Category Archives: New York City

Fundraising for Japan – A Success, And Yes, We Have A Winner!

Thanks to your generous donations, The Pleasure Monger’s fundraising event for Japan was a success! We may have fell short of the £2000 target, but we did raise a whopping £1510, which amounts to 76% of our target! To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anyone would donate when I organised this, but a number of you did; the funds that we’ve raised together are so much more than I could ever give on my own. I’m grateful for your support and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The fundraising page that I’ve set up on JustGiving will run till 2016, so please continue to drop a pound or two to help the victims of the earthquake in Japan. I’m sure everyone knows that the people in Japan are still suffering from the aftermath. For people like us who can’t be there to deliver aid, we can help in other ways. Yesterday evening, I was just thinking how wonderful it would be if everyone who stops by this blog could give a pound or spare some change; we could very well raise £20000 in a month! And then we have other bloggers who are trying their best to raise funds (read the updates at the bottom of this post for more details on how you can get involved), bloggers who are way more popular, prolific and well-known than I am, and if every reader of theirs give a pound for every post they read, they could raise so much more. That £1 makes such little difference to us, but for the victims, every penny counts and the success of the fundraiser thus far proves that we can pool our resources together and make a HUGE difference. So please continue to give, within your means, to any of the avenues that are most accessible to you.

Now, let’s realise the promise I made. When I organised the fundraiser, I said that I would pledge a USD100 Amazon gift card to one lucky donor so long as he/she donates before 31 March 2011 (GMT2359h). So today, I used the random integer generator on random.org to pick a winner and the gift card goes to…….

SHIRLEY!

I’ll be in touch in the next few minutes with an Amazon email containing the gift card. Congratulations and thank you for your donation!

xx

 

Fundraising for Japan

Dear readers,

In light of the recent events that hit Japan, I have started a fundraising page on JustGiving to raise some money for the disaster relief efforts. My nominated charity is ShelterBox, which is rallying resources to help the people in Japan. Temporary shelters are getting increasingly overcrowded right now, and if you’ve read the news, many have died in the bitter cold. The Japanese authorities are requesting ShelterBox to deliver emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to the north of Japan. Thousands of boxes of such supplies are either in Japan or ready to be mobilised now, and we can help to deliver to the needs of the homeless in Japan. Please, let’s not leave them out in the freezing temperatures, and let’s work to give them a home and some warmth, literally and figuratively.

Anyone can donate, you only need a debit or credit card to do so. I can’t make a difference on my own, so instead of donating the money directly to charity, I am pledging a USD100 Amazon gift card to this fundraising event. I will randomly select the gift card recipient (using http://www.random.org/) from the list of people who donate on my fundraising page before 31 March 2011 (2359h GMT). By giving a little incentive, I hope that this will boost numbers a little and make the event worthwhile.  The gift card can be used on Amazon.com and I will email it to you before 10 April 2011. I will also announce the winner on this blog.

Please note that whilst I am not allowed to publicise this gift card raffle on my JustGiving page (as I am bound by terms and conditions), anyone who donates on my page, with a valid email address, will be eligible for this raffle. In order for me to contact you, please make sure you make your email address available to me on the JustGiving fundraising page.

Thank you for your help. Please also spread the word around, the success of this fundraising event relies on our collective effort.

Updated: I would also like to bring your attention to other avenues of donation. Some of my food blogger friends have set up an initiative called Bento4Japan, they have very generously put up some bento-related items up for auction on eBay. Please visit this site and start bidding! Or you can visit meemalee’s kitchen to have a look, she has written a nice summary of how you can help the people in Japan. Chika of the very beautiful blog, She Who Eats, is also giving away sakura ingredients to raise funds for Japan.

P/S: The fundraising page will be active till 2016, but only donors who contributed to this page before 31 March 2011 (2359h GMT) will be considered for the raffle. I am doing this because I am trying to encourage as many people to donate soon as the relief efforts are ongoing and urgently needed – WE HAVE A WINNER!

 

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Time To Say Goodbye To NYC

Boxing Day was, to the say the least, a little depressing. It started out well, we shopped and ate our way down Bleecker Street, then it started pouring. We couldn’t enjoy Greenwich, had trouble looking for NYU, and we certainly didn’t want to risk overcrowding by going to the sales. So what did we do? We decided to try our luck, and see if we could get on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Bad idea. It was foggy, wet, and bleak. There were no cruises going to the Liberty Island, and through the fog, we could barely see anything from Battery Park. Downtown was Ghost-town. We ended up loitering around, chatting about anything we could think of, and then headed to db Bistro Moderne for (gah) a slightly disappointing dinner. Boohoo, life sucks when the weather is bad. Even the Empire State Building disappeared in the fog.

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

But look what came up on our last day in NYC…..the sun! The Empire State Building came back too, looking very bright and cheery! We left for Sunday brunch at The Oak Room, which was one of our favourite highlights in our trip, and shopped around for a bit (where else but Bergdorf Goodman, which is just opposite The Plaza?). Then we decided to get back to Battery Park and see the Statue of Liberty, since the weather was good.

Our last days in NYC

It was beautiful at BatteryPark. The sun was at a high, skies were really clear (they’d better be because the grey clouds should have been rained out  the day before). We were greeted by The Sphere, which survived the 9/11 attack at World Trade Center and was relocated to Battery Park as part of a memorial.

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

We tried to get ferry tickets to see Miss Liberty, but we were too late. Everyone must have missed out on it during foggy Boxing Day, and came back in throngs to catch the ferries when the sun returned. This only meant two things – I bitched about how the zoom function on my camera was too inadequate to get a decent pic of the lady, and insisted to M that we have to come back to NYC.

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Our last days in NYC

Since we couldn’t get on the ferry, we strolled around in Battery Park, people-watched, soaked up the sun, and took our time to say goodbye to NYC. It is one of the few times that I was feeling reluctant about going home. Maybe NYC was too wonderful, maybe I was dreading to return to my awful routine at work and loneliness in London, maybe it was both, I don’t know. But I hope to visit NYC again. I thought going to another city for Christmas was a bad idea when M suggested it, but NYC took me my surprise and left me wanting more. Thanks to M’s persistence, I’m happy to say that I loved NYC and we’ll be back!

 

Christmas Day in NYC

Spending Christmas Day in NYC is not without its perils. Many places were shut for the holiday, leaving us poor visitors in the lurch! We amused ourselves with a rather scary trip to grubby Chinatown, had an OK lunch at one of the Chinese eateries, and salvaged the excursion with fab egg tarts from Taipan Bakery.

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas Day in NYC

Then we dropped by Wall Street a.k.a Ghost Town on Christmas Day for a quick visit and devoured our egg tarts in its vicinity. I got a lil’ grumpy doing nothing interesting on Christmas Day, and M surprised me with some macaroons to cheer me up. Tactical move by my quick-thinking husband, so two thumbs up for him.

Christmas Day in NYC

We moved on to Ground Zero, and well, let’s just say it was truly depressing. Families and friends of those who died in the attack left messages and pictures on a tiny Christmas tree in the area. It was difficult to go through what they wrote, I stopped after reading one note..

Christmas Day in NYC

We went back to the hotel to wait out for dinner at Basta Pasta, and swung by Times Square to celebrate the festivities with other revellers.

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas Day in NYC

I made a mental note to come back to the Rockefeller Center to have a look at the Christmas tree at night, and so we did! Lots of other travellers were there too, and it was truly nice to be out and about on a night like this.

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas Day in NYC

Christmas windows are famous sights in NYC and I wanted to have another look at the gorgeous displays at Bergdorf Goodman. Since the crowds were at Times Square and Rockefeller, I had the windows all to myself. Spent a good amount of time dissecting each and every window, I have to hand it to the designers for coming up with such whimsical treats. No detail was spared!

It was getting late and it was starting to rain a little; M had to drag me away from the windows. Took a hot shower to wriggle out of the cold, then, Pavarotti sang us to sleep.

Check out my food and travel stories in New York City.

Christmas Eve in NYC

We kicked off our third day in NYC with yummy burgers at Shake Shack, and then spent the day visiting places that were opened on Christmas Eve. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Christmas Eve in NYC

Then we headed to Sushi of Gari and had one of the best Japanese meals ever. Bought a bottle of wine from a wine shop in Grand Central station on our way back to the hotel, had a nightcap and slept with bellies full and minds satisfied. It was the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve, even if it was in the cold!

Check out my food and travel stories in New York City.