It's better to CHU and digest
Like most restaurants, Denny's offers their Sampler, a collection of fried battered delights, coated with layers of delicious butter. At first glance, it might be the most appetizing choice for its variety and appeal but upon ingesting, one might feel a bit shortchanged. A couple pieces of chicken tenders, several onion rings and a few mozzarella sticks hardly constitutes a full meal. You can't help but feel like something is amiss, leaving you with a dissatisfied taste in your mouth but yearning for something more substantial.
About ten months ago, I embarked on my "10 Hour Walking Tour" of New York. Analogous to the Denny's Sampler, staying in NY for only 24 hours, I couldn't help be feel shortchanged. What I had hoped for from my walking tour was a quick glance at what New York had to offer. I saw most of the major sights, had some NY pizza, learned the subway system and endured the humidity that is NY in early June. My initial plan had been very appealing but in retrospect, I should have gone with the full meal.
I returned to LA unimpressed and unfulfilled. Honestly, why was NY such a big deal to everyone else? I didn't understand everyone's affinity for the Big Apple but I was willing to give it another chance. I'm glad I did.
Returning to NY for graduate school interviews gave me the experience that everyone else raves about. I understood by the end of my trip that NY was a city that needed to be CHUed and thoroughly digested, that a sampler is just that - a small taste of what the larger whole has to offer. What makes NY so vibrant and exhilarating is not just the sights or their pizza. It's the music from the artists in the subway, the walks through Central Park after the Reservoir freezes over, the plethora of ethnic foods within a mile radius and the way the skylines glisten as dusk approaches. NY is the amalgamation of these parts to generate a remarkable milieu that is unparalleled to any other city I've been to.
And there's UNIQLO. But I'll save that for next time. Enjoy the set!
*A special thanks goes out to my great friend Bryan for hosting and all of the bromantic moments we shared together when Jefer wasn't present. My trip wouldn't have been as phenomenal without your help. These pictures were captured before and after my graduate school interviews. They're my attempts to reflect on the nuances that is characteristic of NY rather than a collection of all of NY's tourist traps.