Tag Archives: Garden

Searching for Myself in a Cup of Coffee

It should come as no secret to the careful reader that I am struggling here in New York. In addition to missing everything about living in Singapore, except for the humidity, I’m finding it very difficult to adjust to being alone, being in a new place, and being back in the US in general.

View of the West Side from Engineers Gate in Central Park

In an effort to feel more at home in New York, I’ve been spending a lot of time in cafés to read, write, and people watch. Coffee makes everything better, and usually so does being a quiet observer among strangers. Having a legitimate reason to look around makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself, which is an important shift in perspective when I get too stuck in my own head.

I think I’m mostly doing what that cat is doing. Watching and waiting.

A good deal of my coffee drinking has been at B Cup Café. As I’ve written before, it’s really close to my apartment and plays great music. It also serves good coffee and excellent shakshuka. I’ve been there at least four times, which practically makes me a regular. Based on my own habits, anyway.


However, I’m bad at sitting at the best of times and caffeine doesn’t help. So I’ve also been wandering around the East Village and taking pictures of everything colorful in an effort to improve my mood and general outlook. That’s a thing, right? Color therapy? I’m not sure if it’s working but I did find some delightful street art:

The East Village is enjoyably quirky in a number of other ways, too. Examples:


The most exciting part of my wandering today was green space! Neighborhood parks are so important in building community, and seeing them always makes me happy. More than a few parks have started decorating for Halloween, too. I passed by one of those today, as well as a couple parks that aren’t quite on the decorating bandwagon (yet?):

Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of my reading and writing (including this blog post) has taken place at cafés. I’m at Think Coffee at the moment, not because I actually wanted the coffee but because I’m also not good at being home for more than a few hours at any one point during the day. Again, I tend to spend too much time in my own head that way. I do a heck of a lot better at work, which often makes me feel more comfortable than I do during the weekends. (I know. I know, I know. Famous last words.)

I realize I’ve been saying “I’m not good at” fairly often lately. Maybe that’s part of the problem at this point. I don’t know anymore what I am good at. Learning. I guess I’m good at that. At least, I try to be.

A little light reading, courtesy of the New York Public Library. Croissant sandwich and coffee from Petite Shell on the Upper East Side.

If you’re looking for me, I’m probably in a coffee shop. If not, chances are I will be soon. I always take my coffee black. Thanks for asking!


Rooftops and Gardens

No, not rooftop gardens, though I love those!

This weekend I went to Lantern for dinner and drinks with a friend from school and one of her friends, who also works at school. School is massive so it’s no surprise that I’m still meeting my colleagues! In fact, I’ll probably never actually meet all of them. The teaching staff alone is twice the size of the entire student body of the school I attended as a kid.

Lantern is beautifully set on a hotel rooftop at Marina Bay, so we wined and dined overlooking the skyscrapers of Singapore’s business district, as well as some very fancy hotels. Marina Bay Sands, the casino, is in the distance. Our ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer, was close by, too!

On Sunday, I visited the Botanic Gardens with the same friend. I’ve been there before with Mitch, but it was great to be back. It’s so beautiful there and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. It’s not sunny all the time here! Really! Just hot. All the time. As usual, the gardens were full of people engaging in some quality outdoor recreation. We passed picnics, birthday parties, runners, bikers, newly weds taking photos, and people playing various sports games. In an age (and a city) where people are so invested in handheld technology, it’s heartwarming to see people enjoying the exact opposite..

So far, my favorite part about Singapore is that there’s something for everyone, and always something new to experience.

Snapshots from Singapore

I visited Mitch in Singapore again this weekend. We explored some new neighborhoods and went to one of the many Singapore International Film Festival films. Many of the photos I’ve chosen to include here are indicative of my favorite thing about Singapore – there are gardens everywhere. It’s really spectacular. Enjoy!

It's not the best picture, but I was standing on one rooftop garden looking down onto another rooftop garden, which is pretty cool. Also check out the Christmas tree below!
It’s not the best picture, but I was standing on one rooftop garden looking down onto another rooftop garden, which is pretty cool. Also check out the Christmas tree below!

The next set of photos are all from the rooftop garden on which I was standing when I took the previous photo. There were fish in the pools of water, which made me wonder who feeds them.

These are from the same rooftop and are probably my favorite part of the whole thing. They are walls. Made of plants.



Proof that plants are real
Proof that plants are real

Plant walls
Plant walls

Of course, it’s not all rooftop gardens . . .


If you’ve ever looked at a map of Singapore, you’d’ve noticed water. Everywhere. Yet another reason I love this city.

I also really enjoy contrasts. For example, there are red-brick streets . . . and ultra-modern coffee bars . . . The New Black is a really interesting concept. You can read about it here.

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay
The New Black
The New Black

Another lovely weekend in the books!