Rafu Craft Editor

Editor’s note: A photo journal of Gail and Tommy Miyasaki’s Brooklyn Bridge walk can be found here.

Walking on Manhattan streets where the avenues run the length from north to south, using that Metro card through turnstiles and going up and down multiple subway stairs, moving in and out of taxis—such is the way of life for New Yorkers, who love their shopping, cronuts, ramen burgers, indulgences, theaters and 24-hour lifestyle.

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Walking along the pedestrian path across the Brooklyn Bridge at a leisurely pace takes an hour. (Courtesy of T. Miyasaki)

As a visitor to Manhattan, you get into the East Coast mode real fast. Or else.

With the right shoes on, tackle the 1.1 mile-long Brooklyn Bridge—we did it!

Following breakfast in the artsy DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood, an area with the highest concentration of techie firms, Tommy and I ventured out to find the Brooklyn side entry point on a cool, overcast day. As we walked with other Manhattan-bound pedestrians, we kept to the left of the center white line as cyclists ruled the right pathway. When heading to Brooklyn, reverse sides.

Opened in 1883, the expansive spider web-like steel wire suspension bridge carries cars, pedestrians and cyclists across. No trains, buses or commercial vehicles are allowed.

This iconic bridge was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1964. We were impressed with the stunning neo-gothic architectural style characterized by pointed arches.

Tannish-silver colored granite, limestone and concrete have stood the test of time, an architectural feat from a German immigrant, John Roebling. According to Wikipedia, his design was engineered six times as strong as he thought it needed to be.

We looked around, up, down, forwards, backwards standing above the East River. Cameras clicked.

Approaching lower Manhattan, the skyline seemed to fade into the haze. On a sunny day, what a spectacular picture postcard sight.

The next time you’re watching a TV show filmed in NYC, like “Elementary”, “A Person of Interest” or “Blue Bloods”, look for the three bridges and surrounding areas connecting these two boroughs. Notably, they are Brooklyn, Manhattan in the middle and Williamsburg on the northernmost end.

Back home in Cali, the modus operandi is driving. We hop in our cars to get places and avoid having to walk. When looking for a parking spot, do you try to find the closest one to your destination?

Head out to the Kiku Crafts and Food Fair this Sunday hosted at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center. Grab a bite to eat as you get some holiday shopping done.

Bring on the bling for a breast cancer survivor’s declaration of love, faith and hope!
Bring on the bling for a breast cancer survivor’s declaration of love, faith and hope! (Courtesy of Origami Owl)

Be charmed by Cheryl Leising, an Origami Owl rep, who comes with an entrepreneurial spirit and inquisitiveness for checking out all possibilities while having some fun at the same time. Taking a big leap of faith, she hooked up with a fledgling company started a few years earlier by then 14-year -old Bella Weems of Arizona. She actually thought about it for an hour.

Weems, now 17, had an idea of marketing a “living locket” as a result of trying to make money for a future used car when she turned sweet 16. Officially launched as a direct sales company in January 2012, virtual parties are held via the Internet, seriously, besides craft shows and home “jewelry bars.”

According to an October Forbes article, Origami Owl is expected to bring in $250 million in revenue this year.

Gals love kawaii! With a stainless-steel exterior, the glass piece of the locket closes magnetically. Oh-so-cute charms of all shapes and sizes literally sell themselves. Finished in silver, gold, chocolate, rose gold and black, there are also inspirational tags that shout out “Believe”, “Hope”, “Family” and “I can,” or “I have.”

All things basketball, plumerias and turtles are popular picks of the Asian gals.

Leising started out as a designer and is now an executive team leader for over 200 consultants. “I hope to have my daughter, Jadery, come on board with me when she turns 14 and we can grow our business together,” she said.

Desperately seeking holiday and interior décor and gifts? Drop by the Touch of Nature Home and Holiday Show out in Diamond Bar covering two full weekends.

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That teenager will love a special glass locket with cool charms from Origami Owl consultant Cheryl Leising of Rancho Cucamonga. (Courtesy of Origami Owl)
That teenager will love a special glass locket with cool charms from Origami Owl consultant Cheryl Leising of Rancho Cucamonga. (Origami Owl)

Fridays to Sundays, Nov. 1-3, 8-10, 9-4
Touch of Nature Home & Holiday Show
Diamond Bar, call for location
909-594-5964, Lily Saito

Sunday, Nov. 3, 10-3
Kiku Crafts and Food Fair
East San Gabriel Valley JCC
1203 W. Puente Ave., West Covina
951-818-8740, Hisako Koga

Saturday, Nov. 9, 10-4
Japantown Winter Boutique
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
San Jose Buddhist Church Gym
640 N. 5th St., San Jose, Komo

Saturday, Nov. 16, 10-4
Ayame Kai Holiday Craft Fair
Blaine Memorial Methodist Church
3001 24th Ave. So., Seattle, WA
425-827-4930, Shizue Yahata

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  1. Thank you Gail for a nice write up! Your travels sound so fun and make me want to visit Manhattan! I hope that I can meet some of your readers on Sunday!