Moments in Manhattan – Part 1

The day has come. I knew that the memory space in my camera will run out sooner or later and I will have to remove the first batch of photos.  I can vividly recall the night when E and I went looking for a trusty digital camera a few days before my eastward trip across the atlantic, to a metropolis situated 22 hours away from Singapore.

I share a close attachment for this album. Sometimes, when the memory card’s capacity is full, I’d rather remove the latest photos than traces of this trip. Today, I warmly invite all of you to walk down memory lane with me as I attempt to ride the whims of my mind and re-trace those wonderful sights, sounds and feelings in May 2011.

Destination: Manhattan, NYC
Length of stay: 2 weeks
Purpose: Participate as an exhibitor in ICFF/Designboom Mart 2011

Siwei, me and fellow passenger getting ready for our 7 hours flight to stopover location – Narita Airport, Tokyo! This was about 4 or 5am. Both us barely had enough time to catch some sleep. By the time we were done with all the stock packing and sealing, it was around midnight.

7 hours later at Narita Airport. The stopover in Tokyo was about 1 hour short. During our spare time, we checked in and out of touristy shops ; basically to keep our bodies moving as we’ll be pretty much stuck in midair for the next 15 hours.

It was in the late afternoon when we arrived at the airport. First thoughts were to quickly carry our restless bodies to receive our boxes of stocks ! Thankfully, no ceramic piggies were injured during the flight. Weather check: cool and sunny with cloud-peppered skies!

The idea of reaching America finally dawned upon both of us when we were in the cab soaking in the highway sights. We were also amused by their billboard advertisements.

Nearing our hotel at 42nd Street, Midtown East.

Our hotel room overlooking the Chrysler Building. Standing at 1,046 feet, this structure was once the  world’s tallest building for 11 months until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building. Hmm…so it wasn’t entirely due to our sheer ignorance that led us to believe that we were admiring the “Empire State Building”. It was only on the second day when we got familiar with the map did we realize we were disillusioned all this while.

A 5 minutes walk away from our hotel lies a building with rich history and deep secrets – the Grand Central Terminal. An interesting fact relates to the landmark’s structure. There is a “whispering gallery” located near the famous Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Here, the acoustics of the low ceramic arches can cause a whisper to sound like a shout. Similarly, you can try doing this at the dome shaped structure  outside Marina Bay Sands.

The sight of streets flooding with yellow cabs were common but this was something unusual!! Shooting frenzy begins….This was the first night when we headed out to refuel our bodies with packed dinner. A city known for its variety of culinary offerings. We had a selection of bagels, pasta and seafood to choose from but our tummies voted for familiar comfort food…. I hear some of you going “Whot…!”

Let the religious chant begin, “go go go, cold cut trio cold cut trio cold cut trio cold cut trio….”.

Siwei’s additional piping hot beef chilli pasta bought from one of the countless food trucks.

Directly opposite our room was an office building. From where I stood, I could literally observe people gathering in meeting rooms every night.

PAX Wholesome Foods is a cafe conveniently situated beside our hotel. They sell delicious soups, sandwiches, bagels (they are everywhere) and typical american breakfast choices! Starting our second day right with a hearty breakfast and a caffeine fix.

The main highlight of the trip – designboom mart at Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre.

An exhibitor from Korea. They were showcasing a range of animal cup holders aimed to help people to identify their own cups distinctively.

Here’s FARMSTORE’s booth! We rented two both spaces so as to accomodate 8 display items on the table.

Siwei who has set up past exhibitions before was a pro in layout and ensuring the nitty-gritty details were in place.

The final touches were ready and set to showcase! Those are the ceramic piggies I was telling you about. Our main approach wasn’t just pure selling (although all stocks have to be cleared during our trip) but also to raise awareness of local work.

Privileged to have local artist/designer, Casey Chen to exhibit with us. Check out his “Eraser with a Punch”.

Each day, the exhibition will end about 6pm and after we’re done with all the packing, Siwei and I will explore the exhibition’s vicinity before taking the subway back to Lexington Avenue.

And behold….the real Grand Empire State Building. We stood at the junction for awhile waiting to catch a sight of a furry animal perched atop the building but in vain.

That’s all for part one of my trip. Stay tuned to your screens because i’ll be back with more juicy adventures in Manhattan!

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!!

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