New Runnings

New experiences … outdoor track meets.

Tin participated in the winter indoor track, to keep in shape since his soccer team wasn’t playing much last year.  Turned out that many of the athletes were also filling in the time by running.

Well, it turned out that Tin liked running.  He was fast, and could hold his own.  And of course, there was the challenge of catching that other runner ahead of him.

Our first outdoor meet turned out nice, weather-wise.  A little breezy, but the sun was out, and it was warm.

High-tech running shoes … See that dial on the sides?  That’s to tighten the wire-thin ‘laces’.  They looked more like strips of nylon thread.  Dial right to tighten the laces; pull it out to ‘undo’ the laces.  High-tech indeed.

The next day, he had a soccer game.  Again, warm weather.  Dare we hope that spring is really staying?

And of course, after the game, the boys were hungry.  And while walking on the sidewalk, they came upon a vendor selling icees and fresh mango – so they got two bags of pickled mango.

Yes … spring and summer are here …



Traffic was a mess on the highway.  It was at a standstill.  It was inching forward.  Then a standstill again.  Thinking that it might be faster to detour through the city streets – into more traffic and traffic lights – we got off on the next exit.

Driving through, I hoped for traffic, so that I would have more time to take pictures of the changing landscape of the city.  So much has been done to clean up the streets.  Now there were murals on the buildings, like this.

And interesting food places … I wonder what was going to be paired with the fried chicken … or not …


I didn’t like this … dark and creepy …


… and daily life on the walls …


There were many more, but traffic was moving … drats!

Maybe next time.


Grey Skies on a Sunny Morning

We were looking forward to a weekend tournament in Virginia, thinking that it would be warmer than it is here in NYC.  Wrong ….

We were out on the fields, in blustery winds and 0-20 degree weather in the early mornings … Us parents had three and four and maybe five layers on – the boys had two to three layers … And spring is next week already?  Oh wait … we came back home and there was a nor’easter snowstorm-blizzard waiting for us!  We really are having crazy weather these days, right?

grey skies


Morningside Park

After eating, we went back to Morningside Park, where the Harlem EatUp was held.  We decided to walk around a bit before heading on home.  It turned out that we just climbed and walked across the park (two blocks) to the street where we could get to where the car was parked.  Oh well … That was the exercise for the day 🙂

A lake in the park …

Up the stairs …

To the street behind St. John the Divine’s Cathedral, and a peacock on the cathedral grounds …

View of the Harlem EatUp tents from the street above …


We’ll explore the other parts of the park some other time.



Harlem Eat-Up

A late post .. .the Harlem Eat-up was held last May, and since we had a soccer-free weekend, I told the boys that we should go into the city and see what this Eat-Up was about.

This was the second year the event was held, and from the photos from last year’s event, it looked like this was something good to check out.  And of course .. food!!  Who can’t resist a free tasting, specially from well-known chefs and eating establishments?

So off we went on a day-trip to the city …


The premise is that you would be able to taste samples of dishes from the participating restaurants and eateries, get to meet some of the guest chefs, have a glass of wine as you walked around … Sounds good, right?  We stood in line, and found out that we were in the ‘paid’ line.  If we didn’t want to pay, the other side of the area was the free zone that we could walk around.  Well, since none of us drink alcohol, we thought that paying $80 for taste samples was a bit too much, because even if we ate at a high-end restaurant, we would’t be paying $80 per person for dinner.  So we went to the free area …

Here’s what you get for walking around in the free area …

That’s Mr. Cory, the young entrepreneur behind Mr. Cory’s Cookies.  No free tastings, but you can buy a bag of cookies for $5.

There were free tastings here at the natural shakes.  None at the ice cream carts.  They had some really interesting flavour combinations, though.  We would have wanted to taste a sample first before deciding to pay $5 for a scoop …

Some art work to admire …

Handicrafts … healthy sign-ups … a free umbrella with a paid subscription …

Here’s the best part … face painting !!  And it was free!

But we were hungry, so we decided to go uptown to sit at a restaurant … We ended up at Sylvia’s; the boys didn’t find anything on the menu they wanted to try at the Red RoosterSylvia‘s was okay.  We honestly didn’t find anything out of the ordinary on the menu either for the prices we paid … And yes, it was less than the $80 per person to pay for tastings … Maybe the tasting would have been more satisfying than the meal … hmmm …. something to think about for the next time …

Oh yes!  We did see some chefs at the EatUp …

And that was our experience at the Harlem EatUp.  I don’t know if we’ll go again next year, if they hold it again.  Or maybe the sample tastings and wine would be more enjoyable with a group of friends, instead of just the family … We’ll see how we feel next year.

If you were at the EatUp, how did you find it?








Baked Bread 

After a week in Kinshasa, we moved on to Goma for the rest of the trip.

Knowing that there were going to be long days and nights of work for the coming weeks, we went to the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Gisenyi, Rwanda, for their Sunday brunch.

As before, we walked across to the border, and then a 20-minute leisurely walk to the hotel.  We enjoyed brunch, a continental breakfast, including made to order omelettes,  crepes, local dishes such as mutoke, tilapia, and a variety of juices – try the tamarind juice  it was a nice blend of tangy and sweet – and a complimentary glass of champagne at the end!

The carved watermelon was what drew me to this table … and only realized later that the turtle and crocodile? were actually baked bread!  The boys wanted to know why they would make bread animals; they weren’t going to eat that, they said lol

Enjoying the view of Lake Kivu.  The cloud formations in this part of the world are still the best I’ve seen – all those puffs and balls of clouds!   

We let the showers pass by before we started our walk back to the border and DRC.  And of course I had to take photos of flowers …

That Crazy Lady with the Camera 

That’s what they seem to be saying, as I take some quick shots. 


‘Yeah, remember her? She’s back again and taking endless snapshots of us. ‘

‘Let’s glare at her … Maybe she’ll go away. ‘

‘Nope, she’s still there.  Let’s just turn our backs and walk away. ‘