#BllPhotoaday for June: Simplicity

Unlike other times I participated in a photo challenge, I am announcing this one ahead of time. That’s right, this girl is doing another picture show during the month of June. And because I like her topics so very much (and actively suggested 3 of them! *proud-be*), I am being part of Belovelive’s A Picture a Day.
The idea is the same it was with the other four challenges: Take a picture every day, post, and enjoy other people’s ideas.

Theme for this month is Simplicity, as, I quote from Liz, “we can choose to live simply and to simply live.”
Since June also happens to be my birthday month, I think I’ll find a ton of simple, awe-inspiring things to photograph. I also like how she describes this challenge as an actual “journey” – 30 days out of the year to realistically venture out and see something else, be someone else, and do something else.

blllphotoaday june 2013

So, if you’re in, be part of something great that is becoming greater as we speak! Over 1,100 pictures have already been tagged with her picture challenge since December and figures are rising. Get your iPhone, your Android, your digi cam and snap away. Don’t forget to share, either.

Hashtag is #bllphotoaday and photos will be posted via blog and Instagram. But really mostly on Instagram, since that is where all the action is going down.

Peace, let’s stay simple!

Photo A Day: Decembeer 28 to the End

It’s a new year and the only remnant I am carrying over from 2012 is the photo challenge created by Liz from Be.Love.Live. Those last 4 pictures from December 28 to 31 are best to express how I must have felt during this past week. Liz has announced that she will not partake in any other challenges come 2013 and has not created another list for January. I myself have no desire to catch up with any other PhotoADay’s again, and therefore, will continue without a picture challenge this month.



What you see here are New Yorkers, some of which have become a true role model after living here for 2 and a half years. “Everyone trynna make it, everyone trynna shake it in a city this big!”

It always fascinates me how resilient New Yorkers are and how nothing can put them down. I wasn’t here during 9/11 but I witnessed how this city was turned upside down during hurricane Sandy. The chaos, the stress, the victims, and the lack of power – we made it through all of it and even more.
I once read a quote that it doesn’t matter if you dropped off the bus or I’ve you been here for years, you are a New Yorker from the moment you first set foot here.

I believe this is very true. You don’t necessarily have to earn your right to be a New Yorker but you do have to earn your weeks and days and hours to become someone people can look up to. I therefore cherish this picture and all the anonymous people in it for the inspiration they bring to me every day and the great memories they have created in the past.



The day it snowed again. Or rather: Finally! I am beginning to fear that those pricy snow boots I bought two months ago will never be utilized when it comes to global warming affecting another New York winter. I am unsure whether or not this should make me sad or happy, for I still have the pictures in mind when we did have one snow day after another during the brutal time of 2010/2011.

However, on this particular day, it was snowing. It didn’t stick but it caused a blurry vision onto the streets of the East Village. The smoke rising from the middle of the road is from one of those multiple man holes that eject steam during pretty much any time of the year. It’s one of those “phenomena” that first make you stop if you are not used to it but then belongs to the city’s landscape like the array of skyscrapers do.



The fond memories of a day spent at Fortt Tilden during late summer. I don’t think I will be returning this summer, as the area was completely devastated by Sandy. But I enjoy looking back at all I have accomplished last year and cannot wait to hit up the beach 5 months from now. The countdown is on!


dec31 - me

Self-portrait taken on New Year’s Eve. Ready to go to Manhattan and sit with friends having a get-together. It was nothing too fancy but nothing too boring either, just one of those evenings you need to say good-bye to a year and start another one. Lots of prosecco and home-made snacks. And a stunning view onto the disco-lit scene of the Empire State Building.

With this I am finally letting go of the old and welcoming 2013! I Hope you had a happy new year!

Photo A Day: December 21 to 27

A weekly summary of what has been going on with Liz’ photo challenge. I have to admit, I skipped a day! Or two… December 22 was dedicated to the elephant. Although I went to two different holiday markets that day, I just couldn’t find anything even remotely resembling this grey-skinned animal. Forgive me! And then Day 25 was dedicated to the family – of course. Given the fact that my family was not around me that day, I didn’t have much to post. But I do have tons of other pictures to offer!



Another cold, windy day in Midtown. This is the view I have when I look outside of my office window. Rain in the Big Apple. I thought the cloud formation was pretty awesome, though. It’s the small things that can make you feel lucky. More than often I find that this is the weather outside. New York has so many sunshiny days that a rain shower or snow storm is more on the rare side.



A peaceful day hanging out with the boyfriend, decorating the apartment with Christmas lights from last year. The day before the big Christmas Eve, one of the most important events this year. Since we didn’t have a Christmas tree this time we thought this to be a great alternative.



Silent was the night. Deliciously prepared home-made mac and cheese and German Glühwein. It was a feast! And a successful silent night!



Another view from my office window. That day was when a snowstorm came around. Also known as the second blizzard this season. Unfortunately it didn’t stick. I believe I almost bought those overpriced snow boots in vain… Hopefully we will have more snow this weekend! I really want to see if the boots are worth their money or not.



One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was indeed this necklace. Don’t the moon and stars cry out for meditation? It’s made of oxidized silver, which gives it a vintage look. I fell in love with it instantaneously.

Four more days until this month is over. Four more days until a new year begins. I am remotely excited to see what the future holds…!

Photo A Day: December 12 to 20

The challenge is still going on! With 8 more wonderful topics to cover. I admit it, I’ve been cheating a bit. Not all pictures were taken the day they were supposed to go out. And then of course the terrible news on the Sandy Hook Disaster somewhere in between… Boy, the world is definitely not the same as it was before. My heartfelt thoughts go out to everyone affected by the massacre. As the stories reveal more and more details, it is even harder to grasp the high extent of shock this occurrence has evoked.

I therefore embrace this distraction from everyday life and news. It’s still fun to be part of the BeLoveLive photo challenge and so far I’ve come to make ends meet and get that one good picture every day.



Went shopping at Union Square that day. And what is going on? The holiday market, of course! You have a really great view when you walk up to what is now the Burlington Coat Factory Flagship store. On the top floor you have one of the best panoramas of this little speck in Manhattan! So of course I had to snap a picture – needless to say. The sparkling lights of those few little cottages grouped together – festive!



Our ordinary Christmas decoration the roomie hung up the other day. I don’t think it’s too ordinary; she made the best with what she had. Sadly, this year we decided against a tree. I guess it’s not really worth it since half the people living in that apartment are out of town for the actual event. It is great to have some nice ornaments and lights hanging in the living room when you walk through the door.

[Celebration] goes hand in hand with [Joy]


Sneaky! Two days apart from each other but SantaCon fell right in the middle. December 15 was the day, the big “we will get so merry” event. Read more here if you want further details. It certainly was merry, entertaining, and just the right celebration to make me feel joyful shortly before the holidays.



Always love to shop for gifts at Macy’s, my favorite department store at this time of year. It’s close to work and has never failed to disappoint me. Except for when I wanted to buy a wok – that was quite misleading. Other than that, their basement section is well equipped with precious household goods, which always make a great gift for all sorts of people, don’t you think?!



I went to B&H that day and stumbled across these fancy-sounding headphones. Urbanears must be the next hot thing. Perhaps they already are, I wouldn’t know. I still use my iPhone earplugs to listen to music but possibly I will upgrade to a pair of these, as shown in the photo above.



Went to Chinatown. The old and familiar district. Discovered this new store called New Kam Man. Was grossed out by their rusty wok selection but other than that the store has interesting stuff to discover. Such as French waffles with Chinese titles. Or this sample of a special kind of candy I was unable to decipher (my Chinese is about as rusty as their kitchen ware). It was fun to stroll around, look through their snack selection, and of course snag a few items. Such as the one and only wasabi peas, which will surely clear your nose!



Oops, mistake on my end! Instead of reading “carols” I read “cards” (the print is sooo tiny on a cell phone screen!). Luckily I was NOT the only one to make this grand error in context, therefore I didn’t feel too stupid when posting a fancy picture of holiday cards addressed to important people back home. Sometimes I wish for German cards but of course you cannot get these here. So English and Spanish will have to do for the time being. I really hope they make it to their destinations in time but who knows – the postal service is already flooded with last minute mail.



Bought an Advent Calendar at Aldi at the end of last month. Thought it was cute to share with you the simple chocolate ornaments I find each and every day. Granted, I haven’t touched the calendar in 6 days but that was because of some health issues I’ve been fighting. It’s so much more fun to devour them all at once, anyways. So this is what I do to get into the holiday mood, which is somehow not really showing in 2012. Most likely too much going on in my life at this time to concentrate on the real stuff.

Photo A Day: December 7 to 11

I have been sick. Terribly sick. First the flu and then a stomach bug. Vicious little creatures, those things. So I’ve basically been lying around, feeling like a boxer after the last strike. For 2 weeks straight with only small episodes in between where I felt healthy enough to walk and talk. How I hate when a winter starts off that way. And even more when I cannot write and read what is going on in the world around me.

It’s almost been about a week since the last time I posted on here. Time to catch up with the PhotoADayChallenge. And lots of more things! But those will come soon, in the next few days, promise! Oh, all those wonderful blog post ideas I have… *chuckle*



I saw this one the first time in spring. And it is still there! A fancy set of a table and chair on my way to the Flatiron District. In the storeowners’ opinion, I guess every day is the day to have some good wine made of dark grapes. I am happy to see these pieces of color now at this time of year, when it is getting grayer and darker as the days hurry by.



Or rather a lot of strangers on the subway. Two children looking out of the window while crossing the Manhattan Bridge on the Q-train. Their mother sitting right next to them, occupied with her own thoughts of the day. A guy listening to his headphones… Scenes of everyday commuter life making it so special and unique. Just on Monday I rode the train with a mother who had her 2 and a half year old son with her. At first he was crying and throwing toys on the dirty ground. Then he saw other children and wanted to share his firetrucks with them. Some of them smiled back at him, others got freaked out… Guess you gotta love it or hate it!



There are many things I love. A hearty brunch consisting of a huge stack of pancakes, for one. Devouring it in one of the most famous restaurants in Greenpoint, for two. And then of course spending this occasion with my love, the boyfriend. Those rare Saturday mornings that have happened lately. By the way, Five Leaves used to be owned by Heath Ledger (yes, the Australian movie cutie)! More about this location to come soon, though!



This was not taken the same day it was supposed to be posted. However, I heart this picture because it reminds me of a great time I had when I took it: Around the same time last year, in a church, with many festive occasions going on. Candles can convey such a warm feeling that they can only be lit during very special times, don’t you think?

[Daily News]


This is an example of what our daily subway newspaper looks like. Well, I actually do not think it is a subway newspaper; however, MetroNews is almost always handed out close to the subway (same with AM, another New York publication). It is free of charge and most of the time the people handing it out look like homeless people (and most likely are). Sometimes I see very young fellows handing them out who look like volunteers so I wonder if this is a means for them to work off their community service or if they stand in any relation to the newspaper… Who knows!

Now, since I actually don’t read it too often (I am mostly absorbed in one of the quazillion books I bring with me), I don’t know what this particular story was about. However, only one week ago, a random passenger was pushed onto the tracks at 49th Street by a panhandler (who was possible slightly insane) and died after a NY Post reporter captured a picture of how he got run over by an approaching train. The morals of this, oh dear, I do not have to go into this. It’s just scary to think how many people choose not to help you when you are in a dangerous situation like this. And the NY Post photographer made a lot of money with his despicable picture!

Photo A Day: December 4 to 6

Three days passed, three lovely motives to choose from! I enjoy scrolling through Instagram and seeing what other participants have come up with. The rock motive from today, for instance, was taken with a literal, figurative, and symbolic meaning attached to it. But let’s go back two days and start with


dec4 - tree

This wasn’t too hard. I guess Liz picked it because trees are pictured all over December. Christmas trees, fir trees, leafless tress… You name it! I thought about going for an old-school fir tree lit with a quazillion candles like you see all over the place. But then I walked past Uniqlo on 34th Street and the red lights matched the stores scheme: Holiday Sales Season. I’m actually not a big fan of their selection and the store in general. Their prices are a bit steep for the quality of clothes they offer. I was thinking about snagging some warm underwear from then because of their heat protection but am unsure if I really want to spend $50 on this… Help me make a decision! Is this a reasonable price?


dec5 - message

True, this is not a real message as intended only for me. Instead it gets the message across to a bunch of people: Korean Lunch Special! And it surely attracted me. The Worjip is most likely the least fancy place I’ve been to in Koreatown (which can be quite chique, believe it or not). Lots of students come here to grab a cheap lunch, and since I could still pass as one of those… Anyhow, they offer a really good deal with their $6-Buffet and a good selection of kimbap (similar to Sushi but not really) for only $5. Every time I go to Little Korea, I leave the place a little bit happier.


dec6 - rock

I guess this word can have several meanings. I really couldn’t think what rock to take a picture of (was briefly considering Rockefeller Center), so luckily I remembered that “rocking it out” can also be conveyed in this term. Voila, here we go: A street performer band playing in Herald Square. A subway station I see every day when I go to work. So when I got off work today they were performing in this awesome costume. Funny, huh? I love how it’s the small things like these that can make my day and remind me where I am at. In one of the craziest cities of the universe!