My cousin & I booked round trip flights from Seattle, WA to New York, NY for around $275 just for the heck of it. YOLO. We stayed for six nights and five days and it definitely wasn’t enough time to do everything!
We traveled the weekend after a huge winter storm, so we are grateful to have dodged that bullet. Thank you Mother Nature! However, we did get caught in a massive downpour the day we decided to get on a ferry to go to Liberty Island & Ellis Island. Being a Seattlite, I was actually feeling a bit miserable being soaked head-to-toe (especially my underwear) for the rest of the day walking around the big city.
We stayed at an Airbnb in New Jersey and started our first morning in New York at Ess-a-bagel. We ended up sharing their Signature Favorite and it was the absolute best bagel I have ever had. The staff were super friendly and told my cousin and I that we looked like we could be on Glee because we looked so cheerful. So cheerful because it was our first freaking day in NY!!
My cousin and I bought a CityPass for $127/each that included admission to a lot the main touristy attractions we wanted to see during our visit:
Top of the Rock
The Metropolitan Museum
The Empire State Building
The Natural History Museum
Note to self and to others – admission to this museum is FREE. We ended up not being able to finish the entire museum one day since we got there late and ended up coming back the next day and made a charitable donation admission of a whole $2.00/each.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
There was this awesome pop-up art exhibit in Brooklyn called Dream Machine that we bought tickets to before they ended up selling out. There were smoke bubbles to pop, a ball pit to jump into, a laundry mat room where workers handed cotton candy for you to take pictures with, huge “clouds,” and a lot of creative lighting in each room. It was truly all a dream ❤ We had a lot of fun “doing it for the ‘gram.”
Being in Times Square and Grand Central Terminal was eye-opening for me. It was kind of like those moments you have when you stare out into the horizon on a sandy, white beach and have some life-changing realization about who you are as a person. Well, it was exactly like that, but surrounded by a concrete jungle. Like, “Wow. I am really here. I never thought that I would be able to visit NY, but I am here and I feel alive.”
It is funny to think that I wanted to live in New York City. I remember I told my mom that I wanted to be a journalist, write articles for some company, and live free in a wild city like NY. Just like Jo Koy would say, “My mom shit on my dreams.” (Just kidding, I love my mom). Instead, I decided to be the very typical Filipino nurse. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do! I just thought a change of lifestyle would be nice *shrugs*. While applying for nursing schools, I even thought that maybe if I didn’t get into any in Washington state, it would be a chance to see what it would be like to live in NY that way.
I always told myself if I were to move somewhere, it would have to be something completely different than Seattle (this desire probably came about me being a sheltered, private schooled, only child TBH lol). However, after visiting I realized that all of the amazing hype was real, the lights were bright, the buildings were gigantic, & the streets were alive; however, I couldn’t imagine myself caught in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle.
Things I learned while visiting New York:
- I say “Sorry” too much (even when people bump into me).
- The battery on my iPhone goes from 100% at 0700 to 50% at 1200 – something about being in the city drains the life out of it.
- If you want to take the bus to New Jersey, you have to “go up the stairs, take a right, get a ticket at the counter, come back down, & then ride the bus.” Moral of the story behind this inside joke — people are direct af with you. Don’t take it personally.
- The food scene in Seattle needs to step up their game! Also, Shake Shack in South Lake Union needs to open sooner because I have been having serious withdrawals.
- Safeco Field > Yankee Stadium
- The commute from New Jersey into New York is a real journey
- I am definitely a grandma living in a 25 year old body because I couldn’t hang (especially on a damn weekday) at the clubs. Ya’ll wild leaving around midnight to go out and leave at 4 A.M.
- Bring an extra suitcase if you want to be a hypebeast and buy stuff from Supreme, Stadium Goods, etc. (the resell game is real doe)
- People really do fall into the gap between the subway and the platforms (I ran and helped pick up a stranger with my superhuman strength to get her leg out).
- Central Park is beautiful ❤
- Wearing a romper to go out feels like you are underdressed.
- Subway rides are very entertaining – no matter what line you take.
Thank you NY for the experiences, good food, and amazing memories! Also, thank you for reminding me to embrace the trees and mountains that I love to call home. Until next time!