Saturday, September 22, 2012


image from

     That pretty much sums up how I feel this weekend. Just three weeks into the semester and I'm already weighed down by all the readings, skills that need to be learned, exam, assignments, and online material from not just one but two different resources. And all these are just for one subject. I'm actually taking two subjects this semester but thank goodness the other one is not as demanding. Otherwise I'd be pulling out all my hair by now. I don't think bald is a good look on me. Then again, the sem's still early. I can still lose some hair by the time Christmas rolls around. Not a nice prospect when it's winter time and snow is falling.

     But this is all just venting. I'm glad I've finally started on the nursing program. Two weeks from now we'll be going on our hospital clinicals. We'll be dealing with actual patients, walking around in an actual hospital unit. It's exciting and kinda terrifying at the same time. Even with my medical assisting experience and background, I feel a kind of performance anxiety. It's going to be health care at a whole new level. At the very least I hope to uphold the directive of "do no harm". And that I don't do a face plant while on duty. Can you imagine doing that in front of a patient?

     Anyway, enough venting and goofing off. I hear my megaton textbook calling me.

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Farewell to Summer

     To me it still feels like 2012 had just started. But as the cliche goes, time flies and now summer is almost at an end with autumn close at its heels. This summer I wasn't able to go to the beach even once, nor did I get near a pool at the least. But one of my favorite summer activities that I'm glad I did get to do is have a barbeque.

     On the eve of Labor Day holiday we finally got the grill out to do a simple barbeque for dinner with just the family. On the menu were chicken drumsticks, potato salad, steamed veggies and rice. The only thing I got a picture of were the drumsticks while they were grilling, everything else are a pleasant memory by now. These drumsticks were marinated in a simple ketchup based marinade, and happily enough they turned out ok. Next time I'll take an extra step to make sure it comes out really tender.

chicken drumstick on the grill, yum!

      What's your favorite summer activity?

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

5 Ways Not to Start Your Monday (Guest Blog)

(Note: As I'd mentioned earlier, I invited two of my friends to guest blog here and they accepted. So today we have a blog from one of them - Malou of Thinking OutLoud. I have known Malou for more than ten years now, and she shares with me a passion for writing, from which her blog was born. Without further ado, I now turn you over to her.)

     I always love and hate Mondays. Like a central character in a movie, it always pulls me back to where the original plot of my life: work, home, and family. Not that I feel locked up in an imaginary box and want to go out and party. Nah, I am already 30 when I got married. So I am pretty over with lazy-ing around, or going out, or doing my hair, waxing my legs or fixing my nails...Oh god I missed them. But really there are times I wish when I wake up, turn on the news and hear...'Monday has been cancelled go back to sleep'...In the gentle-mannered spirit that am well known for (oh alright, my husband still refers to me as Attila the Hun the last time he reasoned with me) I still like Mondays, thankful that I got o a job that earn me a living, and another extra day to be thankful for all God's blessings. Then again, glitch happens. And I am going to offer a few tips how to avoid those unavoidable glitches.

1. Don't start with falling off from staircase.
     Of course it is better than being bombed, attacked or roasted in fire. But for the love of holy, what is so nice from falling off from a school staircase? As I was descending the stair, my slippers must have lost its grasp, my foot wobbled and then...crash.
     I mean CRASH.
     My purse went flying. The boots my son used in coming to school rolled away. The umbrella burst open and I got a kid surprised with an oversized adult bouncing in front of him. I instinctively tucked my arms in, landed on my side and rolled to my back, with the umbrella still open. My butt still hurts when I was writing this.

2. Don't share a ride with pickpockets.

     Well this isn't under my control. This morning while I got off from the train, I put inside my pocket my cellphone, earphone, a few coins and a train ticket. As the sky was storming, I stopped and open my umbrella (the same that burst open) and voila, the white ear plugs were gone. I didn't see anyone come near me, but what is good of being a thief if you are not as quick as the gorgeous Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, right? Good thing the cellphone didn't come with it. I am always on guard while riding a public transport but glitch happens as I said.

3. Don't start without breakfast.

     Who wants to wait until lunch time? So I have gobbled up two large cups of coffee that makes me palpitating the rest of the morning. Obviously, I am not a bit coffee fan. This why I don't know what separates Macchiato and Cappuccino from Al Pacino (corny!). I can't tolerate too much caffeine. It makes me feel edgy and tensed. The way to flush this caffeine out of my body is by drinking gallons of water. Palpitating no, bloated yes.

4.  Don't start with cold, wet feet.

     I woke up this morning a little too cold. My body aches and I thought I don't feel up for work. But I came to office nonetheless. It's been raining for straight two weeks now and I'm beginning to hate it. It leaves me unpleasantly cold, the type I want to hibernate. But how can you hibernate if your house is under construction and your workers eat like three times a day?

5.  Don't start with Regine Velasquez song in your ear phone.

     Actually this is not counted. I always love listening to her. She was on when slipping off the staircase happened and she was there too when the crook took my lovely Samsung ear plugs. Go figure. May be the thief had already spotted me while still inside the train and saw how pretty those earplugs were. I don't know with others but I love Regine. Even if she is sporting a plus-size body and a big, awkward long hair these days. I don't mind if her voice is no longer clear as crystal as described by Kris Aquino before. She is to me what Adelle is to everyone in UK.

     Happy Monday to everyone!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Summer Afternoon in the Garden

     With summer still in full scorching swing, we've often been cooped up indoors as we try to beat the heat. Our choices are the airconditioner, electric fans, drinking cold drinks, eating ice cream or taking cool, refreshing showers. I especially love that last option at night when it's just too hot to sleep without freshening up from head to toe. This afternoon however, we were forced to sit outside for quite a spell and thankfully there was a nice breeze blowing. I wasn't doing much, just looking up at the clouds, out at the street, and sitting on the stoop. Then I happened to glance at the flowers my mother in law had in pots in front of the garage. How come I hadn't noticed the vibrant yellow daisy looking flowers there which might actually be marigolds? (Yes, they are indeed marigolds - google is my best friend hehehe) Or the striking hues of the lilies? Suddenly struck with inspiration, I brought out my camera and started taking snapshots of some of the flowers in our backyard. Here's hoping the heat will end soon!

marigolds and aster lilies

pink and yellow snapdragons
black eyed susans
red astilbe
hedgehogs and giant fungi
Nonee frolicking among the flowers hehehe

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Have Guests Coming!

     Just a little announcement about something I'm looking forward to. I've invited two of my friends to guest blog either here or on my other blog, In Review. They are both fellow bloggers here. Malou writes Thinking Outloud, a quirky and funny blog about life in general. Dio writes Sense and Sensibility which, in her own words, is a "view of what and how I think (even if it is scary)". I would like to thank them in advance for saying yes to my invitation. Hopefully we'll all see the fruits of this collaboration very soon!

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And the Games Have Begun

      After much hype and anticipation, the London 2012 Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad) are finally underway. Delegates from 204 countries have come together to compete in various events that include well known sports such as swimming, gymnastics, and track and field as well as lesser known ones such as trampoline and canoe slalom. Some countries' dreams of Olympic gold have already come crashing down, but for others these have either become reality or are still in the running.

     The opening ceremonies for the 30th Olympics seemed to have a lot to live up to after the show four years ago in Beijing. Whether you liked it or not, the show the Brits put on for the world had its memorable, comedic and at times poignant moments. I personally liked the way the cauldron was lit. I think having it made up of individual flames representing all the participating nations fittingly symbolizes the coming together of all these countries regardless of whatever existing conflicts or tensions for three weeks of sportsmanship and excellence. Well done, and let's look forward to the rest of the events as well as the closing ceremonies.

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Two Favorite Doggies

     So they are actually the only dogs we have right now, so they automatically gain favorite status. I'm not their main human, that honor belongs to my sister in law, but I'd like to think that in our "pack" I do rate a niche in the hierarchy. And although my most favorite animal is feline, not canine, I do love these dogs in all their silly, playful, sometimes neurotic glory.

     Snoopy is the full blooded beagle who arrived as a rescue at the age of three. From what my husband has told me, he was seen by hubby's coworker at a pound or store (I forget which) and being drunk at the time he took pity on the puppy and brought it home. This coworker apparently already had a houseful of cats who were pretty territorial. This sounds bad for the cats but they bullied Snoopy and used to swipe at his ears. For one reason or another, Snoopy couldn't stay with them any longer and hubby, on hearing the story, decided to take him in. Snoopy is now a very confident, rather spoiled eight year old. He's grown obese and is now on a diet that keeps getting sidetracked. But he absolutely has to lose weight so his joints won't get any more damaged. He's actually had one knee surgery already and the vet says he'll need another one later on if he doesn't slim down. He has tons of toys and other equipment that's been lavished on him over the years. He loves to eat, sleep, then eat some more (sounds kinda like Garfield the cat, hehehe). He was pretty stand offish at first when I arrived five years ago, but by now we have formed our own bond based on food and play. He's not the clingy type in relation to me, and he definitely tries to assert that he's the boss. Like when he sighs and fidgets in his sleep to let you know you're disturbing him. Or muttering and grumbling during our meal time to let us know he's getting impatient for his treat. He's one smart doggy for sure, knowing how to open cabinet doors, getting at peanut butter jars, luring you away from food so he can get at it, jingling the bells to let us know he wants to go out - those are just some of the antics that amuse and exasperate us in turns. Sometimes, the things he does makes him seem like a small human - burping after eating, snoring while sleeping, trying to sit at the kitchen table to eat. Braver than our other dog, Snoopy is also pretty chill for the most part. Just don't let him hear thunder, cracks of lightning or fireworks going off; that sends him scrambling under the bed, cabinet or into a closet to hide, poor thing.

     Our other dog, Nonee, is a mix of unknown breeds. We think he has some beagle in him, with perhaps some whippet or jack russell terrier. He is also a rescue that my sister and mother in law saw when they went to a dog show. About two years old at that time, he was shivering in his cage and looked so pitiful that my sister in law's heart melted and took him home. He was very stinky when they brought him home so they gave him a shower. Unfortunately, this seemed to aggravate a kennel cough that he already had. Coughing and wheezing, he was brought to the vet and had to take meds for a while. I guess Nonee just has a relatively weaker immune system compared to Snoopy, since he's been to the animal hospital more than Snoops. But in general, he's a happy, healthy doggy who also loves to eat and play. Thankfully, he's not like Snoopy who will do everything he can to grab any food that's within his reach. He tends to be more clingy, always preferring to be in the company of any of the humans at home almost all the time. One of his favorite things to do is lie across your legs while on the bed so you can't move without him knowing it. Although a little less playful than Snoopy, he does have his silly side, like when he rolls around the bed like a canine pinwheel til his body has turned a full 180 or 360 degrees. He can be a bit neurotic, as he will bark and his body will shake when anybody comes to our house whether it's a friendly face or not. It also doesn't matter if you've been here more than once. If even a short amount of time has passed since he last saw you, he'll bark and shake again. But he's also smart in his own way - he'll bark so you'll open a closed door for him, he'll wait and see where you'll enter the house before standing there to wait for you, he'll sound the alarm then come to get you when he sees any strangers approaching the house.

     Two dogs with different personalities, both lovable in their own ways. Life sure is livelier and more interesting with them around. Now if only we can somehow add a cat to the mix.

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


     I recently had a chance to take a quick trip to the Philippines, a place I still call home. Though the circumstances were less than ideal, I was still glad I had the opportunity to see what it's like after being away for five years.

banks at the corner one block away from our house

     Though others may disagree, I was glad to see that at least in our neighborhood there weren't any substantial changes. The people and places have essentially stayed the same. I could still get around without feeling lost and bewildered. Some establishments may have closed, but a lot more have opened. I was happy to see a lot more eateries, a few new grocery stores and a new bakeshop or two. I only wish there were a few more banks in the area, since one major bank has already closed. Farther afield, I was surprised by the various developments for high rises that seemed to be popping up everywhere. I was to learn later on that a major tycoon is the one behind most of these real estate projects. And it's not just residential but commercial development as well. I guess the rich really keep getting richer.

a new grocery store where a bakery used to be

     I felt proud of my ability to still travel like a native, using jeepneys, tricycles and fx vans. I even rode the MRT a couple times, but didn't feel brave enough to ride the buses. But I never had to take the taxi, unless it was truly called for. Oh yeah, I still got it, hehehe. One thing I do know I will never be able to do back home is to drive. Filipino drivers follow their own rules on the road, and I'll be too nervous to compete for space. One needs to be both truly confident and aggressive to drive there.

jeepney and tricycle

     No visit back home would be complete without meeting up with friends, however quickly and briefly. I am very happy to say that I got to touch base and reform bonds with those who are closest to me. In spite of feeling tired and sleepy at the wrong moments, I truly enjoyed and cherished having those overdue conversations that no amount of emails, messages, chats or phone calls can fill. It's very nice to know that no matter long the absence, these friendships remain strong and enduring. You all know who you are, and I definitely miss you guys already!

     On a side note, I was amused to find out that Marikina, the city where I live, seems to have captured the fancy of the entertainment industry. My town of Parang has become a go to location for some tv stations when shooting their soap operas. I actually got to see one particular shoot for GMA 7's "Luna Blanca" while I was there. Ah, the perks of living right across from the town hall. Hollywood has also come avisiting, as the latest Bourne Legacy movie shot some scenes in the city proper. Apparently, a long stretch of a main road running along a major wet market there was closed to traffic during filming. I can just imagine how annoyed commuters got from the traffic jams this caused. But anyway, for those of you who might watch the movie when it comes out, know that those scenes with jeepneys and tricycles were filmed there.

Jeremy Renner on location in Marikina City, Philippines

     I don't know when I'll be able to go back again. Whenever that may be I hope it'll be for a real vacation where I can relax and enjoy myself to the utmost. Until then, I'll keep these recent memories foremost in my mind.

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Food, Glorious Food

     Food - it nourishes the body and soul, provides fuel for us to keep going in our day to day activities and a good reason for friends and family to gather round. I am one of those people who likes to cook, but I love eating even more. One of my dream jobs is to either be a food critic or food blogger, traveling all over the world to try different cuisines and writing about them. Since that's not the reality, I'll be content with sharing some of my favorite foods.

green mango salad
     I like different salads like the usual Ceasar's or house salads that they serve in restaurants. But my favorites are potato salad and green mango salad. I like potato salad best when it has some chicken and boiled eggs, and just the right amount of mayo. Mango salad is a salad that I've only had in the Philippines although other Asian countries have their own versions. It's made with green mangoes (I like Indian mangoes best), tomatoes, onions, bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) and chicharon (pork rinds). It's a good side for grilled meat or fish but I can definitely eat this salad on its own.


sizzling sisig

tokwa't baboy
     I love eating meat or chicken more than fish or seafood, so I have quite a few favorites.  There's this pork dish called tokwa't baboy that's made of chopped up and browned pig's ears and pork, diced fried tofu, vinegar, salt, and onions. This can be an appetizer but is more popular as an accompaniment to beer. I prefer to eat it with rice. A similar dish is sisig, also made of chopped up pork and pig's ears, pan fried with salt and pepper to taste until crispy. This is served still sizzling on a hot plate. Just thinking about those two dishes makes me drool. Among grilled meats, liempo (pork belly) is my favorite, dipped in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar and chillies. Yum! Lastly, I can't forget the rich taste of peking duck. The crispy skin and flavorful meat is just so good I loved it the first time I tried it. Unfortunately it's also high in cholesterol so not a good thing to eat often.


seared scallops
     I've already said that I prefer meat to seafood, but that doesn't mean I don't eat it. I do, and have some favorites as well. I'm very partial to ebi (shrimp) tempura that I'll have it whenever I see it on the menu. There's something about the tempura batter coupled with the flavor of shrimp that I find so addicting. Aside from tempura, I also love calamari. This is the go to appetizer for me and hubby. We love it so much that even if it's still too hot to eat we attack the plate as soon as we get it. Not all of my favorite seafood are battered and fried though. And in this category belongs scallops, a type of shellfish that I first ate when I was in Hong Kong. I like them simply sauteed or seared, done just right that the meat is tender and almost melts in your mouth. I don't often find this on menus though so I don't get to eat it as much I'd like.


pansit malabon
     I know a lot of people who like spaghetti or pansit bihon (vermicelli noodles), both staples at Filipino parties and special occasions, but I am not one of them. Given a choice, I would rather have pansit Malabon (aka palabok) which is my all time favorite. I love everything about this noodle dish. I love the salty sauce and the thickish noodles; I love the many toppings - squid, shrimp, boiled eggs, crushed pork rind, pork/chicken/beef pieces and chinese cabbage strips. Having a plate (or two, or three) of this makes me and my tummy very happy.


pecan pie
cinnamon rolls
      I definitely have a sweet tooth so I love ice cream, cakes, pastries and pies. I'm also a chocolate lover, so it's a foregone conclusion that I love chocolate cakes. That aside, I do have other favorite dessert options. At the top of the list are cinnamon rolls. Those gooey rolls oozing with their melted sugar and cinnamon filling, sometimes with nuts or cream cheese icing - just the smell of them makes me drool. There's nothing like a hot cinnamon roll and a cup of hot coffee or tea. Next is my favorite pie, which is pecan pie. I love it when the filling is not too sweet, with just the right amount of pecans to syrup ratio. I also adore cheesecakes, which I think of as a kind of pie. I like all kinds of flavors, but sometimes New York style is simply the best. Lastly, I would like to make a special mention of my favorite ice cream flavor, Turkey Hill's Butter Pecan. It's a very simple mix of vanilla ice cream and roasted pecans, but there's something about this sweet and slightly salty ice cream that I just love.


kwek kwek
    Street foods make a quick and tasty snack when on the go or simply having an attack of the munchies. Kwek kwek is the quintessential street food that I can't have enough of. It's basically boiled quail eggs that are battered and fried, then dipped in a sweet and spicy sauce. I used to eat about two dozen of these in one sitting, that's how much I love them. A close second to them is a tie between squid balls and siomai. I can easily finish about a dozen squid balls, dipped in sweet and spicy sauce of course. Meanwhile, siomai is best when dipped in chili soy sauce. Hen Lin used to be my go to place for these absolutely yummy dumplings. Don't ask me how many I can eat, it's a secret.


     To round out the list on a healthy note, I'd like to mention some of my favorite fruits. Oranges are my number one fruit, particularly mandarin oranges. I love how they are so easy to peel and have such a sweet scent and taste. In the same category are clementines, citrus fruits that I like to think of as mini oranges. I also love sweet cherries when they're in season. My favorites among the tropical fruits are lychees, rambutan and guyabano (aka soursop/guanabana/pawpaw). Lychees and rambutans belong to the same family, thus their similar appearance and taste. Guyabano is a spiky skinned fruit that has a slightly sour taste. What I like about all three fruits is their juiciness and refreshing taste. For me, they are at their best after being chilled.

     This has been a rather lengthy but by no means exhaustive list of the things I love to eat. I've definitely enjoyed writing about them as much as I enjoy eating them. Now it's time to raid the fridge.

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Simple Pleasures

     I am by nature someone quite easy to please. I laugh out loud at the silliest jokes, give a sigh of content over a hot cup of lemon tea. And today being a cool, rainy Monday in summer I'm glad I don't have anywhere to go and can just snuggle in bed with a hot mug of tea. Here are a few more things that bring a smile to my face:

  - eating a slice of moist, really scrumptious chocolate cake
  - seeing a cute animal in unexpected places (like the baby bunny I saw early one morning on my way to work)
  - getting hugs and kisses from hubby

  - getting email containing good news from family and friends
  - seeing someone empty a plate of food that I'd cooked
  - eating any of my favorite foods
  - hearing a song that I like

  - having a refreshing bath at the end of a long tiring day

     So, what makes YOU smile?

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank You

     I didn't know there are awards given out to blogs here so getting this one was a pleasant surprise.

                                     My First Blog Award!

    Apparently there is a protocol to follow upon receiving this award, which follows:
  • thank the blogger who sent you the award and add a link to her/his blog
  • write 7 random things about yourself
  • give the award to other bloggers you love and tell them
     Therefore I would like to thank Littleyana of "thinking out loud" for this award. The other blogs and bloggers I want to send this award to are the following:

     Now, about the seven random things about me...hmmm...some of these might be familiar to those who know me, but here goes:

1. I am crazy about cats.
2. I just got accepted into a nursing program (yeay!).
3. I hate being stuck behind drivers who don't know how to use their signal light or seem not to know where they want to go.
4. I haven't been back to my home country for five years now (huhuhu).
5. I enjoy watching Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Food Network but most of my primetime viewing is on CBS.
6. I would love to become more proficient in baking.
7. I love to drink tea but I've also learned to drink coffee since coming to the US.

     And there you have it folks, once again thanks to Littleyana and here's to more enjoyable blogs from all over!

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nibbling at the Big Apple

     As a relatively recent arrival in New York, I'm glad that I've had several opportunities to explore the city known fondly as the Big Apple. I've been to places in downtown, midtown and uptown Manhattan. Toured Liberty and Ellis Islands. Seen some musicals, watched a concert and eaten at restaurants big and small. But I still have a list of things I want to do in New York City. Places I still haven't visited, a show or two I haven't seen, food trips not yet taken. So I made a list of all these, hoping that in the next few years I'll eventually get to do all of them. Below is just half of the list, with the other half (and perhaps more to come) to be saved for another post.

The American Museum of Natural History
     This museum, located at 79th Street, Central Park West, has been in operation since the late 1800s. Featured as a setting in numerous movies and tv shows, this museum has permanent exhibits such as the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, Fossil Halls, and The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Various other exhibits are also staged all year round. The Hayden Planetarium can also be found in the museum, where spectacular space shows are held daily every half hour. What's nice about this museum is the suggested admission price, meaning you can actually pay less than that should your budget happen to be a little tight. For someone like me who is fascinated by things relating to science, it's a very affordable way to learn and have fun at the same time.

The Lion King (Musical)

     Based on the animated movie of the same title, Disney's The Lion King musical opened in November 1997 and has been playing to rave reviews on Broadway as well as internationally in London, parts of Asia and North America. Awards aside, I would really love to see this show just for its lavish sets and costumes that really make the audience feel like they're in an African savannah. And of course, the gorgeous musical score that includes the works of Sir Elton John and Tim Rice from the movie. Hopefully I'll get to see it soon! 

Brooklyn Bridge

     This bridge that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn was constructed back in 1869 and took 14 years to complete. Spanning the East River, it is one of New York's most famous landmarks. It has also been featured in various movies, tv shows and commercials, the latest one showing a talking gecko pushing an insurance company. I am intrigued by the idea of such a huge bridge having a footpath as part of its structure. Although I'm not that sure if I can actually manage to walk all the way across it, I still want to take the challenge just to see the magnificent views of the city's skyline as well as other sights from its span.

Central Park

     Spanning an area of 843 acres, Central Park stretches from 59th Street all the way to 110th Street, between 5th and 8th Avenues. Its an area that is almost right in the center of Manhattan, from midtown to uptown. Created in the mid to late 1800s, it contains numerous facilities like the Central Park Zoo, tennis courts, and playgrounds in addition to lakes, fountains, meadows and gardens. This park is so much a part of the city that I don't think I've ever watched anything set in New York that did not include at least one scene shot here. Although I've been here a couple of times those visits were like teasers to a main event that I haven't yet begun to really see. With so many picturesque areas and landmark sites, I think one visit will not be enough to satisfy me. Whenever those visits will take place, I'll make sure to bring my camera!

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

     This bastion of culture in New York City was founded in 1955 with the institution of a committee aimed at supporting the musical arts. It is actually a complex made  of several buildings that house institutions including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York City Ballet. For the movie buffs out there, this was the setting for Natalie Portman's film Black Swan. The fountain within its grounds was also featured in the New York City episode of Glee. While not particularly a fan of the opera or ballet, I still find this landmark very interesting in the same way that I find museums interesting. For me it's like a living museum since its "exhibits" are for the most part live performances.

Hudson River Park

     Stretching five miles from 59th Street in midtown all the way to the water's edge at Battery Park in downtown, Hudson River Park is the longest waterfront park in the US. The entire length offers numerous areas for various sports and outdoor activities, including water sports. It also welcomes four footed visitors, not just their owners. And should visitors tire from all this activity, there are also restaurants along the way to rest and grab a bite. Another outstanding feature of the park is the bike path that covers its entire length. Biking through all five miles daily should be really good exercise!

Guggenheim Museum

     Located along Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan on the east side of Central Park is the Guggenheim Museum. Dedicated to housing works of modern art, it opened back in 1959 and is the last completed project of the late architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Apart from exhibits featuring reknown artists, the architecture of the building itself makes me quite curious about this museum.

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.