New York City

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be back in Singapore; to be surrounded by people bursting with positive energy.

If not for some people I had to live with in the US, I’d never have appreciated the fact that my friends are all such kind, wonderful and happy people. Can’t wait to meet up with them! Being around people who emit bad vibes all the time can be so crippling and life-endangering; it’s like having ten dementors suck all my happiness away.

Anyway, it feels damn good to bask in the love of my parents, too. My father bought me hokkien mee and popiah on my first day of arrival. So sweet! And my mum’s been taking care of me since I fell sick, thanks to coughing passengers on the plane. I might miss Spiritual Countdown if my sore throat continues.

New Yorkers are largely angry and hostile people. NYC’s terribly overrated! Service staff are mostly rude, the streets are lined with trash, the subway’s old and dilapidated, and people spit on the streets. Honestly, I’ve got no praise for NYC except for its fabulous museums, parks, theater scene and public libraries. I must also give credit to helpful strangers whom we sought directions from. Other than that, NYC’s in a shambles. They need to relearn their manners and stop generating so much waste!

A little warning here: I’m gonna overload you with photos galore!

nyc-rotten-apple

Haha. At least they still have some 自知之明。Where will the US be without China? Virtually everything in the States is made in China, and this keeps prices low. If not, they might see more beggars on the streets. We saw quite a few in NYC, both black and white. They usually hold up cards that read “HOMELESS. OUT OF JOB. NEED HELP.” One white woman beggar vocalised her plea by chanting that out.

nyc-hostel

I live out of my suitcase. The hostel staff are no-nonsense and unfriendly, quite like fellow New Yorkers. The Hispanic housekeeping staff are slightly better though. It’s a very utilitarian, unquaint place. Nothing like the cosy hostels we read about, where guests would all have homemade breakfast together amidst gossip and banter.

nyc-nat-history

Please lor, just tell your citizens not to buy and throw out so much to help slow climate change. Pardon my cynicism, it’s an NYC aftereffect. The museum was huge and impressive, but I got quite warm and irritated after walking around in three layers of clothes that I eventually peeled off. Suggested admission for students was $11, but I paid $3. Heh.

nyc-col-uni

The many majestic buildings around campus were very awe-inspiring. The snow rather dramatizes the effect, doesn’t it? And all the leaveless trees around. So Hogwartsy!

nyc-c-park

Central Park is damn chio! And yes, I know the photos I take are so postcard-perfect. My trusty old Lumix nearly died!! I dropped it a few times in Oklahoma and the LCD blacked out. I was already scouting for a new camera when it sprang to life again, whew. Tame squirrels aplenty in Central Park. And I can’t believe people actually feed them! Haven’t they been taught in school that they shouldn’t feed animals in the wild simply because they can find their own food and that feeding them would disrupt food chains in the ecosystem??! Tsk tsk.

nyc-subway

…makes me damn proud of our MRT. Actually, the appalling conditions of many American public infrastructure (airports, especially) make me feel so proud of what we have in Singapore. Our airport really is world-class. Anyway, whatever you do, please do NOT fly United Airlines. (Never mind the cabin crew who looked like we owed them a million dollars each.) We got delayed due to a mechanical fault and missed our connecting flight to NYC, hence wasting one night’s stay there. Never mind that, too. They put us up at the Holiday Inn, only after a long wait and a very rude, unapologetic ground staff who went “I can’t compensate you unless the computer lets me, you know. I can only compensate if it’s a mechanical fault (This woman didn’t believe me, nor a fellow passenger who was queuing behind me). Do you understand what I’m saying? (like I bloody can’t understand English) If I just compensate you I’ll lose my job, I’ll get fired!” As if I cared, really. All this was said without a word of sorry. The only compensation we had for all that trauma was one night’s stay at Holiday Inn (I’d sue them if they made us sleep in the airport), a $15 meal voucher, and a $100 voucher for future United flights which I definitely won’t use even if you point a gun at my head. I’m sure you won’t get this shit with Asian airlines. Any Asian airline. They’ll apologise profusely and make sure you get clean clothes to change into. We only had disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste in sachets. Sachets! That’s adding insult to injury.

nyc-fin-dist

That’s the Financial District, which was also teeming with tourists. A new foundation is being laid at the World Trade Center site. It’s been seven years or so, I wonder why the reconstruction’s so slow.

nyc-streets

Chinatown and Broadway. Our hostel’s only a few blocks away from the Theater District. We caught Phantom of the Opera at a 50% discount! Buy same day tickets at half price at the TKTS booth, near Times Square. It’s that big sloping red building that is impossible to miss. Daniel Radcliffe was in town to act in Equus, where he’d bare all… what a waste we didn’t catch that!

nyc-b-park

I bought some handmade gifts from local artists at Bryant Park. They cost me quite a bit, but I’m happy to be supporting local artists instead of big, man-eating corporations.

nyc-lib

I can’t get enough of its public library. Spent the whole morning there walking through the free but professionally-curated exhibitions.

superpower

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