A Softer New York


My first impressions of New York are always of the grimy streets and subways and the overwhelming number of people everywhere. The hustle and bustle has a commanding presence and an allure– that concrete jungle where dreams are made of. But first impressions aren’t always everything.

My boyfriend Ernie moved back to New York in January, and we’ve been in a coast-to-coast long distance relationship since. So we packed my visit to New York with plenty of adventures. We jumped all over the map, did a lot of walking, traveled by bus, subway, train, boat, and car, and ate a lot of really good food. But through all of our daily escapades, I don’t ever remember feeling busy.

The feeling I remember is quiet. Calm. Subway naps on Ernie’s shoulder. Lying around thinking about what to do the next day. Sitting under cherry blossoms and enjoying the amazing weather. I wonder if New Yorkers often get to see through the churning of the city and get to enjoy this softer New York.

To kick off the images: springtime evident in the trees.


The best part of Da Vinci’s work is the texture. It reminds me that an artist’s hand was there to shape every winding stroke.


Pausing for a moment in the Met, overlooking the first floor below.


Manhattan at magic hour, shot from the Staten Island Ferry. Hard to imagine it’s rush hour amidst those golden buildings.


This may be my favorite photo, and Ernie took it. The soft focus of the buildings, balance of the composition… there’s something airy and comforting about this image.


And finally, a skyline view of the city lighting up at dusk.


The very long recap, just for me:

Friday: picked up from JFK at 4pm, take subway into Chinatown, cheap eats wonton soup, walk to soho to buy outfit, LIRR to house. Saturday: drive to Westchester, cemetery with Ernie’s relatives, drive to Battery Park, meet up with Mona, drive to Jersey, dinner with Ernie’s mom, drive to Upper East Side, Duke final four game w/ Talya & Yiffy while Ernie drove car back to Long Island, meet back in Forest Hills, stay at Talya’s. Sunday: 5am to Chinatown bus for Boston… Monday: 4pm bus from Boston back to NYC, flat tire, 3 hours in parking lot of Mexican restaurant in East Hartford, CT, actually arrive back 10pm, taxi to Village Pourhouse to meet up with Paul Yen, Duke champions! while walking with Paul, run into Lawrence, subway back to Bed-Stuy. Tuesday: drive to Long Island, get stuff, change, shower, tape room, buy yellow paint, get sandwich from deli, paint room, eat dinner with Ernie’s fam, drive back to Bed-Stuy, free movie- Greenburg, not very good, in Chelsea. Wednesday: very very hot Brooklyn Day, subway to Chinatown, walk to Soho for Old Navy flip flops, 5/$1.25 dumplings, walk across Brooklyn Bridge, walk to DUMBO, sit in cafe, subway down to Coney Island, Nathan’s hot dog + fries, subway back up to Prospect park, sit under tree, walk around Park Slope, subway down to Bay Ridge, way too much all you can eat sushi. Thursday: Baohaus interview with Eddie Huang, meet up with Vince, walk to Vince’s, mani-pedis, Met, Ernie’s 2 slices, my Pinkberry, bus over to west side, Staten Island Ferry and back, meet up with PKY at Corner Bistro, walk to Magnolia’s, nothing there! subway back to Bed-Stuy through Williamsburg. Friday: noon Lombardi’s pizza with Vince, eat at park next to Lombardi’s, walk to Chinatown, Bahn mi in back of jewelry store, Vince’s apt, walk to Magnolia’s, walk up through High Line into Chelsea, Joe’s coffee shop, walk to Shake Shack, subway to Ippudo, 3 hour wait, meet up with Michelle & Godwin, drinks at some Korean bar, back to Ippudo at 10pm, ramen, meet up with Paul & Stacey at St. Mark’s, Thirsty Scholar, back to Bed-Stuy. Saturday: 530am drive to JFK