzania.

On our first day in South Africa, we drove south from Cape Town towards the Cape of Good Hope. On the way, we stopped in the beach town of Muizenberg. On the beaches of Muizenberg are these colorful beach huts that weren't open while we were there. Perhaps it's because they cater to people during the summer months (it's winter in the southern hemisphere).

Posted by tien mao in Honeymoon, Photos, South Africa, Travel at 7:30 PM

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August 24, 2010

Married!

POST #    3070

Look what we did over the weekend: We got married!

The ceremony and reception was at Benmarl Winery in upstate New York. The photo above is by the wonderful Steph Goralnick, who took photos for us. Our wedding even made it into The Times (with a photo in the print edition too!). Steph's got a couple more photos online as well.

And if you're curious about our honeymoon, here's the plan: Africa! We've gotten our shots and are going to South Africa (cape town), Kenya (Masai Mara) and Tanzania (Zanzibar).

Photos when we get back, I promise!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 10:32 AM

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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

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May 19, 2010

Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center

POST #    3027

Even before I drove down to Texas with Neil, I was thinking of things to do outside our eventual arrival in Austin. Austin has a ton to offer, but seeing that it was maybe my second time in Texas ever, I was hoping to do some things besides just eating tacos and BBQ.

Luckily for me, the San Antonio Spurs advanced past the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Also lucky was the fact that I could actually make one of their home games in their series with the Phoenix Suns. Seats for were plentiful on Stubhub, but as you can see they were super high up (not to mention expensive). So high up, in fact, that we were on the same level as the guy controlling the spotlights.

The game itself was close for two quarters — the 2nd and 3rd. The Spurs jumped out to a 9 point lead after the 1st quarter and the Suns chipped and chipped away that lead until they trailed by just one point after three quarters.. Then the Goran Dragic of the Suns exploded for 23 points in the 4th quarter (!!) to give the Suns the 110-96 win and a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Phoenix went on to a 4-0 series sweep, the first time they beat San Antonio in the playoffs since 2000. The Suns lost four playoff matchups in a row to the Spurs before finally winning this year.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports, Travel at 2:20 PM

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May 17, 2010

Taco Time in Austin

POST #    3026

I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago and ate a lot of tacos. From top to bottom:
- Taco Deli
- Izzo's Tacos
- El Chilito
- Torchy's Tacos

I went to Torchy's several times and got the Ranch Hand again and again. So good!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Travel at 12:55 PM

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April 16, 2010

Randolph and the Pizza Box: The Return of the 'Dolph

POST #    3025

Randolph has returned to exact revenge on the pizza box! While that last pizza box already succumbed to the cat, he's back for more against the original box's great great grandchild.

But is the sequel ever as good as the original? And will they make a third movie? All that will be answered in the future...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Randolph at 7:01 PM

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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

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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

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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

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February 23, 2010

Glove Gives F Train/MTA The Shocker

POST #    3020

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

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February 18, 2010

Chinese New Year Dinner 4707/2010: Welcome Year of the Tiger

POST #    3019

We celebrated the Year of the Tiger Saturday night (New Year's Eve) with dinner at my parents apartment. As is the custom, my mom prepared a feast.

Saturday night we had ten total dishes. Pictured above is: smoked chicken, fresh loofah, lion's head meatballs (tiger's head?), shrimp, rice cakes, mini dumplings, whole fish, glutenous rice cakes. Not pictured were soy beans (maodou/edamame) and a fish ball soup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:50 AM

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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

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February 8, 2010

Here's Why The Saints Won Super Bowl XLIV

POST #    3017

Because lots of people jumped on their bandwagon! But really, congrats to their fans and the city of New Orleans. I think it's fair to say that anyone who wasn't a Colts fan (or had money on the Colts) was pulling for them. It's kind of a shame that the 'Aints nickname will have to be abandoned.

Or maybe they won because of the excellent play by Drew Brees, the interception return for touchdown by Tracy Porter or Garrett Hartley's kicking abilities.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Sports at 12:21 PM

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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

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January 25, 2010

Photos of Wulai, Taipei

POST #    3015

Wulai is a rural town on the southern outskirts of Taipei. It's mostly known as a destination for its hot springs as well as the native Atayal people. To get there, you take a bus ride up the mountains from the subway stop. The route has many, many turns which overlook the river far, far below. All this on a two-lane road with a bus driver that drives like he's very famliar with the road. Standing while he drives, which we did most of the way, is quite an adventure and a workout on the arms.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 5:59 PM

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January 20, 2010

At the "Slumping Cliffs" of Longpan Park in Kenting National Park

POST #    3014

The "slumping cliffs" in Longpan Park are a result of wind and wave erosion over the years, which is understandable because it's really windy there.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 7:00 PM

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January 15, 2010

Not Much of a View From a Cloudy Taipei 101

POST #    3013

So we didn't get much nice weather when we were in Taipei. It was cloudy most of the time and it was rainy at times too. But I had to show Shannan Taipei 101 anyway as it's still a sight to be seen. At that point, it was still the tallest building in the world. It was just overtaken by Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

As you can see, it was cloudy at the top of the building. And not just a little cloudy, but really cloudy. In fact, you could only partially see out of two sides. The other two sides had no view at all. It was also really windy, but they let you outside on the "observation deck" anyway. The wind was so fierce, that it caused the fencing on the roof to vibrate and make noise like a bunch of tuning forks.

One of the cooler things we saw in our "scenic" trip to the building, was the what's pictured in the last photo. It's a hallway with a cloud projection onto the floor. But once you walk over the floor, the clouds clear up behind you. Oh, that Asian innovation, so nice.

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

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January 13, 2010

More Pizza Photos — This Time from the PDX

POST #    3012

What do we need more of on this site? Pizza photos! Duh. From our trip out to Portland in November, here are photos of two pies from Apizza Scholls and slices from Escape From New York Pizza.

The pies from Apizza were their Apizza ‘Margo’rita and their Tartufo Bianco. The pizza was very good. Could it have been better than Di Fara, which I just went to over the weekend? I would say it's possible! I can't say the same for Escape From New York Pizza though, but it did taste like pizza from any slice joint in NYC.

If you're wondering, I will not be following this up with photos of pizza from Taiwan as we didn't have any while there.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 4:45 PM

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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

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January 8, 2010

Randolph Loves the Grass

POST #    3010

That's not to say that Randolph likes marijuana, he just likes the tall grass-like stuff that comes with flowers. In fact, he goes crazy for it. So much so that he prefers to play rather than eat. And once he grabs the grass and walks away, he'll bring it back for you to play some more with him.

And doesn't he look so happy in this photo?

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Randolph at 3:38 PM

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January 7, 2010

Sail Rock in Kenting National Park

POST #    3009

Sail Rock in Taiwan's Kenting National Park gets it's name because, from a distance, it supposedly looks like a sailboat about to set sail. But up close, it apparently looks like Nixon, so it's sometimes called "Nixon's Head". I don't really see the resemblance to either.

Plus, this dog really loved us (mostly, Shannan, it seems). He followed us around this stop on our tour, but he was probably expecting food. Obviously, we didn't give him any.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 4:49 PM

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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

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January 4, 2010

At the Lawrence Historical Society, They Know How to Party

POST #    3007

Who says the center of the universe on New Year's Eve is in Times Square? Not I! For Lawrenceville, NJ was clearly the place to be to ring in 2010. Prior to watching Dick Clark count things down (how sad was that?!?), we went to the Lawrence Historical Society's Hogmanay Bonfire. The fire was a welcome source of warmth on the drizzly night. And, as if the bonfire wasn't awesome enough, Calvin scored some tight 2010 glasses that made us the sight to be seen at the bonfire.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 3:38 PM

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December 29, 2009

Timberwolves vs. Blazers: Rip City Goes Crazy for Chalupas

POST #    3006

How do you get 20,000 (mostly white) people on their feet in Portland, Oregon? Offer them a free Chalupa from Taco Bell if they cheer their team on to more than 100 points, that's how.

Back in November, we went to the Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers game in Portland, a game the Blazers won 116-93. The people in Portland love their basketball team.

But to sum up the experience of a Trail Blazers game, I refer you to this Bill Simmons column: "First, that's the whitest NBA experience you can have that doesn't involve the words "Salt," "Lake" and City." They didn't play hip-hop either before the game or during the game, each team seemed to have more African-Americans than the entire crowd and the pregame video right before the introduction of Portland's starting lineup was a local grunge band singing "Ballroom Blitz." And second, during a second-quarter timeout, my buddy House and I ran into the concourse to grab beers and noticed there was NOBODY else in line for anything. We felt like Will Smith in "I Am Legend." There was no sign of human life other than the workers. Everyone else stays in their seats. At halftime, those same people pour into the concourse like it's halftime of a football game. I've never seen anything like it. I don't know whether the Blazers have the most loyal, passionate, dutiful fans in the NBA, but at the very least, we can say nobody else tops them."

Search "Rose Garden" in the article for the whole question/answer about Sports Guy's stop in Portland.

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Sports, Travel at 3:31 PM

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December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009 in Lacon

POST #    3005

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 9:49 AM

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December 24, 2009

Frankie and Oliver

POST #    3004

Christina's lovely cats.

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Travel at 12:52 PM

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December 23, 2009

More from Timberline

POST #    3003

Three more from Timberline on Mount Hood. So close to November skiing!

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Travel at 1:49 PM

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December 22, 2009

Timberline Lodge and Ski Area on Mount Hood, OR

POST #    3002

Up on Mount Hood in Oregon is the famed Timberline Lodge and its ski resort, which is almost open year round. We went up in November just a week after the resort opened and it was covered in snow already. We didn't have any of our gear, so we didn't even attempt to ski/ride.

And I've made a end of year resolution to myself to go through all my photos of Portland, Taiwan and some others by the end of the year. So for the rest of December and January, there should be many incongruously ordered photos for you to see!

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Travel at 9:46 AM

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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

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December 9, 2009

Soup Dumplings at Din Tai Fung

POST #    3000

What's a trip to Taipei without a stop at Din Tai Fung for soup dumplings! On our first full day in Taiwan, we went to Din Tai Fung for lunch, on what happened to be Japanese Tourist day (Monday). Even by the time we arrived (which was before noon), there was a line outside. Thankfully, they didn't run out of food yet.

How did we know it was Japanese Tourist day at DTF? Well, the place was packed full of Japanese people, the wait staff was speaking to us in Japanese (despite us not being Japanese, obviously) and the soup dumpling instructions even had Japanese on them (no picture). In fact, every time they came to our table, they spoke to us in Japanese! Eventually they caught on when we replied to them with our blank stares.

Needless to say, they were awesome as usual.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 12:15 PM

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December 7, 2009

Breakfast in Taipei at Yong He

POST #    2999

After flying halfway across the world to Taiwan (with a stop in Anchorage where we could see Russia), we landed at around 7 in the morning. Tired with jet lag, hungry and wanting to check into our hotel, we were unable to do so for a while since it was so early. So we wandered the streets around our hotel looking for a place to eat. Shannan ruled out anything even slightly western, which was fine. But we were kind of limited in our options because of my out of practice Chinese.

We ended up stumbling upon Yong He, which working out well for our needs. Nevermind the fact that it didn't have an English menu (not that I expected it to) and that I can't read Chinese. There was a lot of mixing and matching of pictures/characters to order, but we ended up getting the food that we wanted, so it all worked out!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 4:42 PM

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December 1, 2009

Sunset in Kenting, Taiwan

POST #    2998

Apologies for the lack of updates, but we were away for a week in Taiwan.

While I still have plenty of Portland photos to go through, here's one from our trip last week. It's from the beach of our hotel in Kenting National Park.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 3:54 PM

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November 19, 2009

Eating Portland: Bunk Sandwiches

POST #    2997

Another lunch spot we hit up (non-cart lunch spot), was Bunk Sandwiches in Southeast. Much to my dismay, they didn't have the pork belly sandwich that even the cashier recommended on the day we went. So I went with the meatball parm hero instead. It was good. Better than most pizza place meatball parms that you get, but much smaller as well. I guess I didn't need the extra calories anyway, considering all the other stuff I ate on the trip.

If you do go to Bunk though, be sure to avoid the busy lunch hours. We got there at 11:30 or so and there was a line out the door 20 minutes later.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 6:49 PM

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November 18, 2009

Eating Portland: Nong's Khao Man Gai

POST #    2996

Portland's food cart scene is ridiculous. The food carts in Portland don't seem to be of the mobile variety (like the ones in NYC), but mostly parked in parking lots around the city, and mostly concentrated in the downtown area. There are so many carts, in fact, that there's a blog dedicated solely to food carts in the city. For comparisons sake, the sheer quantity of carts in just one of PDX's parking lots puts the Red Hook Ball Fields to shame (in quantity of carts and possibly quality of food — no he didn't? Yes, I did).

In the 10th and Alder (Southwest) parking lot is Nong's Khao Man Gai a Thai cart that specializes in Khao Man Gai, or chicken and rice. They're so specialized, in fact, that it's all they have on their menu. For $6, you get your chicken and rice, a side of ridiculously tasty sauce and some slices of squash as well as a soup (perfect for a chilly Portland day).

As good as the food is, sitting in front of Nong's and watching Nong Poonsukwattana interact with her customers is just as enjoyable.

Possibly the only thing I regret not doing in Portland during this trip was eating at more food carts. I only had time to eat at two. And one cart was actually sold out of meat! WTF?!

More information:
- Nong's Khao Man Gai website
- Nong's on Food Carts Portland
- Profile of Nong on Serious Eats

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 1:08 PM

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November 17, 2009

Eating Portland: Slappy Cakes

POST #    2994

If you like pancakes and you like cooking food at your own table, then Slappy Cakes in Southeast Portland is your heaven. At Slappy Cakes, which just opened two weeks ago, you can make pancakes at your table with your choice of toppings. But don't worry, if you're not into paying to make your own food (which I totally understand), then you can order pancakes from the kitchen. And if you don't want pancakes, they have other food for your tummy.

The way it works is you order a bottle of batter (buttermilk, buckwheat, vegan and gluten-free and carrot) and then cook your preferred pancakes at the oiled griddle at your table. The downside of Slappy Cakes, much like Korean BBQ and any "self-cook" restaurant, is that you leave smelling a little like the food you were preparing. And no matter how easy pancake making is, you can still fuck them up (see 4th photo). You can also order a bacon strip in your bloody mary, something that apparently isn't very popular yet.

I'm wondering how long until New York City gets one of these.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 11:10 AM

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November 16, 2009

Eating Portland: Mother's Bistro & Bar

POST #    2993

Get ready for an onslaught of food porn from Portland. While out there last week, we ate our way through the city (kind of, anyway). After asking people where we should eat in Portland, several people responded with suggestions.

One of those suggestions was Mother's in Southwest (the city is divided into five areas, primarily using the Willamette River for east/west and Burnside Street for north/south). I ordered the wild salmon hash while Shannan had the grilled portabella mushroom scramble. Delicious!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 9:10 AM

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November 9, 2009

Hello from Portland

POST #    2992

I'm told that November in Portland is pretty rainy, and after two days here, I can tell you that that's been very, very true. But ever so briefly on Saturday, the rain let up and there was a rainbow!

More rain in the forecast for most of this week. Fun times.

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

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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

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October 31, 2009

Oooooh, Scaaaaarrrryyyyyy

POST #    2990

Two weekends ago, we went down to the Princeton area to visit Johnny and Katie at their wonderful new home. One of the fun things we did was go to a farm to pick pumpkins (they were already out of the patch) and then carve them!

From top to bottom: my pumpkin, Shannan's, Maggie's, Calvin's, Katie's, Johnny's and the fun you can have while carving pumpkins.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:45 AM

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October 14, 2009

Scenes from Vermont

POST #    2989

There's nothing that screams Fall like a foliage and an apple festival. This past weekend, we went up to Grand Isle in Northern Vermont (we're talking really close to Canada) with a group of friends for a relaxing retreat. It also happened to be the South Hero Applefest which was like a craft fare, yard sale and celebration of apples all rolled into one. One vendor at the Applefest was selling maple cotton candy, which I'm crowning as the best cotton candy I've ever had (and I love me some cotton candy).

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 12:40 PM

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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

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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

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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

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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

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September 9, 2009

Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park

POST #    2984

This past Saturday we took a short drive with Calvin and Maggie upstate to hike Breakneck Ridge. Let the name scare you, for Breakneck does indeed have its scary parts. In fact, one description of the trail said, "If you deviate much from the rock ledges that comprise most of the trail, you'll fall hundreds of feet down the mountain's south face. Take utmost care on Breakneck, as carelessness has occasionally resulted in deaths." Another description reads, "while the clearly marked trail is easy to navigate even for first-timers, Breakneck Ridge may not be recommended for height-fearing folk prone to vertigo." Wonderful!

The start of the hike, a scramble up very rocky terrain, is the most difficult and time consuming. I would show you multiple pictures of the amazing view, but I was too exhausted to take out my camera more than a couple of times. For a good idea of what the climb looks like, check out this Wikipedia image. The start of the hike is from the stone structure at the foot of the mountain (left side on the Hudson River) and you essentially work your way up next to/along the exposed rock.

Once you reach the top, the trail becomes slightly easier, but the key here is to choose your descent wisely. We went with what seemed like the longest trail down the mountain. It didn't help that we got lost (despite having a trail map), resulting in an extra 1/2 miles of walking. Nor did running out of water with about two hours left on the hike help either.

If we go again, we'll probably take the shorter route down.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 12:25 PM

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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

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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

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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

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July 29, 2009

Disney World. Third Stop on the trip: Animal Kingdom

POST #    2980


Who needs a safari when you can go to Disney's Animal Kingdom! That's a giraffe right next to our safari-like vehicle.


The Tree of Life is the central "attraction" in the park. It has different animals carved (formed, really) into the fake tree.


Not pieces of leather, but bats.

Oooh. Tigers!


Dinosaur skeleton in the "DINOSAUR" ride. It was an awful, awful ride (and there are lots of those). Shannan couldn't stop laughing, but kids in front of us were terrified. It was also really, really loud.

Expedition Everest in the background. That was actually a good ride.

The next stop on our Disney adventure was Animal Kingdom. I actually believe this was the favorite stop for Shannan and her sister at a non-water themed Disney park. There is lots of stuff to do at Animal Kingdom — rides, zoo-like things, safari. And they have those huge turkey legs like every other Disney park (nobody bought one here though). Wikipedia says it's the newest of the four main parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios being the other three) and the largest single Disney theme park in the world.

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

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July 23, 2009

Disney World. Next Up: Magic Kingdom

POST #    2979


The iconic Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.


There's Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. Well, statues of them.


These turkey legs are naturally large! No, probably not.


The evening parade through the streets of the Magic Kingdom. I'm not sure how parents kept their children up so late. Oh yeah, bottles of Coke for their 5 year olds!


Hey! It's Mickey Mouse. I think the only time I saw him on the trip.


Chip and Dale play the piano.


Cinderella in her pumpkin carriage with Prince Charming (not pictured).


Donald Duck!!

Next up on our adult trip to Disney World was Magic Kingdom! It's probably the most child-targeted Disney Park, which is saying a lot since they're all targeted at children.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 7:18 PM

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July 20, 2009

Disney World. First Stop: Hollywood Studios

POST #    2978


These people are excited! Even on the tram.


I'm wearing the hat from The Sorcerer's Apprentice.


Only a hat this large could work for my head.


The theme continues.


Inside The Hollywood Tower Hotel.


It's quite scary.


No pirates nearby on the studio backlot tour.


Earthquake! Fire! Flood!


Didn't see Steve Zissou...


or LiLo.

I'm not sure the last time I went to Disney World (I'm sure my mom will tell me), but last week, I went down to Florida with Shannan, Mickala and Brian for an adult vacation at the Disney parks. It's like I won the Super Bowl! It was both Shannan and her sister's first visit to a Disney park. Our first stop was Hollywood Studios.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 7:14 PM

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July 8, 2009

Gay Head Cliffs in Martha's Vineyard

POST #    2977

Apparently down below the cliffs at Gay Head is a nude beach. They didn't have signs pointing this out on the cliffs. I do wonder if that kid using the telescope discovered the nude sunbathers though.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 2:21 PM

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July 6, 2009

Scenic Falmouth, MA on 4th of July Weekend

POST #    2976

Over the weekend, we headed up to Cape Cod with a bunch of friends. We all stayed in a beautiful house with what seemed like 40 other people. While the water was freezing, it was still a beautiful weekend.

More pictures to come.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 4:58 PM

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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

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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

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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

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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

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June 8, 2009

The 2009 Belmont Stakes

POST #    2971

This year's Belmont Stakes wasn't nearly as crowded as years past. I guess the lack of a Triple Crown possibility will do that. But the weather was perfect and the favorite didn't win the 141st running of the stakes. Summer Bird (pictured before the race in picture #2) won pretty easily after it passed Dunkirk and Mine That Bird.

More photos over at flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 12:49 PM

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May 26, 2009

From the Back Seat of a P-51 Mustang

POST #    2968

Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to head out to Long Island to check out The Horsemen and their P-51 Mustangs. Not only did I get to walk around and take pictures of the airplanes themselves, but I got to go up in one of them for a short flight. Ed Shipley took me out over South Oyster Bay for a couple of rolls (one regular and one four point) and a loop. He also let me take the control for another roll.

I'm happy to say that I didn't throw up in the back seat, despite it being my first time in a non-commercial airplane. It was certainly the experience of a lifetime.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 1:50 PM

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May 20, 2009

Shannan in the DC Metro

POST #    2967

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 1:29 PM

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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

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May 13, 2009

Obligatory Picture of the DC Metro

POST #    2965

Dupont Circle station in the Washington DC Metro.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 5:47 PM

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May 11, 2009

Ying and Pat's Wedding

POST #    2964

This Saturday, Shannan and I drove down to Maryland for my cousin's wedding at Montpelier Mansion. Since we had a 4 hour drive down to the wedding, we decided to change once we got to the wedding, which we got to just as it was starting. We sat down as Ying was walking down the isle with her father.

Lessons learned from this wedding: Don't let my uncle (or my dad, for that matter) speak at our wedding and there's a reason, the bride and groom don't traditionally speak at the wedding.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 1:08 PM

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May 7, 2009

Between the Garbage, a New REVS Piece

POST #    2963

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

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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

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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

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April 21, 2009

On Mountain BBQ in Vail

POST #    2960

While skiing at Vail, you can eat barbecue at 11,000' at Wildwood Restaurant. As with all the on-mountain food, it's not cheap. But if you've already eaten your homemade sandwich for a really early lunch, a late lunch of BBQ is good stuff. And since the weather was so nice on our final day, we ate our food outside in the glaring sun.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 6:21 PM

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April 16, 2009

More From Opening Day at Citi Field

POST #    2959

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

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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

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April 6, 2009

Snowy Trees in Blue Sky Basin

POST #    2957

We're leaving Vail on Tuesday after getting here late last Thursday. We were scheduled to ski for four days, but unfortunately Shannan broke her arm on the very first day. While Matty was able to get all four days in, I was only able to get onto the mountain for two days. Today (my 2nd of the two days) was great though. We had awesome weather and made many, many runs. It was a good way to end a trip with upsetting moments. On the plus side, Shannan did break her arm in one of the places with the most orthopedic expertise in the country.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Photos, Travel at 9:58 PM

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March 31, 2009

No Time Like the Present to Go Skiing

POST #    2956

Thursday afternoon, I'm heading west for a few days of skiing in Vail. Now you may think that April means spring skiing conditions, but thanks to Mother Nature, there will be mid-season-like conditions. In the last 7 days, 34" of snow have been dumped on the mountains of Vail. It's been snowing for what seems like 10 days straight and it's going to be awesome.

(Photo above from a 2007 trip.)

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 6:51 PM

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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

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March 24, 2009

I Make-Ah Da Meatballs

POST #    2953

Making meatballs is absurdly easy. That's what I discovered last weekend after we bought some meat at the grocery store. It's like making meatloaf, if not easier. You just have to play with raw meat a little more, which is somewhat unappetizing, but the end result is worth it.

And not only did I make the meatballs in the picture, I also made the tomato sauce. The bread is from the grocery store.

If you're wondering what it looked like as I was cooking, this video should give you a good idea:

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 3:55 PM

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March 16, 2009

Just Because It's More Disturbing, Doesn't Mean It's More Disgusting

POST #    2951

Things that sound gross don't always taste bad. For example, when I first saw the Oreo WaferStick, I thought "ew, that's disgusting." But it was actually pretty tasty. I had the same thought about the chocolate flavored Skittles, but those were actually disgusting. Some of the flavors were okay (brownie batter and chocolate pudding), but overall, they were a pretty awful tasting pack of Skittles.

So if you ever find yourself thinking about buying these Skittles, don't do it!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 5:04 PM

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March 11, 2009

Storage Office

POST #    2950

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

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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

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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

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February 24, 2009

A Room With a View

POST #    2946

A small group of us went down to Atlantic City this past weekend to celebrate Johnny's birthday. The Borgata was nice enough to upgrade us to a suite ("sweet," said Johnny). We didn't spend all that much time in the room, but the view was pretty nice. We could see the Atlantic Ocean from the room as well as Harrah's and Trump Marina.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 1:56 PM

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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

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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

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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

1
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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

0
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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

0
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January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year's Feast for the Year of the Ox

POST #    2933

Happy New Year!!

Above are photos of what we ate to celebrate the Year of the Ox. The highlight, as always, was the lion's head meatballs. MMMMMMM!!!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 5:15 PM

4
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
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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

0
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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

3
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January 12, 2009

Quiet at York Street

POST #    2927

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

2
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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

2
Comments

 
 

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

5
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

December 30, 2008

Oh Yeah, This Happened Too

POST #    2923

"Thing" said yes.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 4:09 PM

16
Comments

 
 

December 29, 2008

Christmas Tree in Lacon

POST #    2922

After a horrific day of travel on the 23rd (we're talking like 15 hours to get to our final destination), we did up Christmas with Shannan's family. And I challenge anyone to show me a tree with more gifts under/around it than this one. There's a whole toy chest with gifts in it as well as some obscured gifts on the left side. It puts our tiny Brooklyn tree to shame. Shame!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 6:56 PM

5
Comments

 
 

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

3
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

1
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

3
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
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December 1, 2008

Food from Thanksgiving, 2008

POST #    2906

I love Thanksgiving! Too bad those football games sucked. This year, Shannan and I made garlic mashed potatoes as well as a pumpkin pie. It was the first time I made pumpkin pie and it turned out really, really good and I discovered it's absurdly easy to make.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 2:54 PM

0
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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

0
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November 25, 2008

Hope is Not Copyrighted

POST #    2904

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

0
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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

1
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November 20, 2008

The Hudson River by the Bear Mountain Bridge

POST #    2902

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 6:22 PM

0
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November 19, 2008

Richard Serra at Dia:Beacon

POST #    2901

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 6:37 PM

1
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November 18, 2008

The Andy Warhol Room at Dia:Beacon

POST #    2900

At Dia:Beacon, they have a whole room with a series of paintings by Andy Warhol. Shadows consists of 102 paintings that are hung edge-to-edge around the whole room. Warhold said that Shadows was actually "one painting with...parts."

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, Photos at 4:49 PM

0
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November 17, 2008

Shannan Outside Dia:Beacon

POST #    2899

I took this picture Saturday outside Dia:Beacon. It was my time there and I must say that it was very cool.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Friends/Family, Photos at 3:59 PM

2
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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

2
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November 12, 2008

Empire State Building is in Christmas Mode

POST #    2897

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

0
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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

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

1
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October 30, 2008

Apple Sidra...So Delicious It Has a Facebook Page

POST #    2889

I think the first time I had this tasty drink was when I was visiting Taiwan. Ever so briefly this summer, I saw it at a store in Chinatown. Naturally, I bought some. And it was delicious.

What does it taste like? This is how they describe it on Facebook:
"A crisp and light beverage. It has an apple flavor, but its not an apple cider. Its more like a light sparkling citrus drink like 7up or Sprite. But the apple flavor adds a nice soft edge where the usual lemon-lime drink can be a bit harsh or overly sweet.

This drink is crisp & sweet with dusty apple skin flavors, kind of subtle and enticing additions to the flavor. Overall it is mellow and juicy, a refreshing drink."

I would say that's pretty accurate.

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

1
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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

0
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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

0
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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

3
Comments

 
 

October 2, 2008

REVS: Death From Above

POST #    2869

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

0
Comments

 
 

October 1, 2008

Colorful at DTW's McNamara Terminal

POST #    2868

I've flown in and out of Detroit International Airport's McNamara Terminal plenty of times, but I've never seen this tunnel to get between concourses before. If you happen to fly with one of Northwest's code share partners (Delta, Continental, etc) into or out of Detroit, you might see this colorful tunnel. It goes from the A terminal to the B and C terminal. The colors change behind the curved glass behind the wall and you can hear sounds of a rain storm while you ride the people mover. Probably not the best sound in an industry that can be affected by weather.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 6:36 PM

2
Comments

 
 

September 30, 2008

Looking at This Sandwich May Give You a Heart Attack...

POST #    2867

but it may also make you salivate. Saturday morning, a few of us went to Zingerman's for breakfast. I decided to go with the breakfast B.L.T.: Applewood-smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, lettuce, tomato & mayo on toasted Bakehouse white bread. Topped with an over-easy egg.

Mmm...heart attack!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Travel at 5:25 PM

4
Comments

 
 

September 29, 2008

Panorama of Michigan vs Wisconsin at Michigan Stadium

POST #    2866

This weekend, we took the annual trip to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan Football. The weather on Friday was a little daunting and I wasn't sure we would make it out of NYC at all, but to my surprise, we were only delayed about 45 minutes.

The game was great, and a tale of two halves for Michigan. In the first half, Michigan turned it over 5 times and had only 63 feet of total offense. Yes, that's right, they only had 21 yards! By the end of the half, Wisconsin was winning 19-0, a margin that should have been much, much larger. But the second half, Michigan finally got things going offensively. They managed to piece together the biggest comeback in Michigan Stadium history, fittingly on the day they played the 500th game at the Big House.

It was yet another awesome game that I've witnessed at Michigan Stadium. Ahh, memories.

Much larger version of the photo here on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports, Travel at 5:39 PM

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
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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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

September 22, 2008

Two Bridges

POST #    2862

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

0
Comments

 
 

September 18, 2008

Sunset Steeple

POST #    2860

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

1
Comments

 
 

September 17, 2008

Dumpster Borf

POST #    2859

Outside the stone dealers.

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
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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

0
Comments

 
 

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

3
Comments

 
 

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

2
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September 8, 2008

Sunset in DUMBO the Friday Before Hanna

POST #    2852

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

0
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September 4, 2008

Homemade English Muffin Pizza

POST #    2850

Last night, I made my own English muffin pizzas using homemade tomato sauce from earlier in the week, some mozerella cheese, pepperoni, and Thomas' 100 Calorie Original English Muffin. First, I toasted the English muffins to crisp them up a little. After adding all the toppings, I baked them in my toaster oven. I would say they turned out pretty well!

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

2
Comments

 
 

September 3, 2008

Willa Hangs Out in Her Car Seat

POST #    2849

One moment she loves the camera, the next she's tired of it, and eventually she just wants to play with her feet.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 6:19 PM

1
Comments

 
 

September 2, 2008

Stonecutters

POST #    2848

Not like the No Homer(s) Club.

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

0
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August 27, 2008

Carts a Plenty at IKEA Red Hook

POST #    2845

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

August 20, 2008

Two New Pairs of Nike Air Force 1

POST #    2840

The Mowabb Edition (top) and the Air Max '95 Edition (bottom).

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

August 14, 2008

Sean Bell Tags The Subway

POST #    2836

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

3
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
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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

1
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

July 24, 2008

No Parking 24|7

POST #    2822

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

0
Comments

 
 

July 23, 2008

Williamsburg's Happy Handyman

POST #    2821

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

3
Comments

 
 

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

3
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

1
Comments

 
 

July 14, 2008

Jason and Elena's Wedding

POST #    2814

This weekend, Shannan and I went down to Virgina for Jason and Elena's wedding. Not only was it a perfect day for the wedding (not too hot, not too humid), but it was a super fast and casual wedding. No long ceremony and I got to wear shorts. That's the perfect wedding in my book.

Not so perfect was the occasional flyover by F-15s (even though I thought it was awesome).

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 12:45 PM

1
Comments

 
 

July 10, 2008

Sparkler Jonas

POST #    2812

By the end of the weekend, Jonas was getting tired of having his photo taken, so he covered his face with the sparkler in the photo. Okay, not really. That kid loves to have his photo taken.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 6:03 PM

0
Comments

 
 

July 9, 2008

Jonas and His Bug Catcher

POST #    2811

I believe Jonas was scared of showing us the bug in the 2nd picture. Even though he was showing the bug just seconds before and after.

No bugs were harmed in the taking of these photos.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 6:48 PM

0
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July 8, 2008

How a 2 (Almost 3) Year Old Eats a Cracker

POST #    2810

It's done by saying cheese a lot (when having your photo taken) and showing the contents of your mouth (also when having your photo taken).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 6:03 PM

0
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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

1
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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

0
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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

0
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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

1
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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

0
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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

0
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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

0
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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

0
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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

5
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

June 18, 2008

Concrete Field Through a Fence

POST #    2797

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

1
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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

0
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June 16, 2008

Walking Over the Brooklyn Bridge

POST #    2795


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

0
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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

0
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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

0
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June 9, 2008

The 2008 Belmont Stakes

POST #    2790

Horse racing will go at least one more year without a Triple Crown winner. Saturday, I went out to Belmont with a bunch of people in Adam's annual trip. Big Brown was the heavy favorite (1-4 with almost $7 million bet on him to win), but he finished dead last. Winning the race was Da' Tara, the biggest longshot, who went off at 38-1 (you would win $38 if you placed a $1 bet).

While I would have loved to witness history, I'm kind of happy Big Brown didn't win.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 8:41 AM

1
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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June 3, 2008

CB2's Inline Vase

POST #    2786

A couple of weeks ago, we got a CB2 catalog and saw these cool inline vases. As one of our cats broke another vase of ours around that time, we thought it would be a good time to get a new one at CB2. While there, we got the inline vase too. But it looks like I need to work on my flower arranging skills. I was having some difficulty cutting the flowers to the right length. I do see potential though (in the vase, not in my skills).

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, Photos at 1:00 PM

1
Comments

 
 

June 2, 2008

TMI Sunset, TMI

POST #    2785

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

0
Comments

 
 

May 29, 2008

Faile on the Rocks

POST #    2783

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

0
Comments

 
 

May 27, 2008

Sign Doesn't Help Marco Andretti Win Indy 500

POST #    2782

But his mom tried, at least. He did come in 3rd though, but that's not going to break that Andretti luck.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 7:03 PM

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

May 19, 2008

Shea Stadium with the Holga

POST #    2777


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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

0
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May 8, 2008

Sorry I Was Away, I Was Dealing With Hard Drive Failure

POST #    2771

There was a lesson learned when the hard drive on my MacBook failed on Monday - backup, backup, backup. I already do that, but I didn't do it for a couple weeks and I still lost a bunch of stuff. FAIL!

On the plus side, my new hard drive is double the size of my previous one.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 6:17 PM

0
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

April 29, 2008

Viva El Neck Face

POST #    2765

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

0
Comments

 
 

April 28, 2008

Dark Cloud by the Empire State Building

POST #    2764

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

April 23, 2008

Old Towne Grove Chapel in Groveland, IL

POST #    2761

Jessica and Chanse didn't actually get married in this tiny chapel, but the larger chapel in the same "complex". The Old Towne Grove Chapel was much more picturesque though.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 5:25 PM

0
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April 22, 2008

A View of a Palm Tree

POST #    2760

This is what it looks like when you're looking up while laying on a beach in Jamaica. Well, at least the beach I was on. I think I had a frozen beverage in my hands too.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Photos, Travel at 6:08 PM

0
Comments

 
 

April 21, 2008

Sunrise in Jamaica

POST #    2759

This was the view of the sunrise from our hotel room in Ocho Rios. It was shortly after 6 AM local time (7 AM in NYC).

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

2
Comments

 
 

April 17, 2008

Optimo Cigars

POST #    2758

Taken with FUJICHROME-T64 film.

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

1
Comments

 
 

April 9, 2008

Limes Are Sour, Learns Young Colton

POST #    2756

A lesson from his Aunt Shannan.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 6:09 PM

0
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April 8, 2008

Jessica and Chanse Get Hitched!

POST #    2755

I've got a lot more images from their wedding, but I have to sift through them all. I especially like this image that I took. And because Shannan loves her brother so much, we're going to tag along on Jessica and Chanse's honeymoon.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 2:48 PM

0
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April 7, 2008

Stuck for a Night in Chicago

POST #    2754

This past weekend, we went to Illinois for a wedding. Little did we know, we would be traveling on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because of crappy East Coast weather on Friday morning, we missed our connection in Chicago and spent the night there (many thanks to Whalen and Brynn). Early Saturday morning, we finally made our way to Peoria for the wedding only to return to Chicago and NYC on Sunday. Way too much flying for a short weekend.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 11:02 AM

1
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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

0
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April 2, 2008

Hong Kong Island in Black and White from Victoria Peak

POST #    2751

In continuing the whole image manipulation thing with Lightroom, here's a photo from last year's trip to Hong Kong. You can see a similar picture on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 5:15 PM

2
Comments

 
 

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

1
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March 31, 2008

Eating Cold Pizza is Best Done Pantless

POST #    2749

Pantless, yes. But with the rest of your Easter outfit on.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:34 AM

3
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March 27, 2008

Jonas the Train Conductor

POST #    2747

Taken with a Holga on Easter Sunday using Illford Delta 3200 film.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Friends/Family, Photos at 5:15 PM

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

March 25, 2008

Heart Gaia

POST #    2745

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

0
Comments

 
 

March 24, 2008

Sarah Marshall Sucks

POST #    2744

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

1
Comments

 
 

March 20, 2008

Holga Babies

POST #    2742


The top photo is of Shannan and Colton using the blue flash. The bottom photo is of Margaret and Willa using the yellow flash.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Friends/Family, Photos at 11:37 AM

0
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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

0
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March 18, 2008

And the Future of Coney Island

POST #    2740

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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March 13, 2008

Making Dumplings With Family

POST #    2737

Sunday night, Shannan and I went over to my parents' apartment to participate in a traditional Chinese expeience...dumpling making. I'm not sure I've actually ever done this, but apparently people all over China do this on New Year's Eve when members of the family return home for New Year's celebrations.

There are a few stations involved in the process: the dough maker/chopper, the dough flattener, the skin former, the filling stuffer, and the dumpling pincher. I'm sure there's some official terminology for the actual people in those positions and that some of these roles can be combined, but for the five of us (Aunt Bonnie was there too), that's how the roles were split and that's what I'm calling the process. The easiest job fell to me most of the night - filling the dumplings (if you know how to use chopsticks, you can do this job).

It took us a little while, but we made something like 200 dumplings - pork and shrimp with Chinese leek and pork and shrimp with Chinese cabbage. The best part about the labor intensive process of making dumplings has to be the family bonding and of course the dumpling eating afterwards.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 5:13 PM

4
Comments

 
 

March 12, 2008

Midtown Blues

POST #    2736

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

0
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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

0
Comments

 
 

March 10, 2008

Shadow of a Tree Grows in Brooklyn

POST #    2734

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

0
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March 6, 2008

Evening View of Houston (Street, Not City)

POST #    2732

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

0
Comments

 
 

March 5, 2008

Say Good Bye to 29

POST #    2731

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Photos at 4:39 PM

6
Comments

 
 

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

0
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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

1
Comments

 
 

February 28, 2008

Crossing Over

POST #    2727

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

0
Comments

 
 

February 27, 2008

Blooming Soon

POST #    2726

I can't recall the name of this flower.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, Photos at 5:36 PM

2
Comments

 
 

February 26, 2008

Wegmans is Your #1 Stop for Peeps

POST #    2725

Or so I would hope they claim to be. I mean, look at all those Peeps they have on display! This was right across the isle from the health-food section.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 1:52 PM

1
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

February 21, 2008

Domino Sugar

POST #    2722

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

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

1
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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

6
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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

3
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February 12, 2008

Streamlined Periscope

POST #    2714

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year's Feast for the Year of the Rat

POST #    2711

It's a Chinese New Year feast fit for a emperor! A king! A prince!

Last night, my mom did her yearly Chinese New Year cooking and as usual it was extremely delicious and filling. From top to bottom are: peanuts, jellyfish, chicken and something to wrap in lettuce, lion's head meatballs, eight vegetable dish, a shrimp dish, vegetables with dried scallops, a whole fish, and glutinous red bean rice cake.

Welcome, Year of the Rat!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 4:53 PM

1
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

February 5, 2008

Vote

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

0
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February 4, 2008

Mustache Makes Jonas Look All Grown Up

POST #    2708

Jonas is growing up so fast! So fast that he's got a mustache. Who cares if it's from chocolate cake!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 2:42 PM

0
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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

1
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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

3
Comments

 
 

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

2
Comments

 
 

January 28, 2008

Snorkeling at Paradise Island in the Dominican Republic

POST #    2703

Remember Paradise Island? That tiny sand dune that is somehow called an island?

Well, we finally developed the underwater pictures from snorkeling in the Dominican Republic. Man, those underwater cameras kind of suck, huh? I'm not sure if it was the camera or the developer, but there were some pictures that had some issues. Oh well.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 11:13 AM

0
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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

2
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

1
Comments

 
 

January 22, 2008

Love. Vote.

POST #    2698

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

0
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January 15, 2008

Testing Out the Deep Fryer

POST #    2694

Way back in 2006, I was given a deep fryer for Christmas. Since then, it's been in our cabinet waiting to be used. Why hasn't it been used since December, 2006? Because Shannan hates the smell associated with deep frying. As she was away this past weekend, I seized the opportunity to fry some shit up! On the menu were fries, onion rings, and chicken wings (I was watching football).

I found that fries were the easiest (essentially all you do is cut and fry), followed by wings, and onion rings. It was hard to tell when the chicken wings were done, but otherwise they were easy. I think I liked the results the best with the onion rings, but my batter, while good, could have used some salt. I also learned that you can't put a whole bunch in at once because they stick to one another.

I think that everything I fried tasted good and seemed healthier than any fried food I would get while eating out. Maybe it's because I used fresh ingredients and knew what I was putting into/onto the food.

Given the results, I don't think Shannan should discourage me from using the deep fryer again. I think she would be pleased to eat the results.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, House and Home, Photos at 12:29 PM

4
Comments

 
 

January 14, 2008

Greenpoint's Physical Culture

POST #    2693

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

3
Comments

 
 

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

5
Comments

 
 

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

0
Comments

 
 

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

3
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January 3, 2008

Don't Call it a Resolution

POST #    2686

A goal of mine this year is to spend less money. It's not to save money, as I kind of already do that (I have a spend and save philosophy), but to spend less money. Which I guess would increase my savings. Clearly that doesn't make sense, but I like it as a goal. Of course, the piggy bank pictured (a Christmas gift from Shannan) helps my goal.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 12:38 PM

0
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January 2, 2008

Douchebaggery to Start Out 2008!

POST #    2685

There are these new tenants in my building (most units are owner occupied) that are young banker guys that like to party. I think they had 2 parties last year and another on New Year's Eve and well into the New Year. The parties are never quiet - doors slamming, people yelling in the hallway, loud music - but I don't think they've ever been as bad as they were the other night. It's like we were living in a frat house. Bottles were broken on the street and bottles left in the hallway, someone was banging on our window for us to let them in (this was after we got home from the night out), a fire extinguisher was knocked down, and someone puked in the hallway on a completely different floor. This of course is in addition to the loud music, door slamming, and yelling in the hallway.

This makes the rest of the building people sound like prudes, but we're not. We just dislike the lack of respect they have for our building. It's a small building, so it's kind of like a community.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, Photos at 8:58 AM

3
Comments

 
 

December 31, 2007

Colton's Got a Tasty Glove

POST #    2684

There's nothing quite as tasty as a fleece glove to young Colton.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 9:19 AM

1
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December 27, 2007

Colton Can Fly (With Help)

POST #    2682

Note the cute reindeer slippers!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 5:28 PM

0
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December 26, 2007

Christmas Day in Lacon

POST #    2680

For the past few days, Shannan and I went to Lacon, Illinois (that's Lacon, like bacon) for Christmas with her family. In addition to gift giving/receiving, it was also the first time that we got to see Shannan's new nephew Colton.

Santa was good to me, because I got some mighty good gifts: a Holga camera, Guitar Hero III for the Wii, a Wiimote charging station, Top Gun (collectors edition DVD), V-MODA vibe earbuds, a copy of The Simpsons Movie, Taboo, a copy of Sneaker Freaker magazine, a nice shirt, another thin wallet (mine is falling apart), and a gift card to Pizza Hut (mmm!). Shannan and I also got a chair, some towels, and a wine refrigerator. Thanks to Santa (and those that act on his behalf) for all the great gifts!!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Illinois, Photos, Travel at 10:39 AM

3
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December 20, 2007

The Hills and Water from the Dominican Republic

POST #    2678

I kind of like the first picture because the camera miraculously captured that stick in almost the exact middle of the picture. But as you can see, the northwest coast of the Dominican Republic has some nice rolling hills to it.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 4:08 PM

0
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December 19, 2007

A Tobacco Plantation in the Dominican Republic

POST #    2676

While on the bus back to Puerto Plata, we stopped by a cigar factory (if you could call it that) to inject some U.S. dollars into the economy. Tourist that I was, I bought some cigars to bring home. I'm not that big a smoker though, so who knows if I'll ever get to them.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 3:39 PM

0
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December 18, 2007

Mangroves in the Dominican Republic

POST #    2675

After snorkeling around Paradise Island and before we made our way to Punta Rucia, we stopped by a little inlet where I took this photo of the insane mangrove trees.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 12:30 PM

0
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December 17, 2007

Approaching Miami From Above

POST #    2674

In honor of the Dolphins finally winning their first game this season, here are three shots I took on the way to the Dominican Republic via Miami. In the first picture, you can see Dolphin Stadium on December 1st. That's a day before they lost to the hapless Jets.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 12:46 PM

1
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December 13, 2007

Punta Rucia in the Dominican Republic

POST #    2670

After snorkeling at Paradise Island, we took our speed boat to Punta Rucia for lunch before our trip back to the hotels. It's really not much of a town, but the guide told us it's a fishing village, which seemed possible based on the looks of things. We wandered a bit during our free time there and saw a lot of abandoned lots.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 1:29 PM

0
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December 12, 2007

Paradise Island off the Coast of the Dominican Republic

POST #    2669

Early one morning (we're talking 6:45 early), we took a trip to go snorkeling at Paradise Island. To get there, we had to take a bus to a "speed boat" (a small boat with a 75 horsepower engine on it) to this thing they called an "island". It's essentially a sandbar on the coral reef but the size apparently varies depending on the time of year and tides. Despite the pathetic "island", the snorkeling at Paradise Island was a great time. On the island, they have some huts, light snacks, and refreshments. Thankfully when we got there, no other groups there. By the time we left, the island was packed with people. The only shitty part of our trip was the weather. It actually rained a few times while we were there (including once when we were in the water) which actually proved to be somewhat cool. Also cool, dolphins swimming alongside our boat en route to the sandbar.

Eventually, I'll have some underwater pictures from snorkeling. Who knows how they look though.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 1:05 PM

2
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December 11, 2007

Sun Village Resort & Spa in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

POST #    2668

I think the number of photos that I took on this trip reflects the amount of things Shannan and I did. I only walked away with about 100 photos (many of which I will delete), which means that we didn't really do that many activities during our week away. Most of the time we spent at Sun Village Resort & Spa in Puerto Plata (Cofresi, to be precise) was either by the pool or by the beach. I don't even think I took my camera to the beach once. The resort was kind of sprawling, which you can see from this photo on their website, so you had to walk about 5 minutes to get to the beach and walk up a fair amount of steps to a couple of the restaurants. If it wasn't for all that walking, I'm not sure how much more weight I would have gained during the trip.

Pictured here are the views of the ocean from one of the pools, the view east towards the mountains around the resort and one of Sun Village's many pools.

And we're totally trend setters. Puerto Plata was named one of the 53 places to go in 2008 this past Sunday by the NY Times: "Puerto Plata, the rowdy beach resort on the Dominican Republic's north coast, is about to get rowdier. Maxim, the racy men's magazine, is opening a 108-bungalow resort on Cofresi Beach, near the Las Vegas-style Ocean World Marina and Casino. Expect the drinking to start onboard JetBlue, which is offering nonstop flights between Kennedy Airport and Puerto Plata next month." That Maxim resort is opening up as part of Sun Village and Ocean World was right next to Sun Village. See, trend setters.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 10:57 AM

0
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December 10, 2007

A Butterfly From Our Resort in the Dominican Republic

POST #    2667

We're back from our vacation in the Dominican Republic and home to a 40° drop in temperature. Believe it or not, I welcome the temperature change. I didn't take too many photos on the trip (another believe it or not) because how exciting is lounging by the beach or lounging by the pool? We did go snorkeling while there, so it's possible there will be some photos of that.

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

2
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November 29, 2007

The Bear Celebrates a Birthday

POST #    2664

Tuesday night, Adam celebrated his birthday at Joe’s Bar. Ever fond of his bear suit, that's what he was wearing. You may remember the bear from such posts as: Wiimbledon at Barcade.

Happy birthday, bear. You furry, furry man.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 5:32 PM

0
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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

5
Comments

 
 

November 27, 2007

Ronald McDonald Consumes the World...in 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

1
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November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

POST #    2661

Looking at this photo, you can kind of see what it was like at Thanksgiving for me. Sadly, you can't really taste what it was like or smell what it was like.

Pictured clockwise from the turkey are: two types of cranberry sauce (one with walnuts), garlic mashed potatoes, yams, corn with pine nuts, some strange avocado/shrimp, and green beans.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:35 AM

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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

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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

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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

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November 19, 2007

MUJI MUJI MUJI

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

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November 15, 2007

An Attempt at Growing Paperwhites

POST #    2654


Neither Shannan or I have green thumbs. It seems like every few months or so, we get some new plan and a month or two later, they're dead. We've got a few plants that have managed to endure our brown thumbs, but similar plants in the hands of my parents seem to thrive. With us, they just manage to stay alive.

The other day, Shannan brought home these paperwhite bulbs. If all goes well, they'll bloom into beautiful, fragrant flowers in a month. With our luck, in a month they'll be rotting bulbs.

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

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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

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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

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November 12, 2007

Jonas Eats the Pizza

POST #    2649

I think I've figured out one reason Jonas and I get along so well. Our mutual love for pizza (and his snacks). Though I think if he suddenly decided one day that he didn't like pizza anymore, we would probably still get along.

And if you're wondering why he looks so disheveled, it's because he was eating after he got up from his long nap.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 11:43 AM

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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

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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

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November 6, 2007

Sunset in Saugerties

POST #    2646

Shannan and I went upstate for the weekend and spotted this sunset outside the room of the bed and breakfast we were staying at.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 2:14 PM

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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

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November 1, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center IV

POST #    2643

Okay, I said that I was done with Storm King photos, but I just saw this one in Lightroom and I had to share. Hopefully you like the photo of Storm King Wall as well.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 1:56 PM

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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

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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

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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

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October 25, 2007

Fall in Upstate New York

POST #    2637

This was taken not far from Storm King as we took a wrong turn to head to Woodbury. While at the outlets, I had to shop with 3 women, which is not a fun experience. I would recommend avoiding it at all costs!

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 3:28 PM

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October 24, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center III

POST #    2636

Here's the last set of photos from inside Storm King. I'm sure it's going to be crazy beautiful this weekend.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 11:13 AM

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October 23, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center II

POST #    2634

Pictured are parts of Richard Serra's permanent installation at Storm King called Schunnemunk Fork. The last photo was taken between the pieces of Schunnemunk Fork.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 10:39 AM

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October 22, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center I

POST #    2633

There's nothing like a Fall trip to upstate New York. This past weekend, we went up to Storm King Art Center on what was a less than Fall-like day. While it eventually turned pretty cold, it was pretty mild when we first set out. As you can see, the leaves are starting to change colors, but there are still plenty of trees that are green. Last year I went to Storm King in May.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 10:59 AM

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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

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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

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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

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October 15, 2007

Another Year, Another Soktoberfest

POST #    2628

Ahh, October. When we combine socks and the month to create Soktoberfest. It's the best time to break out your fanciest pair of socks for a party at my place. After all, you gotta keep the floors clean. The parties keep getting bigger and better. And despite thinking that there was way too much beer, there really isn't too much left over at all.

Best costume (no, not required) clearly goes to Grego and Adriane (not pictured), who came in authentic (I think?) German outfits. And whatever Jake thinks, he didn't have the best socks. I think that goes to Miguel and Julia, who made their own fancy socks!

Final alcohol consumption totals: 115 12oz beers, 1 1pt 9.4 oz beer, 2 1pt 6oz beers, 1 1pt .9oz beer, and one 1.1 imperial gallon beer.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, House and Home, Photos at 5:17 PM

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October 11, 2007

Meal at Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2626

While the food looks pretty good, I don't remember it being all that awesome. It was supposedly an example of the local cuisine in Sun Moon Lake though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 12:30 PM

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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

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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

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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

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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

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October 3, 2007

The Gutter in Brooklyn

POST #    2619

In the long-standing tienmao.com 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

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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

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September 26, 2007

Hsuan Tsang Temple in Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2614

Here's yet another temple at Sun Moon Lake.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:02 AM

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September 25, 2007

Perhaps a Future Michigan QB?

POST #    2613

Jack's almost 2 now, and if this play action fake is any indication, we could have a future quarterback on our hands.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 12:58 PM

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September 20, 2007

My Cousin's Daughter Catherine

POST #    2609

Which makes it my...? I was never good at the whole 2nd cousin, 1st cousin once removed stuff. So confusing! That or I'm too lazy to remember how it works.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:47 AM

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September 19, 2007

Home Depot in Jersey City Making Progress

POST #    2608

I can't believe there's going to be a Home Depot right next to the Holland Tunnel. I guess it's perfect for commuters that are on their way back to their homes in Jersey who need to pick up an item. It's not finished yet, but they are hiring now, if anyone is interested.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 11:08 AM

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September 18, 2007

In Taipei, They Can English

POST #    2606

Whatever that means.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 8:44 AM

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September 17, 2007

A 7-Eleven in Taiwan

POST #    2605

7-Eleven in Taiwan is all over the place. Taiwan has the 3rd most 7-Eleven locations, only trailing Japan and the United States (in that order). One of the nice things about 7-Eleven in Taiwan is that they have hot food that is actually somewhat appealing. Granted, like 7-Eleven here, you would only want to eat it if you didn't have any better options.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan at 9:09 AM

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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

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September 11, 2007

Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2599

Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan is the largest natural lake on the island nation (or rogue territory if you wish). Though we ate lunch in a restaurant overlooking it, we didn't spend all that much time at the actual lake. The eastern part of the lake is round (like the sun) and the western part is shaped like a crescent moon, which is how the lake gets its name. I didn't really see the sun-moon aspect of it, but maybe that's because of the haze. There is an island in the middle of the lake that was much bigger before water levels rose when a hydroelectric power plant was built and water was redirected to Sun Moon Lake from other lakes.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 11:17 AM

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September 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jonas!

POST #    2598

Jonas threw himself a big bash on Friday to celebrate his 2nd birthday. He gathered his friends at Two Boots Pizza in Brooklyn. He got a bunch of great gifts (I got him a T-shirt and some MTA toy trains (works with Thomas and whatnot), including a nice big tricycle that made another kid in the neighborhood a little jealous.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:30 AM

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September 6, 2007

From Far Away, Taipei 101

POST #    2596

I almost think Taipei 101 is like the World Trade Center used to be. For me, the WTC was an anchor in lower Manhattan, something that you could use to navigate if you needed as it was almost always south. It was also there whenever I got off the subway and looked downtown when I was growing up.

Taipei 101 is slightly different as it's not really in one specific area for all people - north for some, south for others, etc.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 10:26 AM

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September 5, 2007

Wenwu Temple at Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2593

Wenwu Temple on Sun Moon Lake was originally built in 1938, combining two old temples that were moved when a dam was built. It was rebuilt in 1969 in its current form. The pair of lions (one pictured) are the largest ones in Taiwan. Wenwu Temple is dedicated to Confucius and the ancient Chinese generals Kuan Kung and Yueh Fei.

The historic staircase was originally the only way to access the temple, each step representing a different day of the year. There are 336 of them, including 2/29.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 9:10 AM

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September 4, 2007

Sun Moon Lake Peacock Garden

POST #    2594

At Sun Moon Lake is a Peacock Garden with more than 200 peacocks. It was one of Madam Chiang Kai-shek's favorite places to go when they would go to the area. I don't think I've ever seen so many peacocks in one place before.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 7:53 AM

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September 3, 2007

Our First Meal in Taipei

POST #    2595

When we arrived in Taipei, it was rather late and my dad and I were hungry. Nobody else was, so we ventured from our hotel to find some food. We found a local restaurant on while walking around that liked serving seafood dishes (as evidenced by the seafood noodles, fried cuttlefish, and clams). The one non-seafood dish we had was stinky tofu.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 8:13 AM

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August 30, 2007

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

POST #    2591

Onto Taiwan! What better to start the pictures of Taiwan than Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei. The CKS Memorial Hall is named after the late Kuomintang leader, who was the first President of the Republic of China after it moved to Taiwan (I'm butchering a little history, but that's essentially right).

There's been a recent movement by President Chen Shui-Bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (opposition of the KMT) to rename the hall the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall (the DPP doesn't like anything with ties to the KMT). Apparently the name change was repealed, but the old name wasn't exactly preserved. It was an ugly fight between the two sides, with the city of Taipei (controlled by the KMT) also stepping in. There were times when signs were installed with the new name, but later removed by the city and such other drama. Wikipedia has a nice section about that craziness.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 10:11 AM

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August 29, 2007

The Hong Kong Subways, Everything NYC's Aren't

POST #    2590

It's unfair to compare New York City's subway system with that of other cities. After all, it's older, larger, and transports more people than most other systems. Because of this, it lacks a lot of the newer, modern features that are in other cities. This is slowly changing with the new cars on the 4/5/6, 2/3, L and the new R160s that are rolling out, but cars are only part of it. If the 2nd Ave. line is ever built, then NYC will have something that is comparable to that of other cities.

In Hong Kong, they have platforms that prevents debris/people from falling onto the tracks, modern stations, smooth rides, and you know when the trains are coming. While I do love NYC's subway system (most of the time, anyway), there's definitely a lot that can be improved. Then again, there's a shortage of money too.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:55 AM

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August 27, 2007

Red Bulls vs. Galaxy at Giants Stadium

POST #    2588

I didn't get to these last week, but they are from after Calvin's 4 in 3 hot dog moment. We actually missed the first three goals of the game because of crazy traffic, but it turned out fine because there were an astronomical 9 goals scored.

And it was obviously the David Beckham show. There were a ton of "Galaxy fans" that had Beckham shirts and there was even a group of girls that painted his name across their bellies. Those girls must have been happy when he took his shirt off after the game.

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

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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

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August 22, 2007

Calvin Eats 4 Hot Dogs in 3 Minutes

POST #    2584

Calvin has always been a fast eater and drinker. And he's always loved hot dogs. So one drunken night, he told Adam that he could eat 10 hot dogs in 5 minutes and really thought he could do it. We had our doubts, but on Saturday we did an abbreviated version of that bet - 4 dogs in 4 minutes. Miraculously, he finished in 3 minutes, but not without the shakes from eating so fast. AND he didn't have a reversal of fortune.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 9:09 AM

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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

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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

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August 16, 2007

Offerings from McDonald's in Hong Kong

POST #    2579

Why eat at McDonald's when you're in a foreign country? Never underestimate the power of air conditioning and the knowledge that they have clean bathrooms.

Pictured here is the red bean pie (not nearly as good as the apple pies at non-U.S. locations or the sweet taro pie), corn (not very good), and a coffee from the McCafé.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:49 AM

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August 15, 2007

The View From Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

POST #    2578

Hi above Hong Kong Island is Victoria Peak, the island's tallest mountain at 552 meters (1,811 feet). It's also Hong Kong's biggest tourist attraction, drawing about 7 million visitors a year. Once you get to the top of Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram (it gets to what seemed like at least a 45° angle at points), there's a modern mall (complete with an EA Sports zone and Bubba Gump restaurant) that you walk through before reaching the observation deck at The Peak Tower.

As you can see, the observation deck offers a great view of Hong Kong. It's a shame that it was so cloudy again.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:33 AM

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August 14, 2007

Ngong Ping Skyrail

POST #    2577

While you can get to the Giant Buddha in Lantau by car or bus, the newest way to get there is the Ngong Ping Skyrail. It's a 3.5 mile (5.7km) cable car that takes you from Tung Chung station on the MTR to Ngong Ping Village. It's probably the longest cable car ride that I've ever taken and certainly the only tram/gondola that I've been on that passes through two stations where the actual route changes (see map). The ride from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping takes about 20-25 minutes. The skyrail offers nice views during the ride, but they would have been much better if we experienced nicer weather.

Construction on the skyrail started in 2004 and it opened in mid-September, 2006. Right now, it seems like the skyrail is closed indefinitely after an "incident" in June. Apparently, a gondola cabin fell from the cable for no reason. Nobody was hurt and the skyrail remains closed while they investigate the accident.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:20 AM

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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

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August 9, 2007

An Early Celebration of Calvin's Birthday

POST #    2573

Calvin's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but he wanted to celebrate on a weeknight, so we went out last night for dinner and drinks. After dinner at 'inoteca (see how much Calvin enjoyed the singing of Happy Birthday?), we went out to The Back Room where a few people tried on Lauren's Stormtrooper scooter helmet.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:25 AM

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August 7, 2007

Jennings Beach in Fairfield, CT

POST #    2571

I hate the beach. It's hot, sand gets everywhere, and it's hot. Sitting in the sun and sweating my ass off isn't exactly my idea of fun. That said, sitting under the shade in a chair at Jennings Beach on Saturday was surprisingly enjoyable. I still got sand everywhere and it was still hot though.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 8:48 AM

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August 6, 2007

Grilling it Up in Fairfield

POST #    2570

Saturday morning, we went up to Fairfield, CT to hang out with Kim, Cyrus, and James. After hitting up the beach, we hung out on their porch, eating and rehydrating. I had to come back Saturday night, but I hear Sunday was fun too. It was a fun little trip that we'll have to do again sometime.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:24 AM

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August 2, 2007

The Ocean Park Tram

POST #    2568

Like many amusement parks, Ocean Park in Hong Kong has a tram to get from one part of the park to another. Except at Ocean Park, there are two distinct parts to the park where you have to use the tram to travel from one side to the other. The tram goes small mountains (or are they very large hills) right by the water. It makes for some pretty cool, but scary, views. I can't imagine what would happen if the tram suddenly broke down.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:38 AM

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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

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July 31, 2007

More of Hong Kong's Urban Architecture

POST #    2565

I would say that most of the buildings in Hong Kong look like these. They aren't skyscrapers, nor are they the neon-lit buildings lining the harbor, but functional gritty buildings that give the city character.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:43 AM

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July 30, 2007

A Colorful Building Facade in Hong Kong

POST #    2564

This was just down the block from Calvin's Grandma's veggie stand.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:10 AM

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July 26, 2007

Angry Hong Kong Garbage Can

POST #    2561

This purple garbage can is clearly tired of having stuff thrown into his mouth.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:17 AM

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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

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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

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July 18, 2007

Sad Pandaless Ocean Park

POST #    2552

Our biggest disappointment when we arrived at Ocean Park was that the panda exhibit was closed! The panda exhibit, which was one of the main reasons we even went, was closed for construction. When Johnny asked if we could get a discount for entry to the park, he was met with a blank stare from the ticket salesperson.

All I could do is take this lousy picture with a panda sign.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:22 AM

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July 17, 2007

Over the Streets of Hong Kong

POST #    2551

Competing for the eyeballs of pedestrians in Hong Kong must be really hard. I can't imagine how much electricity is used with all the signs that hang above the streets in Hong Kong.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:07 AM

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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

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July 12, 2007

Night View of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon

POST #    2547

While New York City's skyline is famous, it can be argued that Hong Kong's is even more famous. Both skylines are mentioned in top-skyline lists, with either New York or Hong Kong taking the crown. I'm a little biased to New York, but Hong Kong's is pretty nice. One thing's for sure, Hong Kong's is much more colorful.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:11 AM

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July 11, 2007

In a Past Life, Happy Valley Cemetery

POST #    2546

You might say that I have a slight fascination with photographing and visiting cemeteries, but I don't really think I do.

This is a photo of Hong Kong Cemetery in...Hong Kong. Founded in 1845, It used to be called Happy Valley Cemetery, but for some reason they changed the name, but not all the signage. I took this photo while on the way back from Stanley on the bus, which is the reason for the reflection of my shirt and the interior of the bus. It's hard to tell in this photo, but the cemetery is essentially surrounded by buildings. Despite the reflection, I still like this photo a lot.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 7:41 AM

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July 10, 2007

The Aquarium at Ocean Park

POST #    2545


As if a dolphin show wasn't enough fun at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, we also went into the aquarium. There, they had sharks, lots of fish, and some of the animals seen here.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:12 AM

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July 9, 2007

Our First Meal in Hong Kong

POST #    2540

Our first meal in Hong Kong was breakfast. What did we get? No, not dim sum, but noodles and Hong Kong-style French toast.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:03 AM

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July 6, 2007

Tian Tan Buddha (aka Big Buddha)

POST #    2542

On a plateau on Lantau Island in Hong Kong sits a huge statue of Buddha. In fact, it's so large that it was once ( a Korean one eclipsed it this year) the largest outdoor bronze statue of Buddha in the world. The statue is 34 meters high and weighs a whopping 250 tons. Construction of the Big Buddha started in 1990 and finished in 1993 and I think of it as a huge tourist attraction more than a religious attraction, but that's just me. Lantau Island is also the location of Hong Kong's International Airport and Hong Kong Disneyland.

To reach Tian Tan Buddha, you have to climb up 268 steps. Not fun in Hong Kong's humid weather.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 2:17 PM

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July 5, 2007

The Dolphin Show at Ocean Park

POST #    2541


People don't usually go to Ocean Park in Hong Kong for their dolphin show (they usually go for pandas, but more on that later). I can't really blame them, because while watching dolphins jump in the water is always fun, it gets old. Not for all the people in the crowd though - I don't think they've ever seen a dolphin show before. Or seen a dolphin for that matter. The show was packed, with a butt in every seat.

Also amusing, they had a band beforehand that played some country jazz-like music and sang in English. I suppose music is universal though.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:33 AM

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July 4, 2007

A Guinness in Stanley

POST #    2539

Let's start the photos of Hong Kong off right! With a beer!

While in Hong Kong, we went to Stanley the childhood town of Calvin's mom. We wandered around a bit and grabbed a pint at the Smugglers Inn, a bar that's "that's very popular with both tourists and expats." It even had its own drunk white dude in the middle of the day! One thing that seems rather popular with bartenders in Asia is the shamrock on the Guinness. We saw them a lot in Tokyo as well.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:26 AM

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July 3, 2007

Final Photos from Tokyo

POST #    2538


Okay, it's taken forever, but I've finally worked my way through my photos from the Tokyo part of my Asia trip. Next up is Hong Kong.

Seen here are:
- The crazy amount of advertising in a Tokyo subway car - they even have ads on the handles.
- A random building in Tokyo's electronics district.
- The Asahi Beer Hall in Asakusa. The building, designed by Philippe Stark, is topped by a "gold flame" that weighs over 300 tons. It's known as "kin no unchi" or "golden turd" by the locals.
- An old school apple pie from McDonald's. Possibly the best thing about McDonald's restaurants outside the United States is the apple pie.
- Bape store
- Takeshita Street in the heart of Harajuku
- Bape store
- A man with a dressed up dog on his shoulder.

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

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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

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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

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A Smattering of Street Art in Tokyo

POST #    2532

I wasn't actively seeking any street art out in Tokyo, but I stumbled upon these as we were walking around.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:41 AM

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June 27, 2007

A Yoshinoya Beef Bowl

POST #    2531

The Yoshinoya chain of restaurants specializes in gyudon (a bowl of rice topped with beef) and is actually one of the larger fast food restaurant chains in Japan. We stopped in one day for lunch and it seemed pretty popular. Not surprising as it's relatively inexpensive and tastes good. I believe that this is just a beef bowl, but I can't be certain as I couldn't read the menu. There was some pointing and nodding going on.

Looking at their US website, they have tons of locations on the West Coast and it seems they even have on in NYC.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:08 AM

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June 26, 2007

The Canopy of Trees Around the Meiji Shrine

POST #    2530

All around the park that surrounds the Meiji Shrine are a lot of wonderfully tall trees that shade most of the walkways in the park. It's rather beautiful when you look up while walking in the park.

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

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June 25, 2007

The Busiest Intersection in the World

POST #    2528

In New York City, you get your fair share of busy pedestrian intersections, but you haven't seen busy until you've seen the crosswalk outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo. They use a scramble crossing where traffic is stopped in all directions, and pedestrians can cross in all directions. It's a bit crazy. Especially during busy times. The 2nd photo above is during a relatively crowded time, but the animated gif was early on a Saturday morning when it wasn't so crowded.

Also, check out this youtube video of the crossing.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 10:31 AM

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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

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Last East Coast Playdate with Jack

POST #    2524

With Necia and Mike moving to San Francisco this week, last night was my last chance to play with Jack. It's too bad I won't be able to play with him as he grows up. When I see him in San Francisco, he'll be bigger, talking more, and all laid back-like.

I'll always remember him as a raging party dude though.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 9:32 AM

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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

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Porno Graffiti? Yeah, That Makes Perfect Sense

POST #    2522

Graffiti porn makes sense, but porno graffiti? Maybe it's one of those things that was lost in translation?

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:32 AM

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June 19, 2007

Some Japanese Cats Have Extra Stinky Poo

POST #    2521

At least that's what I inferred from this kitty litter packaging.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:39 AM

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June 18, 2007

Manneken Pis at Hamamatsuchō Station in Tokyo

POST #    2520

Back to the Japan Photos!

While we were on the subway one day in Tokyo (I think we were headed to the Akihabara district to look at electronics), we saw this odd statue at the Hamamatsuchō Station. With a little research, I found that it's a Manneken Pis statue. According to Wikipedia, Manneken Pis is a landmark in Brussels with a legend that dates back to the 1100s or the 1300s, depending on which legend you believe.

Like the Manneken Pis statues in Brussels, the one at Hamamatsuchō Station changes his costume throughout the year. It looks like he was wearing a police officer's outfit here.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:29 AM

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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

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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

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June 13, 2007

Recovery Slow in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans

POST #    2515

While the French Quarter of New Orleans mostly escaped damage from Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding that came when the levees broke, not all of New Orleans was so lucky. One of the places with the most dramatic scenes of destruction was the Lower 9th Ward. As you can see, there's still some work left to be done. Some buildings are still abandoned, awaiting demolition.

As we went through the neighborhood, we saw some demolition in progress, some reconstruction, and we could see that some people have returned to the neighborhood. One of the biggest problem the city, and its neighborhoods, faces is that so many residents have yet to return. The city's population was 484,674 before Katrina and, as of March, it was only at 56% of its pre-hurricane population. The lower 9th, it seemed, was at way less than 56% of its previous population. There are tons of empty lots, waiting for families.

I also walked into Alfred Lawless High School, an abandoned school in the ward. Being inside the school, setting foot in Ms. Tucker's bio and physiology class, was very creepy. The rust that covered everything reminded me of our trip to Alcatraz.

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 9:47 AM

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June 12, 2007

St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 and Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

POST #    2514

With its rich history New Orleans is a city with many famous cemeteries. We weren't able to take any cemetery tours because of time constraints and our schedule, but since Neil had been to New Orleans before, he took us to two of the more famous ones.

Our first stop was St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, which was established in 1823 (it's not far from No. 1, established in 1789). This cemetery is close to the French Quarter, but not in the nicest neighborhood. From what I saw walking around, it also needs a little maintenance. Some of the tombs are falling apart and there are bottles and garbage in some out of the way areas. As I was the only person walking around, it was a little creepy wandering amongst the rows of tombs.

Next was Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, established in 1833 by the city of Lafayette. While newer than St. Louis No. 1 and No. 2, Lafayette No. 1 is the cemetery that is used most frequently in movies made in New Orleans. It's located in the picturesque Garden District and generally looks a lot nicer than St. Louis No. 2. As you can see, there are actually trees lining the main path in the cemetery. While there's no garbage in this cemetery, some of the tombs could also use a little work.

Take note of the contrast between the two cemeteries.

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 9:39 AM

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June 11, 2007

History Made at the 2007 Belmont

POST #    2513

Those that went to this year's Belmont Stakes witnessed history. Rags to Rices, a filly won the race for the first time since 1905 and for only the 3rd time in the race's history. That's her leading down the stretch in the 1st photo. I went again with Adam's Helmont trip (not as many wild photos taken as last year), which was great. While there were many great outfits - Adam and his brother dressed as jockeys - I think the best outfit has to go to Henry. Anybody willing to go all out with an ascot wins in my book.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 9:08 AM

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June 7, 2007

A Louisiana Swamp Boat Tour

POST #    2510

One thing that Shannan and I were happy to have done while in Louisiana was going on a swamp boat tour. We went with Louisiana Swamp Tours (pretty straightforward name) and did the high speed airboat tour. As you can see, we had to put on sexy looking ear muffs. On the tour, we saw several gators - all of which were lured to the boat marshmallows. Thankfully, there were no snakes that fell out of the trees when we passed.

Parts of the tour really reminded me of kayaking in Virginia's Back Bay.

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 8:50 AM

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June 6, 2007

Night in the French Quarter

POST #    2509

Not sure exactly what the first building is (possibly a hotel), but the 2nd picture is of St. Louis Cathedral.

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 4:05 PM

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Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters

POST #    2508

Another thing tourists do when visiting the French Quarter is go to the Court of Two Sisters to have brunch. They have a jazz brunch buffet every day where they have live jazz and you eat in the ... courtyard of the building. I wasn't all too impressed by the food, but I don't think the restaurant is about the food, but about eating outside in that setting.

Shannan and I didn't have as nice an experience as Margaret, Neil, and Jonas. They saw, and talked to, George Takei - of Star Trek fame and now on Heroes.

In case you can't read it on their site, here's a snippet:
"We are far too cool to say anything or take a photo. I pointed him out to Neil and we had a smile, but that was it. Jonas is, apparently, less cool. He was running around chasing birds while Neil and I called after him, "Jonas, no!"

Suddenly, Takei speaks, "Well, hellooooooo there Jonah! (I didn't correct him.) He had a little conversation with the imp, remarking that while Jonas's throughly slobbered finger might taste good, his tasted better (I'm not even kidding about that.) A few minutes later he even said to someone on the phone, "I'm here having brunch with Jonah and his mommy and daddy!" As we were leaving he commented on what a cute kid we had and Neil responded with a "We love your work." It was, in all, a very pleasant celebrity experience."

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

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June 5, 2007

Day and Night on Bourbon Street

POST #    2507


Actually, you can see a baby on Bourbon Street and a strippers at all times of day. They're not just out when you might expect.

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

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Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter

POST #    2506

One afternoon in the French Quarter, we were looking for a light snack so we went to the Acme Oyster House. It's a pretty touristy destination (isn't the whole Quarter somewhat touristy), but it was tasty nonetheless. We shared the oysters (Neil's first one, I believe) and I had the Creole Jambalaya.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 8:23 AM

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June 4, 2007

Drinking in the French Quarter

POST #    2505

I can confirm that the Hurricane from Pat O'Brien's are very strong. Not long after Jonas passed out, I too passed out. The Hand Grenades from Tropical Isle clearly aren't as strong. Even Jonas withstood the alcohol from them.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 3:14 PM

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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

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May 31, 2007

A Garden in the French Quarter

POST #    2499

It seemed like a lot of the houses in the French Quarter had entrances that led to courtyard gardens towards the back of the residences. This garden/courtyard was definitely not the norm.

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 3:59 PM

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Sunset on The Quarter

POST #    2498

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 7:40 AM

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May 30, 2007

From the French Quarter of New Orleans

POST #    2497

Perhaps the most famous part of New Orleans is the French Quarter, the area bounded by the Mississippi River, Canal Street, Rampart Street, and Esplanade Avenue. While the area is known as the French Quarter, most of the buildings now in the area were rebuilt while New Orleans was under Spanish control. Fires in 1788 and 1794 destroyed most of the buildings built in in French colonial times. The whole area was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1965 (as the Vieux Carré Historic District). When hurricane Katrina hit the city, The Quarter remained mostly dry because it's built on higher ground than a lot of New Orleans, which is protected by levees.

There's also a distinction to the iron structures that are attached to buildings in The Quarter. Balconies are self-supported and attached to the side of the building, while galleries are supported with poles or columns from the ground.

Posted by tien mao in Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 2:45 PM

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Iced Café au Lait and Beignets at Café Du Monde

POST #    2496

Onto New Orleans! One of our first stops in New Orleans was Café Du Monde, a café famous for its beignets. It's a stop that every tourist to the city needs to make, no? For those unfamiliar with what a beignet is, here's a simple explanation: deep-fried dough with powdered sugar on top. The Café Du Monde website explains them thusly: "the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar." Pretty straightforward. They also say that historically, they were sometimes filled with fruit and brought to Louisiana by the Acadians (the word that Cajun originated from). The coffee they serve at Café Du Monde is a coffee-chicory mix, a custom also brought to New Orleans by the Acadians. What can I add about the beignet? They are awesome. That's pretty much it. There's also a ton of powdered sugar as you can see. There's so much of it that the floors, tables, and chairs are covered with it. On a somewhat breezy day (as the day we went was), you can't leave without being covered by the stuff.

The coffee that I ordered while there was my first ever. Quite a milestone, I think. And if that last photo isn't sexy enough for you, check this one out.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 7:35 AM

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May 29, 2007

The Bustling Nightlife of Abbeville, LA

POST #    2495

[Note: To help slog through my backlog of photos (I still have some Japan photos to go through in addition to Hong Kong and Taiwan), I'm going to attempt and do two posts a day from Monday-Saturday to help work through the glut.]

No trip to the Abbeville, Louisiana would be complete without a night out on the town, right? Right? Our first night there, I was way too tired to head out after the rehearsal dinner/roast. The night following the wedding though, we went out for Tram's (pronounced Chum) birthday. I barely have a photo of her (back to camera in the 3rd picture), but our first stop was The Oaks in Abbeville. To say that the place was dingy would be an understatement. I was told that the place was the size of a trailer. It was probably closer to a double-wide. The best part wasn't the thimble-sized $1 shots, but the light they would flip on when playing rap music. If that doesn't scream classy, I don't know what does.

After a brief stop there, we went out in Lafayette. When in Lafayette, it was super crowded out as it happened to be graduation day at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 2:45 PM

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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

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May 28, 2007

Out in Lafayette, LA

POST #    2493

After the night got bad because of Jägermeister shots, there was some hitting/punching/maybe kicking of testicals. Luckily, I escaped that.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 11:42 AM

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May 24, 2007

When in Cajun Country, Attend a Crawfish Boil

POST #    2490

The day after the wedding, Thuy's parents were nice enough to have people over to their home for a crawfish boil. Thuy's dad bought 160 pounds of crawfish and prepared them himself behind the house. He has quite the set-up back there, perfect for entertaining people.

The crawfish we had were gigantic as it's relatively late in the season and Mr. Bui actually toned down the spice on the boil this time, but it still seemed adequately hot for me.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 9:18 AM

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May 23, 2007

Rehersal Dinner and Roast

POST #    2489

Thuy and John's rehearsal dinner was followed by John's roast - a first for a wedding that I went to. There were lots of off colored jokes, all of which were funny. Except the one about me.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 9:16 AM

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May 22, 2007

More from Thuy and John's Wedding

POST #    2488

Because photos from the ceremony weren't enough, here are some from after and the reception at the VN Hall.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 10:16 AM

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May 21, 2007

Thuy and John's Wedding

POST #    2487

This weekend was Thuy and John's wedding extravaganza in Abbeville. The wedding at St. Mary Magdalen was just a small component of the whole weekend.

A lot more photos to come.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 10:17 AM

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May 17, 2007

Late Afternoon Burger from Standard Deli

POST #    2484

If you like to buy expensive clothes and eat food at almost the same time, there's a store in Tokyo that's perfect for you. Journal Standard, which has a few stores throughout Japan, has a location in Shinjuku with expensive men's and women's clothes on the first and second floors and food on the top floor. While I don't buy too many expensive items of clothing, I do like to eat food. The store was obviously Calvin's dream come true. We also went to their location in Shibuya, but the store and deli there are in two separate, but close, locations. They call their restaurant the "Standard Deli" and as you can see, I had a burger. I think it was the "Standard Burger", which, while decent, wasn't nearly as good as MOS Burger.

The Shinjuku location used to have a trailer where they cooked the food outside on the roof, but it's no longer there. It seems like they moved it outside the location of their Shibuya store.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:05 AM

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May 16, 2007

Sushi for Breakfast at the Tsukiji Market

POST #    2482

While visiting Tsukiji Market to see the fish market is something you shouldn't miss in Tokyo, eating there is another must do. It's literally the freshest sushi you can get in the world. There are two sushi places in the market, both insanely crowded with tourists, but what can you do? We went to Daiwa. Though it's not the most ideal thing to eat at 7 in the morning, Calvin and I throughly enjoyed the experience. Johnny, not so much. I think the meal ran us about $30 something for the set meal, which worked out best because we didn't have to order a thing.

I even ate the unagi, which I usually stay away from, and what looks like the ark shell thing that I took a picture of (3rd picture). I believe Calvin and I walked away agreeing that it was the best sushi we've ever had.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:36 AM

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May 15, 2007

From the Lower East Side

POST #    2481

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

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May 10, 2007

The Asian Colonel Sanders

POST #    2477

It's all in the eyes. Seriously. It's slight, but it's there.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 10:46 AM

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May 9, 2007

More from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo

POST #    2475

Back in March I posted one image of the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. Here are some more from the early-morning trip to the market. If you ever go to Tokyo, I would highly recommend a visit. Just watch out for all the tractors and the people that are actually there to shop. I think some of the fishmongers really had disdain for the tourists, while others were somewhat receptive.

If you're wondering what's in that third picture is, I have no idea. And to get an idea of how large those frozen tuna carcases are, check out this image for scale (only a half tuna pictured). And that picture is just a fraction of the tuna that were on sale that day.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:54 AM

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May 8, 2007

The Strangest Thing we Saw in Tokyo

POST #    2474

One evening, Johnny and I were standing around waiting for Calvin late one night in the Tokyo subway. As we were waiting there, with people all rushing around us, one woman runs by and a wig falls out of the area around her crotch. I don't think she noticed as she kept on running. It definitely drew the attention of a lot of passers by though, giving the fallen hair some very odd looks.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 10:29 AM

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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

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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

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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

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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

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April 26, 2007

It's Your Typical Tokyo Subway Ride

POST #    2462

Man reading something, sick man texting on phone, passed out woman texting on phone, passed out man, woman on laptop, passed out man. Just your everyday subway ride in Tokyo.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 12:16 PM

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April 25, 2007

Eating Teppanyaki in Tokyo

POST #    2461

One night while in Tokyo, we met up with Calvin's friend Akira for dinner. I'm not sure I ever knew the name of the restaurant (it might have been Teppanya), but it was teppanyaki, which uses a griddle to cook the food. It was really, really tasty. Insanely tasty. We also got a little tipsy, as you might be able to tell. I didn't have quite as much to drink as I nearly fell asleep at dinner (jetlag, yo).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:48 AM

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April 24, 2007

Sensoji Temple in Tokyo

POST #    2460

In the Asakusa section of Tokyo is the Sensoji Temple (aka Asakusa Kannon Temple), the oldest temple in Tokyo. Its history dates back to 628 when, legend has it, two brothers found a golden statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and happiness, while fishing in the nearby river. Completed in 645 (later destroyed during the war and rebuilt), the temple is a tribute to Kannon. Because of her ability to release humans from all suffering, visitors from around the world visit the temple. The actual gold statue is not on display, but is supposedly in the temple.

Leading up to the temple is Nakamise Dori, a small shopping lane with lots of traditional and souvenir shops. It seemed like a tourist trap to me, but there seemed to be some brisk business for the many of the vendors.

Incidentally, this is one of my favorite photos from the visit to the temple.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:52 AM

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April 23, 2007

The Imperial Palace East Gardens in Tokyo

POST #    2459

In the center of Tokyo is the Imperial Palace, home to Japan's Emperor. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are open to the public on most days, but the actual palace buildings and inner gardens are only open on two days - January 2 (New Year's Greeting) and December 23 (the Emperor's birthday). We didn't spend too much time there as they closed shortly after we got there.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:18 AM

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April 19, 2007

Eleanor and Dan's Wedding Thingy

POST #    2455

Oops. These photos are from almost two weeks ago. I'm a little slow.

Eleanor and Dan had a wedding-type reception deal two weeks ago to celebrate their nuptials almost a year ago. So it was kind of a wedding reception/anniversary party at Rialto. Towards the end of the night, we decided to have a little fun (maybe too many glasses of sangria?). Masako and Shannan practiced hearts, crowns, and other things. I don't think the results were too bad.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 9:18 AM

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April 18, 2007

Hachikō Statue in Shibuya

POST #    2454

Just outside the Shibuya Station, there's a statue of a dog. It's not just any dog, but Hachikō, an Akita so loyal that they made a statue for him. At the start of the day, Hachikō would see his owner off and at the end, Hachikō would meet his owner outside Shibuya Station. Even after his owner's death, Hachikō would wait at the station for his owner. He did this for 11 years! Apparently, they found yakitori skewers in the dog's stomach after his death, so his daily appearance may not have been out of loyalty alone.

The original statue, erected in 1934, was "recycled" for WWII, but this new statue has been there since 1948.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:22 AM

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April 17, 2007

Tokyo: Known Around the World for Its HUGE Traffic Cones

POST #    2453

Or their miniature versions of Calvin. And while nobody will ever call Calvin tall (not even in Japan), the traffic cone was obviously very large.

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

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April 16, 2007

Getting Bombed at Propoganda in Roppongi

POST #    2452

In my first night out in Japan, I wasn't able to stay awake. It was bad. I would have a beer in hand and be falling asleep. The second night out I was a little better. We spent most of the night at Propoganda in Roppongi (a popular district for Gaijin). After teaching the bartender how to make an Irish car bomb, the three of us had quite a few.

The best part of being the person with the camera? You can edit the pictures of you out!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:56 AM

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April 12, 2007

Breakfast from the Excelsior Caffe

POST #    2449

With Johnny away from most Western foods while in Medan, Indonesia (the third largest city in that country), he was jonesing for bread that wasn't sweet. We passed a bagel place one night, but couldn't find it the next morning, so we settled on the Excelsior Caffe. With my lack of Japanese and the lack of English from the person taking my order, there was a lot of nodding and pointing on my part. Somehow, I ended up with two sandwiches - the smoked ham & cheese, mushroom and some other "panini" - it had egg, ham, and cheese and was warmed/cooked in the microwave (the egg was still slightly runny). It might have been what they called the croque monsieur.

While it wasn't what I envisioned as a traditional Japanese breakfast, there were a fair amount of people that came in and out of the store while we were there. Calvin told us that a lot of people eat like this in Japan.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:43 AM

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April 11, 2007

The Oft Photoed Harajuku Girls

POST #    2448


When you're walking around Harajuku in Tokyo, it's hard to miss all the Harajuku girls (they kind of stand out from your normal Tokyoite (?)). They stand around, hanging out with their friends, who are also dressed up in costumes to resemble anime characters, punk musicians, and other things. One of the more popular gathering spots is near the Harajuku Station, not far from the Meiji Shrine, where there seem to be more people gawking than dressed up teens. Some girls pose for the cameras (last photo), while some shun photos. Or at least don't like it when tourists ask if they can take the photo - I'm not talking about myself.

I just wonder what happens when someone shows up with the same headband thing over the nose.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:54 AM

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April 10, 2007

The Tokyo St. Patrick's Day Parade

POST #    2446

While in Tokyo, we caught the local St. Patricks' Day parade. It was similar, yet different from the parade in New York. Similar - lots of green. Different - not too many drunk people, not too many Irish people, no members of a fire department or police department, no controversy over the exclusion of gays/lesbians. Also odd, the parade goes up and down on Omotesandō (a street) in Harajuku. For New Yorkers, imagine a parade that starts on 34th and Park, goes north to 42nd, and turns around the median to go south on Park.

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

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April 5, 2007

Yes, That's a Chunk of Butter on My Ramen

POST #    2442

It was breakfast, so it's okay, right? One morning, we were hungry for some Japanese food, so we stopped into a little ramen shop for breakfast. This was some ramen with some pork and scallops in it. To purchase, you actually put money into a vending machine (with pictures and no English) and the staff takes your printed order.

Oh, and it was delicious. The butter just made it better.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:10 AM

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April 4, 2007

A Lurker Outside Condomania in Shibuya

POST #    2441

This Condomania seemed to be closed, but there was at least one more that we spotted that was open. The location in Harajuku was doing well though.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:07 AM

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April 3, 2007

MOS Burger in Japan

POST #    2440

When we arrived in Japan, our first meal wasn't ramen, udon, or any fish related item, it was MOS Burger (MOS stands for mountain, ocean, sun). Chalk it up to arriving very late and Calvin's never ending love of the Japanese chain.

Pictured above is the spicy MOS burger, French fries and onion rings, MOS burger, teriyaki chicken burger, and the MOS chicken. My favorite of the bunch had to be the spicy MOS burger, which had a nice kick to it with the jalapeños on it. The best way that I can describe the sauce on the MOS burger is that it's similar, yet not the same, as a marinara sauce. I didn't care too much for the teriyaki chicken burger. The MOS chicken is a fried chicken leg that is partially de-boned. The drumstick part still has the bone in it, making it easy to eat the rest of it. And it comes in nifty packaging!

More information:
- MOS Burger's English site
- Wikipedia on MOS Burger
- MOS Burger pool on flickr
- AHT on MOS Burger

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:29 AM

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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

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March 29, 2007

The View from Our Hotel Room in Shibuya

POST #    2434

Night and day. This was the view from our room at the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu. The hotel was very conveniently located to multiple lines of the Tokyo subway system and near a nice shopping district (not necessarily a good thing). If you look carefully at the nighttime photo, you can see a soccer field on the roof of a building on the lower left. It seemed like it was always in use.

Posted by tien mao in Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:06 AM

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March 28, 2007

Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

POST #    2432

I'm back from my travels and now recovering from jetlag. Fun times! Expect lots of photos from Asia. I'll try to keep them in somewhat of a chronological order.

These pictures are from the Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife. Their spirits were enshrined there on November 1, 1920, but the original building was destroyed in World War II. The current one was finished in 1958. The shrine is now a popular place for weddings (the photos with the red parasol). As you can see, thousands of prayers are left on plaques by visitors to the shrine.

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

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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

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March 23, 2007

Straight to the Sushi Source in Tokyo

POST #    2429

A word of advice for those that are going to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo - you're going to end up smelling like fish. It's a pretty crazy scene. While we didn't make it in time for the auction, there was still plenty of fish around. The size of the actual tuna fish is gigantic (as pictured here). I've got plenty more photos from the fish market as well as some photos of the sushi we ate. Best sushi I've ever had? Yes. Freshest sushi ever? No doubt.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 12:01 AM

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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

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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

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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

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March 7, 2007

Celebrating the Birthday with Sunglasses

POST #    2418

Lauren bought me some sexy sunglasses for my birthday yesterday. What else is there to do with such hot sunglasses then to make everyone wear them for a picture. Thanks to everyone who came out last night. And even to those that wished me well but didn't make it.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Photos at 11:49 AM

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March 5, 2007

Alternate Focal Point

POST #    2414

Here's an alternate picture of Thursday's post. Check out the clouds rolling over the mountains.

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Travel at 9:44 AM

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March 1, 2007

More from the Oregon Sand Dunes

POST #    2409

I'm not sure where in Oregon this is, but Shannan says she took it.

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

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February 28, 2007

Yemen Cuisine on Court Street

POST #    2406

Last night, I was going to hit up Lucali's in Carroll Gardens for some pizza. Little did I know that they're actually closed on Tuesday. That was my fun discovery when I got there, only to see chairs stacked on the tables. Matty suggested we try an Italian place called Sam's, which was only a short walk away. Closed. Possibly for good.

We eventually decided to go to Yemen Cuisine...which serves Yemenese food. I was somewhat skeptical, but Matty tried to comfort me by telling me it was on The Villiage Voice's Best of List and that it was similar to Indian food. Not necessarily that comforting. But we tried it, and it was really tasty. There was lots of lamb on the menu, but I steered clear of that (I don't eat lamb) and went for the chicken gelaba, which Matty recommended. What's chicken gelaba? From their menu: small pieces of chicken sauteed in tomato sauce. It came with rice and we ordered some aseed (that giant pizza/naan-like bread. The portions for the chicken gelaba are very generous and I waddled away quite satisfied.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 9:07 AM

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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

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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

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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

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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

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February 14, 2007

Panorama of Blue Sky Basin at Vail

POST #    2389

This panorama (click for larger) is of the view from Grand Review in Blue Sky Basin. I previously had some photos from lower down the trail, but this is from very close to the top of the trail.

Again, you can see much larger over at flickr.

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

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February 13, 2007

Panorama of Sun Up Bowl at Vail

POST #    2388

If you haven't marveled at the views that Vail has, I've got a couple of panoramas of the back bowls. This one is of the Sun Up Bowl. To the right of the photo is one of the mountain peaks. The one pictured is 11,250 feet. Click the image for a slightly larger version.

And if you want to view this very large, head over to flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Photos, Travel at 9:36 AM

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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

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February 8, 2007

The Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin at Vail

POST #    2384

One of the best things about Vail is its back bowls. While the front side of Vail is more than enough mountain for me, it's always nice to take a trip to the other side to change things up. In addition to the seven back bowls, Vail has Blue Sky Basin (its newest area which opened to controversy in 2000), which offers some of the most amazing views in the whole ski area. I believe the top photo is from a lift in one of the back bowls and the other two photos are from Grand Review in Blue Sky Basin. I think Grand Review is my favorite trail at Vail. It offers stunning views and you can ski in the amongst trees without too big a risk of actually hitting one.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Photos, Travel at 10:43 AM

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February 7, 2007

Sunday at Vail

POST #    2383

Sunday proved to be one of the nicer days for me while I was in Vail. While Thursday was cold, Friday was even colder. The same weather system that is chilling the midwest and the northeast was over Colorado on Thursday and Friday. The middle of the mountain registered at a balmy -11°. Factor in the wind and the temperatures were as cold as -49° at the peak of the mountain and that's not even including the chill you get when you're heading downhill. My face and toes were frozen solid. It was so cold that I would stop on the trails so I could regain some feeling in my face.

Because of the wind (there were wind gusts up to 40 MPH), the back bowls were closed Friday and parts of Saturday. Thankfully they opened before my last day on Monday.

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

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February 6, 2007

Farewell to Vail

POST #    2382

As I leave Vail this morning to return to a frigid East Coast, here are a couple of photos I took Thursday, my first day of skiing. No, these photos aren't black and white. There was just very little color in the photo to begin with. I found it amusing that there was more accumulation of snow on the trees than New York has gotten all winter long.

And when I return, I should be used to the cold weather. The temperatures didn't get warmer than 10° on Thursday (I believe it was 2° on the mountain). Friday was worse, but I'll share that story later.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Photos, Travel at 6:11 AM

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January 30, 2007

Two Items from Momofuku Ssäm Bar

POST #    2380

I've been to Momofuku Ssäm Bar a few times now, but last week's trip was the first time I actually took pictures. Pictured are the insanely tasty steamed buns and the cured hamachi with edamame, horseradish, and pea leaves.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 8:18 AM

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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

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January 25, 2007

Time Lapse Sunrise Over Crater Lake

POST #    2376

I just posed a static photo of the sunrise at Crater Lake the other day, but this is a little different. I think it's something like 29 frames that I took every 30 seconds. It's a large file, but I think it's kind of cool.

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

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January 23, 2007

Sunrise over Crater Lake

POST #    2374

After spending the night at Crater Lake, we woke up early to watch the sunrise. We just made it just as the sun was peeking up over the far side of the lake.

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

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January 16, 2007

Some of the Sand Dunes from the Oregon Coast

POST #    2368

The coast of Oregon has a lot of different terrain to it, all of it is beautiful. These are some of the first sand dunes that we saw when we reached the coast during our trip.

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

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January 9, 2007

Crown Point Vista House on the Columbia River Gorge

POST #    2359

When Wikipedia says that Crown Point, "serves mostly as a public restroom," I can't really argue. I seem to recall using the bathrooms inside.

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

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January 8, 2007

Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek in Oregon

POST #    2357

This tree is no normal Sitka Spruce. It's the biggest Sitka Spruce in the country! Not only that, it's also the tallest tree in the whole state of Oregon! Now that you've seen it here, you don't need to visit the actual tree. Though it is quite big in person.

P.S. - How about that creek name??

Posted by tien mao in Oregon, Photos, Travel at 7:53 AM

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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

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January 3, 2007

Homer's D'oh-Nuts

POST #    2355

I saw this in Illinois after reading an article in the NY Times that same day. The article talked about the how the blowup ornaments are viewed as an eyesore by some. Apparently they are very popular in the suburbs. When I saw this, I was not in a suburb. Not even close. While I'm not sure I would put this in my yard, I would put this in my apartment. What can I say, I'm a Simpsons fan. I'm sure the cats and Shannan would do something about my inflated Homer though.

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

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January 2, 2007

Hotel Père Marquette

POST #    2354

The Hotel Père Marquette considers itself the "premier hotel" of Peoria. I wouldn't know as we didn't stay there - I've just got a picture of its neon sign. The hotel, built at a cost of $2.5 million in 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Did you know that you can nominate things to the register? The nomination criteria consist of :

A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
B. That are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
C. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
D. That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

If approved, benefits include:

- Recognition that a property is of significance to the Nation, the State, or the community.
- Consideration in the planning for Federal or federally assisted projects.
- Eligibility for Federal tax benefits.
- Qualification for Federal assistance for historic preservation, when funds are available.

Fascinating, yes?

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

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January 1, 2007

Faces for the New Year

POST #    2353

Resolutions for 2007? Go through my vacation photos quicker? I still have photos from our Oregon trip to go through.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 1:35 PM

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December 20, 2006

Did You Know That I Love Cotton Candy?

POST #    2344

In case you didn't remember from a while back. This was at Cronkite Pizzeria & Wine Bar and not the Mets game. I might have a sugar high in the 2nd photo.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:59 AM

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December 19, 2006

Knicks vs. Jazz at Madison Square Garden

POST #    2343

Last night at the Knicks game, New York could only dress 8 players because of the suspension of 5 of their players. Matty and I had tickets to last night's Knicks prior to Saturday's little rumble at The Garden, but I was curious to see how the Knicks would perform under adverse conditions. While the Knicks trailed by double digets at times, they managed to get an overtime victory. In a truly Knickerbocker fashion though, they almost gave the game away and needed last second heroics by Stephon Marbury in the overtime to win.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 8:15 AM

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December 14, 2006

Olive Media Holiday Party

POST #    2339

It's the holiday party season! Last night, I went over to Olive Media's holiday party, which was held at their offices. There might have been some photocopying of butts, but that's the best part of a holiday party held at the actual office, no? I did learn that Olive puts people to work at a young age (they need to check his papers), those employees then go on benders and return to work drunk!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:04 AM

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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

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December 12, 2006

The Saugerties Lighthouse

POST #    2336

One of the things we did while upstate (besides relax) was visit the Saugerties Lighthouse. The lighthouse sits at the mouth of Esopus Creek on the Hudson River. You might be wondering why there would be a lighthouse on a river - I was a tad confused myself. Well, it so happens that the land that the lighthouse sits on juts out into the Hudson from the western bank of the river. If they didn't build the lighthouse back in 1869, I'm sure there would have been many a shipwreck on that little peninsula. In more recent times, the lighthouse did go 36 years without a light in it. To get to the Saugerties Lighthouse, you have to walk about a half mile though marshland from the access road. It's not something that I would recommend doing when it's cold and windy out. Once we got there, we found out that the lighthouse is closed in the winter.

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

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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

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December 6, 2006

LVHRD at The Players

POST #    2329

To celebrate the end of prohibition, LVHRD and Dewar's threw a party at The Players. The club opened on New Year's Eve in 1888 and was founded by Edwin Booth - John Wilkes' brother. The club has an impressive list of past and current members.

P.S. - I took Janelle's cherry. She let me have it.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:45 AM

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November 30, 2006

Taking it In at the Reunion

POST #    2323

There are times when I don't feel like being social. And after being so social on Saturday at my high school reunion, I took some time to take in the whole scene. It was fun watching people talk and catch up. Honestly, it was.

Posted by tien mao in Education, Photos at 7:40 AM

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November 29, 2006

The Old Man of Crater Lake

POST #    2321

When people talk about the Old Man at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, they aren't talking about some old guy wandering around the park with a cane. The Old Man is actually driftwood that has been floating around the lake since 1896. When we were there in August, the Old Man was actually grounded, but when the water on the lake is choppy or there's a lot of wind, the Old Man is known to move all around the lake.

And yes, the water really is that blue.

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

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November 23, 2006

Thankful for Bagels in Greenpoint

POST #    2316

There are many things that I'm thankful for this year. I won't bore you with them here, but this is one of them. The new bagel store that opened up in Greenpoint. It opened its doors about a week and a half ago and I had my first bagel there yesterday. It's apparently the Baker's Dozen Bagels' second location (the first in Kew Gardens). Not only do they have a full assortment of bagels and spreads for the bagels, but they also have a heathy deli selection. There's a list of sandwiches and panini (31 in all). The bagel is good, but I think it needs a little work. They certainly weren't as good as Joe's Bagels, but I think they were better thank Peter Pan Bakery's bagels.

My biggest problem with the store - they think Greenpoint is two words.

It's located on Manhattan Ave. between Meserole and Calyer (closer to Meserole).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 9:35 AM

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November 21, 2006

Shan Hands

POST #    2313

Kind of like man hands, but not really.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:55 AM

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November 16, 2006

Starfish at Canon Beach, Oregon

POST #    2309

One of the cool things you can do at Canon Beach is look at the nature around Haystack Rock when it's low tide. The rock and the areas around it are a bird sanctuary, but there are also tons of starfish on the small rocks around Haystack. When it's low tide, you can walk right up to them to get a good look.

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

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November 14, 2006

Clearcutting in the Forests of Oregon

POST #    2304

One of the craziest things I saw when we went out to Oregon was the tremendous amount of clearcutting. There were points where we would drive and there would be swaths and swaths of land that were treeless. The pictures above are only a small example of what we saw. While I understand that logging is part of the economy in the Pacific Northwest, it's still crazy to see all those trees gone.

There were even logging trucks leaving some of the National Parks. I'm curious as to whether the cutting there was to help control forrest fires.

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

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November 6, 2006

The 2006 New York City Marathon

POST #    2299

Yesterday was the running of the 37th edition of the New York City Marathon. We watched from a couple of places (4th Ave in Park Slope and in Greenpoint), mainly looking for Christina who was running her first (of many, I'm sure) marathon. There were some crazy outfits people wore. At least two male fairies, two rhinos, a Smurf, and plenty more that I missed or that aren't pictured here. There was also a guy who was juggling (5th picture) when we saw him on 4th Ave. and still when we saw him in Greenpoint. Perhaps the strangest thing was the German man in the 8th photo who was puffing away on a cigarette as he ran.

Congratulations to Christina and all the people who ran in the 2006 Marathon.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 8:07 AM

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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

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October 26, 2006

More Crazy Dead Trees at Crater Lake

POST #    2290

Kind of like this one, but crazier.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 7:50 AM

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October 25, 2006

Crater Lake's Wizard Island

POST #    2289

The largest island in Crater Lake is Wizard Island, an island formed when Mount Mazama erupted a few thousand years ago. The island is called Wizard Island because of its resemblance to a sorcerer's hat. When on the boat tour, you can get off an hike the trails on the island. We didn't get a chance to do that because of time constraints.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 8:15 AM

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October 23, 2006

Michigan vs Iowa at Michigan Stadium

POST #    2287

Over the weekend, we made our annual trip back to Michigan to watch a football game. This year, it was for the Iowa game, which looked like a much better game before the Hawkeyes lost to Indiana two weekends ago. And while the game was more competitive than it should have been, Michigan still won the game.

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

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October 19, 2006

Mets vs Cardinals - Game 6 of the National League Championship Series

POST #    2284

You gotta love baseball in October. Especially when Mets win! Woo hoo! Let's go Mets!

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

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October 18, 2006

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

POST #    2283

Back to the Oregon photos! One of the highlights of our drive up the coast was the picturesque Cannon Beach. We stayed right on the ocean and you could see Haystack Rock from the windows of our hotel room. Sadly, there wasn't much of a sunset when we were there because it was overcast. The next morning while we were walking in "downtown" Cannon Beach, it rained. Rain in Oregon? Crazy!!

And I believe after that last picture, the horses proceeded to poop right there.

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

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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

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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

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October 5, 2006

Mets vs Dodgers - Game 1 of the National League Division Series

POST #    2267

Wow. Last night's game at Shea Stadium was amazin'. Simply amazin'. It was the loudest crowd I've ever been in at Shea, including regular season Subway Series games. And the seats I had via lottery were awesome. I can't believe I got Section 10 in the Loge. Oh yeah, the Mets won 6-5.

The 3rd photo is Carlos Delgado hitting his home run in the 4th inning, the 4th is him celebrating as he enters the dugout and the 5th photo is after Cliff Floyd's home run in the same inning.

Some additional photos on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 8:14 AM

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October 4, 2006

A Walk Down to Crater Lake

POST #    2266

To take the Crater Lake boat tour you have to walk down Cleatwood Trail from Rim Drive down to the lake. It's a steep and dusty trail that drops 700 feet over the one mile path. Going down was easy, but up wasn't even close to easy. I can't recall the exact number, but it's something like climbing the stairs of a 65 story building. Not too fun.

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

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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

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September 28, 2006

The Sea Lions in Newport, Oregon

POST #    2259

In Newport's harbor, there are lots of sea lions that just hang out, basking in the sun and sleeping. Their sounds can be heard from a block away. Up close, they're not so pretty and occasionally they get in little fights when one sea lion tries to take another's spot on the old dock.

Last year, a group of sea lions actually sunk a 50-foot sailboat.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 8:19 AM

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September 26, 2006

The Pinnacles at Crater Lake

POST #    2256

If you ever visit Crater Lake, be sure not to miss The Pinnacles. It's not visible from Rim Drive and the road to the Pinnacles Overlook is easy to miss. It's a longish drive (7 or 8 miles) from the rim, but it's well worth it. It was easily the best part of Crater Lake National Park that we saw to that point (it should be noted that all we saw to that point was the Pumice Desert and a smoke covered lake. Only later that day would we actually see the blue water of the lake.

The Pinnacles were formed when the pumice from the eruption of Mount Mazama were gradually eroded by streams. The pumice dates to nearly 7,700 years ago when eruptions were near their peak. The distinctive cones, or fumeroles (vents for the escape of gas), of The Pinnnacles exist because hot gasses (like 750° hot) welded the interior of the fumeroles when they escaped. The end result, pumice + welding gasses + erosion, are the cones you see in the pictures above.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 6:47 AM

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September 21, 2006

Cubs vs. Reds at Wrigley Field - My First Game at Wrigley

POST #    2251

While I've witnessed the Cubs play the Mets (and defeat them) at Shea Stadium, I've never seen the Cubs play at Wrigley Field. There's certainly a lot of charm to the stadium, with its manual scoreboard, ivy covered brick outfield walls, and what's probably the best rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," but there are a couple other stadiums I've been to that I liked better. That said, Wrigley is a gem compared to the dump that is Shea. I loved the wide concourses and the views of the field as I walked up the ramps to the upper deck. Perhaps my biggest regret is that I didn't get a hot dog at the game. Not a total loss as I had two chardogs the night before. And for my beverage selection, I had to have Old Style.

The Cubs won the game, 4-0 and it was Chicago's first complete game this season.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports, Travel at 8:00 AM

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September 20, 2006

Lake Point Tower in Chicago

POST #    2250

We didn't get to walk around too much to look at the architecture in Chicago, but we did walk by Lake Point Tower. The building was completed in 1968 and was the tallest all-residential building in Chicago from its completion until 1993. The three sections of the building are at 120° increments and it was designed so nobody could see into other people's apartments and everyone has a view of Lake Michigan.

Check out Emporis for a lot more interesting information on Lake Point Tower (including the facts that I mentioned above).

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 8:23 AM

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September 19, 2006

Shakespeare on Shakespeare Ave in Chicago

POST #    2249

A little break from the Oregon photos for some pictures from Chicago. Despite mother nature's best efforts, we eventually made it to Chicago on Friday and eventually made it back to New York on Sunday.

Above is a picture of Shakespeare on Shakespeare Avenue in Chicago. At least, I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be Shakespeare.

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

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September 13, 2006

Tree Moss at Crater Lake

POST #    2244

There are crazy amounts of moss all over Oregon. While we were driving south from Portland to Crater Lake, there was always moss on the highway overpasses. At Crater Lake, the amounts of moss was even more pronounced - all over the trees, dead or alive.

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

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September 12, 2006

Five Years Later

POST #    2242

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

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September 11, 2006

Another View of the Phantom Ship

POST #    2237

This is a closer view of Crater Lake's Phantom Ship - from a different vantage point than the first series. I like this series better, but it more tiring to get to - something like a 1/4 mile hike.

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

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September 7, 2006

Cool Deadwood above Crater Lake

POST #    2238

I think this might be my favorite photo from all the Crater Lake shots so far because it's different than all the ones I posted previously. I almost think it looks like a diorama at the AMNH.

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

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September 5, 2006

Crater Lake's Phantom Ship from Afar

POST #    2234

Despite not being able to see much of Crater Lake from our first stop from the North Entrance, the view of the lake's beautiful blue water became much more clear when we changed our vantage point. From the vantage point above, you can see the Phantom Ship (center photo), named because at certain times of the day it looks like a ship floating across the water.

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

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September 4, 2006

The Bybee Fire Complex - Smoke on the Water at Crater Lake

POST #    2233

When we first knew we were going to Oregon, the only thing we had to plan around was Brynn and Whalen's wedding. After we found out what day that was, we decided to reserve one night's stay at Crater Lake. The first place people generally look is to Crater Lake Lodge, which overlooks the lake. Naturally, this is what we did too. As we went through the reservation process, we found that reserving for August, 2006 before the summer even started was too late. We would have been fine for August, 2007 though. So we ended up staying at The Cabins at Mazama Village, which aren't sexy at all, but they do their job. When we actually got to the park, we could smell smoke in the air and once we got to the first spot overlooking the lake, much to our despair, we could barely see the lake at all (click first image for larger view of smoke).

As we drove around the rim, we found out that the fire was due to a natural wildfire nearby that didn't threaten the visitors to the lake, but did cause for smokey conditions. It would have been nice to know there was a fire beforehand, but with plans made so far in advance to see Crater Lake's natural beauty, we probably wouldn't have cancelled anyway.

The Bybee Wildland Fire Use Complex, which was actually two wildfires, started naturally around July 23rd from lighting during a storm. Because the cause was natural and for several other reasons (like the moisture of the area where the fire was), the Park Service decided to let the fire burn and take its natural course. It makes perfect sense as it's the ecosystem of the forrest and I completely agree with the decision, it's just unfortunate that it happened before our trip.

When we were there on August 21st, the fire complex was at 720 acres with 49 people committed to the fire. As of yesterday, there were 1,750 acres burned and 91 people committed to the complex.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 10:15 AM

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August 31, 2006

The Pumice Desert of Crater Lake

POST #    2230

One of the first things visitors that enter through Crater Lake's North Entrance see is the Pumice Desert. The desert is about 5.5 square miles and covered with material that was created when Mount Mazama exploded. Mazama no longer exists, but its explosion was one of the events that created Crater Lake. Some of the ash, pumice and other material that flowed out of Mazama settled in the valley was once where the Pumice Desert is now. The deposits reach over 100 ft in some areas and is has a very small amount of plant life on it compared to the surrounding area.

As you can see, there is lots of haze in the pictures above (like yesterday, click to enlarge) due to a wildfire nearby. More on that fire at some other point.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 7:40 AM

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August 30, 2006

Brynn and Whalen's Wedding

POST #    2229

One of the reasons we went to Oregon was to attend Brynn and Whalen's wedding. The beautiful wedding was at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland. They did this unique thing where members of their family and wedding party each contributed a flower to a vase for a community bouquet (3rd picture) that they would have to remember their special day. The reception took place later that evening at the Governor Hotel.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:44 AM

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August 29, 2006

The Road to Crater Lake

POST #    2228

Crater Lake in Oregon is known for it's beautiful views and pristine blue water, but even on Route 138 from Roseburg, one of the roads to Crater Lake, you get some beautiful scenes. The pictures above were taken from one of the many scenic stops along the road to the lake.

The three images were taken to the left, center, and right of where I was standing, something that we did for Shannan's work. We have lots of "tri-pics" - if you want to see a larger size, click on the image. I think it's worth it. More sets of three to come.

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

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August 28, 2006

Multnomah Falls in Oregon

POST #    2227

We're back from a wonderful trip to Oregon after taking a fun, fun red-eye back from the left coast. One of the first stops on our trip was to Multnomah Falls, Oregon's #1 tourist attraction (yes, #1).

Multnomah Falls claims to be the country's second highest year-round waterfall, but according to the Wikipedia entry, it's actually the nation's third highest. Whichever it is, Multnomah Falls is a 620 ft two-tier waterfall (see two-tiers here) that wasn't quite as spectacular when we went because we came during the dry season of August.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 8:52 AM

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August 16, 2006

Shannan's New Jewlery

POST #    2225

She's supporting students, she says. With the new lens I was using, I was supporting the economy, creating jobs, etc.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:47 AM

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August 15, 2006

A Few Pictures from Yeah Yeah Yeahs at McCarren Pool

POST #    2224

Oh how McCarren Pool has changed. It's current incarnation is as a concert venue where I caught the Sonic Youth/Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert last Friday (I barely saw Sonic Youth). I thought the show Friday was better than the one at Roseland earlier this year, but that might be because of my fondness for the pool. It seems like most of that crackling blue paint on the bottom of the pool seems to coming off.

Previously on McCarren Pool:
- McCarren Pool 1
- McCarren Pool 2
- Agora at McCarren Pool

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, Photos at 8:05 AM

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August 8, 2006

Weekend Baseball 2

POST #    2216

From Saturday's Cyclones game against the Tri-City ValleyCats.

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

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August 7, 2006

Weekend Baseball 1

POST #    2215

The beautiful sunset from Friday night's Mets game against the Phillies.

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

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July 27, 2006

Another Trip to the Gotham Girls Roller Derby

POST #    2205

Because going once to watch the Gotham Girls Roller Derby just isn't enough fun, Shannan and I went again this past weekend. The match this time was between the Brooklyn Bombshells, who won the last match we watched, against the Bronx Gridlock. Surely the Bombshells would win, right? After all, the Gridlock was a brand new team. Nope. The Gridlock only led by 5 at the half, but ran away with it by the end of the match.

- A lot more photos in my Flickr photo set of the match

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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July 11, 2006

Sexy Burgers From the QBQ BBQ

POST #    2185

Yummy! From top: Guber Burger (that's tasty Peter Pan pb), the Green Chile Cheeseburger, and the Butter Burger. And as good as the Butter Burger might sound, it was a little too much butter for my taste. Think buttery bread, with buttery meat, and a lot more butter after that. The Green Chile was my favorite of the ones pictured.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:50 AM

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July 10, 2006

Tasty Burgers, Tasty Faces

POST #    2184

At the Gothamist-A Hamburger Today QBQ BBQ last month. Perhaps some pictures of the tasty food tomorrow. And I think that 2nd picture is one of my favorite pictures ever.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 7:59 AM

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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

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June 29, 2006

Spazmat Says Cellphone = Death

POST #    2173

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

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June 28, 2006

2006 US Air Guitar Championships at Bowery Ballroom

POST #    2172

That's right, you're not reading a typo. There is an air guitar championship in the United States. Even more crazy is that there is a world championship too! After seeing the awesome documentary, Air Guitar Nation, I decided that I had to get tickets to last week's US Air Guitar Championships. It did not disappoint despite the fact that Billy Ocean, the winner from the New York region and the crowd favorite, didn't win. The results caused a minor controversy when the judges wanted to declare Ocean the winner despite him being 4th in points. Emceeing the event was the one and only Bjorn Turoque.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:14 AM

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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

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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

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June 20, 2006

Large and Small in East Williamsburg

POST #    2163

I think the Mini could actually fit on the back of the semi-truck.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:49 AM

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June 19, 2006

Clearly, The Mets Are #1

POST #    2164

That's what the big foam finger is telling us.

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

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June 15, 2006

Belmont Stakes 2006/Hellmont '06

POST #    2160

Last Saturday, I went on a little trip out to Belmont Park to catch the third leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. With no possibility of a Triple Crown and none of the horses that won the previous two legs (Barbaro was injured and Bernardini was resting), so there wasn't too big a crowd on hand. In 2004, the last time I went, there were about 120,000 people on hand. This year, the crowd was a little more than 60,000. After boarding a bus of 56 people at 10 in the morning and being suffeciently drunk by noon, I threw away less than $30 on the ponies (a number I'm kind of proud of) coming close to winning bets a couple of times.

For a much better summary of the day, be sure to read Arash Markazi's account on SI.com (he was on the same bus I was).

Also, some more photos in my Belmont photoset on Flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 7:56 AM

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June 14, 2006

Moon Over Williamsburg

POST #    2157

Sadly, this photo didn't come out quite as well as I had hoped. But I still had to put it up because it was pretty cool when we all saw it after kickball on Sunday.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:05 AM

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June 8, 2006

Gotham Girls Roller Derby; Food Diary Redux, Day 2

POST #    2152

Last Friday, I went to my first roller derby bout ever. The Gotham Girls Roller Derby match was between the Queens of Pain and the Brooklyn Bombshells (their other two teams are the Bronx Gridlock and the Manhattan Mayhem - clearly no love for Staten Island). It was really a lot of fun. I sat rinkside, which got me insanely close to the action, which proved to be a bad idea (or good, depending on how you look at it) when Raggedy Animal got shoved into me. Picture 7 of 8 happened right before I was flattened. My camera and I didn't seem to be damaged either, which is probably the most important thing. In the end, the Bombshells won the close match making their home Brooklyn crowd quite happy.

- More photos from Bombshells vs Pain in my Gotham Girls Roller Derby set on Flickr

2006 Food Diary, Day 2
12:26 a.m. - Home, one glass water. Really needed that glass of water after 64 oz of Bud Light.
9:04 - Work, 32 oz of water. Finished at 12:02.
12:46 p.m. - McDonald's medium #1 meal (that's a BigMac and fries) with a Coke. For some ungodly reason, they were selling an extra Big Mac for only $1 more. Of course, I had to buy and eat it.
3:07 - 30 oz of water. Finished at 5:54.
8:02 - Home, pasta with clams and garlic, one glass white wine.
8:20 - Water, one pint.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 7:48 AM

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June 6, 2006

Flowers in Pennsylvania

POST #    2150

There were tons of flowers blooming at the house in PA, but I only took a couple of pictures. The heavy rain caused the flowers from the rhododendron to fall to the ground.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:55 AM

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June 5, 2006

Guns On Display at Roller Derby

POST #    2148

While there were lots of guns on display, none were more intimidating than Shannan and Christina's.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:52 AM

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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

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May 30, 2006

Storm King Art Center

POST #    2143

Saturday, Shannan and I took advantage of the wonderful weather to head up to the Storm King Art Center upstate with Lauren and Kaoru. Storm King is a mostly outdoor museum that features several huge sculptures, which are mostly on its 500 acre site. Currently on exhibition are works by Mark di Suvero in addition to works from Alexander Calder, Richard Serra and Isamu Noguchi.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 7:53 AM

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May 29, 2006

2006 Schnack Stahl-Meyer Hot Dog Eating Contest

POST #    2142

Today in Red Hook was the 2nd Annual Schnack Stahl-Meyer Hot Dog Eating Contest at Schnack. I've always considered myself a pretty good eater, after all, I did win a small cheesecake eating competition. But this was insane. "Gentleman" Joe Menchetti finished a custom made 30" Stahl-Meyer hot dog in under two minutes. 1:53 to be precise. He just blew away the competition. A man amongst boys in this competition. He won't be in the Nathan's competition though as he's an independent eater and that's an IFOCE event.

- More photos from the Schnack Stahl-Meyer Hot Dog Eating Contest in my set on flickr
- Jesse has more photos in his flickr photoset as well

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 4:15 PM

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May 23, 2006

Julia and Jeremy's Wedding

POST #    2134

Saturday evening, my cousin got married on her rooftop. The ceremony was intimate with about 30 or so family and friends on the roof of their building. After the ceremony, Julia and Jeremy had the reception in their apartment (still the nicest I've been to in Brooklyn). They are currently in Italy for their two week honeymoon.

Two weddings down, two more to go. It seems like wedding season is in full swing. The good news is that I don't have as many this year as I did last year.

- A lot more photos in my Flickr photoset from the wedding.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 7:54 AM

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May 22, 2006

Mets vs Yankees at Shea Stadium - 2006, Game 22

POST #    2132

Last night's Subway Series game at Shea was freezing - with all the wind, garbage was blowing everywhere and people were signing up for credit cards just to get the free blankets. Someone said that they actually ran out of hot water by the 6th inning. Most importantly tough, the Mets won.

- A few more photos in my Flickr set (which I should add more to)

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Sports at 8:07 AM

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May 18, 2006

Nature in Lacon

POST #    2129

As with most places outside of New York City, there's lots of greenery in Lacon. There's even a bald eagle outside of Lacon, which according to the Great Backyard Bird Count, has 5 bald eagles. Pictured is a baby one, which isn't bald yet.

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

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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

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May 15, 2006

The Pringle Man, A Painting, A Bike

POST #    2126

I spotted this on the way to work the other day. The pringle looking guy has been there for a while, and then the bike was laying around earlier last week. The art, however, is brand new.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:43 AM

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May 10, 2006

St. Vincent's Banquet - Where Balloons Go to Die

POST #    2123

About two weeks ago, I helped out at a banquet for St. Vincent's Living-at-Home Program at Jing Fong in Chinatown. It was complete with entertainment in the form of purple-haired singers. It was a good time despite hanging out behind the bar for most of it and cutting my finger in an attempt to open a bottle of wine.

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

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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

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May 4, 2006

Rosenwach Wood Tanks

POST #    2087

It's best when you own a company that makes wood tanks to use the torch-down method of applying roofing.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:29 AM

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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

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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

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May 1, 2006

Corie and Alexis Celebrate in Red Hook

POST #    2115

Saturday in Red Hook, Corie and Alexis celebrated their upcoming nuptials with a bunch of friends in a truly unique way. They had a marching band and a procession of their friends walk from the waterfront to a local bar. It was a great way to get all their friends together before their family ceremony this weekend. Bravo for the brilliant vision, Lex.

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

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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

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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

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April 13, 2006

The Williamsburg Sperm Bank

POST #    2088

I didn't know that Williamsburg had a sperm bank. Perhaps another sign of gentrification? Not to be confused with the Williamsburgh Savings Bank.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:56 AM

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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

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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

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April 4, 2006

My Old Lady

POST #    2086

Clearly a dirty whore if she hearts Neck Face.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:37 AM

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April 3, 2006

Opening Day, T Minus 24 Hours (When I Took the Photos)

POST #    2084

Yesterday, I headed over to Shea Stadium for the the Mets Workout Day. I was surprised by the turnout - especially since the 7 train wasn't running into Manhattan. It was the first ever "Workout Day" that the Mets had at Shea. With tickets given to select ticketholders, those on hand essentially witnessed a pre-game workout with stretching, jogging, fielding and batting-practice. Nothing too exciting, but the concession stands were open, providing more revenue for these new and even more expensive Mets.

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

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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

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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

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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

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March 22, 2006

(Buck)Wheat

POST #    2075

Does anyone else think of Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas when they see this photo?

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:50 AM

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March 16, 2006

The Donut Pub

POST #    2069

Alas, I did not go into this magnificent concoction for a sampling of their fare. I really should have though, no matter how full I might have been.

Especially after seeing such kind words on the Internets:
- Menupages
- Roboppy's set on Flickr

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:49 AM

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March 7, 2006

Sunoco

POST #    2039

From the same morning as the sunrise here.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:10 AM

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February 27, 2006

Calvin Just Loves the Camera

POST #    2053

I kind of wonder at what point Calvin will stop posing for the camera...maybe after seeing the pictures of his new glasses and his injera mugging.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:02 AM

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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

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February 21, 2006

Flowers

POST #    2051

As the flowers from last Tuesday slowly die, here are the pictures. Quite a lovely arrangement by Thuy.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:09 AM

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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

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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

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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

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February 8, 2006

The Captain

POST #    2036

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

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February 7, 2006

Briefly, From 'inoteca

POST #    2040

That 2nd photo is the nutella panini from 'inoteca. Yeah, it's as good as it sounds. The last photo is by Youngna, who, as evidenced by all the photos on my computer, now knows about burst mode.

Previously at 'inoteca last year for JK's birthday. It's kind of striking how different my photos of food are in just one year.

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

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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

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February 2, 2006

Sunset, Sunrise

POST #    2034

Saturday's sunset followed by Sunday's sunrise. I think the last time I saw a sunrise was while in Cancun and getting ready to go deep sea fishing. This time was to go skiing for the first time this ski season.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:49 AM

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February 1, 2006

Knicks vs Lakers at MSG

POST #    2035

Going into last night's Lakers/Knicks game, I was hoping that Kobe Bryant would drop 101 on the Knicks. Then I would be a witness to sports history. Obviously it was unlikely, but with the way the Knicks are playing, anything was possible. Alas, Kobe only had 40 points, including a ridiculous 23 of 26 from the charity stripe.

And don't you hate it when you get good seats to a game, but all you have is a 50mm lens?

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

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January 31, 2006

Finally, A Haircut

POST #    2030

As is the Chinese custom (because I follow sooo many), I got my haircut before the new year. It was an interesting experience as is the norm if you're getting your haircut in Greenpoint and don't speak Polish. I actually pointed out what I wanted my hair to look like out of one of those haircut books. I think I have to say that I'm happy with how my $15 haircut turned out.

The biggest problem with this is I can now feel the cold air on my neck. On the other hand, I can use less shampoo now. Here's to the next 8 months without a haircut.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:47 AM

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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

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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

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January 18, 2006

A Book of My 2005 in Photos

POST #    2019

2005qoop.jpg

Earlier this year, I created a set, which you can view as a slideshow, on flickr that pretty much summarizes my 2005 in photos. Birthdays, Vegas, The Gates, China, friends, food, travel, lots of weddings, and tons of Mortimer. (I started that list right there in a somewhat chronological order, but it was just too hard to do through 135 photos.)

As flickr has a handy system to order photos in various ways now, I used Qoop to order a book of my 2005 in Photos set. It came out pretty cool, but I just wish the pictures on the page were a little bigger than they actually are. Maybe next year I'll make a calendar.

- My 2005 in Photos set on flickr (slideshow of said set)
- All my 2005 photos on flickr (I think I still have some to upload)
- And photos from 2006 so far (not too many, yet)

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:07 AM

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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

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January 11, 2006

American Museum of Natural History 3

POST #    2011

One of the coolest things I saw during my trip to the Museum of Natural History was their Christmas tree. Instead of regular ornaments, they decorated the tree with origami! How beautiful is that? It's a good thing we left from the main entrance as they made us enter through the entrance under the Rose Pavilion.

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

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January 10, 2006

American Museum of Natural History 2

POST #    2010

With so many people visiting the AMNH when I went, I had to take at least a couple of pictures, right? All I seem to have gotten was a couple of mullet shots and a guy lying on the floor under the gigantic whale.

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

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January 9, 2006

American Museum of Natural History 1

POST #    2009

Sometimes when you live in New York, you don't take advantage of all the culture that's here. So right before New Year's, we took a trip to the American Museum of Natural History. We wanted to see the Darwin exhibit, but it was sold out until late in the afternoon, so we were going to just wander the halls of the museum. The problem with that was that the lines were insane! So we decided to become members so we could cut the regular line, get free Darwin tix for a future showing, and come back as much as we want. We didn't go away from the first floor too much and decided to leave when we finished our brief walk-through because, well, we could go back at any time! Membership does have its privileges.

The great thing about the museum's first floor is that it's like visiting a zoo, but better. Well, kind of better. The animals aren't alive, but they are so close and realistic and they are placed before a backdrop of their natural habitats. The AMNH does need some work though. The Hall of New York State Environment needs a serious makeover as it looks like a bad 70's tv set.

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

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January 7, 2006

Stamps

POST #    2008

For the lovely rate increase that starts tomorrow. Apparently, they might need to raise it again next year!

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 11:28 AM

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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

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January 2, 2006

New Year's at Mark's

POST #    2000

Saturday night, I went over to Mark's place (well, his family's apartment) for a gigantic, slightly-wild, party. It might have been the biggest New Year's Eve party I've ever been to. And in the nicest New York apartment I've ever been to. One of my earlier memories of that apartment was watching the Knicks and Rockets in the NBA Finals as OJ Simpson cruised around Southern California in his Bronco.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 11:46 AM

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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

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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

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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

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December 21, 2005

Duncan the Dog

POST #    1972

A few weekends ago, while visiting baby potato (Jonas), I also took some pictures of Duncan. I've read that Duncan is a little sad with all the attention that Jonas is getting. Since Jonas, who is thankfully okay after a bout with the big P (no, not penis), wasn't cooperating with me while I was holding him, I was more than happy to give Duncan a little attention.

I think Mortimer is now extremely jealous. "What the hell? Another pet on your blog? And a dog at that? For shame, Tien, for shame."

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Photos at 8:06 AM

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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

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December 13, 2005

Angel Island 2 - Green Water Pump

POST #    1980

Two of two from Angel Island.

A few more photos that weren't on the site are in my Angel Island flickr set.

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

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December 12, 2005

Angel Island 1 - Around the Isle

POST #    1979

Last week, President Bush signed the Angel Island Immigration Station Restoration and Preservation Act, providing $15 million for the restoration of the immigration station on Angel Island. With the bills signing, it seemed like a good time to post some pictures from when I visited the island in September. When I was there, the immigration station was already closed to visitors.

Angel Island was to Chinese and Asian immigrants what Ellis Island was to European immigrants, except with worse conditions. Unfortunately, since Angel closed, it hasn't undergone restoration like Ellis Island. Hopefully, with the restoration and preservation act, Angel Island can become a historical destination much like Ellis Island.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Travel at 7:53 AM

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December 8, 2005

At Jill Platner

POST #    1975

Last night, we stopped over at Jill Platner's store for their holiday party. It's one year later and I still can't afford any of the beautiful designs at the store.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:05 AM

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December 5, 2005

Testing Out the New 50mm f/1.4

POST #    1969

Towards the end of last week, I got a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens and took some time to play around with it. One of the best things about it, besides its great speed, but its size. It's so much lighter than the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens I usually use. It almost makes me forget that I'm lugging around a huge camera. Almost.

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

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