I thought I should write about my trip to NY in December 2011. I've already forgotten what it was like so better late than never.
So as these often goes, it started on a whim. I had money saved for no particular reason (not to mention I thought it'd be a nice graduate gift to myself) and Steph always wanted to go to NY during Christmas time. Before I knew it, we had booked a hotel and plane tickets in June. To be honest I wasn't crazy about NY before this. Mostly because of the Yankees and it's general over-confidence. How dare they say it's greatest city in the world. Anyway, I went because Steph really wanted to go and I thought why not. Traveling is traveling.
We decided to stay in Brooklyn. Steph was scared of bed bugs even though that had happened a while ago and it was cheaper anyway. We tried to get some friends to come but everyone chickened out so it was just the two of us which I didn't mind anyway. Please realize this was a big deal for me. For the first time I was:
- Traveling the farthest I'd ever been
- Traveling without my family
- Being away from my family for the longest time in my life
- Going on a plane for the first time in 10 years
- Spending the most money I've ever spent
- Basically being on my own for a week. No chores, no responsibilities. A real vacation.
Our plane left from Ontario airport at 6AM. Crazy right? But I was in charge of the flight and I got the cheapest I could find.
Okay so granted it was night so everything looked scary. But there was a lot of graffiti in the neighborhood. It was not a great first impression. The hotel was in Williamsburg which I guess is a "hip" section of Brooklyn with like boutique shops or whatever. The hotel is actually a couple of blocks away from the stores and more towards apartments, right next to the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). Anyway it seemed kinda scary even throughout the trip. So we get inside and it is tiny. It reminded me of a doctor's office building in Tijuana. Anyway, it was nice though. The people were really nice. They even had a bellhop guy. We finally made it to our room at the top floor, lie down, relax, unpack a little and then take off cuz we were hungry. Like I said, we had done (or more like I had done) some serious research. Turns out there was a nice Italian restaurant right behind the hotel. We asked the bellhop exactly how to get there 'cause we didn't want to walk around at night. Turns out the back exit stair led literally right next to the restaurant. Super convenient.
It was super quiet outside but we walk in there and we're greeted with very loud very happy people. It was crazy. The restaurant was skinny but long and everyone in there acts like they're family. Everyone is standing up and kissing each other on the cheek, speaking Italian, cursing in a happy way, hugging..ect. I felt like I was in the middle of a Sopranos episode.
So overall it was a pretty amazing night. Just being in a different place and seeing different people (their Brooklyn accents were so cool--not the taxi driver). And that was our first day/night in NY.