Last weekend, I hopped on the Greyhound bus at 12:30 p.m. and headed to New York City. I thought it would be relatively fast, but the bus ride ended up taking way longer than expected with Wi-Fi that didn’t seem to work.
I attended three Zoom classes on my phone, listened to music and talked to my friend Liora for the six-plus hours on the bus. The ride was supposed to be five hours, arriving in NYC at 5:30, but I ended up arriving at my friend’s apartment around 7:20.
I hadn’t been to NYC since February of 2020, when I worked there. I forgot how intense the city is upon first entry. I stepped outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and saw tall buildings, hundreds of people and an endless string of taxi cabs.
I felt a bit intimidated. I had never been to NYC simply for enjoyment. When I lived there, I usually had a go-go-go mindset. But, my mind was moving a lot slower this time, taking in the view that once felt so familiar.
I hopped in the Uber and drove past buildings I used to walk by every day and even my old apartment. I felt nostalgic as I listened to music on my AirPods. All the emotions I felt during my time working in the city suddenly came flooding back. I felt excitement, nervousness and that anything was possible. To me, NYC is the place where dreams can come true and there are endless opportunities.
It’s funny how a different mindset can change the way you view and feel about a place. I was visiting my friend this time around and planned to enjoy everything the city has to offer. We began our night with dinner at the best Thai restaurant I have ever been to. I ordered salmon with veggies, and boy was it delicious.
We stumbled across a cute gelato place after dinner and got one scoop each. I chose matcha after being indecisive for about 10 minutes. That flavor may sound weird to some of you, but I am a matcha lover. We ended our night with a movie.
The next day, we explored NYC and ate at a cute restaurant with dumplings and bao buns. This restaurant sparked my bao bun obsession and I have ordered them twice since I came back to Boston. We continued walking around and got chai at a hip chai place my friend had been raving about and headed to Bryant Park.
Bryant Park is one of my favorite places in NYC, especially during the winter. It was beautiful to see the sun shining and people out and about. We enjoyed our time in the park with my good friend Lexy and headed to Penn Station to try Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding. I had never tried it, so I knew I had to.
The flavor of the month is carrot cake, and I am a carrot cake lover, so enough said there. We ended our beautiful day with movies, fries and salad — the best ending to the night.
The next morning, I stopped at a bagel place with my friend on my way to the train station. I had never tried a New York bagel. But the one I had lived up to the hype — exceeded the hype, even.
I said goodbye to my friend and headed to board the train with half a bagel in hand. I boarded the Amtrak, put in my AirPods and ate my bagel as I watched NYC get farther and farther away.
I felt a sense of contentment because my short trip to NYC was the most wonderful time. I spent it enjoying every moment to the fullest.
The ride back to Boston was quick — there was Wi-Fi and I had my own space. Upon arriving at Back Bay Station, I called an Uber and took a breath. I looked around at the calm-ish streets, with people moving slower than they did in NYC. I took a moment to appreciate life and the different places I have traveled to. I think everyone can agree — there’s no place like home.