Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Japan Day @ Central Park 2014

 


Japan Day at Central Park is that time of year that takes place every Mother's Day and this year hasn't even changed a bit except the 2011 year. Comparing with last year or any other year, there is free tea, food, snacks, origami, yukata try on and more but 2 new activities.

Grabbing the mocha black tea is a start but one of the new activities is the railroad which can give you information about New York to Washington and others. You can also try to get a free prize. Almost the entire time, I spent the entire time waiting at the bandshell.


I've been watching some performances and trying some activities. This year, I did face paint kabuki face with white and red paint. Have a picture with Hello Kitty and an all new activity which is News Report with Domo. It's an activity when people pretending to be news reporters and you get to take a picture with Domo with a specific background.

 

The food service isn't improved at all, the line is extremely long for some but the Miso Soup is decent. All other foods I cannot get to and is sold out very quickly. This is a selfish activity as people are trying to be ahead of the line for a specific performance. They should have more cooks or something like that but the food service is not improved. Well about the tea, every food line has tea so why the free supplies.



The 2 Taiko performances are Cobu and Taiko Masala. I won't be bothering meeting people this time. While I watched the performance, an unexpected surprise that comes over to me and had unexpected copyright issue discussions. Let's not tell who that person is. The rest of the time, I watched the swimsuit modeling, a guy singing, an actress singing, and some dancing along with a fortune cookie video. While walking around Central Park, cherry blossom trees are already lost.



I couldn't get some sleep, so I had to go to Good Bye Blue Monday around Broadway for Sound Bee and IRI. Because I am going along Sunset Park, I have to walk over after the show is over. Going to Sunset Park requires being an early bird travelling.

Friday, May 16, 2014

NYU's Strawberry Festival 2014

 

Last week, I have chosen to come back to New York University’s 29th Annual Strawberry Festival. It’s a festival where you play games and eat some Strawberry sweets. Of course, everyone is welcomed but what bothers me is entering the festival whether you have a NYU ID or not. It’s for security purposes but can’t at least register people with state ID’s too. Just imagine if someone without a NYU ID may bring a gun and shoot everyone and have no identification responsible. Anyway let’s get on with the festival itself and not talk about ID stuff.

 

When you checked in, you will receive the badge. I forgot to tell you, there are no 2nd chances. I guess this is another reason why NYU ID’s needs to be checked in so you can’t get a 2nd badge.  You must present your badge to each of the booth and had it checked. But be careful, if you found the 2nd badge on the ground or more and repeatedly going to the same booth every second with the same check in person, then there’s a chance you won’t have anymore, more on that later on to the story.
There’s Strawberries, Cotton Candy, Frozen Treats, Pudding with Cookies and Gummies, Root Beers or Sodas, Truffles and the largest Strawberry Shortcake. Every booth contains one line and you get it only once.

 

There are games as well. The high striker when you use your hammer to prove your weight to get the highest score. You get a random prize and are unlimited. The other 2 games are unusable. You can play as many but you only get a maximum of 2 prizes. The throwing game can always get a prize and is not unlimited. Most throws can get you whatever you take.



What I don’t like is trash. People are constantly wasting food and not to mention shortcakes. Every unfinished food goes in the trash. The badges are also goes in the trash and mostly found on the floor. Any unmarked items may get a chance for a 2nd helping. I had 2 strawberry shortcakes and 2 cotton candies. It’s too bad that the frozen treats and the pudding quickly sold out.

The Strawberry Festival is okay and is enjoyable for a short while but when you run out of the marked items you get bored but there’s music entertainment. I probably may not enter next year.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Rockman 5 YH (Rockman 5 Hack)

It's been a while writing blogs on ROM-Hacks.


Rockman 5 YH is a mediocre game created by Rock5easily which is just a modified gameplay with the same exact storyline as the original game. YH stands for Yasashii Hack. The graphics is a bit changed but otherwise it's the exact graphic tiles as the original. Most enemies AI have much higher speeds than the original. The gameplay itself is well balanced and not as hard as Chiko's Rockman 5 hacks and is mainly Dood in Wily's Last which is really awful.

 

As shown in the screenshot above is Wave Man's mid-boss which you are now facing left and has modified its movements. Now that's a tough challenge. Speaking of Wave Man, the bubble has limited time to ride on and it can go through the walls. The giant ones pop when you take too long. The other screenshot shows that the Star Crash also known as Star Shield which is the modified version allows you to bounce off projectiles which make a whole lot of sense. Why, because Rockman blocks his shots while battling Star Man so why the shield disappears when projectile hits. That's a HUGE improvement over the original Star Crash. Other weapons have 8-Way Gyro-Attacks, Bright light attacks from Gravity Man, Triangle Water Waves, Bouncing Crystal Eyes which it doesn't do much, Mutekick which you allow to slide through most enemies and turns into ghost mode if successfully hits. Most of YH weapons are an improvement over the original but Rockman 5 Air Sliding's Gravity Hold also makes sense.

Also major improvements are Rockman 5 YH allows you to turn on and off Charge shots during gameplay. Instead of an M-Tank, there's a W-Tank which you can collect up to 4 from each of the stages available.


The bosses themselves are more challenging than the original. The attacks are much improved such as Stone Man, Gravity Man, Charge Man, Star Man, but Wave Man doesn’t have any improvements than Air Sliding. After playing it for so long, I beat the game so easily and it's an okay game.

The download is available at: http://www.geocities.jp/rock5easily/archive/20140412/rock5yh.html



Now here's the counter-gender version of Rockman 5 YH known to be as Roll Chan 5 YH. That project took me 2 weeks to build it. Unlike Rockman 5 YH, Roll Chan does not disable charging when getting hit. There's Kirby music and Roll has her storyline when she faces Rockman. It's the same gameplay as Rockman 5 YH but with Roll Chan this time.

The download is available at: https://sites.google.com/site/insectduel/insectduel-s-remodeling-projects/Roll%20Chan%205%20YH.zip

Keep in mind that this is a XDELTA patch and must be applied to Rockman 5 YH only. Follow instructions and have fun with it.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Harrison Sakura Matsuri 2014 (Harrison Japan Spring Festival)

Hello guys, Insectduel speaking and let's discuss about last Sunday's event.



The early train actually got me to Harrison, New York's first Cherry Blossom Festival and yes, there are cherry trees at Ma Riis Playground just steps to the Harrison Metro North Station. This is one festival comparing to Randall's Island so let's see what's in store for it. You may think that Harrison may be the same as Stamford, but we never went to Stamford Connecticut so next year we will go.

 

We have Japan Block Fair vendors like Hakata Tonton which is the pork food I eat with sauce. As I said before like in White Plains, booth service is better than restaurant service. Hakata Tonton should do Washington DC since some New York vendors did come there. Oh, there are teriyaki balls and the matsuri market as well.



Unlike any other cherry blossom festivals, the games cost money and so are certain activities. This time, Shodo isn't free for Harrison so you have to pay to write your name and origami’s also cost money. That's because the money will go towards the Japan disaster and parts to the community of Harrison. There is also Fukushima vendors that wanted to donate as well.



There’s a live performance as well. Something that Randall's Island could not afford. There's Tsukumai, Japanese Traditional dance, Ryukyu Chimdon Band, The Students Shoko Dance Studio, the Choir like White Plains, and some dance groups.



Randall's Island didn't have workshops either but Stony Brook did have them. There's tea ceremony and other activities at the Harrison Public Library. And I can't believe that the Harrison Public Library opens on Sundays but too bad that my NYPL library card is not compatible with Westchester's system.

 

There's Sakura Taiko and 10tecomai on stage. I'll tell you they really entertain me so Tomoko wanted me to join and so is Tomas or should I say the Trinidad family. What does it like for me to become a 10tecomai member, well it gets better as soon as I join it. Unfortunately, not this Sunday since I have plans for Japan Day @ Central Park. This is just like joining the church choir itself.

When the festival is over, it rains and during the Tsukumai workshop. At least it's short hard rain. I'd say that this cherry blossom festival was a great success comparing to Randall Island's.



The rest of the day, I went to Lulu's at Greenpoint Brooklyn. The only girl Japanese band I love best is Bala. It's great to become fans of the band but Starmarie is still better but too bad you can't meet them. Bala you can meet them locally. This concludes this story to the Sakura Matsuri story.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sakura Matsuri Randall's Island + Tomi Jazz Late Night

Hello guys, Insectduel speaking and let's discuss about last Saturday's event.

 

It was a frustrating day and it's not a good day to start. First off is getting off the bus early at Randall's Island and had nowhere to go without a map. Of course, the urban farm is not easy as it goes as it leads farther than it usually goes. This is complete waste of time. You walk around the area over and over again and find out that I have to drive the path of the car, but I was wrong. The arrows pointed out to the designation. When you walk around, there hasn't been a sign until you see one and I found out that the shortcut to the Urban Farm is East 103rd Street through the walkway after walking through these paths, finally the urban farm.



This Sakura Matsuri does not seem what it looks like. Of course there's nothing comparing to White Plains or Branch Brook Park New Jersey, this is far too worse than Stony Brook. It's cheap I know. The best part is trying out the Sakura tea which is hot water and cherry blossoms. I had 4 cups of it. Wow, that was amazing. I tried out a few activities and I say that the make your kite project isn't just for kids but to increase your brain power. I had to throw my kite in the garbage and it looks like crap!

The only performance is New York Taiko Aiko Kai. God, I love these Taiko drumming.

In conclusion, it is not the best Cherry Blossom Festival for me but only people that want to socialize or if you're a parent that wants to take your kids outside is highly recommended. There should have been improved over the other ones. Where's the anime, workshops, vendors, Japanese products, other performances, tea demonstrations, where is the Japanese education. None of those has to do with Japanese culture except the Shodo writing and making your origami and that's it. I am sorry but Randall's Island didn't even last for me and next year, I'm trying Stamford Connecticut. BUT I am taking the Sakura tea with me.



Next, there's Tomi Jazz, I was frustrated when the D train got stuck between 34th Street and West 4th Street but I was angered after I rail fanned the 2 train. Let's take a review of Tomi Jazz shall we. Now there is Tomi Jazz in Japan so comparing with New York, let's see. I didn't need a reservation since the seats were empty during the last show and I've been to Saturday Tomi Jazz so many times. A late night concert seems low on customers or should I say participants. I ordered the spam rice balls this time to save money for Harrison.

 

IRI performed first before Yuri Bear's Sound Bee. It was misleading but they did sing a duo afterwards. But I am glad that the performance went up pretty good for both of them and I am glad that I met them both.



Of course, that brings me $20 so that is why $30 is the safety net. IRI and Yuri Bear seem great singers and they will do it again on the 11th of Sunday and finally, Harrison Japan Spring Festival for this blog. This visit's Tomi Jazz is okay but I got used to it so coming to Tomi Jazz so many times makes me learn something and from my own mistakes.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sakura Matsuri White Plains 2014

Hello guys, getting excited for more!


On Sunday April 27, 2014 is when I travel to White Plains which is the 15th annual. When I arrive, it seems kind of a misunderstanding! I don't know why but the image on their Facebook status seems misleading. Kiyomi's Facebook's post didn't seem to imagine and their official Facebook page didn't quite it seems either. Anyway I got lost on the way but I found Turnure Park. Believe me; I should have brought a map with me.

 

When you see the park, you will see something downhill’s and there are some blooming cherry trees. Of course, Japan Block Fair vendors like Hakata Tonton and a few others. And yes, this Sakura Matsuri actually has rides. You need to buy a ticket to ride and I think this is some kind of a charity reason. Every Japanese festival must raise money for charity reasons, right? Now let me tell you the performers.

Tenshi No Ai never arrived yet so it's like a repeat from the Washington Sakura Matsuri when Uzuhi came late. It’s immediately gone to the kendo demonstration. But how can I NOT resist eating the Hakata Tonton food. It's really that DAMN good! Honestly, booth service is better than a tiny restaurant service. It's time to move to a bigger place than Grove Street. A tiny restaurant with reservation required what a piece of crap!

  

There's Children's Song & Dance, the Hula Dance, and the national anthem of the USA and Japan and then, Sumie Kaneko's J-Trad & More. When her show ended, finally Tenshi No Ai have arrived and performed. Comparing with the Washington Sakura Matsuri, I guess the time went very smoothly and in good standing. But it went a little too fast though but not really. The rest are Sakura Taiko, the Japanese dance and choir, the traditional dance, the group of Koto, Shamisen, and Shakuhachi, Okinawa dancing, and Sword Demonstration.

 
The Sakura market went okay but they sell good products and not to mention snacks. What I don't understand is that the Tea Ceremony costs money to see it, but it's nothing so I guess every Sakura Matsuri must have the Tea Ceremony. That's the main reasons why I didn't see it at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this year. And look at the Mochi Tsuki demonstration, it's free to get.



My conclusion is that the White Plains Sakura Matsuri is okay, but it's a family event so what do you expect? Cosplay? Well that's something to do with anything that runs J-POP, Anime, and other relations. So far, Washington and Brooklyn New York runs with Japanese anime related and Nashville also runs through it. Next year we will try Nashville Sakura Matsuri. See you next blog on Randall's Island the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sakura Matsuri Brooklyn 2014



Hello guys, Roll Chan 5 YH are finally completed. Now I should get back with SMB3SMAS requests.
It was a perfect weekend for the Cherry Blossom Festival last week but it wasn't how it was expected. It was cold and not much Cherry trees are blooming so it's not really a Cherry Blossom Festival. Unlike the other Cherry Blossom Festivals, the Brooklyn one seems to be the best and I live in New York City for years. Brooklyn Sakura Matsuri is one of those festivals where Anime brings into Japanese culture.

 

I immediately buy Japanese Sweets but I also forgot to charge my batteries so thankfully the Botanic Library has plugs so you can rest your chargers from phones to cameras. Starting with Taiko Masala, every year this brings into the Saturday morning festival so that's bring your excitement. I hang around afterwards to the Sakura J-Lounge a few times and around the Cherry Esplanade Stage.

 

I was hurt and fell off and my hand was bleeding. It's my fault for tripping! Next up, the Parasol Fashion show as I watched Saori and Yoshi being emcees in most Japanese festivals, I say that Yoshi and Saori and quite favorable this time. But I do I suppose to know that they don't have a car, well at least Sandra Endo has one does she or she commutes to city or use her news chopper. Before I was on stage, I was being a complete stupid with Yoshi. My mind is not in the right place. Anyway, Hitomi sings while the show went on.


This year, I watched the Kimono Fashion show. Unlike the Washington Kimono Fashion show and I left the festival that time, this one actually demonstrates different types of Kimonos. And THAT's what I am talking about. The Kimono Fashion show is NOTHING more than showing off your Kimono. I really like how the bride's Kimono is worn when you are getting married. Maybe someday I would like to get married to a Japanese female. Once again, I hang around the Sakura Lounge. This year, I didn't even explore the garden or even go to exhibits. That's too bad but the Brooklyn one is much huge than any other.



And finally, the dance along with Taiko group named Cobu. One of my friends I mentioned in my last blog with Branch Brook New Jersey is there but for some reason she doesn't interests me anymore. It's also stupid that Yosakoi dance project 10tecomai didn't perform the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this year. But this year, some Taiko female group is the next best thing to Japanese entertainment. Unfortunately, the garden came to a closing to I couldn't get to her. Not much to say.

It's a good festival so let's get on with Sunday at White Plains. Sunday in Brooklyn seems exciting but I'll take a review on it sometime.