Not the same old “fishy” town

I remember years ago, I used to hate Chinatown, NYC because it was crowded and smelled like fish. I don’t think that has changed much, but it has definitely increased in modernity and improved in cleanliness. You can now see new restaurants popping up, including those of different cuisines such as Bassanova, a famous ramen chain from Japan, and Aux Epices, an intimate fusion Malaysian and French restaurant.  Despite the rise in new eateries, I actually began discovering incredible and old hole-in-the-walls that have every reason to be as famous as they are. Two classics in this cultural neighborhood?

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The Kam Hing Coffee Shop has some serious die-hard sponge cakes to be tried! Apparently I had it more than 10 years ago according to my mom but where have I been these last 10 years?!?  Their $1 sponge cakes are small but melt in your mouth after every bite. They’re incredibly fresh and soft to eat, even after buying a couple extra for your snack or breakfast.  They now have flavored sponge cakes, including green tea, cinnamon chocolate, chocolate chip, and strawberry. I still think the original is the best, but nothing beats trying out flavorful sponge cakes that no one else makes!

image(Photo: Falkowtz, Max.  Sugar Rush)

Then there’s the old Mei Li Wah Bakery right on Bayard Street, the street famous for Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and  Great NY Noodle Town.  If you’re a fan of roast pork buns, this is the place to go!  Although fatty in many ways, it is flavorful with an abundant amount of meat inside a sweet and freshly baked bun. They also have a plain sweet bun that is also less than $1 and completely satisfying. When you go inside, it’s almost like you went back in time with the elder servers and the classic seating and walls!  The best part is, you can buy an entire box for less than $15 and enjoy a feast with your buddies. 🙂

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Elena Shumilova is a Russian photographer who took some of the most incredible photographs I have ever seen. For her, capturing photos of her children and the animals on the farm she runs is something she does everyday so she doesn’t miss any moments. As I looked through these photos and read about its purpose, with cameras on even our phones nowadays, we don’t need any excuses on missing out any second in our lives! Though the quality of the images may not be as stunning as these, the captured moments will be just as beautiful and cherished! I just HAD to share her talent and food for thought.

To see more of her photos, go on to Bored Panda. Get ready to drop those jaws 🙂

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Click!

This past weekend, I attended an open house at the 92nd Street YMCA. I have always heard wonderful things about the place from a colleague, but it was beyond what I expected. They offered free classes from photography, watercolor, oil painting, and jewelry-design to hula dancing for 2 hours, so I took the 2 hour photography session and brought my husband’s SLR camera.  If I could, I would have stayed from opening to closing…

A special thanks to Jim Beecher. He made it extremely clear what all the camera functions do and provided many scenarios of when you would use those functions! His website also includes everything you need to know from knowing how to use fill flash to using the focal lens for different purposes. I couldn’t wait to try everything I learned, so I took a walk to Central Park!

My first attempt was at the Reservoir – I played with the exposure compensation in these first 3 pictures.

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How many ways can I draw … “ME”?

In the school that I work at, a monthly requirement (a rather fun one) is to have students create a self-portrait. I wondered how many ways a child can make a picture of him or herself without getting tired or bored and the more I thought about it, the more exciting it became. To see the growth of each student’s piece is jaw-dropping especially in a span of 9 months. There are some materials and methods of work that I love re-using every year, but every group of kids is different. This year, I took several “AH-HA!” moments and embedded them into each portrait session.  I also challenged myself in using materials that I rarely ever used before. Turns out that with specific instructions, felt is not hard to cut at all!  … Here are 3 portraits from one of my students.

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(Top left): “Me With My Winter Gear” – pencil, Sharpie, crayons, multicultural crayons, felt, white chalk
(Top right): “Simple Portrait” – crayons, thick Sharpie
(Bottom): “Me In Action! – color pencils, thick Sharpie

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Nom nom from mornin’ to noon

A couple years ago, my best friend and I decided to try something called “brunch.” At that time, I don’t think it was as popular as it is nowadays but since that afternoon that we went to Sarabeth’s in Central Park South, I became hooked and started creating my own brunch menus at home. Yelping restaurants that serve brunch also became a daily ritual. Who knew that my love for this meal would now spread to my lovely husband?One of my favorite dishes is indeed the classic Eggs Benedict. Since my husband and I started trying out more brunch places, he felt inspired to make it himself. WIth the right amount of smoothness to the hollandaise and crispiness for the English muffin, it came out perfectly! 

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Want to give it a try? Here’s a great recipe from Gordon Ramsay, one of my favorite chefs in the business. 

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