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Fairway + MET in HD + New Jersey

So word has been spreading among MSM students that Trader Joe’s is the cheapest place to buy groceries.. it’s not! Based on my shopping list at least. Trader Joe’s is also always so crowded so checking out is a pain. Victor and I, fed up with the long queues, trekked up from 72nd St where Trader Joe’s is situated, to Fairway at 74th. The shopping experience at Fairway was definitely less atas and ‘clean’, but for cheaper prices I’d put up with it. I bought 3 packets of Dececco spaghetti and a bottle of Prego sauce! Now I actually need to start cooking. Cooking may seem like a trivial thing, but for someone like me who hasn’t really cooked before – apart from cup noodles, instant pizza, half-boiled eggs, white rice – cooking is actually quite a daunting task. What should I cook? What ingredients do I need? Do I need salt for everything? How do I even start? what’s the first step? How should I store this half-opened can of peas? OK I shall blog about my first cooking experience when it happens. But it must happen soon because eating out is expensive in NYC!

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Victor checking out juices at Fairway
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Maoz Cafe – this is a chicken shawarma in pita bread + free flow salad. This cost me US$9.
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Busker playing a bagpipe…. it was LOUD. Funny cos it was so loud most people were running from him so not many were willing to go near enough to give him money.

One of the things that I really look forward to living in NYC is being in such close proximity to the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Jazz Club etc. There is so much art and music all around – it truly is very exciting and stimulating for a music student like myself. Because it is summer and the weather is generally very pleasant, the Met Opera screens its operas outside their concert hall. Chairs are placed facing a huge HD screen, so it is a really comfortable experience too (: I attended Wednesday’s screening of the opera Lucia de Lamemoor. A big part of why I wanted to watch this opera is because it has a huge harp cadenza and I wanted to listen to how it fits into the opera. The harpist in the recording is Deborah Hoffman, she was the principal harpist of the Met Opera. Unfortunately, she passed away 2 years ago. But wow, her rendition of the candenza is so so so beautiful. I don’t think I’ve heard a version more beautiful than this one. She has such a beautiful sound and such immaculate phrasing too which is just perfect for this cadenza. Listening to her play the cadenza really changed the way I thought about it – which is good – because this is what I came to NY for, to be musically inspired and challenged.
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Large screen outside the Met Opera
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Harpist Deborah Hoffman

Anyway, on Thursday I took a trip to New Jersey to visit Aunty Siew Mui and family! It was nice to be in familiar company amidst so much unfamiliarity lately. We went shopping for some household items that I needed (towels, tupperwares etc), of which many of them Aunty Siew Mui already has in her basement – or what she likes to call her Y2K Zone haha. I also had the chance to savour her bak kut teh awyisssss. Anyway, went to Van Dyk’s ice cream with Michelle after dinner. It was so good!! And they’re so generous with their portions too.

The next day we went to have Dim Dum at Chinatown, the restaurant is called Jing Fong and it’s at 20 Elizabeth Street. They serve up pretty legit dimsum! The only thing that was not good was the mango pudding – it was not served with milk as it should be, and it does not even taste like mango pudding come on who are you kidding. But I really enjoyed the beancurd (douhua) and the prawn dumplings (hagao). We went to get Gongcha after that whew all that eating!

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Michelle taking a picture of some baby deer!
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The whole family was hanging out too!
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At TJ Maxx shopping for winter boots. Did not get any in the end, did not find anything suitable ):
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Van Dyk’s ice cream! This was salted caramel.
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hahaha no smell one
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Chinatown. Almost everyone on the street was Asian, and cantonese-speaking.
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Dim Sum! Probably the highlight of my week.

Good news! MSM has an intervarsity christian fellowship group (: Thank God for sending people my way to lead me to a christian community on campus!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

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