Tag Archives: New York

20 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year Living in New York City

I have been living in New York City for about a year now and I would like to share a few things I’ve learned about living in this amazing city.

  1. Sidewalks are often uneven.  Watch where you walk, especially if you wear open toe shoes.
  2. In addition to walking, sidewalks are for trash and it can be smelly.  However, some buildings wash down their sections of sidewalk in the morning.
  3. It is a well dressed city.  It makes you want to dress well and look nice all the time.
  4. You have to tip everyone who works in your apartment/condo building during the year end holidays.  Although it is optional you will get reminders though emails or flyers.
  5. The weekend subway schedule is confusing, for example, the A train runs on the C track.  So, read the posters and listen to the train announcements on the weekend.
  6. You will love delivery services and will use them more and more.   You can have pretty much anything delivered to your apartment.
  7.  There are a lot of free events though out the year.   For  example, free museums on Friday nights, free museums on the first weekend of each month (sponsored by Bank of America), and Shakespeare in the Park (in the summer).
  8. Summer outdoor movies are very popular.
  9. Expect to wait in line for a long time when shopping at Trader Joe’s unless you get there early in the morning.   There is only one Trader Joe’s wine store in the city in Union Square.  You can get beer at all Trader Joe’s stores through.
  10. You will learn to get fruits and vegetables from the stands on the streets outside your apartment.
  11. Starbucks are everywhere.  You can find them in almost every corner, literately.  Some of them even open 24 hours.  However, I prefer local stores that make great latte.  My favorite is Stumptown at the Ace Hotel (expect to wait in line for a long time).  They really take their time making your coffee.  They also serve Doughnut Plant donuts.
  12. The subway is not the cleanest in the world but you can take it almost everywhere in the boroughs for $2.50 a ride.
  13. Williamsburg is hip and full of young professionals.   I prefer living in Manhattan though.
  14. It is somewhat true that you won’t really find New Yorkers in Times Square unless they work in the area.   I have to walk through to get to work.  In the morning it is nice and quiet but in the evening it is very crowded.  I went to the Swatch store in Times Square last week and the sales person there made the comment “we don’t get the locals here.”
  15. All the street fairs in the city have the same food and merchandise vendors.  The only exception is Smorgasburg in Brooklyn which has local vendors.
  16. There are so many good restaurants to try.  Many of them, you will have to wait in line (unless they take reservations).  Food is more expensive here, in general.  For example, Chipotle is more expensive here compared to other cities.  One exception is Trader Joe’s which sells their products at the same price in all their stores.
  17. There are a lot of smokers, especially on the sidewalks.
  18. TKTS Booth is for tourists.  There are other options getting discounted tickets to the shows, for example, Today Tix app.
  19. There are Duane Reade stores (owned by Walgreens) on almost every corner.  They are not the cheapest but the most convenient.
  20. There are still many areas and neighborhoods I have yet to explore.   Who knows how many years it will take.

A Nice Brisk Fall Day

It was a nice brisk fall day today perfect for the running of the 2013 New York Marathon.  I went to Central Park to get a glimpse of the race.  There were a lot of people cheering along the route.

I enjoyed walking around the park seeing all the colors.  Here are a few pictures from today.

The Mall, Central Park, New York
The Mall, Central Park, New York

 

Central Park, New York, NY
Central Park, New York, NY

 

 

The skating ring also opened but wasn’t crowded.

Central Park in New York, NY
Central Park in New York, NY

I saw a person in a Big Bird costume sitting in a park, so I took a picture.  I thought it was interesting.

Big Bird in a park @ Central Park, New York, NY
Big Bird in a park @ Central Park, New York, NY

 

Birthday Lunch at Eleven Madison Park on October 12, 2013

I celebrated my birthday this year at one of my favorite restaurants, Eleven Madison Park.  It was a 15-course meal and it took 3.5 hours to complete.   Eleven Madison Park is one of seven 3-star Michelin restaurants in New York City (2013).  We have been there 3 times and we sat at the same table every time, Coincidence?

Me at Eleven Madison Park
Me at Eleven Madison Park – same table every time

Here are all the dishes (in the order they were served).

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Cheddar (Savory Black and White Cookie with Apple). It came in a white box presented as a present.

 

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Oyster (Grapes, Bulgar Wheat, and Sorrel)

 

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Beet (Pickled with Yogurt and Nasturtium)

 

Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar)
Salmon Mouse in an Egg Shell

 

Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar)
Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar).  Before opening.
Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar)
Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar).  After opening.

 

Bread with Two Types of Butter (one is a regular butter and the other one is a duck fat infused)
Bread with Two Types of Butter (one is a regular butter and the other one is duck fat infused)

 

Foie Gras (Seared with Rye Bread and Condiments)
Foie Gras (Seared with Rye Bread and Condiments)
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Carrot (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments). They made fresh carrot tartare at our table.

 

Carrot (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments).  You mix and match all the ingredients and sauce to your liking.
Carrot (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments). You mix and match all the ingredients and sauce to your liking.

 

Lobster (Poached with Brussel Sprouts and Guanciale)
Lobster (Poached with Brussel Sprouts and Guanciale)

 

Squash (Roasted with Cranberries, Chanterelle, and Sourdough)
Squash (Roasted with Cranberries, Chanterelle, and Sourdough)

 

Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries).  They took the whole duck out to show us.
Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries). They took the whole duck out to show us.

 

Smoked Duck Sausage and Beets
Smoked Duck Sausage and Beets

 

Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries).  This is the main dish from the whole duck shown above.
Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries). This is the main dish from the whole duck shown above.

 

Grrensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes).  They came in a basket and you took everything outa yourself.
Greensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes). They came in a basket and you took everything out yourself.

 

Grrensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes).  These are what inside the basket.
Greensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes). This is what was inside the basket.

 

Malt Cart
Malt Cart

 

Malt (Egg Cream with Vanilla and Seltzer)
Malt (Egg Cream with Vanilla and Seltzer)

 

Apple (Sorbet with Bay Leaf Creme Brulee and Hibiscus)
Apple (Sorbet with Bay Leaf Creme Brulee and Hibiscus)

 

Sweet Potato (Cheesecake with Honey and Chestnut)
Sweet Potato (Cheesecake with Honey and Chestnut)

 

Pretzel (Chocolate Covered with Sea Salt)
Pretzel (Chocolate Covered with Sea Salt)

 

Chocolate (Sweet Black and White Cookie with Cinnamon)
Chocolate (Sweet Black and White Cookie with Cinnamon)

As a bonus, they gave us a jar of granola with a menu to take home.

A Jar of Granular and Menu for Take Home.
A Jar of Granola and Menu to Take Home.

For drinks, we had a half bottle of 2011 Maximin 2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Auslese.

2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Auslese.
2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Auslese.

 

4 Museums in 3 Days

On Friday, we visited MOMA in the evening since it was free from 4 PM to 8 PM (sponsored by Uniqlo).  The line was long but went by pretty fast.  It was my first time eating at the cafeteria on the 5th floor.  It was good.

On Saturday, we visited the  Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum.  There was a light show by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum.  It was amazing.

A Light Show by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum (July 2013)
A Light Show by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum (July 2013)

 

In the afternoon, we visited the Whitney Museum.  There was a cool exhibit there too.  Here is an example.

An Exhibit by Robert Irwin: Scrim Veil - Black Rectangle - Natural Light at the Whitney Museum (July 2013)
An Exhibit by Robert Irwin: Scrim Veil – Black Rectangle – Natural Light at the Whitney Museum (July 2013)

On Sunday, we visited the MET.  This is my 4th or 5th time visiting the MET this year.  They always have new exhibits every month or two.  This time, we got to see some new paintings.