5 Things to Do in New York

Saturday, 21 March 2015

It's been a year since I visited USA. The first time in my then-sixteen-year-old life outside of South East Asia. My dad needed a guardian, and I was available. We stayed with my relatives in Virginia, bordering on Washington, D.C but that's another story. During the trip, we went to New York City for a long weekend. A trip within a trip. And my, what a memorable trip it was.

In hindsight, there are a lot of things I wish I did. I wish I wasn't on my phone so much. I wish took more photos. I wish I stayed up later and talked to more people. Yet there are still many things I did that I'd do all over again if I had the chance to go back.  I thought I'd share them with you!

So here are five things you should do in New York! (from the perspective of a small-country girl)

Always Walk, Never Run | My dad wanted to use the tourist bus, citing that we could visit anywhere in little time. I refused. I wanted to walk. Though by the end of the night, my legs ached in pain, I did not regret it one bit.

Walking in New York City is a small pleasure in itself. It allows you to see New York for the little things that make it New York. The strange smell of clean but stingy air, the giant buildings, the people going about their day. Walking through the streets of New York shows you what tourist pamphlets don't. It shows New York for all its subtle wonder.

Sing For Broadway | This may come from a place of bias. I love musicals, and watching two Broadway shows was a dream come true twice. I am a proud Broadway Baby, and everyone should watch a Broadway (or West End) show at least once in their lifetime.

I watched Wicked and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. I was a part of a Wicked production a few years ago, as Nessarose. So watching Wicked in real life left me in tears, like watching something old from a new perspective. Nothing could compare the feeling when Elphaba sang the final note of Defying Gravity. Watching Fran Drescher perform as Cinderella's Stepmother is a close second.

Be a Traveler | Not a tourist. My dad and I didn't have a tourist guide, or a bus, or anyone in New York. The only thing we did was print tickets to watch Wicked and visit Statue of Liberty, and booked the hotel room. The rest of the trip beat to our drum.

Yes, it can be little difficult. For the whole trip, we lived on McDonalds' Fish-O-Fillets and Halal street carts. We couldn't find any Halal restaurants near our hotel. We accidentally walked from our hotel in Broadway to the Chrysler Building, not the Empire State. And we may have gotten lost once or twice. But that's what travelers do, get lost from the freedom of structure.

Strangers are Surprising | Sometimes the best parts of a trip are the little things, like the people you meet and most likely, will never meet again. Talk to them, their stories are just as interesting as yours. I promise.

The male stripper dressed only in tight underwear and a cowboy hat, holding a guitar in Times Square. The Caribbean woman on a subway train whom we talked about traveling. The old, black lift man who told me how it wasn't windy at the top of the Empire State Building. I may never meet any of them again, but they will always brighten my dark days.

Remember the Stories | From big stories come little ones intertwined in them. When you visit New York, a place so different culturally and socially, you will find stories to tell everyone back home. Twice and over.

I skated in Central Park, getting soaked because the ice was melting. I went to the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park Zoo. A man in Sephora called me 'stunningly exotic!' In fact, people from the ticket woman to the taxi driver found my dad and I ethically ambiguous. I still find much amusement in that.

To sum up, wherever you are and wherever you go, please appreciate the moment. Take a step back to look at the present. I miss New York for all the little things, and I am so grateful it has given me so many wonderful memories.

So have you been to New York before? Is it on your bucket list at least? I'd love to know!


  1. Such a lovely post, I loved reading it :)
    I've never been New York and I don't see myself going there, but who knows I might!

    Neeny x


  2. Hi Bash! Love your blog soo much!
    You are gorgeous! add you to circles in g+! (:
    Kisses ♥


  3. I loved this post, I've always wanted to visit New York and you've gave me a few things to think about. I'd love to see a Broadway show. I bet it is amazing!


  4. Great tips! I went to New York three years ago and it was an amazing experience. It is such a lovely city, I absolutely loved it. x

    Amy | The Perks of Being Amy

  5. Oh, such a great post. I thought it was going to be like classical things when I read the title, but this is so much better! Meeting people you will probably never see again is one of my favorites things about traveling too. There is just something nice about it. Have a wonderful day,

    The Flash Window | Bloglovin

  6. I love this post! I went to new york 2 years ago and it's one of the best trips i've been on by far! I loved Wicked, but I was still really jet lagged when I saw it so I don't think I appreciated it as much as I should have- I'm going to re watch it here in London! We actually got to do a drama workshop with 2 of their cast in NY and it was really fun!


  7. New York has always been part of my bucket list. I have to agree with you on the walking. I find that the slow pace is great when you want to capture every second and truly live in the moment. :)


  8. Your trip sounds amazing! I really want to go in Summer for a few days! I went when I was younger but I barely even remember it, I must have been like 9.


  9. I really want to go to new york so badly!! I agree that walking is the best way to see a city :) x


  10. I can only dream about that someday I will be in New York City


  11. Such a lovely post - I hope to travel to NY one day, mostly for the amazing library!

    P.s have you entered my #geekgirl giveaway?

  12. Totally agree
    It's so easy to walk to places in NYC and you get to see and experience so much more just by walking
    Garland Girl

  13. Such a cool post!!!

    Thanks for the comment!!


  14. Lovely post! I've been to NYC almost more times than I can count, one of my favorite places on earth! And I still always walk, I love getting to see new places I haven't been to before! xo // Naomi in Wonderland

  15. I've only recently come back from New York and I absolutely fell in love with the city. I can't wait to go back already, and you're so right.. you have to walk everywhere and it's a pleasure to do so. I really wished I'd written a diary so I could remember every story :)


  16. Ahhhhh, New York sounds so fun; it's definitely on my bucket list to visit! Your trip sounds like an amazing one, and I agree with your sentiments regarding strangers -- we'll never see them again in the years to come, but having met them is like nudging a domino to fall.



  17. Fantastic post- I've never been to New York but i'm dying to go! <3

    * Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *


  18. Awesome tips and such lovely points about speaking to people and remembering the stories! I love this, great post. :)

  19. Such a lovely post :) I'm aching to go, it's definitely something I want to do and now even more so!

    //teandtwosugars.blogspot.com xx

  20. Hi Bash, it's my first time on your blog and I must say I love your writing skills. Thank you for sharing your experience in NY. I would love to go there one day - that would be a dream come true!

    Jo | Say Cheesy Cake
    Say Cheesy Cake on Bloglovin

  21. Great tips! REally wanna visit New York again one day
    Have a great week!

    xx Girl in the Bunny Ears

  22. Great post.
    Make the most of your youthfulness LOL
    I"m happy to know that you along with your dad

    Check my new post.
    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin

  23. Never visited but will make an effort to..tks!


  24. Great post!


  25. I have been in New York once, and I love it!
    New York is so nice. I left my heart there <3


  26. My favourite place on Earth. Great list.

    Jenn | Jennifer Jayne

  27. Loved these pointers and I'd love to travel the world one day, it would be an incredible experience x


  28. Great post !
    Love it !


  29. Great ideas! I've been wanting to visit NY soon


  30. great post! I went to New York 3 years ago,but I really want to go there again!

  31. Love this post!!


  32. Great post :) I miss NY so much and I also adore Broadways, seen two shows last time, Priscilla and Mamma Mia, and I wish I could have seen more. Can't wait to come back !

    Fashion and Cookies
    Facebook / G+ / Bloglovin

  33. AMAZING. I'm visiting in December so this is really helpful.
    Lovely blog and post. xx

    Katie Loves ~ A Fashion & Beauty Blog.

    Follow on Bloglovin' ~ 'Katie Loves'

  34. This is making me want to go back to New York so much. I love your point about being a traveler, not a tourist. I think I'm going to keep that in the back of my mind for any place that I visit now

    The Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog

  35. I love this post! Cant wait to go to NY in the summer
    norawears.blogspot.co.uk xx

  36. I really like your tips, dear, especially to walk! And I hope that I'll visit NYC someday, it's stunning city!


  37. Loved this! I wish I could go to NYC myself someday ♥

  38. I'm going to NYC tomorrow. It's my 2nd time but my boyfriend's first time. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm from Southeast Asia too (Philippines) but I was raised in America my whole life.

    By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Awards. Check out more info here http://floraful.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-versatile-blog-award.html and please tag people with 7 facts about yourself :)

  39. Loved reading this. Would love it if you could check out my latest March favourites post!
    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love 

  40. New York is DEFINITELY on my bucket list!! And I totally agree about talking to people, I always get a buzz from talking to random strangers, some people think it's a bit odd but I certainly leave feeling a little bit more inspired and happy and it opens your eyes to the world a bit more. Great post!


  41. Proud New Yorker and I am so happy you visited Broadway! It is truly the best part of living in New York :)
    Meg of An Affair of Character

  42. What an amazing post <3 <3 <3 I've never been to New York, but it seems like such a beautiful and dreamy city~ Your adventure sounded like an amazing one maybe you'll get to go back one day :)

    She Will Be

  43. Awww I loved reading this post! Cute pictures of you too! That is so cool you got to see Wicked and Cinderella! I saw Wicked in LA, but would love to see it in NY. I have been to NY once for a week and it was fun, but I was exhausted from all the walking. Definitely would have done more shopping though:)


  44. This just made me wish all the more to be in new york!!! Wonderful tips! <3


  45. Thanks for these suggestions, I will definitely keep these in mind on my next visit to the city! Cute pics too!


    Hearts of Gold Blog

  46. This is such a lovely blog! Great advice and I love your honesty that you wish you weren't on your phone as much.

    I always tend to take 1000's of photos when I'm holiday, which is sometimes a good and bad thing.

    Yes you have lots of mementos, but you don't live in the moment!

    Anyway, fantastic blog!


  47. Great tips, I often wish I had taken more pictures when I traveled in the past. This is why I appreciate blogging because it makes me take pictures so I can post them. I hope to visit New York again since the first time I went I was so young and I can't really remember much. I look forward to using some of these tips when I travel again, especially your tip on talking to strangers since I tend to avoid that.

    Princess Audu

  48. Really great post and lovely tips. In fact, I really think that these tips are quite universal for travelling and can be used anywhere on holiday :)

    Rae | love from berlin

  49. such a nice post :)
    Joey x

  50. I really enjoyed this post, it was a great reading! xx


  51. Thanks so much for the tips! I'm going to NY in June and I can't wait to explore.:)
    Yours Truly, NY

  52. Popped in #200 from the A-Z theme Reveal, but don't know what your's is. I love to travel but make it a practice to never eat at a chain restaurant or any restaurant I can eat at home...ie McDonalds etc. I love taking the tour trains or buses, the ones you can hop on and off without buying additional tickets. Often we ride the whole circuit to see more, then decide where we want to walk. You can cover so much more that way. It's the best of both worlds, give it a try next time out.

  53. For someone who's young, you're very mature (don't take offence at the young part lol) and your outlook on life is something quite nice. I think it's the way I was raised but I never really appreciated my surroundings when I traveled, I don't really take pictures, but I wouldn't say I was living in the moment either. My family prefers to shop rather than sightseeing and it stuck with me.

    I regret not taking a lot of pictures while in Japan, that's for sure. I had to live without a camera for 6 months or so before I finally got to use it. Y'know, it was before touch screen phones are widely used.

    Making memories that stay in your mind is important, I still have flashbacks of things I've forgotten here and there and it made me go "Hm, I wish I had pics of that time so I can recall things". When I go to NOLA, I'll definitely keep this in mind, especially if I can have the chance to go to NY.

  54. Lovely post darling!

    Have a great start of the week :)

  55. What you say about NY is definitely on point! One should definitely be a traveller and not a tourist!
    So glad you got to enjoy your short trip there, hopefully you'll get to go again soon and do all those things you couldn't do last time :)

  56. I watched Grease musical when I went and it was amazing! Best musical ever so I couldn't better agree! I visited New-York and the summer and during Christmas period and this is two different cities! I loved them both but it's amazing to see how the season can change the face of this city!

    Céline from Larry and Co.

  57. Love this! ♥
    You are making me jealous, pretty!


  58. Great list! I love visiting New York every year


  59. Brilliant post! I'm a west end lover too, I get all tingly when they start singing! I love meeting strangers when I'm away, the most random people can be your best memories!


  60. wow loved your post completely beautifully written :)


  61. great post honey!!! cool ;)

    big kissessss

    Check it out my new post: http://www.honeyandcotton.org/shopping-di-primavera-inizio-da-una-tuta-jadea/

  62. Meet new people and friends on holiday is one of the best things ever X


  63. great post! totally agree with the bit about strangers, I love traveling the world and getting to meet new people. Ive never been to New York but maybe one day :)


  64. I've never been to New York before but I would LOVE to go! :D

    Rebecca Coco

  65. Such great tips and what a city! I would love to go one day! Great post! Xxx

    Anisha ♥ All You Need Is Red Lipstick

  66. great post! I have been wanting to visit New York!


  67. fantastic post!!! i love new york and i always enjoy visiting there!! :D

    Animated Confessions

  68. I love New York City! Such a great post, Bash!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  69. You are gorgeous!! And this post is lovely! I had quite a similar experience when I visited NYC, too, hahaha. Wish I had watched an actual Broadway show--I settled for off-Broadway because tickets were sold out!

  70. Such an awesome post! can't wait to visit new york one day!


  71. Very good and true tips that are the case for my beautiful London as well. I'll definitely keep these in mind when I visit NYC. One day...

    XO Imke

  72. Thanks for sharing your tips! I've been to NY for work but didn't have a chance to see much. I'd love to go back someday.

    Doused In Pink

  73. Great tips, lady! I've never been to NYC and wanna go so bad!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  74. Nice post! The review is so amazing!

  75. I'm going to New York in June, can't wait! :) Thanks for the tips girl

    Sarah x

  76. Thanks for these great tips Bash! I hope to visit New York someday so these will come in handy :) I personally love to do the exploring myself, no tour-guide who tells you everything - it is just less fun in my opinion, plus I don't remember as much as when I try to figure it out myself. :)

    xo Mel || Sketch and Scribbles

  77. I hope you had amazing day, Bash :)


  78. I loved reading every part of this! I really want to go to New York one day!

    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  79. Such a lovely post! I would love to go to New York one day! :)
    Elephant stories and more

  80. Great post and NYC tips! I lived there for a little while and I would also suggest a visit to the markets in Brooklyn. :-)
    April xx


  81. I'd like to keep that in mind when I visit New York haha! :)

    Please visit my blog and if you liked it, follow me and I'll do the same! I'd love to hear something from you. Let me know :)



  82. this is awesome :) i really hope you're having an amazing day!


  83. New York is on the top of my bucket list and this has been such a great help, definitely remembering your tips for when I eventually visit...it's such a good and helpful post :) <3


  84. Aww I miss it so much. Hoping to go back this year!

    x GNAR MOSH x