A little over a year ago, I went on a trip of a lifetime. I have always wanted to visit New York City. Looking back at my blog, I realised that while I mentioned about the trip to New York, I never really shared any photos or talked about my experiences while being there on vacation. It’s long overdue for me to write and highlight some of the best experiences that I had while I was there.
My holiday trip to New York was especially memorable partly because I flew on Singapore Airlines non-stop flight from Singapore to New York. It was one of the longest non-stop commercial flight at that time, a mind boggling 20-hour flight. I flew on premium economy, because it was the only class that was available on such long-haul flights. This is to ensure that travellers receive the optimum comfort on such long flights and to minimise jet lag.
But while I was certainly very lucky to experience such a flight, I still got terrible jet lag.
Looking back, I remembered arriving in Newark Airport, and getting coffee at the airport before continuing our journey to Manhattan on Uber. We arrived at the airport at around 6am, so we had plenty of time. All our accommodations were through AirBnb and while our arrival was 6am in the morning, we stowed our luggage at one of the many luggage storage (using Vertoe Luggage Storage service I believe) services dotted throughout the city so that we would not be burdened by our luggage while exploring the city.
I remember our first stop was Chinatown. I was groggy and tired, but I remembered the vibrancy of the place, the many chinese supermarkets and shops selling fresh produce, the intermix of chinese and other asian minorities doing their groceries. It was such a sensory overload, especially when you just endured a mind numbing 20-hour non-stop flight. It didn’t occur to me till hours upon arrival that I have arrived in New York, finally making my way to a city that I have always dreamt of going, of a city that you only see in the movies.
The image above is probably the first images I took of me in Chinatown. I look so tired. You can see the eye bags under my eyes. After taking that photo, I finally came to realise that I finally made it in New York City! I love the streets of Chinatown in NYC.
The second thing I remembered was how chilly NYC was. It was colder than I expected. We went there sometime in April. NYC should be on the cusp of spring, but the temperature there at the time, coupled with gale force wind on the morning we arrived, was freezing! But aside from that, despite the cold crisp air, the weather was beautiful.
The trip was off to a great start. It was still early during the day and we could only check into our AirBnB only in the afternoon. While waiting, we soaked up the atmosphere at Chinatown. Chinatown is in Lower Manhattan, but we walked there from Chambers St subway station, which to my surprise, after googling the station, is considered one of the most dirtiest subway station in Manhattan.
Imagine: Arriving in NYC and the first subway station you got off (Chambers St) happens to be the dirtiest one. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
When it was time to check into our accommodation, we collected our luggage and took an uber to the junction of 47th St and 9th Ave, the location of our first accommodation.
It’s a fantastic location. Also known as Hell’s Kitchen. It’s within walkable distance to Times Square, but not too near to the hustle and bustle of the place. Times Square is a tourist magnet. Our apartment pictured below was beautiful and perfect!
The pictures I took was almost midnight, and the place was still full of people. So many digital ads, bright lights. The whole place is lit up brighter than day at night! Looking back, I almost couldn’t believe that I was actually there. You see Times Square in movies. The place has taken on an almost mythical status. You start to wonder if Times Square really looked like what you see in films. Well, I am glad to say that being there physically, standing in the middle of Times Square, is a million times better than just watching it on films.