New York is not that far away from Boston. However, I haven’t taken advantage of the fact that one of the biggest cities in the world is only a bus ride away. It turns out, the 4-hour bus ride seems like a bigger commitment than it actually is. I have been to New York a few times but only when I had a reason. I was in NYC recently for a wedding and before that, I was in the city for a few hours to catch my flight back home via JFK.
The trip to NYC on Monday was also a ‘task’ for me. I have never been a really big fan of NYC. It may be because I grew up in Cambodia and am secretly intimidated by big cities. I feel the same way when I go to Seoul but at least in Seoul, I know where I’m going and what I’m doing. My sister was supposed to return from Cambodia via JFK last Monday morning. Since she had a lot of luggages with her, I gladly agreed to pick her up from NY, explore the city and take the bus back to Boston with her at night. Turns out, her flight wasn’t getting in until Tuesday morning. After a brief panic attack, I decided to go to NY on my own anyway and really explore the city hoping this time would be different (also I had already bought bus tickets). I was kind of scared but was also feeling adventurous about my 12 hours in NY. So I started planning! :)
7am: Took the 7am bus to NY. I usually take Megabus since it is one of the cheaper options, it’s clean, has somewhat stable wifi and a reliable service. I’ve tried a few Chinatown buses but I really like where Megabus drops me off in the city. I would say that it’s always a safe bet… although this time, there was a 30 minute delay.
11:30am: Finally in NYC. I have a lunch meeting so after getting a cup of coffee and prepping myself at a nearby Starbucks, I headed towards our lunch meeting place.
12:30pm: Lunch with Tina Kit and Jess Marati – both acquaintances via Twitter! Both of them are friends of my high school friend and are knowledgeable and passionate in topics such as Cambodia, Human Rights, NGOs, Fair Trade, etc., which I love! We had lunch at Spice, a Thai restaurant. The food was decent, atmosphere was nice and the lunch specials were cheap! $7.50 for a starter and an entree! We had an awesome conversation about the controversial issues that are going on. Jess was recently in Cambodia so check out her blog! :)
2:30pm: I am terrified of the Metro system in NY but I braved it and decided to find my way to MoMA. My obsession with modern art started in high school during the IB Diploma Art program. I’ve been meaning to go to MoMA for a while but haven’t had the chance to. I bought the $14 student pass and was looking around for a while until I got a text message from a friend I met in Cambodia that he was at MoMA with his friends too! Felix is my best friend’s friend’s brother who all came to Cambodia for Christmas few years ago. He is now in NY working for a year. It’s so funny the relationships connections bring. :)
5:30pm: After looking around for a while, we decided to drop by at a bar to grab a glass of beer until I had to go meet some friends for dinner. Had a great conversation with Felix and his friends from London now living in NY.
7:00pm: Finally met up with my friends in Korean Town. Boston doesn’t have a good selection of Korean restaurants and foods but New York does. So I make sure to have some Korean food when I’m in the city. With the weather being so cold, I was craving GamJaTang. I met up with Jessica, my friend who I met in Vietnam through exchange programs our school did with other international schools in the neighboring countries… and JiMin, a friend I hadn’t seen in 7 years who I met in Kaplan when we were both prepping for our SATs. We hung out and talked for a while until my bus back at 11pm.
11:00pm: Bus back to Boston. Again, delayed for a few minutes and out in the cold – but I’m too tired to care at this point.
4:00am: Finally back in Boston, taking a cab back home. Can’t wait to pass out.
5:30am: Passed out.
What a trip! But I have to say, I really did enjoy New York this time. I had so much time to just relax and look around the city. I also love traveling alone so I loved the freedom to do whatever I want and go wherever I wanted to. It was also good to see so many random faces who I think I may definitely see again when I visit NY next time! :)