9/11 Memorial, One World Trade Center, and Wall Street

"One World Trade Center" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/1400 sec, ISO200
“One World Trade Center” New York City, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today is our last day in New York City, as we are flying home early tomorrow morning. For this final day, we stayed towards the end of Manhattan Island. Our first stop was the 9/11 Memorial and its reflecting pools. These memorials are quite impressive and somber, with the names of the people who lost their lives etched all along the edge.

"Reflecting Pool" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“Reflecting Pool” New York City, 2018

We sat for quite a while near the memorial, I think partly because of the nature of the space, and also that we just needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. So after a quiet hour or so, we then headed to the top of One World Trade Center to the observation deck.

The elevator ride to the top is very interesting because the walls of the elevator are large screens which not only replicate the rising altitude but how the city changed all the way from its founding until the present day. It was an incredible show. Please check out this video, which will give you and idea.

"The City" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/680 sec, ISO200
“The City” New York City, 2018

As you might guess, the view from the top of One World Trade Center is stunning. But even though you are at the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, both Bay and I agreed that the view from Top of the Rock was more impressive, mostly because you are outdoors. But I think the observation deck of One World Trade Center is a must see. With this trip, I’ve now been to the top of Rockefeller Center, The Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the original WTC.

"Looking Uptown" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/210 sec, ISO200
“Looking Uptown” New York City, 2018
"Towards Brooklyn" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/350 sec, ISO200
“Towards Brooklyn” New York City, 2018

Next, we visited the 9/11 Museum, which is below ground. You can see the original steel foundation beams and slurry wall and many tributes in the forms of murals and paintings, but the heart of the museum has to be the historical exhibits that chronicle the timeline of September 11, 2001. It was shocking to relive that day, and there were several times when I felt tears welling up.

There was one exhibit/film in particular that describes the timeline of Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers stormed the cockpit of the hijacked jet. It was heartbreaking to hear the voicemail messages of passengers to their loved ones and families… That was extremely difficult to hear. 😢

"Memorial" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Memorial” New York City, 2018

I have to admit that I was not really looking forward to visiting this museum, but I am very glad I did. When we exited the museum I gave Bay a little hug. 😥

After the museum, I really needed to get some caffeine so we searched The Oculus building for the Starbucks. Unfortunately, we didn’t find one, but the building itself is really cool:

"Oculus" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/240 sec, ISO200
“Oculus” New York City, 2018

Luckily there was a Starbucks on the way to Wall Street, so we had a short rest, I got my caffeine fix, we were ready to go. From the coffee shop, it was just a short walk to the Charging Bull statue. It was pretty cool, but I really enjoyed seeing the Fearless Girl. I wasn’t sure if it was a permanent sculpture or would be there, but it was! I admire what this statue stands for. Resiliency and the strength of the underdog, the less-privileged.

"Fearless Girl" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Fearless Girl” New York City, 2018

A couple blocks away are the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Hall National Memorial. It was cool to be in the same place where George Washington was sworn in as the first president. You can actually see the floor that he stood upon to receive the oath.

"NYSE" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO320
“NYSE” New York City, 2018
"George Washington" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“George Washington” New York City, 2018
"George Washington and NYSE" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“George Washington and NYSE” New York City, 2018

After Wall Street, we headed back to SoHo for last-minute gift-shopping and then to our last dinner in NYC. And it had to be… pizza! 😆🍕

"Pizza Dinner" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Pizza Dinner” New York City, 2018

One the way back to our Airbnb I snapped a photo of this wall-art. I like to think of it as Bay and I enjoying our travel together. 😀

"Together" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Together” New York City, 2018

I hope you had a great day!

またね~



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MoMA and Columbia

"Popular" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/55 sec, ISO3200
“Popular” New York City, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today Bay and I visited a couple amazing places, but before I get into that, I have to mention breakfast. 😀 We went to a cozy little restaurant down the block called Jack’s Wife Freda. Bay had the chicken sandwich with fries, and I got the Green Shakshuka. They were both yummy! A great start to the day.

"Breakfast" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Breakfast” New York City, 2018
"Chicken Sandwich" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Chicken Sandwich” New York City, 2018

Next, it was time to hop on the subway, but first we had to charge up our MetroCards. Our 7-day unlimited passes expired so now we have to be a little more thoughtful about our subway travels. At $2.75 per ride, it’s still a great deal since you just pay once and can get off on any stop.

"Subway Art" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/10, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Subway Art” New York City, 2018

The first major highlight of the day was the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA. We immediately headed up to the 5th floor and were greeted with Brancusi’s amazing sculptures. I love Bird in Space and it was so neat to see two versions of it in the same room.

"Bird in Space" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Bird in Space” New York City, 2018

Soon after that, we were blown away by the collection of paintings from Picasso, Cézanne, de Chirico, Leger, etc. And while most of the people were enamored with Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, I was staring at one of my favorite paintings, I and the Village by Marc Chagall. I’ve loved that painting ever since high school so I was floored to see it in person.

"Favorite Chagall" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Favorite Chagall” New York City, 2018

The Monets also were amazing, especially Water Lillies. I could stare at those for hours.

"Water Lillies" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Water Lillies” New York City, 2018

I also enjoyed the Matisse paintings. Fantastic! Every time I saw one of the paintings that I studied about in Art History classes, it was like seeing a celebrity in person. Really fun!

"Dancers" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Dancers” New York City, 2018

And of course, the Van Gogh paintings were amazing. The Starry Night is wonderful, but I love Olive Trees even more. The brushwork is incredible!

"Van Gogh" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Van Gogh” New York City, 2018

I truly love many of the paintings in the MoMA collection, but then there are ones that I just don’t care for. Take this one, for instance:

"Yeah, No" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Yeah, No” New York City, 2018

One thing that really bothered me was that I saw people touching paintings, not once, but twice! I love looking at paintings close up to see the detail without a glass barrier, but they really need to guard those paintings that aren’t behind glass a little more closely. It sucks that people poke the paintings with their oily fingers. 😡

After MoMA, we headed uptown to Columbia to catch the campus information session and tour. The campus is impressive and because it’s in the city, it’s very attractive. I think it would be a dream school for many students… living and studying in Manhattan.

I’ve talked to a few parents whose kids are in college and they all said that campus visits are very important. One school might look perfect on paper (and from the brochure/website) but once you visit, you might realize it’s not for you. I’m thinking that this is kind of what Cornell is for Bay. But since it’s the #1 Architecture school in the country, that will have some sway. On the other hand, Bay loves the city, so Columbia is probably his favorite so far.

"Columbia" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/400 sec, ISO200
“Columbia” New York City, 2018
"Columbia Tour" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/210 sec, ISO200
“Columbia Tour” New York City, 2018

After the campus visit, we grabbed a quick dinner, then went to Times Square to buy a couple souvenir t-shirts (buy them from the street vendors, not inside the store) before heading back to our Airbnb in SoHo. It was getting late but we went for coffee at the nearby Starbucks and while Bay read his book, I worked on the blog. And I love this motto on the wall:

"Good Motto" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/10, 1/10 sec, ISO3200
“Good Motto” New York City, 2018

When we left the coffee shop we got to see the fire department in action. Not sure what was going on, but those sirens are LOUD!

"FDNY" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/10, 1/4 sec, ISO3200
“FDNY” New York City, 2018

Another long day, but again, a fun one! Our NYC trip is coming to a close soon, which is good because I am starting to miss home!

またね~



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Shopping, Photography, and Unicorns

"Photography Class" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO1000
“Photography Class” New York City, 2018

こんばんは。Today was yet another long but fun day. Actually, we didn’t have anything on the schedule that required us to be at a certain place at a certain time, so it was a nice, stress-free day.

We started late with a breakfast burrito and coffee at Dog Haus…

"Macbook" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/210 sec, ISO400
“Macbook” New York City, 2018
"Breakfast Burrito" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/150 sec, ISO400
“Breakfast Burrito” New York City, 2018

… then took the subway…

"Subway Entrance" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/120 sec, ISO400
“Subway Entrance” New York City, 2018

… and started our shopping at the MoMA Design Store. I bought a couple gifts, but I also found a rain-jacket on sale. It’s been rainy and I’ve seen so many people with their waterproof jackets so I thought it would be a good idea to get one too.

Our next stop was Uniqlo where they had some better rain-jackets and I was about to buy one but then I checked the weather forecast, and the rainy week doesn’t look as bad as it did earlier. So, not only didn’t I buy the Uniqlo jacket, but I returned the MoMA jacket as well. Since I live in Texas, I probably won’t need a rain jacket anyways.

"Warhol Skateboards" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/60 sec, ISO500
“Warhol Skateboards” New York City, 2018

Next up was the International Center of Photography Museum, which had a Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit and an Elliot Erwitt exhibit. I thought both were great! They are two pillars of photography so to see collections of both of their works in one afternoon was fantastic.

In fact, I was so inspired by what I saw that I had to shoot a few more black and white photos today. 😀

"Coney Island Bound" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO6400
“Coney Island Bound” New York City, 2018
"Grand Street Station" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO640
“Grand Street Station” New York City, 2018

Next, we went across the street to the New Museum to check out their contemporary art exhibits. Both Bay and I weren’t too impressed with the art on display, however. The installations were too experimental and not relatable, at least for us. I prefer traditional paintings over installations and mixed media works. Most of the art we saw today showed no indication of craft or skill, which really turns me off.

After that, we decided to check out the New York City Public Library. It was pretty cool to see, but it’s not really a place to browse the stacks. The librarian I talked to said that most of the books are not in the stacks but in the vaults, so patrons will request books and they will be brought to them for their research.

Still, there was a free exhibit highlighting the culture of the 60s in America which was an interesting mix of art and history.

"Library" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/280 sec, ISO200
“Library” New York City, 2018
"Time to Study" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO1600
“Time to Study” New York City, 2018

After a quick ramen/udon dinner, we stopped by the Apple Store in Grand Central Station where Bay got to play with the Macbook Pro he wants to get. While he was doing that, I occupied myself with taking some long exposure photos of the crowds on the main floor. It was a lot of fun!

"Rush Hour" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/11, 2 sec, ISO3200
“Rush Hour” New York City, 2018

And to end our day, we walked a couple blocks from our Airbnb to Taiyaki NYC to get some ice cream and taiyaki. The most popular menu item is the Unicorn, so of course I had to try that. It was yummy! A great way to end another fun day in New York City. 🦄🍦

"Unicorn Taiyaki" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Unicorn Taiyaki” New York City, 2018

I hope you had a nice Wednesday!

おやすみ



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NYC Cruise and a Broadway Show

"Lower Manhattan" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/2400 sec, ISO400
“Lower Manhattan” New York City, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today was a relatively light activity day, but we still had some great highlights to share. But first, we visited Harlem Shake again, this time for breakfast. I couldn’t resist getting a cheeseburger (breakfast of champions) but Bay ordered a yummy breakfast combo. After that, it was a subway ride downtown to catch a boat cruise.

"Breakfast" Harlem, New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO200
“Breakfast” Harlem, New York City, 2018

We were originally planning on taking the 1-hour “Lady Liberty” boat tour, but opted to go for the 2+ hour “Sights of New York City” tour from Circle Line Cruises which goes around Manhattan island. The weather was iffy, with storm clouds and rain in the forecast, but we got lucky and there was only one downpour, which we spotted 2 minutes ahead of us so we dipped to the inner part of the observation deck. 🚢

"Best of NYC Boat Tour" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/850 sec, ISO400
“Best of NYC Boat Tour” New York City, 2018

The tour was filled with a ton of interesting information, including the airline water-landing on the Hudson, explanations of the different docks and buildings all along the shores of Manhattan, New Jersey, Long Island, etc. The views were amazing from the water… it looked like the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan shot straight out of the water. Very cool. It was also pretty awesome to see the Statue of Liberty. 🗽 I felt a bit of patriotism stirring deep inside me… especially thinking of my own family’s immigration history and the current political climate, which is uncertain and upsetting.

"Statue of Liberty" New York Harbor, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/1600 sec, ISO200
“Statue of Liberty” New York Harbor, 2018

After the tour (from which I received a little sunburn), we walked to Times Square and had a look around and did a little window shopping and people-watching.

"Signage" Times Square, New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/90 sec, ISO400
“Signage” Times Square, New York City, 2018

We ate dinner at Cielo at the Mayfair which was literally right next to our other “event” of the day: The Book of Mormon musical at the Eugene O’Neill Theater. This was the first time for both Bay and I too see a musical, and to see it on Broadway was amazing. The Book of Mormon was hilarious and fun 🤣… and the ticket prices weren’t too expensive since it is an older show. Highly recommended! 👍

"Broadway Show" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/13 sec, ISO800
“Broadway Show” New York City, 2018

After the show, we made our way to the subway station and back to our Airbnb in Harlem. Tomorrow will be another long day (driving up to Ithaca!) so it’s time for some rest. 😴

おやすみ!



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Fried Chicken, Museums, and Pizza

"The Guggenheim" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/2 sec, ISO200
“The Guggenheim” New York City, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today began with a visit to the famous “Sylvia’s” for some fried chicken. Since it was breakfast time, I got it with a couple eggs, while Bay ordered his chicken with collard greens and mashed potatoes. I’m not a huge fan of the greens but Bay almost finished his whole serving. Impressive! The fried chicken was pretty good, but I definitely prefer Japanese karaage.

"Fried Chicken and Eggs" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Fried Chicken and Eggs” New York City, 2018

After that, we took the subway to another heavyweight of the New York City museum scene: The American Museum of Natural History. This is such a huge museum (like The Met), with so many things to see that it can be overwhelming. We started with the space movie and learned about dark matter and the expanding universe then moved on to the animal exhibits. Some of those were amazing, especially the big cats. We’re so used to our little housecats that seeing a full-size tiger is stunning!

Next, it was on to the human civilizations, from early man all the way to the present day. And in a complete about-face, we went to prehistoric times and viewed the dinosaur exhibits. Talk about huge creatures! The giant sloth bones were particularly impressive and monster-like.

But just when we thought we had seen some large creatures, we saw the largest of all, the Blue Whale dominating the Ocean Life room.

"Ocean Life" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/20 sec, ISO3200
“Ocean Life” New York City, 2018

This iconic museum is a must-see, but the facilities are definitely showing their age. The lighting in the older sections of the museum is really dim and some of the light bulbs were burnt out in a few of the exhibits. Not good! Still, we’re happy to have visited.

"Central Park" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/9, 1/900 sec, ISO400
“Central Park” New York City, 2018

I think we were ready to see some art at that point, so we trekked it across Central Park to the Guggenheim to see the Giacometti exhibit. It was great to see his sculptures, but honestly, there were so many that looked very similar that it was difficult to understand the significance of one work vs another.

When we left the Guggenheim, we were getting hungry so we found a little place called Marinara Pizza and ordered up a few slices. I went with two plain cheese slices, while Bay got a Buffalo chicken slice and a Margherita slice. He wasn’t too fond of his, but I thought mine were great… a real taste of New York City!

"Two Plain Slices" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO1600
“Two Plain Slices” New York City, 2018

We were close to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum so we decided to check it out before it closed. We were impressed with how cool it was! Lots of really neat retro industrial and product designs were on display, plus some cutting-edge accessibility and mobility designs were shown. Upstairs the exhibits were more interactive, involving all senses (except taste). Bay and I had a lot of fun in the museum, and we recommend it. A bonus was that when we visited, admission was by donation.

A cool thing at this museum is that they give you an electronic “pen” that you use to scan different exhibits that interest you. This saves the information to your own personalized webpage, so you can view the designs later on a computer by typing in the code that is on your admission ticket. Here are my saved exhibits: qxjys. Really convenient!

"Cool Designs" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO400
“Cool Designs” New York City, 2018

We stayed until the museum closed and when we went outside, the rain had started, so we made our way to the subway and back home. Another fun day! I am exhausted, but satisfied. And I am keeping up with my 17-year-old son just fine so far. I actually started running again in preparation for this trip and I think it’s paying off. 😀

おやすみ!



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Two Museums and Three Parks

"The Met" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/9, 1/350 sec, ISO400
“The Met” New York City, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today was a super-long day spent visiting a bunch of New York City highlights – actually two museums and three parks.

First off, we checked out of our hotel and walked up to Central Park, grabbed a couple hot dogs and strolled past the Central Park Zoo, checked out the Conservatory Water boat pond, and the Alice in Wonderland statue. Of course Bay didn’t like that statue because they were all sitting atop mushrooms, which he can’t stand. 😄

"Golden" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/400 sec, ISO400
“Golden” New York City, 2018
"Boat Pond" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/350 sec, ISO400
“Boat Pond” New York City, 2018

It was cool to walk through the world-famous Central Park, and soon we found ourselves at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After a quick peek into the gift shop and a glance at the map, we went to the Egyptian wing to view the antiquities and the amazing Temple of Dendur. This room is so impressive yet tranquil. I loved it! I remember this room from when I visited New York in the 90s and it was just as stunning today as it was back then.

From there we continued on through the American wing, then across to the Greek and Roman exhibits. They were impressive as well, and just imagining these ancient works of art in their original time and settings was mind-boggling.

"Incomplete" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/110 sec, ISO400
“Incomplete” New York City, 2018

There is so much to see at the Met, but we had a lot on our agenda so we grabbed a coffee and a sandwich at the cafe and made our way to our next destination.

"Those Teeth" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO400
“Those Teeth” New York City, 2018

We arrived at the High Line after a short trek across Central Park, then a quick subway ride. The High Line is an elevated walkway on the western side of the island, and is actually a State Park (our second park of the day for those keeping score). I imagine it would be a wonderful walk on an early autumn evening, but in the middle of a July day, it was kind of too crowded and hot. It was difficult to stop and just kick back. And I couldn’t find a nice way to photograph it. But it was still fun to walk a bit on it.

And it was a nice route to take to get to our next destination, the Whitney Museum.

"At the Whitney" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec, ISO800
“At the Whitney” New York City, 2018

The museum itself is wonderful, but I wasn’t really into most of the exhibits that were on display, so I guess it was a bit of a wash. The view from the terrace though was fantastic:

"Looking Downtown" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/950 sec, ISO400
“Looking Downtown” New York City, 2018

After leaving the Whitney, we took the subway back to the Roosevelt to pick up our bags, then decided to take an Uber to our Airbnb, which was up in Harlem. The drive up Madison Avenue to 126th was straight, but what a crazy ride… weaving in and out of traffic. Whew!

We settled into the Airbnb and chatted with our host who lived in the apartment above where we were staying and she gave us some good tips for our stay in NYC. But we couldn’t rest for very long because we had tickets to the big game between the Mets and the Yankees. ⚾ Thankfully, it was a quick subway ride from Harlem to the Bronx and soon we were in our seats up in the nosebleed section. Yes, our third park of the day was a ballpark: Yankee Stadium!

"At the Ballpark" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/45 sec, ISO800
“At the Ballpark” New York City, 2018

I have to say, New York baseball fans are passionate and loud rooting for their team. And since it was the subway series, there was a lot of banter going back and forth between the Yankees and Mets fans. It was a lot of fun! In the end, the Mets came out on top but a good time was had by all, at least from what we saw. 😀

"Yankee Stadium" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/60 sec, ISO400
“Yankee Stadium” New York City, 2018

Before going back to our Airbnb, we decided to get a bite to eat at Harlem Shake, which is a really cool diner with a bit of a Jamaican vibe to it. I ordered the Harlem Jerk, which was a burger with jerk-flavored fries on top. It was delicious! I washed it down with a Harlem lager, and Bay had a shake. A yummy way to end a long day.

"Harlem Jerk" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“Harlem Jerk” New York City, 2018
"Harlem Shake" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Harlem Shake” New York City, 2018

またね~



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Arrival in the Big Apple

"Iconic Buildings" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/1600 sec, ISO200
“Iconic Buildings” New York City, 2018

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. 🍜

"Ramen" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/13 sec, ISO1600
“Ramen” New York City, 2018
"Ikuradon" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/13 sec, ISO1600
“Ikuradon” New York City, 2018

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!

"Apple Store" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/320 sec, ISO400
“Apple Store” New York City, 2018

Leaving the Apple Store, we were greeted with a scene that warmed my heart:

"Rat Trump" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/1600 sec, ISO400
“Rat Trump” New York City, 2018

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.

"Haring" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/105 sec, ISO200
“Haring” New York City, 2018

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! 🏙️

"Viewmaster" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/1100 sec, ISO200
“Viewmaster” New York City, 2018
"Looking South" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/950 sec, ISO400
“Looking South” New York City, 2018

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.

"Katsudon" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO1600
“Katsudon” New York City, 2018
"Katsu" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/35 sec, ISO1600
“Katsu” New York City, 2018

And I couldn’t resist the happy hour beer! 🍺

"Refreshing" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO1600
“Refreshing” New York City, 2018

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. 🇺🇸

"Brooklyn Bridge" New York City, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/25 sec, ISO3200
“Brooklyn Bridge” New York City, 2018

Well, that’s it for the day! A long but fantastic start to our vacation.

またね~



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