New York City

Travel with Riva | New York Part 3

Wow, we've come a long way. Finally, I'm ending this trip already. It's been, what? Almost two months. So let's just finish this already. Ha!

Day 4: This was the day we walked the most. We pretty much explored most of Lower Manhattan then Brooklyn. Pretty much at this point, we've nailed the subway system. We started our day with the One World Trade Center. All I can say you'd feel that sense of mourning and grief when you go this place. "Always remember". After the Trade Center, we walked along Wall Street to the famous old Delmonico's building. I can't tell you enough how I admire the architecture design in NYC. It's so rustic and so rich in culture. 

After Delmonico's, we walked all the way to the port to get on the ferry that will take us to Staten Island so we could see the Statue of Liberty. Guys, that's what you should do, if you want to see Ms. Liberty for free, just get on the ferry roundtrip and you'll see her. It's small but at least you get to see it. It took almost 45 mins to get back to the port. Then we walked to City Hall, starting point of Brooklyn Bridge. I remember it was so chilly that day. We were worried we're gonna be freezing on the bridge. Brooklyn Bridge is stunning. Lots of tourists, so timing is crucial to get that photo without photo bombers. Luckily enough, it wasn't windy at all that could blow us over. Ha. The walk was a lil over 1.1 miles. Barely noticeable if you're taking photos at any opportunities you get. 

Since Brooklyn Bridge takes you to Brooklyn (well duh), we went to see the famous DUMBO. Not the elephant, but the place. Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. I highly recommend that you check out this spot. 

Day 4: 31,936 steps, 12.67 mi

Food places we tried: Black Brick Coffee, we had donuts and coffee for breakfast. Please do me a favor since I did not do it, go check out the back, they had a nice patio. Freakin cute. Then for lunch we had japanese at Kaede. Not the best but when you're super hungry, anything will do. I had Momofuku Milk Bar in the afternoon. OMG, it was so good. Cerealsy, you have to try it. 

Day 5, our last day. Where I didn't take photos at all. Since it was our last day, I just wanted to savor the city. We went back to Central Park and visited a bit of Upper East Side. 

To me, NYC is definitely one of my favorite cities. Though I haven't been to a lot, I will never forget NYC. I absolutely enjoyed the hustle and bustle. Just like I said in the first post, it reminded me so much of Manila, where I grew up. I don't know if I can live here, but I sure want to try (given the favored circumstances). I don't know if I can imagine living here in the winter though. Haha. I'm sure it's breathtaking but man I heard the cold goes straight to your bones. 

If you want to see all my travel pics on Instagram, just check out #travelwithriva

Talk later!



Travel with Riva | New York Part 2

I've been stalling this for three weeks now (started typing this last week, hopefully I publish it today). Insane. There are two major reasons why. 1.) life is so busy that it just got in the way of blogging and 2.) cuz life moves on no matter how much I try to hold on to these memories, it's time to do it. Aren't you just grateful for photography? There's also a huge part of me dreading to write down everything that I could possibly remember from this trip. LOL. I mean, it's NYC. A trip I will never forget. 

Where were we at?

DAY 3:  It's Manhattan Day! I think Central Park is the highlight of our trip. I can see myself spending my free time here, jogging (i mean, once in a blue moon I try), reading, and/or people watching. You'll see and meet a lot of interesting people in NYC, that's for sure. California is rich in nature sight seeings, and being in Central Park gives me that homey feel even if it's in the midst of the city. And gosh, this park is HELLA huge. You can seriously spend an entire day here. It does remind me of Golden Gate Park except the trees and the greenery are so luscious! No kidding. It's a vibrant green, not a moss green. See, difference? Don't get me started with the cherry trees. Ugh. They were everywhere! And they're utterly gorgeous! I just had to do a lil bit of a photo shoot, cuz I could never ignore it. Warning: lots of green coming your way!

After Central Park, we headed straight to Washington Square Arch which is right next to NYU. There were hella people. Lots of students, tourists, performers roaming around. And it was a gorgeous day too, so can't really blame them. 

After the arch, we walked down south to SoHo. We did a lot of walking that day. So I'm just gonna leave this post all of Manhattan and conclude this trip on the next blog. Cuz seriously, this post is overloaded with photos! SOOOO Ho ho! I knew before coming that I was going to go gaga about this district. About them cast iron building tho... Damn straight from the magazine brah! I could seriously see myself photographing in the streets of SoHo. 

We also went to this most Instagrammed alleyway, Freeman's. It's stinkin' cute and very eye-candy. So while we're roaming the streets of SoHo, we found out that Kevin's favorite, Tori Kelly was in Brooklyn and snapchatted this photo of a wall. "Cmon, we have to go there! We might meet her!", he said. In my head, "what, are you crazy?!" (he doesn't read my blog anyways so baha) and yas we did ditch SoHo and went straight to Brooklyn in high hopes that we might meet a famous celebrity! *smh* of course, it was negative. At least we got a nice sunset view from the dock. 

I told you so many photos! It's really hard to not share ever single photo. We pretty much stayed in Brooklyn after sunset then we went to Finnerty's to watch game 5 of Warriors against Houston Rockets at 10. (We closed out the first round and look where we are right now, Finals Game 2! GO WARRIORS!) I was totally beat that day. No kidding. 

Day 3: 28, 641 steps 11.93 mi

Food places we tried: Toby's Estate Brooklyn for breakfast and coffee. This place has the coolest shelves. They also get really packed around 9ish so you're lucky if you can grab a table. This is also right next to Madewell. I love Madewell so I wanna point that out. :P For lunch, we went to this pizzeria, Champion PizzaI don't think it's the new york style but I loved it. I had the BBQ chicken and White Pesto. Freakin' gooood. We had another cup of Joe at Happy Bones in the afternoon. Before going to Finnerty's we just went to hotdog at Papaya Dog. If you want something quick and cheap, you might just wanna grab KFC which is just across the street. LOL. After Finnerty's, we had to get another round of Halal Guys. cuz guys, it's halal duh. bomb. com. 

Travel with Riva | New York Part 1

It's been one week since we've been back from our trip. To say that I was amazed and inspired by the Big Apple is an understatement. I've always wanted to go to New York ever since I moved here. I've seen New York in movies countless of times, heard songs about it, stories from friends's vacation over there, knew people have moved there, it seems to me that New York is a must place to visit. 

Thank God (I do not say this lightly because all to Him I owe), we've finally stepped foot on the city that never sleeps. This truly is a trip I will never forget. I grew up in Manila, so I've been a city girl since I was born. No province to visit or spend summer vacations at. It's always been in Manila. New York reminded me so much of Manila. The crowdedness, the busyness, the traffic, the public transportation, the energy! So many similarities but of course New York has a whole lot of different vibe going on. It's just unique and very special. There is truly nothing like New York. 

We were in NYC for 5 days. For a first time, I think it was enough to see all the tourist spots. Oh boy, did we go to most of them. Months prior to our trip, we did our research, screenshot several places, took notes when it comes to food places, coffee shops  to try, and prepared for the cardio we're about to do. Oh my gosh. If you're about to go to NYC, make sure you bring your most comfortable sneakers. They have to be sneakers unless you have the most comfortable flats in the world, then go for it. But you have more support with sneakers. 

I am telling you right now, the whole five days, we've walked a total of 40 miles, averaging to 25-28,000 steps a day. A DAY. I know sounds about right with all the places to see. We arrived in JFK, a little after 2 in the afternoon. I told myself I'm gonna blast Taylor Swift's Welcome To New York when arrived, oh you bet did. I wish I could post my snapchat videos here! (do you know a way? please lmk!) 

Are you a visual person? Cuz I am. I just really want to post all the photos here. Ha! I do want to break it all down for you and explain every little detail, but I figured since I took a week on Instagram just highlighting the places we visited, go ahead and check it out. 

But a breakdown on this Part 1 post:

DAY 1: We took the cab to our Airbnb place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (this is totally my hood. Even though I lived in the city my whole life, I prefer living in the suburb area and Williamsburg is the place!) After getting settled with our stuff, we headed over to Manhattan via subway. If you live in the Bay Area, you know how Bart or Muni (though I don't ride this on a daily basis), you know how easy our railway system is. The MTA in NYC is a different story. It's a maze! It's confusing, you freakin' need a compass and a map to figure it out BUT you will figure it out. The only we took the cab was coming from the airport. The rest of our trip was all done via subway and our two feet. I mean, 40 miles, friends. We got off at Grand Central Station, and geez, this place is like a market. Everyone is just going to different directions. 

Our first meal in the city was Shake Shack (sorry no photo, I don't think it was even worthy.. :P), and it's no In n Out that's for sure. I don't even like burgers but I like In n Out, so that tells so much. We wanted to see the Public Library before we went to the Top of the Rock, unfortunately it was closed. We walked a few blocks to the Rockefeller Center, I was actually anxious cuz it was already cloudy and the golden hour was about to set. Thankfully, Kevin was persistent that we should do it. The view from the top is absolutely breathtaking. We prolly spent like an hour wait just to get to the top and it was AMAZING. I know I have nothing to compare it with, but man, I was so glad we went here. It was worth the bucks and wait. 

Since the sunset was around 7:40, we were able to capture NYC in golden hour and night time. After that, we just started walking to Time Square. Along the way, we saw Radio City, Today Show, NBA store, and the Philippine Embassy (represent) So, TSquare is lit. lol. "But the lights were so bright but they're never blind me." It was literally bright with all the Jumbotron billboards/ads everywhere. Can you imagine how much energy or electricity they pay a year?? I heard they never turn those off. Walked around Hells Kitchen and Theater District then had a drink at Beer Culture before we went home. 

Day 1: 13, 961 steps, 5.63mi 

Food places we tried:  Shake Shack (Grand Central, very packed especially rush hour), those carts that sell barbecues on a stick (5 bucks, meh taste no bueno), Beer Culture (have good selection of craft beer) 

DAY 2: This was museum day! It was gloomy and rainy so we had to go indoors. We were debating between Natural History Museum or the MET (this was definitely my one and only choice, lol). Selflessly and regrettably (haha, sorry Bub :P), I conceded and went for Natural History instead. It was good, so much hiistoryyyyyyy for sure. 

We finished at the museum around 2ish, and it started drizzling a bit. We wanted to try the Halal Guys and the closest was at Upper West side. I bet all New Yorkers would highly recommend you to try this one. And it's soo gooooood. Be easy on the hot sauce though, it'll be hell in your mouth. Lol! After lunch, we took the train to go to Flat Iron district, from there, we walked towards west to explore Chelsea, High Line and down to West Village. We did a lot of walking in the pouring rain. Thank God for the Apple Store on West 14th that provided us a good shelter and a good charge. Why didn't I buy a Mophie for this trip??

After the rain, we headed to OST Cafe for some coffee and then took the train to Little Italy. From Little Italy, we walked along China town to Bowery to Katz Deli for dinner. Yes, that was a long walk. I swore, I thought my feet were about to give up! That's why, comfortable shoes, friends!

Day 2: 25, 816 steps, 10.89 mi

Food places we tried: Sweatshop: coffee shop in Brooklyn, their donut and their bacon and egg sandwich are good; Halal Guys: GO HERE. Just try it once, it doesn't hurt that it's cheap, you get full and it's good; OST Cafe: East 12th, please check out their tiles. it's wicked. I've seen a lot of instagrammers/bloggers go here cuz the shop is just so quaint. Their latte, can't complain; Katz Deli: someone didn't tell us that their sandwiches range from 20 bucks and above, so Kev and I shared a pastrami cuz we're a bunch of cheap skates, a matzo ball soup (and the pickles were all mine). Everything was GOOD. I am not a burger/sandwich person (ah you bet, im a rice kinda girl), but their pastrami is hella good. and that matzo ball omggggg; and Teddy's Bar and Grill: this place is literally right below our place where we stayed at. Cuz it's New York, we got dranks here before we capped off our day. 

Highlights from our trip posted on Instagram @rivaramos

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