I’ve decided to merge days 4 and 5 of our NYC 2012 trip. Day 5 was pretty much just getting up, having our last free continental breakfast at the hotel, going on the Brooklyn Bridge and going to see the 9-11 crash site. Then we quickly raced to JFK to make our flight back home.
So, this will be the last installment of our NYC 2012 series.
Our day 4 original itinerary:
8am- Staten Island train to St. George’s terminal
9am- Staten Island ferry from St. George’s terminal (Staten Island) to Whitehall terminal (Manhattan)
945am- Subway train to the Bronx to meet up with Aji’s friend
11am- Hang-out with Aji’s friend @ the Bronx
We didn’t really make it out of Staten Island til about 10am. Our friend Weng cooked us bacon and rice for breakfast! How can Aji say no?
These photos below, were taken on the Staten Island ferry, approaching Whitehall terminal in Manhattan. It was a cloudy day, but you can still see Manhattan’s cityscape right behind us.
About 2 hours later, and a long nap on the subway train, we got to meet up with Aji’s friend Paolo. He promised to bring Aji to the biggest Guitar Center in town. Before that, we visited Paolo’s apartment and Aji got to try out his Washburn N4 electric guitar (in the guitar world, that’s one of the really good guitars out there). Paolo also treated us out to the Cheesecake Factory, just before we went to visit Guitar Center. We all had amazing meals, but unfortunately, I forgot to document all of it! ;-( I know, silly me.
Here’s Aji and Paolo in guitar heaven. Aji has had his eye on this baby ever since he got his first Gibson Les Paul guitar. This one’s a Gibson semi-hollow body, ES 335. It apparently has a distinct sound from his Les Paul one.
After spending most of the afternoon in Guitar Center with Paolo, we said our goodbyes and Aji & I trained back to Manhattan.
I brought Aji to Little Italy and we had a huge dinner at Lombardi’s Pizzeria. The pizza is so fresh and the dough is to die for. We ordered the medium size 14″ pizza with meatballs, pepperoni, beef, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese & pecorino romano cheese toppings. You may have seen this pizza on this blog before, and that would be here.
We walked around Little Italy and parts of China town after dinner, and then went to Rice to Riches for dessert, which was across the street from Lombardi’s.
On the photo below, top left, it says: Dieting is optional. On the photo above, bottom right, it says: Eat Right; Exercise; Die Anyway. How true! I guess they would have to live by these sayings because all they sell is pretty much sweetened rice. I understand it’s not for everyone and most people may think that Rice to Riches is just selling overpriced sweetened rice. Truth be told, it’s my kind of food. So don’t diss. To each his own.
I had the hazelnut flavored pudding. Mmmmmmmm. Ate it right before going to bed too! I had sweet dreams!
Photos below are from our day 5. We figured we still had a bit of time before our boarding time, so we headed out to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Then we went to see the 9-11 crash site. To our surprise, there are 2 towers already being rebuilt. It didn’t look like much of a crash site anymore.
We were homeward bound, racing to JFK airport after the 2 side-trips we did.
Of course, it just wasn’t too stressful for Aji already, that we were almost running late for our flight out of JFK. He just HAD to take a creepy photo with the “tiled eyes” on the background in one of the subway stations.
But we finally made it to Howard Beach, the last subway station before JFK. Then we took the JFK air train to get to our boarding terminal. We were Vancouver-bound, where home awaits.
Let me know if you’re planning to visit NYC soon. We can talk about the essentials and what not, for the trip! You can ask me about the subway system and how you can manage to get around without having to take 1 cab!
Hope you all enjoyed our 2012 NYC series.
Have a great day!
Here’s the third installment of our recent NYC trip. I’ve mentioned on my day 2 post that we had to postpone our Metropolitan Museum visit, because we wanted to stay longer in the American Museum of Natural History.
Here is our original Day 3 itinerary:
1030am- 2 hr. Semi-circle Liberty/Ellis Island cruise
1230pm- walk around midtown Manhattan
430pm- head down to Staten Island to visit a friend and spend the night
On day 3, we decided to forego our 2-hour Liberty/Ellis Island cruise, (it was rainy and gloomy anyway) to spend most of the day at the Metropolitan Museum. I admit I was very much surprised by how much I liked the exhibits and by how fascinated I was with everything; from the Egyptian civilization to the Roman Empire and Byzantine Era, to the 16th Century English design. I was never much of a history person in school. I liked science more. But visiting this museum made history a lot more interesting!
Egyptian History and Civilization:
The Asian Exhibit:
From the Byzantine era:
Relics from the Roman Empire:
Weapons and Armaments of the Middle Ages.
Some 16th Century English Design:
Some designs were really grand and beautiful, while some were just plain too creepy-looking for me.
Can’t get enough of the grandeur of these ceilings and columns.
Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet pieces:
These paintings made me think to myself before, “why are these so special anyway? They don’t look all that hard to make”. Then I got to see the original pieces at the Met, and I cannot describe the feelings that each painting has evoked in me. As I looked further into each painting, it felt like I was actually a part of their world for a few seconds. This might sound really cheesy but right there and then, I understood and realized what art meant in those paintings.
I hope you had as much fun looking through these photos, as much as we had fun visiting the Met!
We had a quick bite at the nearby Shake Shack after our museum visit, and then took a subway train and hopped onto the Staten Island ferry and then onto the Staten Island train, to visit a friend and her family.
On a side note, Aji still got to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance while on the Staten Island ferry, even if we didn’t get to go on our Liberty/Ellis Island cruise (photo bottom left).
My friend Weng has an awesome husband, Marly, who cooked us an amazing dinner, after coming home from a long day’s work. They also had a special mocha mousse dessert especially ordered for us! They have two adorable kids, a 5-year-old daughter, Priscilla, and a 5-month-old son, Joshua. Weng and Marly have always been wonderful and gracious hosts! We are so blessed to have them as friends!
Stay tuned for Day 4 of our NYC visit!
Have a great day!
Have you ever seen the movie, Night at the Museum? Well, if you’ve seen it and you’ve wondered where that museum is and what it really has to offer, this is one post you’d like!
A few days before leaving for our first vacation together since 2010, Aji and I sat down and made ourselves a list of the things we wanted to see and do. After a lot of quibbles, we finally finished our NYC 2012 Itinerary. It proved really useful because we only had 4 nights and 5 days and coming prepared was nice because we knew exactly where we were going and what we wanted to do at any given time. We didn’t want to waste precious New York City time that we scarcely had.
This was our original NYC day 2 itinerary:
10am-12nn American Museum of Natural History
1230pm-230pm The Metropolitan Museum
3pm-5pm The Guggenheim
7pm Broadway show (Wicked)
Since we got home (to our hotel) around 230am the night before, we really didn’t get to wake up early for our day 2 in NYC. We were up by 9am, but we had to get ready then went down the hotel to get our complimentary continental buffet breakfast.
There were 3 different types of cereal. There was a huge container of butter waffle batter (soooooo good!!!) that you can make. There were different types of bread, fruits and fruit yogurt. They had coffee, tea, milk and fruit juices for drinks. We didn’t really expect much from the free breakfast so maybe that’s why we were pleasantly surprised by all that they had.
We didn’t finish eating til about 11am, then we headed back to our room to freshen up before leaving, so we were running really late. To top it all off, by the time we got to the subway station (after a 10-15 minute brisk walk), we found out that the train was delayed. Apparently, the train usually comes every 6-8 minutes, but lucky for us, we had to wait a good 40 minutes due to some unforeseen train mechanical problems. We got to the American Museum of Natural History at around noon. By that time, the museum was packed with school children on field trips! The line-up was so long to get in, but this is where our luck finally turned for the better. We had the New York City Pass which allowed us to skip all the line-ups and we got to see a show about the stars and how they are made and how they die at the Planetarium (yes, the same one where Ross and Rachel did the deed for the first time on Friends!).
Then we went to see the African Jungle Animals:
By the time we finished walking through the museum and looking at the various exhibits, it was already past 1pm. We were way behind schedule. So we decided, we should just postpone 1 museum visit to our 3rd day. We chose to stay in the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) until about 2pm and then we went to The Guggenheim. We saved the Met for our 3rd day.
Here are some more photos from the AMNH:
(Doesn’t the owl look like Hedwig from Harry Potter? Just thought I’d mention that. )
Here are some of your favorite Jurassic Park Animals!
Just for laughs, we thought we’d take a photo of Aji under the sign, Asian Peoples. lol. Anyways, we were going to skip this section, but there were pretty interesting gem stones such as the jade (upper right) and the stibnite (lower right). (Doesn’t that stibnite mineral formation look like that place where Superman lives in the movie? Just thought I’d throw that in there somewhere)
We didn’t realize it was 2pm already with still so much to see at the AMNH. Unfortunately, we decided to go and check out the Guggenheim, before we headed to Broadway to see an evening show.
The Guggenheim was an epic let down. First of all, Aji thought they would be featuring works of the late Frank Lloyd Wright, since the Guggenheim is probably one his most recognized work. Second of all, just like at the other museums, we thought we could take photos without using camera flash.
So here are the only 2 photos we were allowed to take:
To make matters worse, they didn’t have any featured works of the late Frank Lloyd Wright. So we left the museum after just but 30 minutes of trying to find anything interesting.
We were starved around 230pm. Since we were already in the neighborhood, I asked Aji if we could go to Serendipity for late lunch/early dinner. He caved.
Here are photos from Serendipity:
Of course, as usual, the dessert came before our entire meal. Why they do this all the time, I don’t know. Maybe it’s to appease people because the meals ALWAYS take forever to come. I never complain though, I love their frozen hot chocolate as an appie!
(Belle, if you’re reading this, yes this is the same meal we saw on the table next to us, the last time we were there and had a failed pasta experience!!)
Of course there’s that “customary” serendipity after meal photo
We headed downtown to Broadway for our 8pm broadway show. We got there pretty early so there was time to explore Times Square and Broadway.
Here are some Times Square and Broadway photos:
(Well, someone was tired…)
A tidbit of information, the left bottom photo shows One Times Square Building, where the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop is held.
Some before the show photos:
If you haven’t seen the broadway musical, Wicked, I encourage you to do so. I’ve always wanted to see this one, because of the rave reviews it’s gotten. I didn’t expect it to be a great musical, but it was! I’d say it’s pretty close to the Phantom of the Opera. Even Aji liked it and said watching movies will never be the same again! It’s such a different experience seeing actors live with a live band/orchestra too!
Well folks, that concludes our day 2 in NYC! Hope you had a blast browsing through the photos!
Stay tuned for our day 3 in NYC!
Have a great weekend!
P.S. Belle, NYC was not the same without you!! ;-(
As all of you may know, I am a promise-breaker. I know I said I was going to post our recent New York photos the week after our trip. That didn’t really happen did it? Today is the first day of our third week since we came back from the trip and I’m just starting to get back into the groove of things at home. Who would’ve thought that a five-day trip to the east and then getting a new job the very next day after coming back from the trip, would get me so out-of-sync?
Enough of the excuses. I’m here to satiate your hunger for exciting things
Most of you know that we got to go to NYC because of a wonderful ticket sale we found online. We flew from YVR-JFK (Vancouver to New York), which is a very rare thing, when you’re looking at cheap plane tickets. For us Canadians, we would normally have to drive down to Bellingham or Seattle to get on a plane to the east, just so it wouldn’t cost us an arm and a leg. So when we saw that the cheap tickets were from Vancouver to New York, we immediately decided it was for us (by immediately, I mean 3 days of thinking and praying about it).
Here’s a few photos from our first day:
We went to take the JFK AirTrain after arriving at JFK airport at around 7pm EST. Unlike most tourists, we didn’t take a cab to get to our hotel from the airport. We hopped off of the AirTrain at the Howard Beach Station to catch our first subway train to get to Manhattan. The wait took longer than anticipated, hence we got to take a few more shots before we got on the subway train.
Our temporary home in NYC was this quaint hotel in Brooklyn. It’s a 20-minute train ride to Manhattan. We enjoyed our stay at this hotel. It was a very clean and comfortable place to be in, after walking about 12-14 hours a day in Manhattan.
After checking-in and freshening up a bit, out we went, off to Manhattan. First stop, Grand Central.
Aji and I weren’t really hungry after enduring 4 airports, 3 airplanes, and a few subway trains. After all, we were offered: peanuts, cookies or pretzels, three times, on three different aircrafts! So yes, we had to have real food (and by real I mean, a good burger, french fries and a milk shake) and our fast food of choice was Shake Shack!
Then we took the cross town “S train” to get to Times Square station, and then another train downtown to Penn Station, and a few blocks of walking to get to the Empire State building.
Aji’s mission, being an architect and all, was to see the Chrysler building in all of its glory from the observatory deck of the Empire State building. Mission accomplished.
He was a happy camper after the Empire State building visit. We were the last ones to get out of there at around 2am.
We were practically wiped by the time we got “home”. I was really satisfied with our hotel. It had all the things we needed and it was very clean!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post!
Stay tuned for day 2 of our NYC trip!
Have a restful holiday Monday!
I just wanted to say I’m still alive; So is Aji! We’re still exhausted and just trying to get back to our routine after New York.
Oh who am I kidding? I just started a new job last Monday, so I haven’t had the time to really do much since we got back. I promise the New York Trip 2012 post is coming soon!
Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek:
Just thought I’d show a bit of an interesting contrast to the different activities we did in the Big Apple!
Hope you’re having a great week so far!
Four airports, three airplanes and twelve hours enroute. This is the beginning of our 5-day nyc adventure!
Here are a few photos during our airport/plane hopping:
NYC, here we come! Have a great week!
In the spirit of spring cleaning, I’ve been working on re-organizing my iPhoto pictures. Nostalgia hit when I saw photos of my last year’s trip to New York, with my sister Belle and my trip to Singapore with Aji in 2010. They are two very different cities, but I thoroughly enjoyed both trips.
If you’ve been to New York City and Singapore, you will know exactly what I mean. If not, here is a visual:
Manhattan, alley (photo by belle)
It’s amazing how beautiful New York City still is to me, even in its characteristic grit. It has its unique old world charm combined with nouveau boldness from the constantly evolving art forms. You may not really see the “art” in this photo, but try to ignore the trash in front of the truck for a second, and notice the backdrop of old buildings and the old incandescent lamp posts.
Singapore, Chinatown alley
Singapore on the other hand, is just breathtaking; To see the “manufactured” beauty and the progressive efforts of the authorities to maintain such a city is astounding. I was flabbergasted by the cleanliness of Chinatown and Little India in Singapore. Before our trip to Singapore, I’ve been to three different Chinatowns (Vancouver, San Francisco, New York) in North America and one in the Philippines. All of them had two things in common: crowded and grimy. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just their very own consistent, chaotic, beauty.
The photo above, is the exact opposite of the two words I’ve just mentioned. Not to say that at different times of the day, Chinatown in Singapore does not get crowded, it does, but it never gets grimy. It’s as clean as your typical brand new concrete garage floors. I kid-you-not, photos don’t give it justice. Aji and I were joking about how you could pick-up food (that has accidentally fallen out of your hands), off the roads and still eat it (ok maybe not =) ). It’s that clean though, the thought has crossed our minds.
Having said all of this, I strongly feel that both cities have their own flavors to boast of. If you had the money and are looking for some adventure, I would suggest visiting these cities. I’d like to add though, that enjoying the experience will greatly depend on the travelers’ personality. I promise to do a more detailed, separate post entirely about our trip to Singapore and maybe about my trips to NYC.
Hope you’re having a great weekend! =)