Posts Tagged With: New York City

Vacation photos (Or: The beauty in Central Park)

Here are some of my favourite photos from Central Park…

Central Park in New York City

My favourite photo – the calmness of the park, with the city just behind

View from Central Park - skyline construction

Marco and I slowly crossed this field. At this point we saw a sign, which we read and then turned around. We had no idea this view was behind us!

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“Europe’s favourite cookie with coffee!” (Or: Biscoff/Lotus cookies)

Continuing the trend of “things that remind me of home while visiting America”, Marco and I were in a drug/convenience store by the name of Duane Reade when we spotted some Lotus cookies. Except in America it looks like they are known as “Biscoff” cookies.

Lotus cookies renamed as Biscoff cookies in America

They are pretty good with coffee – fairly light, fairly small, so one is just right.

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Wafels & Dinges (Or: Goodness in Bryant Park)

Hi all! I’ve been gone for a while, as Marco and I were in America (three days in New York City as tourists and a week in Indianapolis with my parents). And now we’re back! And to begin with I have a few posts of things that remind me of home, to some degree.

The first is a Belgian waffle stand in Bryant Park, Wafels & Dinges (translates to Waffles and Things). Actually, they have a lot of locations throughout New York City. Here’s a look at the side of the stand:

Wafels and Dinges in Bryant Park

My favourite part is “Speku-what? Spekuloos!

It’s our favourite dinges made from traditional Belgian gingerbread cookies. In places like Dadizele, Zwevezele, and Erps-Kwerps, Belgians spread this dinges on waffles, pancakes or as the sandwich spread (“to spekulate”).

Some people we know also eat it by the spoon (“to overspekulate”).” Heh.

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Jan van Haasteren puzzles (Or: NY marathon)


Last week Roger dropped off one of his mother’s puzzles for me to work on. Little did I know, it was 1000 pieces! (I thought it would be 500.)

Jan van Haasteren NY marathon puzzle

It is a Jan van Haasteren puzzle with the title NY Marathon – he is a well-known Dutch cartoonist. Part of the reason I like his puzzles is the fact that they are animated – it reminds me of a puzzle I had when I was younger (probably 500 pieces) with a mini golf theme.

First things first – separate out the edges:

pile of puzzle pieces, edges separated

I had a small scare at one point when I couldn’t find one of the edge pieces (remember, it’s not my puzzle!) but after a while it turned up. The biggest issue is the lack of table space – hence why I don’t have any puzzles of my own and it is better to borrow one from someone else.

Progress is being made…

working on a puzzle NY marathon But still a long, long way to go.

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Tenth day (Or: Something for my dad)

Here’s a quick look back at the brief weekend trip the three of us took to New York City right before we returned to the Netherlands. One thing we stumbled on was A Christmas Story musical, which is the movie I mentioned on Monday after Roger got me the DVD. Dad and I used to watch it every Christmas, as it was on a 24 hour marathon on the TBS channel…

A Christmas Story musical

A NYC Christmas Story musical

Notice the lampshade in the second image. ;p Marco and I had a quieter day today. Earlier in the afternoon we went to a few different department stores so I would have an idea of what they sell, although mostly what they sell right now is winter clothes and jackets which isn’t what I am looking for.

We also took advantage of the late shopping hours that occur in the Hague on Thursday nights and went to pick up groceries for a late dinner. Afterwards, we enjoyed a glass of white beer (Korenwolf brand) while watching the Incredible Hulk. Another movie to catch me up to Marco’s geekiness. ;p Slowly but surely… but I wouldn’t be too worried until I start reading his comics!

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Christmas (Or: Trees around New York City)

Continuing the tree theme of the previous post, I also took a few pictures of various decorated trees in New York City.

The first photo was from a distance as I had to get to the consulate. But it is the Macy’s Christmas tree at the main entrance. The “yellow blob” is actually the word “Believe”, which could be seen in the Macy’s parade for Thanksgiving Day.

Macy's Christmas tree in NYC

Taking this picture when I went to the consulate also helped out last Friday, since I popped out of the subway on the other side of this street. But as I saw the Macy’s decorations to the left of me, I knew to go left down to the street to get back to Penn Station.

The second tree was on 39th street and 3rd. There were actually 4 lighted trees, although I was only able to photograph one of them.

winter tree on 3rd avenue in NYC

The morning itself was dreary…as you can tell from the wet roads. Drizzling on and off most of the morning.

Another good tree to see is the one in Bryant Park, with blue lights. But that is another day. And of course the tree in Rockefeller Center…

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Lower Manhattan (Or: On my way to Penn Station)

So on Friday I went into New York City to pick up my Dutchies from the Penn Station, as their flight was coming in from JFK. I ended up hitching a ride with a coworker who goes into the city every weekend to take care of her mother-in-law.  We left home for the city at 5PM.

The interesting thing was we made it into the city fairly quickly – maybe a half hour or so. But we ended the city via the George Washington Bridge, so near 180th street or so. But as we needed to get to Chinatown (near the southern tip of Manhattan) we had a-ways to go on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The traffic was definitely the heaviest near the top of Manhattan, but the views of the Hudson river and New Jersey on the other side at night were spectacular. (For that matter, George Washington Bridge also looked pretty when lit up.)

After about 90th street or so, the traffic eased up slightly. By the time we got to 34th street, traffic had begun to move at a mostly steady clip, only slowing down for the various exits. Although I was headed for 34th street & 7th avenue, it is too much of a pain for her to exit at that point when she really needed to go to Chinatown instead. So she ended up exiting on Canal Street and heading east to Chinatown, letting me off at 5th avenue.

After about 5 or so minutes getting my bearings, I began to walk north through the named streets (not even at 2nd street yet). When I hit 4th street, I found my way blocked by the Washington Square park, so I decided to cut across it rather than going around. I did get a nice picture of the Christmas tree there, from a distance:

Christmas tree at Washington Square NYC

I kept walking north until 14th street, before I headed west to 6th avenue. I took the F/M orange line to 34th street, and then walked west to Penn Station. (All of those Rangers games over the years definitely helped me get my bearings! Thanks Roger! ♥)

After that, it was just a matter of waiting around in the NJTransit area for about 10 minutes before the Dutchies arrived. Just in time too – we had about 6 minutes to get the next train. This was the last train to get before we would have had to wait an hour at the transfer point. But we made it!

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Fridays (Or: The Dutchies arrive…)

It seems like only yesterday since I saw Marco (early October), but he and Roger are returning again today! I suppose that’s the benefit of scheduling uneven breaks between trips: April to October, and then October to December.

But it is a break from routine in some respects: they have to fly into JFK on Aer Lingus rather than into Newark on Delta, so that I could secure a one way ticket to the Netherlands on an Aer Lingus flight. That airline sells cheapish one way tickets. Unfortunately this means landing at 6:20PM or so rather than 1 in the afternoon. No more getting back home by 5PM!

Because of this, we’ll be meeting at Penn Station as it seems a good not-quite-halfway point for all of us. I was able to get a ride into the city with a coworker, so I don’t have to battle the crazy bus traffic that crops up on a Friday afternoon.

Regardless of when we get back home, it’ll be fun to be back in the company of the Dutchies again. Even if my apartment is more of a mess than it usually is when they arrive…

flight from Dublin to JFK

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Dutch MVV (Or: A slight delay)

So… today I went to New York City to pick up my MVV sticker. But it seems in the end it is not that simple. I should have known, after the first trip…

But we’re not in trouble at all – I just have to go back next week. AGAIN.

A few weeks ago, Marco received the approval letter (in Dutch) from the IND. After this, I expected a letter from the Washington consulate (in English), as that is what the last official correspondence had said – when I was approved, they would send me a letter by mail.

But that letter never arrived. After a week, I called the Washington consulate. The lady on the other end was confused (I think she believed I was the Dutch national calling for the American referent) but we eventually sorted it out. I asked her if I needed the letter or if I could go pick up my MVV sticker from the NYC consulate. She said that as long as I made an appointment and brought along the items requested (and I think this is where I made my fatal mistake of thinking she made items specificed in the Dutch letter Marco received) I could go there and pick up my MVV sticker

I had an appointment for 9:20am. When I got there, I was told I needed other documents then I was expecting. Specifically, I need to do the following things again:

1) fill out an MVV application form (already done)

2) bring along a passport photo (already done)

3) show my original single status record and hand over a copy (already done)

4) show a copy of Marco’s passport (already done, but we were told to expect this one, so I was prepared with that)

The passport photos is what caught me – why would I expect to have to hand over another set? Didn’t I already give them a form? Why didn’t they just have my fill out two forms and turn over two photos instead of one? Why didn’t they ask for multiple copies of things back in September? So that was another $15 for the photos down the drain. (I guess this was all explained in the letter I never received)…

They also actually physically took my passport. Apparently they don’t do MVV stickers at the NYC consulate (although they said it was just a visa sticker – I don’t get the MVV sticker until I get to the Netherlands I was told). So the passport needs to be mailed to the Washington consulate, and then back to New York City… that takes about 5-6 business days. So early next week. Still time – no problem.

But still – what kind of logic is this? Sheesh.

Categories: Forms, etc. | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Election 2012 (Or: Rockefeller Plaza)

Today is Election Day, and Rockefeller plaza is all decked out!

http://nyclovesnyc.blogspot.com. Click the image to be taken to the blog post, with many more images (including this photo in a much larger size).

One of the coolest things that Rockefeller Plaza does is draw a map of the United States into the world famous ice rink. As each state’s winner is determined, that state is colored either blue or red (see a 2008 example).

Rendering of what the area will look like, including the map of the United States not yet colored in. Official website

Flickr/Andrew Dallos. Click on the image to see the photographer’s page, as well as download a larger size.

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