Saturday, 12 January 2013



Out of my expectation, during my winter break, I joined my good PERMATA friends at Rutgers University in New Jersey for a few days trip to New York. Why is this to my surprise? Well, I wasn't expecting myself to be as far to the east coast of the States during the last college break as my initial plan was to go to Los Angeles. What I had in my mind was, I should tackle the near places first e.g. LA, San Diego, San Francisco first before going anywhere further, but oh well, New York is even a much better idea than LA :p So here are some of the recollections from my totally fun trip!


I didn't go to New York yet during my first day of staying with my friends. Elena and Jah alongside Afi (or should I say, KAK Afi, haha) brought me for a tour around their campus. As deserted as my campus in Davis (most likely because everyone had gone back home for Christmas), it was as if we owned the place! (no, I'm just exaggerating). Anyway, I like the buildings and the roads on the campus, the roads somehow reminded me of the ones in Putrajaya. Unfortunately, since it was days before Christmas, most of the shops were closed so you could barely see a living, i mean people. The campus is composed of a few areas and to get from one to another, fear not they have buses going back and forth, well of course. I know this is somewhat misleading, but the most exciting thing they showed me was this...

MISS SANDY what had you done?! Look at how the ground were being pulled together with the root  of the tumbling tree...
Apparently, this is the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy which hit the Northeastern part of the States last year during the late October. My poor friends here in New Jersey had to be evacuated from their dorms to avoid any mishaps a.k.a being whipped away by the hurricane.


I'm very lucky enough to not have to find a place to stay in New York as instead I could just stay with my friends in New Jersey. On our first day of the trip, we took a bus from the campus and arrived in NY in about one hour. From the time length you could tell how close is NJ from NY. Moving forward, we were all going for the trip under an agency called CityPASS. I forgot whose idea this was, but it was totally brilliant. Let me tell you real quick about how this CityPASS works like. So apparently, instead of touring to New York, having to pay to the famous attractions singly when you're entering the sites, CityPASS allows you to enter a number of attractions according to the city that you choose by paying a single amount of fee. The fee pretty much total up the amount of fees that you have to pay for the sites, but the good news is the prices are cut down and you get to save a lot! CityPASS is also offered for a number of other selected cities e.g. LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia. Once you pay for the CityPASS online, you can get the card to be sent to your home or you can also pick it up at the selected pick up points of that particular city. Simply, present the card at the selected attractions, and you'll get access. Here's the link if you're interested to check it out...

I also happen to find out about another program that works pretty much the same as the CityPASS called Smart Destinations,

Okay, this is truly misleading, I should get moving now. So the first spot that we hit was the Empire State Building.

Luckily, since it was on the weekday, the visitors weren't as much as I had expected. The view from above could almost give you the bird-eye view of Manhattan. And yet, the day was so windy I swear I almost got blown away by the wind. Out of the madness, I'm grateful that I'm studying in California where the weather is simply just nice ;). Next, we headed to the Rockefeller Centre. But hey, on the way there, why don't we stop at the Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex - We know what you really want. Nah, not me.
Apparently, this is the only picture that I could barely take from the museum. Not that camera is not allowed inside, but simply because the pictures are too inappropriate and left me a little traumatized haha. The gift shop was interesting though, I'd seen stuff I'd heard a lot before which is pretty educative, I guess. Okay now let's really move to the Rockefeller Centre. Unfortunately, I didn't have any pictures taken there as my phone a.k.a my camera died (you can tell it's a smartphone) but what I can tell you about it is that we pretty much experienced the same thing that we did at the Empire State Building but this time it was during the night which gave us a different view of the city. It was truly mesmerizing I should say, we could even see the Empire State just across the building, and yet again the wind *sigh.

For the last trip of the day, we when to Ripley's exhibition which was not that much exciting for me as I had already been to almost the same one a year ago in Genting Highland. But still it was fun, having to spend time with my friends, definitely a good time.

The entrance to Rockefeller Centre 

Oh, and I forgot to add, we also visited the St. Patrick's Cathedral which we happened to come across. I didn't get to fully enjoy the architecture, as the church was currently renovated and there was a lot of people visiting. Counting from my visit to Vietnam, this is my second time of visiting a church in my life time. I hope one day perhaps, I could visit the famous ones in France.

Inside the St. Patrick's Cathedral


Jumping to the second day of the trip, we all went to the Harry Potter Exhibition near the Broadway avenue. Cameras are not allowed inside, which totally makes sense as (1) The exhibits are really precious and (2) To avoid long lines or large crowds wanting to take pictures of/with the exhibits. To be honest, I've never been an eager fan of the Harry Potter series. I might have watched some of the movies (but not all) and probably read (not entirely) one of the novels by J.K. Rowling but the truth is I've never fancied the show that much most probably because it is too mainstream :P (what am I turning into a hipster now?) Anyway, it was definitely a well put exhibition of the show with the stories of each one of the characters, I think the most exciting part was that I got to see up close to the sets and clothing used by the characters. They are made with such delicacy and you could definitely feel the wizard-y feeling in the air. 

Up next, we headed to another famous attraction that I believe many of us had heard so much before which is the Madame Tussauds. Now, I personally think that this is the best part of the trip not only because I got to 'meet' some of the prominent figures that I truly adore but the size of the crowd is fairly tolerable too. So here are a few of the pictures that I'd taken...

JOHNY DEPP - There's not one of his acting that I don't like. Super talented!

OPRAH WINFREY - I regard her as a part of my teenage life because I watched her a lot when I was in high school before she ended her show.

ANDERSON COOPER - He broke my (and many other  people) heart . I'm not judging but simply because he 's gay :(

PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON - Kate definitely brings envy to so many women because she's living kind of a fairy tale life by marrying a prince. But I ain't feel jealous :P

The Kennedys - JFK is one of my three favourite presidents of the U.S.

BILL CLINTON - My other favourite president. Not just him, his wife  Hillary Clinton is also politically active.

THE OBAMAS - Barack Obama, the other president that I favor.

Judging from the line of the figures exhibited, I think there is still a lot more others that were not in the list. But we were informed that the figures would be changed every three months and to be fair enough if they were to put all of them, they would need much bigger space and of course the tickets would be more pricey. The last place that we went to was for the NBC tour at its studio which is also at the Rockefeller Centre. Again, for privacy purposes, we were not allowed to take pictures inside. Along the tour, we were brought to a few studios that featured some well known shows by NBC like the Dr. Oz Show, Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Honestly, these shows are not much into my favor but anyhow the tour was fairly informative.

All in all, the trip was very exhaustive but at the same time because I got to visit these amazing places, I could feel the effect less. Here are some of the things that I truly feel grateful of from my trip to NJ/NY:

  1. Reunion with my fellow PERMATA friends. Well, even though not all of them were there, but we definitely had such a great time insulting each other after a long time haha!
  2. I got to meet these wonderful new friends from Rutgers. Credit to Wei Jie for becoming the head of the tour. Thanks to Afi, Aishah and Zaty for the stay.
  3. I had my first snow experience here in New Jersey. I didn't go out to play with the snow though because I wasn't feeling well on the day it was snowing. But anyway the view was so captivating. I recalled during that day I was thinking, "What is this a miracle?" hahahahaha
  4. I went to NY alone on the other day. My parents would freak out if they knew this, but this is totally a different story. I was actually supposed to meet my friend from Davis who also happened to be in the city but for some technical (for real) purposes, we ended up not meeting with each other. Honestly, I've always enjoyed travelling by myself despite of my parents being concern of by safety. Here's why. First, you get to go anywhere that you want without having to consider what your travelling partner/partners think of and second, you get to experience things out of your own curiosity. How blissful is this?
  5. And of course, I got to experience the vibrant of the city of NY. It totally had the opposite environment from my place here in Davis. I couldn't imagine how it is like to be living or working or studying in the city. But somehow, if I happen to have the chance, I won't give up the opportunity to experience how a real city life is.
Here are some of the new friends that I met; Veronica, Dale and Wei Jie.

Only for a short moment.

We have such a HEALTHY FRIENDSHIP! (with a little sarcasm)


Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

hi syazana datang lah lagi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (btw while u were having fun exploring nyc alone, jah and i were panicking about not being able to catch the bus to dc. and i puked in a taxi no big deal. bila awak dtg sini lagi sy cerita haha) - ELENA duh

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