As I said in my last post, I visited a friend recently to celebrate the holidays. During that time, we talked, ate, and talked about our plans for the new year.

For dessert, my friend bought some strawberry shortcake from a famous local bakery, known to be loved by the Clintons. It is said that this kind of cake is the favorite of the former president and with good reason.


It’s as beautiful as it is tasty.

And it fell to me to cut and serve the cake. Needless to say that despite my best efforts to cut it cleanly and beautifully, I fell a little short…



Heading North


This morning I took the train to Chappaqua to visit a friend for the holidays. It’s the furthest north I have ever gone on the Harlem Line (Metro North, blue line train). I always imagined what the stations north of White Plains (where I work) looked like… I was a bit dissappointed.

Lining the railways are a lot of wooded areas (an attempt at noise reduction) as well as the Bronx River.  Because of a storm a lot of these areas were flooded.


The Season Approches


It’s that time again.

For me it’s a really busy couple of weeks, since this is the time of the year my company make the majority of it’s money. From the third week of December to a few days after the new year, things are absolutely nuts.

Recently, I went to NYC Library to see the “Lunch Hour NYC” Exhibit (see here). When I got there, I found the library decked out for the holidays. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful sight.

Afternoon in Shibuya


Getting around in Japan can be surprisingly easy by train. When you buy a ticket, all you need to do is look on the signboard for the price of fare to where you are going (each station accounts for departing location) then put said amount into the machine and select the price as seen on the sign. For example, Ikebukuro to Akihabara was 190 yen, so if you put 200 yen in the machine, select 190 and get 10 yen change. Much easier than New York!!


I used the trains to travel the west side of the Yamanote Line. Akihabara, Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro. I especially enjoyed the fashion capital of Shibuya. It was filled with people and had a lot of interesting stores to look in.


It also had a lot of cafes for meeting people or if you just needed a break, though they all were a tad overpriced. But it is the Time Square of Japan. I exhausted myself wandering around the side streets and really tall shopping centers.




For the second week of my stay in Japan, I stayed in the city of Ikebukuro, which is west of Tokyo Station on the Yamanote (train) Line. It’s an entertainment town that’s filled with things to do after 6pm (before then is pretty busy too, but it really opens up at night). The popular manga/anime Durarara is set there.

There are a lot of hotels/ karaoke joints/ traditional style fast food/cafe/bars there and a lot of stores have employees standing outside the door to vie for potential customer’s attention.

The pictures in this post is the view from my hotel’s communal kitchen. If you are looking for a cheap place to stay, try Sakura Hotel (5min from the station).