I just had a wonderful weekend with these gals! My friend from home, Raelene, and her friend (now my friend), Paige. Doesn’t she look like Taya Smith???
Last year, I got a random call from Rae asking about visiting NYC (they go to school in Chicago), then one thing lead to another and we planned a trip! Thank goodness for Air BnB! For those of you who don’t know what Air BnB is, it’s an app that allows people to rent a space in a house/apartment for a short amount of time. People can also lease an extra room or their house on the app. This is perfect for people who are staying somewhere for a weekend, who are on a budget, or who don’t like hotels. It’s as easy as searching the area, looking through reviews, and booking it.
We found Raquel, the host, and she had a basement apartment available for a very decent price. It was so clean, it was styled very nicely, and it had everything we needed. If you’re not familiar with NYC, everything is super small and condense, so don’t expect a huge room to stay here. It was a studio apartment, so the kitchen, living room, and bedroom were all in the same space, but it wasn’t cramped. The bathroom is really tiny, but it does the job and it’s super clean. Raquel had free WiFi, Netflix on the TV, and she left a note saying where the nearest subway stations were and restaurants.
But before we checked in, I met Rae and Paige at Bakeri. This really cute bakery cafe in Brooklyn. It’s very homey feeling and shabby chic. The waitresses have these cute Rosy the Riveter like uniform. Then we found ourselves in a cool vintage garage. I bought these projector slides, which I’m seriously thinking about collecting from now on. Lots of cool things in there. Then, we walked to our Air BnB.
Our day wasn’t finish, yet. After unpacking, we immediately set out to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a pretty price to pay ($18 for students) to get inside the museum, but it was really worth it. I cried so much and the museum was gracious enough to provide tissues at every corner. What really got me was the exhibit dedicated to those who jumped or who fell out of the top floors of the tower. The stories that were told were so chilling and the actual voicemail messages that play through out will haunt you. It will give you a new found respect for our public service warriors (policemen, firemen, and EMTs) and so proud on how the nation recovered from such a tragedy.
We capped the night at Chinatown for some chow. Rae and I are so used to eating pretty authentic Chinese cuisine, so we went pretty mild with Paige. We got pork buns, egg rice, and sweet & sour chicken; served family style. It was so filling and delicious. We had ice cream from The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I got ube (the one in purple), Rae got butter and macha oreo, and Paige got almond cookie. It came with a Green Tea Pocky stick.
It was a super busy first day. Stay tuned for Part 2-5. They won’t be as long as this, because I got lazy with taking pictures, but I’ll still write in detail about the places we visited.