Post-Blizzard in Chinatown, NYC

A picture can tell a thousand words… So here’s a bunch 🙂 Since the storm photos I took before were shot in Chinatown, here’s what the area looked like after the storm.  

(Columbus Park – House Sparrows) 

(Bayard Street) 

(Bayard Street)

(Mosco Street) 

(Mott Street) 

(Bayard Street) 

Also figured it would be fun to walk across the Manhattan Bridge.  We only made it a quarter of the way, but the view was worth the hike in the deep, unplowed snow from the start!

(East Broadway)

(Graffiti next to the train tracks)

(Monroe Street)

(East Broadway)

Lastly, this was one of my favorite shots. A man was driving a sports car and got completely stuck in the unplowed snow on Mott Street.  Tons of people started standing around to watch as he gassed really hard and only resulted in flying snow. The rear of the car started shifting left and right while he helplessly kept trying.  After a few minutes, different people walked over and started pushing the back of his car, directing the driver and working with each other. After about 10 minutes of constant shifting and pushing, he was finally able to drive away.  I loved the teamwork between complete strangers!  You go, New Yorkers 🙂

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Blizzard Jonas in Chinatown, NYC

While it was heavily advised to stay indoors, I did cozy up in my apartment for the most part but couldn’t help but step out to Chinatown for a bit to capture some photos of Blizzard Jonas. I’m glad I did because it looks like I wasn’t the only one … there were quite some people and friends out there having fun! 

Grabbed my DSLR and out I went with my snowboard pants, hat, gloves, ski jacket, HeatTech, and snowboots!

(Transfiguration Church – Mott Street) 

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To my surprise as someone who had missed that blizzard of ‘96, parks weren’t necessary for fun in this snow. The streets were wide open!  

Here’s a really awesome local resident I met snowboarding down Mosco Street … 

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Pell Street was a playground in itself for snowman building, fort making, and snow angels! 

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A huge kudos to all those who had to come out during and after the storm to shovel

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Check back here for photos of the day after the blizzard.  Stay warm, be safe, and as Ellen always says …. be kind to one another. =)  Thanks for reading!

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A New Park Over in Sydney

After over 10 years of not seeing my cousin Anita since I visited Hong Kong long ago, I finally reunited with her this past summer when I visited Sydney, Australia. I had such a blast introducing one of my best friends to her, playing with her two sons, and getting to know her after all these lost years.  I was really inspired when I found out that she had started her own company long ago making these gorgeous handmade purses, bags, hair clips, and all that you might find on sites such as Etsy.  She’s quite the talent!  But even more inspiring was learning about her behind the scenes as a landscape architect. 

Recently, she finished designing a new park in Lane Cove, Sydney, AU. It’s not just a simple playground for kids. It’s one intended to be interactive, entertaining, and educational. It includes a braille trail for wheelchair or vision impaired visitors to interact, giving everyone an experience similar to that of a “treasure hunt.”  You can read more about it in this news article from The North Shore Times.  Really wish I can be there to experience the park, especially as my second graders and I have been studying New York City parks since September!  

Thanks to Anita, I’m able to share some of these fun photos with you that she took on her visit with her kids! If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and have some fun!

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A huge congratulations to you, Anita!  I’m celebrating overseas for you 🙂 

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6 Habits You Need To Ditch In The New Year

6 Habits You Need To Ditch In The New Year

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It’s nice when one of your favorite people in the world gets an award they truly deserve. Ellen’s huge heart and a intentional desire to help everyone spread kindness is inspiring and hopeful… Much of the news nowadays isn’t exactly heartfelt nor are the celebrity gossip, so when you see a celebrity using their fame for goodness, you can only stop and smile, and try to implement that same kindness to your own life. There aren’t too many celebrities I look up to, so I am darn proud that she was the one to win this well-deserved humanitarian award. (If only you can see the big smile on my face!!)  Congratulations, Ellen!

As Ellen says.. be kind to one another! And as always, thanks for reading ; )

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More Than Just a New Year Resolution

First of all, I just want to say Happy New Year to all of you!  2015 really was an adventurous year that I am eternally grateful for. Without the support of my friends and family, I couldn’t have gone through my second year of blogging nor have ventured on all these trips and adventures.  Major things got checked off my bucket list, such as hugging a koala in Australia, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland, and learning how to sew! Then there were wonderful events such as one of my best friends getting engaged, having extended family time in Hong Kong, visiting my brother in San Francisco, re-painting my small but cozy apartment, and celebrating my father’s retirement. There were some downfalls that I never quite shared with anyone, but nonetheless I feel incredibly blessed!

This year, 2016… comes a whole new journey. I have lots of goals – both big and small, personal and professional – that I want to go after. If you’re also trying to find ways to be achieve your goals, let’s do it together!  

(Ideas inspired by Maria Sharapova’s article “New Year, New Goals”) 

MAKE EATING & FITNESS FUN.  We spend a lot of time listening to ourselves and others talk about diets.  I cringe when I hear the word because I find it to be a difficult thing for most people to go through. YES, even the skinny ones go through their own health concerns and have certain “diets” to adhere. Diets don’t work if you’re not consistent and balanced. I think a better term to use is “lifestyle eating.”  So this year, I want to do more exercising and eating what I enjoy but in small portions, especially those sweets!

WRITE IT DOWN.  If I’m sitting in a meeting or class without a notebook, chances are I will forget some of what I just heard. So I’m bringing my notebook everywhere with me.  Taking notes helps you remember, but using the notebook to also track yourself in fitness, eating, ideas, etc. will remind you of how far you’ve come from the beginning and formulate your thinking.  You’ll physically see your progress too.

EMBRACE THE TOUGH DAYS. On some days, there are things I’m not too fond of. Bad hair day, students not listening, a failed creative project, favorite sweater getting ruined. No one is perfect. So keep this in mind – if we’ve done our best and we got the job done, then that’s the important thing. Work harder the next time and keep going until you’ve maximized your potential. Things can only get better from there. Or another solution?  Sleep it off and await the next day. You’ll be surprised what a difference one day can make! Sometimes, rest is the key to a better you!

BE CURIOUS.  One of my best friends recently told me to ask her more questions about the hardship she’s going through because the more I ask (as uncomfortable it can be for fear of intrusion), the more it shows how much I care.  Sharapova said the same thing in her article: “The more interested I am in other people, the more interesting I become as a person.” I’ve always been a listener, but can be quiet in response.  So this year, I’m committed to asking more questions of my friends and family and really listen to their answers. Keep in mind though – there are some people who just rather not share anything or get offended by questions, so respectfully move on.

BOND WITH FAMILY.  I remember when describing what my future husband would be like, I always had “family-oriented” as the top 3 personality traits because that’s what I was and wanted my significant other to be. Family will always be first. This year with my husband, I want to help my parents and parent-in-laws really explore the culture of today’s generation and experience new foods, new places. If they don’t like it, we’ll try something else!  Hello, ramen burgers, Shakespeare in the Park, and Guggenheim Museum!

So what are your new year resolutions and goals? : ) 

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