Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday thoughts....Keep it real, keep it fresh...


I want to try for as long as I can, to keep my blog as imperfect as possible. There are just too many blogs out there with overly curated content ... almost too perfect. Once a blogger becomes popular, the personal touch and realism is gone; making reading them a bore. I get bored. Why do all the top fashion bloggers glee over the same brands, own the same bags or talk about the same sponsored event? Sure I would love that for myself, getting freebies here and there but that's not the reason I like to read these blogs. It's certainly not the reason why I started blogging more than 10 years ago. I have to remind myself this and only because I do get caught up in the oohs and awes of sponsored posts but then I realize, wait, this is not why I like the blogger in the first place! The Everywhereist is prime example of someone who never ever accepts sponsorships and still runs a very successful blog for just being her funny witty self. Kudos for her and every blogger like her. Now, if only I can be just as funny and witty too so that no one can notice my crappy content.

Thankful for you to visit my blog as always!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#TBT=My #ThrowbackTravels #26: Great Wall of China, Beijing, China 2005

My first trip to China. Also the first and only time I've seen part of the Great Wall of China.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

nykeiko travels: A glimpse of Occupy Central seen on October 14 2014 [Hong Kong]

In Mongkok - Occupy Hong Kong
It has been exactly a month since Occupy Central began. When we decided to book a trip to Hong Kong with my parents, Occupy Central was non-existent. 

 It was right after we booked our flights and apartment in Wan Chai that the protests began churning and of course, it was too late to cancel anything (well, not without a fee). We weren't too worried about it and we were ready to back out if government issued some type of warning but that never happened. We just needed to stay away from the protest areas and everything should be fine (we had hoped). As days passed, there were waves of violence but closer to our date of departure, the number of protesters decreased and we were pretty assured that it was safe for us to travel to Hong Kong. Our only concern was, will these protests prevent us from eating yummy foods? (Nope!)

On the first day we arrived to Hong Kong, we needed to kill some time before dinner and while we were on the subway from Wan Chai to Central station,  I asked my parents if they wanted to take a peek at the protests at Admiralty subway station. That's where the root of the protests began right by the Central Government Complex. Dave assured them that the protests have died down and tourists were able to visit and at moment's notice, we hopped out of the subway train and on our way to visit the site. I reminded my parents...didn't we agree to stay away from these areas? Curiosity killed the cat. 

When we exited the station, we heard some ruckus yet it didn't stop us from moving forward. We were even more curious to see what was going on (common sense, out the window). Turns out, it was just anti-protester giving his piece of mind and a bunch of people swearing at him. It was all in cantonese. Despite it, the rest of the protest area was calm and quiet. It was a nice cool day in Hong Kong. It was actually cool the whole time we were there except on the last day contrary to the hot and humid weather we were expecting. Some people were napping, some were setting up their tents, a few were hanging out or reading and maybe studying (many of the protesters are students). There were electronic charging stations, first aid tents and a row of boxes full of donated supplies including food, water, blankets and some rubbish. What surprised me was the lack of authorities. We saw maybe a dozen policemen by the Government Complex but none inside the protest site. You know, to protect people in case shit goes down.

A woman was on a makeshift stage speaking about something which was broadcasted over loud speakers but we have no clue what she said. We applauded when everyone else did so we didn't look too out of place. Probably did not work since we were obviously tourists (My dad's big camera was a big clue.) There were many visitors on the site and signs saying "pictures are welcome but no faces to protect the students" were posted.

So here are some of the pictures we took in Central and Mong Kok (two out of six protest sites) on the same day. It was all very interesting to see. I didn't even check out Occupy Wall street in New York when it happened and here I was gallivanting Occupy Central while it's hot. That week, at night, there were some clashes with the police but we were far away and safe.

More pictures after jump...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

nykeiko eats: Aziz Ansari told us to eat here...[Kam Wah Cafe, Hong Kong]

We watched Esquire Network's The Getaway which is about celebrities visiting one of their favorite cities in the world and talking about things they like to do, drink, eat, shop and more in that city. You should watch it, it's a pretty good show. It is produced by Anthony Bourdain and all. Anyway, I have never heard of this show until last month. As we were anticipating Aziz's show at Madison Square Garden (on Sept 9th), I started looking up Aziz's materials on the internet and stumbled upon his Getaway episode where he was visiting Hong Kong! What a coincidence because we were planning to go there as well!

In the show, Aziz was visiting Hong Kong for the first time so he needed some guidance from local know-it-alls but he saw plenty. I watched the show intently and took mental notes of things he ate and places he went. One of these places was Kam Wah Cafe for Buo Luo Buns (pineapple buns). Aziz and that Canadian blogger who joined him (from That Food Cray) didn't lead us astray. Those buns were so yummy as they were freshly made and served warm. Crunchy on top and fluffly on the inside, they are actually not made with pineapple, just the top looks like one. We had just eaten dinner and were pretty full so we only managed to stuff two buns down. There was also a one drink minimum per person so we all ordered a cup of milk tea (steep price at 16 hkd). The buns were only something like 6-7 hkd. Dave and I kind of still think about these buns and wish we had more. We tried buns from another cafe but it just wasn't the same.

Mmm...If we ever go back to Hong Kong, I'll make sure to stop by and maybe try it with butter!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Just me and dad...[Taiwan]

Cherishing every moment I get with my parents...even the painful ones like walking barefoot over some smooth but spiky rocks (and getting a wedgie from being too chubby to fit into my shorts).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

nykeiko shops: Black or White. How about both? [Taiwan]

Each piece cost about $13 USD! 

I have been shopping in countless stores here in Taiwan. I have picked up several items that caught my eye and from the looks of it, I am currently into bold patterns in black and white. With a price tag between 350-390 nt (that's about $12-$13 USD) on most of these tops/dresses,  it's a no-brainer and all I have to think about is how I will style them. Most of these night market stores have a no try-on policy (on tops and dresses only) so all I can do is hold the piece up to my chest, stare at myself in the mirror and see whether I like it or not, or if it might be too small on me. All the items in the picture above have no size and so it's a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Tricky but most of the time, it works out for me.

I already wore two of the dresses (one dress became a top because it was way too short on me) in Hong Kong and tonight, I wore this top (below) which is a bit oversized but I absolutely love the pattern. I already know that it's going to be one of my favorite pieces to pair with dark skinny jeans for a casual day or night out.

I have about a week left of shopping and I'm going to try to add some color in the mix and more warm weather clothing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

nykeiko travels: A century old journey in Hong Kong

From New York to Hong Kong, from one bustling city to another, I finally crossed Hong Kong off my travel bucket list.

During our four days stay in this eclectic city, we were pretty productive and feel like I could recommend some things to do and eat (oh my god, the food!) but one thing that made it to the top of the list is a ride on Hong Kong’s tramways. They are over a century old (just turned 110 years old this year) and pretty unique in the world. They are fully operated by electricity and run exclusively with double-decker trams making them a really fun and unique ride.  Oh, and the fare is darn cheap too (30 cents USD!) What was meant to be a 5-stop ride to our destination, turned out to be a full-hour ride from east to west and back to Central.

Riding on these trams is almost like time travel as you are riding the same routes taken by the trams back in the early 1900s.

Of course, everything around it has changed so it’s just incredible that with all the new mode of transportations available, the tramways are still heavily utilized.

Here’s a video (thanks to Instagram’s Hyperlapse app) I took of my journeys on the Tram:

Thanks for stopping by xx

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hello from Hong Kong!

There is a lack of posts on my part because I'm traveling! I was in Taiwan for a few days and currently in Hong Kong with my parents for 4 days! This is one of the first trips my parents have taken out of the country without a tour so it is our job (with a lot of David's effort and all the suggestions we have received) to make this trip worthwhile for them.

I've eaten like a hundred meals already since I've arrived and my tummy has incited questions about a possible pregnancy. That's not a good sign.

Here are some of the pictures I already shared on Instagram. 

Hopefully I will be able to write a post about Hong Kong (after finishing my posts about Iceland?!)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

#TBT=My #ThrowbackTravels #24: Pudong, Shanghai

Putong, Shanghai

I have nice memories of Shanghai. Like this beer bottle opener looking building (Shanghai World Financial center) and oh yes, how my friend and I sneaked into the Grand Hyatt's pool in our underwear before concierge kicked us out. That's in the building (Jin Mao) on the left.

Inside the Grand Hyatt in Shanghai

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

nykeiko shops: Elizabeth and James sample sale [October 2014 NYC sample sale]

Sample dress at the Elizabeth and James sample sale
I checked out the Elizabeth and James sample sale last night. Here's my review on Racked.
I came out empty-handed mostly due to many factors. I was too tired and lazy to try clothes on, the prices weren't spectacular and I was in a rush to go downtown to purchase a gift for my dad.

Monday, October 6, 2014

nykeiko eats: Japanese comfort food at Kissaten Jin [Harlem]

Kissaten Jin
Ramen, ramen, ramen, I love ramen. I was craving for some ramen the other night (I crave ramen a lot) and Jin Ramen seemed to be the only ramen in our neighborhood in Harlem. Of course, it wasn't close by but since it was early in the day, we took a nice long stroll to 125th and Broadway which was about 30-minute walk away. It was a beautiful evening after it had rained all day and we enjoyed strolling hand-in-hand through Striver's Row, St-Nicholas Park, City College of New York and discussing Harlem's potential and how great that we live here.

When we got to Jin Ramen, an unexpected line had already formed outside. It was still early in the evening we thought but hey, if you're close to Colombia University and the only ramen joint around, you're going to get a lot of business. To our delight, Kissaten Jin which is next door, had a shorter wait and a menu that excited me more. What caught my eye on the menu? The Sake Ikura don. Sake and Ikura are possibly my two favorite japanese word. I love salmon and salmon roe and on rice? Perfect! If I moved to Japan, I think I'd eat dons all the time! What a great comfort food.

I ordered one $12 Donburin set (which includes a miso soup and salad) and extra salmon for $8 so Dave can enjoy it too. He ordered a Ikura Oroshi Soba with extra side of beef. Dave initially wanted to try the Obanzai set which sounded great but was deterred when there was limit on protein dishes. He wanted all the protein dishes. Maybe next time we will try other dishes but now I know where I can go to tame my salmon cravings.

The menu...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Souvenirs from Iceland...Not what you're expecting

I will be featuring a couple of things I brought back from Iceland...

I got two bottles of Nutella. Not what you're expecting right? I have been obsessed with trying European Nutella. Apparently it tastes better! The only difference I can see in the ingredient is vegetable oil being used instead of palm oil. I don't have any American one to have a taste off but I like what I taste so far.  I actually have not bought a bottle of Nutella for a really long time.

I know, Iceland is probably not the best place to purchase this but this was the first time we ever set foot in Europe. It was less than $5 for a 400 g jar at a local grocery store (Bonus). Now that I think about it, I could probably find a grocery store in New York city that imports these? But with two stores dedicated to serving Nutella, it's probably a rare find.

Totally enjoying it, so totally worth it for me.