Thursday, April 22, 2010

New York People & Places

Every year, I give a mini-talk to my former grad school professor's class at Long Island University. After the second session yesterday, he introduced me to Rachel, an undergrad student of his from the Philippines.

We hit it off right away and spent the rest of the evening checking out the beautiful neighborhood of Clinton Hill and ended up having dinner at Umi Nom (Filipino-Thai Resto)

It's really amazing how we make connections with people. Discovering the lovely Clinton Hill neighborhood was also amazing. More things to love NYC - its places and people =).

As wiki describes Clinton Hill:
Clinton Hill is a neighborhood in the north-central portion of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. It is bordered on the east by Bedford-Stuyvesant, on the west by Fort Greene, on the north by Wallabout Bay and on the south by Prospect Heights. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 88th Precinct.[1]

By the 1840s, Clinton Hill had become a fashionable neighborhood for the wealthy of Brooklyn, who could commute to Manhattan by way of stagecoach to the Fulton Ferry in nearby Brooklyn Heights. By the 1880s and '90s, Clinton Avenue was lined with mansions of millionaires, many of which have survived to the present day. The most prominent of these are linked to Charles Pratt, who built a mansion for himself and one each as wedding presents for three of his four sons (pictured, right). These four mansions can be seen on Clinton Avenue between DeKalb and Willoughby. The Pratt Institute of Art, founded by Charles Pratt in 1887, is located a few blocks from his former home. Due in part to the presence of Pratt Institute the neighborhood boasts an increasing arts community, and many bohemians are flocking towards the yet-to-be gentrified industrial areas adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Life is good. Count your blessings.

This is one of the things that I always tell myself. This weekend, has given me many things to be thankful for. I tried to capture these through snapshots that I compiled in my online album.

- reconnected with an old student/theater colleague. Last time I saw him was 9 years ago.
- finally tasted the food at “Taverna Kyclade”s, acclaimed as the best Greek Restaurant in NYC
- had a fun date night with the extremely entertaining “Kick Ass” movie and enjoyed the rain on the way home
- had a get-together with friends and video shoot for our $10 Initiative non-profit organization (
- checked out Astoria neighborhood on Greek Independence Day
- enjoyed spring weather, flowers in bloom and beautiful scenery

And I continue counting...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Conduct your blooming in the noise and discipline of the whirlwind

As much as using the New York City subway system is a pain, I must give props to the many art work in the different stations.

Today, on my way home, I was early enough to miss the crazy (and sometimes brutal) New York City rush hour. I took my time and enjoyed going up the steps without battling with the usual sea of humanity. It was eerily quiet and almost empty. I enjoyed the silence, the space and yes, THE MOSAIC ART!

The 59th Street and Lexington Avenue station was decorated with a colorful large-scale mosaic mural entitled Blooming, by Elizabeth Murray. The words "Conduct your blooming in the noise and discipline of the whirlwind" float from the coffee cups immortalizing Gwendolyn Brooks’s words. As Murray says in an interview about her art, "I had this vision of people getting up really early, half in a dream state, putting on their clothes, drinking a cup of coffee and getting on the subway to go to work".

It’s interesting to know that a lot of this ceramic work began when the subway system originally opened on October 27, 1904.

Things like this are reasons why I love New York.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


"It is a true saying that a man must eat … with his friend before he knows him."

-- Miguel de Cervantes, 'Don Quixote


A friend of mine organized a brunch at our neighborhood yesterday. I went to the brunch knowing only three people, and left the restaurant knowing five more. Food really brings people together. The brunch was at DiWine, a Euro wine bar that also had a variety of good brunch menu to offer a classic restaurant experience. We enjoyed unlimited drinks (the bellini was my favorite) while enjoying the food, conversation and company.

On our way home, we stopped by the pet shop and ogled at adorable huskies, then continued to enjoy the nice spring weather as we walked home.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Changing of the Seasons

As I headed home today, I noticed how quickly the leaves and blossoms have came out.
The changing of seasons is really so amazing. (",)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Two good friends and I went on our yearly Holy Week Retreat.
It was very rejuvenating to our mind, body and spirit.