In the open waters

Have to admit, being in the open water at first was frightening. As we sailed away from New York, all you can see around was endless water. We were at the mercy of the ocean. Our cabin was upgraded to the one with a balcony. Looking down, the water seemed so close.

Open Waters

Raven Mai on board of Carnival Sppeldor ship in the open water

The water is close


Carnival Splendor sails from New York to Boston

Next stop Boston.

Map of the route from New York to Boston


Leaving New York

We set sail on the Carnival Splendor cruise ship. As we leave the port and set course towards Boston, we pass most of Manhattan with a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Great view of the World Trade Center.

Carnival Splendor docked at the Cruise Terminal in NY

Skyline views of NYC from the Carnival Splendor cruise ship

Leaving New York on Carnival Splendor ship

View of World Trade Tower from Carnival Splendor ship

Passing by the Statue of Liberty

New York is behind us


Map of Carnival Splendor East Coast route

In a few days, we will board the Carnival Splendor cruise ship and will sail following this route. Starting from New York, NY to Boston, MA then to Portland, ME. Followed by a day at sea. Then we will arrive in Halifax, NS. The last stop will be Saint John, NB before we will turn back, spend another day at sea before returning to NY.

Map of Carnival Splendor cruise route


FitBit’s Sahara Badge

As I was walking into my loft, the FitBit app cheerfully announced that I had earned a new badge. The Sahara badge to be exact for walking 2,983 miles, which coincidentally is the length of the Sahara Desert. It seemed to have taken me 2 years to walk that distance. Guess if I ever get stuck in the Saraha Desert, I know how long it will take me to get out of there.


Walking on the Tracks

Today I took a walk on the newly renovated High Line on the West side of Manhattan. I noticed it the other week while walking around getting my step count and decided to make time to check it out the following weekend. The second level walking linear park stretches for 1.45 miles connecting Gansevoort Street to 34th.

High Line in New Yrok Map

High Line in New Yrok Street View

High Line stairs up

People walking on High Line

Tracks on High Line

A few interesting historical facts I learned from reading the posters along the way. The High Line was build between 1929 and 1934 to eliminate street level train crossing and to allow for efficient deliveries of products and produce into the warehouses and factories up and down the West Side. The decline of manufacturing in 1950s and 60s decreased the train traffic and the High Line fell into a state of disuse.

The last train rolled down in 1980. After that for nearly two decades it sat unused until in 2002 the commitment was made to convert the High Line into a public park. Between 2009 and 2014 the different phases were completed and open to the public.

As I have learned the other day during the Walking Workshop, the re-development of High Line led to $900MM of real estate investment in the neighborhood displacing a large portion of the population. However, the developers have realized that and have been trying to introduce new public programming to engage local lower income residents.

Hight Line near 10th Ave

Hight Line

Hight Line

Signs at High Line

Tracks at Hight Line

People walking High Line

Watching station at High Line

High Line path

Traffic watching at High Line


Public Space and Sphere of Williamsburg

One day sitting in a coffee shop my attention was caught by a pile of flyers at the end of the bar. One of them was advertising a Walking Workshop around Williamsburg. It seemed like it would be a great way to learn more about the neighborhood I've have enjoyed living in for the past year.

Williamsburg Walking Workshop

Julia Borowicz and Larissa Begault

Williamsburg Walking Workshop

Julia Borowicz and Larissa Begault

Domino Williamsburg Walking Workshop

As it turned out the Walking Workshops were a limited time series, organized by Julia Borowicz and Larissa Begault as part of their graduate thesis. The duo are students at the Parsons Urban Practice Graduate Program and have partnered up to work together.

Starting at the Williamsburg waterfront the 2 hour tour had 10 stops on the way, including Bushwick Inlet, Entertainment District, McCarren Park, Domino Site and Grand Street Ferry Park. At each site Julia and Larissa talked about the past and present uses of the space, and future plans, outlining how the changes due to re-zoning and re-development had impacted the social and economic dynamic of the neighbourhood.

It was interesting to learn that the transformation of the public space would result in a negative impact on the existing population, where the resulting increase in land prices would displace the local residents that can no longer afford it. It was also interesting that those who have contributed to the authenticity of the space making it appealing and popular, such as artists who first moved to Williamsburg, were the first ones to be displaced.


|FAT| Arts & Fashion Week

FAT week was an intense 5 days of shows, performances and other fun stuff. Got to see and meet very promising emerging designers. The photographers in the pit were a fun bunch. I myself managed to take about 5,000 photos and realized I need to get a tripod for my iPhone as my hands were getting tired. And another note to myself, need more ribbons... the black ribbons I brought with me were a huge help when trying to reinvent my hairstyle for each day.

Raven Mai at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week

Raven Mai at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week

Raven Mai at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week

Raven Mai at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week

Raven Mai at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week

Raven Mai at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week


In Toronto

Managed to fit in a bit of sights seeing.

Raven Mai in Toronto

Eaton center

Metropolis in Toronto

Raven Mai having coffee with Matt Mantyla

Subway in Toronto

Porter Airport