Monthly Archives: April 2011
That’s Philadelphia, in case you didn’t know. Yufei and I took a short weekend trip there last week! It was a very successful trip and I really liked the city a lot, very different from NYC in many ways. Here are some photos!
Being a total nerd about all things biology/medicine, I was super excited to find out about the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
They have a completely fascinating collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment. No photos were allowed inside but trust me – it was amazing! And Yufei bought me this awesome pen from the gift store:
Then we walked all the way across town to visit the US Mint – where your coins come from! – and then went to see the Dream Garden, a beautiful 15 × 49-foot mosaic in the lobby of the Curtis Center. So beautiful.
By that time it was getting late and things were starting to close up, so we just wandered around for a bit (and dropped by an interesting exhibit at the American Philosophical Society Museum). We then headed for dinner at Buddakan. We’d been to the Baddakan in Atlantic City a year and a half ago and really liked it, so we thought we’d try the one in Philly.
We shared the crispy duck salad to start:
We both thought it was really good, generous serving (it was meant to be shared) and a good amount of duck too! For main course, I got the miso black cod and Yufei had the wok cashew chicken. Again, both were great! My cod:
Then for dessert, we shared the dim sum doughnuts:
They came in a cute little take-out box, were warm and fresh, with three dipping sauces: chocolate sauce, jam, and a cream cheese sauce. It was so good! The meal certainly didn’t disappoint, and I think I might have to go to the Buddakan in NYC sometime!
The next day, we walked around a bit more (there are so many little parks, squares, and other public spaces in Philly! I love that).
Then we took a bus down to South Street to have lunch. Of course, we had to get some Philly cheese steak! Went to Ishkabibble based on Yelp reviews, and had a pretty good experience there. The place was tiny so we had to wait a bit for a table, but the people there were really friendly and the food was great too!
Elfreth’s Alley (starting to get some beautiful afternoon sunshine!):
And then the area around City Hall (which is a gorgeous building by the way), and finally, the LOVE sculpture, which appropriately sums up how I felt about our trip and this beautiful city:
I want to go back! Not necessarily for the museums and historical sites, but Philadelphia just feels like a nice place to walk around in and just relax for a day, sit in a square, look at public sculptures and murals, things like that. In a way it almost reminds me a bit of Vancouver. I wish it weren’t so far away, otherwise I would totally go there once in a while to escape the craziness of NYC.
Remember the tiered coat saga last year? Yeah, that was because I saw it worn by Robin on an episode of How I Met Your Mother. The girl has great style because now once again I’m lusting after another piece of her wardrobe! In season 6, episode 8, Natural History, Robin wore this gorgeous one-shouldered royal blue dress to a gala:
I was immediately struck by how beautiful she looked (LOVE her hair here too) and how pretty the dress was, but for some reason I never looked it up. But now in the last couple of days I came across some photos from the episode (during my searches for clues about the season finale – but that’s a totally different story), and I knew I had to find the dress! It was actually pretty easy to find, and it turns out to be the La Marocain Dress by Nanette Lepore. A closer look here:
Unfortunately, the blue one is sold out pretty much everywhere (one size 0 left somewhere but I don’t think I’ll fit); it also comes in red and black but I don’t like them as much, and also none left in my size anyways. Sigh. So I do what I always do when I see a piece of clothing I like but can’t get: find imitations! So here I’ve gathered 9 different dresses of similar style. Hope you like them!
1. One Shoulder Short Blue Dress by Jasz
Not too sure about the color on this one, but I like the style.
3. Sleeveless One-Shoulder Floral Sequin Pleated Mini Dress by Roberta
4. One-Shoulder Party Dress by Adrianna Papell
This one reminds me of figure skating costumes!
5. Periwinkle Silk One-Shoulder Dress by Notte by Marchesa
This is probably the most similar dress to the original.
6. One Shoulder Party Dress by BCBGMAXAZRIA
I actually LOVE this dress!
7. One Shoulder Faux Wrap Dress by Aidan Mattox
A more casual option.
8. Clarissa One Shoulder Dress by Coast
Lastly we have 2 dresses from British label Coast.
9. Ciara Dress With One Shoulder by Coast
And I saved my favourite for last!! How amazingly gorgeous is this dress?
That is all! Which one is your favourite? I wish I could go to prom again so I can justify buying one of these!
So it’s Easter this weekend, and I’d almost forgotten about it until my parents asked me if I get any days off. Of course, being Columbia, the answer was no (I’m taking Friday off anyways – visiting Philadelphia for the first time! But that’s a later post). Anyways, I thought I’d share a few of the cute Easter egg craft ideas I found today. They are all so ingenious!
1. Embroidered eggs from Design*Sponge:
Who knew you could sew on egg shells?! You do need some special tools for this, but I think this is just one of the coolest things ever!
2. Elegant Eggs from Martha Stewart:
Easter eggs with an oriental twist. I love pretty Japanese origami papers and this is a really way to use them. I also love the nest made from shredded origami paper!
3. Natural egg coloring from Shiranui on DeviantART:
All organic – all you need are eggs, onion skins, and herbs! And you get edible eggs in the end. Nice!
4. Papier-mache Easter eggs from Not Martha:
No need to sacrifice actual eggs! And you can fill them up with goodies. So cute! (P.S.: Not Martha has some of the most amazing craft ideas I’ve ever seen! Definitely worth checking out!)
Happy (early) Easter!!
“But it’ll be so convenient!”
Oh yes, I know. But I’m not a convenient person. I’m like the very antithesis of convenient. If I were convenient, I would have chosen to go to the university that’s 2 hours away from home, would cost me next to nothing, and where 90% of my friends attend, not the one that’s all the way across the continent in different country, in a city I’d never even visited and knew no one. I wouldn’t have had to go through the extra effort to write the SAT’s, across the border no less, when I could have just chilled during the last two years of high school like everyone else. If I were convenient, I would have just stayed close to home or even close to New York last summer instead of going all the way to Austria last summer, where I wondered lost by myself in the blazing sun, an hour after my flight landed, lugging my heavy suitcase, looking for the hostel I was supposed to stay at. If I were convenient, I wouldn’t be attempting to do a major in Neuroscience, a concentration in Linguistics, and all the pre-med requirements during my undergrad years, causing me to take 6 or at least 5 classes each semester, senior year included. No, I am not a convenient person.
Why? Even my own mother wonders that sometimes. “Why do you always have to make things harder for yourself?” I’m not so sure myself. I’ve speculated before that my nomadic tendencies may have come from the fact that my family had always been on the move for nearly all of my childhood and adolescence, and as a result I’ve been conditioned to feel that movement is natural, and if I stay in one place for too long, I feel stagnant and have the urge to go somewhere new. This makes sense. So what about the rest of my inconvenient behavior? Maybe I just like challenges (but that sounds so clichéd). For some reason though, it does give me an odd sense of satisfaction to be inconvenient. Sometimes I feel like life is too short to give in to convenience; there are always better criteria for making choices in life. Maybe that’s the reason behind it all, who knows. Whatever it is, this is and always will be my inconvenient truth.
More food adventures from last weekend. I need to stop posting these a week late all the time.
Yufei and I went to Porter House New York for lunch last Saturday. The restaurant is located on the top floor of the Time Warner Center, along with Per Se (read about my meal there here) and Masa, and is obviously the most affordable by far of the three. We opted for the prix fixe Park View Lunch, which for $24 gets you a delicious and filling three course lunch.
For starters, I got the daily soup, which was a New England clam chowder, and Yufei had the classic Caesar salad.
Main course = salmon for me and steak for Yufei. This is almost always true for any steakhouse we go to.
For dessert, I had the NY Cheesecake with berry compote and Yufei had the flourless chocolate torte.
I was so full at that point that I had to leave half of my scrumptious cheesecake unfinished. A very fulfilling meal indeed!
A gorgeous day in New York, matched with an equally bright and cheerful outfit!
Graphic tee from China, hand-me-down black shorts, hot pink tights from Betsy Johnson, black boots from Modcloth.
This is from last weekend. Title is pretty self-explanatory.
First stop: Dim sum at Golden Unicorn
Rice noodle roll with beef filling:
Duck egg and pork congee:
Second stop: Xiaolongbao, 4 for $1:
Third stop: Lamb kabobs:
Fourth stop: Xi’an Famous Foods:
Liang Pi noodles (actually had this for dinner because by this point my belly was too full already):
Other random stops for snacks and such:
Dried plums from Aji Ichiban:
They make for amazing snacks because it takes so long to eat them and they pretty much have no calories.
Hawthorn chips!! Exactly the kind I used to eat as a kid in China!!
Also bought soy milk, steamed buns, and pork floss. T’was a very successful day for food.