Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New York City

So I am planning a trip to China in February. In order to make the trip I need to obtain a Chinese visa which needs to be applied for in person or via a courier. As I have the time and had not been to NYC I decided to make a trip out of it and go to NYC for a week. Thanks to Alice and Mrs. Lee who made this a great trip for me and gave me an insiders perspective on NYC. Here are some photos.

It was raining when I arrived in NYC

View of the west-side coast of Manhattan one block over from the Chinese consulate.

City view.


Outside the hostel where I stayed in Chelsea. ~$27 a night, not bad for Manhattan. Though hostels in Manhattan can be found for ~$15.

Walking around, oh and there is Greenwhich village. A tribute to London?

Oh, Macys!

Wood escalator at the top of Macys.

And the inside of Macys, which is a lot like most malls to be honest...

Times Square

X^2 again. Get it? times=x square=^2 ? Bad joke.

They have musicals here.

I got a cannoli and cappuccino in Little Italy instead...

Around Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side.

I think this is actually on the Brooklyn side after walking over the Brooklyn Bridge

On the Brooklyn Bridge

Another view

The bridge had a lot of good views...



The city back on the Manhattan side, aww yeah.

Park Monopoly I thought...

The post office.

View from the top of the Empire State building 1

View from the top of the Empire State building 2

View from the top of the Empire State building 3

I am now in the 101 club everyone!

SNL Display at the NBC building around Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller center is in fact a collection on several buildings across 2-4 blocks or so...

Flags around the ice-rink

Wisdom and Knowledge Shall be the Stability of Thy Times

and the ice-rink with the Zimbabwean and Lebanese flags across from each other...

There is an ice-rink at central park too. When it is cold enough anyway, and... IT WAS COLD ENOUGH.


Vacant Chess tables. I blame the cold.

Coolest Carousel Ever.

View from Central Park.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I get to be a judge for a poetry slam in the Nuyorican Cafe. The poetry was excellent.

The hostel organized a pub crawl type thing which ended at Webster Hall club NYC. Quite a famous place as I later read about it. Something about bands getting their start etc...

And the same West-Side bay view one block over from the Chinese consulate after getting my visa 5 days later...

Ladies and Gentlemen...The United Nations!

Idealism printed into concrete.

Grand Central Station

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It really had tons of amazing displays. Whole replicas of ancient ruins in cathedral sized rooms.

A walk along the bay.

There is pier 17. Piers 1-16 are conspicuously absent.

NYC beaches are derelict.

A pier, a sailing ship long put to harbor.

And leaving NYC. The place had a true magical air. You could feel the ocean breeze. The streets are straight, offering views down many blocks. The whole of Manhattan island is built, developed, cosmopolitan. It is a place that has made history in a good way, and will hopefully continue to do so. It felt like the capital of America. Like the ideal which every other city in America echoes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Leaving Hong Kong and Plans to Return to China

This post is long overdue since I left Hong Kong December 10th 2009.

What can I say? The last few days in Hong Kong I went out with the friends I had met here. Went to concerts and around town. Hong Kong felt so much like home, I somehow knew I would be going back. And so I have traveled to NYC to get my visa for China and to attend Tsinghua University, where I will take Mandarin classes there. (Posts forthcoming)

For now, here are some photos that capture the memories of the last few days in HK.

Random photos on a wall around Hung Hom, this captures everything about what is so perfect in Hong Kong culture.

A parade in Sham Shui Po

A view of Hong Kong from the bay in my neighborhood of Fortress Hill

A view of the outlying residential district of Chai Wan. (Not to be confused with Wan Chai)

Another view of Chai Wan.

Entrance to the bird market on the Kowloon side.

The bird market

Random, around Mong Kok I think.

This deity is a signal for a vegan restaurant. I am not sure of the exact history or details.

A roller coaster on the top floor of a mall in Mong Kok. The novelty had long been dispelled leaving the roller coaster vacant and closed.

An ice rink at the top of the same mall.

A look at the metro map. I look at the gray at the top left where the subway lines have not yet been connected. "That is Shenzhen" Kim says. "In 10 years they will connect the lines and the boarder between mainland China and Hong Kong will be open." I look at the map, and try to imagine what kind of world that would be like. Then I turn around, and breathe in Hong Kong once more...

Cool lanterns outside a restaurant in Wan Chai.

View inside the Hong Kong airport.

The mountains which surround the airport and photos of the planes...