USA 2011 Part 6.0 -- Travis Chan takes New York (Kourtney and Kim who?)

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As our trip to the States is nearing an end how can I NOT visit New York City right?! *annoying bimbo accent* Like, totes!

You know how in that song Empire State of Mind, Alicia Keys be all like "THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN'T DO"?

Well, if there is anything that I can't do, it's getting anything for free!

This picture with Dora? Cost me $0.50. In New York, it's some sort of unwritten rule to give everybody tips, even for a simple picture like this!

Not that I'm very ungenerous or being like your stereotypically thrifty Asian but it just kinda surprised me. Not sure about the other places but from what I observed they only tip at restaurants! I'm sure Dora got a shock too because I kinda popped up behind her "HI CAN I GET A PICTURE?"

Train pix

When I first arrived in New York, and finally breathed in some New York air, ho ly shit.

Everywhere is practically super crowded and the roads are so extremely congested. Think Orchard Road on Sunday, but without the Filipinos and a crowd 10 times worse. Yep. The good thing, though, is that despite everyone telling me how dirty New York is, it actually isn't that bad.

Oh wait.

Your best friend

I forgot the name of the hotel we were actually staying at, but all I know is that it's located near Times Square and it's actually pretty shit. I can't really judge since it's my first time staying at a New York hotel but Eva's mum who has been here many times said that this was actually one of the better hotels! The TV doesn't even work!

The other hotels probably don't even have toilets or something. The sad thing is that even the shittiest hotels in NY are quite pricey.

Even the taxis have working TVs at the back of the front seats. They are also really squeezy at the back.

After putting down our baggage in our hotel rooms we decided to just generally walk around and stuff. We went to this restaurant called Ellen's Stardust which my mother highly recommended them via email because their waiting staff don't just serve, they also sing!

Apparently whatever tips that you give them contribute to the funding which provides the staff with singing and dancing lessons, and that they're just waiting to be discovered by the big guys. One of them was even a performer for The Lion King musical in 2007!

My blurry picture of grilled salmon with roasted potatoes and spinach which was guuuuuud (I accidentally wrote roasted spinach and potatoes lulz). Not to mention there was a bar there so *AHEM*. Our waiter was so fun too. He's this fat gay guy who sang Adele's Set Fire To The Rain!

After that we went shopping around the 5th avenue where they have all the big brands like Forever 21, Uniqlo, A&F etc. Once again, crowded as hell. Eva's mum even went into A&F where they took a polaroid of her with the hot model at the entrance haha! She was literally going like "WOW WOW WOW WOW" thank goodness her husband wasn't there

I saw this in Sex and the City! Now all we need is a horse in front of it.

I like that the stores have too much bloody space that they can produce such elaborate displays at the front. Maybe that's why the streets are always so crowded because onlookers clog the shit outta them

Legoooo check out the creepy lady in the glass reflection

We also went to see the Christmas tree at the Rockerfella plaza and this is me looking very cock:

Some cool shit going on on the building

We walked by Times Square on the way back to the hotel for the night and I was in absolute AWE. Just look at this:

Like Natalie Tran said, this is probably where light bulbs go to die.

In addition to the many firsts I've had in New York (including my first sex no I'm just kidding I'm gonna die a virgin) I've also had my first ever FORTUNE COOKIE!

Of course, we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Tastes like hooooome. We were even conversing in Cantonese and the level of Asian-ness was just too damn high there.

After excitedly losing my fortune cookie virginity, I guess sometimes in life, you'll get disappointments like these:



The next morning I could have actually gone on a hop-on hop-off bus tour to visit New York's attractions like The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building and all that but I decided to just ditch that because first of all it starts waaay early in the morning at 8am, and secondly I wanted to go shopping instead so yipee.

We went to a nearby McDonald's for breakfast in the morning and I tried a Peppermint Mocha there and it's naiiise.

After that we took the subway to Chinatown for shopping and lunch!

My Metro card

The Subway isn't as bad as some people put it to be, what with "it's like you shaking a can of coke" or something to that effect. It's like the normal MRTs here, but more dark and gloomy-looking which makes me very depressed.

Speaking of depression, even though I've never been to China myself, it sure looks a hell lot like how I would envision it to be.

Totally dirt-free.

I just never understood why every Chinatown in the world has to look like... well, that. Is China really that bad? Ok, maybe it is, but I'll see for myself when I go there in September. I don't think it's portraying a good impression though! Let's face it, even Singapore's Chinatown looks like shit.

Nonetheless, we went to this dimsum restaurant and the food was reaaaally good so that's one thing I cannot complain about. We then shopped around for cheap stuff here and there for the afternoon and they also bought stuff from the supermarket there.

It was FREEZING cold that day so I was dying while waiting for the adults to be done. The small kids even had ice-cream like they don't feel a thing in this retarded weather

After that we took the subway back where we went for a relaxing walk along the skreets before auntie May and Co. head back to the hotel room (I think the kids were tired) while Eva, her mum and I go to Central Park.

Asians walking on the skreets

It's so ghetto around here that even police cars have to be stationed at weddings. And yes I don't need no permission to take pictures of other people cuz that's how ghetto I am

I'm so fascinated by how nice their buildings are. If I were to play those build your own city games this is something close to how I would make them. Except I'd attach unnecessary genitalia onto every one of them.

Is this where Carrie Bradshaw lived cuz I don't see no stables

Cuuuute! The dog too #Bam

After a reaaaaallly looooooooong walk where we almost gave up and decided that we really lost our way, we have arrived atttt

The Central Paaaaaarrrrkkkk

BAM hello

This dog wins the noisiest dog award because if you've heard the way my neighbour's dogs bark the moment they hear my footsteps, this dog does it 10 times worse.

Very pretty lor I can stay here all day

The zoo which we didn't bother to buy tickets to get in to so we enjoy the parts that we see for free

I don't even know what to caption this

After that I don't remember what happened but I think we took a Subway back to Times Square and literally sat there for 20 minutes looking at birds because our feet were really tired (somehow I have a vague memory of us walking back there by foot actually but idk)

It's also because we were going to embark on another walkathon to the Macy's building which was... not really near from where we were, and that's because they had this huuuuge sale going on so why the hell not?

Can you believe this is a departmental store? CAN YOU

But that's the only picture I took of Macy's because it was SO crowded I'm not even joking. I might have lost my virginity in there. I ended up not really buying anything but I think Eva's mum bought some limited edition Michael Kors thing.

Another shot of Times Square


This really kewl Forever 21 billboard that had a live camera on it!! If you go apeshit the most the camera will even zoom in to you and attract all the unnecessary attention that you need!

Needless to say, the people with me went absolutely crazy (I mean come on, one of them is the manager of SG's F21 after all) and the camera zoomed in to us like 3 times!!! You'd think once was enough!

I wanted to play my I-don't-know-these-people card but I realised we're the only Asians there so talk about an oopsie whoopsie. Bonus points if you can spot me in the picture above hur hur.

Of course, being in New York, it is a total must to risk getting diarrhea and try one of the 9000 hot dog stalls around!

Other than the fact that there's way too much ketchup for my liking, I loooove it. Too bad the sausage was like really thin... kinda like yours!! (love you)

To end off the night, you know, despite the hotel being shitty and all, at least they put in the effort to create a Christmas-y atmosphere for us. A for effort.

We also had a little talk with the staff at the reception area and we had a very exciting conversation talking to them about Singapore's strict laws.

The one that really got them was the part when we said that the punishment for possessing drugs is death. YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE PRICELESS LOOK OF A COMBINATION OF AWE, SHOCK AND HORROR on the woman and when the man beside her even went to nudge her elbow after that I was like EH HEH HEH HEH crackwhore

Unfortunately that was the end of our lovely adventure to New York and the next day we took a train back to Baltimore.

As a whole, New York is just like Singapore -- multiracial. Except the former is way dirtier, way more populated, but let's be real, the people there are way more friendlier too! My kind of people!

The trip to New York was generally a really fruitful one! I liked the adventurousness that we had because we risked getting lost just to get to places by foot.

We didn't want to take public transport because we wanted to simply look and observe the surroundings and immerse ourselves in the lovely chilly weather. Although our feet were pretty much dead I don't regret it at all. I sound like one of those travel people from Lonely Planet.

I also take back what I said about New York being not as dirty. It turns out that the dirt people talk about is something... slightly more invisible -- the air.

By the end of the first day my nails were REALLY DIRTY. I'm talking about loads of black shit under your nails within a timespan of a few hours. Even my nose was producing more pi sai than usual, and the icing to the cake (mmmm, how appetising) was how even the pi sai itself looked dirtier.

The greatest takeaway for me from New York was not looking at the beautiful attractions, the food, the people, the shopping -- none of that. Instead, it was none other than the fact that I managed to get a glimpse of the infamous Mr. Death, the Grim Reaper himself:

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