Welcome to New York
During labor day weekend, for the first time, I went to New York City!
You probably wouldn’t expect a photographer to say this, but I think people take too many pictures. People are always pausing for the iPhone, and I feel like it’s distracting from actual experiences. For this reason, his trip was a little different than most of my other vacations. I did not bring my camera. I’ve learned that I shoot very intentionally and what makes my heart pitter-patter is to shoot candid joy with a fashion/artistic style. I don’t fulfill that purpose while shooting smiling photos in front of iconic landmarks.
I suspected that my iPhone would a perfectly sufficient and I used this trip to trial this hunch. I mean, a DSLR camera is heavy, bulky, somewhat fragile, and ridiculously expensive so it’s not really the best travel companion anyway.
I went to class in Berkeley Friday evening, hopped on Bart to San Francisco airport, jumped on my plane, and got to New York City at 6 am on Saturday morning. I took a 4-hour power nap and then woke up ready for adventure!
On that first day, I did a lot of exploring. I started out on the hunt for the empire state building. Along the way, I insisted on buying street food and I stumbled upon a gorgeous monument to 9/11. Once I got to the empire state, I decided to pay full price to go all the way up the 102nd floor.
Fun tip: You pay an extra $24 to go to the 102nd floor and you feel snobbish and elite 😉 But be a common peasant. You’re not missing out on anything by stopping your ascent on the 86th floor.
But you are definitely missing out if you don’t visit Times Square. Those giant television screens are all kinds of jaw dropping. And inspiring about the potential size of tv’s that are able to be made for my future home 😉 It’s also just a cool place to people watch. New York really does attract people from all over the world. Exposure to this is not condensed in any one location better than in Times Square. I heard more different languages and different style of clothing that I can possibly remember. I saw people dressed up various costumes, various street performers, and pretty much everything else under the sun.
AAAAAAND you are definitely missing out if you’re in New York and you don’t catch a Broadway show. And I knew exactly what I wanted to watch. Inspired by a general love of Lea Salonga (she was the voice of Mulan and Princess Jasmine in the disney movies. In addition to Les Mis and Allegiance and a lot of other things I love), I needed to see Miss Saigon.
The plot of the musical follows a young woman during and after the Vietnam War. Honestly do not see this musical if you’re looking for a pick-me-up experience. Even though there wasn’t a clear “bad guy,” the musical was somewhat depressing the whole way through. I thought it was amazing nonetheless.
The next day, I wandered through the streets once more. This is my favorite thing to do in an unfamiliar place. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a Brazilian festival in the middle of Manhattan. Although there wasn’t too much going on that seemed all that relevant to Brazil, there were stands after stands of street food so I couldn’t be happier <3 My walking also brought me to Saks 5th Avenue which a pretty awesome shopping district. I honestly don’t know where I first heard of this street, but I knew it was well known. It’s right next to the Rockefeller building (where they have the giant Christmas tree and ice skating rink during December)
In How I Met Your Mother, Robin becomes a “true New Yorker” when she cries on the public subway and doesn’t give a crap. I convinced myself that I absolutely needed to experience the New York subway, so I planned to use it to get from from Manhattan to the U.S. Open (The American tennis Grand Slam tournament for those of you who aren’t tennis people) that evening. I unfortunately jumped in the wrong subway car, went the wrong direction, realized my mistake, and got out. I determined that I could either subway my way back OR I could get out, run a mile in downtown Manhattan, just be able to make it back to where I started in time to catch the right train, and be at the tournament on time.
Guess which I did.
Which is always kinda fun but also always a reminder that I really need to run more haha.
I unknowingly entered the stadium before I was supposed to, and I was able to watch Venus Williams live. I then realized my mistake, overpaid for dinner, and watched two matches that I actually had paid to attend 😉
The next morning, I went to Central Park and then headed back to the other side of the country.
New York City is definitely an amazing place to visit. But I am honestly convinced that the standard of living is so much lower in big cities. You have to walk so much more just to get around. And commuting takes so much longer. Freaking parking is $50+ for 2 hours. And there are so few public restrooms and you have to wait for so long in line for everything. Which is especially distressing when you finally find a restroom after a half hour of searching and now you have to wait in a line but you really really have to go now.
Soon I’m pretty much in love with Salt Lake City. This is probably not the right note to end a travel blog on… haha. But honestly, travel just reminds me of how great home is.