My trip to New York was pretty amazing. I arrived on Thursday a little bit after noon and was greeted to the city by Ernz, my best friend from studying abroad in Costa Rica a couple years ago. He was on his lunchbreak so we went out for lunch and a beer and caught up since we haven't seen each other for such a long time. After lunch Ernz went back to work and I started making my way towards Queens where my friend Sammi lives (another friend from Costa Rica).
I had my first experience with the New York subway system which was very interesting. I somehow managed to get on a wrong train and ended up taking much longer than anticipated to get to Queens. When I got there Sammi met me out on the street then we walked back to her place. We hung out there with some of her roommates for a couple hours before we headed back into the city. We spent the rest of the day just walking around the city, through Times Square and Central Park later on before returning back to her place in Queens. I also got my first taste of real NY pizza. It is fun just wandering around and exploring!
On Friday Sammi and I went out for bagels in the morning. New York bagels DEFINITELY live up to the hype - they are amazing. After breakfast I gathered all my stuff and headed back off to the city for more exploring. Sammi stayed behind because she was on call to go on a trip - she is a flight attendant for Delta.
I went by the hotel that I would be staying at for the next two days and dropped off my big bag then headed down to lower Manhatten to check out the 9/11 memorial, freedom tower, and statue of liberty. There was an incredibly long line to get into the 9/11 memorial museum, so I opted not to do that. I checked out the North and South memorial pools then decided to go up the One World Tower to get an incredible view of the city and also to be able to say that I've been up in the tallest tower of the Western Hemisphere. The views from the top were absolutely incredible and your could walk all around for a 360 degree view. After the tour of the tower I headed back down and walked to the water to go to the statue of liberty. When I saw the mile long line of people waiting to go through security to go to the island, I decided that it wasn't worth it to wait out in that heat for hours and hours. Instead I went and got some street food and sat around in the park for a bit before heading back up to midtown.
I went to officially checked into my hotel then went to a bar near Penn Station to meet up with Jodi, a family friend who works with my dad. She has been a big supporter of my trip across the country so it was fun to see her and get a drink while she was in NY for a few hours on a layover. Jodi and Kathy headed back to the airport to catch their flight and I met up with Ernz again as he just got off work.
Ernz and I headed up to Harlem to meet up with his friend and walk around the Harlem area for a bit before Ernz and I hopped on the subway to head to Yankee Statium for a game. We ended up getting some seats in the front row of the third level with a great view of the field and we also ended up sitting next to another WSU Coug who had graduated in 08! After the game we walked around the Bronx and Ernz showed me around the area that he grew up in. We then went back to the city to wander around at night and check out the bridges at night while they were all lit up. When we realized how late it was we headed back home for the night.
Saturday started off much later than the other days, I enjoyed sleeping in at the hotel. I went back up to Enrz's neighborhood in the Bronx and we walked around a bit before heading over to upper Manhatten where I hadn't been before. We went to Papita's for a late brunch where we enjoyed jazz music along with appetizers, a meal, and dessert along with an hour and a half of as many drinks as we could drink. We had a pretty great time. Afterwards we alked around upper Manhatten for a while before parting ways as he was heading to a concert that night.
My trip back to my hotel on the subway ended up taking way longer than it should have - I was already hungry again by the time I got back. I spent the rest of the day just wandering around the middle of the city again and then lounging in the hotel. I made in an early night since I had to but up at 4AM to get a ride to the airport since I had a very early flight.