New York City

I visited New York City several times before college - and even marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(!). It was definitely a fun experience going with family and on a school trip. But it took until the trips I took after high school for me to realize why people love it so much.

This is just a collection of places I've been to and some random commentary that's meant to be mostly my thoughts and opinions. It COULD be used sort of as a travel guide. Check out my food and drink pictures here.

All pictures are my own.

Grand Central Terminal

My first travel stop was Grand Central Terminal. Pictured is the place where Alex gets attacked by the old woman in Madgascar.

Also learned that it's called "Grand Central Terminal" and not "Grand Central Station".

Rockefeller Center

Our next stop after walking up Fifth Avenue from Grand Central was the Rockefeller Center. When I went around Thanksgiving, the lights were on on Sak's Fifth Avenue right across the street, but the tree wasn't yet up.

During the school trip, I paid to go up to the obsevatory on top of the building, Top of the Rock. Of all the places to pay to see the skyline, I definitely think New York's is the best.

Central Park

One of our goals that trip was to see the Mandarin Duck. We confirmed on the official Twitter page that the duck had been sighted in Central Park that day and so off we went to see him.

Just as we were about to give up and call it a day, we saw him!

Isn't he beautiful?

The Vessel

I saw this place - located in Hudson Yards in eastern Manhattan - from my friends' photos. I honestly think this place is a tourist trap. But it's a very picturesque tourist trap. I never got the chance to go inside (mainly because we didn't want to wait) but judging by the pictures, the inside is very pretty as well. Nearby is The Shed, a huge building that functions as a bougie mall. My personal favorite highlight was Mercardo Little Spain located at the bottom floor where you can try out really good Spanish food in a market-like setting. Other than that, if you aren't a big fan of taking pictures, I would take a pass.

High Line

Somehow, every time I visit New York, I feel like I end up here at least once. The concept is pretty cool in my opinion. It is basically an elevated walkway and park built on top of an old rail line. Located nearby is the entrance to Chelsea Market. The views are quite beautiful. Pictured here is one of the views from the path.

Flatiron Building

On our way down to KTown, we passed by the Flatiron Building. I can see why tons of photosgraphers try to take pictures of it - it's a very iconic shot. I waited an hour to take this shot just as the sun was setting.

World Trade Center

When I visited New York during high school, One World Trade Center was still under construction. It's amazing how the place has transformed. I also managed to get a view from inside thanks to friends who work there!

Thank you, friend!

9/11 Memorial

The memorial is really moving and powerful and visually stunning. On the victim's birthday, volunteers place a yellow rose on the name.

The Oculus

The Oculus is a station on the PATH system and is part of the World Trade Center complex. But the architectural design of the Oculus is one of my favorite.

Dumbo, Brooklyn

Speaking of desintations for photo-tourism... As I learned, Dumbo is actually a neighborhood in Brooklyn and NOT just this one particular street that everyone takes photos in front of. At least the view is good with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. I had just as much fun watching other people pose and take photos as I did taking photos myself. A word of caution, this street is actually active and cars actually drive on it (which I did not know ahead of time).

Brooklyn Bridge

This bridge has so many people! Walking across it was quite painful to say the least, especailly since half of the bridge is dedicated to bikes. Nevertheless, I managed to get a few good shots with limited / no people.

Times Square

When I was little, I was super excited to go to Times Square. Now, I can see why locals avoid it like the plague. I guess if you want to run into people 24/7 this is the place for you. Unfortunately, it is also a great place to transfer stations since a lot of lines run through here so I found myself here more often than I would have liked.

New York Subway

Speaking of subway, I LOVE the New York Subway system. Sure it can be dirty and the line numbers / letters make literally 0 sense. But hear me out: It's pretty reliable (as far as rail systems go in the States) and it gets you to most places pretty conveniently and affordably.

Of all the places in the States, I think the MTA reminds me the most of Asia.