New York City, NY 

Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island: the five boroughs which make up New York City and are home to an estimated over 8 million people. Being the most densely populated major city in the United States, the Big Apple is a fast-paced, globally influential center of art, culture, fashion and finance. As many as 800 languages are spoken in NYC, which constitutes it as the most  linguistically diverse city in the world. What’s been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world, has also been ranked by several sources as the most photographed city in the world, as well as one of the most visited. So many sites and landmarks here have become well known internationally– from Times Square to the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge to the World Trade Center; the city never runs short on things to do and places to see. It’s always been a dream of mine to visit and walk through the streets of this concrete jungle and last week, what seemed like only a far-fetched, complacent goal, came true and my expectations exceeded far beyond their limits.

It took over three hours but from Boston we drove through Connecticut, and then to New York! Of all places, our hotel for the first night sat nicely in none other than Chinatown. Ironic, isn’t it?

We got there fairly late so after check in we headed out into the streets to pick up dinner in Little Italy. This pizza wins. Everything. I wish I could tell you the name of this place so you too could have a spiritually fulfilling food experience, but I honestly didn’t get the restaurant so… My b.

Fast forward to the morning… It hit me that I woke up in New. York. City. I’m actually here? This isn’t a dream!? Gratitude hit me like a truck.

After checking out, we mosied our way out of Chinatown and stopped for lunch (huevos rancheros FTW) before heading up the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the World Trade Center. After ascending up 1776 ft in under 60 seconds, The One World Observatory gave us a 360 degree view of New York. Below us laid Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey, and the Statue of Liberty in a distance. What a way to see New York, right?

After descending and recovering from my astounded trance, we made a stop at the 9/11 Memorial honoring where the twin towers once stood 15 years ago.

Following that, we headed over toward the Brooklyn bridge to sit on the edge of Manhattan.

When I was in China I lived off of a drink shop called “Coco”. China has them scattered around the same way we have Starbucks in the United States. There are only two cities in America that hold Coco Fresh Tea & Juice shops and considering I was in one of those cities, picking up a drink and reminiscing on former China treats wasn’t something that could be passed up. However, what once costed me $1.33 for a chocolate with pudding and pearls costed me nearly $5 for the same thing in NYC. Worth it, though? 110%.

I was literally a little kid in a candy shop taking in everything surrounding me in New York. Was I actually excited to experience the dirty city subways to take us back to our car? Hell yeah! We made a short stop at the famous Flatiron Building before returning to the parking garage.

From our car we drove to our Airbnb. Getting to stay in someone else’s apartment in East Village for a night was another unreal way to experience the city.

Meeting up for dinner at The Smith, I had the most unreal mac and cheese of my life… 10/10 would recommend. Following dinner, it was time to get tipsy and roll into the New York Comedy club. I legitimately died of laughter practically the entire time. I don’t know if it was the alcohol, the genuine comedy of the performers, or a mix of both, but I hadn’t laughed that hard for as long as I could remember and it made for a perfect night with my boy.
Hello Times Square!

This place kind of speaks for itself, don’tcha think? All I know is that drunk Ily had a hell of a time running around this place and being entranced by all of the lights. A stupidly obvious must-see when visiting the Big Apple.

A taco stand saved my life before returning home for the night. Metaphorically speaking, because that’s how hungry I was after all the laughing and running around that took place that night.

The next day we stopped to catch a quick view of the city and Central Park from 30-some stories up.

(Before moving on, can we please talk about how handsome my best friend is btw?)

Back on the dirty subways to go into Central Park, yay! It’s amazing to me that in the midst of so much hustle and bustle, in a city of so much concrete and building, that there can lie a calmer area of nature to retreat to.

Picking up a last slice of pizza for our ride home, we hopped in the car to return to Boston and I left with yet another piece of my heart missing to now remain here in the city.


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