25 years old [03.07.1987]. Half Chinese (Hong Kong) half Filipino. Year of the Rabbit. University of California, Berkeley (C/O '09). B.S. Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. Always in search of ways to feed my coffee, shopping/fashion, art, literature, and music addictions.
This is my blog of musings and randomness. Welcome to my life.
FYI, my last name, Ngai, is Cantonese (it's Wei in Mandarin). And if you do not know how to pronounce it correctly, "Nye" will do. ;]
See also: http://www.denisengai.com
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Tag Archives: Allan Chiou
Last evening, I was lucky to witness the Perseids meteor shower in the company of Allan, Andy, Carol, Chelsea, Joe, Jennifer, Freya, and Chelsea’s and Jennifer’s awesome friends.
It’s a known fact that attempting to indulge in a desire to astronomically nerd-out in Los Angeles is a difficult feat due to all the light pollution. And this is why, my friends, we decided to hit the road and stake out the Perseids in a popular astronomical vista point along Templin Highway. We found ourselves in the company of other meteor-shower hunters who were camping out in and around their vehicles. Armed with blankets, mats, snacks, and drinks, we all lied down and stared at the open sky. It didn’t take long until we caught a glimpse of a shooting star! During the entire period of time that we were there, we saw many a showering meteor, including some rather impressive large ones with long, lingering trailing tails! Our spot had a pretty good view of the sky and its blanket of stars; the photo at the beginning of the post simply does not do it any justice.
I had never witnessed a meteor shower nor seen “shooting stars” as impressive as the night before, and I definitely look forward to feeding my inner astronomical nerd with future meteor showers. I’d personally like to try out different vista points to see if we could manage to find one with even less light pollution. The point on Templin Highway wasn’t bad, but you could definitely still see some light from the city area.
(1) Tiffiny and I (2) Joe, Jennifer, Chelsea (3) Allan (4) Jennifer, Chelsea, Joe, Jeff at the screen printing station (5) Joe and Jeff
On Sunday, August 5, I attended the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach with some friends, namely Allan, Tiffiny, Chelsea, Jennifer, Jeff, and Joe. It was a good day filled with looking at art, making art, and enjoying the beautiful Southern California beachside weather with good people! Some day soon, I’d like to see the Pageant of the Masters show, held at the same venue. The Pageant of the Masters seems like it would be an inspirational and relaxing activity where we could bring picnic supplies, sit on the grass, watch the show, eat, and be merry!
If only Laguna Beach wasn’t nearly an hour away, I would love to find myself hanging out in this area once again. It’s difficult to do so on the weekdays seeing as I work all the way in West LA (Santa Monica) now. Granted, the drive to Laguna Beach via 405 S is definitely a lot better than the drive to the west side (Santa Monica) via the 405 N – mostly due to the fact that the 405 S drive to Orange County is relatively sans traffic.
Forgive my random ramblings in the previous paragraph; I guess I’m just missing the Orange County area quite a bit.
One of the benefits of living near Bixby Knolls is that there is an entrance to the Los Angeles River bike path deep inside the Virginia Country Club, located in Bixby Knolls!
Today, Allan and I decided to make use of this. We got our bikes ready and decided to bike over to Shoreline Village, located in Downtown Long Beach.
The route is roughly five miles one way, so we did about ten miles of biking today, altogether.
As usual, please ignore my tired panda eyes. The ride was relatively easy, but tiring nonetheless. It was great to be rewarded (thanks, Allan!) in the form of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream upon arrival at Shoreline Village!
The return commute felt a lot faster and shorter, although it was a bit tougher on the legs since it was slightly uphill. I’m expecting to be a bit sore tomorrow, but hopefully my wushu training will help ease the effects of the cycling.
I definitely preferred our Sunset Beach to Huntington Beach bike route better (I mean, seriously, biking by the beach/ocean is absolutely unbeatable), but I wouldn’t mind doing this route again.
I’ve just settled down in bed after getting home from watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The Perseid meteor shower was supposed to peak sometime after midnight, but unfortunately any plans to watch said meteor shower were impeded by the fact that the sky was just too cloudy. And so the last segment of Harry Potter was the replacement. But more on that later…
Let’s back track a little bit to about 12 or so hours ago, when the sun actually decided to come out. Work’s been rather busy lately as we are in the crunching period of our recent project, but the good weather that happened to emerge around lunch time was too good to pass up. BeiBei, Allan, and I decided to walk over to the nearby park and eat lunch there while enjoying the fresh air.
Our current obsession is Mexican soda, sold in glass bottles. Nothing beats soda packaged in the old-fashioned way. I’m not a fan of carbonated beverages, but I must admit the real sugar (as opposed to the high-fructose corn syrup found in most sodas manufactured here in America) highly improves the drink, reducing the overly artificial sweetness typically found in American sodas. I’m still not too keen on Coca Cola, but Sprite will do just fine, thank you.
Fast-forward to post-work time, considering how the sky was not being too friendly to us for meteor shower watching, Allan, BeiBei, Tony, and I decided to go with Plan B – finally watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Our theater of choice – AMC Marina Pacifica 12 in Long Beach. Tony had two free AMC tickets, and I figured we could easily find some good eats around the Belmont Shore area.
Hungry and determined to eat something delicious prior to our 10:10 PM movie showing, our trusty good friend, Yelp, once again came to the rescue. We found La Creperie Café, located on action-packed 2nd Street in Long Beach. This French restaurant has four stars at a whopping 1082 reviews on Yelp. I love the 2nd Street area and I love French restaurants, so you can only imagine my delight at discovering this venue.
Their menu is extensive, filled with breakfast, lunch, and dinner items all at reasonable prices (they have a $$ price range on Yelp). It is no surprise that the majority of their menu is crepes – sweet and savory. Not to worry for those who aren’t too keen on crepes – they have a great selection of non-crepe foods as well.
Menu aside, I found their interior to be well-decorated to the theme. I was especially delighted to find that they had live music! This restaurant definitely gave off that cute, romantic type of ambiance.
After oo-ing and ahh-ing to myself about the interior of the restaurant and attempting to take decent photos with my point-and-shoot camera in the dimly lit room, I finally decided to pay attention to the menu in front of me. Choosing a dinner item was tough, but I eventually settled on the Dipollo savory crepe – fresh wild mushrooms, herbs de provence and mozzarella with chicken in a sherry cream sauce. I was pretty much sold upon reading “fresh wild mushrooms” and “sherry cream sauce.” I’m a huge fan of food with alcohol-based sauces – love the flavor the alcohol infuses. Tony chose the same dish. BeiBei ordered a side of garlic fries, which comes with three sauces – chipotle aioli, ranch, and ketchup. For her entree, she decided on a savory crepe that consisted of lobster and had a lobster-based sauce. I have unfortunately forgotten the name of the dish, and I can’t seem to find it on their online menu. The presentation of her dish was interesting. Instead of one whole crepe, it was served in mini crepe medallions. Allan ordered the steak sandwich – marinated rib eye, romaine lettuce, chipotle aioli, provolone cheese, tomatoes, red onions and avocado on toasted ciabatta, served with garlic French fries and a Caesar salad.
Pictured above in descending order: Garlic fries, sauces for the garlic fries, BeiBei’s lobster crepe medallions, Dipollo crepe, Steak sandwich. I took a taste of every single item we ordered, and I must say that each item on our table was delicious! I’m not a huge fan of lobster, but BeiBei’s dish was pretty good. You can definitely taste the lobster. I absolutely loved my dish. The Dipollo was infused with the flavor of the wild mushroom and sherry cream sauce, much to my enjoyment. Allan’s steak sandwich was tasty – not your average steak sandwich. The steak marination deserves two thumbs up.
I would definitely visit La Creperie again and give their other menu items a try.
Following our dinner, we headed over to the AMC Marina Pacifica 12 to watch Harry Potter. It was a long movie, as expected. The awkward kissing scenes they put into the film still weird me out. Overall, I suppose the movie was alright. I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter, really, and the whole time I kept thinking “Why? Why? Couldn’t they just do this? Couldn’t they just do that?” Regardless, the movie was still entertaining.
Summing up the day, I’ve arrived at a few conclusions: (1) I definitely would like to spend more time around 2nd Street in Long Beach and try out all the different little restaurants around there. (2) I love French restaurants. (3) Harry Potter will always just be “alright” to me. (4) I am extremely exhausted.
And with that, I bid you adieu.