Between Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams

I opted to get off a stop earlier on my way to the hotel for the ride home and check out the MoMA gift shop since I knew they’d be open late because it was a Friday. (Uniqlo Fridays are from 4-8pm when the public is allowed to enter the museum free.). They always have new postcard offerings and their sale rack always has a robust selection. The only thing is that while the rack is labeled “SALE”, they have no price tags. Regular postcards sell for $1.25 to $2.00, and the postcards that were on sale went for .25 and .50 cents. You can’t go wrong with that!!

I took my pick of 8-10 postcards, trying not to splurge, and milled around. I spied an Andy Warhol postcard book which I almost grabbed, but I thought I’d get some lenticular (3d) postcards instead. Walking to the check out line, though, I saw a special rack dedicated to items focusing on Ansel Adams. And there it was, a postcard set (not a book) of Ansel Adams photography. Ansel Adams won out and I happily grabbed it..Vintage Postcards: To keep or to give away?

Not to say that I think Ansel Adams is a better or bigger artist than Andy Warhol — I have great respect for these two names who are superstars in their respective genre (photography and pop art respectively) — but I figured I could always go back for the Warhol. While I try not to fall prey to procrastination when it comes to postcard buys (“I’ll grab it next time.”), I try not to go overboard with the postcard shopping. I could’ve grabbed both but I thought that was a bit much.

The art postcards which were on sale will be a good addition to my collection and for trading with others with a preference for non-touristy postcards.

I’ve been going through my vintage postcard collection and sorting out what I can get rid of, either by way of trading them off, selling them on eBay or just giving them to someone who would be able to use them for their collection. I’ve pretty much confined my antique/vintage preferences to Philippines, New York, and other places we’ve visited like Paris and Brugge. I acquired these other antique postcards through other postcard lots I had bought or received in previous years. I figure someone would find value in them as part of their collection or as plain ephemera for other use.

Any takers? Email me at with “vintage postcards” in the subject line.

Meanwhile, here’s to Ansel Adams and the MoMA..=).

In five minutes: My day just ended

Lake George: On the waterI’m beginning to like these quickie posts, more so during days like today when I was too busy to even begin a draft post.  Yes, it was THAT kind of day.

I am trying to catch up, clean up, and not mope.  The first two days of the week saw me getting rebuffed for efforts to help at work.  Lesson learned: don’t volunteer.  In my hopes to be of assistance, I’ve been told off.  I know, I know.. I shouldn’t take it personally.  I should just go with the flow like our duck on the water.  I shouldn’t mope, but I’ve been jaded.

Even on the way home, the lady bus driver was ranting on everyone.  She had closed the bus door on me and had scolded me when I finally put in my Metrocard.  Once inside, the passengers were practically laughing their tails off making fun of how she was making like a raving lunatic not just with her driving, but more so with her rants.  We couldn’t help but shrug our shoulders and share a collective chuckle as we all just made light of her otherwise obnoxious behavior.  It was either get irritated or be amused.  I chose the latter.

Bedtime… time to say my prayers.. to thank Him for another day, and to pray for a blessed one tomorrwow.

Five minute dash of a post

It’s 38 minutes past midnight and here I am typing away when I should be lying down wandering off to dreamland. I had plugged the iPad into the charger and was hoping to freshen up (last midnight pre-bedtime rituals) when my mother-in-law beat me to the solitary bathroom in our tiny home.

I started browsing and had started reading, and was seriously thinking of writing a post in response to a prompt on the Daily Post (or another writing tip) but that post would’ve kept me up until way past 2am.

So I am doing a mini-version of a previous writing exercise where we were supposed to write spontaneously for 10 minutes. Since it’s past midnight and thre’s work tomorrow, I really have only 5 minutes to spare.

I’m wishing away my cold and what coughing I have left. This is getting tired. I’ve been sick for a week and a half now, and while I’d like to stick to my mantra that I am getting better (voice hoarse, and they said that means I’m actually on the road to recovery), I don’t really feel like I’m beating this. (Or maybe I’m just tired.)

Maybe work has just been too much. And to think the boss is on vacation!

I have a ton of other things I want to say but my five minutes are up and I need to pay attention to my bladder. (Motherhood + age… go sue me.)

Nighty-night, New York. Another day begins in 5 hours for me.

At the MoMA: Lunch at Terrace 5 (The Carroll and Milton Petrie Café)

I don’t get to go out as often as I used to except when I am with the boys which is a given. (More posts on Lake George coming, by the way.) I like to showcase the sights and sounds of my home, New York, whenever I can, and I caught up with an old friend from high school and her mom who were visiting from Australia and Manila. I took the chance to show them New York’s pride, the Museum of Modern Art, and we grabbed lunch at The Carroll and Milton Petrie Café or Terrace on 5 which was a full service restaurant on the 5th level of the museum.

Sadly, it’s only when I have friends or family visiting that I get to go and sample the offerings about town. So take a look at the prix-fix lunch I had.

Terrace 5 at the MoMA : cheese platter for starters

Terrace 5 at the MoMA: Summer salad

Terrace 5 at the MoMA: Prosciutto and Mozzarella Bruschetta with summer tomatoes

Terrace 5 at the MoMA: yummy s'mores

The Museum of Modern Art is located on 53rd Street between 5th and 6th. The museum also has an entrabce on the 54th street end as it runs through the bock.

Daily Prompt: Life Line

Daily prompt: You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she read your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you?

“Things will get better.  You must learn to forgive yourself to let the pain and regret go. ”

I’ve had my share of palm readers, tarot readers and psychics. I have to admit, I am a believer — although not an “absolute” believer. I take all that I hear with a grain of salt. I believe that some people have a “gift”, but I take their caveat that  “the future is uncertain” rather seriously.

While I do listen, I do not hold every word I hear as the absolute truth. We ARE in control of our choices — so we can steer our future to go one way or another. Although some may believe we have a destiny to fulfill, the truth of the matter is, the direction we take towards or away from that destiny remains to be our choice.

Even in a make-believe situation I am learning to be optimistic again.  So yes, things will get better.. things ARE getting better.


Blog Trails (or where Pinay New Yorker has been straying into)

I used to have a blogroll on my widget bar but had dropped that after a while when the people whose blogs I had been reading started going offline.  Life happens — I get it.  And I really didn’t make bloghopping a priority or even an interest so I figured I better take it off.

It didn’t help that people started writing about doing a link exchange which wouldn’t be a problem if they truly read my blog or if I did read theirs, so being selective led me to decline the link exchanges.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do find a cetain thrill in seeing my blog in blogs followed or blogs read when I hop into a blog of someone who has left a comment here,  but again, as the idea is to write for my own consumption, it’s a side, not a main thrill.

My being part of the wordpress community via The Daily Post, though, has made me more curious about other blogs out there, specifically fellow-Pinoys who blog and participate in the WordPress community like I do.

Earlier this week, I decided I would start doing this more regularly — at random. I had started “BLOG TRAILS” as an individual page in a previous iteration of this blog, but I’m ressurrecting it now as a blog category. I have around a half dozen blogs I visit regularly just to keep tabs on old blog friends. I’m so happy, for one, that Jher is back — and I’m hoping that Jerome, comes back soon, too.

We’re coasting through I-87 (the New York State Thruway) on our way home, and I’ll start my first Blog Trails post tomorrow if not Monday. Time to sign off for now.

My not so good Lake George experience with the Post Office

Saturday morning in Lake George
It’s a beautiful Saturday here in Lake George and Angelo and I are enjoying this view of the lake from the hill in lounging chairs in the shade. A lovely way to cap what has been a nice vacation in Lake George.

I’m also cooling my heels after a not-so-good experience at the local post office this morning. Although I refuse to let that ruin the experience, I feel very strongly about it because the postcard diary I was putting together for this trip was a special one, given the deliberate effort to gather the postcards and the special stamps I was using for this set. I had gathered some of my special stamps purchased from eBay and had carefully wet them and affixed them on the postcards. I thought it would be nice to have them hand-cancelled at the post office, and just get the postcards back instead of letting them get beat up in transit.

Besides, the post office was very “inviting” as we saw the sign below the couple of times we had walked past it while going around town the last couple of days.

Lake George Post Office sign: We appreciate your business - Really now?

I gathered my 13 postcards along with a few others I had hoped to mail, all duly stamped. It was a slow morning and I walked up to the window requesting for hand cancelling on the 13 as I explained I collected them. The lady on duty at the solitary window became obviously miffed when I made the request to hand-cancel, more so when she found out I had 13. She proceeded to hand-cancel the postcards but complained they normally don’t hand cancel as these are done by the machines, and I didn’t even get the chance to explain about the special stamps I had used. She gathered the postcards and some other mail I said didn’t need cancelling and she proceeded to dump them in the bin behind her. So there went the idea to get the postcards back.

I held it in and didn’t say a word, but I was upset at her attitude for several reasons.

1). I don’t think I asked for anything unusual in requesting that the postcards be hand-cancelled. This was part of a regular post office function. I had 13 postcards and not a hundred and thirteen.

2). There was no line and it was not a busy morning. 13 postcards meant 13 motions with her dater/canceller which required nominal effort.

3). I am a taxpayer who went into a government-service institution requesting for service expected of that office.

4). As a postal employee, I thought that she would understand the relevance of the local postmark to a collector. I guess not.

5). I thought that for a town with less than their usual volume of tourists at this time of the year, the town and its vendors –the post office included — would be more appreciative of the business — more so for a “store” that has that sign emblazoned on its door.

I guess not.

It’s such a disappointment considering people are beginning to find it more and more difficult to keep the postal service relevant. There are talks of canceling Saturday delivery altogether in the midst of post office closings. And if we go to the nitty gritty of customer service, this is a sore point for a tourist-oriented town.

No wonder my previous postcards were postmarked “Albany” — they were not postmarked by the local post office.

Maybe she was having a bad day — but for someone working in a service-related job, even that is not an excuse, more so when you have this sign. Take it off the door, I say, if you can’t deliver.

On the Road: Driving up to Lake George

An hour and a half away from Lake George, I picked up my first set of postcards from the Faber gift shop at the Walden Service Station in the Catskills area. My first postcard for my postcard diary for this trip is a map of the Catskills. The real catch were three lighthouse postcards I snapped up for my collection and for trading. (Will post about that separately.)

Lake George: Almost there

We’re driving up the New York State Thruway and it’s been a smooth ride with no hassles. No traffic, no construction to slow us down. This is one reason this is our third time in this area for a short break from the city — it’s not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away but it’s so easy to reach.

Finally arriving just after 2pm at the Fort William Henry Hotel and Convention Center, we headed to the Lookout Cafe to grab a bite. It’s a cloudy day but that helps keep the heat index down. The breeze blowing our way is cool and relaxing. My vacation has officially begun!
Lake George: My little guy enjoying his lemonade
Angelo had his usual burger (meat patty only, no bun) with french fries. I usually go for the seafood meat roll, and I spied a Cape Cod Crab and Shrimp Roll which was spicy hot but delicious!

Lake George: Lookout Cafe Cape Code Shrimp & Crab Salad Roll

Alan had the Cape Cod Clam Roll which had some deep-fried clam strips and tartar sauce. I’ll probably try out next time.

Lake George: Lookout Cafe Cape Cod Clam Strip Roll

We walked up and down McGillis Avenue and Canada Street. The townscape looks very different with a markedly thinner tourist crowd compared to the first time we roamed the streets during the Fourth of July weekend of 2010. There were many places that were just too crowded for us to make a stop at back then, and it wasn’t surprising that we walked into several shops and areas of the street we didn’t get to see before.

I took some breathtaking panoramic shots of the lake but I’m not going to be able to upload until I get back home.

We’re hoping there will be more sun tomorrow.

We’re right next to Fort William Henry of the “Last of the Mohicans” movie fame. This was where it actually happened. We toured the grounds and the museum in 2010 and it’s a little eerie imagining how crowded the fort had been with the wounded and the dying. There’s a reenactment this weekend of the Fort’s surrender, and we’re hoping to catch that one as a piece of a “live” history lesson.

One day down and I’m savoring every minute of it. Love my bed, love my pillow and tuning out of work. (I’m officially off!) No more work e-mail until next week.. now to go back to my postcards.. time to write the 2nd and so forth…

Mail Happy

I have long been wondering where some of the people who have sent me swaps got their older US stamps. Then I ventured into eBay and lo and behold, there they were. I managed to snag a lot with a $5 discount to boot, and I am going to start using them for the postcards I hope to send back from Lake George.


This is actually one of my favorites. I refuse to believe that snail mail, or writing longhand, is a lost art. I try to do my part by writing letters and cards when I can, instead of relying on Facebook, e-mails and text messages. At the same time, I cherish the experience of holding something in my hand as I hear from someone I may not even know but who shares the same interest in postcards and/or Artist Trading Cards like I do.

The occasional letter never fails to make me smile.  And even when the contents of the envelope is something I’m actually expecting, I always look at the stamps affixed to the envelope which are, in themselves, a gift from the postman.

I’m getting ready for the weekend.  And like most of our previous vacations, I’m all set with my address labels, stamps, and I’m even taking along some long-delayed postcards I had meant to mail awhile back.  (This happens a lot when you’re always mailing stuff out — sheer volume sometimes causes these lapses.)  I’m going to seriously work on catching up during the vacation where I know I’ll have enough down time to actually write leisurely. 

I didn’t realize until around a week ago that I never uploaded the postcards I had sent home during our first trip to Lake George during the Fourth of July weekend of 2010.  I sent home a total of 14 postcards.  I like the fact that Lake George has quite a tourist draw, so anything tourist-related gets a lot of attention.  They had more than enough postcard racks to pick from, and I’m hoping that three years hence, they have new ones I can add to my collection.  Although this is our third trip to Lake George, we went during the winter for our second trip and the town was literally closed for the season.  We had stayed at an indoor waterpark then so it didn’t matter that it was freezing out.

It’s a small and quaint town, but there is a lot to do.  Whether you go as a group of friends, a couple or as a family, they have many things to keep everyone entertained and busy.  I hope to find some antique shops this time around.

We’ll be on the road on Wednesday, and we’re returning by Saturday.  I’m hoping my asthma abates by the time we get there.  Today was a bit of a struggle but I’m coughing with more ease.  Still, the whole exercise of trying to cope with the difficulty in breathing leaves me feeling exhausted.  I’m going to give the polymer clay a break tonight.  I have to try and store them away for when I return.  (I do hope to do an update on the craft blog here.)

I can’t wait to send off my stamps affixed on postcards and letters heading here, there, and everywhere.

Feeling better but…

… I’m not quite up on my feet yet.  I’ve been moving around but have decided to just stay put at home.  I’m having trouble breathing.  I had always hoped to outgrow my asthma, but when I see others who have to lug around an inhaler or whose activities are framed by the use of maintenance medication, I can’t help but feel fortunate still.

From all indications, it looks like my cough is getting better.  I woke up without the usual pain in my throat.  Still, I felt exhausted all day.  As if my body was continually fighting the infection assaulting it.

I did manage to work on the picture frames this afternoon — applying some finishing touches which has the frame almost done.  I also uploaded some ATCs I had swapped to the other blog.  Finally.


While there was so much more I would’ve wanted to do this weekend that I didn’t get to do, it wasn’t a total washout despite my body’s protests.

I go back to work tomorrow hoping that my cough will not be as deep, and my cold more manageable.  I might even venture another round of photos at Bryant Park before going up to my building.


It should be an easier day.  I hope.  It’s a short week for me as we’re heading up to Lake George for a summer getaway for just a few days.  I can use the break — even if I’m coughing up a storm.  (Maybe more so…)