Welcome to… The Statue of Liberty, on the cheap

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous attractions in New York, and one of the most famous landmarks of the US in general.   A trip to the Statue will cost you around $28, and is well worth the cost if you have never been to the Statue of Liberty before.  After 9/11, there was a time when visitors were not allowed to climb the inside of the statue, or even go to the island.  This has since changed, and you can now climb up to the crown again!  If you want to climb up, definitely reserve tickets in advance as only 240 people are allowed to go up per day (3 groups of 10 people each per hour).

On the other hand, New York City is a very expensive place to visit.  Some people just want to see the Statue and take a picture, not necessarily visit the island.  The easiest and cheapest way to do that is to take the Staten Island Ferry.

The Staten Island Ferry is part of the New York City public transportation system and connects Manhattan and Staten Island.  It runs every 30 minutes, and gives you a great view of the Statue of Liberty.  Best of all, it is free!

The ferry leaves Manhattan from the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, located at the southern most tip of Manhattan.  You can get there by the 1 train (at South Ferry), R train (at Whitehall Street) or 4 & 5 train (at Bowling Green)

Although the ferry is known for its great view of the Statue of Liberty, it also provides a great view of lower Manhattan as well.

The best pictures can be taken from the rear end of the ferry.  Because many tourists crowd around to take good pictures, I try to quickly take some pictures and then move out of the way for others.  Also, there are a lot of normal commuters on this ferry as well.

Hope you enjoyed this trip on the Staten Island Ferry, to see the Statue of Liberty for free!

xoxo, K

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Welcome to… The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I lived in New York when I was a child, and I go back there every 2 years. One of the places I MUST go every time I visit is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   It is one of my 2 most favorite museums in the world, the other being the British Museum in London.

The entrance to the Met – almost as iconic as the museum itself

According to Wikipedia, the Met is the largest art museum in the US, and was founded in 1870.  There are so many works of art housed in the Met that are featured in textbooks on art history.

Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga (“The Red Boy”), by Francisco Goya

The Met is huge. If you go there, I strongly suggest going on one of the guided tours. The highlights tour is held every hour or so, and the curators will take you on a tour which they created.  No two tours are the same, so I love going on the tour every single time I am there.  There are also themed tours, focusing on a period of time or on a theme in art history.

Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova.  This is one of my most favorite sculptures.
The Met has a “suggested” entrance fee of $25.  “Suggested” means that you can pay whatever you like.  They then give you a sticker with the date on it which you are asked to put a visible location, as there is no ticket gate and you can go in and out of the museum freely.  Until 2013, the Met gave you metal buttons for this same purpose, which became one of the icons of New York City.

The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David

One of the most famous pieces at the Met is the Temple of Dendur, an Egyptian temple which was built around 15 BC. It is obviously fascinating to look at, and is also often used as a meeting spot or a spot to take a rest after walking around in the museum.

The Temple of Dendur

When I was a child, Monday was the “low” day for tourism in New York. Not only are Broadway shows closed on Mondays, but the Met was as well. The Met is now open 7 days a week starting July of 2013.  It used to be that weekends and Tuesdays were the most crowded days of the week at the Met, but the curators told me that there now is no significant difference between weekdays.
The armor collections are extremely popular!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue (5th Ave and 82nd St) in Manhattan, New York, on the east side of Central Park.  It can be reached on the 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street and walk 3 blocks west.  My preferred way to get there is on the bus – Take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus and enjoy the view on Madison Avenue from downtown.

Hope you enjoyed this visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

xoxo, K

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Up and Down #43: May, 2014

Today is the last day of Golden Week, a period in Japan with 4 national holidays in the span of 8 days.  Depending on how the weekend falls, you can get nearly 2 weeks off of work using only a few vacation days. Golden Week is one of the top three peak times for travel in Japan, the other two being the time surrounding New Year’s Day (the most important cultural holiday in Japan), and Obon (mid-August).

I am lucky enough that I can take days off when I want to.  I usually plan my vacation nearly 6 months in advance, book my flight and my hotel, and write it into my schedule.  I really like taking vacation when no one else is on vacation and it is a huge help on my budget.  Because of this, I didn’t go anywhere far during this Golden Week, preferring instead to get stuff done at home.
On to my Ups and Downs!
My vacation in New York
Usually I start with makeup favorites, but I couldn’t resist. This was definitely the highlight of my month (and of my whole entire year so far)
(picture from my Instagram account)
(link goes to my review)
I read about these in a blog somewhere but was skeptical when I picked them up.  Cream eyeshadows tend to crease on me! Oh wow, am I glad I bought these! With a primer, I had great pigmentation and they last all day without creasing!
L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Amber Rush
I picked this up because there was a lot of hype online, and I am really glad I did. It reminded me on why I love Infallible eyeshadows so much.  This pulls slightly pinkish on my eyes.
Jordana Color Tint Blush Sticks
These are fantastic! Great pigmentation, easy to blend, they stay on my skin pretty well, and they are only $3!  A review is coming up soon!
(picture from my Instagram account)
Revlon Photoready Skinlights face illuminators in Bare Light and Peach Light
I had been wanting these for a while, since I missed out when they were limited edition some summers ago, and they weren’t available in Hawaii when I was there this past winter.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Brazilian Tan
This lipstick is part of the Rio Rush collection. Many thanks to the blogger who helped me find it!  Don’t be deceived by the color on Revlon’s website.  It looks totally brown there, but it is a pinky nude color and very much a “My Lips But Better” color for me.
Posting my Nail Of The Week (usually Sally Hansen Salon Effects) and my most used makeup products of the week on Instagram
Wow, I sound like a full-fledged beauty blogger!
(picture from my Instagram account)
All the bloggers I met up with in New York!
Thank you for spending time with me! I love meeting up with fellow bloggers when I go somewhere.  On this trip, I met Mel from Fabulously Thrifty for the first time.  Thank you for such a wonderful time, Mel, and I hope we can hang out some more in the future!
The weather has been pretty strange this month, swinging between “I need a jacket and scarf and hat” to “Can I wear shorts and a t-shirt?”.  I had a lot of misses with foundation because of this, sometimes expecting it to be hot and hence, my skin to be oily – only to have it flake and crack because of dryness… or vice versa.
How was your April?  How is the weather where you live?
xoxo, K
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New York Vacation: Part 3

This is the last batch of pictures from my vacation in New York. Now it’s time for me to start counting down the days when I can go back!  I seriously, seriously love this city, and would love to live here again…

Hope you enjoyed my pics of New York!
xoxo, K
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New York Vacation: Part 2

Some more pictures of New York…

Central Park
Central Park is one of my favorite places in the city. It is full of runners and bikers in the morning – and I can completely understand why.

 It is easy to forget that you’re in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world!
I wish all big cities had a huge park like this one.  It brings a bit of calmness to the busy city.

Grand Central Terminal
Yes, this is a train station.  However, the architecture is interesting, it is a great place to watch people, and it brings back a lot of memories.
There is also a huge Apple Store as well. Free Wifi is convenient.


This line would take me to where I grew up…

Oh, and the obligatory food post:  I went to OBao with a friend of mine.

222 E 53rd St (between 3rd Ave & 2nd Ave) 
New York, NY 10022 
Good food, not all too exciting. This place has gotten a Michelin star.
Half eaten, but the Beef Salad was very tasty.
The Clay Pot Catfish, on the other hand, was just so-so.
My friend and I only ordered these two dishes, and I still took some of the food home. The portions aren’t huge, but somehow they are filling!
I am on Yelp, by the way. It is extremely useful to find restaurants when I travel to the US!
xoxo, K
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