Aug 25 2016

Top 10 parks in USA 美国10家国家公园

The following list is from National Geographic. This year (8.25), marks the 100th anniversary of  the creation of National Park Service. 12 most popular parks according to NG too. 国家公园

  1. Cape Royal and Angels Window in Grand Canyon
  2. Half Dome in Yosemite
  3. Mount McKinley in Denali
  4. Grand Teton and the Central Peaks
  5. Mount Rainier
  6. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  7. Chimney Rock National Historic Site
  8. Devils Tower National Monument
  9. Island in the Sky in Canyonlands
  10. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

Aug 23 2016

Fat margin and noisy @ BCD Tofu House  

BCD Tofu House
220-05 Northern Blvd,
Bayside, NY 11361
(718) 224-8889

Won’t return: loud music and even louder clinking of utensils (metal) and dishes. Why do they have to throw them, instead put them down gently? And apparently the owner or manager don’t consider it rude and annoying. It’s totally beyond me. Yelp

Oh the kimchi. Too sweet and as if hasn’t been fully fermented. The tofu pot is one dimension: there isn’t any depth to it other than spicy.

I’ve tried Barefoot which cost $4.99 a couple of years ago. They’re decent, just as two buck chuck @ Trader Joe’s; and they sell it $6.99 a glass (most restaurants don’t put the name of their house wine down). This isn’t a criticism of any sort but a marvel at the fat margin they’ve.

image image image image

This location used to be another Korean restaurant or the same I couldn’t remember. The bright spot is the fried fish – the side dish.

Aug 17 2016

Picnic by the Lake

The 778 acres park has so much to offer and is immensely enjoyable.


the Lake

Bethesda Fountain with lotus. I spot two fake monks who are begging for money, one of them asked me why am I taking video, in Mandarin.

IMG_4668 IMG_4669 IMG_4674 IMG_4672 IMG_4682 IMG_4678

The wedding, the horse carriages, the dumplings, the love boat …

IMG_4654 IMG_4700 IMG_4714 IMG_4697 IMG_4663 IMG_4661

The dogs

IMG_4731 IMG_4686


After the park we head over to the Met.

Aug 17 2016

The wine vessel at the Met

After the Park, we went to the Met. The huge wine vessel, a gift from JP Morgan. The bugs on the bottles are so vivid.

IMG_4737 IMG_4773

From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries is on display. So is Manus x Machina Fashion in an Age of Technology, and the Roof Garden‘s Cornelia Parker‘s barn PsychoBarn.

IMG_4736 IMG_4734

This Screen with birthday celebration for General Guo Ziyi is from late Qing period, by Lu Guisheng (active 1821-50); carved red and black lacquer. The inscription in the upper right indicates that the screen was made in honor of a certain General Zhen, most likely upon an important birthday, such as his sixtieth. More here


IMG_4746 IMG_4748

Fine details, although they look rough. L: Torso of a Bodhisattva of transcendent wisdom; R: Head of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva. Both are from Java Indoesia, abt 9th century.

IMG_4764 IMG_4763
This seems to be one piece: to the right side is calligraphy and the pavilion of Prince Teng during Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), but to the left, is 题跋 /preface by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) in 1940, ??? The little sampan to the left is beautiful.

The Chinese courtyard

IMG_4751 IMG_4750

Aug 17 2016

Mostly Mozart

At Lincoln Center. With Joshua Bell playing Mozart violin concert No 4 and after the intermission, Beethoven’s 8th, which I went for. There’s a pre concert @ 6pm.  However, we preferred the wine bar instead after the Met and the Park.

People sit on Lincoln Ristorante, enjoying the gorgeous day.

IMG_4787 IMG_4788 IMG_4784 IMG_4783

We haven’t been there for a few years and now they put concert going on stage – it’s great that they’re selling out. It’s a wonderful program:

  • Mendelssohn overture to a midsummer night’s dream
  • Mozart violin concert No 4
  • Beethoven voture to Coriolan
  • Beethoven symphony No 8

An old lady put her plastic bag on her lap which made annoying noise as she fidgeted. I asked her to put it on the floor, she didn’t understand my Chinglish. When I complaint to the usher, she said: “I’ll have to witness it.”
“Please be my guest.” I said.
“But I can’t be inside.” She replied.
Oh man. What did that leave me?
She then told me to talk to the manager, who was an orchestra usher turn manager. We’ve a little chat before the second half began.
The sky is so blue, that, made up for everything…

IMG_2915 IMG_2916

Lincoln Center movie is showing Equity about Wall Street (women, especially … don’t let money be a dirty word …) which, is, a surprise to me. I’ve the trailer being played at the regular movie theater recently: so wondering why does it end up at Lincoln?

Aug 17 2016

Vanguard Wine Bar

189 Amsterdam Ave., New York
(212) 799-9463

This Upper West Side wine bar is one of my favorites. Cozy benches and cushions but bit over priced. It’s humming on a week day. We got there after Mets, getting crowded from 6pm and on. It’s convenient to Lincoln Center and the food is fine:

  1. Mini caviar trio: smoked trout roe, wasabi tobiko on blini creme fraiche and chives
  2. Combo meats n cheeses
  3. Arugula walnut and grape salad

IMG_2910 IMG_2911 IMG_2912 IMG_2909

We’ve three red: I love the Syrah, very yummy:

  1. Chateau la Bastide “Vieilles Vignes’ 2013 Syrah
  2. Domaine de la Damase 2014 Grenache
  3. “Original Malbec” Anne de Joyeuse 2014


Aug 17 2016

The Roof Garden & Balcony Lounge

The Met has a few eateries, from public cafe to private dining room. The the Roof Garden has great views and different exhibit from time to time – currently is Cornelia Parker‘s barn PsychoBarn.



IMG_2885 IMG_2886 IMG_2887 IMG_2899 IMG_2900 IMG_2901


We’ve tea at Balcony Lounge, which is a very restful, and far better a choice than the rooftop Garden. It’s at the 2nd floor, adjacent to the Great Hall Balcony. The Leipziger Bier, Gose from Germany is very refreshing: lemony.

IMG_2882 IMG_2883

Aug 17 2016

Peking Opera costumes at the Met

The Met is showing From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries @ The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 220, Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for Chinese Decorative Arts.

IMG_4767 IMG_4768 IMG_4771 IMG_4772

Fm the Met: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s next textile presentation in its Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for Chinese Decorative Arts will shed light on Chinese opera costumes. Drawn entirely from The Met collection, From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries will examine these luxury textiles from artistic and technical points of view. The exhibition will be organized in two rotations. The first will focus on costumes used in dramas based on historical events; and the second will feature costumes from plays derived from legends and myths. The presentation will showcase eight robes, each of which was created for a specific role—court lady, official, general, monk, nun, and immortal. A set of album leaves faithfully depicting theatrical characters wearing such robes will also be displayed.

The exhibition is made possible by the Joseph Hotung Fund.

The 18th and 19th centuries witnessed a flowering of Chinese drama. Under the patronage of the Qing court (1644–1911), performances—including the “Peking Opera”—filled the Forbidden City in Beijing. A form of traditional Chinese theater, Peking Opera was developed fully by the mid-19th century, and because of the form’s minimal stage settings and the importance of exaggerated gestures and movements, costume played an unusually significant role.

The exhibition will include superb examples with interior markings indicating their use in court productions.

The exhibition is curated by Pengliang Lu, Henry A. Kissinger Curatorial Fellow, and Denise Patry Leidy, Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art, both in the Museum’s Department of Asian Art.

Aug 8 2016

Catch Roof

21 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 392-5978

This Meatpacking District in West Village is pretty good. Food I’d give it 4.5, decor 3 and service 3.5. Bathroom is clean, bit too dark tho. The waiting staff could wash their uniform more often.

I’m most impressed by their mussels: not a single sand. The last time I had clean mussels was at an Italian restaurant on Bleecker Street in 1990s. The Branzino is very yummy, the Crispy Shrimp is bit too sweet but the texture is super.

IMG_4357 IMG_4340 IMG_4337 IMG_4338 IMG_4344 IMG_4341


Aug 8 2016

Fake monks in New York

They’re everywhere … at the Hing Line Park & elsewhere.

As soon as I walk up to the park from Gansevoort Street, I see this new addition at the park: warning not to give money to fake monks.

IMG_4674  IMG_4345

IMG_4356 IMG_4355 IMG_4354 IMG_4389 IMG_4349