Dracil’s BlogJournal

November 29, 2008

Returning from New York

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dracil @ 9:50 pm

I’m surprised I didn’t lose anything.  Though I did think I forgot my phone when we arrived at the airport.

Got up at 7, asked hotel to call taxi at 8, got to airport by 8:45.  Had an awful breakfast at the airport.

We flew to LAX and arrived there an hour early.  Had a hard time sleeping on the plane.  Just wasn’t comfortable.  Started watching the MILF Island episode from 30 Rock before the plane started to land so we had to stop watching.

We were pretty hungry and ate at Ruby’s Diner and got some vanilla creme thing from next door ’cause they were out of milkshakes.  Mushroom Swiss burger was good.  Clam Chowder was thick and had too much bread.  Leqi though the chowder was too thick or salty.  The Parmesan Bleu Cheese fries needed the cheese to stick to the fries better.

LAX to SFO was a short flight so I mostly tried to sleep.

From there it was just BARTing to Civic Center before separating ways.  Still need to bring the stuff she stuffed in my bag tomorrow.

Oh yeah, people who put their bags in the overhead compartment lengthwise need to go DIAF.

New York Day 7

Filed under: personal — Tags: , , , — dracil @ 1:17 am

Didn’t have internet access so this is backdated.

So we overslept because I forgot to turn the sound on on my phone.  Went to Penn Station before splitting up.  She went to Victoria’s Secret while I went to B&H and then later to The Compleat Strategist.  B&H was still out of stock of the bag I wanted so I didn’t buy anything there.  Boo on them not letting me take pics of the store either.  I got my Dominion game from the second store though.  A lot larger than expected.

From there we went to Jean-Georges for lunch.  This was definitely the best restaurant we went to on our entire trip.  And the lunch price was reasonable as well.  Very artistic presentation.  I did notice that he really liked the sour taste.

From there we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then to the Museum of Modern Art.  Kinda pressed for time so was mostly a rush through the two museums.  Leqi was hoping to see Van Gogh’s sunflower painting but unfortunately it’s supposed to be in London.  She wanted to go to London afterwards.  :P

For dinner we ate at One if by Land, Two if by Sea.  Yeah, I guess the atmosphere is romantic, but it’s kinda too loud to hear the piano music.  She was annoyed by the lady who forced us to coat check though.  Food itself was ok, not really worth the price.  Dinner at Jean-Georges would’ve probably been better.  :P  Best thing about them was that they offered Cowgirl Red Hawk cheese for dessert.  The same cheese from Cowgirl Creamery at the Ferry Building where I often buy their Mt. Tam Cheese.

We went back to the Broadway Comedy Club after that.  Got front row seats this time.  What’s special about being in the front?  You become a target of jokes.  Mostly they commented about how young I looked and my camera. :P  The only bad thing was that Frank Vignola, who was also here on Wednesday, basically told the same jokes, though he did say some stuff relevant to today’s audience.  We found the last two the funniest.  Maybe because they focused mostly on relationships and marriage.  There was also some political stuff, and apparently a big chunk of the front table people voted for McCain so they probably didn’t like the jokes as much.  :P

November 27, 2008

New York Day 6

Filed under: personal — Tags: , , , , — dracil @ 8:52 pm

Didn’t do much today.  We decided to just skip the parade and sleep in.  Then we went to Cafe Zaiya on the 2nd floor of Kinokuniya Bookstore for lunch, shopped there for a bit, then went to Grand Central Terminal which was disappointing because the station master wouldn’t let me use my tripod, then off to the World Trade Center very briefly since it was quite boring, before going back to the hotel.  I went to take some pics of the sunset first, napped a bit, and then we went to Swizz Manhattan for dinner which turned out to be pretty good.

New York Day 5

Took a long time to get her up today.  :P

First top was the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.  Awesome looking cathedral.  But too big and too many trees to take good pics.  There was some singing performance by kids from their school while we were there so we left soon after.

Went to the Museum of Sex, which was fun, but short.  First exhibit was just animal sex which is like educational stuff though funny in some bits.  Second exhibit was basically porn through the ages.  Third exhibit was the sex toys, which was the most interesting.

Instead of lunch, we bought Godiva chocolate and then went to the theater to catch the All My Sons show.

I wasn’t fully awake for the first half, but the second half was a lot more interesting.  I didn’t realize John Lithgow was in it before, but I liked him since watching 3rd Rock from the Sun a long time ago as a kid.  Leqi was mainly there for Katie Holmes.  Then we found out Tom Cruise was there.  And so was David Beckham and his wife.  After the show, we crowded outside like everyone else and tried to get photos.  Didn’t really get good pics of Tom Cruise (cry) because of all the damn people with their flashes blocking my view or flashing at inopportune times.  Best pics were actually of John Lithgow and I may be able to recover some shots of Katie Holmes.  The only clear shot of Tom Cruise had his face completely whited out by someone else’s flash.  Meh.

Oh, we also randomly bought tickets to the Broadway Comedy Club ’cause some guy was selling them for half price.  Was kinda worried it was a scam but it turns out it was legit after we went to the club itself to confirm and make reservations.

Ate at Pearl Oyster Bar again.  They recognized us.  :P  Ate the same thing sans clam chowder but with oysters.  I like the fried oysters.

Then it was to the comedy club again.  There was a guy who looked like Sylar though his jokes weren’t too funny.  I think we found Christian Finnegan the funniest.  There was one point where I couldn’t breathe ’cause I was laughing too much.  :P

November 25, 2008

New York Day 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dracil @ 9:36 pm

My feet are killing me.

So, after much dilly dallying last night about whether or not we wanted to go wait in line in the rain for Conan o’Brien standby tickets, she couldn’t wake up, so we didn’t.  :P

Instead, we went straight to Rockefeller Plaza for the NBC Studios tour, stopping to get some Godiva chocolate first.  The tour itself was pretty cool.  We saw how tiny Conan o’Brien’s stage studio really is, saw the SNL studio (pretty big, but split into 4 sets).  Ate a pretty blah lunch at Rock Center Cafe (the thing we ordered, Crab and Risotto cakes was more expensive and in tinier portions than what everyone else seemed to be getting).  Did quite a bit of shopping at their store too.  Rain stopped soon after so we went to the Top of the Rock and got some very nice pictures that I hope to process soon (HDR).

Then we got more Godiva chocolate (strawberries and raspberries and blueberries) before walking down to Times Square and getting pics of all the lights.  Then we went off to see the Empire State Building, which was an awful awful process of too much standing for a very cold view of a really nice night view.  Really hard for the cameras though.

Then we went to Pearl Oyster Bar and had clam and lobster.  I think so far she likes this restaurant the most ’cause she wants to come back here again.  :P

November 24, 2008

New York Day 3

Filed under: personal — Tags: — dracil @ 8:39 pm

So what did we do today?

We went to a bunch of Sex and the City places starting with Columbus Circle, then the Plaza Hotel, then Paris Theater (they’re all kinda close to each other).  Then we went off to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for brunch, where we got to see a bunch of singing waiters and waitresses.  This was also the bus stop for our TV and Movie bus tour.  Went around to a bunch of places and the guide (who also acts and does improv) played some clips and gave us some random info about shows, like where they’re really filmed.

We stopped outside Palace Hotel where Gossip Girl was being filmed, but there were a couple bouncers there so we didn’t stick around for too long since there was nothing to see.  Went to the American Museum of Natural History and looked through the exhibits pretty quickly.  We decided to watch Quantum of Solace and ate at Artie’s Own.  Unfortunately, Leqi slept through most of it, and I dozed off in parts.  I think we’re too tired.  It was raining after we were done as well.  =/

November 23, 2008

New York Day 2

Filed under: personal — Tags: — dracil @ 8:42 pm

So some observations about New York.  Drivers here are so much more impatient than San Franciscans.  It’s like constant horn honking here.  Seems like a lot more jaywalking over big streets, and there subways are… so much dirtier than San Francisco’s.  Some of them are huge though.  Like Penn Sation, which also doubles as a train station.  Almost like a mini-airport.

So for Day 2…

Rushed over to B&H, the holy land of photo and video equipment (and some other stuff).  There was already a pretty long line there, like a block 5 minutes before opening time.  I felt happy being amongst so many others.  It was like a pilgrimage.  :D  Anyway, I was actually surprised by the fact that almost all the employees were wearing those Jewish caps (kippahs).  Apparently the store is run by Orthodox Jews.  I  was only there for some cleaning supplies but I really want to go back again and get a real good look around.  They put your order in a basket which is then placed on a conveyor belt and sent downstairs to the checkout area, where you pay for your stuff and then pick up your goods.  Quite efficient.

Anyway, after that, we were off to Battery Park, and were a bit early.  The schedule disruption wasn’t as bad as I thought and the shuttle buses were pretty frequent but crowded.  We got seats though.  We bought some gloves and Leqi bought a beanie from a roadside vendor at Battery Park which really helped.  Yesterday my hands were literally numb from the cold, though today was warmer anyway.

From there, our first stop was to see the Statue of Liberty.  Went through an airport-style screening and was worried they might confiscate my cleaning solution (it’s flammable), but they didn’t catch it or didn’t care.  Didn’t do the audio tour there, just took pics and went straight into the pedestal, where there was also a museum.  It was ok.  But apparently without a ticket, you can’t even see the museum inside.  Also, while we were waiting in line to enter the statue, when we we were almost through security (just one couple ahead of us), they made us clear the area because someone left an unattended green bag.  As we were leaving, one of the guards came back and said “That’s mine.”

… yeah, that was great.

Then we were off to Ellis Island.  We did the audio tour there, which was pretty good.  Like the Alcatraz one, but less automated.  You have to keep entering numbers for the different exhibits.  It was cool but it would probably work better for Americans with ancestors who went through there.

Then we went off to Fatty Crab for dinner, which was interesting.  Apparently their cook is a “white boy” as quoted from one of the waiters who studied in France then went to Southeast Asia then decided to do Malaysian food here.  The waiters were all dressed in T-shirts and looked relaxed.  The guy even sat down at the table next to us while telling us about the food.  That was cool.

We got the Chili Crab, (was good, but oh so messy), Chinese broccoli with salted fish (where was the fish?  Was it that small crunch stuff?  Tasted pretty good though), and coconut rice (really good coconut taste).  But pretty expensive for what we got (crab was of course the most expensive).

And from there, it was back to the hotel for some R&R.

November 22, 2008

New York Day 1

Filed under: personal — Tags: , — dracil @ 6:33 pm

Forgot my headphones so I got the $2 headphone from Virgin America.  Crap quality but at least it works.  Watched 30 Rock while we were waiting for boarding.

Couldn’t really sleep on the plane, and got annoyed at them when they stopped asking for drinks right as they got to us because they ran out of water.  WTF.  So I made them give me 3 drinks.  :P

We arrived early, but our luggage got delayed from a jam, so we had to wait an extra hour.  However, the taxi was fast so we still arrived ahead of schedule and checked our bags.

Then we got breakfast and luckily Europan was still open which I thought might’ve closed ’cause their website no longer lists this address.  Then we went to get our cruise tickets.  Decided to do the 4PM cruise instead of 6PM because of how cold it already was and we could see the sunset that way as well.  Decided not to go to the Intrepid museum so we just walked around trying to find a place to scape the cold.  Went into some restaurant nearby first but decided to leave after we finished our beef stew.  We then hid inside some corner store and drank their tea until it was almost time.

On the cruise (2 hours around the South of Manhattan), I got some sea spray on my lens so that kinda triggered an obsessive reaction from me, so now I need to go to B&H tomorrow morning and get some cleaning stuff.  :P

Meanwhile, I can’t remember what time I booked for our ferry tomorrow, and their confirmation email doesn’t mention the time either.  Urk.  Hope they pick up tomorrow when I call in the morning, and hope it’s 12.  Because apparently there’s no direct line to the ferry tomorrow either.

Currently using the wi-fi at the lounge in the hotel.

November 21, 2008

Time for New York!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dracil @ 6:06 pm

So… yeah.  Hope things go according to plan, which it never will.


Filed under: personal, Reviews — Tags: , , — dracil @ 3:47 am

Yay, Leqi was on time today!  :P

So, we arrived early and basically had to sit around with everyone at the bar until the main area was open.  Tried some experimental photography.  Specifically with the mirrors on the bar.  Didn’t work too well because of how dark it was.

We were seated at the table next to the corner.  The beds are pretty big and clean and smells like hotels and there’s a table on it so your drinks and stuff won’t spill.  The menu was hidden, but basically there was some sort of soup at the beginning that had a scallop piece in the center, chicken thigh in the middle, and some sort of yogurt and brown sugar wafer and something else with caramel for dessert.  We were starving so I liked it though she thought Asia SF had better food.  I think the entertainment was better here though.  There was this guy in a blue rabbit suit who’d walk around and do stuff.  Leqi suffered his attention with him sitting on her and stuff.  :P  There was a table of clowns in the center who’d sometimes do stuff.  I’m not quite sure if they were part of the entertainment or actually guests.  Or maybe both?  And there was an acrobatics performance that was pretty cool.

We actually did end up ordering some alcoholic drinks (Supperclub Martini).  All I know is that it had godiva white chocolate in it and I still don’t really like alcoholic drinks… at least of the ones I tried.  She didn’t finish hers as usual.  So far, beer’s the only thing she likes (esp. Tsingtao I think), and I haven’t tried that yet, so maybe next time.  Maybe in New York?

Oh, we left around 10, and the doors opened at 7:30, so keep that in mind if you need to be places after dinner.  People were still inside drinking and some of the clowns were dancing.

No pics (may edit them in later) because I spent the rest of the night prepping for NY tomorrow.

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