Thursday, March 26, 2015

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #41: Old Town of Lijiang, Gusheng, Yunnan, China

View from the top: Old Town of Lijiang, Yunnan

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

nykeiko wears: New stacking bling rings

My mom bought herself and all of her daughters a demi pavé diamond ring duo. One in rose gold and another in white gold. Here is my rose gold one stacked with my wedding band (which is also rose gold) and the stack of rings I have worn every day of my life since my collegiate days (usually on my right hand though but I've been mixing it up since I got my wedding band). I bought the rings from a local shop in Montreal and the jewelry brand was called The Right Hand Gal. This is over a decade ago and I'm not sure if they are still in business due to the empty content on their website. The ring  (from Noi NY) on my middle finger is part of a stackable trio too but it was too difficult to wear all three with my engagement ring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

nykeiko travels and shops in Taiwan : Zhong Shan district in Taipei

Me with the Carly Sweetie purse from Jump From Paper

After lunch and running errands with my mom and pop, I had about four hours to kill before meeting up with a friend for dinner. So, on a whim, I decided that I would go to Taipei Sogo shopping area but then got sidetracked when I remembered about the underground mall right below the Museum of Contemporary Arts. I remember there was a dozen galleries and shops featuring local artists but sadly, all the shops were shuttered. Bummed, I resurfaced outside and walked from Shuangliang station back to ZhongShan station and visited all the shops in between. I love all the shops, cafes and clothing stores in the area. One of the shops I visited was called Mogu which featured the cutest little craft pieces.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

nykeiko eats: Blessed Captain (Ci Fu boat captain) at Zhu Wei Fishing Port [Taiwan]

And so the eating begins... It's my second day in Taiwan and I'm doing pretty good with my jetlag although I feel terribly shitty right now. Too sleepy to shower. I arrived yesterday morning and it seemed like I already ate a lot but could have been more if it wasn't for my jetlag. I did pass out around 5 p.m. and woke up around 2 a.m. to eat something. I then went back to bed around 4 a.m. and woke up 4 hours later. That's not too bad I guess. Now it's 8 p.m. and I really want to sleep but I think I can hold up for a couple of hours still...

For lunch today, we went to 竹圍海港 (Zhu Wei Fishing Port) to eat some fresh seafood and end up going to a restaurant called Blessed Captain (賜福船長) recommended by strangers we met while giving them road directions.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

nykeiko plays: More painting at the Painting Lounge [NYC]

Part deux of our painting experience. Our first painting lounge experience was a Magritte. This Koi pond with cherry blossom one was a fun one to do. We didn't bring booze this time so the quality of the painting was slightly better so I would like to think.

Friday, March 20, 2015

nykeiko plays: Meeting David Burnett. Co-founder of Contact Press Images

Picture of Bob Marley taken by David Burnett
Earlier this week at work, we had the honor of being photographed by freelance photographer David Burnett. David has captured the news, thousands of people, historical events on film for over 40 decades and has won numerous awards for his work. He co-founded Contact Press Images which has recruited other famous photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and Sebastiao Selgado (I've talked about Sebastiao here). David Burnett's Twitter states he is a "freelancer through 10 presidents". He has indeed photographed every president from John F. Kennedy to Richard Nixon to current president, Barack Obama. When our boss told us that we were going to have a photoshoot session with him, I glanced through his resume and was in awe. I got to shake hands with this guy who has witnessed so many important historical events all around the world and has beautiful pictures to prove it! This photo, he took moments after Associated Press photographer Nick Ut captured the iconic image of the 'Napalm girl' picture in Vietnam.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

nykeiko plays: Hold On To Your Butts [The Pit NYC- Peoples Improv Theater]

Dave planned a date night for us this past Monday. We went to see a sold out comedy show called 'Hold On To Your Butts'. The show was named Top 10 Comedy Show in NYC in 2014 by Time Out New York and  it's now back back for a 15 night run from February through March.

nykeiko plays: Hedwig and the Angry Inch with James Cameron Mitchell and Lena Hall

When my friend Michael is in town, he always finds time to visit museums, watch a play (or two) and Broadway musicals too! This is also a good opportunity for me to tag along as I rarely take initiative to go to shows myself. Dave's lack of interest in seeing anything theatrical makes it rare for us to go to any shows together. We have seen shows in the past though. When I visited Dave before moving to the New York, he took me to an off Broadway show, Avenue Q. For my birthday one year, he bought tickets to Phantom of the Opera which I've wanted to see in New York (I've seen it in Taipei before.) Another year, his boss had extra tickets to Addam's Family (starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth) and finally, I got discounted tickets to see Wicked through my work and that was our last Broadway show together. I don't consider that a lot shows since there must have been hundreds of plays and musicals that have come and gone since I moved here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

nykeiko eats: Family inspired food at Maman NYC

For some of us who do not live close to home with your parents anymore, what would you do to get a taste of your favorite childhood recipe again? For some, it’s a long drive or an expensive plane ticket back home but New Yorkers, it might be a trip to Maman where you can find some family-inspired sweets and treats.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

nykeiko wears: Catherine Deane Wednesday Dress

I actually thought I would be done with clubbing for the rest of my life. I haven't entered a club (except during the daytime) for the past four years. I do not miss it at all so I figured, well, I guess I'm never going clubbing ever again. Just dancing at weddings from now on....Most people I know don't go out anymore. Most of them just want to do happy hour and scurry back home in time for dinner. Heck, I don't even want to do happy hours. I just want to come home, strip off my pants and be a vegetable in front of my laptop for the rest of the night.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #40: Caminito en La Boca , Buenos Aires

Oops, this TBT reminds me that I did NOT write about our trip to Argentina yet eh? Oopsies. Okay, we visited the colorful street in La Boca!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

nykeiko shops: J. Mendel Sample Sale 2015 [March 2015 NYC Sample Sale]

J. Mendel sample sale 

I checked out J.Mendel's sample sale last night at a new sale location in the garment district/Times Square. Here's my review for Racked NY. This time, I was hovering in the accessories section more. I was tempted to snatch up a little crossbody for myself but the deal breaker was that it didn't fit my iPhone 6 and oh yes, this small python/calf bag was $412.50 + taxes. Not super cheap even at 75% off. A beautiful large leather medicine bag going for $600 would probably be more worth my while buuuut, no need so no buy. Phew.

My reviews from past sales: March 2013 , October 2013. March 2014

Friday, March 6, 2015

nykeiko eats: Birds and Bubbles ..A place to celebrate cheating on your diet!

Here's another food post about fried chicken. I mean, if they keep opening up new southern fare joints, I have no choice but to visit them and write about it! But this one is special. The restaurants serves great traditional southern cuisine but here, you can pair your buttermilk fried chicken with a choice of bubbly from a vast curated in-house selection. They don’t believe champagne should be reserved for special occasions like weddings or anniversaries. They welcome everyone to come in and enjoy great food with some champagne and if you’re there celebrating, then treat yourself. The champagne menu is organized by lightness, body, color and taste. Something for everybody. But when was the last time you were picky about champagne anyway? The last time I had champagne was New Years and everyone was served the same bottle and no seem to complain. For the bubblies connoisseur, this might finally be the answer to your prayers. For those who prefer wine or cocktails, they’ve got you covered. You can quench your thirst with their delicious cocktails (with a southern flare) and give you a well deserved after work buzz.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last snow fall of the season?

We were bestowed with the most beautiful snow storm in the city this season. The prettiest, fluffiest snow all day long. Even Laurie was positively complimenting the beautiful snow while she was brushing 4-5 inches off her car.

Here's a picture Dave took near his work downtown this morning. It was just beginning of the snow fall.

Here's one I took near my work by Central Park around the same time.

Pictures taken with our iPhone, +VSCO filters.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

nykeiko shops: Diptyque Sample Sale 2015 [March 2015 NYC Sample Sale]

Another year, another crazy Diptyque sample sale. See my review on Racked NY where I got to attend the friends and family portion of the sale. Even though it was a day early, there was a lot of 'friends and family' and all the good standard candles were sold out within the first hour. I got lucky with the Baies candles only because people had to give them up due to the 15-item limit per person.

This year, my haul is a lot smaller than previous years. For one, I am still using candles from last year's sale. Believe it or not, the only thing for me in the bunch is the Rosa Mundi candle and the Eau Rose body lotion which is a new product from last year. The rest is not for me. A colleague asked about my Do Son body lotion so I got one for him (to give to his wife aww) at half the retail price.
Even though it is a sample sale, $35 for candles is still not cheap. However, people still go crazy for this sale. The wait this morning was 2 to 4 hour long depending on when you got there. Saving ~40% on candles that never go on sale makes this sale one of the most successful sample sales in New York city.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

nykeiko shops: Harlem Bespoke x Sugar Hill Market ! Shop Local!

Clay bowl from Jonathan Castro and body butter from Flo & Theo. Shop local!

This past Sunday, I was planning on having one of those lazy Sundays that we all love to have but rarely do. A couple of inches of snow was expected to fall upon the city and staying indoors was the natural thing to do. I started organizing and cleaning our alcove which has been the same since we first moved in almost one year ago (woah). I also started making a nice melon soup and making a batch of tea eggs. While doing all of that, I was also eating everything in the fridge (Sandwich, leftovers, chocolates, crackers and pate, donuts...). After stuffing my face, I decided it was time for me to get out of the apartment. My plan was to drop a bag of donations at a local thrift shop and then drop by Sugar Hill Market since I have not visited a while.  See my piece on Racked NY about Sugar Hill Market here

I picked up a couple of things at the market from new vendors. I got this ceramic bowl. At first I thought we could use it for eating but then I thought that it will be perfect for planting small spiderettes from my spider plants. I also got this body butter handmade by sister duo Flo & Theo here in New York. I have been out of body lotion for a couple of months now so this is perfect. It's completely natural with no parabens and no harsh chemicals used. 

Below are some new vendors I got to meet... 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

nykeiko travels and eats: Four days and three nights in Hong Kong![Just food pictures here]

Since I am going to Asia again by end of this month, I thought it was a good time to finally finish my post about what we ate in Hong Kong. We visited Hong Kong last October with my parents. For me, I had one goal in mind and it was to eat. Oh yes, it was also for my mom's birthday so we had to make extra sure she had extra fun. My dad never liked Hong Kong because of the crowds but after this trip, he kind of warmed up to the city. The subways were super crowded while we were there, more than usual due to Occupy Central

Before going to Hong Kong, we asked a few of our friends to provide us with a list of their most recommended eats in Hong Kong. Knowing a few foodies out there, our friends gave us some really comprehensive lists with some tips about reservations or when it's best to visit etc. I was getting so excited reading all the recs but overwhelmed by the amount. We were only going to be in Hong Kong for 4 days and there were enough restaurants for 4 weeks. Dave being super handy with his spreadsheet skills, congregated all the list of restaurants into an excel sheet and then added each and every single eatery onto Google Maps. He even wrote who recommended it and what dishes to order. He couldn't have made it easier for us. By purchasing a sim card and using Google Maps, we could find the closest recommended restaurant everywhere we went, right at our fingertips. If you want to see the map, email me and ask nicely :)

Sadly, we couldn't eat at every single restaurant but my for me, I just had to try genuine char siu, wonton noodles, pineapple buns and milk tea. Here is our list (with pictures) of almost every restaurant we ate at! Most of them we liked but a few of them we thought was a waste of our stomach's real estate. We were really picky about what we were putting in our mouth because our stomach can only hold so much food at once. My mom was really funny and always asked us if we were eating somewhere famous or popular. If we couldn't fit it in our schedule and had to eat somewhere not highly recommended or unknown, she ate a bit less and held out for the next meal. She said she just couldn't eat as much as before anymore. 

Here goes!!