There is only one problem with living life to the absolute max… time. Whether you sit at home on your couch and watch Netflix all day or you are watching your first Broadway show in New York City, there will still only be 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Good news though, with a little bit of effort you can make the most of every minute of each of those days. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy BUT, it is also incredibly true.
I had a friend from home visit me last weekend and she said, “If you were to get hit by a bus right now, you could look back and have no regrets. You are literally living every day as if it were your last.” I generally don’t think too much about getting hit by buses, but it’s true. This summer has taught me so much about who I am, and who I want to become. It has also taught me that life is way too short to live an ordinary life with ordinary dreams. Just take a chance and give extraordinary a try!
I don’t know if you ready for this but just these past 3 weeks alone I’ve crossed 35 items off the bucket list. I am going to assume you want to do other thing than read a novel so I will do my best to keep it short and sweet. Maybe even make it a little mysterious, leaving you wanting more haha
2. Enjoy the view at the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center. This is legendary. Shout out to Justine for telling me before I left that this would be the best thing I see. You were absolutely right. I have been saving this item for a really long time. When Grace said she had plans to come visit, I knew this would need to be one of the first things we do together. I think Aaron would agree as he seemed just as impressed as Grace and I. An added bonus of this place is that the lines are not long, the cost is not bad considering it is a major tourist attraction, and the staff that works here is fantastic. The elevator operator probably made my day. He would sing and make everyone join him, and trust me when 50 tourists start singing and clapping “we will rock you,” you are bound to have a great time!
And the view? You be the judge…
8. Eat a Bagel at Murray’s Bagels in Greenwich Village. NYC bagels are world famous, or so I’m told. Thus, this place was must. I got a really nasty cold last week and had to stay in bed for a few days. On the Friday evening I was feeling slightly better and so to celebrate Cassie and I headed for Bagels. I met up with her at work and as we were leaving Lilly overhears that we are going to Murray’s. As it turns out she lives right beside this place and gave us recommendations on what we should get. I took the advice and get a lox bagel on an everything bagel. And let me tell you it was delicious! The bagel was fantastic, the items inside were delicious… all around a great place to eat! Not to mention we got their after 5, so Cassie and I each got 20% off. Does it get much better than that?
9. People watch in Time Square. With Aaron and Grace here for 3 days, Time Square was a must. People watching here is one of a kind. My favorite was probably a super jacked African american guy who yelled at Grace and I, “Ive got the chocolate, you have the vanilla. Together we can make vanilla, chocolate swirl.” Yep. That happened. Fun fact about time square. It is the place that people who live in NY avoid it at all costs. That is very true, and considering I have only been there 3 or 4 times now, it holds very true. Also, I hate to burst your bubble but, it is actually not as impressive as people make it out to be. Yes, it is very special but I think there is so much hype about it, that when you actually see it it does not live up to your expectations. Nonetheless it is pretty cool too be standing there at midnight in the rain and have it be as bright as daylight.
13. Spend some time at the American Museum of Natural History. Hands down best museum in New York. The other ones I’ve been to are good but good is not good enough. Excellent is what this is. Nicole had a friend come visit and so we went out for breakfast and then in the afternoon went here. There are a ton of taxidermy exhibits. They were probably my favorite. Not to mention seeing all of the exhibits that have been featured in several movies and tv shows was just as awesome. My pro tip would be to not pay the recommended price. If you can afford it do it by all means but, for someone on a tight budget who isn’t going to spend all day walking around the museum, this is a great alternative.
15. Walk around MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art). As I have found out since coming here, I am not a museum person. It is either a partial hit or a huge fail. And yes, this was a fail. I mean it is a really nice museum and for people who like museums it’s probably one of the best. But, for me it just was not interesting. Some of the exhibits I would not consider art, other that I would, I was not allowed to take pictures of. You know me though, I made it as fun as it could be and threw myself a little selfie party.
19. Strike a pose in front of the Unisphere. This statue is so impressive but so far away. I was unintelligent and took the metro to Fushing meadows as people where travelling to the citi field for a giants game. It was a very squishy 1 hour subway ride but as you can see well worth it. The park itself is very large, the us open fields are right and you can tell the city spend a lot of money keeping it clean and beautiful.
22. Hail a yellow taxi. No joke if I told you this whole story with every little detail it would take a solid half and hour. This was the most unexpected, stressful bucket list item. But stressful, unexpected situations, make for the best stories, right? Grace and Aaron, were spending their last few hours in the city and so Cassie and I thought it would be fun to go out for dinner in little Italy. Aaron had joked around earlier that day that he would be perfectly fine with missing his bus as he was having such a great time. He most definitely jinxed it cause we ended up leaving for dinner late and so on our way back realized we were really cutting it close with time. Of course we were in such a cut off location that to get back to my place and then the bus terminal would take more time than we thought. After 4 failed attempts to get an Uber we finally hailed down a cab beside the Brooklyn bridge. It was complicated to get back to my pace as every street here is a one way street and traffic sucks! I am usually calm but with only 20 minutes to make it to the top of Manhattan I started to panic.
My biggest pet peeve is lateness. So to be at fault for other people’s lateness it the most stressful situation you can put me in. Aaron was cracking jokes the whole time as I tried to convince Grace she would not miss her bus. We got to the bus station at 10:34 pm, tipped the driver really well and just started running. Did I mention their bus was set to 10:30 pm. I could make this far more intense with all the other little details but, I will not put you though that. And so that story ends with the bus having not left, Aaron and Grace running onto the bus and me standing there shaking cause I had gotten myself so worked up about it. I was so happy that I gave a homeless man $4 to buy a bus ticket to Hoboken. Normally, I don’t even spare a penny. This is also a historic moment as it is the only bucket list item I have no photo evidence of. Trust me though no photo evidence was needed!
24.Volunteer at a sporting event. Who wakes up at 4am and has a blast? That would be me. At the start of the summer I signed up to be volunteer for the NYC triathlon. I have been very excited for that morning for quite some time so when it finally came around it was even more exciting. I volunteered at the Mile 4 aid station for the running portion. The weather could have been better as it rained for the majority of the morning. I had such a great time getting to know all the other volunteers, handing out a few thousand Gatoradede cups, cheering as loud as I could and watching some of my idols race by. The two athletes wearing Canada on their uniform got an extra loud cheer from me. I now have a guaranteed entry to the 2015 race, who knows I now may have to return just for this race.
29. Take a road trip to somewhere unexpected. No summer bucket list is complete without a road trip. Of course picking a location turned out to be far more unexpected than I thought. When I went to Bear Mountain, I got talking with one of the guys and he asked if he could join me on one of my trips. I agreed and after reviewing the dates for both my Washington and Boston trips, he bought tickets to Boston. And so the alias of Boston boy was created! Boston boy messaged me later on that week and asked if I want to join him and some other interns to go to Jersey Shore. You can’t say no to an offer like that. I invited Nicole to tag along which made it that much more fun. Boston boy rented a car and we were set to leave at 10 am. Long story short, two people who were suppose to join overslept and so the four of us that had showed up went to a diner to breakfast.
Diners are me favorite which helped make up for the fact that we were running really late. After more delays we finally left the city around 12:30pm. No one seemed to know where we were going and when Nicole and I asked if anyone had a preference everyone said no. Nicole messaged a friend who told us the best beach was a beach at the north end of the Jersey shore. We finally got to the beach, it was 2:30 pm, sat down and were ready to spend the day. No two minutes later did the others decide this was not it and they wanted to go to the “real jersey shore” aka Seaside Heights, NJ. No big deal but, it was already super late in the day, we just drove for two hours and Seaside was another hour away. Nicole and I protested but there was not much we could do at that point, besides it had gotten to the point were we really stopped caring.
Fast forward an hour we are on the boardwalk. Turned out to be a rather fun time. Nicole and I went off to do our own thing while the others sat in a bar and watched the world cup final. We rode the skyride, paid $6 each to lay on the beach for half and hour, walked the boardwalk and indulged in some fudge. It was rather perfect because as Nicole and I headed to find the others we got there and a minute after sitting down the only goal of the whole game was scored. How’s that for perfect timing?
43. Hot chocolate at City Bakery. This place sells hot chocolate by its literal meaning. It is a cup of pure chocolate that is warm and smooth. The idea is great but the taste was just off. A little to rich for my liking.
50. Broadway show. Courtesy to Aaron we went and saw Newsies. Aaron’s sister is apparently a huge fan so when I suggested Grace and him pick any Broadway show they like, this was a perfect fit. The show itself was spot on. There was so much really, really good dancing, singing and acting. Such an amazing performance!! As for seeing my first Broadway show in NY, I have to say, the bar has been set really high.
54. Run at Inwood Hill Park. This was a true adventure. On the subway ride there there was a 20 minute delay because the cops had to come and arrest a man in the subway car beside mine. No idea what he did wrong but I was little annoying having to wait and not knowing when we’d get going again. Watching someone get arrested though, was quite something. As for the park itself it was a perfect getaway. It is the last stop for the 1 line and has a very rural feel to it. The trails are very hilly and the terrain is quite rough. For a great afternoon run it was spot on!
57. Be an audience member of a TV show. This actually happened! Cassie and I have tried so many times to get tickets to see Jimmy Fallon but so has everyone else. And so we opted for the next best thing, America’s Got Talent tickets. We picked the free tickets up on our lunch break, then after work, did a quick change and headed to Radio City Hall. I can not even put into words how much fun this was. It is so weird to help make tv vs. watching tv. The rockettes preformed live, the talent was out of this world and the hype man was a great addition to the night. The highlight was probably at the start of the show there are two tap dancers preforming and Howard Stern gave really harsh critique. Out of no where I yell out, “we love you.” Not only can you hear me when you re watch it on YouTube but every time the show ended for commercial then entire audience would get threatened repeatedly if we yelled out anything we would be escorted out by security! hahah I was the first and last person to have a second of fame!
What made this night that much more fun was after the show I had a huge craving for french toast. There is nothing better to satisfy that craving than a 24 hour diner in Chelsea. Had had amazing french toast and for dessert I enjoyed my very first slice of apple pie. This was easily one of my favorite nights of the summer!
58. Take a moment to reflect at the 9/11 memorial. If you come to NYC take an hour and take this in. It is really special and will give you goosebumps. I know Grace and Aaron really enjoyed it.111
60. Macaroni & cheese from S’MAC. If there is a place that only sells mac and cheese, Michele is going to need to try it. The line was huge when I went but it was on the bucket list and so I toughed it out. I ordered a medium pan but was then told they ran out and so they gave me two smalls. It worked out in my favor as I did not realize how big these pan really are. I ate the entire first pan which was the alpine mac (based on the Swiss recipe) and it really wasn’t all that good. The second one looked better and so before I put it in a take out container I tried a fork full. WAY BETTER! The next day when I reheated it and had it for dinner it reminded me of how much I love mac and cheese. Based on the first one I would not recommend it however, based on the second one (which was suppose to be the exact same) I would highly recommend it!
71. Dine at Katz’s Delicatessen. Maybe you’ve seen the movie “When Harry met Sally?” Well if you have this place is going to be super familiar. If not then you missing out and when I say “I’ll have what she’s having” it will not even crack you up. Cassie, her friend from home and I headed here for dinner one night. Cassie and I opted for the pastrami sandwich. Still don’t know what pastrami is but it’s good. Not to mention this sandwich has the most meat I’ve seen a sandwich have.
72. Indulge at Peter Pan doughnuts. After work last Saturday I made the very long trip out to Williamsburg to try these famous doughnuts everyone talks about. They were competently sold out of regular doughnuts which was a bit of a bummer. Since I had spend an hour getting there I was not ready to leave empty handed and so I got an apple cruller. It was so airy and delicious that I do not think I can eat any other kind of doughnut again. Seriously though, if all doughnuts were made like this I would have a doughnut obsession.
73. Have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Such a simple but classic NYC bucket list item! Last week Cassie and I headed to work early, dropped off our stuff and headed in search of a delicious pastry and hot beverage. I opted for a passion tea from Starbucks along with a croissant from Pret a Manger. The perks of working in such a great location is that our building has a direct door to Starbucks. And what is way cool is that the door is painted gold! Pret is also right across the street and Tiffany’s is right on Wall st. Such a fun way to start my morning!
74. Chocolate treat from Jacques Torres Chocolate. I searched long and hard online to find a chocolate store that could fulfill my chocolate cravings. Jacques Torres is probably one of the most popular in the city. I have kept doing as Aaron suggested and letting the people who work their choose the treat for me. The lady working that day gave me a lemony treat. Not the best chocolate I’ve ever had but still a good treat!
78. Take a day trip to Boston. After searching the Megabus website I found two $3 tickets to Boston. For a grand total of $7.50, this was as good as it gets. Boston boy joined me on the adventure and with an early 5am start to the day, we got to Boston around 11 that morning. We started off by going to Harvard. The campus was breathtaking. It looks exactly like you have always imagined it to look. Far, far bigger than I ever thought but, the buildings, people and prestige were so spot on. Conveniently on the same subway line was MIT, the next stop on the Boston adventure. This campus is a lot more modern than the Harvard campus and suited Boston boy as it looked a bit like the UW campus.
We headed back downtown and to the top of the Prudential Towers. The view from here was one of a kind. I highly, highly recommend going here. Not only is the entry affordable but, you can really see how beautiful this city is. Boston boy was speechless at the view. He expected it to be a “dirty city” but when you see it from the top you can’t help but fall in love with the beauty of this place. Pretty sure if Boston boy got offered a job, he’d probably move there in a heart beat. We ended the day off with a trip to the harbor. Opted to buy ice cream instead of visiting the aquarium and had dinner in a cute restaurant right on the harbor’s edge. The harbor itself is very nice with so many really, really nice yachts. A nice backdrop for a photo or two.
Here I thought I could fit 35 stories into one post… no happening. And so I will end off with the best story of all! I realized I haven’t shared any good work stories in a while. Go back 2 weeks to the weekend before my boss’s wedding. It was two days before the big day and he had not come into the office and was not suppose to be back until after his honeymoon. I get a call from him that his aunt’s and grandma’s luggage did not arrive. He asked if I could go pick it up from the airport and would give me a bonus and pay for my cab. I never say no to opportunities like this, not because I enjoy fetching luggage but it is never just about the luggage. The task would be too boring if something didn’t happen or go wrong haha After I agreed he told the the catch which was that I could not get he bag until after 10pm.
I took and Uber for the first time which is the new “taxis.” You have an app on your phone and you can order it to come pick you up. The cars are all black and you are treated like VIP. Not to mention they are safer and faster than cabs and you have your credit card info on the app so you don’t even have to worry about paying, you just hop out and leave.
I got to the airport 10 minutes early and hung around before going to the counter. In the meantime I had gotten 2 more e-mail with instructions from my boss. One of them stated that there was now only one bag belonging to his aunt. Of course her bag had been delayed and it would be another 2 hours until I could get it. And so the waiting game started. I should add in there were many other hurdles between me getting the bag but, a little trick I have learned is telling the everyone that gives you a hard time, that you are only the intern. Everyone feels so bad for you they will do almost anything to help you out. Fast forward to 12:45 am, I am in really fancy hotel lobby dropping off a large red suitcase. Mission accomplished!
And before you give me boss too hard of a time I should note when I e-mailed him about the delay he told me to come into the office an hour later the next day and told me he would double my bonus. When he returned from his honeymoon, the next time I saw him, he reimbursed me and wrote me a hand written thank-you note. Seriously though, if someone wants to pay me I’ll write the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada just holla!
The rest of the wedding seemed to go off without a hitch. From what I hear it was one of the most elaborate and lavish weddings of the year. So great in fact the New York Times wrote a small section about it. Being an intern allowed me the great opportunity to go fetch luggage, talk with the toast master, editor from the Times and anyone else who seemed to have questions. What am I going to do next term when I no longer have such a diverse job?
I want to finish it off giving a very special shout out to Grace and Aaron. Have no fear there are more adventures and stories to come from their three days here! Roaming NYC with the two of you was way fun! There was never a dull moment and both your appreciation for my love for cupcakes and selfies is more than I could ever ask!
“Its better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times”