Puppy Photography in South Street Seaport

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Careful.”

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One fall Saturday this October, we took the kids to the dog park in South Street Seaport. Rice, the Westie in the picture, always enjoys running around and playing with other puppies, big or small. Cookie, Val, and Chase had a great time chasing each other as well.

In capturing this picture, we had to balance getting the puppies’ attention and making sure that they stay in their position. I’m very happy with how it turned out, as their poses showed a bit of their personalities!

The Freedom Tower and The River

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Half and Half.”

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A few blocks away from work is the Hudson River Park, which is my favorite park in the city. Not only do you get a picturesque view of the Hudson River, downtown NYC, and Hoboken, but the park is also excellent for biking, running, or the simple joy of hanging out with friends.

Do you have a landscape or a particular place that you’d always love to come back to? This particular landscape is one of my favorites, and has been the subject of my many Instagram posts.

During summer, I sometime would spend lunch breaks on one of the benches there. There has been a time when Chris biked from 57th St. to W Houston St. to meet me for lunch (it took him around 15-20 mins to go downtown, and another 15-20 to get back. So that only left 20-30 mins for the “actual” meal!). I would also come here after work and wait for the sunset, as sunsets are very beautiful here.

Parks are one of the “luxuries” that every New Yorker gets to enjoy in the city, especially during the summer. The city gets crowded during the summer because of tourists, but I think there’s no better season to enjoy this beautiful city. There are a lot of free activities held at parks, too.

Hope you, too, are having a lovely summer! (Well, if you’re located in the Northern Hemisphere lol)

Endless open doors in Angkor Wat

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Door.”

Here are some of the photos from my Cambodia trip with my Dad and my younger brother. I went back home in December 2013, and we took a trip to Thailand and Cambodia.

These doors tell tourists and visitors the ancient and age-old stories that are forever embedded in them. It tells numerous stories of religion and deep-seated beliefs, of rulers and followers, of tradition and mystery. To me it was a story of fascination as we walked these paths of myths and wonders and it felt great that my brother and dad were there to experience it with me.

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The beauty of Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon has always been in my bucket list. So when the opportunity to go to Las Vegas came up, I just had to put Grand Canyon in our itinerary.

We took a bus tour from Las Vegas (the bus picked us up from the Stratosphere Hotel) which took us to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon. For $80 each, it surely was a bargain! So here’s one of the best pictures I’ve taken using my camera, and definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen so far.

New Orleans for my birthday

IMG_7944In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Muse.”

For my birthday this year, I decided to pack my bags and go to New Orleans for the weekend. I enjoyed the culture, sightseeing, the food (especially the food! did anyone mention happy hour?), and the company of friends.

Here’s a picture of Jackson Square – taken while we were on our way to get the famous beignets. Yummy!

Cherry blossoms and tulips in Brooklyn Botanic Garden

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.”

Spring is my favorite season. And this calls to mind blooming flowers and life coming back to the city after a harsh and long winter. I always look forward to going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to go see the cherry blossoms and tulips. They have free admission (or donate-as-you-wish) on Saturdays from 10-12PM. However, if you have an NYC ID (which is free, by the way, and it’s a nice picture ID), you can get free one-year memberships to city museums, BBG included. Even though the city’s museums are mostly non-profit, which means that you can really donate and pay-as-you-wish (instead of paying the stated admission price), having this NYC ID perk is a great addition.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken today!

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Upper East Side

The exercise for today after work was to test out my new lens (I got 24mm f/2.8 STM – my very first wide angle lens!). I was so excited to take it out for a spin, and I just couldn’t wait to go home after I picked up my lens from B&H.

Here are some of my pictures – hope you like it as much as I do! Looks like my 50mm has competition…IMG_7364

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Bethesda Fountain in Central Park | Couch to 8K

Today, I woke up early again for a quick morning jog with my friends. The Vancouver marathon is exactly a week away, and I have not really been training for it.

Today, there was a lot of people and families in Central Park. A 3-mile run was scheduled this morning, and so we also ran with the participants to boost our energy and to keep moving forward. 

Here’s a lovely picture of the Bethesda fountains. Spring is really in tbe city!!!

A first look at spring in NYC

We all remember how the official first day of Spring in NYC was. It looked something like this:   But when I had a jog early afternoon today, the weather was very pleasant!  See those petals floating? Those are cherry blossoms and boy, they’re ready to be in full bloom in a matter of days!      

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

Motion and Action in Frozen Lake George

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FROZEN LAKE GEORGE. Imagine stepping on this huge lake in upstate New York. Chris surprised me with a little weekend in Lake George for our anniversary. Mind you, winter this year was very brutal and it was very chilly in upstate NY.

I remember stepping on the lake, and I was filled with excitement because I’ve never set foot on a frozen lake before. There were activities for families, as there was a festival there in February. I’ve heard that Lake George is very beautiful during the summer and I hope to be back soon!

Here are other pictures from our trip:

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Imagine diving in such brutal temperatures!

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

To João: An early bird’s stroll in Copacobana

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Early morning light in Copacobana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

I took this photo during my morning stroll in the Copacobana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

The beach is beautiful, as well as the city. And who can forget about their very delicious cuisine? This more than trumps my unfavorable memories of Rio de Janeiro.

I only spent two days in Rio de Janeiro during my solo backpacking trip in South America back in October 2014 (too short, I know, since it was a layover). Even though I was aware that there are ATM scams in the city (I was prepared! I read numerous articles about it before my trip) or I was conscious of my every move or I took a lot of precautions, I still was made a victim to this crime. Never have I been robbed until I had gone to this city. It amazes me how fast people are to adapt to technology, both in good and bad ways. Fraud protection is the next best thing to sliced bread, if not the best thing in the world (props to Chase for saving my bank account).

It was about day three in my 11-day trip, and I was already feeling fatigued, tired and restless. As soon as I got into my hostel, which was about a good three blocks from the beach, I broke down and cried to the guy by the hostel’s reception. I was clearly disheveled, confused, lacked sleep, and I was in my worst mood (What was I doing in this place, alone?). My itinerary for this city already went down the drain. After I cleaned up and cried all the tears that I can cry, I summoned up all the courage that I can muster and braved this city. The lovely gentleman, João, tried to have a conversation as I was about to head out, probably to have a good second impression of this girl in distress. He spoke good English, too. To my surprise, he gave me a nice, warm hug and reassured me that everything will be okay and that the city is not entirely what I thought it was.

Whenever I see this picture, I’m reminded of the good people by the beach who took time out of their busy schedule to tell me directions to where I was headed or where I can find cheap but yummy eats. In my travels, I always keep in mind that there are good people out there that I’ll meet – people are generally helpful, especially to tourists… and solo women travelers. I may never have known their names, or remember their faces, or  shared my experiences with them, but they’ve surely left footprints in my memory. Without them, I may never have these beautiful stories to tell.

This blog entry is dedicated to all the João’s in this world. It was very refreshing that in a foreign land full of unknown wonders and unfamiliar faces, someone made me remember why I love traveling in the first place. I give back and pay forward by being gracious to tourists in my own city…especially in Times Square. Each and every one of us is going through something, so the least we can do is to be nice to people.

Perhaps someday I’ll find myself back in the welcoming arms of Rio de Janeiro, and give the city a second chance.

Paragliding in Pattaya

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Pattaya, Thailand in December 2013

This week’s photo challenge is “Afloat”, and what better photo to post than this picture that my dad took during our brief vacation in Thailand & Cambodia back in December 2013. I think it costs around $10 per person, which isn’t bad (my brother and I thought that it could be one of those once-in-a-lifetime things, so why not do it while we’re there). My dad, of course, stayed behind as we went flying around.

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I remember waking up early to ride a boat close to the beach to do paragliding. Here’s a photo of me and my brother as we await our turn 🙂

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/afloat/”>Afloat</a&gt;

Spring

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Spring is my favorite season. I would always equate spring with cherry blossoms and I always look forward to this time of the year.

This year, I was able to go to DC to go see the cherry trees that line up the Tidal Basin and the Roosevelt Memorial.

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It really was a sight to behold. My heart was full of joy and my eyes filled with wonder with the beauty of spring and the blossoms that the gentle wind carries with it. Funny how being able to see is one of the things that we take for granted. Seeing the wonderful cherry blossoms together with all the families, the couples, the people who were there just made me appreciate this precious gift of sight.

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I’m thankful too, that at that point in time, I was able to witness it with the person I love, whose heart was also full of joy and eyes filled with wonder.