New York 2014: Day 1

If you know me personally, you'd know how much I want to live the New York Dream. Most of my friends would know, because I never shut up about it back in high school, to the point that I even included it in my personal statement when applying to colleges. From movies to Gossip Girl to songs about the Big Apple, I've always adored the city from afar. I knew that coming to Toronto would take me a step closer to that dream.

And it did; I got to taste the real thing. Thanks to my mom, I was allowed to stay in New York for 5 days before I go back to Japan for the summer. It is also my first time traveling alone without any parental supervision, and the fact that New York is my destination makes everything a hundred times better. 

The morning of my flight was very hectic and intense. I had to wake up at 3am because my flight was at 6:20am. I must've taken a long time to get ready because by 5:45am, I still haven't checked in. As soon as I got that done, I was running around the airport, trying to get to my gate. I haven't even reached New York yet and I was already tired at this point.

When I arrived in JFK airport, I took a shuttle bus to Port Authority bus terminal and took a cab from there to meet up with Fumika. The taxi driver was very kind and informative of the city. I couldn't have asked for a better welcome to New York.

First location on our agenda: Metropolitan Museum of Arts! Also known as MET, or the steps where Blair and Serena from Gossip Girl would sit on. Fumika and I bought street food for lunch right in front of the museum and ate them on the steps. Yes yes, we know, we're such Gossip Girl wannabes. Just a precaution: I will be making Gossip Girl references here and there on my New York posts so if you've never seen the show (which I totally recommend you do), just continue reading.

After we finished our lunches, we headed inside the museum.

I fell in love with the museum right when we got in. The architecture is just exquisite.

 I don't know much about the history of Egypt, so this trip to the museum was actually really educational. Museums always make me think how awesome humans are.

The Tomb of Perneb.

The Temple of Dendur. It's an Egyptian monument built by Emperor Augustus around 15 B.C.E., reconstructed in a modern simulation of its original site.

Inside is a statue of The Priestess Tagerem. She was the daughter of a priest and held the position of "god's wife." The statue embodies the perfected ideal of the female form attained in the early part of the Egyptian Ptolemaic period: demure in its composure yet alluring.

George Washington.

Can I have all these furniture in my future house, please?

Of course we can't miss the Asian part of the museum.

Japanese represent.

Meng Jia Loses His Hat (left) and The Chinese Poet Su Shi (right) by Ike no Taiga.

My favorite installation in the Asian part of the museum, PixCell-Deer#24 by Kohei Nawa.

Cranes by Suzuki Kiitsu.

And of course, Mt. Fuji.

If you look closely, there are paintings in the actual painting. It's like painting-ception.

Although we wanted to stay longer, the museum was closing so we had to leave.

Central Park! On our way to Times Square to meet our batchmate from high school, Ikuma. He is currently living in New York to study performing arts.

Fumika and I were so happy that we got to see cherry blossoms because by the time we get to Japan, the sakuras will be gone. 

Another Gossip Girl site. If I remember correctly, this is where Jenny found Damien's drugs hidden inside a toy sailboat.

Fumika totally broke it.

Ikuma took us to a place called Ellen's Stardust Diner for dinner. I must say, eating here was one experience to remember. This diner is the home of singing waiters and waitresses. And it was fitting that it's on Broadway Avenue. Totally recommended if you're in the city.

See what I mean?

He was singing Grenade by Bruno Mars.

NYC Patty Melt!

This group was singing a Les Miserables song.

Even our server sang!

Let It Go!

After our stomachs were full, we decided to take a walk to Times Square. At this point, we were not following the itinerary that I made (I planned to go to Times Square on our 3rd day in NYC) but how can I say no to Times Square?

It's everything I had ever dreamed of and more.

Work it, Jourdan Dunn.

What a very tourist-y photo.

On the subway home, there were a couple of students who put up a small art installation for their final project. It was a live comic strip, and it showed what was happening above us, as the subway passed by streets. #meanwhileNYC

Everything about New York is just so exciting and captivating. I've only been here for a day but I already know for sure that the next 4 days of my stay in the city will make me fall in love with it more. Stay tuned for Day 2!


  1. You make me miss it even more! Amazing blog Ken! - Ms. Ballah