Recently I went to New York for the weekend for my younger brother's graduation. What's so special about that? Well besides celebrating my brother's graduation, it's my first time being in New York. You read right, I've never been to New York, this was my first time.
I arrived at JFK on the first flight in at 7:30 am and in true New Yorker fashion I took the subway from JFK. Yes, you can apparently do that and its cheaper than taking the taxi or uber and probably faster. I was staying in the upper west side and it was surprisingly easy to take the train from JFK airport. All you need is google maps and to read signs. I started out by following the Airtrain signs. It was about a 4 mins walk and by the time I got to the platform I just waited for the Airtrain that was going to Jamaica Station. From Jamaica station I took the B train to Penn Station and from there the 1 train to my stop. The journey was a little over an hour. I must say when I got to Penn Station I felt like a fish out of water. I almost got a little confused especially since everyone was walking so fast in different directions all while classical music was playing. It literally looked like a scene out of a movie. It was truly like an underground city.
I accomplished a lot with my first day in the Big Apple. My brother was my personal tour guide and he showed me around his city. We first made a stop at The Cathedral of St. John Divine. I was blown away by the architecture. I think its like the 5th largest church building in the world and its pretty old too. I think construction of it started from 1892.
Then we continued to central park, well part of central park, because as you know central park is HUGE! We walked around for a bit (let's just say I got a lot of exercise). You could see people jogging, cycling, meditating, practicing tai chi among other things. Saw quite a few birds and ducks roaming around. We passed streams, and small waterfalls on our little walk but it was a nice nature walk.
After walking around and burning so much energy we got hungry of course. So we met up with my brother's friends and we went to a place called Jacob's Pickles. The food was amazing! My brother ordered the chicken and pancake (which was HUGE!) I could only eat a quarter of it. He also ordered a drink for me called a jam jar which was delicious... it's strawberry gin and lemonade. The size portion at this place is insane but the dishes are delicious. The prices are just right and I can see why it's one of my brother's favorite spots.
After filling out bellies I went with my brother and his friends to their school (Columbia University) where I met more of his friends and got to see some of the most amazing architecture work I've ever seen (did I mention my brother was a masters architect student?) But before that we stopped at a place on campus called JOE where I tried the oats milk latte. OMG! Delicious! It's like a big hug after a filling meal lol I would definitely recommend it. Apparently a lot of coffee shops don't have it but chances are if you ask for it they've got it.
After hanging out with my brother's friends for a while and seeing their work, he took me to Times Square. I was overwhelmed at the bustling activity, the lights, the crowds, it was truly an experience. One place I had to go was the M&M store, all 3 floors of it.
From Times Square my brother then took me to the One World Trade Centre and the Path Station. The One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. Looking up at it from below it was truly a site to see. Across the street was the Path Station and what a piece of architecture that is. Originally I thought it was just a non functional structure but then we went inside and I was blown away by the architecture even more. There were shops and you could even catch a train from there as well.
After admiring the Path Stationa and the One Wolrd Trade Centre we went back to Times Square to meet up with my friend Petey who was also visiting from Canada. We had dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant called Carmine's. The service was excellent and the food was more than delicious! Again the food portions was crazy so we split a dish and we still couldn't finish it all.
Wow! I did all this in one day! It was a long but exciting day and I definitely have more to share from my first trip to New York but that's for another post. Have you been to New York before? What are some of your favorite places? Comment below and let me know.