Updated usually on Mondays and/or Thursdays!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Travel Diary #5: A Bite of the Big Apple / NYC

Hello everyone, hope you're all having a relaxed, fun-filled summer! Just last week and the week before, I was in New York to spend time with my cousin and one of my best friends Keely! It was my third time back in the city and definitely the best visit thus far. While I did a few touristy things like Times Square, I spent the majority of my time walking around in different neighborhoods, using the subway, and of course, eating all sorts of amazzingg food. If you've never been, it's definitely worth a visit. Maybe this could come in handy for you in the future! Who knows? 

New York is exhausting. There's so much going on at all times--whether it be visually, mentally, or physically from walking miles everyday. The pace of life is very different from California. Space is cramped together, which means restaurants are small, nearly every person lives in an apartment, and it is constantly loud from people and cars on all corners. Another thing I noted was the plethora of smaller businesses in New York. Chain food is so much more common in California in comparison. But as a result of that, everything in general is slightly more expensive in New York. Anyway, those were a few takeaways from my trip. I think I began warming up to the lifestyle by the end of my trip. Living in New York would not be easy. Okay, enough rambling. Enjoy these pictures and my short blurbs. Get ready because this will be a long one!
The highlight of my trip was seeing two of my close friends Keely and Julia! Julia came down from Massachusetts for a day. Our day of the three of us consisted of walking around the city, eating pizza, slurpees, and tacos, and playing Cards Against Humanity. There isn't ever a dull moment with these girls!

PLACES:

Here are my three favorite places from my trip!

1. Coney Island

 Keely looking supa' cute in her eyelet top and overalls.
My first full day in New York was spent with Keely at Coney Island!!! Coney is basically an open amusement park next to the beach. It might not be anywhere close to Six Flags and Newport, but I really loved how the rides were just steps away from the sand. Keely and I had tons of fun on the crazy rides, ranging from the carousel to the Soarin' Eagle (which we low-key died on). We walked along the beach, went into multiple photo booths before finding a functioning one, and paid 25 cents to get a fortune card from a shady machine of a grandma...which turned out to be creepily accurate. All of this to say...Coney makes for a very memorable day. And of course, we had to get a hot dog from Nathan's! 

2. MET & MOMA

FYI, we did MET and MOMA on different days because the MET is so large and tiring...there was no way we were going to do both. 
While we were looking through the fashion exhibit, Keely brought up a really interesting question of what draws the line between 'art' and 'ready-to-wear' in fashion. It poses other questions like: Are there qualifications for fashion to be considered art? In what ways does individual style influence where that line is drawn?
MET Fashion Exhibit: Manus x Machina
"It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear."
That Dior dress though *heart-eye emoji*. Dior is probably my favorite couture designer--such elegance ahhhh!!! It was such a lucky coincidence that Keely and I decided to go to the MET on the day of her mom's first MET tour, which of course we joined. The tour was stellar!

3. UN

General Assembly (largest organ of the UN) 
UN Declaration of Human Rights/Peacekeeping operations (Blue Helmets)
UN Security Council, UN Economic and Social Council
The tour totally reminded me of the time I was the representative of Chile for the Security Council in Model UN. Good times, good times.
Sculpture/pieces from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
I was pretty impressed with how thorough the UN tour was. I was able to sit in several rooms and go through a great portion of the building. It was very different from what I had imagined. I pictured the UN to be a serious environment full of prominent global leaders on my right and left along with ongoing discussions and meetings. There definitely were diplomats and meetings, but the UN as a whole had a much more lax environment with many tourists and visitors, which I found surprising in a positive way.

TO DO:

Here are my favorites from my to-do list!

1. Watch a Broadway show

I spent most of my nights with my cousin Mina! I lived in her apartment which is in Park Slope, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. On that Friday, we went to see The Crucible starring the academy award nominated actress Saoirse Ronan! I studied the play in IB English, so it was pretty surreal getting to see it in person.

2. Picnic at Central Park

Central Park is huge and all of its various spots look completely different from one another. Keely and I spent a good two hours eating over-priced sandwiches, taking pictures, and talking nonsense.

3. Shakespeare In the Park

Right after our picnic, we went to see Shakespeare in the Park, which is completely free by the way. The production was of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew made up by an entirely female cast. I got a good laugh out of the Trump pageant take on it.

4. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Mina and I walked all the way from Park Slope to Manhattan!

5. Times Square at night

Mina and I walked from Rockefeller Center over to Times Square. Nothing too special, but I mean, you gotta do it at some point.

6. Get off at Grand Central Station

Grand Central basically has every subway line, so it's easy to get there. It's right in the heart of Manhattan!

FOOD (the most important)

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is essentially the In-n-Out of the East. I accidentally got the 'shroom burger my first time, which doesn't have meat. I went and got the original right before heading to the airport. I'd give it a 4/5.

Cafe Zaiya's Green Tea/Black Sesame Soft Serve

This was high-key my favorite thing I ate. I had it on my first and last day! I wish they had these soft-serve flavors in Cali (and Keely's face says it all).

Sundae & Cones

If you want me to be completely honest, I only went there because of Yelp. I wanted to see what the hype was about. I got a scoop of Taro and Lavender! It was really creamy, soft ice cream, but Cafe Zaiya still has my heart. I think I was just annoyed by how over-priced it was ($8).

Ippudo

I'm not the world's largest ramen fan, sooo it was great but not amazing. Same reason I went to Sundae & Cones...Yelp made me do it. I spent $17 on this since I left a tip, which is pricey for a bowl of ramen by itself.

Colson Patisserie

My morning pick-me-up! I think it's safe to say that I enjoyed small pastries and snacks more than meals. This waffle was sooo bomb. Why don't they have this where I live?!

Omar's Kitchen

I don't eat Mediterranean food often, so this was a treat. The hummus, pita bread, salad, and lamb was all savory and tasty. The best part about Mediterranean is that it's pretty healthy. Fresh food! I got this with Mina right before we went to see The Crucible.

Momofuku Milk Bar 

Keely, a lover of cold weather, was a trooper for walking in the heat with me to get this. It's cereal milk flavor soft serve, which turned out to be so so accurate. The ice cream legitimately tastes like left-over milk after you finish all the cereal from your bowl. The cookies and crack pie are also really good but totally overpriced.

Juliana's Pizza

Right before walking the Brooklyn Bridge, my cousin and I stopped for some New York pizza! It was pretty good but I would have preferred more veggies on it.

Momosan

Ramen is ramen.

Breads Bakery

(I got this from Google because I didn't take a pic of mine)
Chocolate. Rugelach. Oh. My. Goodness. YAS.

Central Park / Midtown
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Flatiron Building / Shopping on 5th Ave. and the Empire State Building in the back
Washington Square Park & NYU / A park near the UN / Park Slope, Brooklyn

 

I didn't think I would, but I miss New York. My time there made me realize how quiet it is where I live in comparison. Silence doesn't exist in the Big Apple. It can be both a good and bad thing.

To Mina, thank you for letting me crash at your place for a week and showing me around. Can't wait for you to come back and see me in the Bay this fall! To Julia, our time together was too short, but I couldn't be happier to have seen you before you head off to Providence! I'll see you soon <3. And lastly to Keely, so much love for you!!!! I wouldn't fly across the country for many people, but for you, yes of course! Make sure to come visit me.

I'm sure I'll be back soon, New York. I'm truly lucky to have had such a memorable adventure!


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