31 March 2012


If you haven't yet discovered this photographer on Facebook, I suggest you look him up now (or after you read this) here.

Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York is a magnificent photographer. What's so special about him is that he captures the daily lives of eccentric and unique New Yorkers. Most excitingly, he doesn't know them. Imagine walking up to a random stranger and asking to take their picture. I for one, would be too nervous to.

He pairs each picture with a special anecdote about his subject, perhaps some small talk they shared or something significant he identifies them with.

Looking through all his pictures, I find myself wondering how he spots all these interesting people. Then I realize that it's not him, it's us. We're too busy making our way to our next destination that we've put up blinders to the rest of the world. We don't take the time to notice our surroundings, the people around us and the buildings that rise above us. So here's a tip: the next time you find yourself walking through the streets of New York (or anywhere, really), take a look. Stop and smell the roses. Take a mental picture (or an actual one) and remember that one moment. You'll be surprised at the things you see.

Until next time,

Some of my favorites among his collection of portraits:

(all images c/o HONY)

30 March 2012

Back to the Roots

Recently realized that among all this college hubbub and with everything else going on, I completely forgot about the love of my life. And to add fuel to the fire, part of the reason why I started blogging was to share my love with the rest of the world. It's architecture.

Favorite architect? Le Corbusier. He defined modern architecture and embodies everything that I believe in.

Corbusier's Villa Savoye in Poissy, France

Favorite fictional architect? Howard Roark, of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. My hero.

Things I love about being an architect:
  • the 12 am adrenaline rush the day before final review
  • restarting from scratch days before final review
  • it's a science and an art
  • creating something that others can experience just as you have
  • you experience the world in a different light
  • you learn to appreciate things better
  • looking at pretty things 24/7
  • putting things together
  • architects eat, live, breathe, sleep, embody architecture
Things I hate about being an architect:
  • the 12 am rush the day before final review
  • you get paid squat
  • arch school is going to leave a huge hole in my painkillers "wallet"
  • drafting by hand
  • architects eat, live, breathe, sleep, embody architecture
Things I love:
  • Cathedrals
  • Rose Windows
  • Upscale minimalism
  • Open floor plans
  • Rooftop gardens
  • High ceilings
  • LIGHT.
  • Parisian detail
Things I hate:
  • Stucco walls
  • Row houses
  • Houses that look the same on a single street
  • Drafting Tables
  • Copies of the Parthenon
  • conglomerates

Some pretty things to look at:
The Eames House, Ray and Charles Eames

Beauvais Cathedral
Rem Koolhaas' Seattle Public Library

Sadly though, I will not be attending architecture school although I have a choice between Pratt, Spitzer, PhilaU and  RPI. Instead, I will be going to the only school on my acceptance list that does not have an accredited arch program. Ironic, isn't it? Just a while ago my heart was dead-set on becoming an architect, but I'd like to explore my options before settling down with a definite major. Right now, I'm leaning toward interior architecture or interior design. Lots more artsy. Oh, and a lot less math.


Favorite Places to Read

I often have trouble finishing books because I'm really picky about where I choose to read them. This is a quick list of places where I'd rather be reading...

  1. In bed, either before I go to sleep or after I wake up (the latter is reserved for weekends). Reading before bed is natural for me and I almost always do, but after a long day I'll read a page or two then get knocked out.
  2. Coffee shops (including Starbucks). There's something romantic about reading in coffee shops (though I don't do it to attract guys). Warm your hands with a hot macchiato and snack on some butter cookies (or tea and crumpets if that suits your fancy).
  3. In the park. Only when it's warm and sunny outside, with little to no breeze, so this is reserved for really nice summer-y days which aren't as frequent as we'd like here in NY.
  4. On the train/bus. Sometimes I'll even opt to take the local 7 train on the way home just so I'll have extra time to read. For some reason, I usually don't fall asleep while reading on the train unlike on the bus. 
  5. At the beach. This option has similar weather requirements as the park.
I'm not a big fan of reading at school, although I actually quite enjoyed finishing up Snow Flower and the Secret Fan in the school auditorium. What I'd really love, though, is a top-floor sunroom with a large comfy reading chair... I can just picture it now. And I just love reading nooks by bay windows.

Ciao for now!

29 March 2012

yay college!

Now that college decisions have come in, I ask that you meet these following demands:

1. Brag
2. Belittle others
3. Cry
4. Attempt suicide

1. Congratulate your friends
2. Choose wisely
3. Accept your fate
4. Be gracious and humble
5. Invite me to all your college parties

K thanks, bye

28 March 2012

...and now i shall venture out into the sun!

The weather forecasts fooled me today!
What I was expecting:

What we actually got:

What I wore to school:

Thank you, weathermen. Thank you very, very much.

Until next time,


a dink a dink,
skidamarink a doo,
i.. love.. you!

one of my favorite childhood songs. randomly started singing it today and now it's stuck in my head!


27 March 2012


pc s.ong


A Slice of Wisdom: To Be Successful,

Stay ahead of the trend and stick to your gut feeling. Often times, it'll lead you in the right direction.


26 March 2012

Cut Myself

Whenever people say that they broke a window or dented the wall, I'm always baffled at how that's even possible. Well, my friends, today I join the leagues of super-strength human beings who are able to punch through plaster and shatter glass. That's right, I broke a window.

I was knocking on the glass window on my front door, trying to get someone's attention because I forgot my key, and no, we don't have a doorbell either. Then I pulled a Dorian Gray. For some inexplicable reason, I became so incredibly frustrated at my grandparents that I began banging the window, trying to make noises loud enough for their aged hearing. Then it shattered. I didn't even realize what happened until I saw the broken window. The next thing I know, my hand is profusely bleeding in four different places and I leave my left shoe outside in a mad dash to the sink.

No physical incident is ever complete without an emotional episode. I called my mother to tell her what happened and thankfully, she was more concerned about my well-being than the stupid window. A half hour later, my dad comes home and starts yelling at me without end and seemingly, without a reason. Sure, I broke the window by accident and in his mind I did it on purpose and everything is my fault, but was that even why he was yelling at me?

To make things worse, I think I'm getting sick again.

Until next time,

25 March 2012

100 brandless days

For 100 days, Andrew Miller, a graduate student studying branding at SVA, is going white on white. Each day, he'll be replacing one item's thoughtfully planned branding by painting it completely white.

5/100: MTA MetroCard

What would this world be like without branding? Which would you rather buy: a black and brown Duracell battery, or this white one?

14/100: Duracell

This raises more questions: How much attention do we pay to a company's branding? Are some designs more memorable than others? What, if anything, do we remember about objects that we use day to day?

3/100: Scotch

Miller's efforts are definitely eyebrow-raising and quite insightful. His mission challenges our way of thinking and proves/disproves the efforts of marketing teams worldwide.

Follow Andrew Miller's 100-day journey through a brandless universe: http://brandspirit.tumblr.com/

Until next time,

Pet Peeves

I don't know about you, but I'm the kind of person who will be more annoyed at pet peeves a little more so than at big mistakes. Whether it's wearing plaid on plaid, snapping your gum, or saying 'YOLO,' offenders will definitely earn a death glare. Here are a few off the top of my head:

  1. Wearing plaid on plaid or denim on denim. The plaid really bothers me more so than the denim, even if it's the same pattern. I'll be lenient if you wear different shades or washes of denim, but try to avoid it.
  2. Snapping your gum. The thing about snapping your gum is that it's a bad habit. Once you start doing it, it's hard to stop, so people tend to snap their gum more often than not. Stop now before I execute you.
  3. 'YOLO.' If you've been following my blog lately, you'll find that I absolutely hate this term. It sounds weird, it means absolutely nothing, and people think it warrants erratic behavior. But seriously, every time someone uses it in context, I have the urge to shoot them.
  4. People who talk really loud. One would assume that I'm accustomed to hearing unnecessarily loud speech considering having grown up in a Chinese household. Actually, my entire family is pretty Americanized except for my paternal grandparents whom I live with, so I've suffered my share of near-screaming. Even so, control your volume before the person next to you suffers from hearing loss.
  5. Substituting Gs for Qs. You know, when qirls think that Gs and Qs look similar enough to replace lowercase Gs with Qs. We might as well start substituing Ls with exc!amation points and Ts with p!us signs.
  6. A breath by breath replay of your life on Facebook or Twitter. Sure, it's nice to share what you're up to once in a while, but I doubt people want to read a recap of every thought you've ever thunk. Unless you're prophetic, profound, or hilariously funny as deemed by other people, keep the status updates to a minimum.
  7. Struts. Walk normally, people! When you strut, the only thing you're showing off is your arrogance.
  8. Pants halfway down to your knees. Pants are fashioned to sit atop your hips, above your butt, and your underwear tucked away and out of sight. Let's keep it that way.
...and these are the eight that I can think of at the top of my head. Believe me, there are many, many more.

Until next time,


She's taking up photography again!

I've barely touched my dSLR since the summer, and with the nice weather coming in, it's a perfect time to experiment with new cameras! My parents got me a compact digital camera for my birthday and my favorite feature is the multitude of built-in filters... actually, I didn't even know it existed until my sister showed it to me one day. But anywho, with instagram and all, I've been inspired to venture towards film photography! My mother actually lent me her Nikon with this super retro lens that weighs a ton but I'm too nervous to take it outside, so inside it shall stay.

My Wishlist:

Diana F+, the one and only
Diana F+ 

Twilight Blue Diana Mini

Diana F+ "colette"
Diana F+ colette

Diana F+ London LWC (Sold Out Lim. Edition)
my one true, yet unattainable, love
Diana F+ London LWC

I'm super duper excited to get my new camera! Fear not, I shall not neglect it and nor will I break it [hopefully- no promises there]!

Impart your knowledge of film cameras upon me! The more I know, the merrier!


24 March 2012

A Helluva Day

i was going to recap my extreemely long day, but i won't. it wasn't that interesting to begin with. but i will share a poem:

Sick, Shel Silverstein
"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

This poem is the story of my life...

23 March 2012

A Slice of Advice: Choosing a School

You've been accepted to several schools already, but you just can't decide which one to choose... Here's what I'll be doing to help me make my decision:

  1. Pros and Cons: List the pros and cons that first come to mind for each school and compare. Old-school, yes I know, but it really helps. 
  2. Financial Aid: How much is each school offering you? Can you petition for more $?
  3. Distance: How far away is the school from home? Remember, the further away you are, the more independence you get, but it's also harder to come home for special occasions.
  4. College Town: Is the school located in a friendly town? Are there many things to do off campus, and is there a Starbucks?*
  5. How will each particular school benefit your studies? What is it strong in, and how will it encourage your interests?
  6. How will each school help you in the future? Are there any particular connections at any of your schools that could really boost your future career?

*Most important question

Oh dear, I think I've just complicated my situation even more...

Until next time,


omg omg omg omg.
For the record, I'm writing this at 11:57 AM, the morning after the showing, because my computer is on the fritz (again) and I skipped school after a long day and about an hour of sleep, so bear with me.

WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS.

1. The great thing about this movie is that it is based on a book and while it had some extreme likenesses as the novel, it was also possible for audience members who had not read the book to understand it.

2. The score was amazing and it really complimented the movie as a whole. There were dramatic noises when there needed to be and it was just great.

3. Katniss did not get the Mockingjay pin from the market. This is the only big screwup that really bothered me. In the book, Katniss received the pin as a gift from Madge, the mayor's daughter. Actually, my sister mentioned that the filmmakers couldn't include that part in because it would take too long to explain Madge's and Katniss's relationship, which I totally understand.

4. The first half of the movie really went by like lightning. I felt that there was so much more they could add and the filmmakers didn't really capture the essence of many of the relationships between the characters. Sure, you know who each one is and how they know each other, but I would have really appreciated it if they really elaborated their bonds.

5. I loved how they mirrored the tributes's point of view in the arena with the production process on the gamemaker's end. It created a great sense of a behind-the-scenes part of the games where the audience can better understand the gamemakers' role in the games.

6. Caesar Flickerman was great. Everything I expected, and more.

I wouldn't have minded a 5-hour movie... In this case, The Hunger Games is probably better off as one.



22 March 2012

A Triple Feature Pt. 1

[7:58 PM]
Just got home from school after watching the S!NG 2012 production. S!NG is basically a musical production directed, written, and produced by students. The participating students are then divided into two groups respective to grade level: underclassmen and upperclassmen. Each of both groups create their own performances from which the audience will choose a favorite and will thus be declared the winner!

Aside from the logistics of S!NG, my personal favorite is the upperclassmen performance (Go Shelley!). Despite being an upperclassman myself, I thought their storyline was much more coherent and the actors had a much better representation of their characters than those of the underclassmen. However, I did find a particular jolly underclassman quite amusing and there were several competent singers among them. Thus, I applaud the underclassmen for good effort, but the upperclassmen take the cake.

Kudos to you all for a job well done.

Now, I wait until 12:01 AM to finally see The Hunger Games which I have been so extremely excited for!


21 March 2012

Foodies Anon, Dinner Partay

Hosting a dinner party on Friday. Here's what I'll be preparing:

Cheesy Pull Apart Bread
Cheesy Bread (no pun intended)
Roasted Edamame
Scallion Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Cheese Ravioli
flourless chocolate coconut cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes
Favorite Brownies
Hope it all turns out well!



5 Quick Things...

1. Hunger Games tomorrow, 12 AM. I can't even express my excitement.

2. Tomorrow was supposed to be ~80 degrees. *sigh*

3. Hyped for Tribeca Film Festival

4. Need to get over to the Highline...

5. Shoes.


To Be Honest, ...

... "you can't handle the truth."

1. Be honest. Don't mask the truth for some pathetic reason that may regard other's feelings. Just get it over with and spit it out, man.

2. Take the truths you're given, and accept it. Reform your faults if necessary, but don't cry over it.

3. Lies come in many forms and are sometimes used so much that we don't even realize that we're lying. Just watch what you're saying.

And for the record, unless you're receiving a constant death glare from someone, it doesn't mean they hate you despite the honesty they've given you.


PS. Stop 'yolo'-ing. Just stop.

20 March 2012

SBUX + Juice = Evolution Fresh

Starbucks opened its first Evolution Fresh store yesterday in Bellevue, Washington, just a mere 2,850 miles away. They deliver that far, right? Ha! Kidding.

For those of you looking for a healthy (-ier) alternative to your morning venti coffee, Starbucks has your answer! This is Evolution Fresh's first storefront after Starbucks purchased it some months ago, and to tell you the truth, I can't wait until they start popping up in New York. If all turns out well, then Evolution Fresh stores will conquer the world! But until then I'll be waiting to see them in Starbucks locations.

Evolution Fresh logo

The Evolution Fresh store is similar to an upscale health food store and all the food and drink is au naturale. No preservatives, no added colors, or additives. So don't judge the pale goop before you try it.. it just might be your new favorite thing.

But the prices will definitely make heads turn. At $7.99, a 16-ounce hand-crafted juice may not seem worth it at all. Not all of us normal folks can afford an $8 juice these days... or ever. Until my pockets are overflowing with cash, I think I'll stick to Naked Juice.

Until next time,

A Slice of Advice

Someone wise once told me

"Go to the best school you get accepted to, no matter the cost. You'll be meeting great people and paying for a lifetime's worth of connections. The better the school, the better the people."

Just a bit of advice as college acceptances come in...

Until next time,

#Get Your Own Swag

It may just be me, but I get quite irritated when I spot people with whom I make daily interactions with (relatively) sporting the exact same items I own. Yes, I know it's inevitable considering trends come and go, namely TOMS which I find quite blasphemous considering previous hesitation toward them despite my advocacy. It's also impossible to avoid when you shop at megamarts like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters.

look at all those people waiting to buy the same thing as each other...

Then when I complain to my friends (or my mother) and express near-ferocity, they attempt to coax me by calling me a 'role model' and saying that I make things look good, causing people to want to get their own (well, at least my mom does). Okay, let's entertain that thought for a moment. Say that I do make things look good (pft). This permits admiration and envy by onlookers, but copy & paste, and bad things will happen.

The thing about fashion is that everyone has their own opinion regarding it. There's a wide range of thoughts concerning this, but I'll just tell you mine: I dress for myself. Some people will dress to impress others and others won't even take a second look at what they're wearing. But I dress the way I do to boost my self-confidence. On top of that, it's one of the primary ways that I express myself.

Looking through my closet, I find that there are two main categories in which I can label my clothes: my 'signature' pieces, and well, everything else. Now, I don't mind if someone has the same American Eagle shorts or UO tank that I do. Honestly, I'd probably make a comment that we could be matchy-matchy. But if I catch you wearing the exact same floral dress that just happens to be my all-time favorite, then it's on.

But seriously, don't hang onto other people's coattails. There's nothing more embarrassing than showing up to the same party wearing the same dress as the girl next to you. Just make the effort to be a little more original, don't just buy the first thing you see.

/end rant/

Until next time,

19 March 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods, Spring Break

For many students, spring break is nearly upon us. I don't have any plans to jet off to exotic places, but I'll be vacationing in my mind...

Honokohau Falls, Maui
Honokohau Falls, Maui 
This huge rock fin of "The Anvil" juts into the sea from Tory Island. - Stephen Emerson
Tory Island
Fiske Bar in Antwerp, Belgium. An all time favourite when fish is calling!
Antwerp, Belgium
The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. A place I dreamed about before I even knew it existed. So obviously, I am meant to go there someday
Cliffs of Moher
Assisi, Italy. Every side alley is a picturesque treasure hunt. (Photo by M. Kirby)
Assisi, Italy

aand to top it all off...

Starbucks in Japan

 If only we were uber-bajillionaires... *sigh* a girl can dream

Until next time,

A Slice of Wisdom: Spring Cleaning

A Slice of Wisdom:

It's time to reevaluate your relationships and circumstances and question their place in your life. You need to de-clutter and move on while leaving the unnecessary stuff behind.

Until next time,

17 March 2012

Literature Overload

As a person who enjoys reading, I absolutely hate the awkward periods between books when you have nothing to read. This is how I've come to read several books at the same time... so that when my list dwindles down to two books, I can request more from the library. But this system is biting me in the ass.

Right now, I'm reading 6 books (crazy, right?). Well, not actually reading them all right now, but they're in my possession and I plan on reading them within the week. Anyway, they're all pretty substantial books and I'm reading Atlas Shrugged which is a 1000-page literary monster. On top of that, I have to read and finish all the library books within 2 weeks or so when they're due which also means I have to put Atlas Shrugged on hold. *Saddened* Now, I march outside to sit in my lawn chair to read/take a nap... Man, at this rate, I'll never finish these books.

Lesson learned: only read up to 5 books at a time (4 if you're reading Atlas Shrugged)

Until next time,

16 March 2012

$15 for a year of AWESOME

Every month I look forward to receiving a fat glossy magazine chock-full of super awesome and inspiring things... get your mind out of the gutter, it's Architectural Digest!


If you haven't seen or read an issue of Architectural Digest before, then you're missing out. It's literally full of super cool buildings, interior design inspiration, and amazing homes worth millions of dollars. Whenever I receive a new issue, I tear it apart and pull out all the great things to add to my inspiration scrapbook-type thing. Even if you're not interested in architecture, you'd still absolutely love this magazine... it's preparation for home-ownership!

On top of all that, every year in March Architectural Digest hosts a Home Design Show in the city! It's like a 3-dimensional mega-issue with everything you've ever dreamed of... in one place. I just bought my ticket and I'm super duper hyped to go. Can't wait! You can find me doing preliminary shopping for my dorm room :) Better yet, I got my ticket at a reduced price that comes with a year's subscription of AD (Score!)

You can get your own ticket to the Home Design Show + a subscription to AD magazine for $15 here.

Until next time,

15 March 2012

The Worst Part

Several college acceptance decisions came out today which really made me realize what the toughest part of the college process is... In the beginning, applicants feel that writing the multitude of essays is the worst part. Then when FAFSA comes out in January, applicants are burdened with preparing tax information and processing terms they've never heard before. Now as they all wait to hear back from schools, they begin applying for scholarships. But in the end is choosing which school to attend. This, my friends, is the most difficult part of the college process. This onerous decision will determine your future for the next 4 or so years, then life after.

My advice to all you college applicants out there: choose wisely. Weigh the pros and cons, consider your family's financial status, and really think about the decision. Sure, there's always the possibility of transferring to another school, but in this case, the first time has to be the charm.

Good Luck!


14 March 2012

Pinterest: Foodies Anon, Pi(e) Day

My number-less tribute to Pi Day (March 14, 3/14) because Calc has solidified my fear of math...

Blackberry pie muffins
Blackberry Pie Muffins
Peach Pie
Peach Pie
Double Crusted Blueberry Pie
Double-crusted Mini Blueberry Pie
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Peach blueberry pie. Yurm... Like our cobbler, but it's a pie.
Peach-Blueberry Pie
chocolate pudding pie
Chocolate Pudding Pie
Apple Pie Caramel Apples!  Delicious!  MUST try this Fall!
Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Hungry yet? ;)


Find me on Pinterest here