72-ish Hours in NYC

Flight and baggage delays delivered me a weary traveler at the JFK airport. They say that New York is a city where anything can happen–in my case, my first taste of that mysterious “anything” was learning how to use an Uber for a first time. I couldn’t have had a better introduction to the city than my Uber driver, whose enthusiasm about New York was as strong as her Brooklyn accent. And then she drove out of her way so that one of my first views of NYc could be this. I guess it really does never sleep.

…but I did. Turns out the Peruvian jet lag is strong. 

Day 1

The next morning I woke up to a scorching blanket of heat. I walked a couple blocks through my homestay’s north Manhattan, figured out how to buy and load a Metro card, and then had my first New York subway experience (y’all…it was hot)! I always love thinking of all the different stories coinciding within one subway car.

After disembarking the subway in some vaguely familiar-sounding neighborhood, I then used all of my self-governing powers of adulthood to go to a bakery and eat a cupcake for breakfast. Honestly, the thought of homemade buttercream frosting made me think of my mom (and I love my mom, duh).

And then of course I stopped into a cheese store (it’s like the call of a siren, what can I say?) on Bleecker street and got a little giddy from the sheer variety of dairy products and accessories.

Speaking of cheese–a few blocks away and I found myself at a pizza place! So of course I had to stop for a slice.

I walked and walked that first day–first around Central Park with an old school friend and then to backtrack to Bleecker Street to check out a concert. It was worth it!

Day 2

New York’s arms of hospitality were opened generously to me by family friends who took on the role of tour guides for the day (commence the montage of Times Square and surrounds).

I was most excited to stop by 30 Rock, which I associate with beloved shows and characters, like the fearless comediennes of SNL (Maya Rudolph Kate McKinnon Tina Fey holla), and Jimmy Fallon.

Soon enough the heat of the day had taken its toll and we went back to my friends’ house. It seemed like something out of a nostalgic summer movie: We roasted giant hotdogs over a backyard campfire and then took off to Coney Island. By the time we got there it was lit up and the crowds had dwindled; it almost felt as if we had the place to ourselves!

The air was the perfect temperature as we made our way down the boardwalk. We quietly made our way to the edge of the sea. And then we stepped in. Beautiful.

Day 3

My last day in New York was full of the feels.

My host and I’s schedules had been so opposite that we hadn’t seen each other since I’d arrived, so Linda was kind enough to take me to lunch! She casually suggested a place, imagine my surprise when I surfaced from the subway to see the stately buildings on Wall Street! She just works at the New York Stock Exchange, no big deal.

I’m sure my eyes got wider and wider as she told me stories of the business over lunch. I can’t imagine how busy she must have been, and was touched she went out of her way to spend some time together!
For all of the landmarks of New York, there was one I knew I couldn’t miss. So after lunch I made my way to Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The time there was solemn. It was important. And I could have stayed infinitely longer reading and listening to the stories. If you ever have the chance to go, I hope you’ll take advantage of it.

And then soon enough, I was headed to catch my flight to Copenhagen.My time in New York was brief, but I’d like to think that we still had a connection.
And it did give me one heck of a goodbye.

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A bright eyed, TEFL certified, PNW girl teaching English in Budapest, Hungary.

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