The crowd was muffled by the sound of “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys blasting in my headphones. I looked around and took a deep breath. I couldn’t help but let out a smile in disbelief. Time was frozen and I, was in New York.
Somewhere between attending hackathons, conferences and visiting my best friend around the world this year, I found myself slowly becoming numb to the excitement of travelling. Something that I once eagerly counted down the days to, became second nature to me. I think a large part of why this came to be was because I realized the location of where I was never mattered, what I was doing did. But the bustling city that never sleeps took me by surprise. The excitement of travelling came rushing back to me. It’s been a week since I came back from my trip, but not a day goes by without me daydreaming about it.
I spent my first night in NYC walking around Time Square. My partner in crime, Shreya, and I checked out The VOID (Please check this out if you're into VR! Huge shoutout to my work for gifting me these tickets before I left! <3) and later on met up with some friends. We were all perfectly content with the aimless wandering, as the flashing billboards and lights blinked well past midnight. I wanted to keep exploring, but eventually, everyone got tired so we headed back to our hotel. We tucked ourselves in and I stared at the ceiling until I finally got used to the light pollution.
The next morning came around and we headed to Wall Street to meet the famous Charging Bull and Fearless Girl, but in return, we were greeted by the rain. So we quickly headed to SoHo and seated ourselves at a cozy Italian restaurant. A few hours went by and we found ourselves at the Rockefeller Centre, but the view was obstructed by the rain and fog. Therefore, we were encouraged to go back the next day. We then visited our friends at Major League Hacking and Spotify. Both of those offices were very welcoming, and catching the Behind-the-scenes of 2 companies that I adore so much was such an honour. Shreya and I parted ways shortly after as I headed to the Gershwin Theatre to watch Wicked. Watching Wicked on Broadway has been on the top of my bucket list since I sang Defying Gravity for my choir in Grade 8. Shreya had to meet up with her friends that evening, so I ended up going alone. It was the most heartwarming musical my eyes had ever laid eyes on, and it truly earned its spot on my bucket list. I’ll be keeping it on the list for a while longer because watching it once was no where near enough. I hung around Times Square for the rest of the night. I snatched some souvenirs and tried Shake Shack for the first time. I met Shreya back at our hotel room, we jammed to some music and shared some snacks as we Skyped her boyfriend.
We woke up early the next morning and met our friend at the Facebook office. He invited us there for breakfast and told us to come with a very empty stomach. We were lucky we did because their breakfast was a full on buffet. He then showed us around the office and snapped tons of hilarious shots of us. We then revisited the Rockefeller Centre and the view up there was jaw-dropping. Being able to stare at the Empire State Building from this distance felt surreal. Central Park was our next stop. We sat around for half an hour and decided that we would walk around some more. So we grabbed Joe & The Juice and proceeded to shop around together. It was a sweet ending to an unforgettable trip.
I’m currently in a love-hate relationship with this city. It treated me sooo well but now I’m left with a bad case of wanderlust. New York, I promise I’ll be back for you.
Huge shoutout to Li, Aimee & Sean for showing us around the awesome tech spaces in New York! Come visit Vancouver soon! <3