My recent travel abroad was to New York City. Now, NYC has always been one of the top on my list of cities in the world I have to visit before I die. Growing up moving from country to country, studying in American and international schools all the way from elementary school to high school, I was fully exposed to the American cultures and traditions, as well as having friends from all over the world, America included of course. However, after all these years of American influence, I still haven’t been to America. India? Check. Hungary? Check. Hong Kong? Check. England? Check! But America? I wasn’t sure when that would happen. I mean, it’s a pretty big deal. I probably have to be in a stable job for a couple of years to save up a great amount of money to even think of going there. Well, that all changed when somewhere around the end of March, Adam, my husband said to me, “I think I might be going to America next month.”
one thought that constantly popped up in my mind wherever I went was, “Wow…I am here.”
It turned out Adam had to attend a conference in Austin, Texas at the beginning of April, and since it was very close to the Songkran holiday, we thought why not take this AMAZING opportunity to also visit New York City? Five days in Austin, and about ten days in NYC sounded just right. So we quickly booked flights and hotels, got my visa sorted, and marked all the places we wanted to go in NYC on Google Maps. I was on full tourist mode for this trip. I marked all the famous landmarks, from the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Time Square, to DUMBO in Brooklyn, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and even famous locations in iconic films like Katz’s Deli in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and the bench where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton sat looking at the Queensboro Bridge on the poster of ‘Manhattan’. I even bought a New York guide book by CITIx60 to make sure I won’t miss any hidden gems worth seeing in the Big Apple. I was super excited I couldn’t contain myself! I would be celebrating my birthday in New York City this year! I just couldn’t believe my luck.
For the first part of the trip, we stayed in Brooklyn, around East Williamsburg to be exact. However, we had a nightmare finding the hostel, as it turns out it doesn’t exist! Now, that’s something new. Never in my years of traveling have I experienced something this bizarre. So, to make long story short, we ended up booking somewhere else. As we were completely knackered after a 21 hour flight, and desperately needed somewhere to rest our laurels, thank goodness there was another hostel nearby in the area or else we wouldn’t know where to stay!
Other than that strange incident and the unusual cold, rainy weather that got us freezing our tits off most days (April in NYC was supposed to be getting warm and sunny), our New York trip was a great joy and a memorable one. We stayed at Pod 51 in Manhattan the second half of the trip, (the hostel does really exist this time, ha!) and we had a comfortable stay there. We got to see almost all the places marked on the map, by making use of the subway, bus, and walking. We walked soooo much, my legs were going to fall off by the end of each day! I don’t really know how to put my feelings about New York City into words, but the one thought that constantly popped up in my mind wherever I went was, “Wow…I am here.” I am here standing in the middle of Grand Central Terminal, I am here standing right under the Empire State Building, I am here walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, I am here sitting at the table next to the table where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal filmed that infamous orgasm scene at Katz’s! After years of seeing these famous and historical sites in films, music videos, magazines, etc. I am finally here seeing everything with my own eyes. New York City is definitely a vibrant, intense city with a lot of things to absorb….everywhere we went we made sure we had our eyes fully open and taking in the experience as much as possible, because who knows when we’ll get to come back here again?
If I had to pick the highlights from this trip, for me, I have to say walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, taking photos and seeing the Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan skylines. Other than that, it’s visiting the Met and MoMA. As a former art student, to be standing in front of famous masterpieces by Van Gogh and Andy Warhol, this fan girl cannot be happier! Anyway, I think I probably should stop writing and let the photos do all the talking! xo