General Life Travel

2018 USA Trip – Week 6

Week 6 marks the halfway point of my US stay. Work continues to be busy and challenging.

Outside of work, I took a week off gym to let some recovery and injuries to catch up and heal. Been dealing with some bad exertion headaches for the last few weeks. Went back to the gym on Monday and the headaches were back in full force after some squats. It’s looking like I will need some extended break to make that go away completely. Any exercise just aggravates it at this stage…

On to more exciting things. I went to New York City for the weekend! It is such a strange and cool place! The trip started with catching a 4 hour bus ride from Annapolis on early Saturday morning and I arrived in 27th at 10-ish. I proceeded to spend the rest of the day just walking down towards the south end of Manhattan and exploring around.

Manhattan is a concrete jungle full of skyscrappers and traffic that will stop for pedestrians. I started my way down from The High Line is an elevated walkway park built on a historic freight rail line on the west side of Manhattan that stretched from Hudson Yards down to the bottom of Chelsea. I bought an ice cream sandwich along the walk, watched a street performing singer, took a lot of photos and even came across a few public rest room, which appeared to be bit of a rarity in Manhattan…

Next stop was the Washington Square Park. There was so much going on! A jazz was playing cool jazz at one spot. On a bench near by, there was a homeless looking person surrounded by a flock of pigeons whilst craddling a dozen on himself. Next to him was a sign that said something along the line of donation for bird feeding. A couple metres away was a tall bloke puppeteering this amazing puppet of a old farmer sitting and drinking on a bench. The movement was so fluid and realistic! He then pulled out a dog puppet which was even better! It hustled around tail wagging and moved just like the real deal! On the other end of the park I witnessed a marriage proposal next to the water fountain. There was a lot of kissing, hugging and crowd’s clapping. Next to them were a couple African American street performers performing cool tricks whilst making self deprecating racial and presidential jokes. Oh, and there was a dude running around with a cardboard sign offering free hugs!

Ran out of changes for tips, I relocated to China Town and Little Italy to explore the area. When you get to China Town, you kinda just know you’re there. All the shop fronts and signs are labelled in Chinese. There’s “麦当劳” instead of McDonald’s and everyone around me spoke some sort of Chinese dialect. I even saw someone playing the Erhu, an old Chinese string instrument that I have not seen outside of China since forever.


Clearly not tired, I lied to myself. I decided to cross two bridges in a row by walking into Brooklyn on the Manhattan Bridge and immediately turned around and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. It was quite a walk with some cool views from the bridges. In fact I caught my first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge!

Back in Manhattan, I walked on Wall Street and became an analyst, stood outside the New York Exchange and contemplated about the stock market, visited the 9/11 Memorial, and saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance again. Unfortunately that was the last time I saw it and never got to see it up close as I ran out of time to get on a cruise tour…

It was the early evenings by then so I decided to catch the Metro to the hotel to check in. I got on the wrong train but still managed to get off close enough to where I stayed. That was when I kinda stumbled into Times Square and realised the place existed and is in New York… It was surreal standing there, surrounded by all the big displays and tall buildings. This was when I realised I had no idea how to post an Instagram Story. I am finally approaching the get off my lawn age…

Times Square pro tip: when people in constumes come grabs your phone and start taking photos with you. Start running. They will ask you for $20 tips…

Eventually I made it to my hotel, checked in and had a good shower, and watched some weird as ghost investigator show before turning in for the night.

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The next day I slept in, and spent most of the day exploring Central Park and Central Park Zoo taking lots of photos of animals. They had red pandas and a snow leopard! For the amount of time I was there, I only managed to skimmed through the bottom quarter of Central Park before catching the late afternoon bus back to Annapolis.

Along all the weekend walking around, I:
• Had a taste of New York style thin crusted pizza for 99 cents.
• Went to a steak house that let’s you order steak by type and ounces.
• Had ramen, twice.
• Walked past multiple Trump buildings/hotels.
• Saw a dude roaming around Broadway traffic on a mini skateboard.
• Had strangers saying bless you as I crossed a traffic light and sneezed.
• Over heard lack people throwing the N word around in their convo just like on TV and shows 😄.
• Experienced New York rain which changes direction every 5 seconds.
• Forgot to go see the Empire State Building so I had to go back to look for it. Turns out with the amount of Skyscrapers in town, it doesn’t really stand out at all.

New York City was an amazing trip! I am definitely keen to come back and explore more of it in the future. I took a lot of photos over the weekend but haven’t had a chance to move them off my camera and edit them so here’s a quick one of the Empire State Building that I took on my phone. I will post more photos of the New York trip as I go through them!

If you have managed to read my entire wall of text and made it here. You are now my favorite person and I would like to cement our friendship over a meal or drink ♥️🤣😂

By Benjamin Huang

Software developer, photographer, gamer, food junkie and music lover.

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