hello, it’s me. hello from the other side.

Welcome to 2017, everyone! Yes, it’s me. It’s almost a full month into 2017 and I haven’t posted in over two months, but … whatever.

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This was the first year that I rang in the new year in New York. I live about 15 minutes away from Times Square, which means that for New Year’s Eve celebrations, I got AS FAR AWAY from home as possible. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. I stayed in Manhattan, because late night subway traffic, especially right after the New Year, is ridiculous. But I definitely escaped to the Upper West Side. Only tourists are in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and they clutter up the place. Roadblocks everywhere, traffic diverted, heavy police presence, and no access to certain subway stations. Total madness. Starting at 2 PM, you had to go through police checkpoints to get east of Eighth Avenue. STARTING AT 2 IN THE AFTERNOON. That meant no access to the NQRW trains for me and long lines of people on the sidewalks. ARGH.

But Upper West Side? Nice dinner, hung out at a friend’s place, then headed over to Central Park and watched fireworks. Yay. Nice and simple. And so far? 2017’s not been too horrible. There’s nothing to be happy about, but at least the world hasn’t exploded or imploded yet, so that’s good, right? The key to happiness is low expectations.

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to the god of wealth: holla

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Day 5 of the Chinese New Year extravaganza is dedicated to the God of Wealth. According to Wikipedia, it’s his birthday. And as day 4 turned into day 5, there were a lot of fireworks meant to attract prosperity and good fortune – basically the same situation as three years ago. The fireworks were much more lively and widespread than on New Year’s Eve, partially because by this time people are starting to come back to Shanghai, but mostly because peeps like the dough. Yay money!

happy year of the horse!

For those of you not in China, you may not have heard, but it’s the Chinese New Year! And according to the zodiac calendar, it’s the Year of the Horse! Happy New Year! 新年快乐! Woot!

The nation of China has basically shut down at this point, which might be a hard concept for people to understand. It’s not just that it’s a holiday … it’s DEAD here. I’ve stocked up on snacks (maybe not enough given the rate I’m chowing down) and plan on basically hibernating. Some places will reopen on the second day of the (lunar) new year, but the official holiday (which most people follow, crazy make-up days and all) is for one week starting today, from January 31st (first day of the new year) to February 6th (seventh day).

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There were some fireworks earlier in the evening around 9 and 10 or so, but wow … once the clock struck 12, it was like complete madness out there. There were fireworks going off left and right, some of them really really close. It looked like the apartment securitiy guards were having a ball :) The air quality was pretty bad today so the sky wasn’t very clear to begin with. But now, with all the smoke from the fireworks still lingering in the air? Visibility is … pretty darn low. Cheers!

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hello 2014, nice to meet you

Happy New Year!

Even though it’s already January 13th, this is my first post of 2014! I didn’t end up going out because I felt like being an old lady and snuggling up next to my heater. I could see some fireworks from my balcony, which was nice. The first picture below is the result of me moving the camera mid-shot. Pretty nifty, eh? Far more firework-y than the actual photo of fireworks.

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happy independence day!

I’m back in the good ol’ US of A! My trip to China was very eventful, so I have a bevy of images to get through, but I’m still jetlagged as hell. Got back into New York Wednesday night, waited FOREVER for the M60 (over 40 minutes of waiting … there was a mob of people trying to climb on when the bus finally arrived), got two rough-looking donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast/dessert, and crashed for approximately 18 hours. Then I woke up and headed to a 4th of July party! In Brooklyn! On a rooftop! How hipster of me, no? So quintessentially New York.

It’s good to be back. Happy birthday, America.

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happy 4th of july!

There’s not much more time left of the day, but it’s still July 4th for now! Unfortunately out in the suburbs, the fireworks are most underwhelming. It’s not totally pitch black, however, as there are some streetlights and the light reflects in the water. And every now and then there might be a firework … off in the distance. Yeah, it’s kind of lacking that festive spirit, but it was nice to have a day off from work to celebrate Independence Day!

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it is so, so loud

It is just past midnight, making it the 5th day of the Chinese New Year. Why is that significant? Because it sounds like a war-zone outside. Seriously. The Chinese LOVE their fireworks, and since the fifth day has some significance about a god of wealth or what-not, tonight fireworks are meant to attract him. And what do Chinese people love more than fireworks? That’s it, ladies and gentlemen, MONEY.

I am literally watching at least eight different fireworks shows – simultaneously. On my balcony it smells like smoke and it’s deafening. So awesome, so loud. But since I’m leaving early in the morning for some traveling (got to catch a flight) I’m wondering just how long this is going to go for. Because really … it would be impossible to sleep through this.

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hoppity hop!

Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the rabbit as of today (February 3), the first day of the Chinese new year. Basically I’ve been eating a bunch (dinners with the extended family), in accordance with tradition. Shanghai’s emptied out quite a bit with so many people having gone to their hometowns or traveling, so streets are quiet and many stores and restaurants are closed.

Last night there were a bunch of fireworks. Today there were also fireworks, and the next few days will also have fireworks. Some of the fireworks were really, really close. Below is a picture of the fireworks that my apartment complex had set off. Standing on my balcony, they were like … RIGHT THERE. Ridiculously close but pretty darn cool.

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