Climbing Rest Days in Red Rocks

When I go on climbing trips, I want to climb all day every day but it’s important to rest as well. Luckily, during our recent trip to Red Rocks, we found a few non-Strip things (recognize the value of it but it’s just not my scene) to fill our rest days:

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Let’s Explore NY: Eating my way through Flushing

I love the food of my people and there is no better place to get it than in Flushing, NY. Here’s a run-down of my favorite places in Flushing to get my eats on (spoiler alert, there are a lot of carbs involved). Also, you probably want to do this with a few people so you can share the food. Also, I’m pretty sure only Kung Fu has a website so you can’t really plan your meal. Be adventurous! I promise it will pay off.

  1. Kung Fu Xiao-long Bao – thin bao skin, tasty soup, and perfectly flavored meat all add up to make the perfect xiaolong bao. Their other dishes are pretty good too; I personally like the beef in scallion pancake and the turnip puffs.
  2. Yeh’s Bakery – this place has been in existence for decades. They churn out delicious sponge cakes, moon cakes, and butter cookies. If it’s your birthday, I recommend getting one of their whipped cream pies.
  3. Tianjin Dumpling House – this little stand is located inside the Golden Shopping Mall. Pick your own dumpling flavors or get pre-stuffed ones from the wall. I love the pork with chives or lamb with green squash (aka zucchini). Whatever you do, don’t forget the sauce.
  4. Express Tea Cafe – walk like 10 feet from Tianjin to get to Express Tea Cafe where they sell bubble tea but really excel at making jian bings, which are like chinese savory crepes. Get the classic, which comes with wonton crisps, lettuce, and sauce. Sounds basic but the combination is delicious.
  5. Xi’an Famous Foods – you could go to the stand in Golden but there is a far nicer outpost about a block down Main Street toward the library. Something with noodles and lamb is always the right choice here.
  6. New Flushing Bakery – get the Portuguese egg tarts. They are amazing; crispy crust and creamy custard. The regular egg tarts are also pretty good if they run out of Portuguese ones.
  7. New Mei Hwa – they specialize in meat over rice. This is a typical Taiwanese lunch. I always get the pork chop over rice, which comes with a pork chop and rice (obvs) as well as some type of green vegetable (it changes) and pickled greens (so good!). You can splurge and get the Taiwanese Railroad Bento, which for a $7.50 gets you some Taiwanese sausage and an egg.
  8. Li’s Lanzhou Hand-Stretched Noodles – beef noodle soup is king here. The broth is rich and the noodles are perfectly chewy. Also, it’s $6.50.
  9. Imperial Palace – go here if you want a traditional sit down dinner amongst many Chinese families. Peking pork chop and crab over sticky rice are my go-tos.

Featured Image by Chun Yip So

Let’s Explore NY: A day in Beacon

Take the Metro-North to Beacon and find yourself in hipster paradise. But really, hipsters are pretty good at stuff so don’t let that put you off. (Metro North has a getaway package that includes admission to Dia:Beacon, find it here)

I imagine you didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn so by the time you get to Beacon, it will probably be time for lunch. Get lunch at Harry’s Hot Sandwiches. The sandwiches here are so good. SO GOOD. The pulled pork and the Cubano are my faves.

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24 Hours in Santa Barbara

I was hanging out in UCSB for a bit and had a day to spend in Santa Barbara. The city is developing super quickly and offers quite a few things beyond its beautiful beaches. Here’s a rundown of my day there.

Breakfast at Handlebar Coffee: I don’t drink coffee but I do love a good croissant. The almond croissant here is flaky and delicious. (Also, my friends tell me that the coffee here is the best in Santa Barbara).

Morning Yoga at Power of Your Om: this cute studio is right on State St. They have classes throughout the day for all levels. The teachers are great; be prepared to sweat.
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24 Hours in NOLA (again!)

So I had to go back to NOLA again but we only had 24 hours this time. Here’s what you should do there if you only have 1 day to play.

Get lunch at Turkey and the Wolf. The food here is so awesome and creative. The space is strange and fun too. You can get a rubber bouncy ball for a quarter. Their lamb neck roti sandwich with yogurt and dill is the perfect combination of flavors. The deep fried chicken pot pie was also extremely delicious; the crust was extra crispy. Finish off the meal with one of their ice creams (I’m partial to the vanilla with key lime pie crunchies.) Beware that the ice cream is ginormous.

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A food-filled weekend in New Orleans

We flew into New Orleans with basically the goal of consuming our weight in food over the weekend. Here’s a rundown of all the food we ate during our time there (with some excursions to break up the gluttony).

1. Killer Po’ Boys – I got a glazed pork belly po boy and my friend got a seared gulf shrimp po boy. We both agreed that hers was the better one of the two. My pork belly was a bit dry but the bread was good so not a bad start to our food adventure. They also had this rad California reaper raspberry jelly that was great on toast.

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pork belly po’boy at Killer Po’Boys

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Found: a Caribbean island in Rhode Island

It was 100,000 degrees this weekend (okay, three zeros need to be removed) so we decided to try and cool off by heading to the beach. I like to live the fantasy that I’m on a deserted island so we searched for the emptiest beach I could find near us and it turned out to be Mansion Beach on Block Island. So armed a picnic lunch that could feed about 10 people (even though it was just the two of us), we set off on our great adventure to this little island. A photo tour of our day after the jump!

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Let’s Explore NY: Theater for a New Audience

Let’s catch some awesome theater at the off-off-Broadway Theater for a New Audience and eat some tasty Mediterranean at Miriam. You can take pretty much any train here (literally, the 2,3,4,5,N,Q,R,B,D,G, and LIRR all stop nearby).

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Lunching in Palm Desert

While being young and wild and free in the California desert, we stumbled upon 3 very tasty lunches. Be sure to stop by these places, next time you’re out spa-ing or hiking or Coachella-ing.

1. Wilma and Frieda’s Cafe. This place has  amazing brunch. They are famous for their short ribs eggs benedict; the meat is soft and the muffin is buttery. Their blackberry french toast is also pretty great; it’s filled with vanilla custard and comes with lots of fresh blackberries.

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Short Rib Eggs Benedict at Wilma and Frieda’s Cafe

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Eating my way through the OC

I was again left to my own devices for most of the OC but this time I had a car. Though I did try to go for a walk and again people looked at me like I was insane. Anyway, the OC actually has some really tasty food. Read on to find out what I found to eat in 24 hours in the OC.

The breakfast of champions can be had at Sidecar Doughnuts. Seriously the donuts here are really awesome. I couldn’t pick just one to eat so I got four (huckleberry, meyer lemon, almond crunch, and cinnamon). Lest you think I’m a total glutton; I only ate a quarter of each and saved the rest for my hard at work friends.

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Doughnuts and Tea from Sidecar

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Walking(!) around LA

I got into LAX at 10am and was left to my own devices while my friends were at work. I decided to go to Downtown LA in the hopes that it was somewhat walkable. It was very walkable and I got to see a lot of cool stuff and ate some really delicious food while I was there.

To get from LAX to downtown, there’s a superconvenient flyaway bus that costs $9 and drops off at Union Station; it stops at every terminal so just look for the bus sign when walking out. I was headed to the OC on Amtrak later in the evening so I conveniently left my luggage at the Amtrak luggage check for $4 per piece. It’s for ticketed passagers only but you can buy a ticket for $8 so it’s still a pretty good deal if you decide not to use the ticket.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting into the Reading Rooms at the Library of Congress

The guides at the Library of Congress don’t advertise this but it’s quite easy to get access to the cool books and walk around (quietly!) in the main reading room.

Step 1: Be really into books.

Step 2: Fill out this pre-registration form. You can fill this out up to 2 weeks before you go. If you’re already in the Library of Congress don’t worry, you can fill this form out when you get your library card.

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A walking tour of the smaller museums in DC

When I was a kid, we went on multiple field trips to learn about our nation’s capital. We visited the Capitol, the Smithsonian, the White House, and all of the presidential memorials. I remember being so tired out at the end of the day, I immediately plopped into bed. On this trip, I was determined to wander around some smaller places and try to find some quiet amidst the National Mall madness.

First Stop: Library of Congress I love libraries so this was a must-see for me. The Great Hall in the Jefferson Building has beautiful and intricate carvings. Note that the silver metal in the Hall is actually aluminum since aluminum was more precious than gold when it was built. If you stay tuned for a later post, I’ll teach you how to get into the various reading rooms…

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The entrance of the Library of Congress Jefferson Building

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How much can I eat in 24 hrs? DC edition

I was only in DC for 1 day but I managed to eat some really good food while I was there. Here’s an account of all the food I could get my hands on in 24 hours.

Lomo Saltado at China Chilcano: I love Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese-Japanese) cuisine so I knew I had to stop by this new Jose Andres restaurant. My favorite Chifa dish by far is Lomo Saltado, which is steak in a soy sauce-based sauce served over vegetables and French fries. The China Chilcano version comes with matchstick potatoes and adds a nice crunch. I would definitely recommend coming here if you’ve never had Chifa food. They also have a sweet lunch deal for $20, which includes an appetizer, an entree (everyone around me was getting the aeropuerto rice-fried noodle-vegetable hodgepodge), and dessert.

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Lomo Saltado at China Chilcano

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Let’s Explore NY: Lakes and Farms Aplenty in Upstate New York

I spent the weekend in Kerhonkson, NY where we had a great time filled with relaxation, nature, and fresh produce. Our first stop on the way up from NYC was A Tavola (food was delicious and fresh, decor was upscale rustic) in New Paltz. New Paltz just might be one of the hippest cities upstate. There are bars, guitar shops, and many restaurants so it seemed like a really cool place to hang out on a Friday night.
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Let’s Explore NY: Riverside Park and Sushi Yasaka

Let’s go to the Upper West Side for a picnic in Riverside Park. You can take the 1,2,3 to 72nd St and Broadway and walk west a couple of blocks.
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Photo Essay: July 4th on Coney Island

Cyclone Coney Island
The World Famous Cyclone

Coney Island is always a great place for photos. I wandered around here on July 4th, trying to take it all in.
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Let’s Explore NY: Governor’s Island

Let’s explore Governor’s Island. You can take the 4,5 to Bowling Green, the R to Whitehall St, or the 1 to the South Ferry Terminal to catch the ferry out of Battery Maritime Terminal to Governor’s Island. It leaves every hour on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends and costs $2. The ferry ride is a quick 10 minutes but go to the top if you want to snap some nice pictures of Brooklyn and New York
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Wandering around Wanderlust Stratton

I attended the Wanderlust festival in Stratton, VT this weekend and everything was awesome (at one of the events, our instructor kept saying, “Everything is Awesome” so the Lego song is now stuck in my head…). 
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Let’s Explore NY: Storm King Art Center

Let’s venture way up north for some fresh air and culture at Storm King Art Center. You can either drive, take a Coach bus, or ride NJTransit from Penn Station to Salisbury Mills and catch a short cab ride to Storm King.
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Let’s Explore NY: Mu Ramen and Gantry Plaza State Park

Let’s explore Long Island City for this date by going to Mu Ramen (12-09 Jackson Avenue), stopping by Gantry Plaza State Park, and ending the night at LIC Bar (45-58 Vernon Boulevard). You can take the 7 to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av or the G to 21st St.
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Alien Landscapes in Joshua Tree

We spent the weekend in Joshua Tree National Park, which was super amazing. It’s about a 2 hour drive outside of LA and along the way, you see dozens of wind farms. We drove there at night and the wind farms look even more interesting in the dark. Many of the turbines have red lights that flash on and off to warn aircrafts of their presence so out of nowhere you’ll see bunches of red lights randomly appearing in mid-air.
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Let’s Explore NY: Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters

Let’s explore Washington Heights and go to Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Drive in Fort Tryon Park). You can take the A to Dyckman St or the 1 to 190th St to get here.
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Never Growing Up in LA

I spent the past weekend south of LA doing an assortment of mostly childish things intermixed with some really delicious food. So if you are in the LA area and want to act like a kid, read on!
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Let’s Explore NY: Flex Mussels and Joyce Theater

Let’s go to Chelsea (ish) and eat at Flex Mussels (154 W. 13th St) before watching dance at the Joyce Theater (175 8th Ave). You can take the 1,2,3 to 14th St to get here.
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