Travel Diary

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere~~~

I never thought I would be going to New York at this time of my life. πŸ˜€ I went on a trip for almost a whole month and New York was one of my destinations. New York wasn’t my first stop, but I’m blogging about it first because I have yet to get around organizing both film and digital shots from the whole trip. πŸ˜› Anyway, I went to New York on Sept. 11. Yes, I arrived on the 10th anniversary of Ground Zero. I stayed until September 14.

The first thing I did in New York right after getting out of Kennedy International Airport was eat in a Filipino restaurant in a Filipino community in Long Island. I had more than just sisig, lapu-lapu, and laing. Hrhr~ The Pinoy restaurant is almost the same as eating in the real deal — plastic pitcher, deadlythin utensils, and plastic plates in variety of designs and colors, and being surrounded with Pinoy folks too of course. There was a vendor of bootleg DVDs and Asin songs played in loop. I think the latter is the only difference. Here, most carinderia have their radio on baduyFM station or TV on local channel.

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Where I stayed for four days and three nights

Choosing Hilton Garden Inn was a good choice because it’s between Times Square and the Theater District. Actually, it’s nearly at the center of Manhattan. It was accessible to a lot of places that there’s even a grocery store just a block away. That’s one important place for a tourist, I believe. I’ll leave the rest of my thoughts about the inn in a different blog. πŸ˜›

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Early morning view from the hotel

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Being that the stay in NY is limited, I decided to take a double decker bus tour with Gray Line New York. It’s the fast and seemingly most affordable way to see and learn about New York. I had the 48-hour All-Loops Tour where you can hop on or hop off in any stop you want. You just have to make sure you get on the right bus because some bus stops are for certain double decker buses.

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Somewhere in Times Square

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I can only do as much as two tours out of all the four in 48 hours except if you choose not to hop off the bus. The first tour I did was the Downtown Loop Tour. Some stops included in the tour are Broadway/Theater District, Empire State Building, WTC site, Little Italy, Chinatown, SoHo, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park.

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First shot from the double decker bus

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Some heads in the way 😐

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New York is definitely an urban jungle

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Where’s the west side? πŸ˜›

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Empire State Building

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Nearing Fuller Building

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The Flatiron Building (or Fuller Building)

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Apartment and apartments…

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One building of huge NYU

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The World Trade Center Site was the first stop I hopped off to. As expected, there were so many people and security has heightened.

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The Church that was hardly scratched on the 9/11 incident.
This is right in front of the WTC site.

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Federal Office Building

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I think this is Battery Park

They closed off the WTC memorial fountain to the public and it seems it won’t be open until this month or next. Family and relatives of victimes probably have priority viewing. Then I headed to Battery Park where there are lots of flags to commemorate the heroes of 9/11. That was the way to the Liberty and Islands ferries and where I had effin’ expensive hotdog for lunch. The ferry, btw, has a separate tour fee from the double decker bus.

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I forgot what this. One of them looks like ET in this picture. DX

There was a very long queue to the ferry because of security and inspection. The wait didn’t take so long, but the wait was under the hot hot hot sun. ~_~

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Tiny plane

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I remember there were street musicians near the queue and one of them played the Philippine National Anthem. I think it’s because he saw Filipinos. Me maybe? LOL Musician received a tip. πŸ™‚

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Liberty from the boat

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Unused dock?

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After Statue of Liberty was Ellis Island where the Immigration Museum is. I didn’t tour around anymore. I was exhausted and dizzy from the heat. =_=

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I resumed the Downtown Loop tour for the rest of the afternoon. I also saw in the tour a glimpse of Little Italy, Chinatown, the huge Apple store (from afar), lots of restaurants and fastfood, and several Zara stores like it’s the 7-11. 😐

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I’d like to see that become an ice skating rink in winter πŸ™‚

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If you like visiting churches (or even if you don’t), I believe this is one of those you should see inside.

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Philippines Center

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UNIQLO’s gonna open in NY!
I’m excited even though I don’t live there. Sheesh~

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MoMA! Sadly, it was already closing when I got there
and there wasn’t any more time to visit as it closes Tuesdays

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Being already poor, I can’t afford to take a nicer picture with/of Woody
for obvious reasons. XD;

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M&M’s! Reese’s! Hershey’s!
Seeing them is already a sugar rush.

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I think there were only two stops left in the tour, but I had to go home and prep for dinner with one of my lolas who’s just about 10 years older than me. We didn’t know she lives in NY, but it was right timing she saw Maru in FB and found out we’re in the state.

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My pasta with some liquor, I think

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We had a feast in a restaurant at New York’s Little Italy. The restaurant was dim as most fine Italian restaurants are I guess, and there’s live Italian music. That was a memorable dinner. The family eating beside us seemed to be a… Uhh… Nevermind. πŸ˜› Then the singer asked me to dance with him as he sang. I was so shy. XD; I told him I don’t dance that well and he said that he doesn’t either.

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Maru, me, and lola πŸ™‚

After dinner, we had coffee. Lola then invited us to Atlantic City, NJ for casino. I think I played more slot machines than I should.

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Menus and biscotti

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Hangover slot machine

Atlantic City is probably 3-4 hours away from New York. We played some slots then strolled at the boardwalk. We saw another casino and played more slots before we left. It was cold! I think we stayed there until 5AM (of Sept. 13!). There were already joggers at the boardwalk. LOLs

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Shirt designs from a shop along the boardwalk

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If this was the actual video game, I would have gone home RICH.

We had breakfast in McD’s before we headed back to NY. It was almost lunch time when we got back. You would know you’re already in NY because of the traffic. LOL We rested for a bit in my lola’s house, waited for her husband, and had lunch at Boston Market.

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I ♥ their chicken

After such a long day/night, I went for another tour that afternoon which is the Uptown Loop. This is the only film shot I have from that tour since I opted to take pictures with my digital p&s. I might run out of films for the Michigan trip. πŸ˜›

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The family and I watched Sister Act that night. You can’t leave New York without watching at least one Broadway. That was a great show! I almost got teary-eyed. I wish I could sing like those Broadway actors. Haha~ Since it was our last night in New York, we decided to walk around Times Square and personally see the city lights at night. I was overwhelmed with the people and lights. Oh, rats too. :& The stores were still open at late. But that’s a good thing because if they weren’t then that would suck when I hardly had time to visit any store.

Here are more (dark) Minmei shots:

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That is one large bar!

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Hershey’s! :9

I wanted to see the M&M’s store too, but damn limited time. ~_~

So… That New York trip was VERY tiring, but an amazing experience. I have seen so much in a few days. It is as you see on TV. Only it’s safer than before. New York is truly a city that never sleeps. No doubt a tourist would easily survive there. I would definitely come back and I hope to share the experience with ♥ and friends. πŸ™‚

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Cameras: LC-A+ and Minmei
Films: Eurocolor 200 and Fuji Superia


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