72 Hours in New York City

72 Hours in New York City

There’s nothing as exhilarating and refreshing as taking a spontaneous weekend trip to a different city. Okay, well, semi-spontaneous because it took me a while to actually decide on getting the plane tickets. But it’s the combination of an IDGAF mindset, taking a break from the monotonous school life, and just being at a different place, that makes this trip so amazing. Christina, my friend whom I traveled with, and I had such a BLAST of a trip.

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Greenwich Village

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I was amazed by the lights, the mixture of sleek and elegant architectures, the ambience, the vibe. Being away from Hong Kong for so long made me almost forget how it feels like to be in such a vibrant city. But on top of that, it was also the rawness of seeing everything in the eyes of a traveler, the ability to take in everything because they were all so fresh and new.

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Taken from the High Line
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Taken from the Highline

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Despite having traveled a lot, this trip was what made me truly realize that traveling isn’t really about the destination, but how you travel. Sitting on a bench eating half a lox bagel. Walking to places with your head up instead of down. Waking up early to get the cronut. Meeting up people whom you haven’t talked to in a while. Sitting in a park full of old people playing chess. Not to mention everything is pulled out of my own wallet, which explains the blister on my foot, the one piece of luggage I carried which was my backpack, the slight grimace when I realized I got off the wrong metro stop and had to pay for another single trip. Yeah, the metro system kinda sucks in NYC.

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn
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Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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And also- the FOOD! I have to say, our eating choices were pretty on-point. We hit up some of the best food places in the city and were rarely disappointed. As Christina and I put it, it was a such a solid weekend of quality pigging out.

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Russ & Daughters – known for their bagels! The shop is not a bakery, but a deli on the higher end. There were different kinds of smoked salmon, caviar, and specialty cream cheese spreads such as cavier and scallion tofu.
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And of course, the lox bagel!

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And how could I not visit the famous Dominique Ansel bakery ??? Indeed, there were pretty long queues, even though it’s been more than a year since the hype hit the city.

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Dominique Ansel Bakery: yaaaaaaas. I woke up at 7:15am to line up, except the line wasn’t even that long and by 8:30am there was no line and the Cronuts were still available.
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All my Instagram, food blog, daydream food porn dream has come true. Dense, rich, creamy, the Cronut (flavor of the month: raspberry lime coconut) was delicious.
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Urgh I’m hungry now.
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Cookie shot and Frozen S’mores! We took so long taking photos, the milk started leaking from the “cup”…
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Doughnut Vault: strawberry yeast, tres leche, blackout. These were some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even like doughnuts that much.

What I also loved about this trip was how much we walked. If you want to truly see the city, down to its earth, you gotta work those gluts and walk. We walked from the area of NYU, past Little Italy, through Chinatown, and to Tribeca. We also got super lucky, because the weather was beautiful.

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The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory: ranked as one of the best ice creams in NYC, this shop has a surprisingly wide range of ice cream flavors, packed in such a tiny shop! It’s funny how some of their “regular flavors” are black sesame, durian and ginger, while the “exotic” ones are vanilla fudge and rocky road. They  also have other more unusual flavors such as pandan and halo halo. Ditch your usual vanilla or chocolate flavors and go crazy here.
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Strawberry, lychee and black sesame combo!

We stopped by Flushing too, which is a neighborhood near LaGuardia Airport, where we landed and departed. Flushing has a fluorished Asian community, and is full of well-known Asian dishes.

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Nan Xiang Dumpling House: xiao long bao! This restaurant is one of the most famous xiao long bao places in NYC. These were pretty juicy, but I was looking for a a more delicate skin.
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Nan Xiang Dumpling House
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White Bear, a tiny, mom and pop dumpling restaurant with a classic, old Chinese homey interior.
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$4.00 for 8 wonton dumplings in spicy oil. Definitely bang for the buck!
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Xi’An Famous Foods: Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles. Another famous Chinese dish in NYC, each noodle order is made fresh in front of you, from hand-pulling the noodls to cooking the lamb meat.

I remember that after I finally bought the airplane ticket, I texted Christina, “this better be freaking worth it.” Because I’m not exactly the spontaneous type and this was the first time I just blew off my responsibilities and peaced out to a different place. And, oh boy, was the trip worth it.

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The city at dusk. Goodnight.

 

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