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I started to like New York more and more since Danielle (@dmfazio) talked to me about a lot of interesting events and activities I should attend.  She told me that she made a lot of friends through @Meetup and @Urban girl squad etc.  She told me with excitement that there are so many interesting events in New York City I can go to, and get chances to meet new friends and to network, such as free Yoga, cupcake class, and running clubs.  When she talked to me about all sorts of activities, she even seemed to have some “clouds” over her head showing happiness and passion about this city.  I went to meetup.com when I got back home.  On my meetup calendar, one day there are at least 3 free events.  I am really interested in Yoga, so that I can show my high-level skills and easily to make friends there.  However, even on the same day, there are two free yoga classes, I feel if I want to attend several events I have to write down on my calendar otherwise the schedule will be easily conflicted. Now I am getting excited too, I start to feel I will never get bored in this city.  

I chose the closest Yoga class to our apartment, which is at the gym in an elementary school. It was the BEST Yoga I have ever had.  The instructor is Thai, I guess. Rather than ask us to follow her own flow, the instructor asked students what they want to focus on.  She customized the requests and came up with the poses.  Rather than demo the poses, the she explained them very detailed and pointed out each students' wrong poses.  When we were doing meditation, she told us some zen to meditate.  She told us this year is the Chinese Year of Water Dragon.  Dragon is the special powerful zodiac among the 12 zodiac animals because it doesn’t really exist.  But dragon’s body is combined by other part of different animals, such as it has fish skin, snake tail, chicken claw, and deer horn.   That normal parts of the other animals stitched together making dragon so powerful.  I am a Chinese, never thought and heard dragon this way though.   Moreover, she taught us: as human being, we also play different roles in our life, how to combine the different roles as friends, daughters, wife, and sisters, together and make ourselves powerful is the essence of Yoga.   I don’t know how much foreigners can understand what she said, but by twisting my body at that time, I felt super powerful.

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Then @hegranes, the social Savvy sent me another surprise that @opentable_ny has the NYC restaurant weeks, from Jan 16 - Feb 10 (Mon-Fri), in which over 200 middle-high end restaurants in New York offer three-course lunch for $24, and three-course dinner for $35.  What a deal!  I can’t help asking my boyfriend to take me to the most expensive restaurants in New York, oh yeah, we don’t go to cheap one, we just go to the most expensive one, because they are only $35 for the dinner.  Can you believe it in NYC? So many people are complaining it to be rocky high expensive.  I love the deal so much.  We tried to book a table either in the attached bar at Jean George or Nobu next door on Friday, but it looked like all the smart New Yorkers already taken the seats there.  It turned out we booked a traditional French in a 1930’s building called Petrossian, on Friday night dinner.  I got Soup du Jour (mushroom soup), Oven Roasted Atlantic Cod (Butter Beans, Bacon Lardons, Sautéed Cabbage,
Romesco Sauce) and German Chocolate Brownie as dessert.  Such a nice restaurant and fabulous food.


Even though I am staying at home, getting moved in, and job hunting, I still feel as if my life is busy and jam-packed with excitement.  I can get a little bored, especially when living in the same city for a long time.  I told a lot of friends that I am a city girl, I am from a cosmopolitan city - Shanghai, I need one after another interesting and new things to keep me busy.  However, Manhattan shows me what the real typical signature cosmopolitan is.  I am so glad that I am a part of city, a part of a new New Yorker.  I also thought only this dynamic city has more opportunities and needs for a talent who has an “interesting” background (a term commonly used by recruiters when looking at my resume).

 
Recently,  I wrote to Marketing Daily Editor to suggest some Social Media marketing strategy.  

I read the excellent column - Everyone Wants A Piece Of Vast Chinese Market, When I finished reading it and tried to share the wonderful article.  But I couldn't find any share buttons to share with my friends and connections.  Also when I wanted to leave some good comments about the article on the website, it asked me to sign in first.   When I saw it, I naturally didn't want to go further any more, because I don't know how many further steps and time takes me to finally leave a comment.  

I was wondering how the website and article can go viral to reach more people through reviews and recommendations via the massive social media platform.  I think it will be really easy and cost saving to copy some social media icon code and paste on the website to enable to be shared with friends and connections rather than e-mail subscription and linkedIn ads display.  I recently add share to my blog as well to bring more traffic, and I am a marketing person.  For the comments, there is an excellent comments provider -Disqus, which is easy for people to share their idea with sign-in by their facebook or twitter accounts, just one step process.   A lot of professional publishers and media are using it, and basic core version is free to use. 

I think as a marketing publisher in this social media era, they need to really improve their platform so that they can really lead the marketing trend.
 
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My boyfriend always has very good comments on my cooking - beautiful, creative, and tasteful. I can make Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Thai and Asian cuisines. 

I just started to cook when I came to the States for my MBA.  I lived in the dorm, where I wasn’t allowed to cook.  However, our cafeteria wasn’t open on weekends.  So I had to drag along other people to dine outside, as I didn’t have a car in my first year.  But I saw other people using rice cookers. I bought one and started to cook easy things in the rice cooker - rice, soup, and then developed to soba, cheese risotto, and pastas.  I felt pretty happy.  

The second step, I got to stay with my friend from Shanghai the first winter break in Chicago for two weeks. Because she adopted me and she was working, I thought it would be nice to cook for her.  I saw her sometimes looking at the internet to learn some recipes, and I started to look on line, too.  I also called my dad from time to time to ask about the recipes.  

The next step really leveraged my cooking for 6 months.  I took an internship in Michigan - first time I lived by myself (with a roommate) - but I needed to do the “real” cooking job. Because I am a runner, and trained for full marathon at that time.  I have to pay attention to the nutrition, of course, educated by the MBA lean management, I started to develop one dish dinner covered protein and vegetable. My intern friend, Jane, cooked some delicious Chinese dishes that inspired me to try making some Chinese food of my own.

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Then, I went back to school and started dating.  At beginning of dating, we always dined out, but one day I told my boyfriend that I have intuition of cooking Japanese zarusoba, it is easy and quick.  Since my cooking action, he has also been encouraged to cook more at home.  He is an excellent breakfast chef -- waffles, pancakes, banana breads, omelets, you name it.  Through cooking I feel  our relationship going to another higher level.  We often learned some new things from the internet and each others’ how to cook.  Jon has made better curry than me since I taught him.  Our life is getting more and more tasty too through cooking, of course, through all kinds of ways.

Coming to New York, there are tons of restaurants, but dining out is very expensive. I decide to cook more and practice my creative dishes more.  

I have to admit that my cooking skill is not at a high level.  I don’t like to follow the recipe; I just go by feeling to cook the healthy ingredients I want to eat.  But my dad told me a very important cooking tip.  He taught me that the presentation of dishes is very important.  People like pretty things, and nice plate presentation can attract people immediately to try the dishes.  It also can offset my low skills of the cooking, eventually leverages my entire cooking skill.  Thus, my dishes are always very pretty.  Maybe that also shows that I am a typical marketer, extend some emotional value to the products and services, and create some innovative and globalized taste of the marketing.  

 
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First 10 days living in Manhattan, and I totally feel it is deferent compared to just visiting the city.  I felt I have experienced what people have lived here for half year, as a half-year long citizen - @fazworks took us to taste the deep inside of New York, the premier places in NYC on his list.  In addition, finding an apartment took such a long and painful process for us, it seemed like forever.

Weather

We just felt so lucky last week that New York this year is not so cold.  My boyfriend is worrying about the heavy coat that he just got has not chance to be worn.  Last weekend, the weather showed its real face to us, lowest 19 in the morning, strong wind like old society, and snow - I start to miss OC and LA.

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Living

On the second day of arrival, we were lucky enough to find a riverside place, which also is close to our friend.  The upper east side has unbeatable choices of restaurants, brunches, cafes and groceries.  The subway line 6 will take us to anywhere.  However, renting an apartment in Manhattan is such a painful thing.  We just came out of school, didn’t have income last year.  Although my boyfriend has a new job, it doesn’t count as a credit.  He needs to find maximum two guarantors whose incomes are more than 80 times of our rent, even though we have shown them our saving amount and are willing to pay several months up front.  The rent about one bedroom in the upper east side is about $2200, I don’t think even regular US citizen in our age can find guarantors, who are most likely their parents who are about retired. For me, a foreigner, it is impossible to get a rent here by this rule.  In addition, they need to send guarantee documents via Fedex to guarantors to sign and ask them to send Fedex back.  Going back and force, we finally got to sign the contract in a week.  Moreover, we used broker, we have to pay one month rent as his service fee, which is relatively cheaper than the second broker we saw the following day who charges us 15% of annual rent and asked us to pay $1000 cash for deposit.  Ridiculous! 

Now we are moving to the apartment, which is limited space and small closets.  Our friends recommend us that buy any furnitures which can store things that  we can go to container shop to hang on every doors to save the space, even don’t miss the wall and cupboard.   However, we also need to consider aesthetics, not too shabby.  My boyfriend and I are moving together, too many things already got thrown away, still we need to figure out the how to store our summer clothes and our dogs items.  Headache!

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Shopping

Anything you can think of can be found in this dynamic city.  We start to buy some home items for our apartment, but figure out there are too many choices, randomly find something else interesting disrupting us.  I realize that we are two picky people with different ideas, so that it took longer time to make decisions.   In addition, there always are too many people shopping, checking out, can’t help thinking of the same thing happened in my own home town -Shanghai.  I made the conclusion: I hate shopping.

Customer Service

Also the customer service is so bad. 

@BestBuy customer services doesn’t waste more words necessary to explain to customer that returning goods needs ID and throw the receipt to me and leave, the manager said it is customer’s responsibility to read the receipt and referred to Victoria Secret also does so. What a logic!  My ID picture in my phone doesn’t count, I have to go back again.  

I went to China Town for some shrimp dumpling and noodles, the seating arrangement was horrible in that restaurant.  There is no first come first get policy, and the Cantonese waitress told me to share a table with two other strangers, otherwise I have to keep on waiting.  Horrible!

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Eating

New York has the most delicious food in the States, which turns me to start to like NYC

I tried three random Chinese restaurants around our home, two (Lily’s noodle & Sushi bar and China Spice) of them are very authentic, which make me miss my hometown.  But I wonder why so many Chinese restaurants, which cook very well, always have sushi, a Japanese option? However China town is different-pure Chinese food - top level dimsum and Shanghai food in the States.   Never the less, I was confused when I should speak English or Chinese to communicate better there!!

I also tried Felice (Italian), Mercadito(Mexican), premium fried potato with 20 choices of sauce, Kobe Sushi (Japanese).  They all make me think New York people are so luck for the delicious food, on the other hand, dining out is about 30-50% more expensive than LA.  hmm, I decide to cook at home more and buy a cart to go to Chinatown to carry some cheap groceries back.

Run

Running is my life.  Upper east side has friendly neighbor that running in the evening is also very safe.  I see many runners running on the street.  My friends and my boyfriend have developed street running strategy that running through the walking lights, always keep on going, rather than go straight, we makes turn depending on the light, which makes few stops.  Our apartment is on the east end close to the river, also only 10 minutes running to the central park and metropolitan museum.  Our friends showed us several courses and said when we are familiar with the area,we can go anywhere in the park.  I never thought I can run the central park on daily bases, just like a dream to me.  I am really excited.  I think a lot of New Yorkers must have really healthy physical condition, (don’t mention psychological one), eating well, walking a lot among the blocks, and many runners and cycler. 

Fun

I love New York the craziness.  I saw pants-off metro ride.  I smelled people smoking pot on the street at east village.  I went to the Burp Castle, which is a quite bar that waitress will shush to customers to keep quiet. See the craziness of some beer drinkers at which is the oldest bar since world war and has tearing story about the wish bones and women fighting history to have the right to come to the brewery.


I have complicated feelings about this city, maybe it is the right answer - New York is complicated. I am hoping in the New Year, I can have steady income so that we can enjoy the good things more and win some respect from New York to make tough things go through easily.
 
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I just moved to New York a week ago, and have realized that I am now three hours ahead of most Americans.  I start working much earlier than other states, particularly the West Coast.  It’s 9 o’clock in the evening Eastern time, but I am still able to catch up with Pacific time working hours.  I feel my time becomes longer and more effective than when I was living on the West Coast.  Maybe that is why East Coast people are more aggressive and more hard working.  It might be an excellent environment to encourage us to keep on rolling all the time and keep on working harder.


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I am so excited to run around Central Park for the first time as a Manhattan resident.  It was my dream to run the course all the time.  I remember last year at the same time I stayed at Union Square and took subway to central park and ran through the freezing wind.  But today although it was evening, but the weather is not too cold this year, @fazworks wanted our first run to be memorable -- and it was with an amazing night view of the Upper East Side, Upper West, Midtown, and a killer full moon.  It was a stunning world class scene.  

I would never imagine regularly running around Central Park and East River, but - hopefully - that will soon become true, because we will probably rent a riverside space on 79th street next week.  It is a really cultural neighborhood, not too many people, and tons of good restaurants and interesting stores in the area, and the most important, it will be very safe for running and living.  I am excited about my regular running course and all the exotic things that happen in this city.  I started to have some good feelings about the city and expect to develop our high quality life in this place that makes everyone in the world hearts beat strongly.   

 
The Movie is pretty intensive.  One clue links to the other, makes me think of curb your enthusiasm, every element the movie is connected, a brilliant movie. The movie is about two and half hours, but we spent one more hour to discuss the details trying to put the puzzle together and figure out what happen and why?  Maybe it is the best movie in 2011.  I ended up to watch it twice.