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Category: Travel and Places



TRIP DURATION: 6/9/32 - 6/11/23

i love NYC. ever since i was a kid it was one of my favorite places to visit. i used to live about an hour and a half outside new york so going into the city was super fun and accessible. this time, it was me and my friend. i'm 19, however this isn't my first nyc trip without a parent (i'm so cool ikkkk). i've gone for a couple trips just me before, so i wasn't stressing and was pretty excited going into it.  however, i knew even before we stepped foot into manhattan that my friend and i were going to have some issues.

i love my friend. truly. i just don't think we are travel compatible. i can enjoy myself without spending money on touristy things and performances, but she really seemed to need it to feel fulfilled. she asked me if i wanted to see a musical, to which i asked how much. i wasn't a big fan. i told her that she could go without me and that i could manage for a few hours on my own, but she was adamant about us not splitting up. i felt bad, but i wasn't going to guilt myself into spending a large sum of money on something i wasn't super psyched about. 

now for the actual trip. we took the 5 hour train in which was fine. being a heavy sleeper, i was able to get about an hour in which ended up being totally fine by the end of the day. once we got to the city, we were able to check into our apartment right away which was a hugeee relief. 

then, we decided to go out to a bagel place for food (so yum) and then tour her upcoming college campus. i'll admit it got boring at times, but it really just reminded me how excited i am to go back to school! we also spent quite a bit of time around the 9/11 memorial which was insane. i don't remember ever going there, so going for the first (?) time was very surreal. after that, we spent some time in central park. central park is something that i don't think i'll ever get sick of. at one point my friend stopped to watch some guys play chess. i don't know anything about chess so i told her i was going to walk to bethesda terrace which was a short walk away.

if i'm being honest, that alone time there was one of my most treasured moments from this trip. for some sad ass context, my mom died in january, and this spot was one of the places we always went without fail. i have many pictures of us littered around this fountain. there was this awesome opera busker in the little walkway into it, and she sounded so beautiful...l i lowkey got emotional. those moments of just thinking about the past with my mom and being in a place near and dear to my heart was just so special. it was pretty short lived though, as my friend got rejected by the chess guys and came to find me. she got mad that they didn't play her for free. before we left the terrace, i found a coin to make a wish on!

the last stops of our first day included book off, a record store, and just the general 30 rockefeller area. it was awesome for me, but i knew my friend was getting very tired as she didn't get any sleep on the train, and we had been walking for HOURS. i wanted to tell her to just go to the hotel and not worry about me, but i remembered she didn't want us to split so i didn't. i was a little let down but it was understandable. at least i left with s1 30 rock dvds!

day two was probably my favorite out of all of them. we went to a classic new england diner (i ate an omelette) and then decided on going to the natural history museum. i only decided to spend the money on it because first, i had a student ID, and second, it was another huge aspect of my childhood! my dad wasn't always the most hands on dad, however, he got free access to zoos + museums + aquariums in the NE area. so needless to say we went there a LOT. he's like me, frugal. boy was i unprepared for the JOY i would experience going back there. in another life, i would pursue an area of natural science, so going back as a more formed person who was interested in actually reading the information, i had a lot of fun. all the dioramas were just as they were years and years ago, and they even added a whole new beautiful wing a couple months ago! if i was there alone, i think i would've doubled my time there. it was hard to be able to read and learn what i wanted to learn without making my friend wait too long. i was a little heartbroken when we got to the marine life and biodiversity section. she said it was too cold so we left a little faster than i would've liked. i could've spent an hour alone in those sections. when i go back to the city, i'm 100% going alone so i don't have to worry about dragging people along. the rest of the day wasn't super eventful for me. we got a really good taco, and then i tried to take her to the summer stage opening night concert. 

she did not enjoy it. we only stayed for the first set and then 2 songs of the next. i went to a summer stage concert last year and loved it. not only is it a great community event, but it's free!!! she just was not interested. she asked if we could do something we both enjoyed (if such a thing exists), and i just said sure. she ended up getting a tattoo while i sat there. so yeah. the night ended pretty ok. we went to KBBQ but honestly...it wasn't fantastic. i think i have mega high standards because my first KBBQ was everything i wanted and more. this place was just ok. i feel so bad because i convinced my friend to walk home with me instead of taking the subway and it ended up POURING. i felt soooo bad and i could tell she was aggravated. i enjoyed it though. cool teen experiences...

our last day was pretty uneventful. we got up, she got breakfast (i wasn't hungry) and we briefly went to the puerto rico parade. that was cool. doesn't compare to the mexican independence parade in chicago though. we mainly just loitered around and enjoyed the city. we went to eat as well at this comfort food place. it was good. not much to say. lastly, before we went to pack up our things and leave, i wanted to go to the grand central station cupcake place my family and i went to every time we came. we always made sure to stop there for a treat before getting on the train home. it was our little ritual. i got a feeling in my stomach that it probably wasn't there and i was right. as i walked down the stairs and through the hallways all i could think about was my mom. something so small yet so big in the experience of my childhood with her. and then when we got there, nothing. it was just an empty stand with a new store coming soon sign. i didn't think about it that much, but i would be lying if i said it didn't hurt.

after that, the weekend came to a close. i got home around 11 passed out as soon as i laid down.

overall, i had a good time. i expected more, but i think that's a me wanting to do what i want to do issue. despite our differences, i still had a lot of fun with my friend and i'm glad we were able to make a nyc weekend happen before both of us are full time college students. i'm already looking forward to my next trip, hopefully solo.

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