NYC 2015 (DAY 2...ISH)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Our second day started rather late, as we were finally ready around noon. I can't really blame my cousins though — one wasn't feeling well (even though she took medication and even a heating pack) and the other was still a bit jet-lagged. I don't think we were as indecisive this time though, as I remembered my Australian cousin showing interest in a restaurant on our way back from the shopping trip* we did the day before. 

*Correction: it wasn't just my cousin buying stuff... I realized I forgot to mention that I ended up buying stuff for my homeslice too. My cousin was teasing me the whole trip about how funny it was that my homeslice wanted not 1, not 3, but 5 of the same funko pops to sell, lol. 

This sign just resonated with me 

Much to my surprise, Gotham West Market wasn't just some quirky name for a singular restaurant, it lived true to its name of being a space for multiple food entities. I felt like I was going to a hipster cafeteria with a decent amount of options — there were Spanish Tapas, Beer, healthy food, desserts, coffee, basic food "with a twist", and even ramen!

My cousin suggested to eat ramen since she remembered our talks about food yesterday (of which I mentioned ramen, somehow). 2 of us ordered the Tokyo Shio Ramen while the other ordered the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen. It was decent, but having been to a number of other ramen places, I think I got spoiled by the classics. The noodles themselves felt a little more rougher than the usual, and the taste reminded me of whole grain (but the noodle version???) as opposed to say, "white bread". The quantity was a bit underwhelming for $12, and I could almost put this in the same ballpark (in terms of quantity served) as Santouka, maybe a bit less. I don't know, maybe I'm slowly turning into a fatass? LOL.

After our brunch, we headed out onto the streets of NYC to go to the 9/11 memorial. This time around, we only did a bit of walking, then took the subway.

I'd imagine that it's easier to pay respects and envelop one's self in the proper somber mood if a) the weather was cooler, b) there were less tourists around. While I was in awe of the setup, the pouring water feature and the giant cavity in place of what used to be two renowned architectural structures, the environment felt so busy (then again, it is NYC...), that it didn't quite feel like a memorial. If I wasn't under a time-constraint of a mini holiday, I would've took the time to properly read through certain texts/ gone to the museum.

After our brief stay at the memorial, we headed over to the Sea Port as part of my Torontonian cousin's suggestion. I've never been here either, and it reminded me of the same vibe one would get being in the Chelsea area of NYC, or the St.Lawrence Market/Distillery District area back home in Toronto.

We went to a candy store called It's Sugar, which was similar to Bulk Barn but with more variety and non-candy merchandise. A good hour or so was spent there, as there was just soooo much stuff to look at...

Back outside, my cousin ordered a lemonade from vendor. Even the vendors had interesting twists to their food (kind of like food trucks?), and a sense of humor :P

After walking around at the Sea Port, my cousins opted to go to C21 (the US version of a better Winners) before heading back to the hotel to freshen up/eating dinner. I didn't end up buying anything there (I'm very particular about what I buy, especially clothing), however, I was still awestruck by the amount of floors this department store had (six in all! wtf). Who knows, maybe if I come back to the US again and see something to my liking, I'll go to C21...

Anyway, there was a slight hiccup in the lineups when somehow, one of the outfit pairs my cousin was planning to buy for her daughter was missing its pants. I had to hustle up 4 floors to find the pants, though I found out my cousin had to line up again to avoid making other customers wait :/

We were running late returning back to the hotel, so we just ordered room service for dinner before our limo/mixology tour of the city. The Fettucine Alfredo that I ordered was absolutely delicious, and hit right at the spot. I loved how they updated a classic by adding corn and other bits of vegetables, making it even more healthy. The mini cheesecakes were delightful as well, but nothing beats the sundae from the night before!

magnificent city rooftop patio view from Skylark

And now for my last day. The four of us (my cousins + cousin's friend and I) had our breakfast/brunch at the hotel, mostly out of convenience. I didn't mind, as the food was just as delicious as room service was the night before. The waffle and mixed berries I ordered wasn't too overwhelming, and the waffle was comfortably warm as I ate it. Apparently the french toast gave one of my cousins a foodgasm, as that was the best one she's ever had :P

I had that familiar bittersweet feeling — I had just met my cousin's friend the night before, bonding with her quite well, and I was already leaving the next day. On the other hand, I was excited to go back home to meet up with my homeslices at Centre Island on the next day...

Some things I learned this trip:

- This has been the 2-3rd time I've been sleeptalking with other people now. It's a bit embarrassing, and I hope this isn't serious, lol

- The dynamic is really different when you travel with solely females as opposed to with males. Everytime we were walking, I couldn't help but notice the amount of passersby that were either straight catcalling at my cousins, or silently oogling when my cousins passed by them. It doesn't help that the weather was hot and all of us were wearing shorts, but still. I couldn't help but feel protective over them, even if I was the youngest one there.

- There is no subway system in Australia

- Australians drive seated on the right side of the car, as opposed to the left

- Street lights for pedestrians also include sounds for notification in Australia

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