North America

[Photo Journal] Springtime in NYC! A trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and High Line Park

Spring might be the best season in New York City, but it might also be the shortest. Spring in New York is all about taking advantage of the moment. New Yorkers joke that it lasts about 2 weeks before summer takes over, with the humidity and heat that comes with the harsher season.

But New Yorkers know that this time is precious, so it’s a happy time for all. We get to shed our winter layers, and enjoy some sunshine. Even when the sun isn’t shining, it’s still quite pleasant in the city. I went to see the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens cherry blossoms in bloom. I also ventured a bit along the High Line Park!

High Line Park in spring Standard Hotel

Spring at the High Line Park

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Day trips from NYC: Kaaterskill Falls hike

I have a confession to make. I don’t do many outdoorsy things in New York. Besides playing ultimate, I spend most of my leisure time doing things indoors. Sometimes I’ll go to the park, especially if it is with my niece, but for the most part I stay inside.

That means I haven’t even begun to do much hiking in my home state. But luckily, my sister’s friend drove us up to the Catskills a few weekends ago and we did a short hike to the tallest two tiered waterfall in the area. This is the Kaaterskill Falls hike!

Kaaterskill Falls upper tier

That’s my sister gazing up at the waterfall

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Pre-tryout nerves and how travel has made me feel (almost) invincible!

This weekend marks the start of the tryout season for club teams in my sport of ultimate. Commonly known as ultimate Frisbee (but for trademark reasons officially “ultimate”), this is a pretty intense sport that has dreams of someday being a part of the Olympics.

Featuring full field 7 on 7 gameplay, this is the sport I’ve played for nearly 16 years now. Time and experience doesn’t mean I’m spared from nerves and butterflies, but if I can travel the world solo, then I can do this!

At the top of Lion Rock Fortress in Sigiriya Sri Lanka

Me at the top of Lion Rock Fortress in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

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Inside the Meow Parlour cat cafe in New York City

Back in December, I wrote about going to the first official cat cafe in New York City as being one of the things on my to do list when I visited home. This past May, I finally made it there…for about half an hour.

I thought I would want to stay for hours. But I didn’t. The cats were beautiful and cute enough, but it just didn’t feel like the cat cafe that I’ve been waiting for. (And maybe this cat feels the same way). Continue Reading

A chandelier with rows of lights I'm...gonna swing...

A New Yorker’s bucket list for the holiday season in New York

New York is less smelly this time of year, and generally happier. You might still witness a cranky commuter or two (or a few million), but the overall atmosphere quietly shifts during the holiday season. Maybe it is the shopping high that everyone is on.

My toes tell me it’s cold, but my hair couldn’t be happier to escape the humidity of Singapore. I’m back in New York, and I have a few things I’m looking forward to this holiday season. Continue Reading

Feet in yellow shoes tiled floor Taking a look at myself

Women wear what they want to in Singapore, or How awesome it is that there is no catcalling in Singapore

Sure, you have heard that Singapore is a safe and clean city. Or that it’s the most expensive city in the world to live in. (This is mostly skewed by the price of cars, which are not essential, but that is another story.) But what you may not know is that women wear what they want to in Singapore. It’s remarkable, and simultaneously a sign of old stereotypes/gender roles and a sign of hope in the face of gender issues in Singapore. There are a few things that I really like and admire about Singapore, and this is one of them.

The recent video of a woman walking in New York City has gone viral because it shows just how much harassment a woman can receive just by walking around in NYC. I’m glad that they are drawing attention to this issue, because this is at the root of what I don’t like about NYC. Catcalling is nonexistent in Singapore, which one reason why I think women can have the freedom to dress as they wish.
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New food habits and food shopping in the city

When it comes to food, I’ve been shifting towards a whole-food, plant-based diet over the past 3 or 4 years. The first few changes were to stop forcing myself to eat mean (or animal protein) when I didn’t feel like it, and to start eating more different types of greens than the ones I grew up with. Now that I’m in New York City for a few months, I’m also really excited to try local products like Granola Lab. There are so many cool things coming out of New York, Brooklyn especially!

What I have trouble with is how to balance all of the possible adjectives: seasonal, local, sustainably harvested, whole, unprocessed, unrefined, fresh aka not frozen or canned, non-GMO (genetically modified organism, usually corn and other plant products), no preservatives, organic, raw, natural
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Aerial fabrics…harder than it looks!

Aerial fabrics, or aerial silks, is really hard! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it is tough. Last weekend, I took an intro class for aerial fabrics, or aerial silks, at Body and Pole in New York. Although I wish I were more flexible so that I could do real splits and things, I got a really great upper body workout, much of it being in the forearms. Continue Reading

The stage for Book of Mormon The stage is set for the Book of Mormon at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York

The Book of Mormon! Finally won the ticket lottery!

Last night I saw the Book of Mormon at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. I won the rush tickets for $32 each through the lottery that they hold 2 hours before the show. It was funny, lively, and an interesting look into Mormonism. The show pokes fun at the history of the religion and how it started, as well as their methods of door-to-door salesman-like recruitment of believers. My favorite number was “Turn It Off,” where the missionaries sing about ignoring any bad things that happen in life by turning off that part. They also touch upon some serious realities of civil unrest in Uganda and how women are targeted.
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[Photo Journal] A walk in the snow through parks in New York

On Sunday, I went on a walk with 2 good friends and their dog in Fort Tyron Park and Inwood Hill Park in New York. The weather was great, and it was so quiet!
Yesterday was my first day “back” in the routine of living and working in New York City. New York is my hometown, which decided to welcome me back from the tropics with snow and freezing temperatures. Awesome! Haha, but really, I’m glad to be back!

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