About

About

Welcome to my blog! I am a writer, photographer, food/ prop stylist and film maker. You can find recipes, photos, blog posts, films and videos here.

Please follow me on instagram @loveleluu & subscribe here for blog posts. Thank you so much for visiting this page x

Food Styling & Photograhy

My Photography Work

Supper Club

Supper Club

The supper club is held in my home in London Fields, Hackney. It is like a dinner party in the tradition of a Vietnamese feast with homemade Vietnamese food.

Classes

Classes

Vietnamese food is about the balance of flavours, of sweet, salty and sour – there is no measuring device that can ever match your own taste buds.

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New York, I Love You

View from The New Yorker Hotel
View from The New Yorker Hotel
I wanted to leave the room quietly and close the door behind me so I flew away, to New York. Although it was just for one week, it was enough to rejuvenate and reflect on things behind the door and things in the new room. Manhattan seemed to be the perfect place for it, “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”

I arrived into New York’s bitter wind and sharp cold embraces with a hefty smile. I ran and struggled against the force of the Atlantic wind as if I were a lover of the Arctic Circle, imagining scenes of serendipity with the man of my dreams. Had I passed him earlier in my travels somewhere in the world? Is he getting off the train I am on? Is he holding someone he loves or is he also looking for me too?

The romantic notion of New York City is  embroidered into the weaves of my dream life, my short previous life here as well as my life with television series and movies I have watched from childhood to now. They aren’t just movies, they too are my memories. I secretly hope that someone is also waiting for me on top of The Empire State Building or at Brooklyn Bridge or at the Central Park Ice Rink with my lost glove. Or that he appears while I have lunch at The Chrysler or would walk into an East Village cafe and sit beside me, we’d strike up a conversation and live happily ever after.

Central Park View From The Metropolitan Museum
Upper East Side, Central Park
Upper East Side, Central Park
Inside The Metropolitan Museum View Of Roof
In the city’s landscapes where so many places have been iconised by tales of love of the big, the bad and the beautiful it is hard not to forgive one’s entire lust for for love and romance.The city breathes your breath like a lover whispering sweet nothings into your mouth. Seducing you with feelings of ecstasy and euphoria, then in a whim, it sucks the life out of you, leaving you small and feckless in a big city with giants towering over the insignificance of you. 
But people like me with strong faith in (guardian) angels see signs in the snow fall that dances on you and around you like notes from heaven, floating like feathers, each with a different message, covering everything in white, changing your whole perspective and covering all your woes and preoccupations with its gentle but cold kisses on the surfaces of your face.
Bus Window
Lafeyette/ Broadway
East Village
1st Ave, East Village
I revisited the places of my past in New York, from my old apartments in Sullivan St to the one on East 4th & Avenue A to dive bars and food places I used to eat in, séancing old ghosts of friends and lovers, and the old me, who was younger, freer, unbruised and pure of wrinkles and skin flaws. I hear their voices and laughter and feel the way they moved around me and gyrate in their youthful glee.
My Old Apartment East 4th Street/ Avenue A
As I walked across St Mark’s Place, I remembered a lover I had met in New York. We fell in love one night after a party in someone’s apartment because he had lost his bag. I reassured him that if something is lost, then it is regrettable but unfortunately it is probably gone forever and there is no point in worrying about it if it is gone. It can be replaced and then everything would be fine again. But I really liked that bag, he said, all the things inside, they meant a lot to me. I said, if it was very important to you, you wouldn’t have lost it. He saw how it made sense to enjoy the moment, because time always moves, things are always lost, things always happen and time still moves whether you laugh or cry. So why cry… just close the door, another will open…

The Prince turned into a frog and as did all that followed but I never learned to laugh instead of cry when I lost them. When you are in love, nothing else seems to matter but when it ends the bliss that once was is tripled in pain. It is always hard to just forget them when things go up in flames, they only turn to ash and they blow away into dust, perhaps reincarnate into a new thing…

Lucky Envelopes I gave to people I met
Old Lovers sitting right next to me on subway
The best thing about New York City is how it really doesn’t matter if you are happy or sad, mad or sane, you can just turn up at a noodle bar or a fine dinning restaurant, eat something on your own, go to a dive bar and always make friends for the evening. People seem to accept one another, whether they are good or bad, its OK to be whatever it is you are or want to be or have become.

Sophie’s East 5th Street/ Avenue A

My favourite night was with a bunch of strangers at Sophie’s on East 5th Street. Most people had arrived at the bar on their own and everyone began to talk to one another. We all even ordered take outs and shared it along the bar. This would never be allowed, never mind happen in London!
Queens
New York’s subway hums of damp and urine. Its structure is rotting from the days of ‘Bad’ and even before but seems to be as efficient as ever. I love it when a band is playing or when I found a lone man drawing on the strings of a cello to Bach’s notes. It echoed the whole station until the metal trains ran by and diluted the sounds, but he would continue and continue. It always passes.
Lucien Freud, The Metropolitan Museum
Brooklyn Bridge
As for asking directions, people are ever so kind, they really make sure you understand and there is often a very happy smile on New Yorkers when they feel like they have helped you. I love New York. I love striking a cigarette on the cold streets with New Yorkers. You can be very alone here, but there are many times when you don’t have to be.

My favourite New York finds

(There was not enough meals in the day to fit everything I wanted to fit in)

Omai 158 9th Ave # 1  New York, NY 10011-4912

 – Vietnamese, I didn’t try pho, but the noodle salads are amazing. Great balance of flavours

Bathtub Gin 132 9th Ave (between 18th St & 19th St) New York, NY 10011
 – Bar, cool, hip and lots of fun

Sophies’s  509 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003
-Dive Bar, meet the love of your life or friends here

Megu   Trump World Tower 845 UN Plaza New York, NY 10017
– Japanese Fine Dinning, I went for Restaurant Week – such good value and the freshest, most amazing food – one of the best meals ever!

Sushi Samba 245 Park Avenue South  Manhattan, NY 10003

– Peruvian/ Brazilian Japanese Fusion – fantastic tasting sushi and ceviche. Was so good, we kept ordering more and more

Momofuku  171 1st Avenue New York, ny 10003 |
– Noodle Bar – quite expensive in the end but nice noodles, nothing amazing though

Freemans 8 Rivington St  New York, NY 10002
 – Brunch – nice for a rainy day, its dark but comfortable, great to go with a group of freinds

Luke’s Lobster 93 E 7th St # A, New York, NY
-Snack- very expensive for 2 or 3 bites of a roll and you’re done but as its treat, its well worth it
Snack Taverna 63 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014
Nice breakfast/ brunch/ lunch
Snack Taverna

  • Great photos Leluu, really evocative of the atmosphere, winter and element of discovery.

  • Wow, love the post – pictures, little stories and wisdom. I want to go to New York immediately. Now. let’s go.

  • Ain’t the US great for that – wandering into a ba, whether it’s in the Big Apple or the Big Easy, pulling a chair up to the bar and just having a chat.

    Love the picture you;ve drawn of NYC, i only went once, when I was 12, and so my memories are of great glass walls, elevators, the magic of pastrami sandwiches and yellow cabs.

    I’d love t go back, particularly in the winter, and see it with older eyes, find some of that magic, and meet some strangers in a bar.

  • Alissa

    Beautiful!

    Such a magical place, especially in the snow…I’m so very glad it was the tonic you needed too. Like you say, you can make the best friends of your life in a dive bar or just wander the streets in blissful anonymity.

    Sophie’s was an AWESOME night, completely encapsulated why I love the city so very much. A rag-tag group of strangers who bond over melted cheese and become firm friends by the end of the evening. You’re right, so far from anything that would have happened in London.

    I ended up at an open mic night a few nights later that was as just as random and wonderful, I thought of you, you would have adored it I’m sure.

    You do write beautifully, I can’t wait to read more.

    Cheers to being mental! 🙂

    Ali xx