Cycling in 2014

My goal for the year was to cycle around 1400 miles and I managed to ride 1236 miles, climbed 21 thousands feet, in 86.5 hours, which is pretty good even if I say so myself. I also targeted to complete two cycling events which I managed as well.

NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour

After 2+ months of preparation, I finished the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour in May.

The Start
The Start
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First in 10 years

Ever since I moved to New York City back in 2001, I never have the need to own a car like I used to in the UK because of the great and inexpensive public transport here. But because of the new job that I’ve just taken which is located just outside New York City, near White Plain, my commute time would be around an hour and forty minutes each way via three separate trains.

The solution to spending over three hours commuting each day is to own a car for the first time in 10 years! Granted it would cost more to maintain the car (payment, parking, gas, toll, etc.) but instead of three hours my commute time by car is now halved! As they say, time is money, and in this case I feel it is worth it.

So from the last car:

To the latest:

The High Line

Having a brand new camera body encourages me to take more photos during the weekend (funny that always works). Today, Leah and I went to the High Line after having brunch with some friends. From the Wikipedia, the High Line is

The High Line is a 1.45-mile (2.33 km) section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line, along the lower west side of Manhattan, which has been redesigned and planted as a greenway. The High Line runs from the former 34th Street freightyard, near the Javits Convention Center, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District of the West Village.

The High Line

NY ALT.NET October meeting

Last Wednesday the NY ALT.NET group met up again at the Microsoft office. This time we discussed various project management techniques (Agile, Scrum, etc.). We had a great turn out with nearly 40 members, all cramped into a medium size room. ThoughtWorks (my employer) sponsored the food and drinks of this meeting and we were greeted with fantastic pizza!

 

 

 

This time round, the video streams are provided by Vimeo after I experienced continuous upload issue with MobileMe’s gallery from iMovie. So far I have been very impressed by their service and quality, and would be migrating all of the existing NY ALT.NET videos to Vimeo in the next two weeks. Hopefully I’ll be recording in HD when Santa delivers a brand new HD camera in Dec! 🙂

 

NYC ALT.NET user group

A group of like minded .Net developer and I have started a local ALT.NET user group for the NYC area. Our first meeting will be held on Thursday, September 25th, 6:30 PM at the Microsoft office in midtown Manhattan.

The topic for the first meeting is: Object-Relational Mapping: the philosophies and the tools. More details can be found on our user group web site: http://nyalt.net/ or you can RSVP directly on the meetup.com page.

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The food Usual Suspects

Due to the crappy business practice in the food industry here in the UK, I've been dying to get back to New York and enjoy great food at reasonable price, at reasonable hours. (Wagamama closed at 8PM on Sunday in central London near Victoria Station? No fish & chips? No sushi? Pizza Hut delivery costs $30+? WTF?)

So here is the list of NYC restaurants that Missus H. and/or I frequent, and I'll make a point of visiting in Jan:

  • Les Halles – best French fries there is! The steaks are great too!
  • Blue Ribbon Sushi – smaller portion than usual but fresh fish.
  • Johnny Rockets – Burger + fries + milk shakes = heart attack. But I'll die happy!
  • Sapporo – Best Japanese noddles in Midtown. Try the curry beef soap ramen and you will be nice and warm for the cold winter NYC walk. You know it is authentic when the staff is not faux-Japanese (i.e. Chinese).
  • Alfama – our favorite restaurant. Great seasonal Portuguese food with fantastic wine list. I prefer Port though and they have plenty of great ones 🙂
  • Congee Village – Where else can you get authentic Chinese food (not takeout variety) at really cheap price?
  • Blue Smoke – decent BBQ. Not proper BBQ triangle stuff but good for the NE.
  • L'Express – good French snack food. Always very busy on the weekend or week day lunch time.
  • Baluchis – decent Indian food. Not authentic like from Bangalore but hey that's OK.
  • Dos Cominos – nice Mexican food. Freshly made guacamole right in front of you. What can beat that!?
  • Pylos – fantastic Greek food. Best desert, EVER!

Actually the list can goes on forever but I think I've made my point! Don't think that I am dissing UK's restaurants in general, just that I think more should be opened on Sunday evening! And of course London is the only city where there are more than one Gordon Ramsay restaurants for us to eat at!

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Vox NYC meet up 2

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