Thanks to the $100 Amtrack voucher I still had (it dropped from $200 :( —I guess I waited too long to use it) I won from last year’s Her Campus conference, my sister and I rode the train for the first time to NYC with my parents, who had taken the Amtrak to NYC earlier this summer.
The ride itself wasn’t as exciting as I had anticipated. Having ridden the high speed train in China, I expected the same experience. Unfortunately, as my mom pointed out, the trains in China are so much better. Better ride, better scenery, better price.
When we arrived at Penn Station, we took the subway as if we were locals :) Thanks to Google Maps, we knew exactly which trains to take (first A, then L) to Union Square. The Hyatt Union Square hotel was just around the corner of the station. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with the interior design. Unlike the hotels in Europe (ahem, Italy), this NYC hotel makes fantastic use of the limited space it has. The rooms are small but designed so smartly and artistically that you can’t help but feel impressed.
I didn’t take a photo (my mom definitely took many), but I’ll try to tomorrow. Or if you can’t wait, take a look at its website.
Shortly after our family friends from Boston arrived and checked into their rooms, we walked along Broadway, enjoying the sights. My friend literally bumped into her uncle’s girlfriend in the middle of the streets of NYC (seriously, as they were on the crosswalk). Holding a bag from Eataly, a name we recognized from Rome, she told my friend that we would love it.
Of course, we did. The place was packed and all but two of us (including me) gave into the temptations of the amazing gelato. Somehow, I had managed to resist getting my own because of my stronger desire to get boba. I just want my boba!!! I did sample my sister’s chocolate chip and my dad’s coconut and cherry gelato. Even better than some of the gelato we had in Italy. Really.
Soon, we made it to Koreatown, where I would later meet with my other friends from Boston. Since I was early, I joined my family and family friends for dinner at Mew, the hip underground Japanese restaurant next to the one I would later go to. I tried the okonomiyaki and wanted to eat more of it so badly, but I knew I had another dinner soon next door. I only had two bites of the delicious savory and sweet pancake, but I would return again just for that.
The dinner at Cho Dang Gol was pricey. A mushroom and tofu casserole cost ~$42, and stone bowl bibimbap $20.95. Not sure why this place is so popular (it was packed and we had to wait at least 10 minutes despite having a reservation) for such expensive dishes.
I guess every decent establishment in NYC is bound to be packed. When we made it back to our hotel, we made the quick walk down to Momofoku Milk Bar—because what else is there to do in NYC other than eat?
Little did I know, there’s no sitting space inside, and there was a rather long line out the door.
We tried the three things that were mentioned the most on Foursquare—cereal milk soft serve, crack pie (in soft serve form because the actual crack pie is enough for a meal), and the compost cookie.
Ahhh. NYC is such a food haven, especially compared to the food desert that is Maryland.