So it’s about time that I did a blog post on my trip to New York. I’ve been kind of lazy to get together all of the photos that I have from the trip. But finally, I am done with all the editing, uploading, and writing! Yay! Too bad that I still need to do a post on Florida! Gahh~ We’ll lets begin…
Day 0: From LA to NY
We arrived in Newark, New Jersey late Friday around 10 o’clock at night and took a taxi over to my brother’s place in Brooklyn!
Day 1: Traveling by Foot
For our first day in New York, we decided to do things the old fashioned way – by foot! No public transportation, just purely exploring with the feet that God gave us.
We started off by visiting my brother’s office, which was walking distance from where we were staying. Then we walked over for brunch, which was right near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
The view is beautiful, so of course we just had to take some photos. I’ve probably been to New York at least half a dozen times, but what made this trip special was that it was Erick’s first time!
For brunch we headed to Teresa’s Restaurant. In the words of my brother, great potato pancakes, horrible service. So true.
My brother says the only must try item there is their potato pancakes, which he’s totally right about. Everything else is good, but this is probably the most unique item that’s worth trying. It’s totally not what I thought it would look like though? Tasted awesome.
After brunch, we decided to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to explore Lower Manhattan. It would have been nice to ride bicycles over the bridge, but we ended up walking instead.
Here I am sitting somewhere on the bridge. I never realized how many people in New York are foreigners!! So many different languages everywhere we went.
Oh yea, I looked pretty nasty this whole trip because I HATE HUMID weather. I’m from sunny California, and we have almost no humidity what-so-ever! So my skin felt nasty all the time and I didn’t feel like wearing my usual makeup. Haha, hence my cupcaked face. Trust me, it’s much cuter this way!
After we walked over the bridge, we headed over towards the 911 Memorial Center. We didn’t wanna wait in the huge line and pay to go in, so we just looked around from outside.
This is the new World Trade Center, aka Freedom Tower. It’s supposed to be the tallest building in America I believe? I don’t think it looks very tall though.
I’m not sure if you gals know this, but I was an Art Major in college. One thing I’ve always loved about New York is how much art there is everywhere you look. It’s beautiful!
This piece is done by Gary Webb, titled “Lightness of Being.” It can be found at the City Hall Park. I just love how each color section has a feeling of fluidity, yet also a strong presence. The name of this art work fits perfectly.
Oh and who can’t love Jeff Koons? I’m sure you’ve all seen his other famous pieces, he seems to be everywhere nowadays! He has an art piece in almost every famous Modern Art Museum, and even has his own miniature collectable toys! I was excited to see his installation “Balloon Flower” (red) outside of the WTC. I think he’s made 5 different Balloon Flowers in different colors? But Anyways, to me, this flower represents renewal for this area that was so sadly hit on September 11th.
Continuing our journey, I decided to take Erick to see the Bull in Wall Street since he likes to invest in the stock market. My father brought me here once when I was probably about 10 years old, and wow! This attraction has surely attracted a rather large crowd compared to decades ago! There were so many people taking pictures of the front of the bull, that we decided to take a photo of the bull’s ass and balls, however that proved to be quite the challenge as well.
Finishing up our sites, we walked by the Trinity Church and decided to step inside to have a look. It was one of the most beautiful churches that I’ve stepped foot in for sure. Kinda puts you in awe and makes you want to go to Europe, lol!
Finishing up our day, we ended up doing some shopping at Century 21, which is where I typically shop when I go to New York. By the way, if you haven’t visited NY before, purchases on clothing and footwear that are less than $110 are exempt from sales tax! Awesome, huh?
I got some pretty sweet deals while shopping in NY, I’ll share them with you later in an end of the month purchases post or something.
After shopping, we headed back and had dinner with my brother and his family at the Blue Water Grill in Union Square to celebrate his wife’s birthday!
We ended the night with a drive by through the surround area as a speed tour. Haha, it was fun and satisfying.
When we got back, we looked up local bars in the area and walked over to a few for some drinks. It was a successful day!
Day 2: Smorgasborg
Today I decided to do a little make up so I can look somewhat decent. I pulled this photo off of my instagram @xlicious.
For breakfast we ate at Cafe Luluc in Brooklyn, which offered French style foods.
I ended up just getting an omelette, but if you don’t know what to get, you MUST try their pancakes, even if you hate pancakes. They have the best pancakes hands down. It’s the most fluffiest pancakes, crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.
After breakfast we ran a few errands and rested up a bit until we were ready to head over to Smorgasburg in Dumbo Brooklyn. We walked over to it from my brother’s place since it’s not a far walk. They have tons of different food vendors including the famous Ramen Burger!
This day however, I was craving chicken, so we ate various chickens such as buffalo chicken wings and chicken and waffles.
Here’s the awesome Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo Brooklyn, located right next to Smorgasborg. It’s actually a very old carousel that was created in 1922 and was originally installed in Youngstown, Ohio!
Oh and right between Smorgasbord and the Carousel, was actually Katy Perry doing a performance for the Video Music Awards! If you didn’t know, the VMA was hosted in Brooklyn, New York this year the day that we were at Smorgasborg. How cool huh?
And lastly from Smorgasbord, a couple photos of me! I swear everything in New York feels like a beautiful backdrop. Too bad I don’t look as good and didn’t bring much clothes or accessories~
While walking around, we also bumped into this little cutie, a corgi with googles! Made us really miss our dog, dumpling.
After a fun day at Smorgasborg, we got some ice cream from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. It was sooo good, and a perfect way to end our Sunday trip.
On our walk back to my brother’s place, this little boy tapped my a**!! How rude! Ahhh, but we let him and his friend go, because really, what more can you do besides say Hey, that’s not allowed, apologize! I will always remember the smile that he gave me after I turned around to look at him, *sigh*.
Later that night we got delivery food for dinner from a nearby Indian Restaurant. We also watched a little bit of the VMA’s that was happening right down the street, and saw enough to have seen Miley Cyrus’ performance, haha. Entertaining or what? To finish the night off we watched some good old Star Wars.
Day 3: Exploring the Subway System
And it’s another new day! Today we set off to explore New York’s subway system. We had quite the journey trying to get from point A to B, then to C, D, E, and F. But we eventually got to each destination, and that’s all that matters right?
First stop was Time Square. We walked up, down, and all around the strip. Of course, my favorite store has always been Toys R Us. Who doesn’t love this place? It has everything (even a ferris wheel and food) and it’s super huge!
For lunch we went to TGIF. Horrible idea. Why did we go there you ask? Well we had a coupon for a free appetizer, so we decided to get some drinks and split an appetizer. Turns out TGIF is a lot more expensive when it’s located right off of Time Square. Woops~ never again.
Next we made our way north towards Central Park. Man, this park is huge. I didn’t realize how big it was and so different! There’s an area where you can lay out on a giant field of grass, there’s also a lake where you can go paddle boating, or other areas where you can exercise, play sports, climb rocks.. and the list goes on.
The park is so big that there’s actually vendors that sell maps of the park! Wow. Haha, and while we were crossing the street to go into the park, we heard a guy advertising bicycle rentals shouting, “if your planning on walking through Central Park, you will never make it!”
Our next stop after the park was the American Natural History Museum. And no, if you are wondering if we made it all the way across Central Park, we did not. We stopped about half way through.
I loved this museum, mostly because I love dinosaurs! They had the largest collection of dinosaur fossils that I’ve seen in my whole life! And I’ve been to a sh*t ton of museums.
At night we headed over to Korea Town in Manhattan. We ended up eating dinner at Woorijip Authentic Korean Food. This place was awesome, totally wish we had this place back when I was in college. For dessert we went to Paris Baguette and ate cakes.
Once dinner was over we met up at Pocha 32 with one of my childhood friends who moved to New York.
We had an awesome night of drinking and karaoke! Really one of the highlights of our trip for sure. Loved that watermelon soju too! It’s my first time having it.
Not really sure how we made it back home that night, but I’m glad we got back safely! Drinking in New York is always super fun.
Day 4: Adventure to Queens
Wow, I’ve never had a more frustrating day than this one. Getting from Brooklyn to Queens via public transportation sucks. There aren’t any subway stations that go straight up (since Queens is north of Brooklyn), but instead you have to do this huge ridiculous loop around to get there.
We actually got quite lost during our trip and what should have been only about a 1 hour commute ended up turning into a 4 hour trip!
But during our trip we got to know New York in a different way. I guess sometimes the best thing to do in a new place is to just get lost! If we hadn’t gotten off the wrong subway exit, we wouldn’t have gone on the Roosevelt Island Tramway!
The aerial view from the tram is quite beautiful and something that I’ve never seen on any of my trips to New York. I highly recommend going on it if it’s not out of the way.
This is the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Quite a beautiful bridge actually.
The tram ended up taking us to Roosevelt Island, which is a tiny strip of land located between the West and East side of New York. We walked up the side of the coast until we got to the Roosevelt Island Bridge and walked over that bridge straight into Queens.
Finally in Queens, we walked and walked for several many blocks before we got to my friend’s house. Yay, say hello to Anne! What a long adventure. We were exhausted before the day even began!
If you’re curious who Anne is, she was my roommate back when I taught English at Peking University in Beijing, China!
At her place she had prepared some salad for us. Then we looked at some of her photos and got caught up in each others lives. We also walked around a bit and had pizza for lunch, and frozen yogurt for dessert. I managed to over eat and passed out on her couch for an hour or two before we decided to head out.
Lol, after waking up from my food coma, we set back out on our journey back home. I was sorta dreading it because it was so hard to get to where we were, let alone do the reverse of it. But it really wasn’t that bad the second time.
We made a stop to get some ramen for dinner at Ippudo NY. Now this place is crazy because it has over 5k reviews on Yelp. I’ve never been to a place that’s been so overly hyped.
The food was pretty good though, a bit pricey, and had a good atmosphere. They also had great alcohol, even beers that were created specifically to pair with your ramen! Our bill ended up being around $100. Never knew a ramen restaurant could get us to fork out so much money for just two people.
My friend Vivian said, you have to try their pork buns, so we did. I must say, it was pretty heavenly.
And that ends our day. I think we ended up going back and watching another Star Wars movie at my brothers. Lol, and if you are wondering why we keep watching movies at his place, it’s because he has a huge home theater, much better than any movie theater you can go to.
Day 5: US Tennis Open 2013
For our last day in New York, we had to make another trip to Queens for the US Tennis Open. Ugh, if only we had better planned our trip, we would have only had to go to Queens once. Should have thought ahead! At least it was easy this time and we got there in an hour.
If you’ve never been to a tennis competition before, they usually have their big matches in the stadium and a bunch of smaller matches in courts around the stadium.
This is sorta funny, when I bought tickets for the US Open, I had gotten a promo code for discounted seats, but then realized that you have to be somewhere in the last 10 rows or so. Erick and I saw that and thought, what the heck, lets just go for the farthest seat that we can in the entire stadium. So there you have it, our view from our seats.
Sadly, we waited and never got to see the next match because of rain and thunderstorm warnings. The games were postponed until the rain let up. We decided to not waste our precious time in New York waiting for a game that might or might not continue, so we regretfully left.
Instead, we decided to try our luck with shopping. We checked out Macy’s and didn’t find much there. But at least we killed time?
We met up with my brother at his office and met his employees. He ended up taking all of us out for dinner at Virgil’s Real Barbecue. It was the perfect end to a great trip in New York.
And there was nothing more that I wanted Erick to see besides Time Square at night! He saw it during the day, but nothing beats the view of it at night.
Thanks to my brother and his family for taking awesome care of us, and for the friends who took the time to meet with us. We had a wonderful stay and look forward to returning soon! Hopefully we will make it back out to New York in the next several months.
Stay tuned to my future post on Florida!!
Since that’s where we flew to from New York.
Thanks for reading!