bright lights and cityscapes: new york photo journal

Hello!

Admittedly, I’m pretty much the worst blogger ever HAHAH. I promised I'd keep a photo journal series over the whole trip, and look how that turned out. I’m really not used to carrying a camera around or taking pictures of everything, and often I have to remind myself to document the moment. It’s kind of an adjustment, really, because you have to change the way you interact with the world around you (my art professor calls it “seeing photographically,” or viewing events as a series of potentially capturable moments). But give me time; I’ll get used to it.

I was there five days but I took around 500 pictures, so to save you from scrolling through my entire camera roll, I tried to condense it as much as possible. I chose ones that really express the feeling of being in New York; it’s especially gorgeous this time of year, in the transition between seasons.

DAY 1

We're back in the city! Something about the vastness of New York always feels very comforting to me, rather than intimidating, and I can't help but feel excited seeing the city lights from the plane window.

I never, ever get tired of this view

I never, ever get tired of this view

The New York skyline is one of my favorite things. Or any skyline, really. Knowing that each light is a window into someone’s life is kind of poetic. It’s amazing how small it makes you feel, when you’re looking up at the towering skyscrapers around you. And seeing it all lit up just makes the city look so alive. I take entirely too many pictures of just buildings, but these are a few of my favorites.

DAY 2

Not a terribly exciting day. It's mostly just us walking around, getting reacquainted with the city and recovering from jetlag. But there's always something to see in New York, and I love that even the most uneventful days feel full of life.

The skyline at sunset

The skyline at sunset

DAY 3

Good morning! It's a beautiful day in Manhattan, and we head straight up to the roof of my aunt and uncle's apartment building to see the sun peek slowly over the buildings. The whole city is drenched in the morning sunlight and it's breathtaking.

Views

Views

We don’t go back to New York too often anymore, so we don’t see a lot of our family on the East Coast. But in honor of me, my mom, and my sisters all being in town, all of our relatives from all different parts of New York and New Jersey come in to see us! It's lovely, and as usual, madness, with about 40 of us occupying the entire upstairs balcony of a local noodle restaurant.

We go to Chinatown to visit my grandparents (who are adorable and just learned how to text on iPhones, so they frequently send me emojis), and have dinner and dim sum with them. They’re always convinced I don’t eat enough so they’re always putting food on my plate and refilling my teacup, so every time I eat with them I end up feeling regretfully full. Also, the language barrier makes communication a little problematic, and half the time I don’t even know what I’m eating…I just cross my fingers and pray it isn’t heart or liver or stomach or something.

I like poking the crabs they have the markets but the people there usually aren't very amused

I like poking the crabs they have the markets but the people there usually aren't very amused

Chinatown is so colorful

Chinatown is so colorful

Dim sum is one of my favorite things, primarily because everything is so cute and little, like the Chinese version of high tea.

Dim sum is one of my favorite things, primarily because everything is so cute and little, like the Chinese version of high tea.

We venture to SoHo post-dinner, which is this really hip neighborhood with really cool street art, because it's close. Almost everything about it is Instagram-worthy, including the Museum of Modern Art Design Store, which is a cross between American Apparel and IKEA.

My sister, immersing herself in the contemporary art of the concrete jungle

My sister, immersing herself in the contemporary art of the concrete jungle

DAY 4

My mom and my sister jet off to Boston to look at colleges, but I stay in New York to enjoy two more precious days in one of my favorite cities in the world.

I recently got an internship in New York that I’ve been working remotely, so today I finally go into the office to meet my boss and my coworkers in person! They’re a really cool and fast-growing mobile beauty startup called [Gloss and Glam], and they have a cute little office in midtown. They even have a mascot:

Working this internship means everything I do revolves around the beauty industry/makeup artistry AKA my personal version of heaven.

Working this internship means everything I do revolves around the beauty industry/makeup artistry AKA my personal version of heaven.

D A Y  5

And finally, the last day is spent being touristy and walking around the city. I spend some time in Washington Square Park, which is filled at any given time with artists, students, actors, piano players, and street performers.

So rad.

So rad.

Look at the COLORS.

Look at the COLORS.

And I demanded that I get dessert at least once on this trip (which, let’s be honest, isn’t enough), so my friend Caren takes me to this cute little café/bakery called “Amy’s Bread,” which has amazing hot chocolate, and we walk around midtown.

Hot chocolate, a blondie, and Earl Grey cookies (they tasted exactly like the tea!)

Hot chocolate, a blondie, and Earl Grey cookies (they tasted exactly like the tea!)

DAY 6(ISH)

Today, it's back to California after a very tiring two-hour train ride to the airport at 6:30 am. Naturally, the first thing we do when we land is get In-N-Out (Shake Shack is great, but it’s just not on the same level). It was a great bite-sized trip, and I always think of New York as my second home, but you know, nothing comes close to the Golden Coast (not sorry for the Katy Perry reference).

Until next time, New York!

 

Edit: There was a next time! I liked it so much I interned there for a whole, glorious summer...check it out:

THE CALIFORNIAN TAKES NEW YORK

part I: adventures of trying to be @erickhercules

part II: i ♥️ museums

part III: the city that never sleeps