In an Empire State of Mind

Back from New York and man, did I miss my twitter, facebook and blog! I would have updated from across the border, but we spent our days walking around the city and I wasn’t sure whether my texts would make it so I knew when I was back I would have to make a veryyy long LONG blog entry about my trip ๐Ÿ™‚ So grab that popcorn as I tell you all about my visit! hehe

I left on monday morning to catch my 8.30 flight to Newark. Thank gosh my friends told me about porter flying out of the Toronto Island airport ’cause knowing me, I would have gone to Pearson international and looked for this flight LOL The flight was quick and nice, would def recommend flying Porter! lol We got into Newark and got on a bus and subway to get into New York. Newark Airport gets you to New Jersey and then you have to connect into New York. Once we made it in, around 3-ish, we (my 3 comrades that I travelled with) grabbed some lunch and then waited to meet up with the Prof to have lunch in Central Park. There we learned that we were staying in the upper west side (which was like a not even a block away from Central Park) and that our subway passes were going to be our best friends as we travelled the city. Dinner-ish was nice in Central Park, we were sitting around munching on sandwiches and such from Whole Foods (which, by the way, is AWESOME!!!). All the students were staying at the Hostel nearby and I was rooming with 5 other girls. Two of whom I travelled with and 3 that we met that day. Our first day was spent in getting to New York and exploring the area around our hostel. We found a few local connivence stores, fruit vendors and diners for morning and possible evening meals. It was my idea to do this, because if we needed anything later on, than we would know where to run to; and everything was within a block’s radius which makes life very easy. This was great for breakfast and storing up on water bottles.

Day 2 (tuesday): we began that days at 9am, with some pancakes for ย breakfast! We started inย Chelsea, looking at the Chelsea Hotel that housed amazing musicians and such. From Chelsea we went into the meat packing district or what was left of it. We saw the Highline, which was a railway line that went on top, which was used for bring in cattle into the meat packing district, but was now converted into a urban park area. The railway line was landscaped witย shrubs and trees, which was nice. The line was about a couple kms long and apparently more under construction. Did I mention the day was unbelievably hot! From there, it was into Greenwich Village, with the quant homes and cafe culture brought to life. The area was very chic and upcoming with lofts and brick roads. We took note of how the village esp did not follow the typically grid patterns of NY city and right now I can’t remember why even though the Prof did tell us ._.” lol from there, we walked into the New York University Campus and stopped for lunch at Washington Square. We definitely need squares like Washington Square. I mean Queens Park is nice, but with tables and benches everywhere for people to it and play chess and fountains about. It helped being around students because we were all students ourselves lol There was orientation going for all the first years and I could not help but feel for all the first years that were walking about at UofT and learning and trying to fit into the campus. We walked around for a bit but we found this restaurant that had a lunch box special, so it was a veg burger, carrot cole slaw, cookies, an apple and stuff for lunch for me. Of course I couldn’t finish it all (so much food!) but it was filling! I noticed on my trip that I had wayy to much food than I could consume which was very bad and wasteful ;_; I had many a guilty moments. After Lunch, we saw the homes that the University had for their professors and the cool area around the campus. From there, I think we went into SoHo and saw the area around there. We ventured into Brooklyn, specially, Williamsburg, from Union square. These square all over New York really make the city awesome! The area was so different from what we had seen in Manhattan. The area was run down and we saw all the condo developments that were going on and how no one was basically moving in lol The industrial waterfront was being converted into a park so we chilled there for a while. (I didn’t take many pictures there, even thou the waterfront gave an amazing image of the city b/c by then the heat and the walking = me sitting under the shade :P)ย That was our class day, afterwards, my friend and I subways back into Manhattan, a mission ’cause we didn’t understand the uptown and downtown concepts of their subways ._.”) got back into SoHo/NYU area and walked down Bowery and into Little Italy. We figure we shouldn’t venture too far into it, ’cause we were sure that the prof was going to show us around. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For Dinner time, we ventured our way into Times Square and marveled at the media centre. It was like Dundas Square, but times 10! 0_0 So many lights!

Day 3 (wednesday): This day started off quite interestingly. For breakfast, I felt like having some milk and fruit. Little did I know, that the milk would make me a little queasy, enough to have me barf on the NY subway tracks as we waited for the train to come. Needless to say, the Prof and the TA were like OMG and I was like ‘omg i feel to soooo much better!’ (i though it was strange that the heat was getting to me that morning). Throughout the day, the prof and TA asked many times whether I felt ok or not. lol I felt so refreshed after pucking that it was quite amazing lol. And thats my landmark ‘I barfed on the NY subway tracts story’ LOL We visited the Tenement Museum, which was around Chinatown/Lower west side. From there, we crossed past Canal street (did much i โค NY shirt shopping here laters on) and past the Superblock housing complex that was first social housing in NY. Before known as the Lungs of New York. Around here we past Mulberry Street, which reminded me of Gangs of New York and how amazing that was. hehe From there, it was to the Lower east side and we stopped for lunch around 108th street, there was park there. I got mostly liquids, ’cause I wanted to go light on my stomach. From here, we travelled more downtown to Wall street and to the New York Stock Exchange area. It was really cool and we ended the day there. For the remainder of the evening, my buddy and I went to Canal street to do awesome shopping ๐Ÿ™‚ I made deals with the guys by using the ‘home country’ card lol ๐Ÿ˜‰ ur from Bangladesh and I’m from India, we’re practically from the same country! lol yayy discount! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day 4 (thursday): this morning was much better, with juice and fruit bring my friends. We trekked to Queens today and saw the meadows area with the garden city movements working in NY here. The day was much much cooler that day! I remember being grateful that I wย sunnysideย as in my cardigan and chose to bring it along rather than just duke it out with just a scarf. From here, we walked around to Jackson Heights and saw little India, which was really cool, considering all the immigrant markets that sprang up under the subway lines. We had lunch at a Neplanese-fusion restaurant. After lunch, we went to the site of the World’s fair, which has turned into the Queens Museum of Art. There we saw a mock up of all of New York in a miniature. It was really cool, one could see all of new york there, as small as it may be lol That evening, the prof invited us all for drinks, so after getting back from Queens into Manhattan, and doing some quite last minute shopping we ran into the group outside the hostel as soon as they were leaving. So after dropping off our stuff we ran out and looked for them. We got lost of course, walking up all the way to Columbia University and back uphill to find this ‘#1 student bar’ lol and we finally found them. It was super fun and yeah ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 5 (friday): This was our last day and we wanted to end early as some students had to rush off to make it to their transportation routes lol We headed down to see Midtown Manhattan. Walking about and seeing Herald Park, the New York Public Library which was cool and going through the Diamond district as well. We stopped at the lower end of central park for lunch. It was a nice cool day and I was totally glad that I was ready with my cardi and scarf ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lunch was a bit hard to find and I was hoping to explore Central Park but that park needs a day to explore fully. So def will need to visit again! lol After lunch, we headed past Rockafeller buildings, the Seagram building (my inner art nerd was seriously overjoyed considering I had written exams with this building) saw jazz festivals and we walked up to the U.N buildings. There we ended the trip and discussed all the loose ends of the trip. We walked up to Grand Central Station, had a Gossip Girl moment and we all parted ways. I had to have a red velvet cupcake from the Mongolia Bakery (fieranย ๐Ÿ˜‰ this was for u) and off we went to get to the hostel. This was around 4-5ish. We wanted to get to Newark with plenty of time so we wouldn’t miss out flight. I had packed the night before (’cause im smart like that yo lol) and off we went once we grabbed all our stuff. This time though, we took the airtrain, so off we went to Penn station and from there grabbed the airtrain (which reminded me of the Go train) and went straight to newark airport. During this journey I nomed on the cupcake and man…that was one YUMMY CUPCAKE!!!!!!!!!!! we Totally need that bakery here in Toronto! SUCH A NOMMY CUPCAKEEEE!!!!! *droolmoment* Arriving at the airport, we checked in, grabbed some dinner and security checked in. By 9 something we were off to home sweet home.

The trip was awesome, but there were so many more things I till hadn’t see, so would def need to go back fo shos! But will not be staying in a hostel anytime soon! lol

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