Once Upon a Time in New York

Another day, another second, another girl who fawns over the energy, the culture, and the thrill of New York City. You may say I am unoriginal and claim me as “just another girl” who wants to live in a big city to live their dreams type of person. But I so am in fact that stereotypical fashion obsessed, New York City dreamer, and Blair Waldorf wannabe and I have no shame of that. Unlike any other city I have traveled to, this particular location gives me a feeling like no other even as soon as I touch down on the runway at JFK airport. I even have lived in many metropolis cities such as London and San Francisco and have seen most of the world through my 75% dark chocolate brown eyes, but nothing compares to the fast-paced movement, sound of construction, and of course the smell of NY’s finest bagels and rat infested subway.


Having had the opportunity to travel to this city at least once a month starting this past January for dance performances, one can say I eat, breathe, sleep New York City.  Some may even describe me as someone who has a west coast heart with an east coast vibe. The first thing on my do list when I get into the heart of Manhattan is find the newest, trendiest, and most delicious foodie spot because I am in fact always hungry. Now this takes some time for me to choose because NYC is filled with some of the best food in this country and did I mention it is most often Instagrammable too? From the greasy inexpensive classic New York pizza to the over the top steak houses, the options are endless. Although I love my savory plates, I am all for the city’s never-ending choices of dessert parlors. My name is Candy and I have a sweet tooth, go figure.


The best part about this grid-like city is that each neighborhood has its own vibe to it. You can walk 10 blocks in any direction and find yourself in a whole new world. Personally, I adore Soho and the Upper East Side the most. Why do you ask? Because like I mentioned before, I admired Blair Waldorf’s character in the hit show Gossip Girl as a teenager and aspired to be her. But besides that teenage dream, the UES is filled with beautiful museums, a friendly yet significantly overpriced neighborhood filled with well-groomed dogs, and as well as my favorite area in Central park, the Bethesda Terrace. Once you step foot in this area, you can see nannies and dog walkers almost on every corner desperately waiting for their boss to return from work. On the contrary, Soho is where you locate all the hip, trendy, and super fashionable young men and women. Want to run into a fashion blogger or a celebrity, take a yellow cab to the cobble stone streets. Find yourself craving for the famous cronut by Dominique Ansel, run as fast as you can to the never-ending line on Prince St. Interested in street fashion, enter the countless of pop-up stores you can easily seek. For a millennial, Soho is the place to be!


Now, the biggest reason why I love traveling to this exciting city is because there is so much love for the arts. Having been a professional ballerina, I find myself falling in love with this craft more and more each time I step into New York. Not only do the Broadway musicals excite the people of NY at night, but the ballet world as well stimulates the New York buzz. New York is not just known for the mass amount of business men and women, but also the creative artists that too create the New York City vibe. Whether entering a studio for a ballet class, jazz, musical theatre, or even a casting call… the love and passion for the dancer’s art craft fills the air a long with the smelly feet and of course the condensation from hours of sweat.


All in all, the livelihood and thrill of this city is contagious nonetheless. For a recent college graduate who is in her early 20s, it is safe to safe that New York City is the perfect place to start a new chapter into adulthood. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and what better city to document memorable moments than the city that never sleeps. 

Candy Tong