Monthly Archives: November 2009
One of my high school friends posted this message on my Facebook wall today: “Have I told you how jealous I am of you recently?” I was startled at first, wondering what he could possibly be jealous of. Then I remembered. New York.
I’m in New York, one of the greatest cities in the world. Yet, I constantly find myself forgetting what an amazing city I’m currently living in, and what amazingly bright and talented peers surround me here at Columbia. It’s so easy to take these things for granted when they’re just part of your every day life, but I really should stop once in a while to appreciate them.
Take this weekend for example. Classic New York weekend. On Thursday I went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Despite having to get up early and brave the crowds, I still love this annual tradition, since it makes me (and, I’m pretty sure, all the other adults there) feel like a kid again.
Sailor Mickey makes an appearance!
Other floats included Spiderman, Hello Kitty, Shrek, Snoopy, and the Pillsbury Dough Boy (On a random note, I can do a pretty good Pillsbury Dough Boy laugh. But you’ll have to poke my belly in person.)
After the parade, we went to Magnolia Bakery, where I had the most delicious red velvet cupcake. As I walked down the street eating it, some guy who passed by me said to his buddy “Oh my god. Those are the best cupcakes ever!” and another lady asked me if it was good (the answer was, of course, affirmative). Mmmm now I’m craving one again.
Then last night, we went skating at Bryant Park with the Society of International Undergraduates at Columbia. Now, confession #231: I don not know how to ice skate. Yeah yeah I’m Canadian and I do not know how to skate, shame on me. But I did try to learn last night! It was really a lot of fun and I think I will be going again soon. And learning how to skate will be added to my list of things to do over winter break.
This morning, for the sake of science (ok fine, it was for an assignment for Psychology class), my boyfriend and I went out for a walk with our clothes worn completely inside out. See below for how ridiculous this looked.
The assignment was to break a social norm and see how people would react. To our surprise, besides a few stares and chuckles, nobody really gave a hoot. I guess that’s just New York for ya. Nothing’s new or different here. If I were back home, I would probably be showered with comments and perhaps a nice old lady would kindly tell me that my clothes are worn the wrong way, and I would just smile sweetly and tell her that I knew that.
This brings me to a somewhat mixed conclusion about this city. It’s a great city, for sure, but just like all other big cities, it can be cold, uncaring, and impersonal, and a lot of the times, I don’t really like that. I guess you can’t have everything after all. So for now, I’m just going to enjoy everything that New York has to offer. And at least now I know that I can pretty much wear anything I want and not be judged, and it does feel kind of liberating.
So I’ve decided to add this new feature to my blog: DIY Saturdays! I can’t promise that I’m going to do it every week, but when I do have the time and the inspiration, I’ll try my best.
I love DIY. I’ve always loved making things with my hands and collecting what most people would consider garbage, in the hope that they will come in handy for a future project (when I was younger, this used to annoy my mother. A lot. She hated the clutter in my room and named me the CEO of the garbage collecting company). But I mean, what’s not to love about DIY? It’s super fun, it’s economic, you save the planet by using stuff that would otherwise be thrown in to the trash, the things you make will be 100% unique, and when other people ask you where you got them, you can proudly say that you made them! It’s awesome.
So, onto this week’s project. It’s so simple that I hesitate to even call it a project at all. Remember those glass soda bottles I had lying around? Well, I thought that a collection would a bit too ambitious and needed another use for them. And so I made them into photo frames. All you need to do is find some clean, dry glass bottles and some photos. I used soda bottles but any kind of glass bottles or even jars would work, and colored glass would be pretty cool too. Just roll up your photo (make sure it’s the right size) and insert it into the bottle. Use a pen/stick/your finger to move it around until you’re happy with the position. And voila! You’re done! Totally neat. And it’s got the message in a bottle sentiment to it too. Put them on a windowsill or another source of light for added effect.
While reading Martin Luther for my Contemporary Civilization class, I found the following notes from a previous owner of my second-hand-yet-still-overpriced book:
And then, 5 pages later:
Finally, the anger could not be held back any longer:
Despite the absence of sun
Yesterday was quite a good day :) For lunch, my boyfriend and I went to one of my favourite restaurants in NYC, Aceluck, a tiny Thai restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. So why do I like it so much? First off, I love the decor. The walls are painted in exactly my favourite shade of green, and everything is just so welcoming and fresh. The food is delicious with a generous portions that aren’t too much (I hate super sizing dishes), always fresh and tasty. Everything is also very reasonably priced, unlike a lot of other Thai restaurant. And the presentation of the food is nice too (sorry, I’m an aesthetic person). The service is really good as well, the servers are super nice and yesterday, since it was Halloween, our server brought over a trick or treat jar in which there were pieces of paper we drew from, and we got for free whatever was written on the paper. How cute is that? We got free Thai ice tea! And apparently they also have cheap happy hour drinks, but being under the US drinking age, we haven’t yet tried out that option.
Our yummy ice tea :)
Duck spring rolls. Hot and crispy.
Chicken pad kee mao. Fresh and delicious with just the right amount of spiciness for me.
Fried vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce. The perfect way to finish off a meal!
If you’re ever in the area, this restaurant is highly recommended! One caveat though, I’ve only been there during the late lunch hours, so I have no idea how everything is during lunch or dinner rush, but I don’t expect it to be too different (perhaps a bit more crowded).
After lunch we went for a little walk in the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, which is right across from Aceluck. I really enjoy flea markets and second hand stores, they’re always like a treasure hunt for me. It’s fun to think about the homes and the people that once held these objects and imagine what they were like. When I was still living in Quebec, my family used to go to this flea market every weekend, and my parents would allow me to get like a dollar or two’s worth of stuff there every time :) It was quite a difficult time for us back then, and a lot of our things in our home was bought from the market. In fact, it’s where half of our dinnerware came from even now. Sigh… good memories.
Me trying on a hat!
Ok, on to more Halloween related things. I was really broke this year and had to cut back on my costume spendings, so I just wore a dress I already owned, bought a headband from Etsy, threw on some seashell jewelry, and tada! I’m an ocean princess :)
Oh and you probably can’t tell from the picture, but I also wore blue contact lenses to match my dress. (A note on the contacts. The color they give is amazing, even on my dark dark brown eyes. Perhaps a bit too much though, for every day wear. Maybe I’ll go with grey or honey next time. But I’m note sure if there will be a next time since they’re not the most comfortable lenses and they kind of affect my peripheral vision. What a shame. Maybe I just need to find a better brand).
As we left to go to the NYC Halloween Parade, it started to rain. I was quite miserable in the beginning, since being in a very crowded area in the rain with no umbrella is not very pleasant. But after a while we found a nice little spot under the awning of a Japanese restaurant from where we could see the parade (me with the help of standing on the ledge against their window… I’m surprised the restaurant people didn’t come out and yell at me for giving their customers a nice view of my behind), and things picked up from there.
Some photos from the parade:
By the way, I want that yellow umbrella in the last picture. (How I Met Your Mother? Anyone?)
P.S.: Best costume I saw last night: a guy dressed as Russell (the little boy) from UP :) He even had a bunch of helium balloons attached to him. It made me smile.