Tag Archive | New York

Central Perks

Last stop on Saturday: Central Park. Living in Manhattan for 4 years, I only made occasional trips to Central Park. I’ve been skating, hanging out at the park, and that’s about it… 4 trips tops. I never really walked around, mainly because I did not want to go that far uptown and pay for a measly subway ticket. But I walked around that Saturday, and it was relaxing. I love the outdoors, whether it’s the beach, the park, the backyard, or the backyard of the HSC at Stony Brook. I like walking the streets on a cool, sunny day. It’s exercise, but a productive one. I end up shopping or browsing clothing/shoe stores for the latest fashion deals. Here’s a storybook snapshot of my stroll through Central Park:

Horse rides

Seal sniffing its behind at the wildlife area

Budding Cherry Blossums

The Mall... It's like a Walk to Remember

Bubble Show

One of the nicer lakes


























One of the nicer lakes











Duckies' matey










I love dogs! There were so many pooches on the roam

Another happy little pup










A Spanish music video was being shot

This was the singer... he just sat by the lake and stared off ... I bet he was cold too.

A drowning fish

We had a cute little boy waddle around us... ADORABLE


Reflections on the water

A creek, and more dogs


Chow time at the Shake Shack

Shack Burger



Nutrition Over Lunch

I thoroughly enjoyed the brief nutrition component of the Foundations course today. How often can you say, “I go to medical school. And cooking is homework. Class time IS tummy filling time.”  I will admit, I love fine food and dining, cooking, and those wonderful restaurant excursions back in Manhattan. I sound like such a fatty, speaking I love Artichoke Pizza, Halal falafel over rice, ice cream sundaes, Subway footlongs, Insomnia cookies, Red Mango fro-yo, St. Mark’s Japanese cuisine, Momofuku desserts, and much much more. I cannot get enough of Food Network; here’s a snippet of my idols: Giada de Laurentiis, Martin Yan, Mario Batali, Morimoto, and Bobby Flay. I peruse recipes more than my Histology primers on a daily basis. Plus, I used to be vegetarian during college, so I am accustomed to eating a variety of vegetables and studying nutrition labels. I’ve also been told I have perfectly-aligned horse teeth; I swear, canines do not exist in my mouth. As I reminisce about food (and getting hungry again), I think about my traditional Asian family, where home-cooked meals have been the norm. Coming home to the sweet aroma of soy sauce, spices and MSG (kidding) has infused in me a passion to be a domestic chef AND doctor.

Today I prepared an Italian pasta dish off eDiets.com, Angel Hair Pasta with Tofu and Ricotta. I used the basic recipe as a foundation, then I made it my own. I incorporated whole wheat spaghetti pasta with fresh bell peppers and tofu. I used organic tomato soup as a base with the lowfat ricotta cheese, in addition to Italian seasoning and oregano. To top off the dish, I added a little Parmesan cheese for kicks and cashew nuts for some crunch and chew. It is a well-balanced, flavorful dish with protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and low sodium. I liked how this dish utilized tofu, a traditionally Asian commodity. It’s vegetarian, packed with protein, and very versatile.

I learned today that tofu and beans contain phytoestrogen, which can dampen hormone effects and cancerous growths, and particularly help post-menopausal women. Even though soy is good for the body, I should limit processed soy. If only I knew this earlier, I would not have went on a Trader Joe’s spree for 3 years in college.  During my stint at NYU, I thought it was healthier to have meat substitutes that were lower in calories and fat content. I bought all these DELICIOUS Veggie Masala burgers, Soy Nuggets, Meatless Meatballs, and soy cheese from Trader Joe’s, which were all very heavenly. It is okay to eat natural soy though, like soy and edamame, but not the processed soy and meat substitutes. Surprisingly, I’m a terrible Asian, because I am blessed to have a soy allergy, to a slight degree. For instance, I have a reaction against soy milk, so I cannot consume more than half a cup. If I do, I feel my throat closing up and red bumps start popping out around my mouth. When I nibble on too many edamame beans in the fuzzy pods, same thing happens, but not as drastic. Even when my mom makes this amazing silken tofu and vegetables, I have a capping point before I blow up like a pufferfish. Now, I learned to limit these ‘soy substitutes,’ which is not too hard because I’m not vegetarian anymore. I missed the real deal, and my Asian roots were calling back to me to eat meat. If I do go back to vegetarianism, I’ll have to incorporate more beans, chickpeas and tofu instead. Right now, I’m stuck somewhere in the middle: should I stick to meats or should I go back to being an herbivore?

If only I didn't have such a major inflammatory response...

... I wouldn't look like this

I liked the family style gathering we had. I had a taste of other people’s specialities: cous-cous salad, falafel balls in salad, edamame hummus, vegetable stew, Indian basmati rice dish, peanut pad thai, and cucumber-tomato-chickpea-feta salad.  Now, I would like to play around with new ingredients, such as cous-cous, Suzie’s rice cakes with vegetable mixes, and homemade edamame hummus. Cooking is like a science experiment. Have fun with it and try new things. Just don’t bust the kitchen in the process, like bursting the organic lab into flames after cooking ethanol on the hot plate. It’s happened. Time to branch out of the Chinese noodles-Korean gimbap-Japanese sushi roll-Italian cheese & pasta-addiction and try new and successful things.

Home Alone

It’s Thanksgiving recess at school. I spent a few days at home, came back to Stony Brook for some Black Friday shopping at Tanger’s Mall and studying, and here I am, ‘alone’ at my other home. Well, I’m not completely alone, but it is eerie to be in such quietude. Just now, I heard the jingle of the door decoration, like someone was at the door. A car just pulled up near the house again. When I was brushing my hair at the mirror, I heard the door jingle again, and I was easily startled; I half-turned around, expecting Freddie Kruger with his ulnar claws or a Chucky doll holding my pitiful paring knife. My childhood imagination and nightmares still stick with me unfortunately.

I’m watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York on ABC Family. I love holiday movies like these, because I grew up embracing the holiday spirit- gifts, shopping, music, movies and winter break. Macaulay Culkin (who plays Kevin) is adorable and witty little pipsqueak in this movie. He still ends up separated from his family. This time, he’s not exactly ‘home alone;’ he makes it as far as the airport. His family is running late, and in their frenzy and marathon race to the gate, Kevin falls behind and mistakenly follows another running man who’s wearing the same coat as his father. Instead of heading to tropical paradise, he’s off to New York.

One of my favorite scenes: When he plays a mafia movie to escape the hotel administrators. Kevin plays the mafia guy’s sexy voice and the hotel gang responds foolishly….

So mafia man says, “Get down on your knees and tell me you love me.”

Creepy concierge, “I LOVE YOU” (ear-to-ear smile)…

Mafia man, “You gotta do better than that”

Hotel gang (Chorus): “I LOVE YOU”
Mafia man, “I’m going to give you the count of 3… to get your lousy, lying ass out the door…1…2… (BANG BANG BANG~~~^&%$%$%##$^%)… 3. Merry Christmas you filthy animal… (bang bang) and a Happy New Year (bang).”

And the fools jump out the door and slither away, totally outsmarted by a kid.

And the 2 burglars again, out of jail!!! They remind me of Simon and Garfunkel, but not at all musical. The end of the movie is like playing Mouse Trap on two bozos.

I really like the symbolism behind the turtle doves, a symbol of friendship and love. It’s like in the song, “12 Nights of Christmas” with the part with the 2nd night of Christmas. Kevin received the doves at the toy store, when he donated his $20 worth of shoveling snow. In the end, it was touching when he shared the dove with the pigeon lady. The ‘twinkling’ song played in the background, as they embrace and snow flurries down on a white Christmas. I hope to find my turtle dove one of these Christmases…

Right now as I watch this classic childhood movie, I am missing Christmas in the city. This movie is making me long for Manhattan. I’ve spent 4 years there, it has almost become a second home. Here’s another list itching to be posted:

  • I miss the holiday shops at Union Square. An evening stroll with the bright lights and homey music, it really felt like the holidays were here to stay. Last Christmas when I went with a few friends, I had the urge to buy one of those winter hats with an animal face on it. I wanted the panda one, but knew I’d look stupid wearing it out everyday, even if it was to keep my head insulated.

  • I miss ice-skating. I love the feeling of a Winter Wonderland at the scenic parks. Junior year, I went to NYU’s “Wintuk” ice-skating in Central Park with a good friend. That was the first time I stepped on ice and learned to skate; let’s say it was a wobbly trip around the rink, luckily without that many bruises. Senior year, I went to Bryant Park with Kendo club to ice-skate. This second time, I ended up with more bruises on my legs than I could count on both hands. Finally, this summer as a camp counselor, I became more pro because I did it everyday. Only difference was, I was stuck on the frigid ice with shorts and T-shirt. At least when it’s winter in the city, I could bundle up with leggings, puffy jacket, and stylish scarf.

  • Herald Square’s hustle and Macy’s merry window displays. I’m a shopaholic, but I cannot resist the decorations and glam.

Flashback to 2006 Macy's

  • Winter Wonderland on 3rd Ave, Union Square

    Oh the white blizzard before the slushy mess ruins my trip down Broadway. This year during my last semester, NYU did a revolutionary thing: giving us a SNOW DAY. Yes, this never happened, even when nearby schools like Columbia or CUNY schools closed down for a blustery storm. NYU gave us a late, but amazing gift that Wednesday in February. I felt like a little kid again, jumping in joy over a snow day. I stayed in my PJs and totally skipped out on volunteering at the medical center. As I mused over the belated Winter Wonderland, I remembered my childhood and how much I enjoyed feeling cozy at home while watching the snow or rain fall. I mean, I do not like being stuck in the bad weather, because I’ve had a bad rap-sheet on getting trapped at the library or forgetting my umbrella just when the downpour begins. But, I like listening to the rain patter or watching the pure-white snow drift softly from the clouds.

  • Rockefeller Center’s Christmas-tree lighting. I went back in freshman year. The wait was long and the crowd just as obnoxiously suffocating. I don’t think we actually saw the tree-lighting, but we did see the naked tree, light-less. That night, we ended up at Bryant Park and took a pseudo-picture with a lighted, miniature tree =P

  • Holiday shopping is never as easy as in Manhattan. I reminisce strolling on the streets, blending in with the holiday crowds and finding amazing deals.  Holiday in the city, does not compare to plain Long Island here, where everything requires pumping greenhouse gases into the air.



That's us in someone's blog on rackedny.com!!! The Asian Posse 🙂

You’ve have to appreciate all the free stuff that comes across your path every so often in the Big Apple. Today, my friends and I waited for over 4 hours in the bitter fall cold in Rockefellar Center to get a FREE brand-name dress shirt. Life as a college student means you want to live and earn cheap, and this was such a blessing! My friend David told my friends last night about the promotion, how this UK-based clothing line was helping to promote a new USA show called “White Collar.” It’s retailed at like almost $200 and better yet, it’s customed tailored to your body, for both men and women 🙂

The mannequins in pretty shirts

The mannequins in pretty shirts

I’ve been itching to buy the perfect tailored white formal long-sleeved shirt with nice buttons and fabric. I could not miss this moment! I even put off my responsibilities at my research lab I work every Fridays to stake out a spot, even if it means battling the icy winds and chills. My friend Lawrence and I got off class before 10 am, and met up with my suitemates Grace and Erika to head up to Rockefellar Centre. There we were on the “standby line” very briefly before we transitioned over to the “guaranteed line.” There, we also smuggled in our other friend Jessica, so we wouldn’t be separated.  Lord, the wait was incredibly long, as David informed me via text message. He did end up getting there at 7:30, and didn’t get fitted until after 11 am when we bumped into him.  Bad idea to think it was warm like yesterday; no sunny skies or 70 degree breezes. Sandals and leggings were not ideal.  I may have even come down with a cold after the long wait, but it was so worth it. I could use this shirt for formal occassions, interviews, and presentations. I get to feel like a Sternie! (the business kids at NYU who always wear suits to jobs or interviews).

I’m so happy, not because of the “free-ness,” but because I feel so lucky to find out about this chance and own a high-class fitted shirt that I will take super care to clean. It’s my chance to wear a nice shirt I can fit, because I do not like loose, baggy shirts that cannot conform to my petite figure. I wish I could’ve gotten one for my sister or mom, but they were not here to get fitted. Well, we’ll all get it in the mail in 10 days, and maybe we can plan a fancy dinner to wear our new shirts and look like penguins ^_^