Friday, April 30, 2010


I can do both!

I've decided, I am going to do both, and no one can stop me, damn it!

I did some research and I found a couple of people in this world who are actually doing both, and are successful. So since I've found my inspiration -- full strides ahead!

**update coming soon!**

Friday, April 23, 2010

Change of pace

Hey guys, a little change of pace on my blog today. It's invisible to all my readers because I cover this page with pretty pictures and minimal text, but I've been going through a lot of mental and emotional stress these past few months, and especially the past few weeks. This blog is more or less a reflection of how I'd like my life to be -- these things and nothing else. But of course, no person's life is this blessed. Today, I'd like to offer up a little piece of my mind instead.

Have you ever had a dream you were afraid to chase?

Whether it's career related or relationships, has the possibility of failure ever deterred you from trying?

I've always been adamant about pursuing whatever it was that I was passionate about. For the longest time I believed it was photography (and I still do). But truth be told, I'm frightened of the possibility of failure. How many people aspire to become photographers and actually live out their dream? At least to the extent that one can declare "successful" and survive on it?

Of course, I didn't walk this road without a backup plan. I am an Advertising double major and I've interned at a couple of advertising agencies. It's something I also enjoy, I am good at, and would be a more stable career plan, which is essential because I've got quite a large load of college loans to pay off.

So now the fork in the road enters, and I question myself: Am I only pursuing advertising out of fear of failure in photography? Or do I actually like advertising? Which one am I better at?

If photography is my one true love, shouldn't I stop side tracking myself with advertising? Go for it full force?

So many questions are starting to infiltrate my mind. I have one year left till graduation and I am planning to spend my last semester in an exchange program in Singapore. Now add in another crazy part to the equation -- how to pursue my dreams in an unfamiliar country?


I want to challenge myself. Throw myself into the woods and see if I'll survive. 

I'm frightened of failure, but I don't want it to deter me. I suppose I'd rather fail and learn from my mistakes than never try at all. I hear so many horror stories from adults who once had dreams of becoming an artist, actor, or whatever it was they wanted and they decided to go with their back-up career and do their "hobby" on the side. Then slowly but surely, their work became predominant and they put their true passions in life aside. They make up excuses like "it was just a hobby anyways," or "I was never good enough" without ever giving themselves a chance to thrive. Had they given 100 percent, perhaps they would've succeeded.

That's what I'd like to believe anyways, because I'm about to take some crazy risks in pursuit of what I believe will make me happy. Yet I can't help but stare at the safety lines around me. Why NOT choose a career in advertising that I enjoy, and be financially secure? I fear that I'm settling... or am I?

The thought has crossed my mind to merge the two, somehow, but no concrete ideas have formed on how to make that happen, at least not in the near future. here's to throwing myself into the water, and seeing if I'll learn to swim that way. I'm still not exactly sure which path to take, but I promise myself that no matter what, I will pursue whatever it is I am passionate about and pursue it full force. That includes career, relationships, and everything else in life that I want to accomplish.

"Reason is afraid of defeat, but intuition enjoys life and its challenges." -Paulo Coelho

Take care everyone, and don't forget to live to your fullest. Only you can write your own future, don't ever let anyone take that from you. Life's too short to not pursue who you're in love with and what you love.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Day 3 consisted mostly of checking out the Lower East Side, which has now officially become my favorite part of NYC. The reason? The AMAZING selection of food, all packed into one little area. This is my official food heaven.

Cafe Mogador (101 Saint Marks Place)
This was probably one of my favorite eating experiences in my life, ever. Cafe Mogador is a Moroccan restaurant with the absolute most delicious food just about ever. I found them by pure luck when I ran into the previously mentioned two kind ladies in Part 1 of my NYC posts. I swear, they were the Fairy Godmothers of NYC food.


The Mixed Platter, which included tabouli, babaganoush, hummus, and a salad.

Halumi Eggs - poached, with roasted tomato, halumi cheese, olives, salad and za’atar pita

Lunch special with Chicken Tagine in Casablanca sauce (chickpeas, raisins, onions) and cous-cous. IF YOU COULD ONLY ORDER ONE THING HERE, GET THIS!

Abraço (86 East 7th Street)
Due to the many raves on Yelp, I checked out Abraço -- a standing room only coffee bar. This idea itself is new to me, considering this would be absolutely unheard of in Texas. Can't say too much about it as I am not a huge coffee drinker. I will testify that this is not your Starbucks, sugarcoated drink -- serious coffee drinkers only!

Momofuku Milk Bar (207 2nd Avenue)
What's any meal without dessert? My aforementioned Foodie Fairy Godmothers also recommended Milk Bar to me. It was epic, to say the least. Menu items ranged from Compost Cookie (pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips) to Pork Buns.

"Cereal Milk" flavored soft serve. It tasted just like cornflakes and milk.

Crack pie. Looking at this, I was completely unimpressed. What was with all the crazy good Yelp reviews on this thin, uninteresting looking "pie?" It didn't really even have any pie attributes. But the first forkful into my mouth left me wide-eyed and speechless until I chewed and swallowed it whole. My reaction was, "Oh my god!" And then silence as I dug in for more. The name "crack pie" is probably because this is as addicting as crack. No, this is better than crack (not that I know what crack is like). I can't even explain what this tastes like, just know that if heaven was on crack and a constant disco party -- this would be the edible material form of it. Trust me.

I can't wait to revisit this place again the next time I go back!




Later that night, went to Times Square.


Crazy, colorful, neon concrete jungle.

On the last day, I did some last minute shopping along 5th Avenue and also checked out Central Park.



Menkui Tei (60 W 56th St)
Another highly raved Yelp spot for Japanese ramen noodles -- something that surprisingly does not exist in Houston or Austin.

Tonkotsu Ramen - rich pork bone broth noodle soup.

Magnolia Bakery (inside Grand Central Station)
Before saying goodbye to New York, decided to get some -- yes, you know it -- DESSERT!


Vanilla cupcake and a blueberry cobbler.

Outfit 1: French Connection blouse; United Colors of Benetton jacket; Zara jeans; Boots from China
Outfit 2: Forever 21 black top; Zara black jeans; Arden B. leather jacket

Farewell New York City... until we meet again!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



Sometimes it feels like I live in Grand Central Station. Tonight I’m not taking no calls cause I'll be dancing. <3 Gaga






Took the subway to Chinatown to chowdown at the famous Joe's Shanghai!



Joe's Shanghai is probably the most authentic/best tasting soup dumplings (xiao long bao) on this side of the globe. Don't mind the old lady across from me, they stick you in big circle tables with other patrons so that everyone sits awkwardly together... just like in China! It's still VERY, very far off from the actual ones in Shanghai. Xiao long bao is one of my favorite foods, ever. I'm insane enough about them that the last time I went to Shanghai, I kept a "xiao long bao report card" of every place I had them at and then ranked them. Yes.





What's any meal without dessert? Went to the much raved about Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Ended up getting the egg tart and black sesame flavors. Egg tart tasted like vanilla, and black sesame was pretty darn accurate, except I don't even like black sesame. I only got it because so many Yelpers hyped it up. Well now I know what the hype was about; it tasted just like black sesame.


Later that night and after a quick outfit change, went to the famous Nobu 57.



From the street, you'd never know where this restaurant was located, because there are no signs outside. It's one of those New York things where only those in the know, would know where it is. Luckily for me, I had google maps on my iPhone and a nice bum on the street pointing to the door (and ready to make some change from it too).


Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno; ...and crap. I forgot what this second dish was. But I just now noticed the decor on the white plate. It was to dark in there to notice.

Rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce. The shrimp was crisp and fresh, but the taste was underwhelming. Honestly, it tasted like something from PF Changs with better quality seafood, not something that came out of a world acclaimed kitchen. Don't get this.

The FAMOUS black cod with miso, and my absolute fave. When I tried this dish for the first time last year, it sent me on a crazy cod fish craze where I constantly wanted it all the time, nonstop, to the point where I even tried to imitate this dish. My own version still needs some tweaking, but I'd say it'd get maybe a 7/10 in terms of likeness.

For dessert: the banana soy toban yaki. It was banana caramelized with with soy sauce. Surprisingly good mix of salty and sweet.

Theeeeennnnnn after dinner, did a photo session on the way back to the hotel along 5th Avenue.









My feet were ready to fall off that night. Walking from 57th to 45th is no problem. Walking in those shoes felt like I was walking through the whole island of Manhattan.

More to come!

First Outfit: Forever 21 tank; black pleated skirt from China; Forever 21 black tights; Kenneth Cole Reaction black flats; Arden B. leather jacket.

Second Outfit: Kenneth Cole black dress; H&M blazer; Forever 21 black tights; Guess by Marciano shoes.
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