The Latest of What I've Been Eating.
Yes, I finally made it to Philly! And on my friend’s list of things to try out was Poi Dog, a Hawaiian restaurant that was fairly new. I joked that if they had Loco Moco, I would totally be into it and low and behold, they did!
I remember when I was in Hawaii and first heard of Loco Moco; which was basically me asking “what’s that?” and them saying “a hamburger patty on garlic rice with gravy and a fried egg!” If my face could have turned into an emoji it would totally have been the cat with the heart eyes!
So, here’s the version I had in Philly: a brisket patty with two fried eggs over rice with miso gravy & furikake. And those heart eyes came right back!
Somehow every time I go to Sweet Chick, I luck out with their poached eggs and get a sweet (and tasty) photo.
These flaky, buttery biscuits with mushroom gravy and these beautiful eggs; I could go back again and again!
After a thwarted attempt to visit Philly over the weekend (weather forced Amtrak to cancel/delay all their NE trains), I booked a trip for next weekend and treated myself to the March special at Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings: Philly Cheesesteak!
I got the pan fried version made with grass-fed beef, caramelized onions, peppers and housemade cheese whiz for dipping! Not quite Pat’s or Geno’s, but it hit the spot.
After hearing and talking about Dekalb Market for awhile, I finally decided to meet up with my friends, Melissa & Jesse to get lunch.
First off, I didn't realize how easy it would be for me to get there by busy; why had I waited SO long!? Jesse & I took a little tour of the area and decided on splitting an order of potato & cheese pierogis and chorizo arepas (not pictured), before hunting for dessert.
These little boiled pierogis were nice and full, a little larger than the usual ones I get at Veselka, and almost a meal in themselves.
For dessert, I opted for ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery (might as well get the worth of my Lactaid) and Jesse opted for a key lime pie on a stick.
We were just finishing our desserts when Melissa finally arrived with her husband, Ben. We tagged along while they got some sushi and then all ventured into Trader Joe's before heading our separate ways. I know I'll have to go back soon!
After indulging ourselves in the "Emmy Burger" dumplings at Mimi Cheng's, I finally convinced Whitney to accompany me to Pizza Loves Emily at their new-ish West Village location.
It worked out perfectly, since we wanted a pizza AND a burger; why not split both!?
The Emmy Burger even came with a side of curly fries! So, we gorged ourselves on that and the Detroit Style "Pig Freaker" pizza with bacon, kimchi, sesame and miso queso. Slightly spicy, but if you're like me, you can't get enough of that crispy, cheesy crust on the sides!
We both almost needed to be rolled out of the restaurant, but managed to make it to the subway and home in one, very full, piece.
One of the best parts of working in Tribeca is the proximity to so many good places to eat! Also, Arcade Bakery is in the same building as my office. So, just order a pizza online and in 10-15 minutes, walk downstairs, through the double doors and they'll just hand you your order.
The last time, I split a red pie with my boss, but this time I got a white pie all to myself - smoked ham, broccoli rabe and chili oil; on top of a perfectly chewy & dense crust.
After a little volunteer shift with God's We Deliver's prep kitchen, I couldn't resist swinging by Dominique Ansel Bakery, just down the block.
Even though they were out of cronuts, these little "Blizzard the Bear Religieuse" were too cute to eat! I settled for some DKA's to go.
Ever since Serafina opened a few blocks from my office, I'd been wanting to go and try their pasta. (Yes, other people's Instagram photos were an influence.)
Perfectly al dente rigatoni with Bolognese a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan and a sprig of Sage. I could have had another bowl or two...
I always promise myself that I will start to eat more "healthy" meals in order to try and lose some of the weight I put on since starting an "office job," but it's easier said than done!
I'm still like a big kid in the sense that I'm not a huge lover of vegetables (other than potatoes), but I can usually find something that will fill me up.
Luckily, I had some errands to run near Union Square, so I stopped into Glaze for their teriyaki combo. I chose the salmon & tofu with brown rice and a side salad with carrot ginger dressing. And, oh yeah, a black cherry Boylan's soda.
Since reinvigorating my Broadway fandom, one of the shows that I enjoyed the most was Green Day's American Idiot, so when I heard that some of the Original Broadway Cast and the Touring Companies were getting together at 54 Below to sing songs from the show and other Green Day hits, I knew I had to be there.
However, any time you go to 54 Below, there is a food & drink minimum. Somehow, I wound up with the 5:30pm dinner seating for a 7pm show; so there was quite a bit of time to kill.
I went with the pan-seared Arctic char over black pepper & lemon spaetzle (one of my favorite pasta/noodle types), baby artichokes, olive oil & thyme roasted tomatoes. That along with "The Big Apple" - apple cider, cranberry juice & ginger ale with a cinnamon dusted apple slice, easily made up my F&B requirements.
The show was almost like a short rock show and it was fun getting to be up close to the action & befriend other "idiots!"
It had been a hot minute since I'd been down to Chinatown/Little Italy, so I decided to hit up one of the new off shoots of Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown; Nom Wah Nolita.
Now, while I really had a craving for beef rice rolls, I didn't know what the atmosphere would be like for this location. I soon found out that there was a much more limited menu at this location and settled for a scallion pancake and an order of chicken & chive dumplings.
Dim sum should really be done with other people or a group to get the true experience, but these two dishes were plenty for me and kept me fueled throughout my day downtown.
When my friend's said I could choose a restaurant for our belated Christmas gift exchange, I suggested Ozi Dumplings, which just opened up in Bushwick. Now, while Mimi Cheng's always has a special place in my heart, I was ready to see how these unique dumplings would compare.
I ordered the Cheeseburger dumplings with a "potato swirl." The dumplings were made with ground beef, onions, cheese and lightly fried before a drizzle of cheese sauce and pickles were added. I can't say that they were better than the "Emmy Burger" dumpling special at Mimi Cheng's, but since I can only get those once or twice a year, these are a great second place.
The "potato swirl" was nice and crispy; a nice addition to the dumplings. However, the highlight for me was the Ikezo peach sparkling jelly wine. Almost like a Jell-O shot, but with the fizz of my favorite Moscato.
In short, I would go back for the peach sparkling jelly wine and probably try another type of dumpling for round two.
Running errands in Union Square & Chelsea and I saw someone walk by with a Matchabar cup, so I knew they must have a location nearby.
Instead of opting for Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up, I went for the caffeine in a Matcha Chai with soy milk, always with ice, unless it's below zero.
Ask anyone who knows me and you'd know I can never turn down a good pastry. Today's special at the Gap-eteria (Cafe at work), was a chicken pot pie with a nicely sized piece of puff pastry on top.
Not as heavy or creamy as a chicken pot pie, say from KFC or Boston Market, but delicious and with some purple potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Bonus: When the Cafe was going to throw away the excess puff pastry, the Cafe Manager gave me a bag of them to take home! Woo hoo!
I'm pretty sure that carbs will always be my first love and Bison Witches is one of my favorite places to load up on them.
Sometimes I change what sandwich I get (opted for a grilled ham & cheese on wheat this time), but the tortilla chips with CCQ (chili con queso) and bread bowl of potato bacon soup are always my standards.
And, yes, I'm fully aware of how much "brown food" is in this photo and I'm okay with that.
All of my other Nebraskan friends in NYC agree: why can't we find an Indian restaurant as good as The Oven in the city? Were we spoiled by really good Indian food in Nebraska and we never knew it?
Well, it's always a stop when I go home, for sure. I got a little taste at Thanksgiving, when I stopped by The Cellar for a little after drink snack, but this was going to be my meal - chicken tikka madras biryani. Yes, it was a "treasure of rice" - chicken tikka marinated in a spicy coconut milk sauce with rice, raisins, cashews and a sliced egg.
After an underwhelming trip to the Valentino's Buffet, I knew I had to get back to Yia Yia's for pizza before I went back to NYC. So, I met up with my friend, Adam (who I've known since elementary school) and we caught up over some slices.
In the summer, I got ambitious and ordered two slices, so I opted for one this time and some garlic herb bread. "The Atlantic" is a delicious white sauce based slice with grilled chicken, bacon, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms with mozzarella cheese. Pretty much what would have been on a custom slice, if I had made one, but cheaper.
Imagine my surprise when Dad suggested that we go to Cracker Barrel for lunch!? Usually, it takes some prodding to round up the family and encouraging them to go here.
I always know that I want hashbrown casserole; something about that cheesy, onion-y, potato goodness always gets me, but I was pretty happy that their mini chicken biscuit sandwiches were back!
My only regret, getting medium poached eggs vs. soft. Do those even look like eggs (on the left)?
Always a must-stop on my trips back home, Goldenrod Pastries, is owned and operated by my friend, Angela. She and her team of wonderful ladies make all sorts of delicious treats and you can't beat the Nebraska prices!
I made sure to load up on some of these colorful macarons, especially since they're only $1.90 each!
Of course, my first dinner with Dad would be Asian food! He chose Yami (which he pronounced as "yummy") in South Lincoln. (I had to start to get reacquainted with my hometown, since Dad was now living on the opposite side of the city.)
I was anxious to see how the Korean food in Lincoln held up with some of my favorite places in K-Town. I chose the dolsot bibimbap, so it was in a hot stone bowl and some fried dumplings. Dad ordered off their newly added Thai menu and asked for it to be spicy, "on a scale of 1 to 10, I want an 11!" Phew!
The food was good and seem fairly traditional, but nothing can ever compete with the sukiyaki bibimbap from Gyu-Kaku!
I'm not sure how I worked just a few blocks from Ootoya for so many years, but never went to eat lunch there. Oh well. I was lucky that my flight back home for Christmas wasn't until the evening on the 20th, so I was able to grab lunch with my friend, Lily, while she was back in NYC.
She picked Ootoya and I quickly found out why. Wow. The food was spectacular and there was plenty of it! I opted for the mini Oyako Don (grilled chicken and onion simmered in broth and with a layer of egg on top), which also came with a plate of cold soba, miso soup, seaweed and savory egg custard.
One of my coworkers helped us plan our Holiday team outing, so we went to The Bar Room in the Beekman Hotel for food and Happy Hour. We were given a bottle of prosecco and while everyone ordered fancy drinks and food, I opted for the Baked Alaska.
However, I did sample this amazing onion dip, which I should have known was going to be amazing, since Top Chef's Tom Colicchio oversees the menu. The onion dip had caramelized onions in it, fried onions on top and came with housemade Gaufrette potato chips! I'm actually drooling thinking about this now...
Just before I was about to go home for the holiday, I made the trek up to Jackson Heights to make Christmas cookies and exchange gifts with my friend, Tempestt and her family.
Her daughter, Ellie, is 3 and it's so adorable when she calls me "Chenny!" We had several colors of icing and load of various sugar candies to decorate with, but I kinda think Ellie used most of them, piling them up on about 3 or 4 cookies.
I ended up making some "gingerbread men" looking like Sesame Street character or Muppets with my candies. We ended up making a few dozen cookies, which worked out nicely when I went to a holiday party right after and the guests gobbled them up.
For the past few years, my friend, Whitney & I have made a tradition of getting soup dumplings and going to view all the holiday window displays on 5th Avenue. After our November "dumps of the month" excursion, my friend, Deirdre, asked to come along to more of our outings.
We met up after work and went to Joe's Shanghai, where we split two orders of pork xiao long bao, some fried rice cakes, scallion pancakes and some broccoli beef. It was great to load up on some salty goodness before wandering around 5th Avenue in the chilly weather.
I finally got a ticket to see M. Butterfly before it closes, so I quickly looked up a place to eat on Yelp, which pointed me to Sapporo, just a few blocks from the theatre. I knew I wanted something hot, since it was freezing outside and the show was the only reason I went outside at all today.
However, I underestimated the size of the portions! I got a miso soup and order of pork gyoza. What I wasn't ready for was how large the chicken katsu curry was going to be! And it's definitely not the type of meal I could take into the theatre, even if I wanted to.
As the holiday break quickly approaches, I realized how much I need a break from the city. I got a nice break from the day to day, when my boss suggested that our whole team go out for a lunch break.
Now, while trying to find a place for all of us to agree on may have been a challenge, but once I suggested Two Hands, it seemed like everyone could find something there to suit their palates.
I opted for the "breakfast roll" sandwich, which I had the last time we were here, but this time with a shittake mushroom vs. bacon. A nice whole wheat roll topped with avocado, watercress, pickled shallots, a fried egg and homemade spicy ketchup; it was messy, but delicious! (And all the handsome Australian waiters didn't hurt either...)
It's funny how I've waited SO long to have regular weekends off and now that I do, sometimes I struggle to find something to do. Sundays have been particularly lonely, since they were usually occupied with talking to my Mom on the phone, after she went to church & breakfast with the family.
I didn't have much motivation to go into the city, so I walked the less than two blocks to Sally Roots for some brunch. A little smoked salmon benedict to help clear up my Sunday Blues (which is what I should call them now). I'd only ever been here for dinner, which is mostly Caribbean food, so a more typical American-style brunch was a pleasant surprise on their menu.
As I've never been a fan of side salads, that was my least favorite part of the meal, but everything else was delicious and only a few minutes from home.
I was also fortunate that when I was home, there was also a home football game in Lincoln. Now, while the Huskers haven't lived up to their late 90's/early 00's glory, there's always something special about home for a football game. In this case, it mean that a lot of my high school and college friends were also home for the Holiday.
After the game, (which we embarrassingly lost to Iowa) I met up with one of my Youth Leadership Lincoln friends, Bryce, at The Other Place; a hidden speakeasy, where it was nice to get away from all the usual football game patrons. We posted up at the bar, caught up on life and chatted with the bartender, who ended up being my high school choir's piano accompanist.
Since I had recently gorged myself on a burger at Brewsky's, I wasn't too hungry, but offered to go to The Oven with Bryce to eat and partake in one of Lincoln's best restaurants. We ended up going to the wine bar below the restaurant, The Cellar. While Bryce picked out some food and wine, I opted for a lighter course of mulligatawny soup and garlic naan. But you can rest assured that I will be back at Christmas time for a full meal!
A usual stop on any trip home: Goldenrod Pastries! With a rotating selection of gluten & dairy-free snacks, I always load up a box to eat while I'm home and bring a few things back to NYC!
I picked out 3 macarons: vanilla, hibiscus and an apple cider (which didn't make it into the photo, before I ate it), a cherry almond cookie and a devil's food cake loaf.
I'm alreadying thinking about what I want to get for my trip home at Christmas...
As my first really "retail free" Thanksgiving in ages, I took the opportunity to fly back home to Lincoln, Nebraska and spend some time with my family. (Since my brother & sister-in-law rotate Holidays, we usually only see each other every other year. I knew I didn't want to miss out this year, so I took a 4 day trip back to the Midwest.)
The only downside, I forgot how early everyone eats in the Midwest! While I might have been expecting a 2pm Thanksgiving lunch, I got an 11:30am Thanksgiving meal! My flight didn't get into Omaha until almost 11:30pm, due to delays, so I made it out to my Dad's new house, just after 1:00am on Thanksgiving Day. I did not get up in time to help prep, but did get to watch some of the parade (I had to see Dear Evan Hansen perform, after all)!
All the usual suspects were at this meal, so I heaped my plate full of all the best things: mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green bean casserole, a croissant and, oh yeah, turkey. My brother made some great poultry gravy, which I put on everything.
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When my date suggested that we meet at "Gulliver's Gate" in Times Square for a first date, it seemed like a good idea to me. We lucked out, too, because there was a tour group with extra tickets and we got entry for half price!
The whole exhibit is full of miniature recreations of NYC and various landmarks throughout the world. I took so many photos, Snapchats and photos for my Instagram story, but the best one? This view of Times Square: TKTS booth and all!
After my friend, Brynn, saw a photo of this tree in Time Out, she told me we had to find it! So, we wandered to Brookfield Place and I was appropriately dressed in my *NSYNC "Home for the Holidays" t-shirt and sequin bomber jacket, where I patiently waited for a small child to take a photo before I got mine.
This tree was decorated by the store, Babesta, and was covered in Yummy World x Kid Robot plush of all sizes. Then we made a stop into their store to browse, but I ended up getting the mini burrito plush for my desk.
I don't think that was the theme of the Bergdorf windows this season, but I was particularly attracted to this window because of all the colors.
Each Holiday season, I get soup dumplings with my friend, Whitney, and then we walk down 5th Avenue and look at all the window displays. This time around, we invited Deirdre, and made a great evening of it.
Another perk to helping manage 4 buildings is the various celebrations I got to attend! Gap has a studio space at Industry City, so we got invited to their Holiday Party spanning through several of their buildings and including free food, drinks, a photo booth, DJ, stores, etc.
It was a great night! Even the landscaping was decked out!
As you know, I'm in Times Square/The Theatre District a lot. I love nothing more than a good musical and "Dear Evan Hansen" has quickly become one of those that I go back to again and again.
I loved getting off the train and seeing the subway station wrapped in DEH ads. From the turnstyles to the card readers, the signature blue was everywhere at 42nd Street.
Gentrification is a weird thing. While I'm sad to see my neighbors displaced over the last 8+ years, I do appreciate Twin Suns Deli that opened less than 2 blocks from my apartment.
Their breakfast sandwiches on brioche buns and their breakfast burrito! Oof. I would eat them every day...if my stomach could handle it.
A little wink to the graffiti in the bathroom at Clem's. Also, since I don't work at Madewell anymore, I get some perks. One being free overnight shipping on order and another being free gifts, like this denim tote.
Back for my 2nd season of "red bucket" collections with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS!
One of my first collection was for Wicked, where I was quick to find Ashley Parker Angel's name on the board and ask for an extra Playbill for safekeeping/boyband memories.
If you know me, you know my dream job was to be a VJ on TRL! Well, this new reincarnation isn't exactly what I thought it would be, but I still appreciate that MTV is trying to stay relevant.
I saw this poster in Shubert Alley and couldn't resist taking a photo. Who knew that when I was in high school & college and taping TRL on a VHS tape each day, that one day I could walk by 1515 Broadway any time I wanted to?
Even since I saw an exhibit of Dale Chihuly's work in high school, I've made an effort to see more of his exhibitions when they're in the city or if I'm in a place that has one.
I almost didn't make it to his installation at the New York Botanical Gardens, but I was able to snag a ticket for one of the last "Chihuly Nights," where all of his sculptures were illuminated for the evening.
Of course, this neon abstract piece was my favorite.
You would hardly know that a few years ago, this was Toys 'R Us and there was a ferris wheel inside the store!
We got a special treat and got to shop in the new Old Navy and Gap stores in Times Square before they were open to the public. It's spectacular to see how the spaces were transformed for each brand, although setting up all the stations at the base of the elevator wasn't the smartest idea...I had a grand time and got some great new clothes!
The best part about cat sitting for my friends, might be this view from their private deck. I didn't edit this photo, but the sun was shining perfectly on this weekend afternoon.
Even if cat food smells gross & their chubbier cat has the worst smelling poops; this makes up for it all.
Growing up, Margaret Cho, was the first Asian-American I saw in media that reminded me of myself. More "American" than "Asian," and not typically small and submissive, I sat in front of the TV every Tuesday night to watch All-American Girl on ABC through the good and the bad.
In college, I helped UNL's University Program Council (UPC) out with spreading the news about her show and received a free table for my help! I got to speak with her briefly, where I blurted something out like "My Dad sounds just like your Mom, I'm Korean and I"m a HUGE fag hag!" To which she kindly replied "You ARE like a younger version of me!" and I could have died.
So, whenever she has a show in the NYC area, I will be there! In fact, the last time she was at the Gramercy Theater, her performance was filmed for Netflix and it's called "PsyCHO" and I was in that audience!
When I was walking back to the office, I noticed this balloon sculpture/installation in front of Maman in Tribeca. I'm not sure what it was for, but it was too pretty to not stop and take a photo of.
Mostly, I was "doin' it for the 'gram" as the Millenials might say...but I never posted this to Instagram.
Yet another morning off the Chambers J Station, but I wonder why this is a "V" instead of a "U?" Any ideas?
If you're ever needing some great home inspiration or just to get out of the office for a bit, a stroll through the housewares department at the fairly new Anthropologie downtown is just the fix.
While I probably won't be hanging up any light fixtures in my apartment any time soon, I loved this "bubble" chandelier and it's rainbow effect.
It'd been a few months since I had caught up with my college BFF, Phil, so we decided to meet up for brunch at B Bar in NoHo to catch up.
The weather was perfect, so we were able to dine al fresco, which would have been more enjoyable without the teenagers behind us running around and shouting for part of the meal. (How old am I sounding right now?)
For my second date with Chris, he chose for us to meet for breakfast at The Little Owl, which is located in the base of the apartment used for all the exterior shots on "Friends." You might recognize it from those shots as Monica/Rachel's main apartment.
But for as an avid "Friends" fan might realize, that exterior shot doesn't match much else. Where's the giant balcony outside? Where is Ugly Naked Guy/Ross' apartment across the street?
Either way, it was sweet of him to think of catering to my pop culture sensibilities, however misguided. We had a nice meal and walked around the West Village before heading our separate ways.
It might be my Nebraska roots, but I will always be a Pepsi girl. Never a Coca-Cola/Coke girl.
When I was growing up, Pepsi Co. acquired the contract for all University of Nebraska events and campus. Thus, not a Coke product in sight on the campus or at any home football game.
This also meant that we were great test market for Pepsi Products and were among the first markets to get Mountain Dew Code Red in the early 00's.
So, when I was in Long Island City with Tempestt & her family, of course, I had to stop and take this photo (and it was in an episode of "SMASH," too).
If you're ever walking through the West Village, take a stroll near W. 12th Street and stop to see the New York City AIDS Memorial. A stunning sculpture and right next to St. Vincent's, where the onset of the AIDS Crisis was first treated in the 1980's.
After staying in Bed-Stuy the night before, I took the J train into work and it was a nice change up in my morning commute.
First of all, it was only 1 train line into the city and it was above ground for more of the trip. When I got out in the morning light at Chambers Street, I had to stop and take this photo.
After a long week of meeting planning at work, we all gathered near the office at The Bennett for a little Happy Hour and to celebrate Mariel's upcoming wedding.
We posted up on the long benches against the wall and were shown the call buttons to grab the attention of our servers when we needed anything. The best part: the buttons would light up a number on the mirrored panels behind the bar! (We might have played around with them for a bit, too...)
Of course, I'd been to the MoMA Design Store numerous times and seen their bear and bunny lamps; but now there's a WHOLE STORE devoted to the Line App Friends in Times Square!?
Ok, so it's in the old TRL/MTV space, which makes me a little bit sad, but now it's so easy for me to spend time in there between Broadway shows and walk away with something adorable and amazing.
Someday I will save up enough money to justify buying one of these adorable lamps.
In hindsight, maybe I should have cropped the cars in the parking structure out of this photo; but the Gucci ad just caught my eye.
"What are we going to do with all this future?"
I'd never been to the Park Avenue Armory, but I was interested in seeing their "Hansel & Gretel" exhibit by Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei. So, off I went with my friend Christina and her sister, Michelle.
After grabbing brunch in the neighborhood, we entered the exhibit. The highlight for me was the interactive floor. As a commentary on security and observance, drones and cameras would catch you movement and project it onto the floors (see in my photo).
Reveling in the chance for Summer Fridays at work, I decided to make the trek to the Brooklyn Museum for their Georgia O'Keefe exhibit. I also found my way through their various permanent collections and the stunning exterior of the museum.
Before meeting up with some friends to head out to the beach, I swung into Juice Generation for a quick smoothie and there was this gorgeous plant display in their window.
It was a rainy Saturday morning when I gathered with some old co-workers and friends to celebrate Jasmine's birthday in Greenpoint. We caught up on life and challenged each other into a few games of shuffleboard.
After a lot of ups and downs, I walked by this window display at Maman Soho. A little inspiration and a hope that something good will happen soon. Maybe Mom is looking after me...
Over the last 5 years, I've been able to watch the Pride Parade from inside of Madewell. I was very excited to get to watch the parade from the street and not have to worry about being at work!
I met up with some friends for brunch, then we walked over towards the corner of 19th Street & 5th Avenue to post up and watch the floats. We got there shortly after the start of the parade made it downtown and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Gap float.
The parade is always sensory overload, but in the best way possible! Imagine my surprise when I looked up on the Logo float and saw Robby from Finding Prince Charming!? Yes, I shouted at him and was super happy when he turned and waved at me! (To be followed a few minutes later by Javier Munoz from HAMILTON and I died even more!)
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Yes, I purposely wore a red & blue striped t-shirt for the second night of "Angels in America" on Broadway. I made sure to leave the office in plenty of time to get settled, find the neon angel wings and have a snack before the 4-hour run time of part 2 of the play.
I found a nice couple who was also taking photos near the wings and asked them to take my photo. This was my favorite of the bunch.
When my high school friend, Nan, invited me to his oceanside wedding in Rancho Palo Verdes, CA, how could I say no? I got to leave behind the cold and snow in NYC and spend several blissful days in the California sunshine.
While he told me the ceremony was "business casual," clearly I had the wrong idea of what that meant. Oh well. My friend, Courtney, provided me with a place to stay in Los Angeles and came with me for the festivities.
I found a blush pink "eyelash" skirt from Banana Republic at a bargain for around $25 (originally priced at almost $200) and paired it with my floral embroidered over-sized Madewell jean jacket, an Old Navy top and some Stan Smith's and my little Alexander Wang bag.
Yes, I might have been a tad under-dressed, but at least I was comfortable for the ceremony, dancing and meal that followed.
I'd been wanting to go to a Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center for years, so "Chinese Heritage Night" seemed like the perfect time to go. I think partially due to Jeremy Lin and partially due to Chinese New Year, the marketing team put this together.
So, I headed off to the game after work with my friend, Andre, and we went to pick up our free scarves, grab some food and drinks and find our seats.
Granted, the venue was not crowded, so we were able to stretch out in our seats and enjoy the pre-game; including a hype man who announced all the players names and numbers in Mandarin. We watched the game (mostly) and just had a great time reliving great phrases from basketball video games and enjoying the atmosphere.
While most people would be cheering on either the Philadelphia Eagles or the New England Patriots on SuperBowl Sunday; for me, that meant the halftime show with Justin Timberlake!
So, I sported a little green (since I did live in Philly for almost a year) and JT for the game. Yes, I went to Best Buy and bought an antenna just for the halftime show, but it will also come in handy for the Winter Olympics in a few weeks.
Yes, JT has performed at the SuperBowl before, but never as a solo artist. (Janet Jackson performance non-withstanding, since he was the surprise guest.) I've been listening to "Man of the Woods" all weekend, so I could get ready for the show and for his upcoming concert at Madison Square Garden!
One perk of no longer working at Madewell is getting to take advantage of all the benefits in the "Insider" program. Of course, I have now achieved VIP status, which comes with shopping perks and free items.
I went to my old store for an Insider shopping party and got this free denim tote. Then, while out for Caitlin's birthday, I couldn't resist taking a photo of how it contrasted with the graffiti-ed wall in the restroom.
A Louis Vuitton and MTV fanny pack from the "Is Fashion Modern" exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Besides a Patagonia fleece pullover, a pair of high top Chuck Taylors and pins from Pintrill; these fanny packs were some of my favorite pieces from this exhibit.
Fashion is so cyclical, I love seeing what comes back around. Although, this 90's fashion revival seems weird, since I don't feel like it was that long ago that I lived through it. It's hard for me to fathom that I work with kids who were born in the 90's and that they are in their 20's already. (Aren't I still in my 20's!?)
I love when you can find people who "nerd out" over the same things that you do! Luckily, I found two kindred souls at work who are also big Broadway fans!
So, for our office's Halloween party, we went with a Broadway theme: I was Joan from Fun Home, Barbara was a Newsie and Matthew was Evan from Dear Evan Hansen.
I lent Barbara my Newsies bag that I got at the BCEFA Broadway Flea Market and found the pieces for my Joan costume already in my own closet.
Another "twinning" moment for Deirdre & me. Somehow, at the Grand Opening of the new Times Square Gap store, we ended up in the fitting room with the same shirt.
We couldn't resist another photo opp!
My friend's daughter, Ellie, loves calling me "Chenny." So, after not seeing her or her family for a few months, I was worried that she would forget who I was.
It only took a few minutes before she remembered and warmed up to me. And behold! We had matching shoes on too! Her dad jokingly calls me their "Asian Nanny," which I consider a term of endearment, especially when their kids are so cute!
For Election Day, in a nod to Rosie the Riveter, I donned a chambray jumpsuit with a red bandana to vote.
One day at a time. We're halfway to those important Mid-term elections in 2018 and hopefully, we can turn this country around.
In that sweet spot of Fall before it's too cold to wear shorts and maybe too warm to wear pants; but somehow my buddy, Deirdre and I managed to match at work
A little bit Gap, a little bit Old Navy; but both white shirts and denim overalls. Perfection.
And, yes, I was wearing all my pins recently acquired from RuPaul's DragCon.
Undoubtedly, Thorgy Thor, was one of my favorite drag queens on RuPaul's Drag Race. As soon as I saw her brightly colored booth at RuPaul's DragCon, I knew I had to get in line to meet her.
I'd been to several of her shows at Metropolitan Bar in Williamsburg, but never had a chance to chat with her and Ragamuffin. She was super friendly and appreciated by Care Bears dress by Ichiban. After all, two rainbow souls deserve each other, right?
For my birthday, my friends, Caitlin & Emily, got me a ticket to a Mets game! While I'm not the biggest baseball fan, I love the atmosphere of sporting events; not to mention the food.
Of course, I had to rock my A.Ham hat from Hamilton, but I also was able to find a great Mets tank top at Old Navy for the occasion.
And a little blue and orange never hurt anyone.
Happy Summer Fridays! I decided to take advantage of the shorter workday and head over to the Brooklyn Museum and see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit before it closed.
I didn't know much about O'Keeffe other than her flower paintings, so the exhibit was very informative. I really enjoyed seeing the various garments and pieces that she inspired. One of my favorites was this robe with the rainbow colored stripe.
Sometimes it's annoying setting up tons of work events, but never getting to reap the benefits of them. But this time, I knew I wanted to partake in the 4th of July treats and it was another excuse for theme dressing!
I broke out my new RSVLTS shirt (featuring rocket pops and the State of Liberty) with my Old Navy short overalls and some more themed enamel pins. The mini corn on the cobs and a borrowed beer for this photo opportunity, were the best accessories!
Well, I guess you can see how much the color has faded since my last post of my purple hair! The front is almost a plum color, while the back is still a vivid purple.
Of course when Boy Meets Girl announced that they were going to have a Care Bears collaboration, I knew I had to get something. I chose this Share Bear tank top, as she was always one of my favorites and she's purple!
On a little work field trip, I found this camo denim jacket at Anthropologie and although I hadn't purchased anything from Anthro in forever, their "Mother's Day" discount made it an easy decision. And, I'm glad I tried it on, (since I hate trying things on) because I only needed a small!
For the last several years, I've always taken my birthday off of work and visited the Met Museum to see the Costume Institute Exhibit. The first Monday in May is always when the collection premieres with the Met Ball, so it's a perfect time to visit.
I've been a fan of Comme des Garcons for awhile, but seeing so many pieces of Rei Kawakubo's work in person is an experience in itself. There were so many intricately constructed dresses, jackets and garments, it was hard to not take photos of everything.
This look is one of my favorites. Not practical at all to wear, but the colors with the red wig caught my eye.
Every other year, Nebraska alumni, fellow former Nebraskans and friends gather at the Husker Bar near Penn Station for the "Taste of Nebraska!"
I knew I wanted to be a little "festive," as my Mom raised me to appreciate a good theme to dress up for. I found a new red & white striped t-shirt from Madewell (naturally), and paired it with some Gap overalls. I had to add a few enamel pins: a vintage Nebraska pin, an emoji corn cob and my Waitress pie slice with a Nebraska baseball cap. I think I did a good job, don't you?
After finally changing jobs, I knew I wanted to color my hair for the first time in over 5 years! I did some research, (thanks, Pinterest!) and found some great shades of purple to show my stylist.
I was really happy with the way the color was looking this day, so I snapped this photo in my new cactus print Courier shirt from Madewell and one of my favorite pieces of Madewell jewelry.
I can't take credit for this pun, but once I saw it on Bow & Drape, I knew it was the t-shirt for me! I personalized it with the food emojis, but I knew my love of carbs and bad reality TV made this the perfect purchase.
I broke it out at work and it got lots of great responses!
For a little winter break, I got my team tickets to visit the Taylor Swift Experience when the Grammy Museum brought it to the South Street Seaport. I knew I had to wear my sequin bomber jacket, since I remembered Taylor wearing one during the "1989 Tour" and wouldn't you know; it was there!?
Here I am wearing my jacket, a Chance the Rapper "MALIA" t-shirt and standing infront of Taylor's costumes from the tour.
I took a short vacation from NYC to visit my friend, Jonelle, in Columbus, OH. Since she said to work, I took some time to visit the Columbus Art Museum and was very impressed by their collection. I happend upon an Isabel Marant installation and it was amazing!
Here's a sampling of some of her pieces that were on display. I really want that pink layered top in the lower left corner...
I can't seem to quit my Madewell addiction. My all black Transport Tote was looking a little worn, so I went to find a new one. I decided to get the Burgundy one and then head to the Meatpacking Store to get it monogrammed. And, yes, I'll always be "CHEN."
It's a nice deal when your Company has a Holiday Pop-Up Shop within walking distance from the office! I went with Brynn to check out the store in Soho, just a few days before it closed.
Of course, these days, everything needs to be Instagram fodder. This lightbox was filled with light bulbs and Gap logos, perfect for those square photos.
I was lucky enough to get chosen as Verameat's "Cute Customer," so I got 40% off any item of my choice! So, what did I pick?
-a "engagement ring"
-a spine ring
-a Chinese takeout enamel pin
I think that sums me up, right? After all, I'm not on any track to get proposed to and the ring doesn't scream "engagement ring."
My friend, Whitney, and I have started our own holiday tradition of spending an afternoon or evening each year strolling the holiday windows on upper 5th Avenue. (This year's viewing was only slightly impeded by the barricades out of Trump Tower.)
My favorite window of this year's displays was at Bergdorf Goodman, where this Roberto Cavalli clad mannequin was posed upon a giant rabbit and surrounded by oversize cactus plants. That multi-colored fur jacket!
One of the cool new things about my job is all the rich history that Gap Brands & Gap Inc. has. I got the opportunity to visit the Brands' Archives in the basement of our HQ.
One of the Archivists was showing us Sharon Stone's infamous turtleneck, Stella McCartney for Gap Kids' Bandleader Jacket, Missy Elliott's spray painted t-shirt and even Richard Simmons' bedazzled Old Navy tank top; but the highlight for me was this vintage Gap sweater. Why? You ask, because it was worn by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda in the October 2016 Issue of GQ Magazine. Will this be the closest I ever get to LMM? Only time will tell...BroadwayCon was a close second...
As of late, I've been really impressed with the designs at Coach. I got my first Coach bag at my high school graduation from one of my Dad's business partners and I didn't know the importance of that saddlebag at the time.
Now, as they partner with Colette for their "Rexy" dinosaur collection, I was just browsing around when I saw these boots. Super soft leather and suede patches, Chelsea-style pull-on and actually comfortable; I knew that they had to be mine.
The salesgirl was very friendly, and offered to let me know when the Oxfords in a similar style went on sale. I can't wait to break these puppies in!
It's easy to say that you might be scared in these days, post-election. How can we find our fellow Americans who will keep up safe? Someone started a small movement with safety pins as a statement, so I added one to my coat today.
Will you join me?
A little piece of flair for my jacket for Election Day! You can feel the excitement/anxiousness in the air...could we have our first female President of the United States?
Since it was also my second to last day at work, I had to pair with a little bit dressed down look: a camouflage HAMILTON/NYC t-shirt, my Madewell jean jacket and topped off with my new Monsieur Coat.