Autumn Love

It's that time of year- the magical month of October and autumn! I probably haven't mentioned that it's my favorite season. I think it's in part due to the fact that I prefer cooler temperatures (I always feel like I'm complaining  sharing that I'm too warm). Oddly enough when I was growing up in Hawaii we didn't get the same feeling when the school year started. It was hot and the only thing it meant for me that my summer travels were over. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first day of school. It was SO exciting! New stationary, teachers and friends.

The moment that I really starting loving autumn was when I started college in Upstate New York. Upstate New York has a very long cold season and a brief Spring, Summer and Fall. However, when mid September came around the nights would get cool, the leaves would start to turn color and the sweaters or hoodies would become more visible on campus. There is one absolutely wonderful tree tree on the quad at my alma mater that I still think about every fall. As a close friend and classmate and I talked about this specific tree a couple weeks ago at a mutual friend's wedding, she used the term "perfect". If there was the perfect autumn tree it'd be this one. It turns the most vibrant hues of autumn that I still haven't seen in the time I've lived in Japan or in New York City. The interesting thing about leaves turning colors is that it's very dependent on temperature and moisture. A warm wet Spring, sunny summer days, warm fall days with cool nights produces the brightest fall colors. The last two autumns it seems I saw a lot more yellow and less orange and red. The shape of this tree and its location also added to its charm. It was a very round, full tree and I'm not even sure what type of tree it is but it was close to the Southeast corner of the quad near the science building. If you had a class in that building during the fall semester it was always best to try and convince the professor to have class outdoors just so you could appreciate this tree it all its glory.

Autumn in Japan there brings colors on the maples and gingko trees.  But for me the most amazing thing about fall there was the food. The Japanese are dedicated to eating seasonally and fall brings about oysters, sweet potatoes and rich and oily fish to name a few. Days are sunny and warm and the nights are crisp. The sides of the streams and rivers that are full of sakura (cherry) blossoms in the Spring change color. The desserts in department stores and bakeries change to apples, sweet potatoes and chestnuts. I highly suggest that, for foodie purposes, anyone traveling to Japan make the trip during the fall. You will not be disappointed.

Here in NYC, fashion becomes even more inspiring with the layered looks including boots, scarves and hats. The cooler nights are a refreshing change to the humidity of summer. You no longer need to worry about sweating (mostly) and there's just something about the light during the day that changes and inspires me. Although I'm no longer a student I still find it motivating (remember I do better when its cooler) to write down my goals. The trickiest thing for me is that because I'm always warm, if we were talking about Ayurveda they'd say I have have a lot of fire energy in me. So layering is key but no matter how hard I try I can't bundle up cute like most women of NYC during the fall but I just get too overwhelmed. And then the time I actually feel cold enough it's basically winter weather... An extra fun thing about September and October is that it's fashion week. Beginning with NYC and ending with Paris.

I'm not as big on pumpkin flavors unless it's Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) soup or tempura or pie so Starbucks can't lure me. Also, I only go to Starbucks when there's absolutely no other option. For coffee it means, no more iced lattes and I start to warm my own coffee mug with hot water to keep the coffee warmer longer. September and October will be my favorites months of the year. Hope you all enjoy this lovely month!!

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year everyone!! I'm very excited for this coming year. Last year was exciting and rewarding, but that came with times of struggle, frustration and testing. I'm not huge on New Year's resolutions, the ones I make about exercising never seem to stick, but this year I'm going to maintain this blog. I've severely neglected it and I no longer want to make excuses about "being busy" etc...

One significant factor that makes this easier to achieve will be that I bought a new laptop so I won't be limited to writing posts on my iPhone. I also want to brainstorm about the direction I want to take this blog. I have many ideas for the year related to my dreams and goals and intend to make writing a significant part of that.

 I've had a new job since October which I enjoy. I'm no longer hostessing at restaurants but serve now. My colleagues are fun, great people and I enjoy my time off by going to brunch/lunch, relaxing and occasionally shopping. I've also been working with a designer on his PR. This has been an extremely rewarding aspect to my life as it is the reason I chose to move to NYC. The work with him will finish at the end of the month so I'll consider whether I want to continue doing it longer or at all. The reason I'm hesitant is that working in the restaurant industry is that it allows me more freedom with my time and I'm passionate about food. Currently I'm working with food and fashion so I couldn't be happier!

 I'm truly grateful to be where I am, here in NYC with friends I love spending time with. An added plus for this holiday season has been that my mother is visiting me. I caught the flu on Christmas but she nursed me back to health and for that I couldn't be more humbled and appreciative. I truly enjoy her being here. She's here another week so I'm hoping to make the most by going out to eat and laughing a lot. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and great New Year. May 2014 bring you health, happiness and prosperity:)

December

I apologize for significant lack of posts. I have the Blogger app on my iPhone and still can't seem to get it together. Maybe I feel more comfortable on my laptop? But then all the photos I take are on my iPhone... Anyhow, my laptop is now 7 years old and is still managing to provide whatever I need to use it for which is mostly for browsing the web lol. As soon as I'm able to I'm thinking of getting the Macbook Pro :)So..fall is almost finished. My favorite season but since the weather has been so erratic I was only able to have a few fall-like days in terms of outfits/clothes. This may also be because compared to the general populous of NYC I'm relatively underdressed when it comes to cooler temperatures. Winters in Japan were pretty cold. Mostly because of the humidity. And in Upstate NY there was the lake effect which makes things almost twice as cold. Like I've mentioned before I'm not as fond of humid and hot which makes me, born in Hawaii and all, more resilient to the cold. I just always figure it'll be colder so why dress so warm when it's still in the 30s? People will look like the boy from 'Christmas Story' by the time the temps dip below zero at the rate they're dressing. Now it's the holiday season. The tree at Rockefellar Center was lit up last week and stores and streets are decorated for the Christmas season. Since I haven't been in NYC during this time of year before I find it so pretty to see. But Japan made me a little Grinch-like because it's such an event there and Christmas seemed very artificial and materialistic (which it can be everywhere) but there wasn't any cozy, loving warmth like the holidays in the States. In high school I would start writing Xmas cards as soon as Thanksgiving finish and be so eager to send them out. I would decorate and get so excited for Christmas! I'm trying to change my mentality and get into the Christmas spirit (at least in terms of decorating, buying gifts etc...) but I guess I'm lazy. I want to keep baking cookies like I did at Thanksgiving but without a full time job yet I'm limited on a budget to buy gifts. Guess it's a good thing I have a small family lol! People keep asking me what my plans are for Christmas but I have no clue. I didn't know what I was doing for Thanksgiving till the day of. My family is far away so maybe it doesn't seem as important for me. I'll likely make fun plans with friends and enjoy that they're off work or something lol. I made Xmas dinner in Japan which was a bit of work and not sure I'll do that but I'm looking forward to making egg nog which I made for the first time ever two years ago. Yummm! Holiday parties will be fun to attend too.Other than this rambling I'm still in the process of looking for a job. Have a part-time job in retail and I volunteer at a school which has been incredibly meaningful and fun. I'm really enjoying my life here in NYC and can't believe that it's been almost three months since I moved here. Where'd the time go?!!Okay, that's all for now. Will post pictures from my iPhone asap.Hope you're all well!

U.S.A.

I've been horrible about updating this. I guess it's because posting a lot of pictures seems sort of daunting and therefore I procrastinate and time flies by and I've yet to have done it.

So here it is. Pictures from my much needed and enjoyable vacation in the States. Two coasts (mostly the Bay area and NYC) about a week and half each and so much fun!

View of the Rockies






Park in the West Village


Little Italy


Chinatown




Flatiron building







Beautiful fruit carving








Central coast of California


delectable morsel from Easter brunch


Dinner at Chez Panisse