The Center of the Universe

What a week of excitement!

My heart is still pounding from all the excitement that had passed this weekend. You will know about it soon as to why.

After the funeral, the traveling back and forth to Dallas; made my body and mind jaded. Then I had to work 3-days in a row (which was really exhausting to do especially being on my feet 12-14 hrs per day) All of this for my 4 day trip to NYC. My first trip out of state for the year of 2019.

I looked forward to it for weeks. This trip got my heart racing! I haven’t been to New York City until this past weekend. I left a piece of my heart in that hustle, bustle of a city.

I told myself, I’ll travel to NY once and that would be it. A one time trip to cross it off from my bucket list.

When I hear the city, New York, nothing really sparks about this place but the idea of seeing the New Year’s ball drop or the Rockefeller Center during Christmas time. It’s always the holidays that bring out the highlight of this city (i.e., Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street.) Other than those two things, nothing else intrigues me about this city. Why? Mainly, this city is covered with concrete; tall buildings, the hustle-bustle lifestyle, the fashion, and the lack of outdoor activities that I truly love as a source of adrenaline rush. I’m more into connecting with nature than with the human creations.

When I landed in New York after several hours of flights and layover in Atlanta, I was extremely exhausted. In addition to the lack of sleep, the night prior to my trip; to do my laundry and pack my stuffs, I was working with 2.5 hours of sleep! Yet, my body and mind were trying to be energetic to see what the hype was all about.

I landed on a cold, rainy day in New York. I took a lyft from the JFK airport to Time Square Center where my hotel was booked. The ride took about 1.5 hours due to the rush hour traffic and due to the weather. (I arrived around 3:30pm) Which I didn’t mind and took it as a chance to take more naps and at least, have enough energy for when I see my boyfriend. In and out of my naps, I would look outside to see the houses and buildings that composed the West side of New York. The houses looked simple and similar to the ones in Texas, except maybe they are 10x more costly. I could never afford one. Hence, this city is the perfect spot for vacation not living for me.

I booked my hotel at Novotel, which was centrally located in Time Square Center. It was walking distance to a lot of things! Bars, coffee shops, restaurants and venues are just a couple of blocks away. It’s a must that I live a block or two away from coffee shops. It’s my addiction that I will never/willingly compromised. Ha!

The first thing, I have had done as soon I arrived in my room was to look outside my window and to see my view of the city. It was quite decent. I could see people walking in Time Square (look like little ants from afar except with clothes!) The tall structures intrigues me and how their architecture differ from the other buildings. (Reminds me of my trip to Singapore, but that city/country is far more beautiful than NYC, I must say.)

Then I took a few pose for my memory album for this trip and posted it on facebook to share my experience with all my friends and family. A picture overlooking the city with a quote that came with it.

I look out of the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance. -Nora Ephron

Texans are slow paced compared to New Yorkers. Every one has a mission in their mind, a route to go, a business meeting to go to, an event to attend, etc. Walking really fast, sight straight ahead and not a smile noted. The only people who were smiling and with a happy demeanor, I would say are the tourist like myself.

The weather got colder. The rain had stopped. The wind was blowing at 16mph. I got hungry and so my boyfriend and I decided to try the famous ramen place in Time Square, Ippudo Westside. The wait was at average of 30-35 minutes per party. Whilst waiting, we ordered hot sake to get us started for the night. I’m not a big fan of drinking any kind of alcohol. I can’t handle my liquor and I get tipsy from a sip! A sip! Nevertheless, it is a trip, one must be a little tipsy to have ‘more fun.’ Somehow, I managed to finish a big serving of sake without falling down, face down first…aha

After our wait was over, we were escorted to our table. At this time, we were famished. We ordered our ramen and I got the Akamaru Modern.

This ramen has the original pork broth; thin noodles topped with Ippudo’s special blend of hot spices, topped with pork chase, cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, scallions and fragrant garlic oil. For a $16 ramen this was surprisingly good. I’ll give it a 8/10 rate. The service was impeccable and I love the cozy ambience of the restaurant. Makes me want to eat more food. It has that homely vibe to it where it make you feel you’re eating at home.

If you’re into ramen. Definitely, give this spot the chance and let me know what you think?!

The second stop for the night was a place called, Faces & Names. A few blocks from where we were at. We went to meet his co-workers, whom all started their happy hour right after their last meeting from the seminar. I had the pleasure of meeting his manager, the director, and other co-workers that he work with on a daily basis. Two particular co-workers I had the pleasure of talking to them and even gotten to know them better by the end of the night.

The first guy was the director. He is an Australian transplanted to Texas for work and it’s been 2 years since. He moved his whole family due to his work, who offered him good title and salary. This man is almost the spitting image of my dad! Tall, broad shoulders, dirty brown hair, and with beer belly. Although, my dad does not drink, but he do love his food hence the big belly. We introduced ourselves again. The first time, I met him was when I picked up my boyfriend in a restaurant in my pajamas–I didn’t have the courage to get out of the car to formally introduced myself due to my night attire. I was totally caught off guard.

He remembered the first meeting and how I told him I am not coming out of the car because I’m wearing my pajamas. He laughed out loud and we shook hands. He remembered our first, short encounter. Very impressive memory, I must say. He kept teasing my boyfriend and I how I should not stay with a guy like him and find another one who is worth my time…and my boyfriend would come up to me and hug me and tell me, “You can’t leave me for someone else. You are mine and I am yours.” So cheesy!

Often I would be that person who remembers every single detail about someone during the first meeting from the dress, demeanor, conversation topics, and etc. For me to meet someone, sort of, like me who is so keen with details, surprised me. I like this kind of people.

He was a fatherly figure towards me except the more liberal version of my dad. He offered to  buy me a beer and I kindly refused beer, but wine. He got me a glass of wine which was serve in a serving bottle which he has no idea what it was for. It was really funny. He is more of a beer drinker than a wine. So the night of fun commenced~!

The second guy was my bf co-worker. This man works in the merging department. To be honest, my bf explained to me what people do in the merging department in layman’s term…yet I couldn’t remember the detail just the whole idea of it. I work in the healthcare field, anything relating to other spectrum of career other than my field, I cant remember brain is not keen into remembering them.

He is an interesting guy and let me tell you why: he is an Italian born, raised in Scotland. He has the Scottish accent to which I really love and kind of obsessed about. Yet the Italian culture is ingrained to his daily life. He loves Italian food, he loves cooking, and he is a family man who totally dotes his wife and children. During this page, I will nicknamed him the ‘Scottish man.’

We found a spot in the bar and talked about ‘How I met my boyfriend’ He found it funny how my boyfriend and I met online and now both totally in love with each other. After hearing my story, he shared his first dates, experience with his gf then, now wife, and how they started dating. He told me he met his wife at a UN function in Italy, how he was immediately mesmerized by her beauty and got the courage to approach her. Their story was a whirlwind romance, I’d say. It only took them one month to get to know each other, dated and eventually got married. All of this was done so that he could earn his green card to move with her back to the U.S.A. He suggested to my boyfriend to marry me and he will have a happy life. My boyfriend joke how if he did that route with me, he and I would have been married for 4 months now.

The whole conversation went on like this:

Scottish man: Are you two going to have a catholic wedding?

I looked at my boyfriend, whom smiled and blushed. I blushed too.

Me: I guess, we are getting married. We are going to have a catholic wedding too.

Scottish man: You don’t have any say at this *points at my boyfriend* If you want a happy wife, you must do whatever she wants. If she wants a catholic wedding, she will get a catholic wedding.

Me: Better heed his advice. I will have a catholic wedding just for my family. It’s part of my culture and religion to have a wedding in a Catholic Church *followed by laughs*

Boyfriend: She wants a catholic wedding, she will get it. *laughs*

He then proceed to ask me, “So are you two getting married soon?” I replied, “I’ll propose to him because he is taking forever to buy me a ring so I’ll do it for us.”

We all laughed.

The pressure that was put into my boyfriend was extremely high–to buy an engagement ring, propose and wedding. I did not want to put any of that onto him especially when we are only about 5 months into dating. He got my drift though. That I am serious and want to marry him eventually.

One hour into the hang out, I got hungry again. I am such a foodie and I have a black hole for a stomach…So I decided to order my second dinner and treated his co-workers to a next round of drinks on my tab. My boyfriend’s boss gave my boyfriend a certain look when I did it which at that time I didn’t pay attention really. He was surprised maybe because I’m paying for everyone? I’m independent enough and I can afford a few drinks or food too.

The food at this pub was surprisingly good! I ordered pulled pork sliders and curly fries. The two new friends ordered their hamburger with curly fries too. We enjoyed our dinner while sitting next to each other and complimented interchangeably as to how good the pub foods were. At this time, the Scottish man mentioned about this ice cream place called Grom. He said that ‘it is the best ice cream that you’ll eve try.’

I was not too optimistic about eating ice cream during this time especially its too cold for a dessert when it was 32F with a 16mph wind chill.

After we finished our food, the boss paid the drinks that they’ve ordered and I tried to pay my tab, but then he said, “Did you got our food and drinks on your tab too?” And I replied, “Yes and no worries, I got this.” And he said furthermore, ” Let me put it on my tab and we can use your boyfriend’s travel expense of $90 per day. We can all combined our tabs and it will be all taken care of by the company.” Which it made sense so I let him pay for everything. Let my bf use his work expense budget.

Then off we walk outside through the cold, winter night in Time Square to Grom, which was located by the Columbus Circle. If you know where that is, it is only few blocks away Faces & Names. The director came with us since he got nothing else to do but hang with us. Few minutes later, boom, we arrived at our destination. The director ordered mango sorbet, the Scottish man ordered plain vanilla topped with cream, and I ordered two scoops of ice cream: pistachio and vanilla. First spoon was good. It was surprisingly good.

In line to order our Grom ice cream. Picture above is my boyfriend at the front, to the right is the director and behind my boyfriend is the Scottish man.

I’m super full after this order of ice cream. I can’t tell you how bloated my body was. I suggested to my boyfriend to walk around Time Square to burn calories and help with our digestion.

In front of the Novotel, we parted our ways. They went inside to rest for the night and fly back to Texas the next morning whilst my boyfriend and I continued with our shenaniganS; walked towards Time Square Center.

The weather got even colder. I do love the cold weather, but I feel bad for my boyfriend who’s body can’t handle this temperature. Nevertheless, he was a trooper and walked with me. Took pictures for me. I modeled and he took the snaps. We asked passerby’s to take our ‘couple’ pictures together for memory.

Time Square Center has many nicknames one of them would be ‘The Center of the Universe’ A place where people from all over the world come to visit and experience the Big Apple.

I saw people walking. Laughing. Joking. Taking selfies. Kissing. Everyone are having the time of their life. It was a scenery that I wouldn’t mind watching everyday. Love is on the air ❤

You know what people say about New York City: It’s a helluva town. It’s a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. And as Billie Holiday once sang, its “glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel” make us feel like were home.

The walk in each blocks were full of things to do: shopping stores, restaurants, coffee shops and etc. It a fun place, never bore.

Something’s always happening here. If you’re bored in New York, it’s your own fault. -Myrna Loy

One of my favorite artist Frank Sinatra made me fell in love with the idea of visiting New York the first time. In one of his famous song New York, New York. No other song has captured the pride and elegance of the city quite like this one.

New York, New York by Frank Sinatra

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m eagling today

I want to be a part of it

New York, New York

These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray

Right through the very heart of it

New York, New York

I want to wake up, in a city that doesn’t sleep

And find I’m king of the hill

Top of the heap

These little town blues

Are melting away

I’ll make a brand new start of it

In old New York

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere

It’s up to you, New York, New York

New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps

And find I’m a number one, top of the list

King of the hill, a number one

These little town blues, are melting away

I’ll make a brand new start of it

In an old New York


If I can make it there

I”m going to make it anywhere

It’s up to you, New York

New York

New York

I had looked into the the meaning of this song and it says:

The lyrics, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere” sum up what many New Yorkers feel about their city: competition is intense, but success their is richly rewarded and very satisfying. The song stresses personal responsibility in the line, “It’s up to you, New York, New York, ” as it’s a place where you can’t expect a handout but have an opportunity to succeed no matter who you are. This song also popularized New York as the “City that never sleeps, ” which is true in the literal sense that many businesses are open 24 hours but also in the figurative sense that you are expected to always be at your best.

What an eventful night with my love. It was totally worth the early morning, hours of travel and lack of sleep just to be with him; to experience the new culture. We made more memories together…stories to tell for our further children, perhaps, or just for the memory sake. Ha!

Our shenanigan ended and finally went back to my hotel.

There’s something being in New York where I just felt like eating nonstop…so I ordered a dessert and had it delivered to my room then call it quits…

To be fancy, one must order a Badoit water.

Goodnight. First night in New York story ends now. Until the next post 🙂