"Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground."
The day started as early as 4am. Final check on the weather update in New York, coldest fall on a Sunday. Backpack, checked. Thick coat, got it. Boots, on. Off we go to union station for a 4 hours bus ride to 33rd street, 11th avenue, New York. The bus driver verified our tickets as we board the bus and a final announcement before we set off.
"Alright everyone, good morning and thank you for choosing boltbus.
We will be driving straight from Union Station,
Washington D.C. to New York City so make sure everyone is on the right bus."
"WAIT, ain't this bus going to....Virginia??"
*Bus driver gave a confused look*
Then there was a second of silence before a quiet laughter broke out, and then the sound of laughter rippled through the bus. This lady cracks me up. My weekend started really good.
You know, sometimes I wish I had someone shoot me too, I mean cameras. Like where I travel, when I decorate a cake, when I work, bla bla bla, but the truth is, haha not everyone is so lucky to be born for the camera, or least, I am not. & probably it would be really stressful to constantly want to look good in every possible angle. So, selfies shall suffice! Over a short weekend, I visited 911 Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock (for the NYC Skyline), Times Square, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridge. I admit, its too crazy for 2 days but better than nothing. More information will be shared below, including airbnb host's place - my home for a night. Right smack in the middle of nyc, just 10 minutes walk away from Times Square.
Where should I begin? I'm not a crazy crazy movie person but I can go head over heels over hollywood movies and celebs, clearly knowing that most of the times those perfect endings or stories do not exist but would still naively fall for them, fall for the scene where it is shot, the season, the perfect image. You know it's good to escape from reality at times and just completely drown ourselves in fairytales. BUT, of course, sometimes movies still hold certain truth and convey some sort of messages applicable to our daily lives; if you remember, New Year's Eve, a romantic comedy (I'm a sucker for such movies, any girls out there like me?), which was on the big screen in 2011. A few weeks ago my room mate and I was on some insane movie marathon where every night we watch a different movie after work, New Year's Eve for the second time. And after 3 years, this movie is still one of my favourite ones. First, it is shot in New York. Second, it screens a the tradition of the ball dropping in Times Square every New Year's countdown. Third, its such a happy occasion everyone just dances around, sings, and it made me really happy too (even just by watching it)! Forth, it shows people of all ages in all different scenes welcoming the start of a new year, a new beginning.
"It's suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt coz that is what new years is all about- getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight and it will drop, let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long." - New Year's Eve, 2011
Never in my wildest dreams would I thought I could stand right in the middle of Times Square, set my eyes on the ball that drops every year during New Year's countdown (it was surreal enough, even though I have not witnessed the ball drop), and have all the glaring lights of Broadway shows screens flashing into my eyes. I love my night in Times Square, although I was so tired from all the walking the whole day. When I was taking my touristy shots with the city that never sleeps, I have passerbys photobombing; giving a big fat smile and twist shot, joining in the fun. When we were on Brooklyn Bridge, cyclists would cycle on their bike lanes and this guy went: "Photobomb, photobomb, photobomb!" and laughing all the way. These people make my day.
To be honest, all I really wanted to go to NY for is to witness the NYC skyline because it has been a dream forever. I think I planned my whole trip revolving around the idea that this is a MUST. I was getting disappointed when I got my tickets to go up to the Top of the Rock at 6pm, the sunset was 6:09 that evening. The queue made my heart pound even harder knowing I might just have to miss the sunset of my dreams. After the looooong queue to get to the rooftop, disheartened and trying to console myself, I was greeted by the post sunset sky when I reached the top, which the almost dark velvety paddle pop sky took me by surprise. It was SO beautiful, I caught the last glimpse of the burning orange rays slowly retreating. I unconsciously slipped into reverie and no words could describe how I feel. My dream came true. It really did. It was extremely freezing but I stayed on for quite a while, until the sky turned completely dark. The city lights were too charming.
The weather on the second day was near perfect, the Sun was really bright warm but it was still a tad too cold for the Fall. We started off with American Museum of Natural History, where Night of the Museum was shot;) What made this trip a even sweeter one, was this was my first time planning a travel itinerary (if you consider the stay here in D.C. then maybe a second one). Crazy researching and planning started way back in Singapore before I came here because NYC sounded much more exciting. Now I think I can find the balance between these 2 states because each has their own unique element of attraction. One is busy and will never fall short on exciting stories, and the other peaceful as how it always seem to be seen. That said, one is still just a short traveling trip and the other where I an extended period of time in, that makes a lot of difference. Traveling is different from staying, that changes everything. For residing, I think I would love D.C. a lot more.
Right downstairs of my Airbnb's place - if you ever go, I probably would recommend the bigger room (as they have 2 rooms for rent), mine was the smaller room which is shown in the link, the smaller one could fit only 1 adult. They are the most affordable apartments I came across on Airbnb in the middle of NYC. Host Marilyn was super communicative and we could contact her really easily to arrange a time to check in into her place, and wow her friend who stayed together with her is studying as a hacker under some Google school or something? Thai dinner at this thai food and bar place 6 blocks down south- awesome beyond words. It's called Room Service - just a little heads up, it DID NOT look like a restaurant from outside at all. Gorgeous setting and decoration in the interior. Amazing food of course. Too dark for any photos, & I was starving.
It started with a hopeful sunrise and ended with a perfect sunset, let me bring you around my weekend getaway in 2 minutes :) Have fun!