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Chelsea Hotel, New York

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While we were in Chelsea, we walked passed Chelsea Hotel and saw a group of tourists snapping away! I read briefly about their famous patrons in the past and had to join in the fun! Without knowing much about the history of this hotel, I took a quick picture before we resume our journey.

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And lo and behold, an article on TODAY featured this hotel and I finally get to know what the fuss is all about. According to the article, Chelsea Hotel is not just unique because of their long list of notable residents; it is also special because of their free-wheeling bohemian spirit which was led by then owner-manager Stanley Bard. He is the one who decides on who can stay in the hotel, which room, which floor, and how they pay perhaps in their artwork. Julia Calfree, a photographer who stayed for four years back in 2003 shared.

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Under Bard’s hand, it is not a hotel where money rules, he allowed people to stay depending on their potential, a penniless artist with great potential like Bob Dylan fitted the bill. During Calfree’s stay, she had the privilege to take behind the scene and intimate pictures of their residents on a promised of discretion. Too bad Chelsea Hotel is now taken being bought over by a real restate developer, when it reopens again; I doubt it will ever be the same hotel with the old bohemian spirit.

If you are curious about what gets behind the door, you are in luck! Calfree’s exhibition is here in Singapore and you may want to pop by Art Plural Gallery on 38 Armenian Street for her “Inside The Chelsea Hotel” exhibition which runs from now to October 12. Admission is free and it opens from 11am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.

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Asian Food in New York

We were so sick of burgers, sandwiches and fries and had to eat Asian food! It reminded me of our Italy trip where all we had was pizza, pasta and balsamic sauces meat! Haha. So here are two best places for Asian food in New York!

(1) St Marks Place for Japanese Food

It is a Japanese food town and there are plenty Japanese restaurants here!

Ramen Setagaya
34 1/2 St.Marks PL, New York, NY,11101
TEL: 212387795

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Nothing like a good bowl of hot ramen on a rainy night!

Sharaku
14 Stuyvesant St
(between 9th St & 3rd Ave, East Village)
New York, NY 10003

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(2) Chinatown for Chinese / Cantonese Restaurants

We tried this Cantonese style restaurant and oh, the roast duck is so good. Nothing like Asian food. Haha. They only accept cash though! Come prepared!

Big Wong King ??
67 Mott St
(Btwn Bayard & Canal St)
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 964-0540

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Giant Meteorite at AMNH!

I’m not that into science and space but I thought this huge meteorite is so cool!

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American Museum of Natural History, New York: Dinosaurs

Do you have a favourite Dinosaur movie/series when you were a child? I do! It is definitely not Barney because he makes me sick and it is also not Jurassic Park, because it is too freaky for a child! It is The Land Before Time! I have a feeling this is my sister’s favourite Dinosaur movie too! Haha.

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Even though I can’t remember what the various dinosaurs are called except Tyrannosaurus, I was very thrilled!

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Beaming with excitement!

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I’m not the only happy one!

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The vegetarian.

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They all exist! Or rather, existed before!

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These tiny and agile ones who steal eggs! I remember them!

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Their eggs.

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I remember this guy too!

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Rawr!

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Hehe.

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The girl dino in the cartoon! Not me of course!

American Museum of Natural History, New York: Taxidermy

Among many exhibits, there are two large collections that we loved most and spent most time at. The first, which will be featured here, would be their impressive collections of taxidermy! Stuffed animals preserved and displayed in a life like manner is an art and a way to capture the natural history. I read somewhere that this is a dying art and there are not many practicing taxidermist now. That is a pity.

The second, would be their collections of composite skeleton and fossils of dinosaurs! It is a must to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York if you are around.

There are displays of African and American animals and here are some of our favorites! I am biased towards deers with antlers and bears! Opps.

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This elephants display is very grand but we couldn’t get a good picture! Boo.

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They look so life like!

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Beautiful Antlers!

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All the children loves their bears!

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911 Memorial, New York

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After knowing that it is not our first trip to New York, the hotel receptionist recommended us to visit the 911 Memorial that was officially opened to the public on September 12, 2011. There is also a museum that is opening around September 11, 2012, which is in a couple of weeks time!

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It is a solemn park with strict security checks; it is also a park that gives hope to the future, where it conveys the spirit of defying terrorism. That spirit will continue to live through the living, though nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terror attacks of 911 at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and near Shanksville.

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At the Memorial, there are two reflecting pools of an acre in size, featuring the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The pools sit on the site where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the attacks were also inscribed into the bronze panels surrounding the pools. This is a powerful reminder of the innocent lives lost.

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Another interesting sight at the Memorial is the Survivor Tree – a callery pear tree that was recovered from the rubble at the World Trade Center site. When it was found, it was badly burned with only one living branch. The tree was then nursed to recovery over many years and is now standing healthily at the Memorial. This tree symbolizes hope and rebirth

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If you are interested in getting there, you can decide to visit either in the morning to enjoy the beautiful sunlight and greens or to visit in the evening where you can enjoy the charming night view from the lights emitting from the twin waterfalls. Even though entrance to this site is free, every visitor has to reserve online for visitor pass. Otherwise, you may choose to queue near the Preview Site for free tickets but be warned, the queue is long. So for a hassle free trip, do register online here!

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The museum which is not ready!

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Make love, not war.

The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market, New York

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If you love seafood, you must visit The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market. They serves fresh maine lobster and many other yummy seafood treat at a reasonable price! We had one to share and it was too good. We went straight after breakfast and could not eat much, so it is recommended to go they for brunch! Yums.

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This is what we are here for!

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HUGE!

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Very affordable!

Chelsea Market, New York

Other than going to High Line at Chelsea, we also visited Chelsea Market. Unlike the name suggest, it is not exactly a market like we imagine, it is more like a shopping tunnel selling lots of yummy food and interesting products. We also managed to buy our small size baking stone in one of the stores here! In Singapore, all the baking stone we found are huge like a large 16″ pizza and it can’t fit into our tiny oven!

Two of my favorite stores in Chelsea Market are Anthropologie (which can probably be found in other place as well) and The Lobster Place (which deserves a post on it’s own!).

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I bet you don’t know that, in 1912, exactly 100 years ago, Oreo is introduced and the first Oreo is made in Chelsea Market right here! It is only later in 1913 that Oreo is registered as a Nabisco trademark! Too bad we didn’t come across any Oreo in this market.

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Funny Superhero Pictures at Chelsea Market, New York

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These are hilarious and I regretted not capturing all of them! Haha.

The Yummiest Burger from Shake Shack, New York

In New York, we tried the best burger I ever tasted from Shake Shack! It is much raved about and it is real good. We tried both their burger and hotdog, but their burger left me wanting more. There are in a few states in US, and in New York, there are many outlets! We ate at Broadway and it was good.

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Mary Poppins at Broadway, New York

I love musical and if you are in New York, you got to go catch a musical / play at Broadway! We picked an all time favorite show – Mary Poppins! I love the set and the tricks, it is indeed magical, just like any other Disney experience. There are many scene change which felt like a magic show to us! The plot was simple without any major highlights and we thought this is more suited for children to learn about being good and nice. Haha. It is also the musical which created the word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”! Another catchy tune which I enjoyed is “Practically Perfect” where Mary Poppins sings about her personality and values. Haha. J didn’t really enjoyed it and I’m not at all surprised, he dislikes musicals in general.

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Mary Poppins is showed in the New Amsterdam Theatre which was built in 1902-1903. It is extremely grand and its old world charm is an experience you can never enjoy in our Marina Bay Sands’ Grand Theatre.

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Salami, Pastrami, Corned Beef at Katz, New York

There is a deli cafeteria in Lower East Side, New York, which survived three depressions, numerous recessions, and two World Wars. It is known for serving the best salami sandwiches and their pastrami and corned beef sandwich is also the biggest and best in the region. Many people will admit that it is to die for. But looking at it, I will probably stuff myself to death just to finish one on my own! It is huge and the pictures will tell it all!

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205 East Houston Street (corner of Ludlow St)
New York City, 10002

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The place I’m talking about is Katz’s Delicatessen at Ludlow Street, which opened in 1888, and is loved by many locals, tourists and people all over the world.

We are lucky that it is located on the same street as our hotel and a mere 3 minutes walk. We had it for breakfast and it was way too heavy for us! No wonder it is less crowded in the morning compared to in the evening when it is always fully packed.

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We tried their Corned Beef sandwich that is mainly made up of a huge pile of juicy cured meat in between rye bread with mustard sauce. J loves every bite of it! The meat is perfect, but even a Carnivorous person like me can’t finish it! Thank God we only bought one to share!

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One of my unglamourous moments.

Disney Store at Times Square

At Times Square, there is a huge Disney store! I felt like a child in a candy store! If not for my year long goal to reduce clutter, I would have bring home my favorite Disney princess!

Isn’t this Queen Bear from Brave adorable?!

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Who is your favorite Disney princess? For me, it is Ariel from The Little Mermaid! I love her long flowing red hair and her adventurous and rebellious nature in fighting for freedom and love of her life! I am attracted to her free spirited nature! Also, her voice is beautiful!

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Who is your favorite Disney princess and why?

Times Square, New York

Busy busy Times Square!

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Spot Wally at Times Square!

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Was at Times Square and spotted this huge screen which captures the audiences! An ingenious marketing idea! Spot Wally! Can you see us?

Here’s a picture with a slight zoom!

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The High Line at Chelsea, New York

Instead of going to MOMA, we decided to venture to places which we have not been to before. That brought us to Chelsea and the new hotspot in NYC, The High Line!

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An Art Installation

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How chill!

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Here is the history of The High Line.

” The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. “

– Source: Here

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Part of the railway tracks are still visible!

All thanks to the good people from Friends of the High Line, New Yorkers get a green pocket of elevated public park in a historic structure! If only they can preserve our KTM railway into green pockets too!

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Popsicles are perfect under this weather!

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If you have been to NYC a couple of times and will be back again, you should probably drop by The High Line! Thank you Lady J, for the recommendation!

Vintage Dooney and Bourke AWL Bag

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When I first saw this Dooney and Bourke leather bag at the Brooklyn Flea, I didn’t know it’s history. After some googling, there are some interesting facts about the bag! I also know why I got the bag at a deal where it was previously sold for between USD$200 – 380 in the 1980s and 1990s, my guess is because it was rather worn and it’s Solid brass Duck fob hanging from a leather thong is missing! Nevertheless, I thought it was a pretty piece! In the past, the bag also invited knock offs which were widely seen in the market. But one only need a few seconds to spot the difference in materials, workmanship and feel of an authentic Dooney & Bourke bag in the All Weather Leather Collection.

From these two webpages here and here, it is likely that the bag I got is an authentic one. Love their workmanship. If you come across one of these bags, don’t miss it!

Here are some interesting observations of my bag:-

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(1) Oval leather duck logo glued and sewn on the front of the bag

(2) Solid brass hardware including all buckles, rivets, D-rings and latches.

(3) Label of red, white and blue fabric sewn inside the purse that says “Dooney & Bourke” Made in USA” on one side.

(4) An individual registration number on the other side.

(5) Back of buckle strap hardware reads “SOLID BRASS”.

(6) All weather leather is soft and pliable (not stiff).

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He celebrated my birthday on 8 August with cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine near our hotel at Lower East Side. Yelp rated it higher than Magnolia Bakery but we were disappointed. I didn’t like the frosting which was not silky smooth. Nevertheless, Happy Birthday to myself! I can see my face sagging and he can see my ass sagging. Yikes. The things age does to your body.

Loots from Woodbury Common Premium Outlet

We spent one day at the Woodbury Premium outlet and grabbed some nice stuffs!

The last time we went to Woodbury, we took the train and a taxi, this time round, for convenience sake, we paid USD$42 each for the 45 mins – 1 hour round trip ride!

Unlike the last trip, we bought lesser items which costs more. I remember the last time, we bought a lot of FCUK tees (which are no longer available) and cheap DKNY watches from Fossil (still available but not as nice). Shopping was crazy then. This time round, we return with more self control and quality consideration.

In US, the brands with good discounts are obviously brands from America, so here are some good deals we picked up!

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All the prices are quoted with taxes! No tax refund in US. Boo!

Water proof leather boots from The North Face/ USD$94.74: I was hoping that it will protect my feet for my Kobe trip next Feb.

Pretty black heels from Guess/ USD$40.61 : I love simple sexy black heels which I can match with all dresses for any occasion.

Pretty leather bombe Reva clutch bag from Tory Burch / $298.70: Ouch! But really lovely! Love the gold chain strap! I love that it is an understated piece and that it is from an up and coming American designer!

Rayban Wayfarer 2140 / USD$172.99: It made me feel like a super star and protects my eyes from the glaring sun . Hah.

Cherry Blossom Hand cream from Loccitane / USD$16.65: It is not American but it’s on sale. I need more protection for my overworked hands.

Comfy GAP hoodie for plane rides / Under USD$25 (lost the receipt!): Perfect to get comfy on plane rides or in cinemas.

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His loots are all the Polo / Shirts / Berms from Polo Ralph Lauren at ridiculous low price (between USD$30 to $60).

Black Coach bag for his mum and a white coach bag for my aunt (USD$74.93) and cheap and funky Lesportsac Laptop bag (USD$23.46) for my sista!

Now you will have an idea what are some things worth grabbing before you head over! Hah.

I want a dog run like this!

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At Central Park, there is a dog run which I thought is a brilliant idea! How I wish a space like this is available for Barley to run free! Yes, we do have dog runs in Singapore, but nothing like these.

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They actually have a law that governs picking up their dog’s poo! Looks like we are not the only “fine” city! Haha. We love that bins, scoops and sweepers are available for dog owners to pick up their dog’s poo at the dog run! How thoughtful and considerate of the people who manage the dog run!

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There is also a two gates system where you can safely leash up furry friend and prevent it from running all over!

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The best part of this dog run is the fact that it is covered with gravel and stones instead of grass! That means it will be dry and no bugs can hide in them! Isn’t that nice? Our greatest fear when bringing Barley to our local dog run is the bugs that she will bring back, the dog poop that inconsiderate dog owners leave behind and all the mysterious wet patches in the grass. Yikes. Yes, I know.