Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What are New Yorkers lining up for this time? [Sort of Montreal-style bagels at Black Seed Bagels]

Something novel is always happening in New York. Whether it is a hot new restaurant, The Cronut™ or a pop-up cat café (http://www.purinaone.com/cats/28-day-challenge/nyc-cat-café), New Yorkers seem to be always lining up for something.

What are Manhattanites with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) lining up for this time around?
If you were in Nolita these couple of weeks, you might have noticed a queue forming outside a new bagel shop on Elizabeth street called Black Seed Bagels (http://www.blackseedbagels.com/). Everyone is trying to get his or her mouth around a doughy treat with a hole in the middle that is NOT The Cronut™.

Monday, April 28, 2014

nykeiko almost eats: Onomea serves Hawaiian Ahi Poke in Williamsburg

Onomea in Williamsburg

We were strolling down Havenmeyer St. heading to our dinner destination when we walked by Onomea. We have read about this joint which opened back in August in Williamsburg. They serve authentic Hawaiian dishes such as ahi tuna poke and Spam musubi. Those who have been to Hawaii before know what a big deal this is. They also serve other traditional Hawaiian dishes such as Kalua pig, Loco-Moco, Teri-Burger as well as freshly brewed 100% Kona coffee.

Ever since coming back from our honeymoon in Hawaii,we have been craving poke (as well as the beaches, the warmth, the hikes, the people...). In Hawaii, we consumed a ton of poke whenever we found it. We were even a little worried about mercury poisoning at one point. We got pretty sick of it by the end of our trip but knew that if we didn't have it then, we would not be able to have it again back on the mainland. Well, who knew (but not surprised) that Williamsburg would be the place to serve up this Hawaiian delicacy.

I wish this post was about how great the poke was and this and that; but as we sat down, the waiter delivered the bad news to us and told us that there was no fresh ahi tuna that day thus, no poke. Since we didn't plan on dining there in the first place and the promise of poke was what got us through the door, we sadly left. Well, we will return for the poke some day but I just wanted to let you guys know that this place exists. Maybe call ahead to check if they got a fresh delivery of ahi tuna if poke is what you are craving :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

nykeiko shops: MiH Sample Sale [April 2014 NYC Sample Sale]

I checked out the MiH sample sale yesterday. Here's my review for Racked. At last year sale, I went home with a chambray shirt, a sheer top and a pair of dark indigo jeans. This time around, I behaved and did not buy a single thing. I also could not find any jeans in my size. I fit in size 28 in MiH jeans. Their jeans fit small (I usually wear 27) and lately, I have been having trouble fitting into my owns jeans so with most of the jeans being size 26, I was out of luck. Or should I say, lucky for my wallet to stay plump!

My #TBT = #ThrowbackTravels #5: Our trip to Torres Del Paine on the REI pamphlet!

This TBT isn't too far back. We went to Chile (see post here) back in 2012 and it was our first backpacking trip ever together. We reminisce about this trip all the time and often look back at the thousands of pictures we took. When we saw one of our favorite picture from the trip all over the most recent REI mail newsletter, we squealed! Ok, I squealed- Dave played it cool but I know he was excited too. We shop at REI all the time for all our travel/hiking needs! I already spent my dividend wisely. Dave and I both borrowed a backpack when we traveled to South America not knowing if we should invest in a backpack at the time since we didn't know if we would love or hate backpacking. But, we both caught the bug and decided to splurge on our own backpacks and now possibility of amazing future hiking trips are floating around in my mind...Alaska, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Austria, South of France...all of the planet's most beautiful places.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Vixen Workout- Twerking off some pounds with your lipstick on!

Photo courtesy of Vixen Workout

Are you deeply allergic to the gym like I am? Do you yawn while lifting dumbbells? I have never been able to commit myself to a gym for longer than a year and that was only because I was locked in with a contract with New York Sports Clubs. If it wasn't for that and access to a swimming pool, I would have quit a lot sooner. I simply hate the gym but love being active. I used to be part of two dance troupes back in the days and that was my sole source of physical activity. It kept me in shape and I never once dreaded going to class. That's what I've been seeking here in New York. You would think that with the immense dance culture in New York, I would have joined a dance class already, but truth be told, most classes are way too pricy for me. $20-40 per class seems like the going rate and that's way too much especially if I want to do it often. So, I haven't committed to anything thus far. Well, there was this pole dancing class I was ready to twirl into but they decided to move, close down and take my money with them. That's another story. But I knew then that finding the right teacher and class dynamic was important for me to commit.

When the opportunity came up to try The Vixen Workout with Racked Fit Club, I was intrigued. It was the first time I have heard of this dance fitness class and when I looked it up, I discovered that there is already a huge following of #VixenArmy girls. The craze which started in Miami has now reached New York. This female-only fitness class lets women from all backgrounds-mother, student, wife, CEO- let loose and dance their asses off for 60 minutes to high intensity dance music. I was psyched to try it out for myself.

I must admit that the first ten minute was difficult and a shot of whiskey could have helped loosen me up. But when the instructor reminded us that we're all there for the same reasons-working out and having fun- and that no one is there to judge, I just let it go (cue Frozen song). It also helped that the other women including a pregnant lady, were really into it.

Half way through the class, I was drenched in sweat but couldn't stop smiling. I loved every second of it. I was shaking my gluts like they have never been shaken before. When Beyoncé's songs came on and we got to really dance to the music, I was on a high. I missed dancing so much. It wasn't until after class that I learned that most of the people’s favorite part of The Vixen Workout was feeling like one of Beyoncé's back-up dancers. That was the best part for me too. Sure I didn't quite get the moves right or flip my hair the sexy way I wanted to-most of it stuck to my sweaty face- but I'm going back because it was fun and that's all that matters! Oh and burning between 500 (for beginners) up 1000 calories if you get all the moves down, isn't too shabby.

I recommend you give it a try especially if you have caught yourself saying that you go to nightclubs to dance as a form of calorie-burning “exercise”. Oh and letting your hair down, dabbing your fave red lipstick and wedge sneakers while working out is highly recommended.
After twerkout selfie with the Racked team- The semi-Hunger pose!

I'm a fan. Sweat fest guaranteed.
Great class! Pic courtesy of @Desi_Couth from Vixen Workout.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Goodbye Brooklyn, hello Manhattan!

We love rolling around on that rug...
First day in the apartment! I took the day off to continue unpacking and making the apartment more livable. There is still a lot to put away. I end up moving a lot of crap into the guest room and it might stay there for a while. I'm so exhausted! I also had a consultation with California Closet today. We will be adding lots of shelves and drawers in the closet for better organization of our shizz. When we were trying to figure out how many shelves should be dedicated for my shoes, the consultant said I actually don't have that many pairs of shoes at all. I wish Dave was there to hear that. This will be the only work we're doing in the apartment so far. Next phase would be the kitchen but for now...we're just looking to buy new lamps (the one in the picture is borrowed), new coffee table, side table, armchair and a TV. We never owned a TV before and need something to entertain our guests.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I've been MIA because....

Farewell Brooklyn. Hello Manhattan!

This is now our old apartment. We will miss you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Little treats + all my stuff [feature: Garance Dore x Paper Rifle Co.]

Um... I like pretty things and here are the latest of the pretty things I have accumulated ... to my husband's dismay. We're moving and he's complaining about all the stuff we have to move. I totally understand, I wish I could just snap my fingers and everything is transported to the new home. I just sold my giant Ikea Pax closet which stored only MY things. I got to admit that I have unearthed things I have forgotten about or not worn for years. Sometimes the guilt creeps in but then I look at the object, tilt my head and cherish it again. That's the type of stuff you want to keep right? But I agree that sometimes I do find things where I am like "Why the fuck did I get this?" and those are the things I will discard. Let me tell you this, the salvation army is going to loooove my stuff!

Anyway, here are the items I picked up at the Garance Dore Open Studio event I attended a couple of weeks ago. Big and small notebooks and a variety of cards. Oh, and everything is on our newly acquired sheepskin rug (it's at the cleaner's now) which I think I'll be using as my background a lot more for pretty picture taking. Love it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

nykeiko shops:Architectural heels at the Nicholas Kirkwood sample sample [April 2014 NYC Sample Sale ]

If you want to make your closet look like a shoe museum, start by shopping Nicholas Kirkwood shoes...See my review for Racked here. Even though prices start at $100, most shoes were between $300-$400 which is out of my price range so I just marveled at them and did not break the bank :)

nykeiko travel: #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #4: Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin, China 2007

This rock formation is called the "Elephant Trunk Hill" because well...

I visited Guilin with my middle sister and mother back in 2007 and it was so much fun. Good time, good times...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In pictures: CitizenM-Where to sleep in the city that never sleeps...[New York Times Square]

CitizenM room 1414

Welcome to CitizenM 

CitizenM is a Dutch-based hotel chain line that has kicked off in Amsterdam-with great success- and has since opened two more locations in Glasgow and London. Where is the location of their latest venture for helping people get a good night's sleep? Ironically, in the city that never sleeps- New York city! CitizenM NYC is right by Times Square where it really never sleeps...well, except maybe for Earth Hour when Times Square shut off its lights for an hour, yet still attracting a mass to see it turn off :)

When Eva extended her invite to a blogger sleepover party to help celebrate the launch of the new CitizenM hotel in Times Square, I was beyond ecstatic but still trying to keep it cool sorta... How original and exciting! All breeds of bloggers from New York city would be taking over the brand new hotel for one night. To keep everyone merry, there was an open kitchen and cocktail bar along; and live music performances and entertainment (live portrait drawings) throughout the evening. I could have pretended that I am a heir of a hotel owner and do pretty much whatever I wanted (except break stuff)! The goal was to do a soft opening and prep the hotel for its official opening on April 10th. The staff worked really hard to make sure everything ran smoothly and were friendly even at two in the morning.

Monday, April 7, 2014

nykeiko play: CitizenM blogger/slumber party-Portraits by Mike Perry and ChrisRWK

Portraits by ChrisRWK
We had the awesome pleasure of meeting and having our portraits drawn by Chris of RobotsWillKill and Mike Perry during a blogger/slumber party (more on that later! Click here) at the new CitizenM in Times Square!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My #TBT =#ThrowbackTravels #3: Dynamic Yunnan show in Kunming 2009 [Peacock dance]

The peacock dance is one of the most famous traditional folklore dance of the Dai minority in China.

Peacock dance
The picture above is one I took during a show I caught with my parents during a trip to Kunming back in 2010. Dancer and choreographer Yang Li Ping, is world famous for her interpretation of the peacock dance which she has perfected at the early start of her career to make it her own. Yang Li Ping herself directed and choreographed the entire show where she drew a lot of her inspiration from her country's ethnic tribes, nature and wildlife. A year before that, we caught the same show while it was touring and made a stop in Taiwan. I feel very lucky to have seen this amazing show twice. I felt even more lucky to have seen Yang Li Ping herself during the tour while the show in Kunming featured her very talented apprentice. Although her apprentice was amazing, most people agree that Yang Li Ping's talent is uncomparable. Dynamic Yunnan is absolutely amazing and mesmerizing. Few dances could leave me speechless like this show did.

This particular dance, Moon-Solo Dance, left me utterly speechless. You can watch it on Youtube but if you could see it in person, you would definitely get goosebumps from the raw talent exuded by Yang Li Ping.

Dynamic Yunnan-Country of Daughters
This dance is called "Country of Daughters" which I had the chance to dance our own interpretation of it when I was part of a Chinese dance troupe back in Montreal. It was intense and emotional. I loved every second of dancing it.

Pictures taken by me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

nykeiko eats: Dunch (that's lunch/dinner)-Ethiopian gourmet at Zoma [Harlem eats]

When Dave said he would take me to try Ethiopian food, I did not know what to expect. It was not until the platter was served that I realized that the meal was going to be consumed entirely with my hands. It should have been a big hint when I noticed there was no cutlery on the tables. Doy! I went back to the bathroom to wash my hands extra clean just to make sure I don't ingest dirt accumulated from the day.

It was weird for me for the first 10 minutes as I kept thinking about picking up a fork or spoon that was not there before every bite. I had to constantly fight my brain off and think it was perfectly okay to eat with my hands and that my mom will not suddenly appear out of nowhere and slap my hands for eating with them. Next time though, I'll make sure I cut my nails short because the sauces stuck underneath my nails pretty good.

We tried Zoma in Harlem which has many good reviews. We got two meat platters (beef and the lamb) which came with two veggie side dishes of our choice. It was pretty decent and spicy!

Dave has tried ethiopian food several times before and kept telling me about his indian coworkers who "hand-feed" every day. He says that they also sometimes use their entire hand to scoop up food. The whole time he's talking, I had this elf in my mind:

Thanks for stopping by! xx