Showing posts with label New York attraction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York attraction. Show all posts

WW: Harry Potter - A History of Magic Exhibition

Helloooo, Harry Potter lovers!
Raise your hands if you think  you should be back to Hogwards and live among the Boy who lives, Hermione, Ron and the gank.
Or remember all those handy charms and spells like Wingardium Laviousa or Lumos or Accio or even the lethal one, avada kadabra?

Join me then!

I just came to Harry Potter - A History of Magic Exhibition in the Big Apple :)

I literally sneaked out of my meeting in order to get the ticket of the last entry of the day at 5.15 PM.
Considering the traffic from UN Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan to New York Historical Society in Central park West, I asked permission to go at 4.45.
I arrived just in time and had less than an hour to actually see and enjoy the exhibition.
Well, it's better than  nothing at all, right?

The exhibition is quite compact and not too crowded when I went there.
But for sure, it's interesting and as the exhibition of conducted in collaboration with the famous British Library as well as Harry Potter Wizarding World.
That's why I couldn't miss it for the world!
Too bad we can not take pictures of the exhibition itself but I took some from the public display outside.
Here are a few photos from Harry Potter - A History of Magic Exhibition is held in New York Historical Society. 
Will be back with more story for sure, so just stick around!

do you like my new glasses?

the cute postcard with Fawkes, Dumbledore's Phoenix :)

Do you like Harry Potter as well?
Which house do you think you will be? Gryffindor, Slyterin, Ravenclaw or Hupplepuff?

Join us on (almost) Wonderful Wednesday and link up for more fun

Under the Blue Sky

Going back to New York City is wonderful.
Although I spend most of my time at the UN Headquarters and my previous office, Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations, I was blessed to be able to breath its fresh (and cold) air and enjoy the clear blue.
Well, although technically it's Fall, but the weather has dropped to single digit Celsius when I'm here. 
Looks like my plan to escape Jakarta's soaring heat works really well. 
Too well, as a matter of fact :)
It's not that easy to adjust from 39 degrees Celsius or 110 degree Fahrenheit to just 8 degree Celsius or 48 degree Fahrenheit, in just a week!

Mini me and I before the meeting 

Here are a few snaps that I took in between my meetings.
And tell you matter how many photos I have taken (perhaps thousands of them), I can never get enough of the beauty of the sky.
Those clouds... never fail to amaze me!
Do you like watching the sky as well?

Mini me and I have been working too hard :)

one fine day..

UN Headquarters

Join us on Skywatch Friday and enjoy the beautiful sky from all over the world

4 Beautiful Beaches to Explore in New York City

Summer is indeed ON in New York City!

What's your plan for this summer?

For me, summer is the perfect time to have a break and spend some quality time with my family. And what will be the best way of enjoying it than spending some time with your loved ones on the beach. 

Born and raised in Lampung, Indonesia, - famous for its gorgeous beaches, clear blue sea and stunning marine tourism and underwater world, - my life has been packed with weekly trip to the beaches and islands. Since I got my diving license in 2011, I kept coming back to Lampung with my family to go diving or snorkeling there. If we did not have time to go back to Lampung, we explored the beaches in Jakarta and surrounding areas.

Since moving in to New York City, my love to the deep blue sea has not diminished. Since we're living in the Big Apple, we're excited to explore the beautiful beaches and iconic buildings in New York City.

So, where to go if we want to enjoy beautiful beaches in New York City and its surrounding areas? Good thing is, we have beautiful beaches to explore in New York City and traveling to the US is much more manageable now. You can get your travel authorization through Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). It's time to apply for your ESTA now, particularly to those who meet the requirements to travel here under the program of Visa Waiver. As of now, there are around 38 countries and entities, which are part of the Visa Waiver Program. 

Once you’ve got your visa sorted out, it’s time for sightseeing! 

Here are some of the most beautiful (and famous) beaches we've visited in New York City and the surroundings during summer.

Coney Island

it's Coney Island, babe!

Coney Island is perhaps the most popular beach in New York City, no doubt about it.

Located in Brooklyn, Coney Island is famous for its clean beaches and lovely soft sand shoreline. It is also long known for various theme parks along the promenade, with a variety of exciting rides. Luna Park is one of the  theme parks I love to visit whenever I want let out some steams and screams.

coney island
Let's have some fun here!
Not to mention the famous spot for hotdog lovers, Nathan's, is originated from here. 
Every year, Coney Island hosts the hotdog feeding contest in New York City on the 4th of July. It also hosts the colorful mermaid annual parade, another event too good to miss. 
Coney Island is the home of the New York Aquarium as well.
Nathan's hot dog
grab your famous Nathan's hot dog!
Coney island is also relatively easy to visit because it is connected with public transportation, namely subway N and Q. The exact subway path that passes our house in Astoria. It will take you around 30 - 40 minutes trip to go the Coney Island station, depending on your departure point. 

Although we swim here during the summer, the water is still cool enough, if it's not cold. But the sun will certainly warm us up immediately.  Usually, we swim no more than 1 hour here and the rest, we play in the theme parks, hang out or enjoy some snack while listening to various street entertainment along the promenade Lovely spot to visit for sure!

Rockaway Beach

The Rockaway beach is located at the far end of Queens, one of the boroughs or sub-district level in New York City. It is relatively nearest from our home in Astoria, Long Island City, so we often spend time here. 

Its soft white sand and less-sloping beach make it a good place for my kids, Bo et Obi, who love swimming so much. But we have to remain vigilant as it is part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rockaway beach is always crowded during the summer or any days when the weather is warm enough to swim.But the good thing is, Rockaway Beach is not as crowded as Coney Island, so it will be the perfect place for you who want to spend lovely and relatively calmer time with your family. 

Make sure you bring enough food and drinks as well as all the necessary items  you might need. Just like Coney Island, we also have some choices or places to get food and drinks around here. 

It takes around 40 minutes drive to this beach from our place. If you want to take the public transport, I believe bus Q52 will take you directly to the Rockaway Beach Boulevard. You just need to find the connection from your point of departure to bus Q52.

Jones Beach

Jones beach is one of our favorite beaches and although it's a bit far from New York City compared to other beaches, we love coming back here.

Jones Beach, NY
who wouldn't love this beautiful beach

We really enjoy the white sandy beaches and beautiful sunset here.
Jones Beach is actually part of the State Park and it frequently hosts concerts and events as well.

I love the sunset here!

In addition to clean sandy beaches, Jones Beach is also famous for its West Bathhouse and its beachside pool. Only with $ 5 admission for adults and $ 3 for children from 6 years old above, swimming pool and all the amenities can be enjoyed.

Ready to swim?
Located in Wantagh, New York, this beach is a bit away from New York City or about 50 minutes away by car, depending on the traffic. I haven't really tried going here with  the public transport, but it should well connected as well because we saw many bus stops along the road to the beach. 

Plumb Beach

Plumb Beach, Brooklyn
Although the beach is not so ideal for swimming as the water is a bit muddy , but Plumb beach is a nice place to unwind and enjoy the sunset by the beach. This place is famous for windsurfer and kiteboarder. When we came here, the kids played along the shore watching the birds and crabs. It somehow reminded them of Spongebob Squarepants.

Here's the Plumb Beach 

It is relatively close to the city as it is located in Shore Parkway Greenway, in Brooklyn area bordering Queens. It takes around 55 minutes drive from Midtown Manhattan. We can also reach this place using the subway and buses. BM3, the crosstown bus between Manhattan and Brooklyn, can take us here for around 1 hour and 20 minutes ride. 

For sure,  there are many more beaches that can be visited in New York City area, but we have not had time to visit them.

So, if you're planning to come to New York City and you want to enjoy summer and see the other faces of the Big Apple besides its concrete jungle and skyscraper buildings, those beaches can be great choices for you. 

So, enjoy your summer break and let's rock the beach.
Let's rock the beach!

New York Aquarium, Coney Island

"Ma, do you know that great white sharks can smell blood in the water up to three miles away?" exclaimed Bo while looking at the Shark sign
"And ooh ma.. Look at that tiny jaw. With sharp teeth! Touch it!" Said Obi while brushing her tiny fingers to the replica of piranhas' powerful jaws.

Bo et Obi happily bombarded me with questions and answer them themselves while we were walking along the Ocean view room at New York Aquarium, Coney Island, that day.

And how we all look forward to have a lovely summer.

Here in NYC, kids have been enjoying their summer break since June 26. And since we have no summer classes this time, my hubby and I are working on making sure that the kids, and their parents as well :),  have an enjoyable, yet rewarding summer break.

Not that easy though..particularly as I still have to work full time and the UN, somehow, is still packed with meetings.

Nevertheless, whenever we have day-off and weekends, we try to go out with the kids.
During the Lebaran week, we managed to go to the Coney Island. 
Well, first destination here is the New York Aquarium.

Have you been here before?

New York Aquarium is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). As and ID NYC holder, my hubby and I can get 1-year free membership of the WCS which includes, among others, the New York Aquarium, Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo. So can visit those places for free. Cool, right.
As for the kids, as they do not have the ID yet, we still have to pay for their admission.
It usually costs $12 per person older than 2 years, but that day it was only $10.

New York Aquarium is undergoing a major change after the devastating storm Sandy.
They are rebuilding and transforming this place but we still have a lot to enjoy.

Coming from Indonesia, the largest archipelagic state, we pretty much miss the ocean and all its interesting creatures. And at this point of time, New York Aquarium is a prefect place to see those beautiful underwater world and spend some quality time with the kids, while at the same time getting closer and getting to know more about nature's wonder.

There are a few places you can visit and enjoy with your kids.

First, the Glover's Reef. 
This is part of the Ocean View Room, our first stop right after entering the aquarium.
And kids (as well as adults) will surely enjoy those great variety of fish and ocean critters from Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean Oceans and more. Nemo or clown fish are abundant, so is Dory :). Not to mention mantarays and piranhas.

I really love this part as we get to see different types of fish from many corners of the world. My kids got so excited when they saw them so close, found out that piranhas are small yet have super strong jaws.

mantaray, electric blue and more exotic fish

For me who constantly missing the amazing underwater world of Indonesia, this spot is like a tiny home-sweet-home. I let myself immersed in those calming blue water and colorful schools of fish swimming freely right in front of my eyes. I wish I could join them.

the real 'aquarium' in Bunaken, Manado, Indonesia.

Then we also visit the Conservation Hall. And outside the Ocean view room, we have 2 sea cliffs, for walrus and penguins.
Love to see those cute penguins, critters in tuxedo :).
And they make cute noises as well.

What attracts most of my kids' attention is of course the Sharks temporary home. Bo has been smithen by sharks since he was on the 3rd grade. He has a lot of book about sharks and quite knowledgable about this amazing creatures. No wonder he was so happily flipped to see giants sharks in the nearby tank, together with giant mantarays.

the sharks behind the glass...

Before heading home, we watched the show at Aquatheater.
It was so much fun indeed. A 30-minute show with two intelligent sea lions who demonstrated great talents, including dancing, counting and mimicking. Super fun!
Bo et Obi really love the show.

up close and personal :)
You can also enjoy the animal feedings, scheduled at 10.30, 11.45, 1.30, 2.45, and 3.50 PM near the sea cliffs. We missed it because we wanted to see the aquatheater first. They also have 4-D theater featuring Spongebob Squarepants movie. I guess we have to go back here to watch it :).

And don't forget to grab some lovely souvenirs from the aquarium.
This way we can support the the NYAquarium project of rebuilding and transforming this oldest running aquarium in the US.

So, what are you waiting for?
Visit New York Aquarium, Coney Island and have a fantastic time with your loved ones.
We pretty much sure will go back here again :).

New York Aquarium
Surf Avenue and West 8th Street
Coney Island, Brooklyn
(718) 265 3474
For more info, visit

A Visit to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Hi, everyone..
Hope you all have a great week.
NYC is surprisingly warm, at least compared to last year. And it certainly gives extra time for me and my family to go out and enjoy the beauty of nature. My itchy feet certainly couldn't wait to go places :).

And last week, we went to Tarry town.
One ultimate destination: Sleepy Hollow cemetery.

I don't know exactly when I firstly start developing this new hobby of visiting cemeteries.

Perhaps it all started with that cute photo session at   Taman Prasasti Museum in Jakarta with Bapak Rudi Frakarsa et my dearest partner in crime, Joannes Tandjung :).

Taman Prasasti Memorial park, Jakarta..back in 2012 I guess..

But for sure, I keep bumping myself to those cemeteries here and there. Including this one, Sleepy Hollow.

one historic place indeed..
Sounds familiar?
There's a famous TV series bearing the same name and inspired by the history of this place.
Do you like watching it as well?

Around 45 minutes drive from NYC, we planned to visited many interesting and historical spot in Tarry town but apparently most of the mansions, like the one belong to the Rockefeller clan, are closed for this season already. So we directly headed to this famous spot for headless men and the pretty tombstones.

Where else but a visit to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

By the time we arrived here, it was almost deserted. 
Well, that was around 3 PM on Sunday, so perhaps not many were strolling around in the cemetery like the 4 of us :). But then we saw some people walked, and some cars parked, inside of the complex. Like us, many of them were holding the map and took pictures here and there. So I guess we all were intrigued to see the final resting place of Elizabeth Arden, Washington Irving, Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler and many more. Do those names ring a bell to you? Some do, I suppose.

It is quite a huge complex and the hilly structure of this place make it looks even more serene and beautiful.

Or perhaps, peaceful is more proper.

Tell me what you think..

Do you think it's spooky?

Or serenely beautiful? 

We also managed to peep the famous resident of this complex. 

Uncle Wash..or Washington Irving, who wrote the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, is certainly one spot every one is intrigued to see. When I was there, I overheard the group tour explaining about Uncle Wash love life, which involved a fling with Mary Shelley. Yuuup, you're right, she's the author of the famous Frankenstein :).

And down further, the Pocantico river beautifuly snakes along the hilly cemetery complex. 

In one of the spots, we had the headless horseman bridge (marked 'not original') in the map :)) connecting the lower part of the cemetery to the uphill one.

Well, since we were there at almost sunset, it was super cold and became a bit spooky. Surely I didn't join the ghost tour there but happy enough just to walk around and take pictures around.

Psst, btw.. my smartphone got stuck while I was taking picture in Mr. Jones' corner. Simply blank and black screened. I'm pretty much superstitious so I took it as a sign that I had to call it a day :).

So, if you get a chance to visit NYC and are willing to drive around 45 minutes to Tarry Town, don't miss a visit to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do :)

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery 
540 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY
Opening hours: 8 AM - 4.30 PM (sunset)
No entrance fee