New York Weekend

Two weekends back, my love took me to the Big City to celebrate my turning a year older.  The first time we had gone it was still cold, somewhere during springtime.  But this time we came during the hottest time of the year, and we still enjoyed it.  We skipped doing all the touristy stuff that we had done before, like going to Times Square and queueing for more than an hour to see the view from the Empire State Building.  This time we were lucky to catch up with our friends, whom we didn’t get to see the first time around.

I’m a very simple girl I must say.  I don’t fancy getting gifts that I think would be last year’s toys in a few weeks time.  My idea of having a good weekend is just enjoying good food and company, and maybe seeing or experiencing a few interesting things along the way.

Scroll down below if you want to see some of the stuff we saw, did, or eat during our weekend in the city.

Met Cloisters Met Museum NY Downtown NY Pastel Hues NY travel photos Travel Photographer Le Coucou NY Le Coucou Brooklyn coffee shop NY Rooftop Party Rooftop Bar NY Travel Photography Reynards Brooklyn Soho Brooklyn eats Rooftop Party New York

11 Howard

Over the weekend we flew to New York on a spontaneous trip for my birthday.  My love wanted me to choose a hotel, and we ended up staying at this nice boutique hotel that’s tied up with SPG.  11 Howard is situated right in the heart of Soho, just a stone’s throw from Manhattan’s Chinatown and Little Italy, as well as some other less touristy streets where good food can be found.

The moment we entered, I knew we made a good choice to try a different kind of hotel.  The doormen were wearing white Chinese collared shirts with dark cropped pants and dark loafers.  Not only that, some of them had hairstyles that looked like it came out of a stylish men’s magazine, and one or two could even pass as male models.  But aside from the people, the overall aesthetics was just a good change from the typical hotel.  There were no reception tables where a person stands behind the counter, just a round table in the middle of the lobby where there were two tablets to facilitate check in.  Similarly, you could find a tablet in your room that lets you request any service you might need to make your stay more comfortable.

When we entered the room, we were greeted with some welcome drinks, as well as a nice pack of gummy bears and chocolates.  And shortly after plopping onto the bed, a knock came from one of the crew with a cake and a handwritten note from the team.  All throughout our stay, the staff were always welcoming and helpful every time we passed through the building.  It’s these little details that make you feel you’re treated well, just how you’d like to be treated when you’re on vacation.
minimalist library Boutique hotel 11 Howard Hotel

By the way, this is not a paid ad, just sharing my unbiased customer experience from this hotel. 🙂

Location: 11 Howard St, New York, NY 10013

Traces of Summer: Cali

The wind in my hair speaks of summer in the air.

Polite provisionsIf I were to sum up in a few words what I thought San Diego was like, I’d say the best that would describe my thoughts of it would be: a good balance of bitter and sweet like a good cup of coffee.  Almost everywhere you go you’ll see a laid-back atmosphere, even among working crowds.  There are a few tall buildings in downtown, but majority of the area is flat and spread out.

The city’s aura could be largely due to it’s proximity to the ocean, which allows it’s residents to relax on the beach and enjoy some waves anytime they want.  I uploaded a few photos of the said beach just a few days ago here.

The areas I liked the most was downtown, Little Italy and North Park, where you could easily find a number of good restaurants.  The photos above are from Polite Provisions and Soda & Swine, which are connected to each other at the hip.

The US Grant Luxury HotelAbove: The Grant Luxury Hotel in downtownSan Diego GaslampBelow: The Balboa park botanical gardensBotanic Garden San DiegoBelow: colorful tiles at the Spanish village, Balboa ParkFood in LAAbove: Bottega Louie in downtown LA

Artsy in LA

Just the other day a friend of ours was explaining how when we grow older, tendencies are we’ll resemble our parents more and more.  When I was a kid, I couldn’t be bothered moving from my bed whenever I was engrossed in reading comics or a good book, even if we were on vacation somewhere.  Now, the moment I land up somewhere, one of the first things I do is search on Yelp or Tripadvisor for the best things to see in that city.  And most likely than not a few in the top ten is usually a museum or two.  So now twenty years later, I’ll have to admit that I am resembling my parents more and more in their travel patterns.

LA’s art scene was fun, I should say.  I’m a big fan of contemporary art so seeing strange things that make me wonder usually tickles my fancy.  Some of the things that stick around in my mind longer from those visits are not usually the highlights of exhibits, but rather the ones that don’t get so much attention.  Like entering an elevator that was bigger than a 20 sqm room more than 12 feet high (although it wasn’t an art piece). I thought that was cool.  Or an interactive video art piece where a damsel in petticoat follows your movement and shoots you with a rifle when you least expect it.  Okay I didn’t take pictures of those that I just mentioned, but below are some snaps to give you a little idea about those museums I visited in L.A.

LACMA Los Angeles County Museum LA Art Getty observatory Getty museum LA The Getty LA LA Museums

San Diego Coastline

Sharing some simple images from the coast of San Diego, facing towards the Pacific Ocean, where the waves can sometimes be really strong.  We came in the month of June when they’re known for having June gloom, but I found the gloom inviting, more interesting than having sunny days all throughout.

One thing I noticed for sure, the weather and water temperature were still cold despite being June.  Sunset Beach San Diego Cali rock formation Beach side