That New New (York)


Part deux.


Day 3 -  We headed straight to Fuku for the spiciest first-meal kick before heading to Manhattan. Brandon took us Magnolia, which we ended up going to twice in one day because the banana pudding was that good. We even picked up one of each flavor to take home.


On our way to the MoMa, we stopped by St. Paul's Cathedral only to leave after a few photos due to mass.


Out of all the exhibits in the museum, I think this was the one I was excited to see the most. I fell in love with this when I saw it floating around on Tumblr. The inner minimalist in me screamed. I loved the textures. Even more so, I imagined God knows how many outfits I'd pose in front of it.

I believe if art makes you feel a certain way you've made some sort of creative connection with it, and that I did.


Most of the day was spent exploring the MoMa, which was absolutely worth the visit after seeing Starry Night in person. I was absolutely floored because this was always something we saw in assignments, textbooks and art classes growing up but never in person.

The real masterpiece doesn't do the photocopied papers justice. At the same time, I found it hard to appreciate after seeing it so many times in my life. Isn't that strange?


Also, Justin had me stand here to take this but Brandon convinced him to walk away and leave me standing there (Lord bless). When I turned around a huge group of people were behind me snapping pictures. So embarrassing.


Afterwards, we strolled around Central Park. At this point, my cousin was shortening our breaks to only a breath before walking even more. We were so tired we couldn't walk the entire park so we opted for a quick caffeine trip at a nearby coffee shop.

I was desperately looking for matcha most of the trip, only because I've been substituting my coffee with it. I get the energy kick that lasts for hours without the crash.

We then left to Times Square, only to end up shopping at the biggest Uniqlo in my life for an hour or so. We intended to stock up on even more heat tech (due to the sale, but mostly because we couldn't handle the breeze), and only ended up buying more.


Times Square was as grand and touristy as I expected it to be. Beautiful place but I couldn't handle being there for too long. Too many people were harassing me for money or jumping into our photos to ask for cash when we didn't ask them to. We couldn't be left alone to enjoy ourselves. It was like having leeches constantly jumping on you.


For dinner, we went back to Chinatown for $1 dumplings (which totally satisfied my cravings). Brandon fed all three of us for $15. In Cali, one good meal is at least $10. Justin was dead set on coming back there every day throughout our trip because of that, haha.

On our way to the KAWS basketball court (which we couldn't find), we decided to stop by another dim sum spot for xiao long bao. I had been without my soup dumplings for waaaay too long.


Before our second bout of dinner, we stopped by this quirky little hat shop. I had decided I'd start my hat collection after buying my beret (re: part 1).

*buys hat once*

Instead of buying hats, we ended up getting matching shirts, which we wore the next day. The shop owner was this long-haired, free-spirited Japanese man that understood the essence of fashion to a T. He was full of such creative energy - as shown through all the hats he made himself. If they didn't cost an arm and a leg, I swear I would've purchased one. Even more so, I loved that his store was the only one open and hidden in the nooks and crannies of Chinatown.

We will be back again.


Day 4


The next day was Brandon's last day of being our tour guide. Oddly enough, Justin demanded we fly to Rochester to continue the fun. We caught brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg, ironically returning to our starting point of our trip and stopped by the waterfront for a quick shoot and the most unexpectedly delicious lavender latte.


Afterwards, Brandon dropped us off in Manhattan before embarking on his 6 hour drive. We stopped by Icer Brand's showroom and offices for a quick tour, meeting and a fun dress-up sesh. Can't tell you much, but I can tell you is, we have some interesting projects coming up this year. Just you wait.


We decided to take it easy the rest of the day. After three 12-hour+ days of walking nonstop, we were in need of some r+r. Justin and I stopped by Nintendo World, another stop we missed while exploring with Brandon.Two levels worth of throwbacks, Pokemon figures and Super Smash Bros. attire was definitely the best way to kill some time. On our way there, Justin was completely trigger happy. I wasn't complaining though. Fillers for days. (Amirite)


The day was passing faster than it felt and we were craving for dim sum once more. So we trekked back to Chinatown in search for that goldmine of a restaurant for $1 dumplings but instead I suggested we try another restaurant I saw in passing.


Not mentioned in my NY food tour, Nom Wah Tea Parlor hands down had the best all-day dim sum I've had in my life. The fish and ingredients were fresh and their range of teas available were absolute quality. Although a little much for our anticipated budget of $1, I fell in love with the shop's retro colors and vintage patterns. Not to mention, they had clothing racks standing by all the booths. Absolutely genius for the layer-gang members of the city.


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Photography by Justin Quebral