Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cool in NY

NY is cool, in many ways, especially in the early spring. So I wear my bonnet to keep my ears warm. But NY has not failed to realise that spring IS here, so the sun is shining bright most of the day. I bought myself a pair of BIG fancy sunglasses for $3, which not only save my late-night-dancing-eyes from the merciless sun, but also make me look almost as cool as New York.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bagels for lunch

I can give my highest recommendations to the hostel Manhattan Inn. It is a small place, with dorm rooms that all have bathroom ensuite. I was in a six-bed female dorm for two days, and really enjoyed my stay. I was concerned that there would be a lot of noise from the other dorms, but as soon as the door was closed we could only hear the traffic outside (hard to avoid the noise of traffic in NY). There is a small common room/ kitchen where breakfast is self-served in the morning included in the price. The breakfast consists of coffee, tea, juice, cornflakes, milk, fresh fruit and a selection of bagels and muffins with butter and jam, on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Since I am picky and prefer muesli and low-fat milk in the morning, I bought my breakfast myself from the deli on the corner, and allowed myself to bring a bagel and a muffin for my lunch. Mmm... delicious.

Illustration courtesy: Harlan Bakeries

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Duplessey Monday Morning

When I arrived in NY late Sunday afternoon I went straight to the Piel Canela social, and after two hours there I continued to the Mojito Sundays at club Iguana. Lots of good dancing both places and many familiar faces.

Next morning I woke up at dawn as usual (after approx 4 hrs sleep) and went out to explore NY. At 11am I had an appointment with Duplessey-Monic Walker for a private salsa lesson, and "Wow!" did she do me good. She gave me loads of tips and exercises, and she did not let me relax for one moment. I could feel it afterwards, and I am sure the changes are visible in my dancing.

Monday evening it was my intention to go drop in to some classes and then go dancing at Session 73, but at nine pm I fell asleep on my bed in the hostel and slept as a stone till next morning. Duplessey sure worked me good.

Photo courtesy:

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, September 09, 2007

sleepy week

The whole week has been a characterized by a jet-lag-like sleepiness. However, I am convinced that the six hour time difference from NY to AMS is not the source of my tiredness, rather I think the cause is the whole week of the messed up sleep pattern I practised in New York. Everything comes with a cost, and the cost of making the most of my time in New York, both in terms of dancing, socialising and site-seeing was the consistent lack of sleep. Now I am back in Nijmegen, and more or less back in my old routine...

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pre-party cruise

Tuesday evening the congress pre-party started as a cruise on the Circle Line. While the sun faded and the city lit up, we cruised on the Hudson round Manhattan. On the passenger deck the salsa band Ocho y Mas! played a great salsa beat all through the trip and the passengers enjoyed the challenge of dancing on a tilting carpeted floor. In the breaks between dancing we could see the Manhattan skyline and a close up look at the Statue of Liberty by night. Afterwards the party continued at the Link Lounge, hosted by Marlon Int'l.

Fun fact: today I tried my first ever coffee containing beverage at Starbucks - a Pumpkin Spice Frappucino.

Photo courtesy:

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taj Lounge

Taking it easy, strolling slowly through a street market in the afternoon, shopping useless items and souvenirs, ... and dancing all night long!

The NYC salsa congress has arranged for a whole week of pre-congress parties with entry free of charge for congress full pass holders. Saturday the party was at the Harlem YMCA, Sunday it was Piel Canelas Sunday social, and yesterday the party was on at Session 73. However, yesterday was also the After Work Salsa Mondays at the Taj Lounge with DJ Henry Knowles and live salsa band and show by Ismael and Shani. I went there to enjoy the music and the exotic lounge, and the dancing of course, before I went of to join my fellow congress participants at Session 73.

Tip of the day: Henry Knowles is an amazing DJ!

Photo courtesy: Taj Lounge

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Arrived in NY

What a bummer to arrive before the hostel check-in opens (I _really_ need a shower after the eight hour flight). And the weather here is extremely hot - 29 degrees feels like a day for ice creams and non-stop ice tea.

Meanwhile in Copenhagen: The Copenhagen Cooking Festival

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Green yellow cabs

Last night I dreamt I was in New York, I was on my way out to go dancing with my sister. I saw the streets were filled with yellow cabs as usual, but then I noticed something strange: the colours of the cabs were changing. When they were driving normally, they were yellow, but when they were holding still or running slow as in a traffic jam, they would change to green.

I do not remember from where, but somehow my subconsciousness has picked up the headline that "NY yellow cabs to go green by 2012" and woven it into my dream in this special way. I had forgotten everything about this news item until I told my dream to a friend and realised that I had read something about the yellow cabs recently. Funny how the mind works.

Photo courtesy:

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New York, New York

I bought the ticket, booked a hostel, yes, you got me right, I am going to New York again! This time for the NY salsa congress August 30 to September 2!

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, May 26, 2007


When I was in New York over easter, a friend of mine there asked me: "Are you religious?" He himself being a catholic, he was interested in knowing what church I belonged to. When I answered him "No" he was very surprised. "So... what do you believe in?" he asked. I told him, as I will tell you now, that I believe in people; I believe that people are good.

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 20, 2007

Photos from NY

The gallery is now updated with my photos from New York.

Please comment on this post if you ever saw this sketch (in red on the right) in other cities than NY or Nijmegen... just curious...

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Last chance to see

I went off the beaten track, just one more block west, and walked down 9th avenue. The streets were not very busy and the sun was shining. At a local flea market I found one more New York souvenir: a small box of NY photos from the 1930's. By the time I finished browsing the stands, I was freezing cold, so on my way further I stopped into every deli on the way to get a cup of tea. Now it is snowing and I am on my way home.

Titel courtesy: Douglas Adams

Labels: , ,

Saturday salsa

I spent the whole afternoon at the Santo Rico dance school, first practising spinning and footwork with Lisette, and then joining an intermediate partnerwork workshop. In the evening I went to the 'Salsa VIP' party at Stepping Out Studios (even though the flyer said 'dress to impress' most people were wearing jeans). Two great live performances took place, first the Masacote show group from Boston in their white suits and black/white hairstyles, and then a spectacular show by Mambo D! That guy really knows how to move his feet!

Labels: , , , ,

Walking in Harlem

It is funny how NY appears a totally different city when you visit a different district. In East Harlem, you have to be black or mexican and wear a The North Face jacket and gold chains for men, big shiny earrings for women. Quite a different street picture than when you stroll down the gay chelsea district: Even the waiters in the restaurants wear tight pants and slim cut designer shirts.
Illustration by

Labels: ,

Friday salsa

Another big social in NY: Mambo Fateegz Salsa Friday. Big place, good music and lots of dancers. Now I seem to be running into the same people over and over again, it seems I have met or seen all the regulars at least once during this week. ;)

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 06, 2007

Modern Art is Fun

Lots of exhibits at MoMA made me smile or laugh out loud! I really enjoyed the 'Comic Abstraction' special exhibition, and the floor to ceiling photos of Jeff Wall was a whole new experience for me. Tips for visitors: don't go with an empty stomach, and make use of the water fountains to keep you fresh for the several hours it will take you to enjoy everything.

Photo courtesy: Wiki - Modern Art

Labels: , , ,

Thursday salsa

Dropped-in at Cynthias spinning and salsa3 lesson and went with the crowd to Gonzales y Gonzales to eat and listen(dance) to live music. Later I got a ride to Club Cache, where I saw the best crowd of dancers so far, all advanced and on2. Great dancing!

Labels: , , ,

Spoiled kids?

After visiting Neue Galerie (Schiele, Klimt, van Gogh etc.) I met up with Luna at Starbucks behind the MoMA. We went to get a true NY manicure and nail extensions (no extensions for me, please) and went cruising round town with our flashy nails. We spent a lot of time in the M&Ms world: imagine a three storey shop containing only, and I say ONLY, M&Ms merchandise! So what should it be? An M&Ms towel, an M&Ms purse, an M&Ms t-shirt or M&Ms plates and cutlery? Of course you can also buy any amount of M&Ms, in any colour you choose.

Illustration: M&Ms

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wednesday salsa

I went to the Ripley-Grier studios where I did a private lesson in spinning and styling on2 with Cynthia La China. That was really the worth it. Cynthia is very good at noticing points for correction while smiling and giving encouraging comments at the same time.
Straight after that, only stopping for something to eat, I went to LQ (the former Latin Quarter) to dance and watch Eddie Palmieri perform live.
Photo courtesy:

Labels: , , , ,

More sights

Wednesday I saw a woman with eyes as big as Michael Jacksons. I got interviewed by a man with a camera. I blogged from the most beautiful library I have ever seen and in the middle of the night I saw a coconut lying on the ground in an otherwise deserted parking lot.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rainy day

As much as it was sunshine yesterday, it is raining today. It is not a nice weather for walking unless you have both raintrousers and umbrella. I have an umbrella.

Photo courtesy: Fabric Attic

Labels: ,

Tuesday sights, work and salsa

I went for a walk past the World Trade Center site, and continued to the very south of Manhattan, where I wiggled my toes at the Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I shot a lot of nice photos, mostly of tourists in the sun.

In the afternoon I visited the Computational Biology unit at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where I gave a talk on microarray chip design.

Straight after that I went to the famous Copa Cabana club, where Oscar d'Leon was playing. I made the mistake of walking all day in hard boots and then wearing new dance shoes in the evening. Result? Sore feet and blisters, and painful dancing. It is a beautiful club, very big, and with a huge dance floor. Unfortunately for dance enthousiasts it is rather too crowded to move around, and most of the people there come for the atmosphere and the music rather than dancing.

Labels: , , ,

Monday salsa

I visited the Santo Rico Dance School to drop in on a styling and partnerwork lesson 7pm-9pm. After hanging out, chatting salsa and practising a bit I went back to my hostel and from there directly to the Taj Lounge. Unfortunately it had been an early night at the Taj, so people were leaving when I arrived. So I went on to Session 73, a small and cosy club on 73rd street. It was not really crowded, but there were some good dancers there.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sightings in NY

Yesterday I saw an albino black woman. Next to Empire State Building I met a man who works there, writing movie scripts. I saw a street fight break out in Harlem, and in the subway I saw a great performance by a couple drumming big empty plastic paint buckets.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday salsa

I went to the Sunday social 'Latin Sundays Party' at Dance Manhattan Studios. I guess I arrived around 6pm, and the place was already filled with on2 dancers. Nice big place for a social, and a fair deal of good dancers there. They closed at 9pm, and after a Chai Latte break at Starbucks, I went to 'Mojito Sundays' at Wish 26. It is a smaller place, which does not look like it was designed for dancing. The floor was wobbly in places, and the light very dim, so it was actually not a good place for practising new moves. Nice atmosphere though.

Labels: , , ,

New York part II

Four days of scientific talks at Cold Spring Harbor - now it is time for the second part of my trip to NY. Yesterday I checked in at the Chelsea Hostel and immediately went looking for a towel...
After a few hours walking Manhattan, I had already tried riding a yellow cab, seen batman cross the road, visited Burger King (of all places) for internet access and got a feel of the NY atmosphere. I must admit that I expected this place to be more buzzing and crowded, but I guess the quiet streets are what you would expect on a Sunday afternoon in a drizzle.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New York - Part I

Safely arrived in Cold Spring Harbor. I enjoyed the flight, watched Casino Royale, watched the ice crystals forming on the window, watched Step Up, listened to laid back tango, and then I arrived at JFK airport. The shared cab I had booked beforehand came to pick me up at the terminal, and I had my evening meal at Cold Spring Harbor Labs. Most of the evening I spent talking with Celine about dancing (she is into tango) and dance shoes... and a little bit of science.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, March 23, 2007

New York photo gallery

Of course I will bring my camera for my trip to NY, but I doubt that I will be able to compete with this collection of excellent NY photos from

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tips for NY

I registered for the conference, I booked my ticket, found a place to stay and now I am getting really excited about my trip to New York March 28 to April 8. If you have ever been to New York I could use some firsthand tips on what to see and where (not) to go, what to try while I am there etc.
If you answer that it depends on my interests, I can tell you that my main interests for this trip are: arts of all kinds, photography, meeting people and salsa dancing. Any good ideas? :)

Illustration courtesy:

Labels: , , , ,