Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Orleans Part Deux, Louisiana


I had a five day weekend and decided to do something other than sit around and rot in Jacksonville. After a few minutes of contemplating, I decided to visit CJ and New Orleans once again. I left Friday, July 17 and arrived ten hours later after a brief stop in Pensacola. Matt also came for the weekend from Little Rock but could only stay until Sunday. Sucker. Unlike the last trip (Mardi Gras), the weekend was quiet overall and we got to see much more of the city, which I think is far from the drunken insanity that comes to mind when one mentions New Orleans.


Here's canal street - so calm and peaceful.


The Gumbo Shop someplace on Decatur. It was really good. After we finished eating I was on the verge of throwing up the rest of the night because I was so full. Probably shouldn't have eaten that entire loaf of bread.


The famous Cafe Du Monde and Matt stuffing his face. It's hard to see, but his giant mug in the foreground is full of a wine and coke mixture.


Outside Cafe Du Monde where this guy stopped and posed for us.


For lunch on Sunday CJ took us to some small seafood shop where we bought five pounds of crawfish, a pound of shrimp, corn and potatoes for thirty bucks. We then went across the street to a local bar that let us eat on their patio as long as we bought drinks. Amazingly good. The title picture is of a fountain outside the bar.



New Orleans Riverwalk

Sunday we also took a trip to the Ninth Ward - one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Katrina. More on that later.

Bye CJ!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Monterey Park, California


Welcome to the Asian capitol of the United States. The city is approximately 43% Chinese according to a recent survey. You know what that means... Asian drivers. The city motto is "Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future." Good alliteration!

Monterey Park should be most famous for one of its residents - Laura Scudder, who invented the potato chip bag. Before her invention using cellophane, potato chips were "packed in barrels or tins, which left chips at the bottom stale and crumbled." Such a sad fate. She was also the first to print freshness dates on products. Her Monterey Park factory is now probably a cafe that changes it's name every few months to avoid additional taxes.


Thanks to Russell for knowing that information.

Anyway, the top picture is a flawless panoramic I created of my balcony's view. Since I don't know how to use photoshop, I decided to leave it that way. (click for higher resolution)

Here is the main park of Monterey Park known as Barnes Park where residents partake in park-related events.



It's a relaxing place to go nowadays. Lots of memories here. Back in elementary and high school we used to play tennis, bike, and go to local festivals such as this:


Across the street is the world-famous Bruggemeyer Library which has been completely redone and now stands two stories tall.


Here is the local transit system - The Spirit...since at least July, 2001.


This is possibly the busiest intersection in the city. You should shop and dine in Monterey Park. The white building in the background holds the prestigious title of tallest structure in the city.


This is main street - Garvey Ave. I have no idea why it's so empty.


Garvey Ranch Park


Here's a pretty crappy picture of Sequoia Park, a park that I live 3 seconds from.


The infamous, severely underfunded Mark Keppel High School. Go Aztecs.


This is the bridge that connects Monterey Park and Alhambra. Keppel is on the right. (photo taken on the bridge)


Twilight, or The Gloaming, taken July 5, 2009. The Gloaming sounds so eerie. Here's to you Monterey Park - the best city in the United States. You make Jacksonville cry. I will return again someday to drink your Boba milk tea and eat at your B-rated cafes.