I was set on going to places I missed out on last time around. Though I didn’t get to stroll through Central Park or get my fill of Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate this year, I found even more places in the city to fall in love with.
My absolute favorite place we visited was Governors Island. Though technically still part of Manhattan, it takes a ten minute ferry ride to get there. The island used to be closed to the public as a military base for almost two centuries, but a huge chunk of it was sold to the people of New York since then and has been transformed into a beautiful park and public space.
I went with my friends Joyce and Jim again, along with their cousin Paul. The first thing we did was rent bikes, and I managed to get my hands on an adorable light blue Cruiser, complete with a basket in front. The view of the skyline from the island was amazing, and it only got better the more we went around. We kept pointing out specific spaces to each other and said, “You can get married here! …Or here!”—pretty much every ten minutes. We decided that whoever gets married next gets married in Governors Island.
There were interesting things happening everywhere—there was a little league baseball game, a World Cup viewing party where you could hear cheers from wherever you were if a goal was scored, art installations, food trucks, and just an all-around good time.
Another place I got to visit was the Museum of Modern Art. Though I got to visit The Met last year, I missed out on MoMA. Museum visits take me back to my sophomore year classes in art history and theory, and this trip to MoMA was pretty special to me. Seeing the actual pieces I studied back in college felt so surreal—like looking at a piece of history. I found it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that it was actual Van Gogh I was looking at. An actual Jackson Pollock, an actual Claude Monet. Though I’m the first to admit that I’m not the biggest art fan, this visit made me feel a connection to it that I haven’t felt in a very long time.
After MoMA, I dragged Joyce along to Momofuku Milk Bar. It started raining when we got out of the subway, and this tiny bakery was ridiculously hard to find. The place itself is really dark and it only had a small sign indicating we were at the right place, so we walked by it a couple of times before we found it. I got myself a slice of the famous Crack Pie and two cookies—compost and cornflake-marshmallow. I have to say that I was pretty disappointed by the Crack Pie. I haven’t tried any of the local knockoffs, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it just tasted like yema to me. The compost cookie was just okay too, but I’d probably come back for that cornflake-marshmallow one.
Right after Momofuku, I met up with my more talented namesake, Kitkat Pecson. She’s an old friend from college who moved to New York early this year, and she’s practically taking the city by storm. Over some pho for dinner, she told me all about her adventures—apartment hunting, applying for jobs, foreign men (HAHA). She’s doing really well now with a good job at a cool design studio, and I’m so, so proud of her. Also, fun fact: Her boss created Vine! Isn’t that cool?!
After dinner, we decided to brave the rain and ran to Strand Book Store where Kitkat (her, not me) bought an umbrella. We walked across the street to The Bean for some late night cake and coffee, where we were joking about starting the next big social networking app. We sort of hit an issue when we talked about who gets the username kitkat, though. Haha! We talked more about design and New York and plans for the future until she had to head to a movie with some friends, and I had to head back to Staten Island.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long until we see each other again.
On my last morning in New York, I wanted to head back into the city one last time. My flight wasn’t until 3:40 PM, and I figured I could make it in time. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t.)
I wanted to cross out a couple of other things on my list—trying out Magnolia Bakery and The Halal Guys. Both were pretty pleasant experiences, but the rest of my day did not go smoothly. As we were having lunch, we realized that it was getting late and I still had a flight to catch. We ended up taking a cab instead of the subway to the ferry, which we had to take back to Staten Island where we parked the car.
On the car ride to JFK, we realized that there was no possible way I was going to make it in time. Jim told me to call the airline and rebook right away, telling them that I was stuck in traffic. Which, I mean, I guess we were. Thankfully, I got on a 4:00 PM flight at no extra charge since I used frequent flyer miles to book the ticket. The only difference was that I was put on a direct flight to LA instead of one that connected from Salt Lake City to Burbank, which actually meant that I would be arriving even earlier.
So, everything’s great, right? New flight at no extra charge. Haha, nope! Because we actually did get stuck in traffic, I arrived at my gate at exactly 4:00 PM, which meant that it was already closed. I missed two flights, and I was panicking. I went to customer service to get rebooked again, and the lady at the counter told me that the next flight I could get on was for the next morning. I asked for all my other options, if she could just reroute my flight again, until she eventually just put me on standby for the next flight to LA at 6 PM.
Being on standby is a waitlist for the flight—if it doesn’t fill up, you get on it. Thankfully, that was the end of my problems as I managed to get a seat on that flight right away. (Huge thanks to the people at Delta for helping me out!) After all of that, I was set to arrive at around the same time as my original flight. It certainly wasn’t the most fun experience, but I’m glad I got to pick up a couple of life skills along the way.
It was back to California for another week for me.