Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chinatown is growing on me...

So every other weekend or so Jordan makes his bus trip from Boston down to New York City - what has now become the reliable, safe and clean Chinatown bus has become a bi-weekly occurence, whether its me going up or him coming down. For Jordan's part of the journey (which I'm sure he'll blog about one day) it starts off at South Station, where there is a bus depot, T stop and train station all nicely laid out in what would be best described as a Grand Central station fashion or even close to Main Street Terminal in downtown Vancouver. Needless to say, its clean, organized and well-laid out with signs, gate numbers and escalators etc.

Enter NYC, the Lucky Star bus as well as the Fung Wah bus snails across the Manhattan bridge and you enter Chinatown, only to realise that when they told you its the Chinatown bus, it literally means the Chinatown bus, right smack in the middle of Chinatown. You get off the bus and you're greeted by the sights, sounds and smells of what is Chinatown NY - the largest Chinatown in North America. It seems no one speaks English here and there is no such thing as a clean street - not even 1 square inch. Of course, once you find the person you're meeting here (ie. me) getting home is another feat in itself.

You drag your rollerboard down uneven pavements, through crowds shopping and chattering asian aunties and uncles. You drag yourself and your luggage down the stairs into the Subway station where it reeks of raw, wet fish from the market above. Ahhh..the smells of a wet market are really the signs which let you know you're in Chinatown once you arrive in the subway station. Then its the jostling to get into the subway itself while an old chinese man plays the "er hu" and fills the station with its piercing acoustics.

Chinatown in NY is not for the faint hearted.

And I'm slowly becoming accustomed to NY's loudness, especially since I'm in Chinatown every other weekend either going to Boston or receiving Jordan who's coming here. (but really, NY is loud, too loud if you ask me) Today, I attempted to go grocery shopping at Dynasty Supermarket for the 2nd time. The 1st time was, well, culture shock for me. I was with my Dad and it was my 1st week in NY - overwhelmed by the city itself and then being lost in the largest Chinatown in North America, my experience grocery shopping was not a good one. Being used to the large and very clean TNT in Vancouver - Dynasty was a let-down. I admit, I took TNT supermarket for granted big time. I couldn't even find a decent packet milk tea! And such a limited selection of snacks, condiments and drinks. But my 2nd attempt today, proved to be a little more successful.

I found: Lipton's packet milk tea and MILO!!!! I felt like I hit the jackpot! Milo! I can have my milo in the mornings now! I happily picked up some other groceries and was on my way home. So, Chinatown isn't so bad just takes a little getting used to and being familiar with wet-market smells.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shopping 101 in NYC

No, unfortunately, I'm not referring to the type of shopping that involves insane amounts of clothes, bags, shoes and lovely trinkets (although that is extremely satisfying in this city as my girlfriend and I found out on Friday in SoHo - Vita 24k gold plated, snakeskin bracelets! SCORE!!!)

The shopping I'm referring to is the grocery shopping and houseware shopping which is seemingly almost impossible here in NYC. First of all, my room mates are I ventured to go grocery shopping this weekend - BIG MISTAKE. Never, even venture Whole Foods or Trader Joe's on the weekend & weekday evenings. The lines go on forever, literally, snaking around the grocery store. Furthermore, the prices are ridiculous here! Whole Foods has a wonderful selection of organic food but whose prices are WAAAY beyond the student budget! What happened to good 'ole Save-On Foods and Safeway?! Apparently, suburban supermarkets are non-existent in Manhattan (let alone decent Chinese supermarkets! The ones in Chinatown here are ghetto and so lacking in variety...I MISS TNT!)

Secondly, IKEA is house & home mothership is not even in Manhattan! And its $99 to deliver! IKEA is about 40mins away in New Jersey - and seeing that I don't have a car - this poses as a problem because everything I want and need, which is within my budget, is there. And I have to resort to buying my necessities from Bed, Bath & Beyond which clearly isn't as cheap as $1.99 tableware. So, my apartment is still fairly empty but slowly but surely I'm trying to making it look like a home - since I know my room mates aren't going to.

Today, I bought a dust buster, shoe rack, Brita water pitcher and casserole dish. I'm trying to save as much as possible for my trip to IKEA with Jordan when he's here one weekend and we can rent a zipcar! (which is cheaper than $99 deliver btw...)

I can't wait to have my own place...!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I have cable!

Bright and early at 9:30am the cable guy came to install cable for my pretty, white Samsung 23" LCD! At last!!! I have tv in my room because my roomies have turned the living room into a library/study hall - so no go for putting the tv there or getting a couch. The apartment is still pretty empty and I plan to make a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond this weekend to get some more stuff for the place.

Now, on with the rest of the day...its Thursday - so its gonna be a busy one!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You know you go to Parsons when: (these are the ones i relate to)

  • Nobody stands out, because everybody stands out.
  • Even the janitors wear skinny jeans
  • You go to Utrecht (the art supplies store) at least 3 times a week.
  • People automatically assume youre going into fashion..because they don't know Parsons does anything else.
  • You've walked up 9 flights of stairs carrying a toolbox and or portfolio that weighs more than you
  • You've been uncomfortably close to atlast 10 people at a time in the elevator.
  • You're not fat...because parsons doesn't accept fat people. That's actually a good thing because you have to wait long enought to squeeze into an elevator in the first place.
  • You have cut yourself at least once with wire, olfa, exacto, or maybe even bristol board.
  • If you commute to school...too bad..because teachers don't have sympathy at the New School. The only school where attendance absolutely matters & you get kicked out for being absent 3 times (even when you're in grad school)
  • Over 70% of the student population is female...the rest mostly gay...and very few lesbians...that's a lot of unhappy women..which is why they keep 'em so busy.
  • Your room looks like Utrecht vomited.
  • If you registration starts at 8 am, all the classes you want will be full by 8:15, and your schedule won't work. Oh, you want core classes? Too bad.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm in Boston y'all. See ya after the weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

damn i miss my car...

After living in NYC for approximately 2 weeks or so, I would never dream of driving or owning a car in this city. Parking rates are exhorbitant. Traffic is insane and manouvering around the city is suicide. The ridiculous amounts of noise pollution generated from the incessant honkings of taxi cabs and cars can drive one mad - although I believe most New Yorkers are either deaf or have mastered the art of tuning out traffic sounds such as ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, taxi honks, subways and loud pedestrains. Everything here is loud, Loud, LOUD!

I live close by to a hospital/medical centre - so the sound of ambulances has become a natural occurence in my neighbourhood. Around my school, right on 5th and around Union Square, taxis and cars alike insist of using their horns on every living or non-living moving object. I bet you they even honk the pigeons.

However, this morning, I found myself wishing I drove a car. The inconceivable amount of supplies I have to carry to school is bordering on refugee status (if that is at all PC in this day and age) Today, I had to lug my school bag (which by the way is in no way large enough t hold everything for risk of breaking my beloved bag's straps), my portfolio which is 18x24" and a plastic bag of textile textbooks (with fabric swatches) which were far too heavy to put into my school bag. (It DID NOT HELP when the plastic bag chose to rip 100metres into the subway..##%Y%U@*!)

To make matters worse - the subway was taking a million years to arrive, with more and more people streaming in by the dozens only to make the subway station 5 times hotter and muggier than it normally is. I gave up - I decided to take a cab. But in the typical Murphy's Law fashion - there were no cabs to be had. By this time, I had bumped into 2 fellow school mates of mine and we decided it might be best to walk to school, bag, portfolio & broken plastic bag in tow. I wasn't the only one with a ripped bag - nor was I the only one who looked like a fool walking down Union Square looking like a homeless fella without a shopping cart. Thankfully, the rain which was pouring earlier had stopped...for now.

I made it to school in time, in tact and utterly unglamourously, with all my stuff and a very sweaty polo t-shirt. I was not alone. Some poor girl in my class got caught in a subway stall from Jersey because the SWAT team decided to hold it up for no apparent reason, well, not really, the reason was it is 9/11 today. I vowed I'd get myself a bigger school bag, with the capacity to hold all my textbooks and notebooks. I happily picked up a art box today to keep all my art supplies - paints, markers, pencils, palettes, brushes, rulers, etc rather than stuffing it into my school bag at risk of staining it.

Why the hell do we need to carry so much sh*t? I am a Fashion Marketing student, not Design damnit! Don't let me even begin to harp on how much I have spent purchasing the supplies and the amount of running around New York finding art shops that sell a Liquid Expresso pen specified by my prof! Sigh. The madness continues.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

he's here!

NYC Weekend Highlights: Jordan bussed down for a visit - we spent the glorious weekend eating, sleeping, walking, sweating in the subway and checking out Times Square, 5th Ave & The new Apple Store.


i loaded up the dishwasher, put the dishwashing liquid in...
came back a few minutes later to find suds coming out of the machine!
omg...i spent the next hour or so cleaning up the kitchen floor and the dishwasher with my room-mates! the result: my aching back.

note to self & all those who are blur like me: never put non-dishwasher safe dishwashing liquid into a dishwasher (even if it says dishwashing liquid) and READ THE MANUAL BEFORE USE!

Friday, September 7, 2007

We're the luckiest girls ever!

Backstage at Fashion Week in the coveted Bryant Park tents!
Our professor arranged a trip to Fashion Week to get a tour of the tents, no promises were made about catching a show because admittance is invitation only. However, the IMG PR & Operations guy who was giving us our tour managed to get us in for the Chaiken show and we even got to fill the seats of the no-shows! I sat on the 3rd row and caught all the action! It was sooo exciting and I truly felt so previledged and blessed. Not to mention, the instant cool-factor when you step out of the tents into Bryant Park where hopefuls gather to see if they can catch a way in or a sneak peek at famous so-and-sos coming out along with the papparazzi tailing behind.

After the show, we hung around to snap our own photos to capture the moment and then managed to slip backstage with the help of a photographer who was trying to pick all 5 of us up at the same time. Nevertheless, we followed the models out of the tent into the park and parted ways. I went home to get on my hands & knees to clean up my apartment to make way for my boyfriend's arrival. How glamourous.


Good God - I am truly blessed.

Yesterday I managed to get into the 3pm Fashion Industry Makreting class AND score a chance to go to NY's most coveted Fashion Week. My prof is taking our class to the tents at Bryant Park today - although I'm not sure what show we're seeing exactly - Nevertheless, its an awesome opportunity and I'm stressing as to what to wear as I type this! Whoppeeee!!!

Photos to come soon and Jordan's coming to NYC today! *YAY*

Thursday, September 6, 2007

how the hell do i get into Fashion Week?!

apparently, its like finding the Holy Grail.
New York Fashion Week opens today and i have no idea how to go see one of the shows?!
perhaps, i could resort to just hanging around the tents...
getting into a show is one of the hardest things, unless you know someone or you're in the industry. which is why i'm in Parsons - so i can get into these things...*argh*

Monday, September 3, 2007

"Ga-lang Guni"

So i head downstairs to do my laundry and as i'm exiting to go back upstairs, lo & behold i spot a spanking new IKEA BILLY bookcase in birchwood sittin by the recycling / garbage area. Immediately, my Singaporean "kiasu/cheapo/cheap-ass" instincts kick in and i scurry upstairs to inform my roommate of the delightful teasure of trash i've discovered. She jumps up from her desk and hurries downstairs with me to attempt to lug it to our apartment. Thankfully, living on the mezzanine floor is a blessing in this case and having elevators in the building are a bonus! We lug it out of the garbage area into the elevator and to our apartment, where now it sits happily in the corner of our dining / study area ready to be filled.

Ahh..there's nothing like free furniture. One less piece to buy! YAY!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Labour Day Long Weekend

The long weekend is here and thus far, I've had an eventful one. Met up with a couple of friends for some meals, did some art supplies shopping and went to the Mac Store on 5th Ave.
Most eventful was the MoMA PS:1 Warm Up i went to with an ex-JC schoolmate and some newly made friends. Here's an excerpt from the website as to what it really is:

"Warm Up is P.S.1's critically acclaimed music series and has become one of the most anticipated summer events. The series is housed within the architectural installation created by the winner of the annual P.S.1 and MoMA organized Young Architects Program . Together, the music, architecture and exhibition program provide a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike."

PS:1 involved much of the following: walking around aimlessly in Queens, lining up for beer, seeing house appliances get mutilated in the name of art, live funky music bands, trying to find a decent diner in Queens, getting lost whilst trying to find the after-party in Queens' industrial area, Manhattan's skyline by night & taking the New York Water Taxi. Not too shabby for my 1st official long weekend in NYC huh?