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Daily—New York City Day 1

Here goes day 1: X’mas gift, Prosperity Dumplings, Empty SoHo, and Time Square.
Before New York, let’s rewind a bit and start at SFO, where my last post ended.

All set and ready, we took off around 10PM. Spending Christmas eve 10,000 ft above ground was like…any other plane ride. There was no special celebration on flight from Delta, unfortunately. No special drinks, snacks. Nothing.
122513-20 122513-3


What’s this? 122513-11
This isn’t a gift for Michelle, instead, it’s from her. I was surprised by the gesture, of course, but even more surprised about the content. What would I possibly be interested from a brand known to sweep ladies feet off the floor with this little blue box?!

It’s this.
It has nothing to do with my religion, and everything to do with bonding.

Ever since 8th grade, I used to wear a cross-symbol necklace. I had it on me 24/7; shower, swim competition, you name the occasion, I’d have it with me. It was a gift from my mother when I moved to the States on my own back in early 2000’s. There wasn’t any deep meaningful story behind the necklace,  it simply reminds me of my mom and my family.

Until couple months ago.

The strap has snapped and I lost the necklace before I realized. I was terribly upset. The particular model was discontinued and I couldn’t find it anywhere else. Without me knowing, Michelle noticed, researched, and although she couldn’t find the exact same cross, she chose one that’s most similar (and looks good).

So here it is. A necklace that continues the memories of the last. A necklace that reminds me of my love ones. A necklace that I’ll cherish for as long as I can remember. Thanks for the gift, Michelle.

Enough of the sentimentals, back to the trip!

[aside]Michelle: It was super dry.[/aside][su_heading]10:15PM [/su_heading]
We knew the first day will be long, so we tried to catch up as much sleep as we can.


[su_heading]4:52AM EST[/su_heading]
*All timeline from this point on will be stated in EST zone.

Woke up seeing that we’re about 10 minutes away from NYC:

This is what awaits: 122513-17

Pick up your jaw.

[su_heading]5:32AM [/su_heading]
19 degrees. I’ve been living in California for way too long and I couldn’t even imagine how cold that is. I just stared at the number.

[su_heading]5:32AM [/su_heading]

[aside]Michelle:We had breakfast at the airport — hot Earl green, chocolate croissant, and donuts. But it was a bad move. The cafe at Jameica was cozy and spacious. We forgot that Christmas is not PEAK!! Paid $5 extra…[/aside][su_heading]6:20AM [/su_heading]
My first impression of New York after my last visit from a coupe of years back is this—it’s pretty fucking cold.

While freezing our asses, we managed  to snap a pic of our first soon-to-be sunrise from New York.
[su_heading]6:52AM [/su_heading]
Airpot->AirTrain->Railroad, that’s the plan.
122513-36 122513-39

AirTrain’s logo is intuitive. Terrific job done by Pentagram. 122513-38

[su_heading]7:50AM [/su_heading]
Railroad->Subway->Apartment, phase 2 of our plan.
122513-40 122513-41 122513-42 122513-43

Our first step of becoming a phony New Yorker: 122513-44

This is our bible for the couple of days. 122513-24
We’ll be studying it a dozen times a day, and rereading it before we sleep. Any tourist here is an avid Subway taker. By the end of the trip, I’m confident that we can pin point stations without double taking from the map, perhaps even list out the time it may take between each commute.

So far, so good.

[su_heading]8:40AM [/su_heading]

[su_heading]8:52AM [/su_heading]
I made the rookie mistake of not bringing gloves thinking that I can bear the cold. I was so painfully wrong.

[su_heading]12:20PM [/su_heading]
We landed in Big Apple during Christmas (Merry Christmas), so 99% of the shops are closed. The closest restuarant we could find sells these Bosnia pies.
It was quite good.

[aside]Michelle:I was crocheting the scarf which was supposed to be done before the trip. (Part of the Christmas gift)[/aside]
[su_heading]12:52PM [/su_heading]
After lunch, food coma hit. On top of that, we were running on 3 hour sleep. So we knocked out for a good 3 hours.

[su_heading]4:30PM [/su_heading]
We’re back and ready to stroll the empty streets of New York (Occasion made possible by Christmas, woot).
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[su_heading]5:45PM [/su_heading]
We ate, slept, and now ready for food again.

There’s this very subtle dumping shop in Chinatown with more than 1700+ reviews on Yelp.
It also happen to be one (along with the rest of Chinatown) of the few shops that are open during x’mas. Asian celebrates holidays because we see it as another day to make more money.
Prosperity Dumping. No neon signs. No fancy shenanigan. Just a 500 square feet indoor space with very good food.

They’re known for their fried pork buns, but were already sold out by the time we made it.
So we ordered the next on the list, sesame bun with duck, pork & shrimp regular dumplings, soy milk, and pork fried dumplings.
122513-59 122513-62 122513-63

This stuff was delicious! 122513-61But what’s even more amazing…is its price. All that stuff you see from the above photo cost $10.50.


They sell 10 dumplings for $2.50. It’s almost as close as what you pay for in Asia. And that’s dam good for New York.

[su_heading]7:25PM [/su_heading]
Off to SoHo with my big gun.

It was an interesting sight—the rare occasion where the streets of SoHo is empty.
All the shops are getting ready for their “post-christmas” sales. We took the advantage for a quick photo. 122513-67 122513-68

[su_heading]8:14PM [/su_heading]
While most retail district are pretty dead during Christmas day, Time Square is still as lively as always. 122513-72

Ended up becoming everyone’s go-to spot. 122513-73

Forever 21 (you got me) had a gigantic billboard on the side of the street displaying live footage of the passerby from the sidewalk across. Here are about 50 people in the screen, find us. 122513-74

[aside]Michelle:MICHELLE&BENSON[/aside] 122513-79 122513-80 122513-75

[su_heading]8:38PM [/su_heading]

Hershey’s land. 122513-81 122513-82 122513-83 122513-84

Candles?! 122513-85

[aside]Michelle:The candle doesn’t smell as good as I imagined, but the necklace is cute and it’s inexpensive![/aside] Necklace?!?! 122513-86 122513-87 122513-88
[su_heading]8:57PM [/su_heading]
M&M World. 122513-99 122513-89 122513-91

Customize your own M&Ms. 122513-92 122513-93 122513-94

This jacket is priced at $3000. With the embellishment of Swarovski crystals. 122513-95

You’d rock these laces? 122513-98

[su_heading]9:18PM [/su_heading]
A photo with Tony Stark. 122513-100

#TSQselfie 122513-102

[su_heading]9:28PM [/su_heading]
New York street dog. 122513-103

Shit was $7, and it’s iight. Dump this place and go to that dumpling place I mentioned early.  122513-105

[su_heading]9:52PM [/su_heading]
Mmm, interesting cultural influence for things not to do in NY Subway system. 122513-106
Feel free to eat and drink, just don’t play loud music while you’re at it, though.

[su_heading]11:15PM [/su_heading] 122513-107

Wrapping up day 1 with Brooklyn’s very own beer.
Logo design by Milton Glaser, who’s also the man behind the legacy “I <3 NY” mark.

’til tomorrow,



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