An Empire State of Mind

It feels good to be back in New York City! Why do they call it the Big Apple anyways?
The last time in was in NYC I was running around the city on a mission to explore all that I could in two days. This time it’s different. I’m here visiting a friend (who lives in Long Island), so it’s been nice exploring the city more like a local. 

NYC is really just Manhattan. I’m convinced that the rest of boroughs just really aren’t part of this city, they can basically be their own little cities! Also NYC is like Toronto on some very hard drugs! The energy, the people, the traffic… I could never get used to this!

The best way to explore Manhattan is on foot (and a few subway rides). Spring time is the perfect weather and the parks are wonderful to relax in when you need a break. We explored mostly the touristy areas – Broadway, Times Square, NYC Library, and then settled down for a leisurely break in Bryant Park. I love the idea of parks in highly urbanized areas; it’s like an oasis for people watching!

The NYC subway however isn’t as pleasing of an experience. Not only does it mostly stink of urine, be careful of your belongings and weary of people. I’m not one to be paranoid but when in NYC I become very paranoid (I might have also watched too many episodes of Law and Order). The subway system here is old and a lot of the trains are run down. I’m scared to even hold on to the poles, imagining the millions of year old germs that infest these subways cars. However cabbing here is not an option unless of course you are Carrie Bradshaw.

For the first time I got to experience NYC’s Koreatown! They actually have stores from Korea (like Paris Baguette) so I was in nostalgic shock, plus the norebongs (karaoke rooms) were also identical to ones in Korea. However the prices were not. 
It was also the first time I got out to Brooklyn which is the scene of the hipsters. I still get confused with NYC’s boroughs but after going to Brooklyn I finally noticed that the architecture, restaurants, fashion and even the people are different. New York city will always confuse and overwhelm me but it’s a great city for a getaway. But too much of it might give you an urban hangover!

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