Fall has befallen

According to the meteorological services, autumn is officially here – 22 September!

Anyway, It’s been a while since I last blogged! That’s because my Surface Pro was having some technical problems so I sent it back to Microsoft for repair. My Surface could not perform the latest updates and the thing about Surfaces is that it absolutely needs to be updated regularly, otherwise it will start to hang ):

Nothing much exciting happening over here, I’m just going about the typical schedule of a music student – eat, poop, practice, sleep.  Ok I kid, life is more interesting than that. But what I love about being a music student, and musician, is that each day is unpredictable, and that’s exciting. I will never know what problems I will encounter in my practice, and what new nuances I can bring out in my pieces each day. Nerd talk, I know. But since starting lessons with my harp teacher, my approach and attitude towards practice has changed quite a bit, for the better. And this stems from my teacher encouraging me to think more carefully about the function of each note – and as a result how each of them should speak. I used to shy away (or rather laze away) from thinking that much about each and every single note. It’s always easier to just ‘get the feeling and note accuracy’ of the piece. But these days I’m learning that making music professionally is a lot more than the general picture – it’s about going so deep in detail that you yourself are deeply convinced by your own interpretation of the music. (We are not always naturally convinced by our own interpretations).

Also, I spent my first Mid-Autumn Festival away from home! Dan bought a mooncake from the MSM cafeteria – US$4. It did not have a yolk – sad. And did not have lotus paste either, red bean paste instead. But it’s ok, I still got to eat a semblance of a mooncake.

Thank you for trying, MSM

This past week I’ve gone for a beta group social from church and the Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship at MSM. A beta group is basically cell group at Redeemer Presbyterian and it a newly formed, (a beta group that has been around for at least a year is called a community group). The beta group social was the first time all of us who signed up for this beta group met! We had cheese, crackers, hummus, salami and sushi on a rooftop!

The view at dusk is so lovely

I managed to do some exploring around the vicinity of MSM. And compared to the Midtown area (Times Square, Columbus Circle etc), it is so much more peaceful and nature-y.

Rush  hour traffic at Midtown-Fifth Avenue
Skyscrapers at Midtown

MSM is located in the neighbourhood called Morningside Heights, together with Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. It is also located just beside Riverside Park and the smaller Sakura Park.

The 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant`s tomb is situated just beside Riverside Park. He is buried here with his wife Julia B. Grant.
The majestic Riverside Church just across the road from MSM

So this humongous blown-up balloon rat sits here every morning facing the gate of Columbia’s Barnard College. At first I thought this was a campaign to educate people about hygiene in public spaces. But then I found out that it’s actually a protest against a staff member in Barnard College for the unfair treatment of maintenance workers!

I also managed to catch up with some friends, and meet new ones over meals (: Thank you God for sending good friends to share good food with (both very important and essential to life).

Spicy beef noodle soup – but actually not spicy one
Sichuan food!!

And then my cooking adventures again, I’m getting good –

Pasta sauce
Ok I should just bring the Yakun franchise over to NYC

Random sights-

Brass quintet at church last Sunday wow! They sound really good too
I didn’t know half avenues were a thing
ooooh you cutie!
Open rehearsal at the MET opera today – Sir Simon Rattle conducts Tristan und Isolde

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who cam from the Father, full of grace and truth… Out of his fullness we have all received grace.” John 1:14, 16a

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