Getting Sentimental in My Favorite City: NYC


Christopher Cross was right. “If you get caught between the moon and New York City, the best that you can do is fall in love.”

There was something magical in the air as my family traversed the busy sidewalks of New York City and the snowcapped Upstate New York on the other side one November. “Lovely” is not enough to describe the feeling about the place. Being the pop culture person that I am, I always see NYC as the favorite backdrop of thousands of Western films and series. That is why being there was truly amazeballs! 

Apart from enjoying NY, on this trip, we were also reunited with my aunt who has been living there since I was in grade school. She is my godmother and my late dad’s first cousin, who also had shared some childhood memories with me, albeit short. She resides in Long Island with her family. We stayed at their comfy home with a sprawling garden and a huge backyard pool. I liked that they have various plants, vegetables, and fruit trees. My aunt made sure we had a great stay.

Long Island is a bit far from the city. We took the train from my aunt’s place to NYC. It could take an hour to get to the city, excluding the waiting times at the stations. In a short period, I was able to remember the routes and the complexities of the NYC Subway. But it was more of my husband’s navigating efforts, honestly.    

There are so many pleasant things to say about this first trip to NY, and I don’t know if I could write about all of them. We took so many photos, and I’m sure they wouldn’t fit in a story. The experience was truly an overwhelming wonder.

Two of the most unforgettable events I experienced was the opportunity to be on the audience of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Another one is the trip to the heavenly Niagara Falls. Jimmy is my most favorite talk show host. He can sing, dance, act, do comedy, and live talk. Being a looker is a plus. I’ve liked him since watching him with Drew Barrymore on Fever Pitch, followed by his other comedy flicks later on. It was Star Wars fever at that time, so John Boyega was his guest to promote the movie. Jimmy was two meters apart from me during the ending segment, where he had to greet and shake hands with the audience seated on the aisles. Too bad I wasn’t on the aisle! 

But let me backtrack a bit. My husband and I had to line up at chilly 5:45 a.m. in front of the NBC Studios building (Rockefeller Tower) to get tickets. The staff of the show told us to line up again at around 2 p.m. at the NBC Store inside the building. We needed to bring the passes as proof that we are entitled to line up for this second “screening.” We had to wait in line for about two hours then they’d let us in the actual studio lobby. They prohibit big bags, backpacks, handheld devices, and cameras inside the studio. We waited for another hour in the lobby before the staff ushered us finally into the studio. All the audiences were told to follow the prompts and instructions. The staff looked like the guys in Men in Black. Hehe… Upon Jimmy’s usual welcome entrance, my husband and I were both starry-eyed! I was pinching myself in excitement. I couldn’t believe I made it there! It was a goal I was setting myself to do. “Thank You, Lord!” I told myself.

The next stop we couldn’t forget was the trip to Niagara Falls. It was majestic! I was in awe the whole time. The mood was perfect. Everything there was like paradise. The air was crisp and refreshing. The water was so clear. The rainbow never disappeared. It was windy but fun! God made a masterpiece in Niagara. The other side of the falls is already part of Canada. 

Again, let me do a rewind. From the city, it took us nine hours to drive and reach our motel in Niagara. We arrived at around 9 pm. We looked around for restaurants, and every place was closed already. But 7-Eleven was our lifesaver. For breakfast the next day, we drove to the nearest casino complex, which housed cafes and restos. Thank God there was Tim Hortons. Then we went to see the falls and spent half of the day there. After lunch, we stopped by an outlet store, where I bought a piece of black DKNY bag and a DKNY wallet which only cost me USD 49. What a steal!

As we drove back to the city, I became emotional again as we saw snowflakes falling on our windshield. We went further down the road. We saw tree lanes, houses, and fields covered by blankets of snow! What a magnificent sight to behold! I could hear Bing Crosby’s song, “White Christmas,” playing sweetly in my mind.

The best that you can do is fall in love.

A rare chance to visit the UN Headquarters in NYC. Thanks to an uncle who works there.
Niagara’s majesty with a rainbow that seems to never disappear.
So tall and mighty.
Braving the winds!
Like a Christmas postcard.
Christmassy feeling.
That obligatory shot to say you really went to NYC!
Central Park. Also a centerpiece of many movie scenes.
That’s Big Bird resting under the shade at Central Park.
Central Park is a beautiful sanctuary in the middle of a bustling city.
The night market at Bryant Park is crowded at night. Christmas music is in the background. What could be more Christmassy than this?
 Part of the ultra-glossy Times Square. Never gets boring!
 The sunset at Ellis Island.
Food stalls are popular and convenient in NYC. Busy times are lunch and breakfast. Most office people line up to get tasty and affordable food.
The only proof I was there!!!
NYC at night. A view from the top of the Rockefeller Center.
Coney Island. But it was closed for winter.
 Brooklyn Bridge has separate walking and bike lanes.