Posts Tagged "travel"

Taipei January 2014 Part 2

Posted on Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Our next few days in Taipei were spent just going around the city for random sightseeing and possible shopping! I say “random” and “possible” because we literally did not have an itinerary, and my whole family was depending on me to Google and ask Crissey (who went with her family to Taipei the week before us) where to go. Secretly, I like organizing these things. In a parallel universe, I’d probably be a flight attendant, travel agent or a tour guide. If I have control over the itinerary, I can go to all the places I want, trolololol. #thisfaillogic

We’ve already went to the touristy places outside the city during our first trip to Taiwan, so this trip was pretty much for “relaxation” a.k.a. non-stop shopping and eating.

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Early morning photo of me at the park near Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, another high-end Japanese department store with malls all over the country.

They had IPPUDO here! Made me miss Fukuoka a bit.

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DURAS! By this time, I wasn’t surprised anymore to see Japanese brands so readily available. 

SO JEALOUS THO.

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E hyphen world gallery!

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Brothers waiting outside the mall.

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Wild Ryhorn appeared!

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Had the most awesome yakiniku lunch at Hutong.

Red scarves were in.

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Spotted on the way to the nearest station. Lovely street style! 

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Single-journey token. SO CUTE.

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Me outside the Red Theater in Ximending. 

This place has been around for more than a hundred years now. It was built during the Japanese rule and was designed by a Japanese architect even though the style is totally Western. 

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Inside, you can find a small exhibit about the building, as well as a mini-bazaar of sorts where you can find some quirky products made by young artists and designers.

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My brother Juju came to Taiwan some time ago to watch a Miyavi concert. He showed us where it was held!

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Red on red.

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Ximending time! Chocoolate is a brand that I always see in Hong Kong and Macau. Good to see it here too!

Bruce Wayne seems like a fan.

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Quirky snapbacks everywhere! 

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In my last post, I mentioned that Taiwan had the craziest obsession with EXO. So many girls were taking pictures of the cardboard!Luhan outside Nature Republic.

Hello to Taeyeon at the back! 

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WE WENT TO MODERN TOILET. And it was gross. What would you expect?

Modern Toilet is a bathroom-themed restaurant where your food gets served on mini toilet bowls and urinals. Taste is nothing spectacular but I guess people just go there for the experience.

So glad I was able to cross this out of my list of things to do in Taiwan!

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So many of these printed sweaters and outerwear in Ximending! I guess it was all the rage back in January.

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There’s a store in Ximending called Mag Freak (or something similar to that) and they have the latest issues of Japanese magazines!

Of course, no travel post (in Asia) will ever be complete without some Arashi.

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I also found a store (sadly the name of the store was in Chinese, lol, but it was about 5 minutes walk from the Red Theater) that sold Japanese and Korean music CDs and concert DVDs!

Got myself a copy of Arashi’s Popcorn.

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Adorable Hello Kitty sneakers for kids.

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Taipei is such a dog-friendly place. I’ve never seen a better place where dogs and humans coexist! So many establishments allowed dogs, and so many people also brought their dogs around with them everywhere. 

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Costumes for small dogs! 

Would buy these in a heartbeat if only our dogs didn’t weigh more than 70 lbs, lol.

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CANDIED STRAWBERRIES! It’s hard to focus on just one agenda in Ximending. After every block, you’ll get distracted by all kinds of yummy street food.

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Most people call Ximending a mini-Shibuya. There are similarities but I personally think they have their own charms! 

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Pink-haired girl outside the station.

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Wedding photoshoot in the middle of the street.

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The next day, we found Spongebob and his mom.

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No, but seriously, we killed time by walking around the city again.

Somehow, my legs turn into steel when I’m traveling. I can walk for hours and never get tired. 

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We went to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park thinking we would find something like a mini Central Park where we could take pictures of pretty trees and flowers.

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But we were greeted by this new mall called Eslite Spectrum where we spent the whole morning spazzing over the stores inside. #priorities

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(EMODA necklace, top and skirt, Jeanasis coat, Urban Outfitters boots) Hype this look on Lookbook here.

Took some full body photos because I was starting to forget that I also document my outfits on this blog, lol.

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PLAY by Comme des Garçons for Converse.

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Accessories store display inside the mall.

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Can I live here?

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Had another awesome lunch at a restaurant inside Eslite Spectrum. You can never go wrong with food in Taiwan! 

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Band practice!

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Dropped by the famous Hello Kitty cafe. Didn’t try anything because of the mixed (leaning on bad) reviews, but I’m glad they let me take pictures! 

This place is only about 10-15 minutes away from our hotel. I told you Zhongxiao Dunhua / Daan District / whatever you call it = the place to be. Barbie Cafe was also in the area.

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Too pretty to eat.

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There’s a box on the road where motorcycles are supposed to stay while waiting for the traffic light. I wish we had something similar here too so our roads could be a wee bit more organized.

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Quirky fashion stores were everywhere in our area! Lucky! I love Taipei!

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Street food break. You’ll wonder how the Taiwanese are all able to maintain their slim figures. Because FOOD. 

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Nighttime stroll.

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This little fluffy fella was patiently waiting for his/her owner who was fitting clothes inside the store.  

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On the day of our flight, we went to mass in the morning. On our way back to the hotel, I found little red riding hood walking with her mom at the park!

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Had a fixation on middle parts last January.

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Perfect weather. Note to self: first week of January is a great time to go to Taipei.

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Cool-looking station by the park. Spotted a cosplayer and a photographer having a mini photoshoot on the left.

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Lunch time! I must confess that we were just in this restaurant the night before.

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The restaurant is called Du Hsiao Yueh and it’s also near our hotel. We were hooked. This place serves great, affordable food!

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Pink and yellow. Print on print.

Guy in the background also had an interesting outfit. Funky pants!

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Coffee and cake at TJB (The Jeans Bar) Cafe. The interiors were so pretty. That pale shade of pastel blue!

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One final walk around the side/back streets of Zhongxiao Dunhua before heading to the airport. 

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I should’ve bought this off-shoulder ribbon sweater. REGRET. /cry

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Blue for boys. Pink for girls. Couldn’t pass this couple photo up because it has always been a staple in my travel diaries.

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Looks like a scene from a movie. 

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Taipei was so good to me. I’m so psyched to go back again, preferably with Crissey! Food and fashion? Definitely right up our alley.

Taipei January 2014 Part 1

Posted on Sunday, 13 April 2014

Second time in Taipei but only properly blogging about it now because the last trip was already about a decade ago. My family and I never really got around to visiting Taiwan again (together) until this trip last January. We were too obsessed with Japan. However, for the first time, I was actually glad that we didn’t go through with our usual Christmas in Kyushu tradition because Taipei proved to be such a wonderful place! I didn’t have any free time to roam around on my own the last time, so this time I was able to immerse myself and get my bearings better. 

Some people who like Asian culture prefer places like Hong Kong, Japan or Korea as holiday/shopping destinations, but little did they know that they can find a little bit of each culture in Taiwan. I had so much fun shopping because aside from the awesome local brands that they had, Japanese and Korean brands were also readily available. 

Things were all affordable too. You can get by with so little but still be able to experience the most awesome-tasting food and drinks! Transportation was quite reasonable as well - their train system was planned by the Japanese so it’s very efficient (even more efficient than Tokyo itself, imho) and not at all difficult to understand.

I can really see myself coming back to Taiwan more often! Mostly for shopping and food. 

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After checking in at our hotel, we walked a few blocks to the nearest Din Tai Fung for lunch. We stayed at Zhongxiao (Dunhua) / Daan District area, which is, imho, the best place to stay in Taiwan if you more or less like the same stuff as me.

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Style spotting. Matching boots and coat.

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Walked all the way to Sun Yat Sen Memorial where you can see Taipei 101 in the background. Didn’t really stay long here because the place was huge, but inside you can find a lot of historical displays of Sun Yat Sen’s life and the revolution that he led.

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Snapped on our way to Eslite Mall where we geeked out on books! No photos of the place but you can find it along Xinyi Road on the way to Taipei 101.

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Outside was this Johnny Walker display that apparently spells out Happy New Year or something if you look at it from a certain angle. 

I only found out AFTER I came back to Manila. Crissey was in Taiwan with her family the week before we went, and she took a picture of the same thing. Psychic #Trissey powers.

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Taipei 101 used to be the world’s tallest tower from 2004 to 2010. It looks so little in these pictures but it is actually massive! Taking a picture of the whole thing is virtually impossible unless you do it from a distance.

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There’s a high-end shopping mall on the 1st-5th floors, but we headed straight for the top to check out how Taipei looks like at night. There’s an outdoor observatory deck and an indoor one on the 88th-91st floors.

On the top floor (101st) is, as you would expect, a restaurant/club.

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Lights were relatively dim compared to other cities I’ve seen from towers at night, but it only adds to the quiet, understated charm that Taiwan has.

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The most well-lit place was this basketball court.

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The 600+ ton steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper (the biggest in the world). It exists to offset movements in the building that are caused by strong winds, etc.

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Had dinner at a restaurant called South Beauty in ATT 4 FUN, a mall near Taipei 101. Everything was so good and nothing hurt.

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Perfect strawberry shortcakes (my favorite kind of cake) on the way back to the hotel.

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Same face, different hair.

The next morning, we had a lot of free time to kill before our tour in the afternoon. We just booked the tour the day before via our hotel concierge. This is our idea of a vacation.

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Walking to the nearest shopping mall, (Pacific) SOGO.

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Was immediately greeted by LIZ LISA. I felt at home already, lol.

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SNIDEL

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ROYAL PARTY

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Near the mall (which was also near our hotel) was FAVVI@hotel. FAVVI stores selling Japanese brands are all over the city but the brands they sell in each one are different.

i.e. MERCURYDUO, titty&Co. in FAVVI@hotel, MURUA and EMODA in FAVVI@party, jouetie in FAVVI@tube, etc.

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Tour time! First stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

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I grew up always hearing about Chiang Kai Shek because my dad graduated from the Chinese school of the same name here in Manila. 

In elementary and high school, I loved studying history, and it was never a chore for me to read about Chinese (and Asian and World history in general) history.

It helps to be a geek early in life - the enjoyment that I got from studying history and from anime/manga was the same kind of enjoyment.

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Coming to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, I felt like we were best friends already, lol. Everything was so familiar.

Changing of the guards. One of them looked like a K-pop idol! 

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Red hair, don’t care!

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One of the Japanese girls from the same tour group came up to me and told me that she liked my outfit and that she thought I was pretty. Japanese standard of beauty - UNLOCKED?!

I told her I just had tons of make-up on and that anyone could look decent with the right tools and techniques, lol. #soannoying #humblebrag 

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National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine.

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Mom and I.

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Just in time for another one of these changing of the guards things. My brothers were joking about how these people were the same ones from Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, lol.

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Visited a temple in the middle of a residential area.

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Took this on the way back to the hotel. Sadly, I couldn’t really take photos of the National Palace Museum since it was forbidden.

Still, the place is a must-see! Watch out for the famous Jade Cabbage.

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Nighttime shopping at FAVVI@party which is about 5-7 minutes walk from our hotel.

Splurged on EMODA and MURUA! Lots of old stock MURUA were also on sale, driving a lot of stylish Taiwanese girls crazy.

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Zhongxiao Dunhua side and back streets are the best thing ever! If you see all the fashionable people from the nearest station walking in the same direction, this is probably where they’re headed. It’s like a mini Harajuku slash Myeongdong where everyone in the street is well-dressed and where all the local, independent stores are to die for.

I’m still not over this place! I went shopping here almost every day I was in Taiwan because I always found something I wanted every single time. Will post more photos taken in daylight in my next entry.

I guess the reason why I love it so much is because you can’t really find the same items in the mall? Maybe you can find some similar stuff in Ximending, but the vibe here is quirkier and more artsy. I’m a sucker for places like these.

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This store combined two coats together to create this unique two-tone look. Who would’ve thought this could work?

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Bought a fluffy pink sweater here! My mom also found some items that fit her style. Don’t be afraid to bring your parents here because they might find some things they like too.

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Lots of cute cafes and restaurants here! Don’t know if any of them are good but they all seem pretty and picturesque!

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Lots of men’s fashion here too. More than the ones you can find in the mall.

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One of my favorite places in this area is ARTIFACTS! Very reminiscent of Opening Ceremony.

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Cute window display at the Stay Real cafe.

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3 CONCEPT EYES HEAVEN! Among all Korean cosmetic brands, I believe in this brand the most. I’ve been using a lot of their lip products recently and everything works like a charm!

I found this at a beauty store that also sells Taiwanese and Japanese beauty products. Don’t count on me to give the store name because I can’t with Mandarin, haha

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Dirty Pretty! This place reminded me so much of Harajuku!

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When in Taipei, you can’t NOT try the street food.

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Miracles… in January!

Taiwan has the biggest obsession with EXO so it was fun going inside stores and hearing Growl everywhere.

Interestingly, on the day of my departure, EXO arrived from Korea! Too bad my flight was in the afternoon and they already arrived around noon.

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3CE make-up haul. I highly recommend the lip crayons (though make sure you also buy the sharpener too) and this “More Brown” eyeshadow set. It has become an essential part of my everyday eye make-up routine. 

Will post the next one very soon because *le gasp* I have 5 pending Tokyo entries and I have to rush everything before I leave for the US this May and June! 

My dream is to have a life here in Manila that is as interesting as my travels. I need to go out more so I can post more travel entries!

LA November 2013

Posted on Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The only reason why this entry exists is because my mom decided to stay a day and a half in LA before going on the long flight back to Manila. I thought this was a good idea too because I didn’t want to go straight from Boston -> Detroit, Detroit -> LA, LA -> Manila all in one go either. Plus it’s been 10 years since my last visit to LA! So many feels because as a kid I had really good memories of this place. Because Disneyland.

We stayed at Hollywood Boulevard and took pictures of touristy places like tourists would. Later on, my mom’s friend from college was able to take some time off from work to drive us around. This was crucial as my impression of LA was starting to become just Hollywood, lol. There are lots of other pretty places in LA too, but I’ll have to save them for the next trip. Maybe it’s the lack of time but I felt a little crippled during this trip? Everyone seems to have a car and commuting isn’t as common as in the East Coast. Correct me if I’m wrong!

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El Capitan Theatre. Open since the 1920s!

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It felt so weird all of a sudden to not wear a coat after Chicago, New York and Boston.

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Chinese Theater!

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Footprints, handprints, and autographs of some famous Hollywood celebrities.

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Hollywood Walk of Fame! The 5 entertainment categories have their own symbols so you’d know if someone was a given a star for their contribution in the motion picture, television, music, radio or theater industries.

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This Spiderman looks nothing like the one I saw in Times Square!

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Hollywood First National Bank.

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Dolby Theater. You know, where the Oscars are held.

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Hollywood and Highland. Around the time GANTZ premiered at the Chinese Theater a few years ago, I was able to watch a clip of Nino and Matsuyama Kenichi doing some silly things all over the city. Like ask random passersby if they knew who the two of them were, buy souvenirs for their co-stars, wash their socks at a coin laundry (lol), etc. 

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Darth Vader judging that costume…

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The force is strong with this one.

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Spotted Brangelina at Madame Tussauds. I’ve been to the one in London and I must say that they are quite different. Visiting both museums wouldn’t be redundant. Most of the figures wouldn’t be caught wearing the same exact outfit.

The one in LA is also more interactive. Like there are chairs beside the figures and you can take selfies with them if you wanted to.

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Gaga had her own special space where the lighting was absolutely gorgeous.

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James Dean!

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Audrey <3 

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My favorite figures! Robert Redford and Paul Newman as Butch and Sundance.

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*cue 007 theme song*

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Life is like a box of chocolates.

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When art imitates life.

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Wish changing hair colors were this easy. I love that pinkish red in between the brown and orange.

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Fake Oscars.

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Count on me to remember the names of historical places, but I cannot remember for the life of me the place of this shopping mall…

Anyhow, we literally just breezed through this place on the way to the newly-opened Kate Spade Saturday on W 3rd St.

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Magnolia Bakery behind me! No smiles here because the sun was terribly high. Look at those shadows.

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Found it!

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I usually splurge on a lot of stuff here but I just bought a dress (I was such a good girl this whole trip!) while my mom bought a lot of everyday-type (not just Saturday) clothes. The styles fit her taste so well.

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Drove around the city with mom’s friend. I have no idea what some of these places are called. 

I officially declare this entry the official “when Tricia was most useless” entry.

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Palm trees and sunny skies.

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Had Sunday mass somewhere in this area.

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When in LA. 

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On the day of our flight back to Manila, my mom’s friend drove us to different places, including the…

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…Annenberg Space for Photography! THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY TRIP. My mom’s friend is a photography enthusiast, and she wanted to bring us there when she found out that I was into photography as well. TEARS. No photos allowed inside though.

The current exhibition is called The Power of Photography by National Geographic. Instead of printing the photos out, they opted for multiple high-definition TV screens to show all the iconic National Geographic photos. 

They’re celebrating their 125th year anniversary with a wonderful exhibit. It will only be up until April 27th though! Check it out! 

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The closest I could get to the Hollywood sign.

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Hipsters outside the Griffith Observatory. The girl on the right had the nicest blue-green hair!

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Obligatory couple photo.

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City of Angels.

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Not Lorde, lol.

So that’s the last of my US travel diaries from last year. I still have Taiwan and Tokyo to post before I go to the US again in May, so wish me luck with all the editing and sorting out. May I upload them as early as possible! 

Boston November 2013

Posted on Saturday, 15 March 2014

After the whirlwind that was my 3 short days in New York, things finally got to slow down when we arrived in Boston. My aunt (mom’s sister) has been living there for more than 2 decades, so it was nice having some sort of tour guide who perfectly knew what do and where to bring us around. 

I stayed in Boston much longer than New York but I took a few days off this time and didn’t bother to fix up or bring my camera at all. There was even a time I stayed overnight at my other aunt’s place at Rhode Island, and another time I finished a legit Maine lobster in Maine all by myself. Still dreaming about it until now.

Anyhow, I fell in love with Boston as soon as my aunt picked us up from the airport. Harvard / college town realness! My first encounter with The T (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA but more commonly now as The T) included a lot of students in sweaters and stuff that movies are made of. Adorable.

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Trinity Church.

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Remember my Chicago post? Here’s another Hancock tower.

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Early morning walk. It was freezing. Don’t be fooled by the sun.

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You’ll see more of these Red Sox signs in the next couple of photos.

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Was introduced to the city via Boston Duck Tours. I got to ride a World War II amphibious DUKW vehicle! It was a short but sweet city tour, and the tour guide we had was absolutely hilarious. Kept on emphasizing the words “THE FIRST” every time he would mention it. And he probably mentioned it 20+ times.

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The Massachusetts State House had another one of these banners. I heard they occasionally dress the city’s historical statues up in Red Sox jerseys every World Series season.

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So. Clean.

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The road to Charlestown to the left. Charlestown is the oldest neighborhood in Boston. 

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Longfellow Bridge. The statues on the pillars are of viking ships.

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Even the Old South Church is in celebration.

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After the tour, we went to Newbury Street. It immediately became my most favorite place in Boston. Quiet and quaint. Just the way I like it.

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Got to try these hot chocolate drinks at L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates (along Clarendon). Nom.

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4-5 layers and still underdressed. At least I had nice pants. 

(They are from EMODA, by the way!)

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Almost all the building along Newbury Street looked like this! I didn’t get to do a lot of shopping because I spent more time taking pictures, but I did reach Urban Outfitters at the end of this street and bought more useless shenanigans again, lol. That store will be the death of me.

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Sunset already? No wonder people worship the sun in this part of the world. This was only around 4 PM.

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Lots of quirky shops in Newbury Street. One of my faves was Pinkyotto! Totally my style!

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Halloween hangover.

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#punny

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The next day, we took the T again to see Harvard!

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Harvard book store. Since 1932. I love the little crests and the curved staircase.

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Too gray for Elle Woods, but just right for me (as if I went to Harvard, lol).

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We picked a really good time to go to Boston. Winter was near, but thankfully, some of the leaves refused to fall because the world conspired in my favor. They still needed to be there to prettify the world through my lens. 

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See?

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Didn’t have time to go to all the places in Harvard because it was huge! We just decided to take The Freedom Trail in the afternoon.

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What is The Freedom Trail?

During the 1950s, some concerned Boston citizens wanted to preserve the history of the American Revolution. They decided to mark the 16 most significant sites and connect them with a 2.5 mile walking trail that is bricked or painted with a red line.

You can go to all of the sites by just following the red line on the ground. No need for cars or a tour guide!

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First stop - Boston Common. Established in 1634, Boston Common is America’s oldest public park. 

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Granary Burying Ground where a lot of famous people are buried. 

There is a huge obelisk in the middle of the graveyard to mark where Benjamin Franklin’s parents were buried.

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One of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

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John Hancock, we finally meet. I am not surprised that your tomb is so tall like all of your buildings around the US.

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Paul Revere’s Tomb.

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Lunch time at Parker House, birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie. A must try in Boston!

I’ve no photos of the famous Parker House rolls but omg, I can eat that stuff every day. Interestingly, the rolls are famous enough to have their own Wikipedia page.

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Benjamin Franklin’s statue in front of the Boston Latin School, America’s oldest public school.

Ben Franklin was one of the school’s dropouts.

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Old State House, at the intersection of Washington and State Streets. 

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Saw this at a store in Faneuil Hall.

Our Duck Tours tour guide spoke in what was actually Boston Accent… though I initially thought he was Australian who just somehow found his way to teaching people about Boston’s culture, lol. 

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The Great Hall. This has been around since 1792! 

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Stairs bearing the names of the 13 original states. At the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts. 

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Photos weren’t allowed inside in this place, sadly.

Dating back to the 1680s, Paul Revere’s house is the oldest building in downtown Boston. It’s just a very small place but it was nice to see how people lived during that time, and what kind of furniture they used, etc.

I’m still curious how he all managed to fit his family in there.

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Tried the famous cannoli at Mike’s Pastry! Lived up to my expectations.

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At the Memorial Garden in front of the Old North Church. Dog tags to commemorate those who died during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.  

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Hey there, kitty! They say black cats are bad luck but I just think they’re cute.

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Started to get dark already at 4 in the afternoon. What the.

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Snapped on the way to the USS Constitution. 

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The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. We didn’t know it was going to be closed to the public that day (maybe the black cat really did bring us bad luck) so we weren’t able to know more about it. 

But wow, it was gorgeous. Very fitting as the last stop in The Freedom Trail.

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Back to the city we went. The next few days were just spent driving around different places in Massachusetts and visiting some malls and outlets. Once you get to visit an outlet in the US, you’ll never want to buy anything full price in regular malls anymore, lol. My youngest brother had the grandest time splurging on so many shoes. 

A little sad that I only have one more US post pending because I really had fun making these, but yay for good news - I’ll be heading to San Francisco (albeit very briefly like my LA stop last time), Florida and Las Vegas with my family in May. 

I also have 2 pending Taiwan posts, and more Japan goodness! I’m heading to Tokyo for work next week and I’m so excited to see early sakura! 

New York October/November 2013 Part 2

Posted on Monday, 24 February 2014

Continuing from where we left off with the last of my New York travel diaries. Until now, it still pains me to think of how short the duration of my stay in the Big Apple was! There are way too many things to do and people to meet. 3 days is definitely not enough! 

I’ll just have to go again soon!

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A quirky Korean cafe near our hotel. I love Koreatown because it all feels very familiar!

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Halloween hangover. 

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On our first full day in New York, my mom, brother and I decided to head to Central Park! We couldn’t have picked a better time to go because the weather was very cooperative for once. The sun was out and it was glorious.

Luck, please stay with me forever!

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Is this real life or is this just fantasy? 

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Chilling at Central Park! We went in the morning so there weren’t too many people yet.

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The San Remo apartments. Lots of famous people live here, and I envy them for having such a wonderful view of Central Park.

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I’ve only seen the park in winter before, and I must say that the best time to go is during autumn. Everything ends up looking like a painting.

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That reflection tho.

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Bethesda Terrace. Another famous landmark that we always see in movies.

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Spot the couple. I always have photos of couples in my travel diaries, if you’ve noticed!

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New York street style. <3

After Central Park, we had quick lunch somewhere and headed to The Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue, between 70th and 71st Street. They didn’t allow photography so I’ll just have to write about it.

PLEASE GO TO THE FRICK COLLECTION IF YOU’RE IN NEW YORK. It is one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. If Henry Clay Frick were still alive, I’d want to ask him, “Are you me?” I have a very similar taste in art as him.

So many favorites in the collection. Don’t know where to start. Besides Vermeer’s work (The Girl With The Pearl Earring was there for a limited time, and I’ll have to thank the universe for letting me see it!), there was a whole French-style room with Fragonard’s paintings. I love Fragonard’s work and I wish I could live in that Fragonard room.

Another favorite was the Boucher room. (Can you tell that I really like French artists?)

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After The Frick Collection, we headed straight for all the other touristy places we haven’t been to.

This was shot from inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Too bad 90% of the place was under construction so I couldn’t take more photos! It was all scaffolding. /cry

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Rockefeller Center.

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Had cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery (Avenue of the Americas). Couldn’t get a proper photo because there were too many people wanting to get some yummy noms.

What people do for food!

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SoHo. Lots of 2011 memories here! I didn’t do any shopping this time (I had to ask myself a number of times if I were sick, lol) but it was fun to show my mom and brother around.

One of the nicest places to shop for shoes! 

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Last stop was the Opening Ceremony store a.k.a. my dream walk-in closet.

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On our last day, before heading to the airport for our Boston flight, we decided to go MoMA / Museum of Modern Art. 

This was also one of the highlights of my trip because I got to see  with my very own eyes a lot of the iconic work I used to just read/study/research about.

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Hello there, Dali! The Persistence of Memory.

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MONDRIAN! I’ve always been vocal about my fixation on squares, straight lines and anything boxy (which even translates to my everyday fashion)…

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…and I have Piet Mondrian partly to blame for everything. 

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Last one. I promise.

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Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

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Klimt <3

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Affogato at the museum cafe. 

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Warhol’s Soup Cans.

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Another Warhol.

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It’d hurt to read this.

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Yayoi Kusama.

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Ruscha.

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POLLOCK. OMG!

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So beautiful.

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The view outside. I wonder how it feels like to live right across MoMA.

Reminds of a driver we met in Rome a few years ago. He gets to pass by the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica everyday like it’s nothing, lol. 

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I want a similar one in my future house.

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That famous blank canvas that always gets people thinking.  

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Hauntingly beautiful. Now, imagine something creepy coming out of that small cabinet…

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Back outside!

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Commuting in New York like a boss. Once you get the hang of the Uptown and Downtown thing, it all becomes easier. 

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Walking back to our hotel at this point.

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Checked this Alice and Olivia store out because I’m such a fan of the brand! Had a small conversation with the sales lady about her friends leaving her all alone in New York while they all enjoyed Halloween in Boston. Then she asked me where I was going that night… and I was like, uhh, Boston? D:

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More noms. There is always time for New York bakeries.

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Inside the Empire State Building. Didn’t have time to go up anymore. /bawls

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The New York Marathon happened on this day, and we found a lot of these marathoners wrapped with orange all over the city.

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Last bite before leaving the city.

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Spectacular way to start November 2013. I’ve always had a soft spot for November because it’s my birth month, but awesome things ALWAYS happen before my birthday! This whole US trip was one of them.

Stay tuned for my Boston, LA and Taipei posts next! 

New York October/November 2013 Part 1

Posted on Friday, 31 January 2014

I just breezed through New York when I went to the US last year. Apologies to all my NYC friends who were shocked when I started posting photos on Instagram! I dropped zero hints that I was visiting, lol. Promise to spend a week or two in the city next time! 

New York in less than 3 days = crazy, but totally doable. While my mom was booking tickets to Chicago, Boston, etc., I begged her to book tickets to New York too, even if it means only doing touristy stuff and zero shopping time.

I didn’t get to do ANYTHING during my last trip in 2011. Can’t remember if I mentioned this already, but I suffered from a 39 degree fever and a urinary tract infection the whole Tumblr x NYFW. It was so bad that I constantly had to go to the hospital, get prescription antibiotics, take care of myself enough to attend shows and take pictures, socialize and pretend that I was completely fine, survive in -15C winter weather, be conscious enough not to contaminate anyone with my germs, and stay in the confines of my hotel room for 3 whole days. Just my luck.

Worst part was I missed watching Wicked! Thankfully, I’m watching Wicked in Manila end of February so yay after 3 years, it’s finally happening! 

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Stayed in Koreatown / West 32nd Street again! Thanks to all the yummy Asian food for aiding my recovery last 2011. Eat all the rice and noodles!

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Flew in via plane from Chicago to New York instead of taking the Amtrak, but we would’ve wound up in Penn Station if we did. Good thing we didn’t, because Penn Station was so packed! It was almost impossible to breathe.

We got to our hotel mid-afternoon, and booked last minute tickets to a broadway show. Luckily, there were still some seats available for Jersey Boys!

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Near our hotel was this quirky food bazaar. 

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Batman spotted!

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Jersey Boys was great, but I missed a scene or two because of jet lag. The mind was willing but the body was too weak. 

To those who have no idea about the story, it’s based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Some of their popular hits during the ’60s were Big Girls Don’t Cry, Sherry, My Eyes Adored You and of course, the hit single, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

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After the show, we headed to Times Square to take photos and check all the Halloween shenanigans out.

There were zombies everywhere. And some were quite scary because they were really in character. Creepy zombie walk with creepy zombie sounds. Some of them would go up to your face and deliberately scare you while you’re walking and minding your own business, lol.

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Couldn’t have picked a better night to go to Times Square. So many people went all out with their costumes. Legit ones and slutty ones.

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We originally wanted to watch Kinky Boots but tickets were sold-out! Seems like you have to book tickets 2-3 months ahead if you want to watch it. 

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Spiderman spotted. Can’t wait for The Amazing Spiderman 2!

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I felt like I was at a cosplay convention. People were taking pictures left and right. For once, I didn’t feel out of place!

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1 million dollars fee for a photo. *evil laugh*

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Edgy Halloween fashion. Look at her tail!

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Suddenly, Hook and Tink happened.

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Sacrificed my life to get this photo. 

Also, omg, the weather was so wonderful, I could finally leave my coat in my luggage. 

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Last photo before I had to keep my camera inside my bag to protect it from the rain.

Randomly found Pie Face (my favorite place to have breakfast in Melbourne) on my way back to the hotel, but the cheese sticks paled in comparison to the original. Boo! Bring me back to Melbourne!

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My mom left all the planning to me because I’m such an enthusiastic tourist and I enjoy making itineraries. Sometimes I whine about making them, but I secretly love it. I also enjoy being in charge of the map! I’m fairly good with directions and I’ve never gotten my family lost before. 

MUST NOT WASTE TIME. MUST GO TO ALL THE PLACES POSSIBLE.

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Decided to go the 9/11 Memorial before catching the last boat to the Statue of Liberty. 

I never took the NY subway in 2011 in favor of cabs, but I tried it with my mom and brother for the experience. So confusing! However, it gets so much better once you realize the Uptown/Downtown thing. (Went to Boston after New York and I just wanted to hug the T for being so nice, easy and clean in comparison!)

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I’m such a huge fan of buildings that look like this. BRB, spazzing over the pretty reflections.

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Recognized this wall from Everybody Street, a documentary about New York’s iconic street photographers (Jill Freedman is one of my heroes).

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The memorial plaza includes the north pool and south pool, set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers. The 9/11 memorial exuded a very solemn and peaceful atmosphere despite the tragedy that left a lot of people confused, angry and fearful.

The weeping waterfalls will make you want to cry.

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On the birthday of the victims, a white rose is placed by their name.

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Walked to New York Harbor to take the ferry to Liberty Island.

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Hello Statue of Liberty from afar!

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That surreal moment when the buildings look computer-generated when they are very much real. New York makes you doubt your eyes.

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This little kid’s just as excited as me! Props for being able to stand on the deck though. I get sea sick easily!

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Ellis Island, the gateway for immigrants to the United States. It was the busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.

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Liberty Island at last.

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Statue of Liberty by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France in 1886. 

It was so massive that I couldn’t take a photo of myself in front of it without cropping Lady Liberty’s head off. 

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Took the same ferry back to the city. Spotted this girl who had the cutest sailor jacket! WANT.

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Met up with mom’s friend for dinner. She brought us to a French restaurant somewhere in the Flatiron District.

Yay for more reflective buildings.

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One of my favorite travel photos EVER. Perfect timing, perfect weather, perfect lighting, etc. Thank you universe for conspiring to make this magical photo happen.

The building is known as “Flatiron” because of its resemblance to a clothes iron. It was designed by Daniel Burnham… who came from none other than Chicago, the architectural capital of the US. After my Chicago trip, I’m not surprised anymore that some of the greatest buildings in the US were made by Chicago architects.

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Shake Shack at Madison Square Park! A week or two after I took this photo, my brother’s friend lined up here and found Taylor Swift and Lorde in the same line. 

Watch out for Part 2 soon! More photos of Central Park, MoMA, etc!