Wohooo!! That’s right, I was in NYC for a couple days, most of the time working (business trip), but I had all Saturday and then Sunday morning to wander around NY. The best part, without any hesitation, was being able to meet again with 2 of my best friends from college: Sara and Zi.
From Friday night until Sunday afternoon I walked a total of 35km, up and down the Central Park, around Broadway and Times Square, to the super crowded Rockefeller Plaza, the LOVE symbol, the Highline, Columbia University, and many more places.
Here I leave some of my favorite pictures. It was really hard to chose from the 300 photos I took!
First day we ate at shake shack. I remember liking them a lot when I first tried them 4 years ago. This time, I realized I was wrong, I absolutely loved them! Amazing burgers with juicy meat at the right point of cooking. As usual, there was some line outside, but it went by very quickly. Finding a table was difficult, but we eventually managed and enjoyed the food.
Dinner was at the hotel, since there was free dinner provided Monday through Thursday. It wasn’t great, but breakfast next day was great. We stayed at Homewood Suites by Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. Quite expensive for a 3 star, but still it was really crowded (breakfast at 9AM was impossible). Service was so-so, but they did provide a lot of “free” things such as coffee 24h, or awesome chocolate chip cookies around 3pm.
On Thursday after work I visited a Xmas pop-up store from Target and the Chelsea Market, which is a quite hipster cool market with small restaurants, groceries stores, gift shops, etc. On the walk home I saw a street-xmas tree-shop and a petshop with Christmas cookies for dogs. Christmas really is all over in NYC! Loooove it ❤
Friday afternoon we took a walk on the Highline, a renovated park on an old railway that used to serve as the main transportation to and from the meatpacking district of NY. Interesting urbanism and we were lucky enough to see the Statue of Liberty from there!
At night we walked to Times Square and checked out the M&M and the Hersey’s shops. Incredible flagship stores with so much merchandising that I never thought you could sell from just some chocolate candies. Disney store was also amazing, a dream for any child (or dreamy adult like me)!
We kept walking to Rockefeller to see the big Christmas tree and the skating rink, but it was so crowded with people that it was difficult to walk around, not to say to take pictures. Right next to it is also Radio City with another big (skinny) tree.
That night we ate at a Brazilian restaurant that we found randomly after searching for a restaurant for a while. It was OK but not great, and one of the waiters dropped my knife, which hit my finger (don’t worry, it didn’t cut it). He didn’t even realize nor apologize!
Saturday was going to be a long day. We first took a subway to Central Park around the 96th, but turned out we had gotten on the express metro that did not stop anywhere near Central Park, so we had to take another one back towards downtown. I’m usually very good at navigating transportation systems but NYC metro was under some renovations and we had read a paper that just confused us and took us to a different line. Anyway, Central Park is so beautiful! I fell in love with THE PARK, specially around the big Reservoir.
How did a park capture my heart and become my favorite spot of the city? It is so full of life and love! Such a perfect place to just sit down and observe people going on their daily life. A proud owner walking his dog, a father teaching his little princess how to throw a ball, a young woman completely immersed in the story she was reading, children racing and laughing, a runner training for her next marathon… and so many more images that made an impact in me that day. I’m so impressed a city as busy as New York has found a way to keep a big space for nature and harmony like this!
For lunch we tried the very famous Pastrami, a Jewish deli sandwich made with cured meat. There are some famous shops in NYC, but we chose Pastrami Queen because it was near the Park. As we had been unable to finish any meal until now, we chose to share 1 pastrami sandwich and 1 spinach knisch. We still couldn’t finish it (had a late breakfast), but it was pretty good. I don’t think it would be something I want to eat all the time, but it was good to try. The place is really small and the waiters are so busy that they forget to be nice to you. Service was really bad and rude, so if you go, I’d recommend to get it to go and eat it in the Park. (Actually not sure whether it is allowed to eat in the park, since it was really clean and I didn’t see anyone eating there).
After a lot of walk, I went to the 5th avenue to grab some wifi at the iconic Apple store. Then, on the way to Columbus circle to catch a metro to Columbia University and see Sara, I stopped by the “Love” symbol and took a picture there.
Columbia University is smaller than other US campuses, but that gives it some charm. The older buildings were all very beautiful, and as most people do, I took a picture next to the Alma Mater. Sara and I are friends from college, although she is 3 years younger than me. We met at the E3 (Entrepreneurship club in my Uni) and became good friends since then. As my small college wasn’t really Sara’s style, she moved to NY and entered Columbia.
We went for dinner to a locally popular restaurant called Pisticci, that serves the best pasta I’ve eaten in the last 2 years. I had a “Maltagliati with ricotta, spinach and lamb: juicy lamb ragu over flat pasta with fresh spinach and a dollop of ricotta tossed in at the end to keep it light and not too gamey” for $15. A-MA-ZING. Maybe it was the good company, but I don’t even remember having such a tasty meal for a good while. Makes me hate living in Korea sometimes xD
Sunday I met Zilin, one of my best friends from all college. She moved to NJ after graduation to live with her boyfriend and is currently taking a masters in accounting and starting to work in NY, which is really awesome! We went to a restaurant called Turco (Turkish food) and order some hummus plus lamb shish and lamb gyro. Again, huge amounts and very tasty food. We couldn’t finish our dishes and were really full, so we went out for a walk before going for a dessert. Yes, we were full, but according to my friend, I had to try this cake shop called Lady M.
Lady M sells upscale cakes ($8 each piece) that look so beautiful. The cafe is a bit small and tight though, and there is a constant line to order for take out, making it a bit messy. Anyway, back to the cake, they are famous for a just reason, in my opinion. Very good looking and soft to the taste.
Oh… writing this makes me feel melancholic already! Had such a great time in NYC, I can’t wait to get back 🙂