- Be a traveller, not a tourist (i.e. don't buy a New York Pass, go on bus tours, or get around via the sightseeing bus). We ended up wasting a lot of time, and didn't make the most of our trip. Walking or subway is always faster!
- Take the weather into account before going up the Empire State Building! Here was the view yesterday:
- Shit happens! The weather was just not on our side today either, and my parents didn't even get to see the Statue of Liberty which they were really looking forward to since it was actually stormy. And then, when they tried going to another museum, they got there 2 minutes after it closed. So unfortunate. (I ditched them after the failed attempt at seeing the Statue, and went to the Museum of Sex instead - which was actually pretty legit!). But hopefully this means that the rest of our trip might go a bit more smoothly?
- Try and see less, and see it better. I personally would prefer less photo-taking and more engagement.
- I don't think I could live in New York. Just wayyy too many people (aka tourists like me :P). But I haven't seen enough of it aside from Times Square, which is not really representative, so I should reserve judgement!
- US roads are so dark at night and pretty scary to drive on in the dark, especially with pouring rain. Even my dad, the expert driver, was finding it difficult to even stay in the lane!
|From the 86th floor. A patch through the fog...|
|From the 102th floor. We bought the upgrade, not realising that it was zero visibility. Woops.|
But of course, there are always things that make me smile, like:
- The moment we drove into the parking lot at Princeton even though a sign said "Do Not Enter' (you were supposed to drive to the next entry) and my mum was just like, "Well, I guess we have to enter". LOL.
- Princeton is stunning.
- Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum!!!! So much awesomeness. I was literally confusing real people for wax models and wax models for real people.
- Getting a really helpful reply from an academic I reached out to regarding a book chapter he'd written. He generously sent it so I could read it since I won't have access to a university library till August.
- We had dinner at Hangawi, a Korean vegan restaurant!!! The food and the ambience made for an excellent and very satisfying experience. It was probably the highlight of my visit to New York this time. I will definitely come back next time I'm back in New York (I'm sure I'll have another opportunity to return). I recommend the stuffed shiitake mushroom appetiser especially.
|Chapel. Someone was playing the organ beautifully inside. A moment of peace.|
|Dad and I under our Chinese zodiac animals.|
|Awesome fountain. Photo does not do it justice.|