Friday, January 25, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

True Strength For America's Future

It's taken me a while to come to a place where I feel comfortable endorsing a political candidate. In my history I've never cared much for politics. I've always felt so overwhelmed by issues I couldn't understand that it seemed foolish for me to even vote.

Well, times have changed. I guess joining the workforce will do that to a person. (And working in an industry so reliant upon the economy.) Not to mention just living in Manhattan has forced me to think about issues that were perhaps not so apparent to me before.

I think Hillary said it best when she declared at a rally, "There is so much at stake." During her famous first display of public emotion, she also said, "When we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for it really spinning out of control, this is really one of the most important elections America has ever faced." With my limited experience, I have to say I agree.

To top it off, the wide array of candidates leading the race fascinates me. We've got a woman. A bi-racial man. A Mormon. A Baptist. It's never been such a diverse crowd. With each primary and caucus result I learn something new about our country. Each moment in this crazy contest speaks volumes about who we are as a people.

So, after spending perhaps too many hours up at night researching, reading, thinking, watching, feeling, talking--it is with great excitement that I choose to support Mr. Mitt Romney for president in 2008.

I would be lying if I said my being Mormon doesn't influence my opinion of Mr. Romney. Still, I have done my best to not fall into what I call the "blind sheep" category. While my lifelong experience with Mormonism does give me more motivation to support Mr. Romney, it is mostly because it gives me more faith in the good character that he advertises on TV.

But what really gets me pumped about Romney is his record as a businessman, his stance on the issues, his experience fixing things, his ability to motivate and unite, and his optimism for America's future.

I predict that Mitt will win the Republican nomination, and Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic (though I'd much rather have Mr. Obama). The fighting will be fierce, but Mitt will come out on top as our new president. Right now Mitt is in the lead on the Republican side, but we still have a long way to go.

I just found out that New York's Republican party doesn't allow non-Republicans to vote in the primary. Why did I register undeclared? Why? I'm pretty upset about this.

So I figure that if I can't vote, then at least I can help Mitt out by getting the word out about him. To many out there I think he is still an enigma. So, if you've made it this far in my post, check out this opinion piece I found in the Times. If you're still undecided, vote Mitt! If you've got a candidate you feel passionately for, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Nine, 12/28/07]

Day nine we explored Gramercy and West Village.

Here I am opening the gate to Gramercy Park, the only private park in Manhattan.

And for our final night we dined at the Stardust Diner, where my other roommate Ryan is a singing waiter.

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Eight, 12/27/07]

On day eight we celebrated our inner immigrant but visiting the famed Ellis Island museum.

This is a cool 3D bar graph that illustrates all the waves of US immigrants that have come from all the regions of the earth. Here Dad stands behind the bar representing European immigrants coming from 1841-1860. That's when his family came from England.

And here Mom stands behind the bar representing Latin American immigrants from 1961-1980. She came to the US in 1970.

After Ellis Island we met up with Erik at Fraunces Tavern, one of George Washington's old haunts.

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Seven, 12/26/07]

On day seven we got to see something I'd been eyeing for a long time: the Tenement Museum of the Lower East Side. During the 1800s the LES was the most densely populated region on the planet--chock full of immigrants from all parts of Europe. The tenement museum seeks to recreate what life was like in the late 18th and early 19th centuries for immigrants living in these packed tenement buildings.

After the museum we dined at Gramercy Tavern where my roommate Aaron was a pastry cook up until a couple weeks ago. Gramercy Tavern is currently ranked by the Zagat survey as the second best restaurant in New York City. It was easily the finest dining experience I've ever had. And it didn't hurt that Aaron surprised us with four free desserts at the end! Incredible.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Six, 12/25/07]

Christmas day, after sleeping in and opening some presents, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Both ways. I was a very proud tour guide.

To top off a great holiday, we went to a place where Christmas day is just like any other: Chinatown. Apparently Chinatown is something of a tradition for non-Christians on Christmas. Go figure. BTW Christians like it, too. We managed to find a sweet Vietnamese restaurant on Doyers Street (one of my favorites) right where it bends.

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Five, 12/24/07]

Day five was all about la Noche Buena con mi familia Peruana en Nueva Jersey. It's a Christmas Eve tradition. Thanks Dad for the photos.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Four, 12/23/07]

Day four was all about relaxing to holiday jazz music in Marjorie's living room. It was a true Harlem experience for my folks. Watch this jazzy rendition of "Santa Baby."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Three, 12/22/07]

The last time we were together as a family in Manhattan, the twin towers were still standing. This time around, we visited the office of a friend of mine who is working on the engineering of the upcoming Freedom Tower and neighboring buildings. What you see here is a model what Downtown will look like in 2013. The office overlooks construction happening now in Ground Zero.

After our visit, we toured some other downtown sites like Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel, and Financier patisserie for hot chocolate. In the evening we moved all our stuff from my apartment in Harlem down to Gramercy Park, where we stayed for the rest of our vacation.

Mom poses with a statue in front of Tower 7.

A pigeon I made friends with in front of Federal Hall.

With George Washington

Mom & Dad in New York [Day Two, 12/21/07]

On day two I took them in to see where I work in the Saatchi building. Then we did a little SoHo. Favorite discoveries were Jacques Torres Chocolate store, El Paso Mexican restaurant, Purl knitting supplies, and Evolution.

The Christmas tree at the Law Firm of Schnabel & Hill (Thanks, Sasha!)

Mom taking a break at the Saatchi building

Getting some yarn at Purl on Sullivan St. (Mom made me a scarf for Christmas.)

The real Knitting Factory

Mom & Dad in New York [Day One, 12/20/07]

This Christmas my parents decided New York was the place to be. We had a great nine-day family vacation here in Harlem and in Gramercy. It was awesome.

The next nine posts will cover our day to day activities.

After a red eye flight, my parents came ready to hit the ground running. Day one was all about the classic "Christmas in New York" experience. We walked across 34th St. and up 5th Ave. to see the elaborate holiday displays. Next we strolled through Rockefeller Center. To top it all off, Mom and I surprised Dad by taking him to see Les Miserables. We got him good, too. He didn't even see it coming!

Mom in front of the largest store in the world, Macy's on 34th Street

A Macy's "Miracle on 34th Street" window display

At one of my favorite places in Midtown, Giggles

In the Map Room and the Fifth Avenue Library

Old old old New York

The nativity at St. Patrick's Cathedral

The first-ever solar powered Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

Two angels

Dad thought we were going to go home to relax. Then he saw the marquee.