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Category Archives: photos

Lake Worth Street Painting Festival

I love going to the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival.  It’s amazing to watch the artists creating such beautiful works.  The paintings by themselves are an accomplishment, not to mention the stamina and dedication required to kneel or lie on the asphalt, under the intense Florida sun, painting with little stubs of chalk, for two days.  The artists get all my respect.

lake worth street painting

Artists draw grids on their paper original so they can reproduce the work correctly on the asphalt.

I suppose the sunny weather inspires tropical theme.

manatee

manatee

This sea turtle painting is truly gorgeous!

sea turtle

Classics are popular too.

Not exactly a classic, but rather an impressionist painting of Darth Vader.

Darth
Yay, Harry Potter! Befittingly sponsored by the library.

I am curious. Will the artist’s wife be swooned over this painting, or will she complain that she looks fat/old/whatever in it?

This artist used his dog as the model. Sitting next to the painting, the dog seems quite pleased with the work.

We also saw a booth with palm frond art.

I have to say the camera doesn’t quite capture the beauty of these works. Really you have to see them in person.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Florida, photos

 

Moxibustion

I went to see an acupuncturist last week, on recommendation by a friend, and got my first moxibustion treatment.

The name moxibustion comes from mosuga (艾) in Japanese, mugwort or wormwood. It’s a bitter tasting plant that is used in one of my favorite snack, kusa mochi, the green sweet rice cake stuffed with red beans. The color of the rice cake comes from blanching the leaves of the yomogi plant. The leaves are considered to warm the body and improves circulation and are rolled up into a stick or cigar to smoke near meridian points.

My acupuncturist used a safer and more convenient packaging of moxa. When she lined them up under my belly button, it looked so cool I had to snap some pictures.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Body and Mind, photos

 

Crabs!!!

As Bambu is on his own now, I decided that I need to get him some new companions. When the shipment arrived, I first brought it over to another HCA member’s house, and we happily opened the box and took the crabs out one by one.

First of, this is my friend’s new jumbo Indo, checking out his new home, and eyeing the pretty shell there:

jumbo indo

When I take my crabs out from the bags, one of the Strawberries decided to hold on to me REAL HARD. I’ve never got pinched before, and even when my crabs pinched me when I lifted them up, once I let them onto solid ground, they would release the grip. But not this little guy. He is a Rottweiler. We tried inserting pins, scrap papers, and he would just hold on. My friend was like, wow you are so amazing, you didn’t cry out or anything. Until I noticed that he was munching on me!! He held on to me with his big pincher, and was picking up my flesh with his little one! Suddenly it became very painful. Karma payback time for all the crab legs I ate at buffets…Didn’t even need to wait for reincarnation!

But I guess those poor guys must be really traumatized. Imagine enjoyng an ordinary day, then got snatched up and put into a potato sack… then a lot of bumping around and not knowing what’s going on. You would expect some mafia when the sack opens up, right?

OUCH!

This is the fesity little man eating monster. His pincher looks a little white.

Empanada

He is not shy at all!!

I had originally thought of another name for him but when I looked at him in the tank, he looked very much like an empanada… so I decided to call him that.

strawberries

For those who are not familiar with empanadas, they are South American fried dumplings that are usually filled with meat, cheese, or spinach.

This is my other Strawberry, who’s a bit shyer. As yet nameless as the original name, which comes as a pair to Empanada’s original name, no longer works.

jumbo indo

Here he is with the new E, Sesame, who’s probably looking for Bambu. Bambu, bambu where are thou? I hope he is well, it’s been over a week. I hope he won’t be traumatized when he digs himself out and see all the changes.

And here’s my Blueberry Namu!!

Namu

He won’t let go of the comfortable blanket… It was part of the bag he came in, and I cut a corner out as I got tired of waiting fo him to release his grip.

But once I put him into the tank, he was happy enough to let go of it immediately. He found a cashew nut in the food dish, and held it up in his pincher instead. It was kind of a neat picture, holding up a cashew half, although I didn’t get to snatch a picture as he was kind of hidden, and I know any movement from me would make him drop it.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Animals, photos

 

Bambu Got a New Shell!

I have Bambu since hurricane Wilma, which was summer 2005. While he had molted a few times he had never changed his shell. All my other hermit crabs didn’t take that long to upgrade their houses. I was a bit concerned, but I had plenty of suitable shells for him and there wasn’t much I could do. I guess he just liked his shell too much.

But today when I looked into the tank, at first I couldn’t spot him. Then I spotted him in a new shell!!

This shell has been lying around for a while so it’s unexpected that he decided to move in after all. Bambu just had a molt about less than a month ago and he did emerge a little bigger, so I guess it’s finally time for a bigger living space.

Here’s some pics of Bambu in his old shell, the old shell he came in when I got him.

This photo was taken in April.

August 2009.

Bambu enjoys getting an upside down view of the world.

The new shell makes him look a lot bigger. And I suppose he likes strip patterns…

ETA: Well, turns out Bambu just want a mini getaway. He changed back to his old shell after a few hours. Sigh. I hope it’s not me picking him up that freaked him out of the shell… although if that’s the case, he’d have changed shells aplenty by now…

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2010 in Animals, photos

 

Baby Nephew!

Introducing… Cedric! 

Only two months old and quite a headful of hair already.

When my brother mentioned the name Cedric, my first reaction was, Harry Potter!  However, neither my brother nor my sister-in-law was a fan so they didn’t realize the connection, though numerous people have pointed it out since then.  As for the Chinese name, they had a fortune teller suggested three names based on his birth day and time.  The names were put to a democratic vote, which even my parrotlet participated by picking one of the three tiny paper balls I rolled up.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2009 in Friends & Family, photos

 

Miami Best Pizza Showdown Round I

Which restaurant offers the best pizza in Miami? Curious and hungry mind wants to know. After a friendly discussion on Chowhound, the hounds decide to go out as a pack to hunt down the fabled holy dough. It was decided that the hunt will be done in three rounds, with the Design District as round one’s hunting ground.

First stop, we met up at Joey’s. While the neighborhood is not upscale, this Italian cafe has a chic charm to it. Besides a dozen choices of pizza, it offers several anitpasti, salads and pasta dishes; main entrees include interesting dishes such as cod with eggplant and cherry tomatoes remoulade, lamb chops with juniper berry balsamic and polenta.

We picked:

Joey's Joey pizza

Joey's Joey pizza

 Joey: tuna, spicy salame, gorgonzola cheese, capers and spinach

Joey's Carbonara Pizza

Joey's Carbonara Pizza

Carbonara: bacon, eggs, mozzarella and asparagus
Dolce e Piccante: figs, gorgonzola cheese, honey and hot pepper
Margherita: tomato, mozzarella

When the Joey pizza arrived and I found out that it has tuna on top, I thought: yuck. But the pizza turned out surprisingly good. Totally not the fishy and bland type I usually encounter. The Carbonara is an interesting idea, but as the toppings (bacon, egg and asparagus) are separated on their own, it failed to create the symphony as in a carbonara pasta dish. Dolce e Piccante is an interesting combination of sweetness and spiciness, and successfully won many votes for this place.  Overall, I find the pizza quite good but not spectacular.

Next up was Pizzavolante.

Pizzavolante

Pizzavolante

Rather than a pizza place, it’s more a mozzarella parlor, for the pulled curd is the prima donna here.  There is a mozzarella bar, with choice of mozzarella from locally made Mozzarita brand (nodini, ovoline etc.) to organic Vermont buffalo mozz to Italian Burrata, (all sitting tantalizingly in stainless steel bowls of ice) served with a variety of accompaniments (tomatoes, zucchini fritti, greens, pesto, wood roasted veggies, etc.).   They also have daily specials such as short ribs, lasagna with sheep ricotta and even buffalo yogurt which I will definitely come back to try.  For drinks, you can opt for a Bud for $1 each, or pick from their reasonably priced wine list.

With only five pizza options, the choice was relatively simple and we ordered:

Margherita “DOP”: Italian tomato, sun dried Roma, bufala mozzarella DOP basil and Sicilian sea salt

Volante 100

Volante 100

Volante 100: thus named because all ingredients, except the flour, comes from a 100-mile radius.  On this day this included local mozz, dandelion greens, red and yellow cherry tomatoes and arugula
Bianca: fontina, local cow’s and bufala mozz, goat cheese, arugula and thyme

Cacciatorini - sorry pic is awful...

Cacciatorini - sorry pic is awful...

Cacciatorini: I was told the name means “little hunter”. Italian tomato, local mozzarella, grana, California pepperoni and guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon made from pig’s cheek)

The crust here is rather thin, almost flatbread like.  While a turn off for some, I do like it, light and crispy.  Especially when I need to leave room for more pizza!  (I don’t necessarily prefer thin crust.  I like Pizza Uno’s deep dish too.  As long as it has that crispiness and not doughy or soggy.)

Munching on the cacciatorini, I definitely like it better than the carbonara at Joey’s.  The guanciale, slightly crispy, is simply delicious and better than the bacon in carbonara.  There is no dispute the mozz is superior, as are most other ingredients, such as the fragrant greens on the Volante 100.   Bianca is also very delicious and a surprising favorite among many who initially voted against it.  My only complain of this place is the limited pizza options (or rather, the overall menu).  Mozzarita has smoked mozz, and the best ricotta, that could make interesting toppings too. Hopefully in the future this new restaurant will introduce more options.

The pack continued to travel north, to sniff out Andiamo.   Being a popular pizza place, it definitely gets highest mark for the variety of pizza and there are some interesting combinations.  After considerable debate, we settled on:

Genovese: rosemary potatoes, pancetta, caramelized onions, mozzarella & gorgonzola
Putanesca: kalamata olives, capers, anchovies, red chile flakes, tomato sauce & mozzarella
Popeye: spinach, roma tomatoes, tomatoessauce, ricotta, mozzarella & basil
Soprano: hot & sweet italian sausage, brocoli rabe, tomato sauce, parmesan & mozzarella

Popeye and Soprano at Andiamo

Popeye and Soprano at Andiamo

First off, I have to profess that Andiamo has been my favorite pizza spot, along with Pinecrest’s Big Tomato.  Even while in Joey’s, I mentally compared the pie to Andiamo’s in my memory and thought, I don’t think Andiamo fares badly in comparison. 

Unfortunately, as I munched on, my neighbor declared, I don’t like Andiamo as much anymore, and I have to sadly agree.  By comparison, the pizza was too greasy, too heavy, too salty, simply overwhelming.  After the delicate, subtle flavor of Joey’s and Pizzavolante, Andiamo seems too pedestrian.  The Putanesca was almost too salty to finish, though the Genovese was popular enough among garlic lovers.  We didn’t order the Prosciutto, which had been my favorite for the generous topping of aragula, and even that pale in comparison to the just wilted, tender, not-too-spicy taste at Volante.  The ingredients definitely are a totally different calibre, very industrial, though already a step up from many other pizza places.  Maybe, if I come back another day, I will like Andiamo enough on its own, and I wish very much so, but today, it’s like emerging from a retreat in a Zen monastery up in the mountains into a rock concert.

Well, it’s pretty obvious from my comment that, after chowing down 12 pizza slices, my vote for round 1 goes to Pizzavolante.  It’s really love at first bite for me.  The group’s vote is a toss up though.  I guess it depends to a degree on personal preference: how you like the crust, and whether you give more points to creative, unusual combinations, or to great ingredients simply prepared.  Either way, look forward to round 2 (North Miami).

See what the other chowhounds think:
Mango and Lime
Frodnesor’s Food for Thought
Miami Dish

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2009 in Food, photos

 

Chocolate Granola

I bought this Feed Whole Grain Granola from Whole Foods while I was on sale. It’s the Bittersweet-ness flavor.

Saw this description on the back:

Conscious Chocolate

Conscious Chocolate

“We consciously combined dark chocolate chunks, loaded with antioxidants, to complement the rich vanilla aroma of the toasted granola”

I showed this to my hubby, who found it preposterous, as if there could be a chance that someone was munching a chocolate bar at the production line and some crumbs fell into the cereal by accident.

For me, it’s all the proof I need that chocolate is something that should be consciously added into, mind you, not slyly sneaked into, but grandiosely, rightfully, consciously taking its place on the ingredient list, for the concern of your well-being, your health and your happiness.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Food, photos