Summer Blues


Summer is quickly coming to an end… at least it is for me, since classes start tomorrow! Eeks! How did time fly by so fast?

This summer, I traveled and ate my way through Boston, New York City, and San Diego.

Boston Done Right: Paul Revere, Cannoli, MIT, and the Charles River

Sights of the City: Times Square, Taxis on 80th St, View from Empire State Building, Downtown Manhattan

NYC Eats: Shake Shack, Chelsea Market, Momofuku, Doughnut Plant

Peaceful La Jolla

I also finally crossed off a few items on my baking to do list (but still haven’t tried making my own kimchi! need to do that soon!).

Purple Ombre Cake – Check!

Kolaches – Check!

And I spent valuable time and made amazing memories with my friends and family. Even though I was working everyday, this was actually one of my most fun summers.

To express my summer blues (and match my blue floral dress), I did a variation of blue ombre nails. I was inspired by this nail design from Miss Renaissance. I had slightly darker shades of blue than she did, but they worked well.


Although I’ll miss the laid-back, relaxing vibe of summer with the sunny days (well, only after the fog has burned off) and the rather peaceful feel of campus that comes with the absence of undergrads, I’m looking forward to what this new school year brings. Fall semester is always a fresh start for me – it feels more like New Year’s to me than January 1st. With a new season comes new friends, experiences, and memories. So, even though I’m a little sad to see my summer end, I’m excited to see what fall brings. Plus, I’ve been dying to make some pumpkin and apple desserts!

Drooling for Doughnuts – Doughnut Plant

When I first arrived in New York City, I headed straight for one place: Doughnut Plant. Having heard sooooo many amazing things about the doughnuts, I made Doughnut Plant the top place I had to visit in NYC. That says a lot about this place since I don’t even like doughnuts that much.

The scaffolding blocked the sign. šŸ˜¦

Since I was closest to the 8th Ave and 23rd St location (the second location), I headed there. Once you enter Doughnut Plant, you’re transported into a world centered around doughnuts. There was doughnut art lining the walls, doughnut tiles engraved into the tables, and a giant tv screen displaying and flashing through all of the doughnuts offered. Talk about doughnut overload or doughnut lovers’ heaven.

They even have doughnut shaped chairs!

Since my brother raved on and on about the tres leche doughnut, I bought that right away. I had also heard about the Peanut Butter and Jelly glazed doughnut, which is a square doughnut covered with peanut butter glaze and filled with raspberry jelly. Both were good, not too sweet, which I appreciated. However, the tres leche was a bit better. Like many have said, Doughnut Plant’s cake doughnuts are better than their yeast doughnuts.

All of the doughnuts… yum!

Not knowing the next time I’d be back in NYC, I paid Doughnut Plant one last visit on my last day. For some reason that day, a regular old Monday morning, they had sold out of most of their doughnuts by 10am. So I only had the choice of the carrot cake and blackout doughnuts.Ā I had wanted to try their creme brulee doughnut, which I’ve heard is amazing, but due to unforseen circumsatnces, I tried the carrot cake doughnut instead. It was actually very good. Not too sweet, which surprised me a bit. The frosting wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped and I wanted a bit more filling in the doughnut. But overall, it was delicious.

I highly recommend Doughnut Plant if you’re ever in NYC, even if you’re not the biggest doughnut fan. You probably can’t find a shop with such a wide variety of flavors. This should definitely be one of the top places you visit, if not the very first. šŸ™‚

City Girl

View from Empire State Building

I think I’ve always been a city girl at heart, despite not having grown up in a large city. Although I do enjoy the serenity and tranquility of nature, I am truly satisfied by the hustle and bustle of a metropolis. So when I was planning my short vacation for the summer, I knew I had to visit the largest, most famous city in America: New York City.

View from Bryant Park

I’ve only visited NYC once before, when I was ten years old, which was before 9/11. So, I’ve been way overdue for a visit. My family went two years ago, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to join them since I had just started a summer internship at Stanford. But this year, I decided that I was finally going to visit the city that never sleeps.

Times Square

Since I hadn’t visited New York City in over ten years, I made a fairly long list of things I wanted to see, which consisted of mostly tourist destinations. I only had three days to cram them all in, so each day was packed with running around the city, visiting New York City’s most famous sights. Luckily, I’m the type of person who enjoys doing things all the time at a fairly fast pace. I hate waiting around and wasting time (so much that I can’t stand waiting at bus stops… which often results in me walking to the next stop and then watching the bus pass me by. -_-). In fact, I consider it a good day when my feet are sore and swollen from walking around the whole day. Because of this, I didn’t have too much of a problem seeing everything I wanted to see.

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

I made the standard NYC tourist stops, including Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MOMA, Wall St., and Empire State Building.

Wall Street

The steps of the Met

Inside the Empire State Building

I also visited the Highline Park (an urbanĀ elevated park that stretches for about 10 blocks along 10th avenue), the NY Botanical Gardens (which is having an exhibition on Monet’s gardens right now, so beautiful!), and Chelsea Market (almost equivalent to the Ferry Building in SF).

View from the Highline Park

NY Botanical Gardens Conservatory

Chelsea MarketĀ 

If you’re visiting the city, I highly suggest taking the Staten Island Ferry, which takes you from Manhattan to Staten Island in just under 30 minutes. It’s a beautiful ride with great views of the city as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The best part is that it’s FREE! I didn’t get off and explore Staten Island, which I’ve heard is kinda boring, and instead just hopped back onto the next ferry going back to the city.

Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty

I also highly recommend visiting the 9/11 Memorial. It’s a truly poignant spot to reflect and remember the lives lost that fateful day. Since I haven’t lived through many historical events, I haven’t felt the gravity and sobering effect of memorials… until I visited the 9/11 Memorial. I couldn’t bring myself take a picture of me standing in the memorial because I knew the pain and sorrow of 9/11 since it was an event that I had actually lived through, rather than one I had just read about in history books.Ā Although it had such a solemn effect on me, the memorial was absolutely beautiful and helped remind me to be thankful for each day of my life.

Overall, I’d say my trip to The Big Apple was a success! I saw the sights and bright lights of the city that so many people, including myself, love. What I love best about New York is that there is always something to do or something to see. The city moves at the speed of light and has new experiences waiting for you at every corner. Consisting of a mix of wandering tourists and brusque locals, the city has a little something for everyone.