Mar 8 2011

The national flags

Steppingstone, New York, April 20, 2011

Kassel, July 2010

Managua, May 2009

Jan 27 2011

My fave 2009

Kissena Park, NY; Nov 12, 2009

Stepping Stone Park; July 13, 2009

on the Throgs Neck Bridge; July 5, 2009

Nicaragua, May 18, 2009





Jun 9 2010

Nicaragua trip



Check list







The US$5 instant visa at the Managua airport in Nicaragua.

No need to apply for a visa prior to departure for the Yankees. … Well, most Americans find visa a foreign concept: one group doesn

Jun 4 2009

Nicaragua day 6: Thursday, May 21, 2009

Last day ..

Apoyo Lagoon day.

We woke up to it every day, and pictured it so much, physically and mentally.

A clean and lovely lake inside of the crater of Apoyo Volcano in Nicaragua (between the departments of Masaya and Granada).

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cable to glide down 🙂 .. so we went on wheels.

First stop at the Norome, the high end hotel (or hostel) in the area.

filing down to the shore p1040576 p1040577 dsc_2602
Kamijo San took us to his favored spot: a rocky area with springs. He encouraged DQ to buy.
He immediately went to work, digging the hole. We brought bagful eggs to cook .. well

Jun 3 2009

Nicaragua day 5: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

dsc_2310 dsc_2304

We started the day early.
The Nica recycles the school buses fm the US, and they expand to include the usage of the roofs too. Pretty cool.
We first stopped at a gas station for fuels: coffee for humans and oil for the van. Unfortunately it’s too early. Then upon close inspection, even it opens, the coffee won’t be good …
coffee rosa
Btw, I brought two kinds of coffees from the supermarket. Golfer tried Segovia
“Hmmm .. very good.”
So they’re good.

Jun 2 2009

Nicaragua day 4: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TerryTerry is the developer for the four houses at Casa Kitwan de Apoyo, on the cliff over looking the lake Apoyo. DQ

May 26 2009

Nicaragua day 2: Sunday, May 17 2009

cimg4287Very good morning to you all..
Few rosters woke me up early in the morning, it was only 5am for Pete’s sake. Did Zhou Bapi 周扒皮 live in Nica too 🙂
*in PJ*
Wow .. the view from the bedroom is spectacular.
I rubbed my eyes ..
rolled out of the bed
went downstairs
I wasn’t the first one who got up ..
unwashed face
unbrushed tooth
unkempt hair
Who cared?
We were all basking in the soft morning glow ..
the golden hue ..
the dews ..
the mango ..
the coconuts ..
p1030433 p1030432 p1030438

Couple of Ocean Sixers went to hunting .. .. and soon returned triumphantly, fully loaded with mango and coconuts ..

Coldwell Banker Real Estate as well as Century 21 have presence there..

Lou's busy at work cimg4298 cimg4324 05-17-mor-13

Her house is lovely, woody, Mahogany is everywhere.

My little dingy Casio camera wasn’t good enough, so Lou let me use his spare one. The pictures taken from now on are from his Panasonic Lumix with Leica lens.

The entrance to DQ

May 26 2009

Nicaragua day 1: Saturday, May 16 2009

Day One – May 16, 2009 Saturday
I didn’t have much sleep that night – given the fact that I rarely missed a night of sleep in my life – because DQ requested us to report for duty at 4:05 for the 6am flight. Simon and I picked Lou up then met her at her house in Flushing. Parked at her house and headed to LGA. Our flight (which was packed) from La Guardia airport in New York left prompto and dropped us off at Miami 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival.
We rushed out of the gate and got into a cab, telling the driver head over to Tropical Parks Tennis Courts.
The nice driver with heavy Hispanic accent looked lost.
“It’s not safe .. lots of blacks.. ”
After learning that we were bunch of tennis nuts trying to get a game during a layover, he suggested Flamingo Park instead.
So there we went.
A swimming pool that was free to the locals but $6 for us on one side, with a 25 yard lap area and $8 per person on the Har-Tru, “North-American” clay court on the other side. It hosts (or hosted? The last year on the wall was 1996) Orange Bowl International.Ocean Six's first group photo
20 minutes into our play, the rain drops began to pound the little earth beneath us. The sky elsewhere looked pretty clear and bluey. The pro at the shop was nice enough to refund us half of the fees we paid. After shower, the sun came out blasting.
La la la la la ..
Waiting at the curb side for our cab, we began to take pictures.
Seven cameras in total.
Birds on the tree. Shoot.
Trees on the ground. Shoot.
People walking. Shoot.
Group pic .. shooooot. wait .. we need a photographer.

May 18 2009

Nicaragua Day 3: Monday, 5/18/2009

Catching the sun rise has become my routine. More pix on FB

I’m an early riser and always have the urge to get up. Couldn’t wait to wake up might be a better way to say it.
Those few frames were taken between 5:27am to 6:04am (the date/time stamp of 8:27pm-9:04pm must be Beijing time).

I promised the guys that I’d make pancake to extinguish their homesickness, food wise. Simon started cooking the instant noddle already.Nainai's pancake
The pancake receipt was from Nainai. Yeye loved it: flour, eggs, milk with dash of salt and pepper. Jancis, Professor Kamijo’s pretty young wife was following me around in the kitchen and watched. She’s really a good maid. After making the batter, I went elsewhere.
dsc_1012The next thing I knew, the pancakes were coming. Although they were bit too thick for my taste, but I really liked her initiative and the willingness to be of help. She told me that she learned, by pointing to her eyes. A very sweet girl.
This is their adapted son. Jerry’s a bright six years old boy, always placed first or second in his school.
His Dad Kamijo built him this table that facing the lake.
“How can you not being the first in the class when you have such lovely view?” DQ exclaimed.

p1030479 the view from the table

We visited Kamijo’s home, a few houses down the dead end street. The hexagon presidential brick paved road was almost immediately over as soon as we passed Terry, the developer’s last house, that’s on the market for US$200,000.

p1030449 p1030450

According to DQ, on her first night at the house, the electricity was out. Kamijo came knocking.
“Would like to stay at our house?” He asked.
“You have electricity?” DQ asked.
“No .. ” but they could keep her company. He thought she might be afraid. A very thoughtful man.

The walk’s very short, 3 minutes tops.

A world away.

Kamijo’s a Japanese, a water treatment professor who still teaches at university few hours a week. Since the chance meeting, DQ hires him to look over her two of her three properties there for US$190 a month. His wife Jancis cleans and cooks at the mountain house and wife’s sister Lillian who lives with them takes care of the house in Granada at US$140 a month (incl the $40 bus fare). It’s 2 hours bus ride each way in to the city. When there are tourists, they take care of them and provide meals upon request, that’s between them and the tourists. He acts very deferential and always on his toes. There were few moments that’s slow and I wanted to talk to him. But the language barrier had kept me from asking. I really wanted to know why would a man comes from the top three economy in the world, settles in the third world. But again, I knew the life I enjoy with the New York Library and Lincoln Center as back drop isn’t for anyone and I understand that perfectly, and very glad to know there are other school of thoughts.

This group of photos are taken by Lou

Apparently the barrier didn’t keep the guys: according to them, Kamijo is the only Japanese in Nica who doesn’t work for the Japanese embassy. In the beginning, the ambassador would invite him to the annual party. When he showed up with his pretty young wife, the mood changed a little. They required suit the next time .. ..
His property line extends into the woods few hundred meters. he takes his sweet time to explore and mange it. Discovering new spices .. He might just be the happiest man alive for all I know.

读万卷书不如行万里路 ..


paparazzi is staking out .. Kamijo’s waving a sayonara

I truly believe in it.

The tour ended when Juan came in his motorbike. He swiped DQ away in a hush, reminded me of Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman.

Juan is from an upper class family who’s Dad is a medical doctor. He spent part of his youth in Florida when his dad was doing AID research. His mother is a shrew businesswoman who runs the family. The first thing I heard about his was that his ex-wife lives with him with her second husband. Hmmmm .. Well, it turns out pretty reasonable: the grandmother wants to see her granddaughter and the ex-daughter-in-law isn’t the most clear head lady in the world. … Soon her husband ran off with a younger woman … and she left too. Juan has the daughter.

He is one of three persons in Nica that had the presidential certificates (??) to be the official tour guide. His credential was earned by attending two years travel industry related school funded by the government of Luxembourg in Mexico. There

May 11 2009

The budget

Rough estimate for each of us to Nica:

Van (rent for a 15-seater plus gasoline) $110
Food $200
San Juan del Sur Boat ride $50
Montelimar admission $45
Tourist Guide $16
Attraction Admission $29

Total $450, excl airfare

~ . ~ . ~ . ~

Actual expenses per person (total), in USD:
$0 – Visa
$18 – Taxi to airport: (La Guardia/JFK $27, shared by 3 travelers)
$406 – Round trip air on AA – NY (LGA) to Miami to Managua, back to JFK
$15 – Cab rides during the layover in Miami ($36 + $50)
$100 – Van & gas
$98 – Food/meals
$45 – Montelimar admission
$12 – Attraction Admission
$3 – Lake Nicaragua Boat Ride ($20)
$14 – San Juan del Sur boat ride ($86)
$20 – Tips for the professor
$20 – Guide for two days ($120)

Total: US$751 ($406 + $345)