Autumn in NYC


Alex and I spent almost two weeks of September in New York, and we just happened to catch the transition from summer into fall. Of course it would have been nice to know that would happen before we left, because we had zero rain-appropriate clothing, but alas. We still had such a wonderful time, both in NYC, where we were the first and last parts of the trip, and in the Hudson River Valley, where we stayed on our friends’ farm for the better part of the week. But more on that part to come. First, a recap of our time in New York City!

Upon arrival, I immediately killed my first lanternfly. This invasive species is all over the East Coast.

My friends Vijay and Anika were so generous in hosting us at their home on the Upper West Side. It was the perfect home base for our stay in the city!

Venturing downtown for our first dinner.

It’s a bit of a speakeasy hidden downstairs in the back of this bar…

Tokyo Record Bar! It’s a prix fixe izakaya that plays vinyls to pair with your meal! Each guest gets to select one song from the list by writing it on the chopsticks wrapper.

The dishes were great, but it was mostly about the ambiance.

A great way to start the trip!

The next morning, a giant Levain cookie for breakfast.

Down to the West Side highway for a visit to Little Islands.

We saw this last time we were here, but this was our first time actually walking over to the islands.

Chelsea Market.

I wanted to try the “Taiwanese beef noodle soup” but it was not very Taiwanese at all. Cute mahjong tiles though!

The Google Store in Chelsea.

A special Ruth Asawa exhibit at the Whitney.

Ruth Asawa is a Japanese American artist who is best known for these woven basket works.

But this exhibit focused on her many other forms of art: prints made by a stamp she took from the college’s laundry room; origami.

Persimmons and nasturtiums.

Always love the roof deck views at the Whitney.

A walk down to the West Village.

Afternoon tea at Té Company

Dinner with Alex’s friends at the members-only Soho House where I was definitely not supposed to be taking photos, oh well.

Morning session in Central Park! Where the pond was extremely green (the dog would later jump in) and the fountain was overtaken by a gigantic chess tournament. The photos still turned out great.

Over to Brooklyn for a visit to our Taiwanese American favorites. This was the line for Win Son Bakery, going down the block!

Luckily we were aiming for the Win Son Restaurant diagonally across the street, where we were seated right away.

Then down the street to the Yun Hai shop for some Taiwanese goods!

They’re known for their gourmet soy sauces straight from the makers in Taiwan, plus they’re the exclusive US distributors of Tatung electric steamers.

A matcha stop.

Some record shops in Brooklyn.

Picked up a couple from thus one.

Back to Manhattan, we got to stop by the reopening party for Yu & Me Books, an Asian American bookstore that suffered a massive fire in their original Chinatown location. This was opening day for their new temporary spot in The Market Line on the LES. We got to add our names to the big poster they had for everyone to sign.

We later participated in this auction benefitting the bookstore too, and we won the Goodfight x Vans letterman jacket pictured on the right!

Another record shop under the stairs at this market. And a little display by the Tenement Museum, featuring a Tatung steamer.

Another serendipitous event for this day in NYC: the Superfine Art Show. I have been a longtime follower of Taiwanese American artist Tracie Cheng, and I saw in her newsletter that she would be here for this while we happened to be in town. She provided tickets for us to attend…

And I got to meet her and also take one of her beautiful paintings home! So glad this worked out!

Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a Michelin-starred meal at Oiji Mi, just by walking in for seats at the counter. A la carte service, and everything was amazing!


Sunday Streets, NYC edition. They close down several blocks for pedestrian traffic only.

We met up with Alicia for brunch and a show… West Side Story, with the new Spielberg-direct movie on the screen, accompanied by the NY Philharmonic.

I had never actually watched the musical or either of the movies, but I knew most of the music. It was great though! And so special to see it performed here in Lincoln Center, where the whole musical takes place — the Jets and Sharks are fighting over the neighborhood that’s about to get razed to build Lincoln Center. Very interesting and ironic.

Rainy day trek out to Queens…

To visit Alex’s 85yo aunt!

And over to Long Island City to visit his other aunt and uncle and cousins (half of them actually live in California, but we all happened to be in town at the same time).

Of course we flew with mahjong so we could play with all our friends, haha.

Then it was time for us to take the train up to the Hudson River Valley for the farm portion of our trip. First, a bagel for our journey!

The new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station was very very nice!

Part two with our farm stay will follow, but fast forward to our return to Manhattan! A trip uptown to Alex’s old favorite, ROKC (Ramen, Oysters, Kitchen, and Cocktails).

I wanted to try the Thandai flavor at Van Leeuwen, but they said it had been sold out for a week. Oh well. Pistachio then.

And finally, on the last day in New York, I decided to go get my phone fixed at the Genius Bar, haha. Well, we wanted to visit the Apple Store anyway. My front camera had a bunch of dust trapped under the glass, so they actually replaced my whole entire phone screen to fix it. Nice! While awaiting the fix, we wandered down to Grand Central (where there is actually another Apple Store).

Lunch at this food market, which served “Taiwanese lu rou fan” that somehow looked more like a poke bowl. It was good, but did not match expectations at all, haha.

And that was it! Time to roll out! Visiting the very enormous and fancy new United Lounge at Newark on the way out.

Stay tuned for part two of the New York trip!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She embraces any excuse to travel. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at