This post is the last part of a 2-week series about my recent vacation in New York.

To conclude my trip (at least for this year), I would like to share 5 things I love about New York:

1. I love that streets are always bustling with activity, like an endless pool of people. Makes me feel like I’ve never left the Philippines. I love being in a moderate crowd (not the choking-I-can’t-breathe kind of crowd) because it makes me feel part of the world. I also love observing people – in a non-nosey kind of way.

These two pictures were taken in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Here we are lined up to enter the Magnolia Bakery in Bleecker Street. How exciting is that? – lining up just to buy cupcakes! Very much reminiscent of my college days (again!) when I had to fall in line for hours just to register for classes. Of course, I understand how crowds can be a bad thing – too much of this and I’d be wishing to go back to a quiet, peaceful neighborhood.

But it’s not simply the density of people. I love the diversity of cultures. When I was lining up to buy tickets in Guggenheim, I could hear at least 5 different languages spoken at the same time in that one place. It was music to my ears – weird, I know!

2. I love the boutique-lined streets in Manhattan, especially in SoHo and Greenwich Village (since we went there 3 or 4 times). They are so full of personality that I’m left bursting with inspiration and ready to create. Beats the monotonous, big box stores in my neighborhood.

Here we are about to enter this cute shop in SoHo that Mica found interesting because it’s name is Meeka Meeko.
I love books, so you can imagine how I drooled at the site of this book shop in West Village.

I wasn’t able to take a shot, but another eye candy shop for me is the Purl in Soho – a small yarn and fabric store that’s just overflowing with character.

3. I love how New York seems to be the mecca of food. No more wondering what to eat for dinner – there’s so much to explore. Here are some of my new finds for this year:

  • Minado Japanese Seafood Buffet Restaurant in Long Island
  • Mamoun’s Falafel in Greenwich Village – Satisfying and inexpensive, what more can I ask?
  • Food Fight Mini Burgers in Greenwich Village – Their portabella mushroom burger is delish.
  • Red Mango Frozen Yogurt in Greenwich Village – I can’t get enough of their promegranate yogurt and wildberry hibiscus tea.
  • Magnolia Bakery in West Village – Forget the cupcakes, their banana pudding is the superstar.

And here’s my pomegranate yogurt from Red Mango. I must say, even the donuts from the street vendor outside my brother’s apartment were yummy – definitely better than Dunkin Donuts.

4. No tax on clothes! Who won’t love that?? :)

5. And lastly, I love that my brother lives in New York, so I can come visit anytime! Mwahahaha!

And just like that, our vacation was over. I had a wonderful time. Thanks so much to Jay, Ivy, Jessi, and my mom for making it very memorable.

As we were leaving for the airport, my mom gave Mica and Rinoa some money for ice cream to distract them from being sad that we’re leaving. So these are for my mom so she can see how the two girls enjoyed their ice cream at the airport: