Find Yourself in New York

Find Yourself in New York

 

I recently returned from a trip to New York that I took with my Korean friends. Everyone kept telling me how I would love NY and how many people are changed by this city. At first, I planned to visit NY after my TWC semester ends; however, I couldn’t wait any longer! Turns out, I really like NY as a noisy city full of fun and possibilities. It wasn’t necessarily amazing in a way that changed me, but in a way that it helped me find myself.

 

Since NY is a melting pot with various races and cultures, it allows every visitor to choose the angle and aspect they prefer to learn more about. Since I grew up in a capital city with skyscrapers, the hustle and bustle of Times Square and the crowded shopping areas were not as impressive to me as were Chelsea Market and the art museums. I like NY because it’s so diverse that it enables people to find themselves easily there. The art lovers can stay in the Met and MOMA all day; the joggers can find companions everywhere in Central Park; the shopaholics can line up with clothes again and again in SOHO; the partiers can indulge in drinks and loud music on the rooftops from midnight to sunrise; and the typical tourists can find delight in the touring the Brooklyn bridge and Statue of Liberty. Everyone can have different relationship with NY, depending on who you are, what you like and how you value city travels.

 

Here are the place I recommend:

 

Chelsea’s Market | Lobster place, Sarabeths, L'ARTE DEL GELATO

 

Thank you to Serena and Heesu for finding this place and forcing me to try the famous jumbo lobster which was SUPER FRESH and tasty. (I am not a fan of seafood, but I just could not have enough of this lobster). Chelsea Marekt is a cute market filled with featured stores and speciality foods. The only thing you’ll complain about is the limited space in your stomach. After the seafood, it’s always good to have a scoop of Italian ice cream and a scone with the bestselling jelly on top. Also, there’s a famous coffee shop called Blue Bottle Coffee across from the market. Their creamy and smooth hot latte with rustic latte art was definitely the BEST I’ve tried in U.S.

 

MOMA| Starry Night

 

Friday evening is the Museum of Modern Art’s free night, open to the public. However, the free entrance also means longer lines and bigger crowds. If you are only here for the famous Starry Night by Van Gogh, it’s still very worthwhile. Hidden between the skyscrapers, this museum secretly has an amazing collection of famous artwork. How many of them, you may ask? My readers are probably getting sick and tired of my introduction of museums, so I'll skip the redundant part and let the pictures say a thousand words.

 

Times Square and Broadway Shows|

 

Times Square is probably the most crowded and fast-paced area in the world. (Believe me, I was running like crazy to catch my bus last minute in Times Square and EVERYONE was still running faster than me. ) Is it worth going there to experience it? Even though I grew up in the same kind of hustle and bustle city, I could still find somethings irreplaceable in Times Square, such as the Broadway shows, various mascots and bars. Luckily enough, the place where we stayed was located right in Times Square (a 5-minute walking distance to the Broadway theaters), so we got to experience the day and night versions of a place that literally never sleeps. It’s hard to find a cheap place to stay near Times Square, but it’s NEVER hard to find cheap tickets to see a popular Broadway show. I thought it was mission impossible when I checked out the online ticket system; however, there were far more choices and flexibility than I expected.

 

 

For example, if you line up in the morning at the theater, you can get a rush ticket (single seat with final sale) for Les Misérables at $37 and standing ticket for Chicago (which is my favorite musical) for $27 with really good view (right in the middle). Therefore, don’t let the rumors or the budgets scare you away from chasing the musical dream. Chances are, the ticket sellers sometimes are reluctant to sell the cheap tickets at first place. What to do then? Don’t give up, and try any way you can to persuade the seller. This is how I got my Chicago ticket, and it WORKED! Since I am a big fan of Chicago (I collected its movie and soundtrack, knowing every song and character so well that I can literally sing with the musical), it was totally a dream come true for me. The theater was not that big (and the stage was not that far away), so we were able to see every movement, gesture, facial experience clearly. My friend who has seen several shows also recommends Sleep No More because of its unique interactive style of performance. For those who prefer dance and music to costumes and makeup, Chicago might be a better choice than The Lion King. No matter what you choose, I’m sure you’ll have an unforgettable night in Times Square.

 

New York Public Library

 

It is not a must-see spot in NY, but it is a very worthwhile visit because this classic style library is situated right in the middle of the busiest downtown shopping areas. If you are tired from the crazy shopping in Zara and Muji across from the library, feel free to step in and take a look! To me, just the building itself is already a masterpiece. It’s also a good place to slow down, write some postcards and a diary entry to record your trip in NY.

 

Dominique Ansel Bakery| cronut, bread, cake

 

Dominique Ansel Bakery needs no introduction. Its Cronut is so famous that it always sells out within a few minutes. In the SOHO neighborhood, visiting this bakery on Spring Street is a must! We made it there during the afternoon, but the cronut was already gone for hours. It didn’t disappoint us though, because nearly every dessert there is unique and worth-trying. Although the line is usually long, the friendly clerks and the incomparable sweets there will make every minute waiting worthwhile. Trust me!

 

Of course, there are still a lot of tourist spots worth visiting...

 

Grand Central Terminal                                                  Central Park

 

The Brooklyn Bridge

 

To wrap up,


I liked NY because...

  1. Pedestrians are like KINGS! Literally, you don’t have to look for the traffic and the countdown light because cars are overwhelmed by the crowds.
  2. Foods and restaurants are cheap, diverse and delicious. NY has a well-functioned Chinatown and Korean street selling all authentic exotic fods in reasonable price. Jessica, my friend studying in NYU recommends the BCD tofu house and Gong Cha, a bubble milk tea shop. You can also buy hot chicken over rice for less than $5 at a street stand.
  3. It’s a city that NEVER sleeps. You can make the most of the day traveling in NY from sunrise to sundown. The stores always light up and welcome people from all over the world. It’s there waiting for you to explore, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

I disliked NY because...

  1. The subway system in NY really drove me crazy. The machines were mostly out of order and the instructions were not clear and traveler-friendly. Not to mention the design of platforms and the smell. D.C's Metro is crazy too, but it's just a piece of cake compared to the one in NY.
  2. The pace is way too fast!!! It’s charming, cool in some way, but not warm and comfortable enough for me to develop a sense of belonging. To me, NY is more like a city to travel, to explore, rather than a city to settle down.
  3. The skyscrapers sometimes are too overwhelming. I actually prefer the colorful, cute houses here in D.C.

Thanks my friends for inviting me on this trip :)



 


Read Jill's previous blog posts here

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More