I took a quick weekend trip up to NYC to first visit some friends and also to see things that I’ve missed in the past. New York is so big that each time you go; it’s never the same experience.  I only missed one thing that I wanted to see which was the Guggenheim Museum. The ticket is discounted on TravelZoo, click here.

Here is what we did and my recommendations. You know I love sharing good and bad experiences and great deals when I travel.   If you have traveled with me, you know I make the most of every moment. When I’m on vacation, we are out doing things at about 8 AM and we don’t come back until around Midnight.

It’s a good and a bad thing. My Twin (Lisa) loves it because she will literally text me and say, I want to go to New Orleans around this date.  I’ll quickly look at pricing on airline tickets and confirm the weekend and we’ll book.  After that, she leaves everything up to me. I put an Excel sheet together with all the deals, places to see, approximate time it will take, hotel, etc… She loves it.

I spent the weekend with my friend Sheng. It was so much fun to see her. I also met up with Ann-Marie and Nicole. Thank goodness they can keep up with me.

Below is my review:

  1. Biking in Central Park. This was great but once is enough for me. I thought it would be this relaxing bike ride…no there are a lot of hills in Central Park.  We got the deal off Groupon. But there are deals on TravelZoo as well. Just be careful and make reservations ahead of time.
  2. Gazillion Bubbles Show. BEST SHOW. Who does not love bubbles? OK most of the audience was kids but I loved it. They did such awesome things with bubbles.  I texted my friends that after the show and seeing how excited the kids were I am going to quit my job and be a professional bubble entertainer. I got the deal off Living Social. It is not worth full price.
  3. Love Sign. You have to get a picture in it.
  4. Minus 5 Bar. This was a cool experience. For me once was enough.  It’s $20 to go in and then you can’t take your camera. I would recommend going with a group and then sharing the pictures. They are pricey, but if you are going to do it once, why not. You don’t go to an ice bar all the time. They make you wear a parka, but the parka does not look good in the pictures, so I took mine off, which is why you see a picture with everyone else in parkas, while I am the loner without one. Don’t pay for the fur coat and drinks are not worth it there. They are $22 each. To learn more, click here.
  5. FAO Schwarz. My life goal had been to jump on the giant piano. Nicole experienced this magical moment with me. I guess I imagined that it would be so much larger, but it was really small. Oh well, YOLO.  Click here.
  6. Wall Street Bull. Apparently, you have to rub the bull’s balls for good luck. I got the best shot of the bull, but it came with a price. I jumped in front of the crowd and said, please give me 5 seconds to just take a picture of the bull. I guess everyone else thought that was a fabulous idea, so we all got a picture of the bull with no one around. Luckily they listened to this little crazy picture loving Asian.
  7. Shubu-Tatsu. This place was ok. It was good for Shabu Shabu, but the place is small and the wait is long. It was also pricey, especially for the quality. So, I would pass on this place if I were you. Click here for reviews and the menu.
  8. Brunch at Pappardella. Brunch places get crowded in NYC. Making a reservation is always at good idea and also doing brunch before 12.30. The place did not fill up until 1.30. We got a great deal off TravelZoo. The food was good and the ambiance is nice too. Sheng and I had the spaghetti frittata, which we chose because we’ve never had it before. It was actually really good. Here is the menu.
  9. Trinity Church.
  10. New York Stock Exchange.
  11. Columbus Circle. This is ok. The statue is cool, but the shopping is disappointing.
  12. Penn Station Mall. I loved this mall. It had everything including 7 floors at the Macy’s store and 3 Starbucks in the store. Hello, two of my favorite places in one place. Perfect.
  13. New York Highline. This is fairly new. It’s a 2 mile walking trail that overlooks the city. It starts in the meatpacking district. The view is worth it and they are renovating that whole area. Take a look here.
  14. Bo Ky Restaurant. Anne-Marie suggested this place in Chinatown for lunch. It’s Cambodian food. I would definitely suggest this place. It is fast, affordable, and delicious. We had the seafood noodle, spring rolls, and shrimp rolls. They were all really good and the portion size is fairly large as well. If you expect amazing service, not here. It’s the Asian way, they think of the restaurant as a turn style…the more you get in, the more money you get. Just a warning. Here is the menu.
  15. Chinatown. Always a blast if you love to bargain, which I do. You have to learn to walk away though. If they chase you, it means you have wiggle room. If they let you walk, that means, they probably hit rock bottom.
  16. Bubbly. Anne-Marie said this is a famous place. I had the Taro and it was delicious. Bubble tea is the best. I love taro and avocado. Here is the address.
  17. Scarf collection. So one of my friends told me to keep my wallet closed. Well my biggest weakness is scarves. I got distracted within 5 minutes of walking off the bus. 30 minutes later and 18 scarves I think that vendor was happy.
  18. Times Square.
  19. Rockefeller Center. I have been here several times and each time there is something new. This time they had an Egg Art Exhibit.  The eggs were absolutely amazing.
  20. Hot dog from a stand.  My mom never let us do it when we were younger, but EVERYONE has to buy a hot dog from a stand in New York. It’s a visitor must do.  I did it this time and that hot dog was so delicious waiting all these years to take a first bite.

Here are some other random facts:

  • Subway system. If you think the DC Metro is confusing, wrong. New York is SO confusing.
  • New Yorkers HATE Selfies. While at Central Park, there was a hill that I lost the battle too. So I was taking a selfie of me walking the bike up the hill. A guy rode by and yelled at me to stop taking up the lane by taking selfies. I just looked at him and kept taking my selfies. Hey I’m not hurting anyone.
  • Tandem Bikes…Ugh. So this was #87 on my list of things to do before I die. Why? I’m not sure. Sheng got on so easily, but me, not so much. I tried for 20 minutes and Sheng even held the bike like a child, but I only made it for 2-3 minutes before losing balance. They put me on the front of the bike, which was a bad idea. This Asian is NOT made for the Tandem Bike. So checked this off my bucket list and know it is not as exciting as I thought in my head.
  • East coasters…ugh. Getting on the Subway, there was an old lady who walked in. I watched for a second, no guy offered their seat, so I did. If she falls, it will hurt her much more than me.  Sheng was so sweet, she asked if we could switch. I was fine with standing the whole way, but the best part was that the lady thanked me on her way out. To the men on there…I just shake my head.

And of course the people…

Sheng: Thank you so much for spending the weekend with me. You were so wonderful and I am so happy I got to hang out with you. Thank you for being a great host, friend, and letting me live my Tandem Bike dream even though I failed, but the point was that I tried.

Anne-Marie: I loved our conversation. I wish we lived closer, so we could do dinner and lunches more often, but we’ll have to have a long distance relationship! It’s ok baby, normally I say no long distance, but for you, it’s a YES!

Nicole: It’s been so long since I’ve seen you, but thank you for meeting up, even if it’s just for a second. You are a woman after my own heart with your bucket list, adventurous soul, and kind spirit. Thank you for jumping on the piano with me.


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