Sunday, October 4, 2009

Jersey City and NYC trip. "Miracle on the Hudson" and meeting Dean Kamen! September 28 - October 2

I was in Jersey City for work last week. Since it's right next to one of my favorite cities in the world, NYC, I hopped over to Manhattan during the 3 free nights that I had after work.

Fall is definitely here on the East Coast. It was in the 60's and rainy. Here's a view from my hotel room looking at the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan after arriving.

For the last 5 years, I've been visiting NYC once a year; however, I've never eaten at the famous Katz Deli on the Lower East Side. I was starving after checking in to my room and decided to have dinner at Katz. I wolfed down this Reuben sandwich. I loved their corned beef. So good!

On my way back, I was surprised to find an empty train. I always ride the train when I'm in NYC and I've never seen such empty train.

And an empty train station!

After work on Tuesday, I met up with my friend Fabienne who lives in New Jersey. Fabienne and I met on MySpace couple of years ago and became "Cyber pen pals." Although this was our first time meeting in person, we had a blast hanging out. We went to this Cuban restaurant called "Azucar" right next to our hotel. Fabbie and her boyfriend go to this restaurant to salsa dance on weekends. The food was delicious as well. This dish both caught our eyes: ground beef with raisins, olives, potatoes with moro rice. It was very tasty!

After dinner, we decided to go to Time Square to walk around.

Fabienne and I.

This guy looks familiar but I don't know his name.

We then went to M&M world to goof around a bit. :)

Next stop: Hersey's store. Fabbie expected this bottle to be very heavy...until she picked it up. LOL!

Gimme chocolate! Lots of it!!!

All this walking and laughing was making us thirsty, so I took Fabbie to the View Lounge on top of the Marriott Marquise for a drink. The View Lounge is a revolving restaurant/bar like the one at the Westin Bonaventure here in downtown Los Angeles. We both had this yummy "Apple Pie Mocktail" while enjoying a panoramic view of NYC.

We went on a field trip to the Stevens Institute on Wednesday. One of the presentations we heard was about the "Miracle on the Hudson" that took place on January 15, 2009, when Capt. Sully landed the plane on the river. The professor told us if the plane had landed either 30 minutes earlier or later, the plane would have flipped over because the current would be going in the opposite direction as the landing direction. It just so happened that the current was going in the same direction as the plane was landing, so it was like gliding on oil. Also, the Hudson normally is very busy with lots of boats and ferries, but it was empty that day because the commuters were all just getting ready to get across. After the plane landed on the Hudson, it was being pushed by strong current at 3 - 4 mph. The professor pinpointed locations for the emergency crews to rescue the passengers. He also predicted the best time for the crew to salvage the plane at a location with mild current. All this information was not made public, so when we heard it, we were all in awe.

"Miracle on the Hudson" happened just a few hundred feet north of this atrium.

Our meeting started on Thursday. Our AV crew went to NYC the night before and brought back cupcakes from the famous Crumbs Bake Shop. Crumbs was featured on the Food Network. This was a classic red velvet cupcake and it was so good!

The famous Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway and the robotic arm for veterans came to speak to us. I visited Segway in Bedford, NH in 2005 when I worked at a robotics company but didn't meet him. It was such an honor shaking his hand and talking to him at this conference. He is very down to earth, funny, and know about the personal robot system I used to sell. After hearing his talk, I feel that instead of being labeled as a physicist/inventor, Dean is more of a philanthropist with a brilliant brain. He's very passionate about the cause and bettering the human race.

During his presentation, Dean also showed us this clip of his interview on the Colbert Report. Hilarious!
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Dean Kamen
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMichael Moore

We went on a Hudson River dinner cruise for Thursday night.

Here's looking at Lower Manhattan from our boat.

The Empire State building was lit red to celebrate China's national day (October 1).

Our captain stopped the boat in front of the Statue of Liberty, but it was tough to take a good picture from my point and shoot camera.

Me goofing in front of the Statue of Liberty. I did the same pose when I visited the Statue of Liberty in 2006.

After the conference was over on Friday, Fabbie and I met up again and went to SoHo. We went to my favorite place to eat, Cafe Habana. I found out that they're in the process of expanding to L.A. and I can't wait!

I always eat at Cafe Habana when I'm in NYC. They have the best Cuban sandwich and are also famous for their grilled corn on the cob. We got some plantains as well.

My Cuban sandwich & grilled corn on the cob. While I was eating, I told Fabbie, "You have no idea how happy I am right now!" LOL!

After dinner, we walked around SoHo. We went into this store that sold Halloween costumes. Fabbie and I goofed around about different outfits. I found out that Fabbie likes to fix the mannequins if the clothes were hanging off of them. She's so silly!

Then it's time for some dessert. We went to Rice to Riches for some rice pudding. Yum!

Fabbie and I.

After Fabbie and I went back to Jersey City, we met up with her boyfriend and went to Azucar to dance a bit. Fabbie taught me some basic salsa steps. I'll be practicing so I can go salsa dancing with them when I visit the next time!

To view the complete photo album with a video clip, click here:


  1. Wow, that Reuben looks absolutely delicious! You're making me hungry and it's only 10AM. NYC is such a magical place, I hope to return soon!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Carrie. I know, that Reuben was dy-no-mite! Now I'm hungry again...