こんばんは。How’s it going?
Well, Bay and I made it to New York City! It was a super-early flight out of Austin (thanks Mariko for the early drop-off) but went without a hitch and we arrived at JFK on-time. For most of this trip we will be staying at Airbnbs but we decided to splurge for one night and stay in a fancy hotel, The Roosevelt near Grand Central Station.
Our first adventure was getting from the airport to the hotel by train, but with instructions from a friend and Google Maps, it was pretty easy. The only tricky part was getting a MetroCard because you need a card to exit the AirTrain but we weren’t able to use that card for our regular 7-day unlimited passes. We had to buy new cards at the Jamaica Station and charge them up with the unlimited rides. 🚇
But after that, it was smooth sailing to our station, and then finally walking up the stairs for Bay’s first glimpse of the city from ground level. It was pretty cool! The photo above is from right outside the steps where we exited the subway. 😲
We found our way to the hotel and dropped off our bags (it was too early to check in to the room) and then went for lunch at a Teppen Ramen. 🍜
Bellys full, we wandered up to the Fifth Ave. Apple Store. Bay really wants a Macbook Pro but they are so expensive! Really beautiful, though. We’ll see… The store was really cool though!
Leaving the Apple Store, we were greeted with a scene that warmed my heart:
Oh, and we were right by the Trump Tower, which has barricades around it and police with serious-looking weaponry all around the entrance. There were a bunch of black SUVs and other official-looking vehicles, so I imagine Melania was home. It felt like we were near a source of great evil… 👿
After that we visited the Uniqlo and checked out the clothes and even got some Keith Haring stickers.
Although this Uniqlo is the “flagship”, I didn’t think it was so great and I was pretty disappointed. They didn’t have a lot of different clothes, mostly a lot of collaboration t-shirts. But we’ll check out the SoHo location later since our Airbnb we’ll stay at is close by.
Next up was a trip to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center to check out the view. It was pretty amazing up there! Since rain is in the forecast for the following week we decided to get the spectacular view in today while the skies were clear. It was amazing! 🏙️
Next, it was time to check in to our room at The Roosevelt and relax a bit. Our room wasn’t fancy or anything special so I guess it might be good for a business traveler (we saw a bunch of Japanese businessmen checking in) but really not great for tourists. Super location though!
By this time, we were getting hungry again and there are a lot of Japanese restaurants nearby so we had katsu at Katsu-hama.
And I couldn’t resist the happy hour beer! 🍺
When we left the restaurant it was dark but we ventured over to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge and walked back towards Manhattan. It was great! The whole island of Manhattan was gleaming and walking under the American flag filled me with a bit of pride. 🇺🇸
Well, that’s it for the day! A long but fantastic start to our vacation.