New York: photo essay

What started out as a little cold turned into a week-long illness. It took me a while to sort and color correct my photos from New York. Some of the images in my Flickr collection were previously posted here.

I failed to mention in my harried travel blogging that this was my first trip to New York as an adult. The last time I was there I was 6 and only have vague recollections of that trip. Although I lived on the East Coast most of my life, I just never got around to visiting the city again. I had heard horror stories and it just wasn't a priority.

After my short little jaunt, I really like New York. I only got a little taste of the city, but from what I saw I loved. Yes, it's gritty and dirty in some parts. However, New York has an edge that L.A. just doesn't have. I can't even fully articulate what the edge is exactly, but it's definitely there. Rob, my L.A. Native husband, has been debating this with me since I returned. I think he takes it a little personally when I say I prefer New York to L.A. Underneath it all, I'm still an East Coast gal. Even worse for Rob and I hate to admit, but had I visited New York before I moved to L.A. I might not have ever made it out here at all. Although, I don't know if Anne K. in NYC sounds nearly as good as Anne K. in L.A.

Without furher ado, here are some of my pics. Some photos are a little better composed than others.


Q and Stephanie's Wedding

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It shocks me sometimes how men can maintain friendships from childhood. I can barely remember the names of the girls I rode bikes and played Barbies with, let alone tell you where they are now. Rob, however, is like most men. He not only keeps up with his elementary school friends but, grabs a beer with them from time to time. One of these friends is Quincy (Q for short). Rob and Q have a long history that involves a shared love of various sports such as BMX riding and paintball. Q and his sweetheart Stephanie got engaged last year after 12 years of dating. Coincidentally, I "met" Stephanie on .... you guessed it... the L.A. Knot board. To make a small world even smaller, I went to high school and was close friends with Stephanie's cousin Lani. Needless to say, we were excited to be invited and were looking forward to Q and Stephanie's wedding.
photo by GT

photo by GT

photo by GT

Q and Stephanie were married at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Eagle Rock. Their reception was held at the Pasadena Hilton. Of course as a knottie, Stephanie had planned and executed many personal details. It was fun to see her ideas come to fruition. What I really enjoyed was meeting so many of Rob's high school friends. The stories that were told were hilarious. The one thing that rings true is that Rob is still as hyper and high energy now as he was back then. We also ran into two of my favorite wedding vendor friends, Stephanie and Jill of Style and Grace Events. They were Q and Stephanie's wedding coordinators. We cut out of the reception a tad early due to my jet lag and cold. I wish we had stayed longer. From all accounts and the photos I've seen, the rest of the reception was a raucous time.

To Q and Stephanie, congratulations!

Here are some of my pics. I forgot to load a card into my camera. So, I only have iPhone pics for the ceremony.

Rob models our escort cards yet again

Rob and Lu
Lu had groomsman duties yet again. He's getting to be a pro at it.

Lu and I

Here's a slideshow.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This is one of my favorite holidays. I love the camaraderie and, of course, the food. I had an elaborate post planned enumerating all the things I'm thankful for, but sadly I'm feeling a tad bit under the weather. Nothing major, just a cold. All the excitement of the last couple of weeks has finally caught up with me. So, I'll save that post for another day. Just know I spent this day with a grateful heart.

I didn't want today to pass with out a post. It's my Blogiversary! Well, sorta. Technically, I started this blog 3 years ago before I left for my first trip to Europe. I revived it twice and abandoned it. It wasn't until last Thanksgiving that I started blogging with some regularly frequency. A year later and here I am. I can't believe it. I'm a regular blogger. In honor of my Blogiversary, I'm asking any lurkers I may have to come out and say "hi". I'm curious about who reads this blog... if anyone actually reads this. Every blogger likes a little comment love. Post a comment and I will randomly select a reader to get an Amazon.com Gift card. Let's hope I can continue to come up with things to write about;)

Living Family History

With all my recaps of my East Coast trip, I neglected to mention one of the purposes of my trip. I went out to Virginia for a "history lesson". My Aunt Lilly wanted to record family history and I wanted to sit in for the sessions. At 101, my grandma or Lola (Filipino term for grandma) still has her wits about her. She can name all of her siblings and their offspring (grandchildren included) plus birthdays. When you factor in she had 12 siblings, that is a lot of names and birthdays.

From the time I was in high school, my Lola would enthrall me with stories of our family's rich history. Her storytelling skills are legendary. I once made a half-hearted attempt in college to start writing some of this information down. These sessions did not disappoint. I got the complete story of how my grandparents met and fell in love. My Aunt also got the story how her parents met. My Aunt's father was my Lola's older brother and her mother became my Lola's best friend. (Follow the lineage?) What is most remarkable about these stories is that they explain why my Lola's clan, the Sandico Family, is so close-knit. I am close to and keep up with several of my second cousins on this side of the family. Hopefully, my Aunt and I will be able to record all this information and do it justice.

Because I am a more visual record keeper than a written one, here are some photos I snapped during one of the sessions.

Lola tells her stories with a digital recorder close by

Aunt Lilly verifies family lineage based on some documents my Grandpa typed up. Despite the facial expression, Lola is not crying, merely concentrating.

Because her sight is not what it used to be, Lola prefers to keep her eyes closed.
This does not stop her from gesticulating with her hands.

Now, I know where I picked this habit up from.

Beautiful Wrinkles on a 101 Year Old Expressive Face

Hands that I grew up with


VB & NYC Trip - Rest of the trip Round-up

Early Monday morning, we drove back to Virginia Beach. The drive was relatively smooth and quick. I swear the 6 hours flew by, which could seemingly be a metaphor for the rest of my trip. The rest of my trip seem to fly by.

Monday night, I went out with my brother Nate and his friends to 757 restaurant and bar. It was his friend Brandon's birthday. We watched the game, while I tried not to fall asleep from exhaustion...

Jeremy about to demolish the entire plate. My brother Nate looks on.

The free sushi.. Nothing to write home about, but how can I complain about free?

Patron shots for the Birthday Boy!
Brandon aka Birthday Boy, Nate, and Jeremy

I took Auntie Lilly shopping. Because we were in such a frenzied state, I have no photos. Shopping with her is almost as good as shopping with my mom. Auntie Lilly came away with a ton of deals. I am curious as to how she will get all of those things back to the Philippines. I thankfully restrained myself. I bought some earrings and a gift for my cousin's daughter. That's it. For those that know me, that's shocking.

Later that evening, I met up with Aja whom I haven't seen since I moved to L.A. She was the last person I photographed in studio. Back then, she was a feisty lingerie salesperson at Nordstrom. Now, she's equally feisty, but now she's a big boss at Auto Trader publications. {Cue Ne-yo's "Miss Independent"} Add she bought her first home and her first puppy and she's really doing well for herself. I went over to meet her puppy Silas who is 3 months old and check out her new house. Silas is a Yorkshire Terrier. I am the first to admit that I am not usually a fan of small dogs. Silas makes the Exception List along with my friend Ali's dog, Princeton. Here are some shots of Aja and Silas.

Silas sports the new sweater I bought him

Aja and her little man

AJaSilas7 copy
Silas admires his reflection. He can rock a sweater like no other.


I met with some old college friends, Neleh and Shane, for lunch. I met them at their house before we headed off to lunch. Being the animal lover that I am, I popped off a few shots of their dogs and new kitten.


Mao-Mao...Government Name: Sadie


I am a horrible friend because I neglected to take photos of the people that own the house! We did have mouth-watering feast at Surf Rider. I love Southern-fried Seafood deliciousness. The food was so good that all conversation ceased once the food arrived. Up until then, we were catching up and talking shop about photography.


I finished up the evening by watching trying to watch Wall-E with my nephews. I kept getting called to help my mom pick a new computer. From what I saw of the movie, it looked cute.

As you can see, the rest of my trip was much more low-key than the first half. I enjoyed the slower pace of my hometown and reveled in the cold weather. It was cold, but not too cold. I actually got to wear a coat and boats! Laugh all you want, but I hadn't worn either articles of clothing in nearly 2 years. It was the perfect trip.

VB & NYC Trip - Day 5 - Family Bonding

Short fluffy teaser alert...

Sunday was the only day that my relatives in the New York Metropolitan area were free. Without getting into too deep the intricacies of my family tree, I'll just say everyone at lunch was a relative through my maternal grandma. Since all our social gatherings revolved around food, we all decided to meet at Junior's in Time Square.


Auntie Lilly

Mom, Cousin Louise, and Louise's husband John - photo by Auntie Lilly

Rhed, Mabelle, & Me
Cousins Rhed, MaBelle, and Me - photo by Auntie Lilly

Louise's Kids - Joseph, Mary, and John with my nephew Franky - photo by Auntie Lilly

An Early Birthday Surprise for My Mom

Reuben Sandwich

World Famous Junior's Cheesecake

After lunch, we split up. My mom, Franky, my cousin and her family decided to head back to New Jersey. My Auntie Lilly, Rhed, Mabelle, and I headed over to American Museum of Natural History... also known as the museum featured in "Night at the Musuem".

Rhed, MaBelle, & Auntie Lilly

Me & Mabelle
Me & MaBelle - photo by Auntie Lilly

My cute, but poor footwear choice... more on that later.

VB & NYC Trip - Day 4 - Art on the Brain

Here are some teasers for the day. I'll do full posts when I return home. Here's more unedited pics. Here's a day at the MOMA.
People gazing at a Jackson Pollock mural

Aunt Lilly and a Picasso

Mom trying to appreciate Modern Art

Boccioni Sculpture and Painting

My Melody Sculpture
My Melody Sculpture at Lever House

Me & Kitty
Getting Cozy with Hello Kitty


47th Street


Mom on Park Avenue


VB & NYC Trip - Day 3 - Sensory Overload

I've spent all day walking around. It's been sensory overload. Ground Zero... Wall Street.... Century 21...Chinatown... Rockefeller Center... Harlem. So.much.to.process. As a contrast to yesterday, here are few pics. They are completely raw and unedited out of my camera. No cropping. No photoshop. Enjoy.




I took multitudes of photos. There are more to come. We're off to MOMA and a Broadway Show tomorrow.