Monday, February 28, 2011

A Country of Immigrants

Ellis Island is just a few minutes away from Liberty Island, and so after lunch, we conveniently took a connecting ferry to get to the island.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last Chance To See

Hallo everyone, as with my other posts, this post is still a write up on how I was inspired to draw some of my sketches in the Sketchbook Project. I know this sounds incongruous, but I'd like to recommend a book to you first. If you like National Geographic, or like animals, please do read this book. If not, watching the BBC series is a good alternative too.

Now, why would I recommend a non-fiction book written by a very likeable English bloke about his globe trotting wilderness adventures with another very funny English bloke and how does this book have anything to do with my sketches for the Sketchbook Project?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lady Liberty

The statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of freedom and of America. The statue was gifted by the people of France, while the pedestral was built by America.

Imagine being an early immigrant to America and greeted by the sight of Lady Liberty upon your first glimpse of the American shoreline.

Monday, February 21, 2011

So Japanese

Few years ago, I visited Japan, and I was charmed and captivated by the Japanese culture.

When sketching for the Sketchbook Project, I was inspired by 2 uniquely Japanese activities - 1. Temple visiting wearing a yukata, 2. Soaking in hot spring baths.

Regarding activity 1, I was inspired by a very famous temple in Tokyo known as the Asakusa temple, where centuries old traditions still prevail. During Japanese festivals, known as Matsuri, throngs of Japanese wearing yukata (casual summer kimono) or kimono would visit this temple to partake in the festivities and enjoy the carnival located on the temple grounds - complete with rides, booths and games.    

Below was my initial sketch. Subsequently I realised the picture on the left looks too plain, and doesn't show the vibrancy of Asakusa temple during Matsuri. The right picture shows the temple's main building and its 5-storied pagoda.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So Relieved

I am so relieved.

I received an email from the Arthouse Coop guys notifying me that they've received my sketchbook! Whew!!! If you recall, I sent the sketchbook the Arthouse Coop guys about a month and a half ago, and got quite worried that the package would become lost since I've forgotten to write my return address. Thankfully all went well!

Here's another sketch from my sketchbook

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Green Lung of NYC

New York's Central Park is like what the Golden Gate Park is to San Francisco, or what Hyde Park is to London or what the Botanical Gardens is to Singapore - the most important green lung of the respective cities.

Central Park is exceedingly huge, and has a zoo, police precinct, a reservoir, a lake and a pond. The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is located on the upper west side, while on the upper east side, lies the Guggenheim Museum (which we did not visit) and at the lower eastern edge is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka MET, as mentioned in my earlier post).

It was through Central Park that we took a short cut to get from AMNH to MET. Although the park is just 0.8km across, we took a slightly meandering path so we could admire the tranquil surroundings. I felt like there was a perceptible dip in temperature when we entered the park, hovering somewhere in the region of 10-12 degrees. Fortunately, the cheery sun helped somewhat in raising the temperature slightly, even if certain ares of dense foliage occasionally blocked the sun rays.

We caught a glimpse of the Lake (I think?) from this vantage point

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Museum Hopping

Milk and myself were colleagues in a department where everyone loved food and would travel to the ends of the city to seek and eat highly recommended good food. So it isn't that surprising that we adopted a similar mentality by researching on a nightly basis, which highly recommended cafes, bistros or restaurants we would visit in NYC for our breakfast, lunch and dinner. However we did not have the luxury of travelling to the edge of the city just to eat a good meal, so we sourced for places near our hostel or near our daily destinations.

Our first breakfast wasn't anything fantastic, since we had no time to research, but 2nd day's breakfast was nice. It's a quaint, old fashioned cafe called Ess-a-Bagel.

We had bagels, of course. I think it was salmon cream cheese flavoured. Yum!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rockefeller Center - Day and Night

Hallo everyone! I hope you've had a Happy Chinese Year!

Just a couple of weeks after we came back from U.S., the weather in the U.S. turned extremely frosty and the cold, more frigid than ever. I guess our timing was more or less fortunate. I doubt I would be able to survive the blistering cold, much less enjoy myself, if I was there in December or January. I hope the weather turns back to normal soon.

Following our city tour earlier in the day, we decided to end our day at the Rockefeller Center to see the night view from Top of the Rock.

Murals at the Rockefeller plaza lobby


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