This week was extremely eventful.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Another fun programming event was planned this week: a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History!! Since I have been in Washington, I have not visited any Smithsonians, so Monday was a landmark day for me.



My friend, Olivia, and I arrived at the museum early, so we decided to start exploring the before our meet up time at 10:30am. The first exhibit we decided to explore was the Geology, Gems, and Minerals exhibit. There were so many pretty minerals.





After going through the geology exhibit, we needed to meet up with our supervisor outside of the Genome: Unlocking Life's Code exhibit. In that exhibit, there was real DNA in a bottle.The exhibit was extremely interactive, which is helpful to the layperson who knows little about DNA.


I feel as if many museums in D.C. are too big to explore in an hour. I deceded to come back for a little bit after work one day. I explored the mummy exhibit area and then walked all the way back to the RAF because I wanted to keep up to date on the Germany vs. Brazil game.




Perhaps, the best highlight of this week was New York City. This weekend, I finally got to go to New York City with six of my friends: Abbi, KenDrell, Owen, Jimmy, Collin, and Christy.


First, I want to talk about our trip to the city. We took a Megabus on Friday night. I have to say that I was quite disappointed by what I experienced on the bus. They say they have Wi-FI and outlets, but on the ride to NYC the outlets in front of me weren't working. Wi-Fi wasn't accessible through one's phone either. Despite the electronic disappointment, Megabus does provide decent prices for the trip.


Since we left Washignton after 6p.m., we arrived in New York at a pretty late time. We were tired, so we did not attempt to go out to explore. However, we did go eat at a 24 hour diner called Bel Air in Astoria. Yes, we had a meal after midnight.


Saturday, we began our day with a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We did not make reservations to go to the crown or the pedestal of the statue. Even if you don't make reservations, you still get a good view of Manhattan and of the Lady.



We also visited the 9/11 Memorial and the new World Trade Center building. We did not enter the 9/11 museum, however. I had never seen images of the memorial. It made me speechless.



Of course, you can't think of NYC without thinking of Times Square. Honestly, Times Square is just a place of many large screens with advertisements, but it is an iconic place. You can also shop in the area, like at the Hershey's store. You can also see the New Year's ball that has been dropped!


We also attempted to see Manhattanhenge, but it is too bad that there was a cloud in the way!!!





Sunday was our final day in the city. Our first destination was Harlem, where we got to see the Apollo theater. I used to watch Showtime at the Apollo all the time when I was younger. I got to rub the wood stump!






Later, we made our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 10th grade, I took art history. I was already in love with art, but studying more about art in different cultures and how art has developed made me fall in love with it even more. So, going to the Met was a big deal since I was able to see some of the pieces of art I studied, such as Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and The Burghers of Calais by Rodin.



I was supposed to make my way to Central Park after spending an hour in the museum, which is a big maze, but it started raining. When it stopped raining, I met up with my friends, and we made our way to a luxury bakery that is known for their macarons called Lauduree.



My friends and I decided to eat dinner in either Chinatown or Little Italy. I wanted to eat dinner in Chinatown since the New York's Chinatown is much more like a Chinatown I imagine than D.C.'s. Christy and I decided to meet up with a friend, Michael, we met in D.C.'s Chinatown who lives and works in New York. He recommended a place for us to eat called A-Wah Restaurant on Catherine Street. We got a claypot dish with rice and yellow eel. I believe it is a Taishanese dish. (Taishan is a city in southern China. The first Chinese immigrants who came to the United States are from this city.) We also got stir fried noodles with vegetables. It can't get more authentic than this. It's too bad I didn't get a picture of the dish! We also got ice cream as well at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (I got red bean; our friend got green tea) and some egg tarts from a bakery.


After filling ourselves up with delicious food, we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge to meet up with our other friends who ate in Little Italy. We got a nice group picture in front of the bridge.


Girls from left to right, Christy, Abbi, me

Guys from left to right: Owen, Collin, KenDrell, Jimmy




After receiving directions from Michael, we said our goodbyes and left to see the Empire State Building. We did not enter the building since it was closed. We ended up stumbling upon Koreatown and spontaneously decided to go 노래방 or karaoke! I definitely recommend people to go karaoke in Koreatown or in an Asian style karaoke place because it's not really a karaoke bar. You can have private rooms, and they have a large selection of songs. We had too much fun singing loudly.


I had so much fun this weekend. Special thanks to all of my friends, old and new!


Until next time, New York!




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