I met up with some old friends today. Sadly though, today was the day that I actually started to feel really bad physically. It might have been a mix of the nonstop walking around, the sleepless nights, dehydration, or maybe just the heat, but I’ve been in a pretty rough shape ever since this day ended. My stomach hasn’t felt right, and I’ve had a nonstop headache. Hopefully, getting home and resting up will change all that.
I met my friend Liz for the first time ever today. For those of you that don’t know, I used to be pretty submerged in this online game called MapleStory, and she was one of my friends in the game. She showed me around the city, as we walked through Times Square together, and then we went on a journey through Central Park. The Central Park walk took a lot out of me since we walked almost 40 blocks. We rested up at this Alice in Wonderland statue, for awhile, and we parted ways after that. It felt really good hanging out with her and finally meeting her in person, because she was the last person from that game that I had really wanted to meet up with. I can now pretty much close the door on that chapter of my life.
After me and Liz said our goodbyes, I was faced with dealing with the confusing New York subway system on my own. So right now, go and pull up a map of the subway system on Google maps. Confusing right? Well, by now I had kind of figured it out by now, and I actually made it back to the hotel without getting lost. I was to meet up with my friend Naomi though, and she had me transferring trains to go meet her. And being completely honest, I did it. I felt like a grown up as I made it through the subway system without even skipping a step.
Ahhh Naomi. The N in ACORNS. One of my closest friends from high school. It was amazing seeing her again. Just as I told her that night, she made for an amazing tour guide of the city. She both took me to local spots, such as restaurants that served only French fries and the birthplace of the hipster in Williamsberg, to popular locations such as the NYU campus, all while filling my head with historical facts about the city. I learned more about New York in those few hours of being together than the whole other time I’ve been here. For example, she told me that NYU is an unofficial mass grave and that there’s a tree in the center park that was used for hangings. Or that peoples focus on nice shoes arose from subway etiquette, since you’re not supposed to make eye contact with people, you just focus on their feet. Overall, I had a great time with her. It’s actually my favorite moment from visiting New York. At the end of the night, we both went to this beautiful restaurant called Serendipity, and ordered some frozen hot chocolates, which tastes even better than it sounds. Especially after a long day of exploring New York. Afterwards, we just sat down on some random street corner, and talked. Not to get too sentimental here, but I feel like after all these years of knowing her, we finally connected. It was on some random street corner in New York where I realized that no matter what we’re doing or where we are, we’d still be close friends.
Afterwards, I met up with my cousins and we explored Times Square yet again. They wanted to go out and party, but I was more interested in sleeping, so that’s what I did. And that’s what I’m going to do now. Goodnight.
Today was the day that put a dent in my wallet and a wrinkle in my future. We started off the day pretty late once again. Day after day of just walking around in a constant rush and getting as much as we could done before night hit was beginning to get to me. We started off the day by going to SoHo to visit all of the shops around there.
Fashion in New York is really no joking matter. The way most people dress in New York would put everyone over on the West Coast to shame. To be honest, one of my observations about New York is that the people themselves aren’t as beautiful as California people, but that they dress so nicely and take care of themselves so well that it more than makes up for it. For example, in California, I could see a girl wearing whatever she wants to, and she could still look beautiful, just because it comes naturally to her. But, out here in New York, the girls put such time and effort into their outfits that it all just adds up to looking great. Not once this whole time in New York, have I seen someone dressed the way some of the people do in California; as if they’re trying too hard to fit in.
Before we went shopping though, we had to go through the process of actually getting to the shopping areas. We took the subway down to New York’s Chinatown, and the culture shock immediately hit right as we stepped outside. The stores themselves looked like just holes in the wall, and the storekeepers were aggressively trying to sell us things. There were even women running about carrying brochures filled with pictures of fake purses, yelling out “Gucci Gucci Prada!!!!”. It all seemed like a sketch neighborhood, so we went walking down further and ended up at a park filled with elderly Chinese people playing a bunch of board games, doing tai chi, or playing some Chinese instruments. I felt like I was in a movie as I watched all this around me.
We eventually made it up to SoHo. Shopping in New York is amazing. There’s no tax at most of the stores, so the prices are a little bit cheaper. Also, there’s a much greater variety of styles to choose from, and there are so many stores out here that you won’t find in California. Just to sum it all up quickly, I only bought a few things. I got a really thick jacket from H&M, because apparently fashion hits New York faster than California, so I’ll probably have this jacket about a year faster than all you guys. Then I also got a military style jacket and a button up from Uniqlo, which is an amazing store that I hope comes to the Bay Area soon.
Afterwards, we helped out at my cousins performance again, and we decided to go out to eat afterwards at this Filipino restaurant called Maharlika. While we were there, one of my friends from California walked in. Can you imagine that pure coincidence of seeing a friend from California that you didn’t even know moved out to New York, on a vacation to New York? Me and him talked for awhile, and it was right about this point where I really started to feel that New York is really the place for me. I saw that he was making it out here and surviving, so it made me feel that if he could do it, then I can too. Even now, as I type this a few days later, I still feel like moving out here to New York. This city never dies. There’s something going on that makes me smile at every time of day. Moving out here is a huge step in life. It’s a big decision to make. Only time will tell you know.