Tag Archives: USA

Wandering in NYC

Like last November in LA, before hitting Bangkok for a long work break, I took a detour to New York City. Unlike the LA trip, there wasn’t real agenda for it. Well, frankly, it was just to check the box that I had been there. The city wasn’t disappointing and neither was it as exuberant as it was hyped, I found.

I had some glimpses of the city twice: once in Queens last year and another one in Brooklyn on the way back to DC from Moscow. They were only overnight and my observations were limited. This time, four nights staying in the Bronx and wandering in the city gave me clearer thoughts about it.

Swamping Starry Night at the Museum of Modern Art

The first two days were mostly in museums: MoMA, Museum of the Moving Image and MoMA PS1 respectively. With those, there were beers in between.

After done those, I was at U2 concert at Madison Square Garden. It was spectacular but not so memorable. Post-concert, I got a chance to sit down for a beer in an open-air bar. The summer breeze helped calm the buzzing chaos. And my mind started to process the experience of the city.

Street food after U2 concert at Madison Square Garden

In the midst of the bright lights and busy street, it felt like everyone and everything was shouting at you but no one really cared to listen. It was hard to see contrasts I usually was drawn into. Until I ended up having long island iced tea at a Japanese karaoke bar across the street. It was a sanctuary from those noises.

Karaoke bar upstairs on 7th Avenue

However, the best of the city to offer was 24/7 subway system. It was convenient for a late-night drinker like me but it didn’t feel 100% safe to ride the night train back with plenty of beers and cocktails.

Night train back to the Bronx

After all of those seeing and drinking, it was time for my own photo shoots. I waited until late afternoon on the next day to go out. I walked from Chinatown to the Oculus and ended at Brooklyn Bridge.

Having a break in Chinatown, NYC

Obviously, NYC was more photogenic than LA or DC. But with those days in the city I just could not find anything really appealing for my eyes. But I was just scratching the surface and might not have been at a right spot for my taste.

It took around four hours from DC to NYC on a coach or a train . I could take that for granted by visiting Big Apple more often. But honestly, I wasn’t that thrilled about it and just didn’t see the point. Because this short trip didn’t add anything significant to my perspective neither did it inspire me that much. It would remain the biggest city in the US and maintain its cool but I wasn’t sure how it’d go further from it in the future.

(Update: 2 August 2018)

Beers in LA

One of some few things I liked about living and working in the States  was beer. I was curious to see what east coast had to offer when I got to LA last November. And it wasn’t a disappointment at all. On top of that, there was a good guide to take me for a pub-crawl—my nephew.

Angel City IPA, Angel City Brewery

The first taste of the local, Angel City IPA, was a brief introduction at a pub next to Egyptian Theatre before the movie. Unfortunately, the only choice I prefer at that same night at the Thai pub was Blue Moon. So, it didn’t count.

The day after we had a big yum cha lunch with my cousin and his family. And his son offered me to be a guide to the local breweries in Art District. We got to Angel City Brewery, Wurstküche, and Art District Brewing Co. That was one of the best things in the trip for having good drinks and chat with a right person. Moreover, what made it so special was that the person was your own relative you hadn’t met since we were little kid.

Somehow, it wasn’t enough. After parted with the family, it was still early in the night (with three hours time different from DC). I got down to the Brickyard pub to get some more beer. There, no beers on taps, no worries. It was a chance to explore from bottles. And I got some journal written and digested my thoughts on the trip so far. I had been full on. By the end of the night, I was pretty smashed.  Well, there were nine different beers I had that day.

The morning after, the plan to get out somewhere, like a cool café by Venice beach to write something, was scrapped. I stayed in the room for the whole last day of the trip. However, it really didn’t feel like I needed to do anything more. Considered missions accomplished.