Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Favourite New York Shopping Spots

I love shopping in New York. There are bargains galore during the summer sale period that will drive any shopaholic crazy! Here is a list of my favourite New York shopping spots:

1) Macy's Herald Square
For its central location (151 West 34th Street), Macy's is my pick for city shopping. This Macy's is located in historic charming buildings (yes, it spans over more than 1 building) and claims to be the world's largest store. If you're an international visitor, head up to the Visitors Service Centre to apply for a Welcome International Savings Card, which offers 11% savings in all Macy's stores for 30 days after validation. The savings also applies for items already discounted! There is a great selection of branded names. I loved their Clearance sections and was pleased with my purchase of DKNY jeans and Le Sport Sac bags at great prices.

Em & I stumbled upon Century 21 (22 Cortlandt Street) when we ventured downtown to buy discounted Broadway tickets (a subject of another post yet to be written...). Em had read about it in a NY brochure and we decided to check it out. What a find! They stock designer merchandise at bargain prices. During the weekend, "Fashion Worth Fighting For"their motto comes to life. The place is jam-packed with locals and tourists rummaging (or fighting ...) haphazardly through stocks of designer goods ranging from clothes, bags, shoes, electrical, household, etc, etc. You really require lots of patience to shop as some sections, especially the women's clothing area tends to be rather dishevelled. But it is well worth the reward. Count on making more than 1 trip!

Set in the lush Central Valley, about an hour's drive out of Manhattan, Woodbury Common is the mother of shopping centres! With 220 premium outlet stores which offers fantastic savings, you may not even notice the scenic backdrop of the surrounding green hills. And if you want to save even more, register online to join their VIP club to get exclusive online coupons and a free VIP coupon book. One word of advice. Go early to find a good parking spot, wear comfortable shoes and then shop till you drop. There is something for everyone - from Coach (there was even a queue to go into the outlet) to Corningware, Osh Kosh to Brook Brothers, Samsonite to Tag Heuer. This is a shopping paradise!

After one full day of traipsing from 1 outlet to another, it was so good to be able to relax at the Inn at Stony Creek, a bed and breakfast located in Warwick, about 20 minutes drive from Woodbury (for more pictures, read my post on bed and breakfasts) . We just kicked off our shoes, sat on the porch and enjoyed nature's bright fire-fly show and listened to the symphony of crickets. Then, we headed up to our cosy room in this lovingly restored historical farmhouse for a well-deserved rest. The next morning, we were treated to a scrumptious breakfast of oven-baked french toast and sausage patties. What a lovely way to end a shopping spree!
You would have thought that after all that shopping, we would have had enough. But during our travel around the scenic Finger Lakes Region, we couldn't resist dropping by Waterloo Premium Outlet on Route 318, Waterloo. Somehow, we managed to clear some space in our car to add more shopping bags. After that, we had to call it a day. No more shopping for me until for a long while...Well, at least I got all my Christmas shopping done :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Words of Wisdom

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Winston Churchill

Following through my last post on our visit to Philea Home, I wanted to share a quote on giving. Giving isn't just about money. It's also giving of our love and time. In the busy world we live in, we are sometimes so preoccupied with getting more. Sometimes it feeds itself, the more we get, the more we want. And in the quest of making a living, we forget to make a life. We have no time and energy to give to our loved ones, let alone strangers. So, take a step back to reflect and make a life by giving.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It Is More Blessed To Give

Last Sunday, this phrase became more than just a phrase to me. Our cell group visited Philea Home, an orphanage in Kapar, Klang. Our intention was to bless the 20 kids with a special meal and gifts. We were even able to obtain sponsorship from a hypermarket to donate baking goods as the home volunteers wanted to bake cookies during the festive season to raise funds. So, after church service, off we went with cakes, games and goody bags in our cars. When we arrived, the McDonalds' meals were already there (McD's agreed to make a special delivery even though the home was outside their delivery area). The kids were really excited as they hardly ever get such a treat.

We spent the afternoon singing songs and playing games with the kids. They had so much fun (we did too, despite the sweltering afternoon heat) and thrived on the attention. After the activities, we had cakes for tea, another special treat for them. By then, their curiosities got the better of them. They couldn't resist peeking into the bag of goodies we had lined up by the door. As each bag had a name, they were looking to see which bag was theirs...Kids will be kids! When we called each child individually, it was a pleasure to see the sheer joy in their faces as they came up to receive their goody bag.

Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. We went with the intention to bless the children. In the end, we were the ones who were blessed.

My friend Doris captured some amazing shots of the children. Check out her post on our visit to Philea.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My First Award

Dear Sweet Jasmine has given me my very first award. It is nice to be able to share this with Kess' blog (given by Uncle Bok Jae). What an honour. I want to pass this on to:


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Words of Wisdom

"Followers may doubt what their leaders say, but they usually believe what they do."
John C. Maxwell

How true it is that action speaks louder than words. How sad it is that a majority of our political leaders have yet to learn this truth...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My encounter with the firefighters

After my post on the NY firefighters, I actually had an encounter with the Malaysian men in red yesterday. No, there wasn't a fire at my place...Thank goodness!

It all started on late Sunday night when we heard mewing coming from the airwell up on our roof. We also heard a thudding sound as if someone (or something) was knocking against the door of the airwell. Needless to say, it wasn't a restful night...

The next morning, we heard the mewing again. This time, it sounded desparate. Obviously, the kitty couldn't figure out how to get off the roof (typical!) We had to do something. Hubby had to go off to work. I wasn't brave enough to climb up the stairwell. What was I to do? My neighbour suggested I call the Bomba (Malay word for firemen). They sent a team within 20 minutes. I was amazed at their efficiency!

They came equipped with their animal pole and thick leather gloves. Had a quick chat with the friendly firefighters and found out that cat rescues from the roof are a common occurence. Sometimes when the firefighters show up, the cats decide to "rescue themselves"...Since there was silence, they thought that this may be the case. But they were good sports and went up to check anyway.

They found one frightened and angry kitten, hiding behind the water tank. It must have found its way through a gap and couldn't get out again. Now I understand why they had thick gloves. The lil' kitty was spitting, snarling and scratching like crazy! Mid-way, the frightened kitty poo-ed, leaving a trail of poo in my home! Sigh...

It wasn't pleasant cleaning up the poo and wiping my floor throroughly with disinfectant. It cost us money to call in the pest control to fumigate the roof against fleas (our neighbour's home was infested with fleas after a cat gave birth on their roof). We didn't want to risk flea bites.

But, we were grateful to the men in red. Often times, we don't think very highly of public service. This team of firefighters did a wonderful job rescuing the kitten. Not only that, they performed this public service cheerfully! Well done, to our Malaysian firefighters!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How to say Thank You...

I did a post on "How to say Thank You" in different languages on Kess' "It's a Dog's Life" blog. Thanks to my blogger friends from all over the world, the initial list of 4 has now expanded to 20. So, if you want to learn some new languages, check out the post. If you know of new languages not already listed, drop a comment and I'll add it to the list.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New York, New York - My impressions of the city

I can never watch CSI NY, the Nanny, Project Runway, Sleepless in Seattle (remember the scene where Meg Ryan finally meets Tom Hanks at the top of the Empire State Building after missing each other for most parts of the movie) or a host of other TV shows and movies the same way again! I never realised how many programs out there that are filmed in NY! It is exciting to be able to recognise the icons of NY city and say I've been there!

NY Icons
Statue of Liberty
Empire State Building (viewed from Rockefeller Centre)

Central Park (viewed from Rockefeller Centre)Broadway - The Lion King

Brooklyn Bridge
NY is by far the busiest city I've ever been to. People everywhere. Locals going about their own business, tourists gawking at the famous sights. It's a city where you can be anonymous if you choose to because it is so easy to get lost in the sea of colourful faces. Yes, NY is a cultural melting pot. It doesn't matter what colour or race, you'll feel right at home. Another thing about NY, it's a city that never sleeps!

People, people everywhere
Times Square - midnight
Canal Street Subway Station

One of the unique aspects of NYC is the firefighters. We never failed to see the fire engines whizzing past every single day (and night) we were there. They're kept really busy!


Tribute to the brave firefighters who perished in the line of duty

New York is truly an amazing city! There are so many facets to this fascinating city, which I'm sure the locals can attest to. As a visitor, I am glad to have tasted a glimpse of NY life, if only for a few days.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.- Oscar Wilde

Everyone makes mistakes. But, if we learn from our mistakes, then we become "experienced" people!