Afternoon Tea in New York City


I grew up in Malaysia, a small Southeast Asian country that calls Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia its neighbors.  It’s a relatively young country, achieving independence only in 1957.  It was colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch and then the British, with British rule being the longest.  You might be wondering where this is going.  This little history lesson is, quite simply, my roundabout way of justifying my penchant for afternoon tea. Continue reading Afternoon Tea in New York City

Never Too Cool for School: Take a Sashimi Class at Osakana



I follow quite a few New York bloggers and Instagrammers, but I also love to read blog posts from people who are traveling to the city for the first time.  While it’s partly because I’m curious about what they choose to do on their visit, it’s also because there’s a genuine feeling of wonder and excitement that’s infectious.  I find their observations charming, whether good (“there’s so much to see!”) or bad (“it smells horrible!”).  Traveling has always given me that high — going into sensory overload as you take in things you’ve never seen, smelled or heard before.  And while many cities have charmed me, few have done so like Tokyo. Continue reading Never Too Cool for School: Take a Sashimi Class at Osakana

Mmuseumm: the smallest, quirkiest museum in New York City



If you ask someone what they think about New York City, they’ll undoubtedly have an opinion.  For those seduced by the city’s many charms, the response will probably be that of hackneyed superlatives.  Naysayers, on the other hand, will issue a laundry list of grievances.  You’ll hear any number of things, but I’d be willing to bet “boring” won’t be one of them.  This city’s single greatest virtue is that, no matter how long you live here, you’ll never see it all.   Continue reading Mmuseumm: the smallest, quirkiest museum in New York City

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As a typically angst-ridden, rebellious teenager living under the crushingly onerous, authoritarian regime of my strict, socially conservative parents, there was a particular allure to novelty shops such as the seedy, provocative Spencer’s Gifts and the subversive, iconoclastic Hot Topic.  Fortunately, one or the other could be found in virtually every mall in the American Midwest. And even though I rarely, if ever, purchased anything at these establishments, I fondly recall the hours surrendered perusing the shelves and racks filled with random, quirky objects, never knowing quite what it was I’d find on any given visit. But eventually I grew up, my sensibilities evolved and interest in such trivial things waned. Continue reading [disrupt] at Story

The Cloisters


“Could I get a knife and fork?”

“There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?”

“There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?”

Cable Guy, 1996

Everyone’s a fan of Arthurian legend, whether you fell in love with The Sword in the Stone as a child, or with Monty Python and the Holy Grail as an adult.  Your favorite Arthur might be Sean Connery, while your favorite Guinevere might be Ava Gardner.  You might’ve liked Steinbeck’s traditional retelling, or Mark Twain’s humorous alternative history version.  There’s just something about the warrior king, the code of chivalry, the mysticism, drama and romance of the time that intoxicates.  And it’s those same magical elements you’ll find at The Cloisters. (No dinner and jousting though, sorry.) Continue reading The Cloisters

Modern Pinball NYC



Before the phenomena of binge-watching episodes of that favorite guilty pleasure program du jour on video streaming services or staring down, slack-jawed, for hours at the now ubiquitous mobile device while perusing social networks, there was another place, anathema to parents and teachers alike, where one could go to rot one’s brain and shorten one’s attention span. It was simply known as an arcade — the earliest iteration of which had pinball machines — and it was glorious. Continue reading Modern Pinball NYC

Washington Heights Walking Tour



Every neighborhood in New York has a story, but only a neighborhood within a neighborhood has secrets. Unfortunately, the prerequisite for discovering these secrets is usually the possession of an address within its boundaries, with time and growing familiarity eventually earning the distinction of being accepted within the community as a “local”. Continue reading Washington Heights Walking Tour

The Frick Collection



I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite museum in New York City — it would be like naming a favorite child (if you have over a hundred of them).  But I can assure you that the Frick Collection would be hovering near the top of the list.  It’s such an intimate and warm space, and although many other residences have been converted into museums or galleries, this one still feels like a home. Continue reading The Frick Collection

K2 Friday Nights at the Rubin Museum



A friend of mine was visiting from London years ago, and had brought with her a big box of chocolates she’d picked up on a trip to Belgium. The group of us chatted as we sampled from it, when someone exclaimed, “I can only have one piece, it’s so rich!” Having probably devoured eight pieces by that point, I’ll admit that the notion of having too much of a good thing eluded me in that moment. Continue reading K2 Friday Nights at the Rubin Museum

Koneko Cat Cafe

It’s a sobering moment when, as an adult, you realize the magnitude of the sacrifice your parents made for you.  I used to think my father was unreasonably strict and purposefully withholding, but I realize now that he was, quite simply, a practical man trying to do what was best for his family.  He made us take piano lessons to teach us discipline.  He banned desserts in the house to help us maintain healthy diets.  And he prohibited pets because he knew the responsibilities of caring for them would eventually fall on my poor mother, who already had three children to chase after.  But my love for animals was inexplicably strong, so I would find different ways to scratch that itch.  I would fish my dad’s goldfish out of his pond and pet them, as if they were slimy, squirmy miniature dogs.  I would linger any time we found ourselves in the vicinity of a pet store.  And I would drop by my neighbor’s house four doors down, ring the doorbell, and ask if I could borrow a cat.  She would smile, grab one of her adorable little fur babies, and let me sit in her driveway with it.  I would spend hours playing with the loaned animal until it was time to hand it back and go home. So you see, I’m the OG cat café customer. Continue reading Koneko Cat Cafe