Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fond Memories of New York

New York City from Empire State Building
What are some of your fond memories of New York? Or if you haven't visited this vibrant city yet, what makes you want to travel to New York?

Is it the food? After all, NYC is  one of the best places to eat in the world.

Is it the romance, nightlife and entertainment?
How many times "When Harry Met Sally" and "Serendipity" made us fall in love with love again, and brought us to reminisce of how sweet love is at Central Park?

Me, Loveless But Nevertheless Happy, @ Central Park :)

Is it the shopping?
Bargains in NYC don't leave the shelves year round. From Chinatown to the classic department stores such as Macy's, Bloomingdales, Sak's 5th, to only in New York department stores, truly, there are shopping items for everyone.

Is it the culture and history?
Me and My Friend, Tina, on board Staten Island Ferry with the Statue of Liberty in the Background 
Seeing the The Statue of Liberty is always a must for immigrants like us, because this is the American symbol of freedom, welcoming the immigrants who come to the USA looking for a better life. Aside from the Statue of Liberty, lovers of art and culture can feast on the 150 world-class museums in New York.

Is it watching Broadway?
What is your favorite play or which one would you want to watch? My all time favorite is 42nd Street, which is a musical extravaganza set at the heights of the Great Depression. However, I do have a lot of other favorites. :) "Hakuna matata", you know which play is this quote from? I love this song, and I totally enjoyed the play as well.

For me, back when I was still living in Connecticut, my fondest memory of New York is Queens. Let me tell you why.
Me @ Yale University, New Haven, CT
First, Queens is home to two of New York's major International Airports, JFK and La Guardia. Back when I was still living in Connecticut, I always found more airfare deals and cheaper flights to new york if I chose JFK or La Guardia International Airports. I guess, one of the reasons why it was easier for me to find good air fare deals to NYC by way of La Guardia or JFK was because these two are among the busiest airports in the world. The busier the airport is, the more competitions there are, which puts more pressure to airline companies to offer competitive prices to the benefit of the consumers. Living in CT allowed me to choose several airports that would give me the cheapest airfare. I flew once by way of Hartford International Airport, twice by way of New Jersey International Airport, and several times via JFK and/or La Guardia in Queens. I was only in CT for a year, but I flew several times because of homesickness. 
photo of me taken by my friend, Tina
Talking of homesickness, that was the second reason why my fondest memory of NYC is in Queens. :) Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, representing over 100 different nations and speaking over 138 different languages. Living all alone in CT, I suffered from homesickness in my first year in US. A trip to Queens once a month on weekends helped me ease the pain of wanting to be back home. A walk at Woodside, Queens, was like walking in Manila streets to me. I would always buy my month's supply of Filipino goodies at Queens. 
Taste of Home
Probably, one of the reasons why I gained weight so fast (30+ lbs in 1 year) was because I would stuff myself with too much Filipino foods whenever I was in the area, knowing that, it will be in a month before I could indulge in sweet taste of home again. I would leave NYC feeling so full from eating lechon (roast pig), laing ( taro leaves cooked in coconut milk), ampalaya ( bittermelon), kare-kare ( ox tail and vegetable stew in peanut butter sauce), halo-halo ( ice shavings dessert with fruit mix and condensed milk ) and whatever my eyes fancied. My eyes then were hungry, yet my stomach begging me to stop! On my way back to Connecticut, I had a small styrofoam cooler filled with suman ( sweet rice dessert), biko, puto kutsinta ( variety of rice cakes), leche flan, ube halaya ( taro dessert), and whatever that could warm my heart of the thoughts of "I am not really far from home, after all!" Surely, it felt like I was the happiest person on Earth after each trip to Queens.
At Bridgeport Harbor, CT ( a year after living in CT )
Slowly, my new found friends in CT were telling me, "Beth/Liz ( they have difficulty saying Betchai ), Connecticut must really be your home. You are gaining weight, and my dear,  you look a lot better like that, than the first time I saw you!" However, when my father saw my picture through yahoo photos ( at that time, there was no Facebook yet), he told me on the phone, with so much concern in his voice, "Day, you are gaining weight, a lot in a matter of short period of time. I just hope you will know how to put a break to your weight gain, before you will realize that you had gained too much!" Thanks to my father, after that talk, I try hard as much as possible, to listen to my stomach, not to my feasting eyes! 

Now that I live in San Diego, happily married, no longer alone, no longer homesick, but my taste is still the taste of home. Thankfully, this time, I need not go to Queens to answer my cravings, I need not stuff myself in one sitting, because I have quick access to a taste of home here. 

However, I still do miss my fond memories of New York and Connecticut. 
Rafael Nadal is Skipping US Open this year because of injury
It is still my wish, to one day watch US Open live, not from TV, but from Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, New York! :)
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  1. Really? Queens is really that diverse? :D However it is good to know that visiting Queens can sort of ease off your home sickness.

  2. Oh New York is such a famous city and I would love to have a chance to visit for all the fun it has to offer.

  3. wow, that was years ago huh. I will surely visit NY someday soon. And there are 3 reason for it... 1. will have breakfast at Tiffany's. [wink*] 2. watch a show at Broadway and 3. run/walk/jog at Central Park.

  4. New York is a busy city and expensive to live in. I hope someday to visit the place too.

  5. hi there Betchai! now I am craving for some polvoron haha, good thing I could have some in a flash hehe, and yes someday I would love to go to New York! love those innocent, lovely smile of yours here hehe, weeeee Rafael Nadal's photo here is my favorite weeee haha, :D

  6. New York is one of the best cities to visit because of the variety they have. I hope to get there soon.

  7. hehehe I got the statue of liberty picture too...

  8. New York! New York! I'd love to visit you soon!

  9. Will be there soon. Can't wait na nga e. NYC is really great.

  10. The city that never sleeps..That's surely the best city for someone who turns days into night,that's me..

  11. when i go to New York, it is for the food - Astoria (part of Queens) still has great Greek deli shops where i can get the best Greek Cheeses. In other parts of Queens i have been taken for the best Columbian food in the area - food and New York... YES!

  12. When my mind turns to NYC it is not with thoughts of romance but more of survival, bright lights, history, and activities. I was infatuated with NY when I first got there but soon yearned for my dear Michigan and a quieter more natural lifestyle. In my few excursions to upstate NY though I did find something akin to my own home and had I been able to live there and commute into the city for work, I would have loved it. My job was challenging and rewarding but the "hood" was not. lol

  13. NYC... well.. what to say??
    nothing in fact for the simple reason that nothing i would say would suffice coz i have never been there :)

    but it s hreat to reach stuff like this from you...

    yes rafa has skipped the tournament..

  14. those photos of you are really cute. I went to NY once, but I heard SO acclaimed that I didn't see nearly enough.

  15. oh there are so many things to see in nyc, been there too and like you we have lots of memories as well..thanks for sharing
    happy weekend

  16. NYC is such a fun place to visit. I fondly remember visits to the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. You can be there for weeks and not see everything.

  17. Is Central Park where the Home Alone kid met the bird lady? New York, New Yok, I love New York, although I haven't been there. How could we not, with all the good things we see in movies and on TV. Great that you enjoy New York and Queens.

  18. visiting you back :)...New York is one of the cities I wish to visit...soon :-/