Friday, July 27, 2007


今から8月6日まで夏休みです! スペインヘ行きます! 行ってきます!!

From now until 6th August I will be on summer vacations! I will go to Spain! See you!

Desde ahora hasta el 6 de Agosto estoy de vacaciones! Me voy a España! Hasta luego!

Je suis en vacances jusqu'au 6 Aout! Je rentre en Espagne! A plus!

Third Day in NYC (... y Dos)

Well, and here comes the end of our first stay in NYC! After three days there and many places visited, we decided to go to the observatory in the Empire State Building and see the night panorama from there!

The evening was very promising and the sunset was beautiful in the concrete jungle! This picture is amazing. It was taken from the 5th avenue next to the Empire State building.

We paid the 18 dollars necessary to get to the top of the building and lined for almost half an hour to get there. But it was worthy!! In spite of the cold of the night and the fatigue of the past two days, we stayed there for almost two hours. It was breathtaking...

The building with the bright light in the following photo is the building on top of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden (I told you about it yesterday).

This is the area around Times Square. You can notice there are lights of many different colours.

That was high! Cars looked like ants! and where are the pedestrians? Macy's is just in the corner (the largest shop in the world).

This is how the observatory looked like:

And Naochan, already very tired after an intense day, on a beautiful background.

And this is in my opinion the most beautiful building in New York: the Chrysler building. It looks really magnificent with that illumination on its graceful design.

When the fatigue was unbearable, we left for dinner. However, there was still a very long line to leave the building... don't forget you can only leave it using the elevators! Finally, we made it and went for dinner at Hiro's restaurant. The restaurant was cozy and it really made me remember an izakaya in Tokyo! So nice!! And the food... so japanese! I could drink Oolong high and eat some fish guts... ahh, and the typical sashimi and yakitori. Cool!

In this picture, Hiro is the cook standing more to the right.

Here, he is! Otsukare sama deshita Hirokun!

For dessert, i took one of the things I miss more... ocha (green tea) icecream!! Maybe Havard disagrees with me ;-) I remember you didnt really like the ocha in vending machines!

Next day, we took an airplane bound for Chicago and said bye to the Big Apple! Windy City, there we go!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Third Day in NYC (Uno)

Next day, Naoko was working in the morning for her presentation in Chicago and I went walking near the hotel. When she got tired, we took a metro and went downtown. We got off in Penn Station, one of the main train stations in the city. We started wandering around inside the station and suddenly realized we were in the legendary Madison Square Garden! We checked in Naoko's guide and yes, the Madison Square Garden is just above the station and there is a huge skycraper on top of the stadium!

This is the entrance from the station:

And this is how it looks like from inside:

After that, we went out back to the street and walked without any fixed direction. We found a nice street market in one of the main avenues (maybe 6th or 7th).

There were many bbqs going on and hot dogs, chicken skewers or many other things were being sold.

However, we noticed New York's Korean Town was just nearby! After a very long decision process to choose what to have for lunch, we decided to go for Korean Barbecue. I still remembered how good it had been in Tokyo last Xmas!!

This is how Korean BBQ must be prepared! Thanks Naochan!

After that, fully satisfied with good ultra-spicy food, we headed for Central Park. First, we had some photos next to the impressive Empire State Building and visited Macy's, the largest store in the world.

Finally, we arrived at Central Park and lied on the grass surrounded by skyscrapers! Nice view!! Many people were playing american football or dancing or practicising many other things...

Finally, we moved to the area near the big lake in Central Park and found a cosy corner with a nice fountain and an expensive restaurant. And a real gondola!!! in spite of not being in Venezia!! And the guy was singing in Italian!!

We were really tired, but after that, instead of going for dinner and relax in the hotel, we went to the Empire State Building, to its observatory, to watch the city from above during the sunset and beginning of the night. Check the photos tomorrow!! They are extremely beautiful!!

Mata ne!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Second Day in NYC (Part San)

After visiting CBGBs and the Lower East Side, we took the metro and moved to the most impressive place in New York City: Times Square. This place is the place where Broadway and the 7th Avenue intersect. It is where all the theatres are in Broadway and everything is full of plasma screens... I don't continue with the description 'coz i don't want to bother you with the same I already wrote in this other post ;-)

This is where it is located within Manhattan:

In our way from the metro station to the Square itself, we found some breathtaking views, like this nice shot of the Chrysler building with the Sun on its side.

It was Friday night and everybody, local people and tourists, were here. Therefore, it was packed with people in the sidewalks and with cars in the pavement... and the noise and the lights... interesting! It felt like being in Shibuya but with western people!!

After dusk, the effect of the lights was even cooler and it was nice to have a walk there. There were many tourist shops but we were too tired to look for bargains! For 10 dollars we could have bought 5 or 6 T-shirts, including some with the "I love NY" logo...

Finally, we bought some food in a Deli (shop with take-away food), and went back to the hotel to sleep and recover from an intense day!

Now some curiosity... Everything in the US is big, especially food and drinks. In a normal supermarket you have several kinds of beer cans. The big one is more than one litre!! Have a look at the ones Naoko has in the picture below. The small one is a pint = 0.6 litres! And looks so small compared to the other one!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Second Day in NYC (Part Ni)

After visiting Wall Street and saying bye to Hiro, we moved to Chinatown, but before arriving we passed by Brooklyn's bridge, the City Hall and some other nice large buildings.

At around lunch time, we arrived to China Town. It was quite big (according to Naoko's guide, around 100000 chinese live there) and was full of gift shops and restaurants. Food was really good, but gifts in those shops... well, you kinda can imagine...

Next to the lively ChinaTown, we found Little Italy. There were Italian flags in the streets and the shops were selling parma jam, pasta, cheese... The change was quite obvious: from chinese letters to green, white and red colours everywhere.

After taking a coffee in Little Italy, we made for CBGB's or the place where CBGB's was. Maybe you don't know what CBGB's is... that's because you don't like punk ;-) This is a legendary place where the original punk was created. Bands like Ramones started playing here... and all famous bands have some times played here... It was closed down last year. Naoko and me arrived too late.

The crossroads next to CBGBs is called Joey Ramone's Place!! Nice!!

This is the view from the other part of the sidewalks. Maybe you recognize the shape of the upper part of the entrance.

After this emotional visit (;-) we took the metro and went to the frantic Times Square. That will come tomorrow! Now I go to listen some Voodoo Glow Skulls' album!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The miserable Dutch Summer

Summer in the Netherlands is worse than Autumn in Spain ;-)
My housemate Felipe received this email to encourage him to leave the miserable weather of Dutch Summer! It comes from KLM, the Royal Dutch Flight Company. It is funny even Dutch think that way. Actually, they are right... this weather makes you feel kind of miserable... the highest temperature is below 20 degrees and raining all the time!!!

Ska / Rock steady nights

After the show yesterday, I still feel like listening to jamaican rythms all the time! I can't stop playing this music in my stereo!!

Ska ska ska!!!

Second Day in NYC (Part Ichi)

The second day in NYC was also quite busy. First thing in the morning, we went to meet Hiro, Naoko's friend living in New York, and a nice guy! We met near the World Trade Center, so we decided to go to visit Ground Zero first thing in the day. After a 5-10 minute walk, we arrived there/ The place looks like a huge construction site and Ground Zero is just full of rubble.

After visiting such a sad place, we headed to the southernmost part of Manhattan to take a ferry to Staten Island. Hiro had told us that was the best way of watching the Statue of Liberty for free ;-) And he was right!! The ferry passed really near the statue and was for free!

The trip back was also nice as we could see all the skyscrapers in Manhattan in the horizon. It was a nice view!

Once back in Manhattan, we went to Wall Street and passed by the Stock Exchange Market.

Once there, we had to say "matane" to Hiro, as he had to go to work in his Japanese restaurant. Naoko gave some cool Japanese presents to him and after that, Naochan and I went to Chinatown for lunch.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

I just arrived for one of the best shows in the last months! It was a ska show and the band, Ska para! It was the first time I was going to watch them live and I must say they were so good!! I enjoyed a lot. First, I was with Jorge and Felipe (former housemate and housemate) in the back enjoying the quality of the music and then, i decided to go to the frontrow for some trashing ;-) Exercise is good for health isnt it? At the end I was exhausted and completely sweat... but it was well worth it!

All photos are courtesy of Jorge Alves. Obrigado!