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Reading period music 🙂

An Expos Throwback

My Expos teacher won a Pulitzer Prize. Damn.

Should have tried a little bit harder. 😛

All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

To all those science thesis writers who will be liberated tomorrow: you love your thesis. Fight on.

Empire State of Mind

Spring break trip to New York City, March 2010!

Monday, March 15:

We left early in the morning from South Station on a 7:30AM  Bolt Bus that got us Penn Station in New York City just before noon. For the trip, we stayed in Theater District of Midtown on the corner of 56th and 8th Avenue, at this cute European style hotel called The Da Vinci. Luckily, we were fairly close to all kinds of stuff – the subway (Columbus Circle stop), a McDonalds, Pinkberry, The David Letterman Show, and Times Square :).

Monday was the only mildly rainy day of the trip (every other day was sunny with a high of at least 50 – it was amazing), so we decided to hit the The Museum of Natural History, so we could stay indoors. The museum is huge – we only saw maybe a little less than half of the exhibits in the whole 3.5 hours we were there, but we made sure to get to some of the good stuff:

Under the Sea

The Ocean Room

A Big Mosquito

Did someone say HEB?

Dinosaurs!

We had sushi for dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Raku, a block away from the museum. The food looked so pretty:

A little too much Wasabi

Tuesday, March 16th

Today was our miscellaneous day, when we did a lot of walking and wandering around. In the morning, we walked down  through Times Square, and then along 42nd St.. First stop: New York Public Library, which is situated right next to Bryant Park:

Bryant Park

NYPL

The inside of the library is amazing. It’s definitely more artsy looking than the Boston Public Library. I always wonder how people get anything done in there with so many tourists walking by – it’s so busy with people looking in and out.

A few blocks away was Grand Central Station, which we visited briefly.

Then we headed back up toward Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue! On the way we saw:

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Trump Tower

On the 3rd and 4th floors of Trump Tower there are mini-rooftops that are little outdoor “park” areas for people to hang out on. We went out on one of them, but you can’t really get much of a view of 5th Avenue.

After wandering around all morning, we got lunch at Serendipity 3. OMG I LOVE this place! The wait for lunch was 45 minutes, so to kill time we got sweets at Dylan’s Candy Bar, the best candy store ever. You basically grab a bag or container, get whatever you want, and pay per pound. I got a bag of chocolate covered raisins and pretzels; Stephen picked an empty Dylan’s Candy Bar jar that you can fill and pay$15 for everything inside. We spent about 20 minutes figuring how to jam just about everything we could into that thing haha.

After Dylan’s, we went back to Serendipity 3 to get our seats. The restaurant is really random; space is cramped to begin with, and on top of that there’s usually always a line, depending on the time of day. In the place where you wait to get seated, they sell a bunch of rando trinkets:

Serendipity 3 is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for serving up the Most Expensive Ice Cream Sundae at the cost of $1,000. The menus are humongous, in that they’re actually the size of a piece of posterboard folded in half and laminated, with a lot of funny cartoon drawings and creative names for menu items. Stephen got the “Bi-Sensual Burger.” 😛 As a plus, I apparently sat in a booth that Marilyn Monroe used to frequent. Sweeeet. 😛

After lunch we continued to walk around, this time back to 5th Avenue for shopping. We went inside Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, H&M, Universal Colors of Benetton where I bought a dress, Aldo, etc.

After our take-out pizza dinner, we went to Pinkberry, which was about two blocks away from where we were staying. I didn’t realize that you pay one price for ALL the toppings you want…damn, Berryline should totally do this too. After froyo we took the Subway up to Lincoln Center, where they have a really beautiful water fountain right in front of the auditoriums there, including The Metropolitan Opera House. The view is really nice, especially at nightime. We sat up on the edge of the water fountain, and even tossed pennies in! Such a good way to end the day :).

Wednesday, March 17th

St. Patrick’s Day! I didn’t realize that until much later in the day, and also failed to wear any green :(.

First stop of the day: Chinatown!

First thing to do in Chinatown: haggle for cheap things!

Stephen got a black and gold NY baseball cap, as well as red Kanye sunglasses. I bought a fake Longchamp bag for $16 – score. We picked up some other treats from a fruit stand and one of the 30-some bakeries on Canal Street, and had dumpling soup for lunch!

After lunch, we walked through Greenwich Village, which is right where NYU’s campus is located. We found a HUGE Adidas store that we obviously couldn’t pass up (:P) where Stephen got a German home soccer jersey.

We were planning on going to a showing of Phantom of the Opera in the evening, so we headed back to Times Square to wait in the TKTS line. The line was pretty long by the time we showed up around 2:45 (the postings of the ticket sales go up at 2:30, and they open the line at 3:00), but it actually only took about an hour or so of a wait. The best thing about waiting in Times Square is that there are all the ads and logos posted up everywhere to keep your attention, either for stores, restaurants, financial companies, or shows that are running. Catherine Zeta-Jones is currently in “A Little Night Music” with Angela Lansbury, and Kristin Chenoweth is in a musical with Sean Hayes (Jack, from Will and Grace). This was another promo I saw – Anna, this one’s for you:

So we waited in line, got our tickets for Phantom at 8PM in the Majestic Theater, and then headed down to Union Square for a visit to The Strand bookstore. When we got of the Subway station, we got lucky and walked straight into the Farmer’s Market that they must hold on the weekdays. Vendors were selling fresh apples, garden flowers, pastries, and even wine:

Union Square Market wine booth

We did some random shopping there, and then left to go to the Strand to poke around in their huge collections of books.

The plan for dinner before the show was picnic-style! We bought sandwiches and got dessert from Magnolia Bakery, which sells amaaaazing cupcakes, and took all that down to the Promenade in Brooklyn. We got there in time to see the sun set, and we had a view of Downtown Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge – it was perfect.

We were a little late rushing back to Times Square for Phantom, but we made it to our seats just as the Overture was done. We sat in the back  on the first floor, but you could see everything really well. (I made Stephen switch seats with me because this tall dude with a big head was directly in front of me… lol). I was pretty much hooked on Phantom music for a good two weeks after that :).

Thursday, March 18th

Last half-day in the city! Before our bus at 2:30PM, so made a visit down to the Garment District, where we went inside the NYC Macy’s! There must have been at least 6 or 7 floors – the makeup area alone took up most of the first floor.

To top it all off, after we got back to Boston in the evening, we had restaurant week reservations at Top of the Hub. Soooo good 🙂

Full photo album of the trip to come!

Last Words

Haha, cute.


The Time of Our Lives

A(nother) toast to senior spring:

The Time of Our Lives, Miley Cyrus

(I’m not the biggest fan of her, but this song is great 🙂 )

We’ll have the time of our lives
‘Til the lights burn out
Let’s laugh until we cry
Life is only what you make it now

Sixth Sense, Anyone?

Omg, this guy is a genius. He’s an MIT PhD candidate, and has invented a technology called SixthSense, which serves the purpose of linking the digital and physical worlds. He’s managed to create portable devices that you can wear on your fingertips, which then allow you to map and gather all kinds of digital information from physical objects, like flight information from your paper boarding pass, or reviews on a book that you’re holding in your hand, or even movies and websites on pieces of paper.

This guy is God. Check out his website, and watch the following videos!! Do it now!! Thanks for the link, Erica!

Hardware 101

My accomplishment of the day. Isn’t it pretty?

DSC_0004

I am totally illiterate when it comes to all things related to hardware stores, so making this made me really happy. Also, Dickson Bros. in Harvard Square is awesome. Dad will be so proud to know that home improvement is my new favorite thing :).

Throwback

I had the fortune today of running into lots of things/people from a long time ago…

I saw a former high school history teacher at the local library. I stopped completely dead in my tracks – he was last person I expected to see there. It actually took him a little bit to register who the person staring at him strangely was haha. It was nice to chat and catch up, even if only for a brief moment.

I also, by chance, ended up taking my sister to her 4th grade orientation (last minute, since none of my parents had gotten home at the time yet) to meet her teacher(s) and tour the school. It’s actually the same school that I did 5th and 6th grades in – since then, the grade divisions in the buildings have been changed, but it’s still the same Dodge Intermediate School in the Twinsburg School District. It was crazy weird to see everything again, especially since I never imagined stepping foot into that building ever again. The main things were all mostly the same. Anna’s classroom is on the second floor, which was where all my classrooms were when I attended. One of her joint classrooms is actually one that I spent 6th grade in. Walking through the rooms, I could totally still picture how they were when I was there, and different snippets of moments from those years….weird.

The best part was this: it actually took me a while to register, but as I was walking around, I noticed these quilts hanging from one of walls facing one of the stairwells, and it looked completely familiar. When I got closer, I realized it was a book quilt project that my class did in 5th grade with our two teachers, Mr. Brownfield and Mrs. Church. For the project, we were all asked to make a square of the quilt based on a book that we really liked. After staring for a bit, I found my name, among with my classmates’, sewn into the blue border of the quilt – Jing Jing Wen :P. And I also found my square of the quilt; it was in the bottom left hand corner, and it was dedicated to the book “Frindle” which I remember loving when I read it. (The story is about a boy who invents a new word for the word “pen” – frindle, obviously. And the story follows him as he starts to make the word known all over his classroom and school and his town, eventually to be found in the dictionary many years later.)

I actually remember panicking about making this quilt square, because I thought it would look really lame and not creative. The picture on the square was of a boy, the main character, and my mom, in an effort to ease my worries, actually helped me stuff his shirt to make it look puffy and “cool” and like a real quilt haha. Wow.

It was such a pleasant surprise to find that quilt on the wall. I can’t believe it’s still there. It’s completely dusty haha, but can you imagine? That was 10 years ago: 1998-1999. Insane.

It feels really nice, actually, coming back to a place after a long time, even if just to see how things are and how they’ve changed.

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