I’ve gotten so many requests to blog about my recent trip to New York, so today is the day. I just got back from LA and OC on Monday (a bit lack of sleep and very tired), but I had to have this up otherwise I’d be so behind on everything! I am doing a ton of collaborations this month, and the holiday season is nearby. So let’s hope that things will go smoothly as planned!

You can see more of my trip in my Insta-highlights: here!

*Please note that this NYC trip is not necessarily the best way that I’d recommend everyone. Since I had been to NYC before, I wanted to make this trip a ‘brand discovery’ trip. I basically did a lot of window shopping, and I got to visit almost all stores that I had been lusting over for years, mostly from afar via Instagram and online only. I stayed at the Marriot in Manhattan for 3 nights with 4 friends and my boyfriend, so that helped with the cost a little bit. We did not plan out exactly what we wanted to do, so the details listed below might seem all over the place. We did end up walking a lot and entered a few subway entrances wrong. But it’s NYC for you.  Make sure to read it until the end for my thoughts and tips on how to prepare for NYC if you’re planning a trip soon.

DAY 1 – Friday Oct. 26

We took a red-eye flight at 11 pm on Thursday, Oct. 25, and arrived bright and early Friday, Oct. 26. It took us a little bit of time to figure out the  subway system and how the Metrocard worked. Since out hotel was in Midtown East of Manhattan, we basically took a straight train there which costed about $3. Prior to that, we took the AirTrain to the final stop at Jamaica and had to pay a $5 fee to exit. Don’t Uber because that would have costed $60! We booked a hotel room for 6 which came with two queens and a sofa bed at Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Midtown East for our entire stay. It was a pretty good deal since everyone only needed to pay about $250 each. My boyfriend and I got to our hotel first, so we left our luggage and went out exploring the area. 5th Ave. was just a few blocks away. & Other Stories was my first stop, and the overall store experience was so cool. I also checked out C.O.S, another sister store to H&M and & Other Stories, fyi. And I’ve got to say that C.O.S stuff was so much better! After this entire trip, I was a little disappointed that I did not get anything. We stopped by a MUJI store and got some snacks, went in DECIEM – The abnormal beauty company (read my blog post about the Ordinary products, owned by DECIEM, here), walked by the Public Library building, and then Central Park.

We reunited at Jongro BBQ, located in the second floor of a building in Korean Town. My feet kinda gave up on me at this point (I know, and it’s only day 1!). We Ubered back to our hotel and checked in our room. We took the subway to check out the Oculus at the new World Trade Center. It was such a cool futuristic and very crowded touristy place. So don’t ever be afraid to ask people to move so you could get the shot! We walked around the area and were headed to Soho since it was not too far of a walk. I got to go to Glossier for the first time, and it was special since I love Glossier’s branding so much for years. We got in Glossier just a few weeks after they launched their newly renovated store, but it was still such a cool store experience. Outdoor Voices, Allbirds, Revolve, The Flour Shop (bake goods), Opening Ceremony, Uniqlo, Acne were also so fun. I saw JonBoy, that Insta-famous tattoo artist, at Revolve. I think they were doing some type of events in there. After all of the crazy shopping madness, we got some soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai and left for some ramen at Toto Ramen.

NYC Public Library

outfit: shirt: Zara | jeans: GRLFRND | leather jacket: Allsaints | boots: Italeau (gifted) | bag: PS

Central Park

The OCULUS

outfit: sweater dress: Topshop | shoes: Rothy’s | jacket: Allsaints | bag: PS

DAY 2 – Saturday Oct. 27

Our hotel in Manhattan was just 2 blocks away from Ess-A-Bagel, so we braced ourselves in the rain and waited for 45 minutes for it. It was so well worth it! You can also order it in advance and pick it up in-store. I think it’s much more pleasant that way since the line is always so long. Grand Central Terminal was next. We took some photos, and little did we know it passed lunch time. I took the group to BoCaphe. I got this receommendation from Aimee Song from watching one of her NYC Fashion Week vlog not too long ago. She kept raving about their kinoa rolls, and that kinda got stuck in my head. *** BoCaphe’s food was so bad, and the service was horrible. I looked up on Yelp, and apparently they had 4.5 star reviews out of 900+ reviews. I did not really read the reviews in terms of the food and decided just based on the cute photos they had. OMG! Their food was not Vietnamese. The flavors were bad with poor execution in terms of all of the ingredients. Plus, everything was so over priced!!! All of us were really pissed, and I think I was even more pissed since I took them here.*** Anyways, we ended up in Soho again. Our group split up, and we went to different stores, shopping again. I went to Chloe, Celine, A.P.C, the Frankie Shop (recommended by Yealim, a fellow blogger at boboandbibi.com), Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Reformation, October’s Very Own, Lulu Lemon Lab, & Other Stories, C.O.S.

We got a table at Zenkichi in Brooklyn, since it was one the very few restaurants that had a table for 6 for omakase. The restaurant was quite dark and very zen,. Each table was separated in its own booth with a curtain. The dinner lasted for about an hour and a half. We did have an uni add-on for $10, and 20% tips were automatically charged. I thought their sashimi plates could have been more generous, but $75 for omakase in NY was such a bargain. I had no complaint! It was definitely a fun group experience, and Zenkichi did a pretty good job at having various types of food (cooked and raw fish dishes, soups, and fruits incorporated), service was fast and super friendly. The total came out to be $686.91, so it was about $115 per person. We Ubered back to our hotel and ended up ordering some pizza. I think we got it from Joe’s Pizza in Midtown.

Grand Central Terminal

outfit: Tshirt: Uniqlo U | pants: Uniqlo | belt: Uniqlo | sneakers: Reebok | bag: Proenza Schouler

DAY 3 – Sunday Oct. 28

We did not wake up at 6 am as planned but managed to make it to Brooklyn by 9 am. DUMBO was such an Insta-famous area, but we got to take a few cool photos. We walked to the famous Jane’s Carousel, got some coffee at the Butler Bakeshop , and were headed to the Brooklyn Bridge. We had dim sum at Golden Unicorn, located just across the Brooklyn Bridge. Half of my friends took the Uber there since they didn’t want to walk too much. But I highly recommend walking the Brooklyn Bridge. It was such an incredible experience since you couldn’t get views like that anywhere else. China Town was also so much fun! We got in our table after such a long wait and gave up on waiting for our chicken feet. We got much full from over-ordering, as always. We met a friend, local to NY, and he took us on a quick dessert tour in China Town afterwards. We had the famous jiggly Japanese cakes at Keki Modern Cakes, boba tea at Boba Guys (in Canal Street Market), and some bakery nearby.

My boyfriend and Joey took the train to check out the Comme Des Garcon store with the coolest store entrance, located in the other side of Manhattan, Chelsea. We also checked out the High Line, well, imagine walking this park on an afternoon break after a long day at work. It was quite futuristic and relaxing up there. We kinda ran out of time since Joey had to leave to the airport, so we made our last effort to check out Joey’s most-wanted store to go to, Century 21. Apparently, Century 21 was just like a Nordstrom Rack but for a much more expensive and more high-end designers. The one we went to was near Central Park. My boyfriend and I ended up walking to B&H (the very big camera store, hah!), a local consignment shop called INA and walked to our dinner spot, Momofuku Noodle Bar. Luckily, the wait for our table for 2 was only less than 30 minutes. We got seats right at the kitchen area where we got to see the chefs in action! It was such a cool experience sitting in the restaurant owned by one of my favorite chefs, David Chang. We got some pork buns (the best pork buns I’ve ever tried in my entire life.), braised ox tail with buttered rice and a poached egg (also was very good!), and spicy Hozon ramen (it was meatless, fyi.).

Some subway shots:

DUMBO

outfit: crop sweater: Urban Outfitters | leather jacket: Allsaints | pants in golden brown color: Everlane

Jane’s Carousel

Brooklyn Bridge

China Town

The below photos were taken in front of the Court House after exiting the Brooklyn Bridge. Make a right turn and walk towards China Town. Incredible architecture!

DAY 4 – Monday Oct. 29

 We took the subway bright and early on our last day exploring more of the Upper East Side where the MET and Solomon R. Gungenheim Museum were and the Upper West Side. We ended up walking in the Diptyque (my favorite French candle brand) and I was so closed to get their BAISE room diffuser. I had already added in my Christmas/Holiday wish list this year, so I will for sure be on the look out for it if it will ever go on sale. I tried on the red bottomed Christian LouBoutin since the store was also next door. I would definitely save up for a pair in the future, not now, since I had nowhere fancy to go. We walked through Central Park to the West side and had the most amazing lunch at at Jacob’s Pickles. Be really careful when you order since the portion is huge here! After lunch, we walked to the Ed Sullivan Theater (The Late Show Stephen Colbert) in Time Square just to see it in person from the outside, hah! My boyfriend is a huge fan of the show, so hopefully I’ll get to surprise him with a ticket to the show one day!

Our flight home was at 6 pm, so we got back to the hotel around 2 pm to get our luggage and headed to our last location in NY. We made our last stop and the Pod 39 Hotel to take a few more photos. It was free to enter if you just acted like you stayed there. We took the elevator to the rooftop and discovered the most amazing NYC views.

Solomon R. Gungenheim Museum – outfit: Free People shirt | Uniqlo pants | Reebok sneakers 

Pod 39 Hotel rooftop – lounge area – outfit: dress: Reformation | boots: Stradivarius via ASOS (sold out style, similar here)

Pod 39 Hotel rooftop – outdoor bar area – outfit: shirt: Realisation Par | jeans: Everlane | boots: 

I think I’ve covered pretty much everything, so hope you’ve enjoyed reading through. My favorites out of everything have got to be the Soho shopping area. I loved my dining experience at Momofuku Noodle Bar, walking the Brooklyn bridge, and got to check out in person all of my favorite shops. Central Park was so much fun, but we were a bit early for the fall colors. I wish I wore better shoes since there was so much walking involved. I drove and Uber the entire time when I was there last time. This second time, however, I was glad I took the subway and learnt how the subway system worked. I ended up not buying anything since I had to budget myself with two trips coming right after New York (one was to Headlands, read the blog post, here, and one to LA and OC, see my Insta-highlights, here.)

Thank you so much for reading. Have a great rest of your week!style and senses signature stay inspired