P couldn’t get a day off from work today, so I met up with a Japanese lady I met in Tokyo. She is my Japanese host mother’s cooking friend and she’s very sweet. The meeting point is in front of Zabar’s. I saw no one there and waited for half an hour. I didn’t have wifi, but 30 mins was too long and unlikely to me that she would be that late. I walked down another block and there was Starbucks: my life-saver in NYC. I texted her and, to my surprise, she was also in front of Zabar’s the whole time. She even came 10 mins early. I had no idea how we didn’t see each other. I walked back and found her waiting for me. We exchanged all the usual words – “oh it’s been so long” and blah blah blah. We explored the shop for a little bit and then headed to Central Park. It’s one of my must-visit lists. It was HUGE as expected and just like in the movies; I saw a lot of people running/exercising/chilling here and there. At that moment, I really wish I could live somewhere near Central Park, so I could go jocking every morning or maybe read some good books while picnicking.
We walked for a while and I was getting hungry so we went to this supermarket in a shopping mall. I got a cup of Greek yogurt, a bag of chia seeds, and a bag of trail mix. I know this maybe common is the US but I’m very fond of the idea that you put trail mix or grains or whatever you want in a bag as much as you would like to purchase. Then, you input the code of that product on the machine and let it measure the weight. You get a sticker of price code for cashier, put it on the bag, and you’re good to go. You can manage portions and try variety of stuff, and of course manage your budget! It’s way cheaper than in Japan. I should probably stop writing about this because it makes me misses NYC.
Anyway, I got my light breakfast and we got a spot in the food court nearby. The Japanese lady brought me obento! (lunch box but in this case, it’s breakfast box) Only veggies. Tomatoes. Broccoli. Corn. I know she lives a very healthy life but didn’t know she wanted to introduce healthy life style to me as well. That was the healthiest meal I had in my NYC trip. (Other times, I only went out with my American friends; we didn’t really care about what we eat as long as it tastes good 😉 ) Not really complaining here. I like it when people give me food =) After breakfast, we walked to this area between 6th Ave.& W 55 St. where there stands a famous LOVE sculpture. I guess we went pretty early because there were only a couple people lining up to take pictures.
The lady asked me what else I would like to do; I told her I wanted to go see a library. She thought it was a great idea. She has lived in NYC for a while but hadn’t had a chance to visit NY public library yet. We walked past Bryant Park where a lot of people were playing table tennis. It was such a beautiful day. There are so many things to do in NYC. It’s such a great place for energetic people. The library was spectacular. I love the smell of books and the architecture of the building. I have always dreamed about having a big library at home. I love collecting books and reading so library definitely is my kind of place. I wanted to spend more time admiring the place but it seemed to me the lady wanted to go somewhere else. I told her I would like to buy some postcards. We went to a souvenir shop and I got some nice ones. (I was so angry at myself by the end of the trip because I didn’t get to send postcards to anyone. The whole trip I woke up pretty early and got back home super late. I didn’t even have time to write.)
We went to Times Square afterward. I was shocked to see some butt- naked guys walking around, wearing a cowboy hat, and carrying a guitar. O_O There were also some pretty girls in tiny bikinis with some paints on their body. You can take pictures with them but you gotta pay. Nothing’s free in NYC, am I right? 🙂 There were also some people in mascots eg. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Olaf etc. I was amused but didn’t really have interest, so I didn’t take any photos with them. I was more excited of huge Broadway signs like the Lion King, Wicked, Matilda etc. (I had a chance to see 2 shows and I will post about it later.)
Then, we saw Shake Shack at the corner. It’s on my list as well so we went to line up. There were so many people. I should have waited to try it another day. What was I thinking going to Shake Shack in Times Square at lunch time? I contacted my another college friend back in Japan who was supposed to meet up with me and P that day. She lives in NJ and used to work in NYC. We decided to meet up at Shake Shack. She got here right when I got to the cashier counter, so we were able to order together. The Japanese lady left after I introduced her to J. J was talkative like she has always been. It’s been about a year since I last saw her. We graduated together and she’s one of my best friends. It didn’t feel that long though, maybe because we skyped sometimes. We were catching up about life and juicy stuff. I think she’s very happy and doing great. =)
After lunch, she showed me around Times Square and we went to Sephora, Forever21, ToysRus etc. Everything was just right by each other. So convenient. We stopped by at Moma for a little bit but there were so many people lining up. We wouldn’t even have enough time to walk around since we planned to take a ferry to Staten Island and meet P after he finished work. We took a cab and went to the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan to take a FREE ferry to Staten Island. If you are cheap like me, you don’t need to pay for some 30 dollars boat trip to see the Statue of Liberty. You will be able to see it pretty clearly on this ferry as well. Please save that 30 bucks for something else 🙂 The ferry was really big, you need not to worry about it getting full. Just make sure you go on the right side of the ferry. Find a good spot near the balcony and take as many photos as you wish.
Once we arrived in Staten Island, we walked right back to get on a ferry after a quick glance at some souvenirs. We took a train to Fulton St. to meet up with P after work. We then headed to China Town to get some Southern food at Root&Bone. The restaurant was small and casual. We got some fried chickens, mac’n cheese, asparagus with peanut sauce, grilled corn, raspberry tart and sweet tea. My 2 favorites were fried chickens and mac’n cheese. Fried chickens were perfectly fried and not too oily. For mac’n cheese, P, a white guy who has had mac’n cheese for the past 24 years, said, “This is the best mac’n cheese I have ever had.” I hope you can imagine how yummy it was!
We were really full by that point but we made a promise to go get Taiwanese style shaved ice at Snowdays after dinner. It’s also in China Town and we didn’t want to just come back for shaved ice another day, so there we went. We went right before a crowd of teenagers got into the shop. The texture was nice. It’s so smooth, unlike common ones I have had before. The spoon also turned blue when it touched shaved ice. Kinda like those temperature change mood ring. It was fun. 😀
Done with shaved ice and we called it a night.
No..not really, we separated with J and I went home with P. I played a bit of Cards Against Humanity with P’s roommates. They’re all super awesome hosts and fun individuals. I like them a lot. Now this time, we really called it a night.