New York International Auto Show 2019

The 2019 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) has made it’s way to New York City at the Jacob Javits Center April 19 to April 28.

This year’s NYIAS will not let you down, featuring ton of new models and tons to see and do! Check out some of the upcoming models!

Some new models at the 2019 NYIAS include:

  • Jeep Gladiator

  • Toyota Supra

  • Jaguar XE

  • Audi Q8

  • Porsche 911

  • Mercedes-Benz GLD

  • Kia Telluride

My favorite new car of the show as the Karlmann King! This GINORMOUS SUV, looks like a high tech military vehicle on the outside, but a party bus on the inside!

With the Karlmann King

With the Karlmann King

Inside of the Karlmann King

Inside of the Karlmann King

I was able test drive the Jeep Rubicon (as a passenger) around a very rigorous course. Check out my video here: https://youtu.be/tj8uQizP09M

For more information about the NY International Auto Show, please visit: https://www.autoshowny.com/

Stepping Up & Judging

Perfect 10 for attire!

Perfect 10 for attire!

Today was the New York Edge's Annual Step Competition "Rhythmic Step," hosted at York College in Queens, NY. I had the honor of judging at this highly competitive step competition for the 5th year, one of my favorite events of the year to attend! For those of you who have never seen stepping in person, it is definitely something you must see in person - the energy and movement is simply amazing.

Stepping is a synchronized group movement, with lots of stomping and clapping. All of these students rocked the stage and impressed me, I definitely would not be coordinated enough to do what they do! One step team even stepped blindfolded!

While I am not a top notch stepper, I was able to judge on attire - right up my alley!

Check out some photo & videos from this year’s competition on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwHigQ3AV4o/ Can’t wait until next year!

These ladies were stepping BLINDFOLDED!

These ladies were stepping BLINDFOLDED!

Winners of the advanced competition

Winners of the advanced competition

Girl Redesigned with New York Edge

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Today, I had the pleasure of volunteering with New York Edge at the annual Girl Redesigned, hosted at Adelphi University in Long Island. At this event, students designed, sewed and modeled their own designs! It was very impressive to see these K-12 students see their designs through from beginning to end.

The designs were very creative, as were the performances. Each school had a different theme, from what do you want to be when you grow up to athletic wear.

I am no designer, but I was able to assist the students with my runway experience and teach the students how to walk, pose and own the runway with confidence!

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In addition to volunteering with New York Edge, I also sit as co-chair of the New York Edge Young Professionals Council, which I also helped to co-found!

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, feel free to reach out or visit: https://newyorkedge.org/

Little Havana Food Tour in Miami

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During my vacation in Miami, I wanted to more than just your typical beach and party routine.  After seeking out some recommendations from my new friends from Sunrise, Florida, my friend and I decided to take a food tour with Miami Culinary Tours.  They had a few tour options, but decided the Little Havana Food tour, would give us a new cultural tour in addition to some yummy Cuban Food!

Stop 1 - El Pub Restaurant

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Stop 1 of the food tour was at El Pub restaurant, they are best known for their beef empanadas & coffee, which exactly what we had and a great way to start the tour!  For those of you who do not know, an empanada is basically dough filled with something, such as beef.  Variations of empanadas exist in many different cultures, such as calzones and dumplings.  I also learned about the "colada," which is a Cuban coffee that is mean to be shared (you should not have a full cup, but rather a small little shot, the size of a creamer).

 
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Stop 2 - Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co.

Next we headed to the Cuba Tobacco Cigar Factory, where we learned how cigars were made and got to see it first hand.  Fun Fact - The owner of this factory was actually imprisoned for 20 years prior to starting this factory and was sitting on the couch in the front of the store.

 
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Stop 3 - Domino Park

Domino Park is where all of the seniors go to play, you guessed it... dominos!  The park is a social club and the place to be during teh day for dominos and chess (but gambling is not allowed). Don’t forget to bring your ID, because they will card you!

 
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Stop 4 - Old's Havana

We then headed lunch at Old Havana, where we had a delicious Cuban sandwich & croquette.  A cuban sandwich consists of pernil (one of my favorites!), ham, pickle and cheese, croquettes are basically fried sticks of food, usually consisting of potato.

 
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Stop 5 - Ball & Chain

We migrated to some live Latin music at Ball & Chain for some refreshing mojitos!  Ball & Chain is definitely one of the most lively places in Little Havana, with a fantastic live band in the front of the restaurant and a pineapple theme!   They also have a nice little patio area in the back, this may have been my favorite spot on the tour - I will definitely be back next time I am in Little Havana!

 
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Stop 6 - Yisell Bakery

On to Yisell Bakery for some guava filled pastries (pastelitos).  This little hole in the wall bakery, looked kind of small and run down, but had some great pastries, bread and was very busy with locals. The bakery was crowded in the middle of the day while we were there, which says a lot about a place.

 

Stop 7 - Los Pinarenos Fruteria

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This fruit stand has a variety of fruits that you would not find at your local grocery store, here you can find giant avocados, green plantains, lady fingers (baby bananas), dragon fruit, star fruit and fresh mangos to name a few!  Here we had a very fresh mango smoothie, which you could tell was made right on the spot, I could definitely use another one in this heat! 

Fun Fact: this is one of the only open air fruit stands left standing AND was featured in some movies.

 
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Stop 8 - Azucar

Time for dessert!  For the final stop of the tour we headed to Azucar for some mantecado ICE CREAM topped with guava syrup! This shop was created by a local who saw the need to create a place for tourists to enjoy the local culture, thus Azucar was born!

 

Along the tour, we saw many roosters, both statues and real ones, very depicting of islands in general.   

Needless to say my friend and I were STUFFED by the end of this tour.  I would definitely recommend taking this tour if you want to learn about the culture, while stuffing your face!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Rainbow Cookie Ice Cream topped with Homemade Lemon Meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream

Rainbow Cookie Ice Cream topped with Homemade Lemon Meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day at the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard - with a variety of NYC's most unique artisan ice cream makers and flavors.

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day at the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard - with a variety of NYC's most unique artisan ice cream makers and flavors.

For those of you who know me well, you know I have a big sweet tooth and LOVE ice cream!  

Today I attended the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard at the Grand Baazar NYC on the Upper West Side. There were so many varieties of ice cream it was hard to choose where to go! There was everything from ice cream mochi from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery and Thai ice cream rolls from Minus Celsius Ice Cream to ice cream stuffed donuts from Stax Ice Cream, ice cream like cookie dough from 2 Dough Boyz and deep fried ice cream from Sam's Fried Ice Cream to name a few.   

I decided to get something new that I had not seen before (which is rare when it comes to ice cream) - rainbow cookie ice cream topped with toasted lemon meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream! If you’re wondering, yes it tastes as good as it looks!  The rainbow cookie ice cream had bits of rainbow cookie in it (one of my favorite cookies), and the toasted lemon meringue added a nice touch, definitely a good decision made today! 

Thank you to my friend Della for indulging in my love of ice cream and attending this, despite the intense heat today!  

Until next time, stayed tuned for more ice cream and foodie adventures!  

The Forty-Five Show Inspired by the Vans Warped Tour

Tonight, Friday, July 13, 2018, I had the pleasure of attending he Forty-Five Show, hosted by Vans in NYC, which was the final stop of the tour proceed stops in Santa Monica, Chicago and Philadelphia. The Forty-Five Show is a charity art show, featuring 45 album covers created by 45 artists inspired by artists and musicians who have played on Warped Tour.

The Dickies

These art pieces will be sold online and all proceeds will benefit Sound Art, a non profit that focuses on putting music back into the classroom. 

Check out some of the album covers on this post! My personal favorite was the album cover inspired by The Dickies featuring narwohls!  

New York Edge Spring Arts Showcase

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On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 I attended the 9th Annual Spring Arts Showcase for the non profit New York Edge (formerly Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation).  NY Edge has been one of my favorite non profits to volunteer with and this is one of their favorite events I love to attend (the other is the annual STEP Competition)

The Spring Arts Showcase featured some of the top performances and art, ranging from dancing and stepping to fashion designs and 3-D artwork.  Needless to say, I was truly impressed.  Check out the photos and video in this post!

In light of what has been happening in current events, in particular the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and Chef Anthony Bourdain, I was truely moved by the step performance, in which they addressed suicide prevention. 

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The free after school programming New York Edge provides is very impactful, reaching over 25,000 students in 120+ schools across the Greater NYC area. The after school programming varies from sports, arts, education, music and more.  I love volunteering with such a great organization and am currently President of the NY Edge Young Professionals Council.

The NY Edge Young Professionals Council will be hosting our 4th Annual Summer Kickoff Soiree on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Ainsworth - East Village.  If you are interested in attending, tickets can be purchased here: 

https://sasfny.networkforgood.com/events/7165-new-york-edge-kickoff-to-summer-soiree

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Happy Pi Day!

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Happy π Day!!!

Call me a math dork, but Pi Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate!  For those of you who do not know, the Greek symbol π (pi) represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter and is equal to approximately 3.1415926535.  π is used in calculating various aspects of circles, including the area of circles, volume of cylinders and spheres.

π Day is celebrated on March 14, 3/14, which represents the first 3 digits of π.  Pi is an irrational number, continuing on for forever...  How many digits of π can you recite?

This year to celebrate π Day, a few of my fellow math loving friends from high school and I went to Bubby's and got some delicious pie!  What did you do to celebrate?  

 

What Goes Into A Photo Shoot?

I had the pleasure of shooting with photographer Nephi Lim, hair stylist Jon Chao & makeup artist Alani Rasheed in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NYC).  Nephi had the brilliant idea of creating dual persona for me, starting with an innocent, sweet girl persona turning into a dark, goth persona.  The team did a fantastic job making this happen!  

Photo Shoot Team (L-R): Elizabeth Tam, Alani Rasheed, Nephi Lim, Jon Chao

Photo shoots serve many purposes, one of which is a way to be creative and express yourself.  Photo shoots may seem glamorous, with the wind blowing in the model's hair and the flashes shooting; however there is a lot of work that goes into getting the perfect shot.  From the preparation (styling your hair, getting your makeup done and finding the right outfit) to the actual shoot (working on those poses/expressions and snapping the right angles) you are looking at a few hours of work, not to mention the photo editing afterwards.

This shoot was by no means a quick shoot, we had started around 7 PM and shot until 1 AM, but definitely worth it - check out the final product below.

For the first look we went with a sweet, innocent look.  We kept the makeup and hair minimal, not to seem too glamorous.

For the second look we went with a dark, goth look.  We used dark, heavy makeup and gave the hair more volume and scruff. 

Nephi & Lani used their creativity to take this look to the next level - check it out!

Let me know your thoughts on the photos, concept or photo shoots and modelling in the comments section!

 

Photo Credits:
Photographer: Nephi Lim
Makeup: Alani Rasheed
Hair: Jon Chao

The Art of the Chinese New Year Lion Dance

This past weekend, Chinese New Year was celebrated in Chinatown. One of my favorite parts of the parade is all of the lion dances! 

Lion dances are fun to watch, but what do they symbolize?

What is the lion dance?

The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance, in which performers wear a lion costume and perform a dance to mimic a lion's movements.  The dance is accompanied by soudns of Chinese cymbals and drums. The lion dance is typically performed around the Lunar New Year to chase away evil spirits away and bring good luck and fortune. 

You can typically find lions performing the lion dance for businesses days following New Years.  The lions will go down the street and stop to perform at any store that will have them.  As part of the traditional dance, the lions will reach for a head of lettuce place upon a pole and tied to a red envelope. The lion will then grab the head of lettuce and spit out the lettuce, the red envelope will be a reward for the performers as they are bringing luck with their dances. 

The lion is a symbol of power, courage, wisdom and good fortune.  The lion costume consists of two performers, one for the head and one behind.  This may seem easy to maneuver, however it is quite the opposite as it requires a lot of coordination. The dances have a lot of movement, dancing, jumping on stools and even on type ropes and pure acrobatics sometimes. 

This Chinese New Year, I was fortunate enough to see a full performance and even get to pet and take a photo with a lion!

Chinese New Year Lion