My last stop in the USA was New York City. The bus drive from DC to NYC was roughly 4 hours. As a cliché as it sounds, my first glance of the city was its skyline. As we crossed through Jersey into the Lincoln Tunnel I got a perfect view of the its skyscrapers.
I got to the city around 4pm on Thursday, so as soon as I got off the bus I walked my way up to Harlem (where my Airbnb hosts were waiting for me).
On my way through Central Park I passed by Broadway, Times Square, the Museum of Modern Art and a lot of tourists. After leaving my bag at my room, I decided that I’d get to know the city just by walking around it. My hostess told me to buy a one week subway pass, around USD 32, super helpful in order to hop on and off the subway if needed.
Little China and Little Italy were obliged spots to visit. Little Italy had all these restaurants and grocery stores that would drive any cooking enthusiast like me crazy. I sat down at Sofia’s Little Italy and had a glass of white wine and a wee plate of seafood, as if trying to “blend in” with the locals. Well, the Italians know how to interact with the peasants, it was funny and creepy at the same time how this middle age restaurant host talked to a group of tourists trying to convince them to have a bite at his establishment.
However, Little China was something else, it was crowded and louder, full of aromas and colours, with produce, meat, fish and other goods literally protruding from their stores into the streets. After almost four years, I finally had a steamed bun with lamb just like the ones I had in Auckland, NZ, soft, tender and full of flavour (as you can tell, food is always the highlight of my trips). Go to Grand St and Chrystie St, and just get in the Ken Hing Food Market or Nam Son, that’s a good taste of China Town’s foundations of its cuisine.
On Friday night I met up with my friend Patricio (another Mexican abroad) at East Village. We had dinner at Cafe Katja, lots of food, great prices and lounge-ish ambiance. Right after we went to the Il Laboratorio del Gelato where I had an amazing vanilla-cinamon-lavender something gelato, glorious.
Of course, as an International Relations enthusiast (and that’s saying little, I’m passionate about human rights and international relations), I had to got the United Nations building, Ground Zero, Trump Tour (aye, you bet your arse I said “Hi” to the orange dude), the Natural History Museum, among other historical places.
New York City indeed amazed me, it is bright, loud, flamboyant, liberal, multicultural, epic. In times of Trump and desperation (Aye, those words do go together), NYC, just like San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, DC, serves as a beacon of solidarity, diversity, tolerance and freedom.
Ps. Trump finally became the 45th president of the USA… I have a bad feeling about this.