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Me and Manhattan

Published October 31, 2010 by starvillanueva

* Photo of myself with the view of Manhattan Sky Scrapers while inside a ferry tour

Manhattan is a picture-perfect city, with modern movie sceneries (yes, NYC is possibly the most filmed city ever). Who can ever forget classic movies such as Maid in Manhattan & Serendipity both filmed in Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Maid of Honor & Autumn in New York’s Bethesdan Fountain in Central Park, SATC-Day After Tomorrow-Spider Man’s New York Library, Kingkong’s Empire Estate… among others…You can visit most of these must-see tourist sites for free.

* Grand Central Station

You can spend the whole day if you explore Central Park, an oasis amidst busy New York streets. But it’s worth the time. And make sure you go inside the majestic Grand Central Terminal. Most likely, you’ll find yourself gawking in glitzy Times Square, which you have to experience during both day and night time. The great thing about Manhattan is that it’s truly a “walkable” city. It’s best experienced on foot but remember to avoid or shall I say DO NOT repeat the worst thing I ever than in my whole life! ….and that is to walk in Manhattan with my 4inch high-heels shoes! (See The Picture/ Evidence here)

* Grand Central & Chrysler Building

Visit famous skyscrapers and churches such as Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, New York Wall Street Journal, the United Nations headquarters, Radio City Music Hall, Stock Exchange, Yankee Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Museums, among others. And while it costs about $20, you might as well as go up the observation deck of the Empire State Building to get a bird’s eye view of the city. (haven’t tried going up there yet, still waiting for someone special to accompany me there! Haha!)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve taken the bus tour, it’s time to try the two other popular modes of transportation – the subway and taxis. The MTA New York City Subway is certainly the fastest and cheapest way to go around New York City. One trip costs $3 Get the Fun Pass for unlimited rides for the day for only $8 Of course, a trip to the Big Apple wouldn’t be complete without taking one of the city’s 10,000 yellow cabs.

The other must-eat in New York is steak. There are plenty of high-end steak houses in NYC like TGI-Fridays, Hard Rock and Bubba Gump but if you just want really cheap but really good snack while walking, try Sabrett Hotdogs! It’s all over Manhattan and all kinds of people are buying those! Tourist or not, Ladies in all races, Gents on a necktie or Tshirt, young or old, named it. I even have the guts to encouraged the crew with me on a layover to try it too! And Guess What!? Sabrett is now available in Philippines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York is also the mecca for shoppers. For high-end and fashion-forward shops, simply walk the entire length of Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Soho. Visit “destination” stores just because their famous or are attractions by themselves such as huge department stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, World’s Largest Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.For Youngsters, go to Nintendo World or M&M’s World to see the Word’s biggest Wall of Chocolates!

* You may Shop with your Trolley bag if you’re tired of carrying loads of baggage or shop with your Freezing gear outfit, there’s no excuse not to go for shopping in New York! None!

…and last but not the least, if you’re too tired with the buzzing city why not try to hibernate in the Greeneries of Central Park, bring your iPod, favorite book or pair of sneakers and Viola time will just pass without you noticing it, did that already and it’s truly relaxing! I blogged aboutCentral Park Before: Read it at: https://starvillanueva.com/2009/06/28/central-park-new-york-usa/

 

 

Hollywood – Entertainment Capital of Los Angeles

Published June 5, 2010 by starvillanueva

 
Hollywood is known for a lot of things, like the set tours of different movies, thrill rides themed with timeless movies like Jurassic Park and Saw, and of course, the overall experience that you get an insider look at how movies are made, Universal Studios Style. I’ve been lucky enough to get to visit the Universal Studio Theme park in California several times in my life. Each time I’ve gone had been an amazing, fun experience that always leaves me looking forward to my next visit.

 

The new ride on my last visit was The Simpsons Ride, . The Ride was converted from the old Back To The Future ride; it’s a simulator ride that’s intense. It’s theme is adorable. Even though you’re technically not going anywhere, you are moving around in your ride car, and there’s even a part that simulates a rollercoaster ride, When you get to universal this is one of the first thing you should go because for sure you’ll want to ride it twice before the lines goes long!


 

Enjoy the ride then get straight back on and take a look around, you get a birds eye view of Springfield and its really detailed and impressive. Springfield is the fictional city in which the American animated television series The Simpsons is set.

It’s a simulator you sit it this car and watch this huge screen it has lots of effects so that it really doesn’t feel like a simulator with lots of thrills and the unexpected but everyone gets back to earth safely with a few laughs along the way. Water gets sprayed at you too and does it quite well. Very fun! It feels like a rollercoaster with out going upside down of course but still camera is not allowed inside the car. The surprise at the end is funny too. Dont forget to smile.

 

House of Horror – Universal Studios Hollywood turns into one big real-life horror flick. Using inspiration from popular Horror films. It’s better not to show your fear. Even if you are scared, don’t show it. If you run away screaming, Either Zombies, Freddy, Jason, Chuckie, Dracula or Frankenstein may follow you especially in the scare zone, because they have a lot of room and there are blinking lights in all the mazes which makes it harder to walk or run!


 

 

Lastly, hit a water ride! You will absolutely get wet on the Jurassic Park River Adventure water ride. Riders take a boat through waters where man-eating dinosaurs roam and be prepared for the long drop at the end.

A multi-level outdoor escalator, which give you some breathtaking views of the city. If you’re afraid of heights, If you’re afraid of heights or escalators, there are stairs (also outdoors) which run parallel to the escalator (good luck) — there are plenty of people who use them, God bless them! It will be a major journey!

Aside from the main Universal Studio Hollywood theme, there’s also the CityWalk entertainment strip, which does not have any entrance fee. At hopping City Walk there’s plenty of places to eat, including the Hard Rock Cafe. There’s also night clubs, bars, and a movie theater to see the latest movies. It’s really a more grown up experience in comparison with Disneyland

  

 

 

***See The Rest of The Pictures***             

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Hollywood Truly Comes Alive with it’s STUDIO TOUR!

Published June 4, 2010 by starvillanueva

Universal Studios Hollywood is the only movie and television-based theme park to offer guests the authenticity of a working movie studio. It will really make you feel like you’re part of the movies.

We Were actually in Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane…

           * A scene from Desperate Housewives…

The tour of the park was really interesting. Trams go down to the Universal back lot, where they’ve filmed thousands of movies. You have to stay on the tram. But at night, you get off the tram and at literally five feet away from Bates Motel (from the movie Psycho) and the War of the Worlds set and JAWS (yup, the shark actually comes out to attack!).

 

Passing through one of the film’s most highly recognizable scene from a set left completely intact from Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster, “War of the Worlds,” guests aboard the Studio Tour will observe a small town devastated by an elaborately 747 jetliner crash. Maintaining scenic authenticity, a series of special effects dramatically enhance the surrounding ruins with still-smoking wreckage and shattered debris.

          *747 Aircraft from the scene “War of The Worlds

    * The Fast & The Furious

         *The Fast & The Furious – Tokyo Drift Cars

Courthouse Square – A large town square named after the imposing Courthouse building most famously seen in the Back To the Future trilogy. The square has been seen in hundreds of Universal films (and those of other studios).It’s currently appearing in the CBS TV drama Ghost Whisperer.

 

For More Detailed Description Visit: http://media.universalstudioshollywood.com/attractions/about_the_attractions
 

See The Rest of The Studio Tour Picture: http://starvillanueva.multiply.com/photos/album/130/Hollywoods_Universal_Studio_Walk_of_Fame

CENTRAL PARK (New York, USA)

Published June 28, 2009 by starvillanueva

Central Park is one of those places that make New York such a great place to live. The huge park is located in the center of Manhattan. Its design is an example for city parks around the world.

Literally dozens of well known movie and TV scenes have been shot here including: Ransom, One Fine Day, Bullets over Broadway, Home Alone II, Serendipity, Made of Honor, Angels in America, Cruel Intention, 27 Dresses, Superman Returns, I am Legend, Autumn in New York, The Happenings, You’ve Got Mail, Maid in Manhattan, Sex and the City, Gossip Girl and more. For more info go to IMDB Central Park Filming Location.

Bow Bridge completed in 1862, is one of the most photographed and filmed locations in Central Park and it deserves every bit of its star reputation. The bridge also provides the perfect view from to watch the slowly moving row boats as they glide across the lake, or to photograph the skyline over Fifth Ave. as it rises from the leafy skirt of trees that edge it. It is one of the most popular, and best known, spots to meet and has hosted numberless romantic moments, both on and off the big screen.

The Mall  The 40foot wide Mall, flanked by its majestic rows of American Elms, provides the perfect place for a leisurely stroll in any season. One can easily imagine the scene a century ago, women with parasols and men in top hats perambulating towards the Concert Ground that stood adjacent to its northern end. Now you are more likely to find skateboards than waistcoats, but the effect is still the same and even the visitors on wheels are apt to slow down just a bit and admire the cathedral-like ambience.

The Loeb Boathouse, one of the most famous icons of Central Park is located at the northeastern tip of the Lake and houses the Boathouse Restaurant. It is a romantic setting for dinner on a mid-summer 19s evening, watching the sun sink behind the trees and maybe catching a venetian gondola.

Bethesda Fountain rises high above Bethesda Terrace looking over the hundreds of visitors that come every day to enjoy the view of the Lake and relax at the “heart” of the Central Park. Besides being a favorite destination of park visitors in search of a cool place to spend a summer afternoon.  Bethesda Fountain is also a celebrity in its own right. It has probably appeared in more movies than any other monument in the park, exuding a timeless romantic charm that makes it a perfect backdrop for cinematographers.

North Meadow Recreation Center is, at 23 acres, one of Central Park’s largest open areas. Ball fields first appeared there in the 1870s and it has been extensively refitted with carefully managed baseball diamonds which are in use throughout the spring and summer. Located just to the north of the reservoir the gently rolling landscape around it creates a slightly more secluded ambience. It also houses a state of the art fitness center, which includes basketball courts, handball courts and two climbing walls.

Strawberry Fields, On December 8th, 1980 John Lennon was shot dead at 72nd St. and Central Park West. Mr. Lennon had taken many walks with his wife and young son through the friendly confines of Central Park. On March 26, 1981 His widow, the artist and performer, later donated $1 million to the Central Park Conservancy to re-landscape and to maintain the 2.5-acre tear-drop-shaped parcel of park landscape. Strawberry Fields opened on October 9, 1985. Every October 9th since then has seen an all day vigil of people of all ages from around the world; fans of his music and believers in his vision.

Source: http://www.centralpark.com/

Related Post: Me and Manhattan

Reminiscing Washington D.C

Published May 20, 2009 by starvillanueva

On our Flight going to Washington, I can’t believe there’s only 36 Passengers!!! Only 36 PAX for a 14hrs flight!? Great! and on the way back to Doha only 42 Pax in Economy! Still light load so galley isn’t that tiring after all. Since it’s 14hrs flight we are given 3hrs 15mins. to rest in the BCRC (Bulk Crew Rest Compartment) IIt’s my 1st time to use BCRC All I can say is It’s such a big help to sleep during a long haul flight!

The hotel is located in the middle of a town center, but we arrive passed 9pm so the shops are close already so we just ate late dinner at Bhusara Thai Restaurant Since we only have 25hrs layover I wasn’t able to walk around Reston Town Center =( Anyway, me our CS Bernie & Loubelle went out around 6am to wait for the bus on theway to the metro train station Smithsonian. I’ve been to Washington before (year 1994) but It was long time ago. I’m glad I’ll still be able to go to the U.S like the old times…There are still many places to see but here’s some of the;

Recommended places to visit:

WASHINGTON MONUMENT – The 555ft. Marble Obelisk since 1884 & it’s the world’s tallest freestanding mansonry structure built for George Washington. The

WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL – honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home, from WWII memorial we can see & clearly take pictures of the Lincoln Memorial but we prefer to walk up close with LINCOLN MEMORIAL – The 19ft Marble statue sits in the classic Greel-style temple. WHITE HOUSE – Home of every U.S President and U.S CAPITOL – Seat of Congress since 1800. THE SMITHSONIAN CASTLE – Completed in 1855, The Castle is the easiest landmark to find the National Mall.

We also visited some museums like MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY – The museum’s collections total over 125 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts. NATIONAL GEM and MINERAL COLLECTION – The collection includes some of the most famous pieces of gems and minerals such as the famous Hope Diamond and the Star of Asia Sapphire. There are over 375,000 individual mineral samples, and a research collection used by scientists around the world.

NATIONAL AIR & SPACE MUSEUM -the most popular of the Smithsonian museums. It maintains the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics.

HOUSTON, TEXAS (Travel Review)

Published April 15, 2009 by starvillanueva


It was 16hrs direct flight from Doha, but they gave us 5hrs 45mins rest. We arrived in Renaissance Hotel around 17:30 similar to arrival time whenever I have Washington & New York flight, but Houston layover is longer stay! 2nights/3days! Sarap mag inter-state! Knowing Vegas is just around 2hrs away & Miami is just an hour away! (Via plane.)

 

Since Houston is the newest destination of Qatar Airways, I might as well share these infos…   

 

·       There’s no public transpo available around the area. Puro lang for hire Limo & shuttle bus. (The best parin maging commuter sa Washington/Virginia)  

·       There’s a food court located in the ground floor inside the hotel pero exagge ang closing time ha! 2:30pm Close na! Pati Starbucks close narin! Pag weekend Close din! 

·       Since mahilig ako mag grocery because my pantry should always be fully stocked coz I don’t cook,  isa nnman itong magastos na layover, dahil kung ang Virginia ay may 24hrs walking distance na Harris Teeter or Target Supermarket while New York has 24hrs din na Duane Reade or CVS Pharmacy/Supermarket or K-mart. Houston naman has Kroger Supermarket located just in front of the hotel! 

·       There’s ATM Machine located in the Ground floor. 

·       Free wired Internet connection – Same as in New York wherein you’re being asked to sign in with your name & room number but they will remove the charge when you checked out. Wifi is only available in the lobby. 

·        Meron dun Much talk about NASA Space Station it will cost you $60 to go there by tour 9-1pm, but I suggest If you already went to National Air & Space Museum in DC. No need to go there kasi pareho lang ang makikita. (View it here) 

·       Free USA Today Newspaper! Gusto ko lang I-mention.. Hehe! sa IAD & JFK kc wala… 

·       The best parin ang sales tax ng Virginia 4.something lang… Eh dito 8.something parang N.Y but in Fairness, meron silang Tax Refund parang sa Europe! Pero Hello!? As if naman may time ka pa mag refund sa airport… If delayed departure cgro… 

·       As I was watching CNN, I noticed there’s QR short Commercial every 5-10mins! 

·       Qatar Airways’ huge Promotional Tarpaulins are scattered all over Galleria Mall, pati sa elevator, Ice Skating rink at food court.   

  • TX’s Galleria Mall is bigger than Tyson’s Corner in VA. It reminds me of Lakewood Center Mall in LA because of the similar interior and Ala Moana Mall in Hawaii because of the high-end shops.
  • *** Hope this helps.., Add nlng ako ulit ng info next week coz April 15-18, I’ll be in Houston, Texas again.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    *** Pictures can be found here

     

     

     

    Reston Virginia

    Published August 16, 2008 by starvillanueva

     

    Aug 14-16′ 2008 – I just came back from Washington (as usual) but this time we used Airbus 340 to Washington & Boeing 777 going back to Doha… I missed Airbus! The last time I flew with this aircraft is 7 months ago (Hongkong Flight) A340’s capacity is 266, While B777 is 305! And it’s equipped with “AIP” an indication panel where you can see the passengers’ seat number who pressed the call bell, so no need to look around like a hunter where the call bell is is! Hehe! And there’s jumpseat in mid galley! Unlike in B777 there’s no seat at all except for drawers!?  But in B777 the bunk beds are more spacious!

    Unbelievably, I was able to managed being in-charged of the mid-galley with lots of special meals, nakapag load ako ng 4carts on time eh nasa cabin din ako at the same time because of Bar Service! I can’t blame anyone why nobody helped me load the carts co’z anyone has their own task din & the one’s I’m flying with as in 4-5 times ko na nakasama mga flying buddies ko na. Nice naman sila.
    Anyway yun nga back to the story. Nagulat sila How I’m able to finish loading the carts so Quick! Eh nasa cabin din ako…hehe! About the passengers naman same old stories, kakatapos lang nila kumain ask na agad what time next service or hingi na agad ng anytime snacks… Haaaay No comment na!

    We arrived the hotel in Hyatt Reston Virginia around 5:30pm (it seems like the rain has just finished) then went straight to Target Supermarket, I invited Ji Hyun (Korean) if she wants to buy some groceries. I told her 18-20mins away lang! medyo rocky & puro grass yung lalakaran and both of us were wearinghigh-heeled shoes! It turns out to be 45mins walk! Sabi nya sakin, “Star, you told me it’s less than 20 mins walk!” sabi ko nalang “this is a good form of exercise!”  She keeps on complaining about how far it is kasi pagod nga sa flight. Kaya nagpapatawa nalang ako the whole time para hindi ako antukin!

    Napapasigaw ako sa may parking area kasi umulubog sa grass yung heels namin, Sabi ko nga kay Ji Hyun “Hey let’s go back!!!” then she still continue to walk, sabi nya she was on half way of getting out of the grass mas longer pa pabalik

    .

    We finished shopping around 9:30pm ate dinner then walk far again but that time its dark already, iba naman yung way namin, we crossed some bridge then followed a long fence but we end up climbing a hill with our high heeled shoes & groceries!  Sabi ko nga “Wow this is unforgettable we should take a picture” sabi nya “Star! I will kill you  sabi ko, “I’m just kidding!” hahahaha! Kasi naman hirap na umakyat ng hill picture pa nasa isip! Pero in-fairness funny din sya kasama naging close na kami coz we always fly
    together on a 14hrs flight! =)

    We supposed to go to Tysons Mall together but when I called her she was still sleeping so as usual I just went to mall by myself again… didn’t have much time to sleep in our entire 27hrs stay but during our crew rest for 3hrs during the flight I was completely deep sleep!  I can’t believe I have Washington flight again
    After 2days…

     

    Qatar Airways Oryx in Blue sky… Isn’t wonderful?