"New York, New York a Place So Nice They Named it Twice!"

A few days before Spring Break I got on a plane to begin my journey to the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, New York City for the first time. This was my first journey to New England and I was ecstatic, though not quite so much for the long flights that it would take to get there.
Traveling by air has never really been a pleasant experience for me, not that any sort of trauma during a flight has occurred or anything. I never vomited in one of those little bags, never had a particularly rude or smelly passenger next to me, I don't have long legs so feeling cramped isn't the real issue. I just don't like flying. I can't stand the pressure in my head upon landing and take off and I don't like the recycled air (I honestly don't know the ins and outs of the system but I know that it feels thicker and germ-i-er). 

Ari and me after I landed
All that aside... I made it to Newark (yes, I know, not NEW YORK) after a night of just flying and no sleeping at around 4:00 pm and met up with my best friend to start our journey back to Queens, New York. We traveled by air train, land train, and by Uber (which I swear is 90% silver Toyota Camries).

It was busy and hectic before we got our Uber, I was greeted outside of the train station to hot dog stands, gigantic buildings, honking, men with thick "New York" accents yelling at each other jovially, a man praying next to his food cart and so many people in general, and so many different kinds of people. I was so happy though I was very hungry, sleep deprived and trying to not look like a tourist with my back pack and pink roller carry-on bag, I'm sure I didn't fool anybody. 

As I'm writing this I'm remembering just how much I did and how much I experienced. I don't want to write a ridiculously long blog that you have to fight your way through, but I also don't want to keep harping on about how much fun I had in a place so different than what I am used to. So I'll just tell you all of the firsts that happened while I was staying in a place to different from Fairbanks.

NYC Firsts:

Transportation-wise, here were some of my firsts.

I took my first real train from one city to another from Newark Liberty International Airport to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan. The train was nice and the seats were comfortable but the only complaint I had was that there was no place to store my luggage. It was just a minor inconvenience and one that I was totally fine with dealing with for the 35 minute ride. It made me really wish that airplanes had these seats. It was clean and the ticket taker made me feel like I was on the Polar Express, save for the lack of hot chocolate and Tom Hanks. The ride was smooth and had it not been for all of my excitement and holding on to my bag to keep it from rolling around the aisle, I could have easily fallen asleep.

I had my first Uber ride as mentioned before. It was a nice car and the driver seemed to know what he was doing but it was a bit scary being driven around Manhattan to Queens. People quickly speed up to 40 mph just to come to a screeching halt moments later. It was intense and one car pulled up next to us and the driver was yelling at us and other cars for not letting him into our lane. It wasn't yelling out of frustration, nor was it asking to be let into this lane. This man was demanding and using intimidation to get his way. This was within an hour of me being in the city and I was worried that that was what most of my encounters were going to look like... Thankfully I was way wrong.

I had one of the most stereotypical tourist-y food in the most stereotypical New York place. I had a hot dog from hot dog cart in the middle of Time Square among my fellow tourists. It was great and I was starving so I was very content with my tourist food in my tourist place. I think that now would be a good time to mention that there is nothing wrong with being a tourist and that I was indeed one, I did plenty of tourist trap stuff I'm sure but I wanted to be very careful not to just do the tourist things because I didn't want to just see the surface level of New York. Living in Alaska has really taught me that even though the tourist attractions can be awesome and that there can be so much historical knowledge within them that they are not always very accurate to what a place really is. This is why I am so glad that I got to go New York with two people who were relatively familiar. But enough about that... more food.

Alex and me after he arrived
I had Peruvian food for the first time while in New York. This specific Peruvian restaurant was very close to where I was staying and we had been eye-balling it for a couple days before going at the recommendation of my boyfriend's dad, whom I was staying with. The food was amazing! We had an appetizer of veal heart... and I know... it's a baby cow heart... and I know I don't have a great reason for choosing it but I'm glad I did. It was delicious and so different from anything that I had had before. As they say, "When in Rome," I say "When in a Peruvian restaurant, in Queens, in New York." The dish I had was similar to a yellow curry but was more subtle and light. Alex, my travel companion and boyfriend, had seafood dish that was quite curious. It was savory and salty and sour? It was odd but amazing.
The square pizza from Rizzo's (picture from Yelp.com)

First New York pizza and first cannolis I had were at Rizzo's Pizza in Astoria. It was life changing. I was never a fan of thin crust but I changed by mind that day. It wasn't what I ordered that was so amazing to me. It was a sample of their specialty pizza that blew my freaking mind. It was their "square" pizza, I think, but there was nothing square about it (let that pun just sink in). The cheese had a perfect amount of saltiness to it and the sauce was tangy but not overwhelming and. that. crust.

So buttery and soft and just gah! Amazing. The cannolis were smaller than I had imagine and they tasted like Christmas to me with how much cinnamon I tasted and the contrast between the the crunchiness of the outside and the soft, fluffiness of the inside filling.

I thought just writing about the firsts would expedite things, but it hasn't. I am slowly turning into a food critic so I will come back with a Part 2 in the next week. So for now I leave you with your mouth watering (I'm sorry) and hopefully with a sense of adventure, a sense of really wanting to experience a place and not just visit. Stay tuned for more of my adventure in NYC.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.