You know those cities that easily leave a mark? Those cities that always come back to you, frequently reminding you of the time you’ve spent there, always making you want to book a ticket and just fly there?
That was New York for me. Though I wouldn’t say New York has always been my top city to visit, I was still just as mesmerized when I arrived there.
It was September 2016. I landed in New York at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I remember waiting for my friend Jaz to meet me there. It had been about 30 minutes when I started panicking, since Jaz still hadn’t shown up. JFK did not have free wifi and I had no idea how to contact her. In the end, I decided to send her a text message (I was on roaming, so it was pretty pricey…). She told me she never got a message from me, so I showed her the number I sent it to, only to find out that number was inactive. Of course. Of course something like that would happen to me, right?
We finally saw each other and made our way to the city. Before going inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, I was able to get a glimpse of Times Square. It was amazing. I remember seeing The New York Times Building, and that’s what made it official for me, that’s what made me believe that I was really already in New York.
So we made our way to Jaz’s place in New Jersey — we took the bus and the trip wasn’t long. We dropped my things off at her place, then we had dinner at an Asian buffet with her dad. After dinner, we headed back and watched Serendipity. We wanted to get the whole ~New York feels~
After getting ready and eating breakfast, we headed to the city. Prior to the trip, Jaz and I attempted to make an itinerary — it was mostly just a list of places I wanted to see. Haha we divided the list into two (since I only had two full days in New York), and we grouped the places based on their location.
We walked past Times Square, streets and corners that looked too pretty to just walk away from. I wanted to stop and stare, absorb everything that makes New York the city that it is.
Our first stop for the day was the New York Public Library, a National Historic Landmark and listed as a New York City Landmark.
The New York Public Library was established in 1895 and it is the third largest library in the world. I didn’t know that at the time, and it never actually crossed my mind since we only got to cover a third of the entire place.
The entire library seemed like a work of art. No matter where I looked, everything was beautiful. The details on the ceilings and the walls, it was amazing.
I loved the marble walls around the library. I loved walking through the hallways. I loved the fact that even though tourists flock the place, there’s still some sense of peace and quiet, and people are still able to read and study.
After visiting the New York Public Library, we had lunch at Pershing Square. One of the most visited restaurants in the City, Pershing Square is right across the Grand Central Terminal and right under the Park Avenue Viaduct.
We arrived at the restaurant around noon, but we didn’t have to queue. Thank goodness for that. Haha I remember ordering a slab of salmon with vegetables, which I didn’t take a photo of most probably due to hunger.
While we were lunching, I was SO CONVINCED THAT RICK HOFFMAN WAS ALSO THERE, which is why I took this photo. Haha I badly wanted to take a picture with him but 1) I was only 80% sure it was Rick Hoffman and didn’t want to embarrass myself and 2) I was too shy and wanted to respect his ~personal time.~
We were already right across Grand Central Terminal, but before going inside, we took the liberty to take photos of the exterior. I mean, it was beautiful.
Once we got inside, we were surprised to see an exhibit showcasing Cheetos. I never knew it was an actual thing but there were displays of Cheetos that look like people, instruments, cars…
After walking around the exhibit and taking photos of Cheetos that we actually thought were really cool, we then started exploring the terminal. Just like the New York Public Library, the Grand Central Terminal is also listed as National Historic Landmark.
In the 1800s, Cornelius Vanderbilt, apparently known as America’s first tycoon, bought control over three of four of New York’s main rail road stations, and eventually turned them into a “single rail empire.” (GC History)
We weren’t able to explore the entire terminal and actually check out the ~mysteries” like the Whispering Gallery, see the black brick on the ceiling (even though I literally spent quite a while staring up). After an hour or so, we left Grand Central and headed to the Met.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York (the Met) is apparently the largest museum in the United States. We didn’t allot much time for our visit, but we still ended up staying for about two hours.
I’m honestly not the biggest fan of museums… When Jaz and I visited the Met, I enjoyed the exhibits that displayed historical artifacts, but when we got to the part where there were lots of paintings and sculptures, I just lost it. Haha I was mostly just on my phone.
We then took our time walking through Central Park and Fifth Avenue. We just looked at the shops, and took photos.
We visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, another landmark in New York. Okay now I don’t know a lot about architecture, but I’m sure the Cathedral is a work of beauty in the world of architecture. Both the interior and the exterior of the Cathedral is made of marble, and wow would you just take a minute and appreciate the intricacy of the facade!!!
We then headed to Rockefeller Center, yet another New York City landmark, established by the prominent Rockefeller family.
Our last stop for the day was Times Square. We saw it during the day, but it’s something else at night.