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Sights and sounds of summer in the Upper East Side

Capturing New York City on film

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“You need to come back, New York is different in the summer,” a friend urged one absurdly cold day back in May. “It has a different energy to it; it’s more alive,” another friend noted with excitement about the magical effects of the impending warm weather on the city.

Living in a tropical country my whole life and enduring constant humidity year per year, I never really understood the hype. What could be so special about spending yet another summer in another city, I thought.  On the contrary, it’s lower temperatures that always excited me. The thought of layering with soft wool sweaters and thick coats, and wearing thigh-high boots on vacation was ideal. It was something I never get to do on the daily, so I longed for it — until I was forced to live out of a suitcase from winter to spring, that is.

Having gone through the chore of exactly that — wearing wool sweaters, thick coats, and boots just to get eggs at the nearest bodega or go for a coffee run next door — made me appreciate being able to wear just about anything I want in the summer including the potential sweating that goes along with it. After months of freezing weather, summer just feels so liberating that you’ll appreciate the heat even if it means smeared eyeliners and a face so oily you could fry two eggs on it.

That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. This article certainly doesn’t, but here are some vignettes I caught on film, complete with audio recordings, using the Instax Mini LiPlay, one Sunday morning stroll along Upper East Side.

One large cold brew to go

Like any other day, I start with a nice cup of cold brew. Cafes like Bluestone Lane usually gets packed for brunch. It’s especially nice when the sun is out that friends and families eat al fresco. Listen to the audio recording here.

Hotdogs and city performers

Hotdog stands can be found at every corner of the city. This one is outside the Guggenheim Museum, which tourists flock and buskers frequent. Listen to the audio recording here.

Honking yellow cabs

The sound of the train arriving or cabs honking is normally unbearable, but in New York it’s part of what makes the city full of character. Listen to the audio recording here. 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

This spot in Central Park is beautiful whether you’re there to see snow falling or flowers blooming; hear trees rustling or dried leaves crackling. Listen to the audio recording here.

Pick a spot at Central Park

Central Park is so big of an oasis that you can have your quiet little spot for reading and alone time, or watch kids and dogs play if you wanted to. Listen to the audio recording here.

Sun’s out, bikes out

Whether it’s for cardio, getting from one place to another, or just for leisure, everyone seems to be on their bikes during summer. Other locals take advantage of this and sell ice cold water for $2 in the middle of the park for anyone who needs to cool down. Listen to the audio recording here.

Grab something quick and cheap

For those who might want a quick bite after a long walk or bike ride, there are food trucks everywhere. Tacos? Check. Gyros? Check. Ice cream? Check. Listen to the audio recording here.

The Met

It can get too crowded for my taste, but The Met is quickly becoming my favorite place in the city. It’s where I can run to for shelter when it’s below freezing outside, or when temperatures get higher, walk around the vicinity for no reason or people watch on the steps. I can get trapped here for days and not feel like I’m wasting my time. Listen to the audio recording here.

Witnessing New York City transform from a dark, cold abyss in the winter, to a city with blossoming tress in spring, to the vibrant concrete jungle that it truly is in the summer, is special. If you live in this city, or travel here a lot, it’s something you will learn to cherish once you see and hear it for yourself.

WATCH: Winter in New York

Hands-On

How the MatePad 11 fits in your workflow

Can it be a substitute laptop?

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MatePad 11

We often get asked what’s a good “budget” laptop. And there’s never an easy answer.  Most decent options start at PhP 35,000 but the budget of people asking is capped at around PhP 30,000.

Then, we got to thinking — Do they really need a laptop, or just something that functions like one? Exploring this idea, one of our editors used the Huawei MatePad 11 for daily tasks, and this video chronicles the experience.

Typing away

For any writer or editor, it’s impossible to get anything done without a reliable keyboard.

The task ranges from writing your own articles to copy-editing the staff’s work. You also have to respond to emails and correspondence within and outside of the team.

That’s a lot of typing. And while we’ve come a long way in terms of getting accustomed to hitting a flat surface to type, nothing can replace a good, functioning full-sized keyboard for some real productivity.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 has a compatible Smart Magnetic Keyboard. It looks tiny at first, but the keyboard is full-sized and offers a good amount of travel for its size.

In fact, parts of the script for this video was written on the MatePad 11-Smart Magnetic Keyboard Combo.

It’s also sturdy and balanced enough that you can pull it out in a pinch and prop it up on your lap. From experience, this isn’t the case with most other similar setups due to the weight of the tablet.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 is light enough that it won’t topple over even when placed on a not-so-even surface.

Access to your usual apps

What most people really need is access to some type of Office apps. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available right from the App Gallery.

You can opt to go with Microsoft Office and link your existing subscription. Or select any of the other set of Office apps available.

Microsoft Office runs perfectly fine on the MatePad 11. Quickly set it up and you’ll be balancing sheets, making decks, and writing essays in no time.

If what you need is on Google Docs or Google Sheets, there’s a way to quick-launch these apps so you can work on the document or work file you need to.

Since plenty of our work files are on Google Docs, this was the editor’s primary way of accessing the stuff needed to get things done.

And if you’re having trouble with anything else you normally use, you can always access them via the browser like you would on a laptop.

There’s also Petal Search baked into the App Gallery that’ll scour the web for sources of the apps you desperately want and need.

Huawei understands the pain points it had to deal with and has addressed them with the App Gallery and Petal Search combo.

Multitasking master

The ease of switching from one app to another on a laptop is still pretty much unparalleled. But the MatePad 11 offers unique multitasking capabilities that offer an effective way to multitask.

What the editor found most useful in particular is how you can have smaller versions of the apps float on the screen.

And when minimized, it goes into this tiny app icon on the right side of the device functioning somewhat like a dock.

This is perfect for placing chat apps to look at messages at a glance. So even if the editor is in the middle of writing or copy-editing, glancing at messages is easy and doesn’t take the full attention away from the work at hand.

This is especially helpful for someone who juggles plenty of messaging apps.

Additionally, if you have a Huawei phone with you, the multi-screen collaboration feature takes this even further.

You can have your phone screen on the side and just open it up when needed. From here you can open any app whether that’s for messaging or something else you may need to reference for the work you’re doing.

It’s an incredible feature and one we hope will be adopted by other brands in some shape or form.

Not just for work

It’s recommended that you take short breaks in between tasks to keep yourself fresh and focused.

Breaks can be anything from standing up and walking around for a little bit, mindlessly browsing social media, or playing a quick game.

If the type of breaks you take fall on the latter two categories, the MatePad 11 is great for that as well.

The 120Hz refresh rate that this tablet has makes it a sight to behold and a joy to touch. Your general interaction with the device will feel incredibly fast and smooth.

It’s great whether you’re just swiping from one TikTok video to another or playing a quick round of whatever mobile game you’re into.

The M-Pencil is truly handy

Not everyone needs a stylus. But just because you don’t need one, doesn’t mean it can never come in handy.

An editor’s work also entails signing a lot of documents. This can be anything from loaner sheets or non-disclosure agreements.

It’s also great for providing a rough illustration of the visuals you need. Sometimes, the only way to really get your point across to visual artists is to show them what you have in mind, and then just let them work their magic on it.

On the Nebo app, you can draw rough sketches to show your graphic artist how you want something to look like. It’s a helpful guide and one that prevents miscommunication.

You can also use the app for taking notes and doodling which is a pretty underrated way of clearing your mind.

Mate just be what you need

The MatePad 11 is an excellent tablet. One that can be more than a stopgap to your laptop needs.

It gives you access to the work stuff that you need, while offering features that laptops in its price range aren’t capable of.

It’s a fine mate for work, play, and everything else in between.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei MatePad 11 retails for PhP 24,999 and comes with two freebies: Wireless Charging Table Lamp and MatePad 11 Cover

Buy here: Huawei Online Store | Lazada | Shopee

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Tempo Move Hands-On

This Compact $400 Home Gym Changes Everything!

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Tempo has just launched a new sub $400 system that fits into a console table! Not only that they a lot less space than regular home gym systems, it also uses advanced tech like the LiDAR sensor on your iPhone. Their new 3D Tempo Vision technology is also there as a complement to make workout reading and tracking more precise.

But could this be the future of home workouts? Watch our Tempo Move Hands-on now!

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Apple 14″ M1 Pro MacBook Pro: Unboxing & Hands On

Is this the right MacBook Pro for you?

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Finally, the newly-redesigned M1 Pro MacBook Pros have finally arrived after years of waiting!

For now, Michael Josh unboxes and spends more than 24 hours with the new M1 Pro silicon chip-touting 14-inch MacBook Pro — as well as the software experience with the new macOS Monterey update.

If you’ve been wanting to buy one today, you have to wait for our review video baking up real soon.

For the meantime, all the basic things you need to know about the new M1 Pro MacBook Pro are in this unboxing and hands-on video.

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