Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork010509Fb?feat=directlink

  • All 3 new hostel roommates checked out in a loud ruckus early in the morning
  • Bottle of water + pieces of peanut crunch Clif bar for breakfast
  • Wating for tour had brunch at Zaro’s Bakery in Penn Station (everything bagel toasted with scallion cream cheese)
  • Madison Square Garden tour: met a Knicks dancer, sat in a skybox suite, saw some Pitssburgh Penguins on ice practicing
  • Rockefeller for NBC studio tour: saw nightly news with Brian Williams set, sat in SNL seats, saw the set!, saw make up video, saw people do a fake news cast
  • New York Public Library – had a big museum and nice reading area
  • Bryant Park – “derelict park? becomes urban oasis” – skating rink on top of fake grass and Canadian bar called “Celsius”
  • Walked around Chinatown
  • Dumplings and tea at dumpling house for lunch ($4 total, 16 dumplings, 25 cents each)
  • Simon leaves to Battery park to retrieve backpack (his New York pass was different number than we thought! – now he has two! (we cancelled someone elses :-p) )
  • Walked around Chinatown / Little Italy with Nate
  • Dinner at Da Nico (Pizza with roasted red peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, prociutto, and veal lightly breaded butterfly cut with vegetables and a side of fetticini alfredo
  • Free desert: mini fried dough with powdered sugar
  • Times Square for Planet Hollywood (finally got that shot glass)
  • Walked on the red steps on top of TKTS
  • M&Ms store
  • Hersheys store
  • Train to Columbus Circle, nice circle area with lighted benches and skateboarders, CNN building in area, nice little area in the city, skateboarder sounds almost soothing like waves crashing into the shore
  • Back home to hostel, stopped at CVS for Fuze Black and Green tea with Acai berry and Duane Reade for Haribo Happy Cola gummies (Ted’s favorite)
  • 2 new roommates in hostel (1 was actually there the night before so he probably didn’t check out)
  • In lounge settling spreadsheet (bill)
  • Writing this log while watching “Destroyed In Seconds” on the Discovery channel.
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Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork010409Fb?feat=directlink

  • Shower in morning, bathroom is kind of eeeew + traffic jam in room in the morning with everyone trying to get ready
  • Breakfast at Whole Foods (vegan blueberry muffin and Odwalla Mo’Beta)
  • Sports Museum of America (in Battery park)
  • Had a little bit about each of the major sports
  • Has the original Heisman trophy
  • Bought Olympic pins, Heisman trophy pin
  • West Side, saw “Friends” apartment and Central Perk coffee shop building
  • Lunch at Isle Thai Cooking (spicy basil udon with beef, Simon got Tamarind (a fruit) crispy chicken)
  • Walk through Central Park to Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Met was closing so we got in for free :-p
  • Met with Abhishek at Madison Square Garden for Knicks vs. Celtics
  • Knicks win 100 to 88 😦
  • Wander looking for dinner, see Korea Way – filled with expensive Korean restaurants
  • Ate a Martinique Cafe (48hr chicken barbeque with mashed potatoes)
  • Future place to go to: Red Mango ice cream? on Korea Way
  • Abhishek leaves back for Princeton
  • Walk to Times Square for Planet Hollywood.  Because Simon spent $10.84 on a mug, I got to get an $18 hat for $10 (and thus free with New York pass) with a dragon on it!

Pictures: 

  1. http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork010309P1Fb?feat=directlink
  2. http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork010309P2Fb?feat=directlink
  • Austrialian guys checked out at 10am
  • Hostel shower (bathroom is in our room) is either very hot or very cold
  • Lunch at 12pm at Ramen House? (spicy miso ramen with pork, corn, bean sproats, eggs, seaweed)
  • Got replacement NBC studio tour tickets but missed our 1:15pm show
  • Bought tickets to Top of the Rock – great view – Nate and Simon said its better than Empire State view
  • Rockefeller Center Tour – learned lots about Rockefeller and artwork there
  • Shopping on 5th Ave: Nintendo World/Pokemon Center (bought small green Yoshi plushie), NBA store, Trump Tower, Sony Experience (closed), FAO Schwartz, Apple Store
  • Dinner at Joe’s Shanghai (top recommended NY restaurant on Trip Advisor) (seew long bow, chao neen gou, meatballs (lion head))
  • Times Square for Madame Tussauds and Planet Hollywood (got a mug)
  • Empire State building skyride – so corny/lame – narrated by Kevin Bacon, “blue energy”, went into space
  • Empire State building for night view – nice city lights, very windy
  • Whole Foods for Odwalla Mo’Beta
  • Nathan’s Hot Dogs for a hot dog for Nate
  • 3 new roommates at hostel.
  • Hostel common room for internet, planning and SNL on tv

Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork010209Fb?feat=directlink

  • Ted left at 5 or 6am
  • Checked out of Murray Hill at 12:30pm
  • Ate lunch at Whole Foods cafe (had an assortment of all natural vegetarian foods – pastas and fake meats and leftover bak choi and dou mew from Simon’s family dinner)
  • Checked into Jazz on the Town hostel, lugging luggage to the 4th floor is not fun – place seems nice though – 3 Austrialian guys are also in the room
  • Washington Square Park, saw Washington Arch
  • Times Square: Planet Hollywood, Simon got new NY Pass, tried to get Spamalot tickets but only balcony available
  • Penn Station/Madison Square Garden
  • Train to Newark to see NJ Devils hockey game vs. Montreal Canadiens
  • Dinner at Newark Penn Station (Italian hero sub from Zaro’s?)
  • Got free Devils ski caps on way in
  • Seats in very top row, moved way closer, almost ice level during 3rd period
  • Devils won 4-1
  • Train back to Penn station NY
  • Bought 6 mini cinnabons at station to split
  • Back at hostel now

Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork010109Fb?feat=directlink

  • Rockefeller Center to try and get tickets, sold out so we got for Saturday
  • Took pics of big tree and skating pond
  • Nintendo World was closed 😦
  • Magnolia Bakery to mac on some cupcakes! (Red velvet + New Years special)
  • MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) for half an hour – huge wall display of video of naked woman rolling around and nature stuff
  • Battery Park / Castle Clinton for Liberty/Ellis Island Cruise
  • Walked up 156 stairs of the Statue of Liberty monument
  • No more cruises to Ellis Island, took boat back to NY, realize that Simon left his backpack in the locker on Liberty Island!
  • Simon takes ferry back and ends up going to Ellis Island instead
  • Nate goes back to hotel for a nap
  • Ted and Chris take bus to seaport area to have crepes (Chris got nasty caviar crepe) and see Bodies exhibit
  • Like Body Worlds but more focused on info, no angel wings, human drawers, or 3 headed camel
  • Dinner with Simon’s many relatives in restaurant in Chinatown
  • Go back home to settle Ted’s bill in the lobby with wifi
  • Chris and Simon plan next day and write meeting reports

Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/ChrisWKwan/NewYork123108Fb?feat=directlink

  • 9am M45? bus to Pier 83? to buy Circle line cruise tickets
  • 10am Circle Line 2hr cruise around the city (Metropolis of Superman and Gotham City of Batman were both filmed in different areas of New York)
  • Breakfast on the ship (had a part of Ted’s danish)
  • Bus to Times Square
  • Lunch at Nanking (Hakka style noodles with chicken and pinapple fried rice)
  • Subway to pick up subs for Times Square (since we would be standing around for 6+ hours without food)
  • Avenue Q – picked up tickets and watched the show – fantastic!  Very funny songs! Realized that a bunch of those popular YouTube videos used Avenue Q songs.
  • Group uses Avenue Q bathroom, they converted the men’s bathroom to unisex to ease the women’s line
  • Met up with Simon’s friend SiSi
  • Walked down streets trying to get into Times Square but it kept getting blocked off, police told people to walk down to 59th? (but that’s Central Park!) to get in
  • Nate talked to a policeman about how to get in.  The policeman said Happy New Year and actually let us through! (so we didn’t have to walk all the way to Central Park)!
  • 7+ hours standing in cold at Times Square! 4:30pm to 12:30am!!
  • It was a mega dance party!
  • Freezing cold – put plastic bags over my socks and into my shoes, Sisi put hats on as shoes, so did Nate, Simon and I used a trash bag as a blanket for our legs
  • Sat on pizza boxes and hats
  • Got 2009 and Kanye style shutter shades earlier
  • Free Nivea New Years hats
  • Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers on screen
  • Saw Bill and Hillary Clinton walk by!
  • On 47th? st good view of the ball (a bunch of LEDs and crystals)
  • Countdowns every hour to ex: “5 hours remaining” :-p
  • 5 4 3 2 1 Happy New Year!
  • Walked back to SiSi’s apartment to “defrost and wait for trains to settle down”
  • Sisi made instant hot and sour soup
  • Watched Jay Leno there
  • Picked up Siciliano panini (prociutto, mozarella, arugula) at deli, ate half for “dinner”
  • Subway back to hotel
  • Journaling now :-p
  • 8:30am Bolt bus from Boston to New York
  • Arrived at 2pm instead of 12:45pm because they closed down 2 lanes on the highway + traffic
  • Lunch with Simon, Ted, and Nate at Tick Tock Diner (I got Tick Tock Kobe Beef Burger on Rye + Steak Fries) 
  • Checked into Murray Hill Hostel – roomed with Ted
  • Museum of Natural History – cool dinosaurs + other prehistoric animals, giant whale model
  • New York Pass – awesome! (it was about $170 for 7 days of free admission to 40+ attractions, we probably would have spent $300+ without it)
  • Tried to get Blue Man Tickets but no luck
  • Tried TKTS booth – no luck (rude dude closed the window on me)
  • Tried off-broadway “The Perfect Crime” but that too was sold out!
  • Dinner at Planet Hollywood – we get $10 free to spend there with New York Pass everyday (Carbonera, Zuchini fries, slider, “Pretty in Pink” drink – very girly drink with pinapple, coconut flavors)
  • Explored Grand Central Station
  • Back to Hotel to plan tomorrow
  • Booked Avenue Q tickets