New York, North America, USA

A Different Side of Manhattan

January 6, 2014

Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping 2014 will be even better than 2013! 


Our trip to NYC unfolded differently this time. There were no visits to Times Square, Central Park, or The Met. The Empire State Building can be seen at a distance, serving only as our compass point and nothing more. The tree at Rockefeller Center was seen from a distance that was far, far away from the crazy crowds. Instead, we spent majority of our time neighbourhood-hopping from Morningside Heights to Chelsea to Greenwich Village. From Brooklyn to Lower East Side, our sole intention was to see everything and anything as long as we stayed away from the extremely touristy parts of the city. So, if you have the same intentions as I do next time you visit New York City, consider visiting the following places.

Greenwich Village


We started with breakfast at Murray’s Bagels and went on to spend most of our Saturday in Greenwich Village. We ventured south to SoHo briefly to check out the stores on Broadway, but we couldn’t help but to return to the Village for dinner at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian restaurant. What can you say? It’s hard to stay away when the area is filled with good eats, cute stores, and beautiful buildings.

Columbia U and Corpus Christi Church

Sunday morning started with a quick tour of Columbia U and Mass at Corpus Christi Church nearby the university. Fact: this is the very same church where Thomas Merton, a prolific Catholic writer and priest, had his conversion and was subsequently baptized in!


I’m also afraid to admit this, but fellow UofT alumni, I think I finally found a campus that’s more beautiful than ours! Columbia U, albeit smaller, is definitely the classier one of the two. Take a look.

ColumbiaU ColumbiaU ColumbiaU

Chelsea Market and the High Line


We didn’t spend a lot of time on the High Line, an old, elevated rail-track converted to a public park, since we found the entrance to the Chelsea Market about 10 steps after we started walking. However, it was enough to convince me to make this my priority if I ever go back to Manhattan again. The fact that the Chelsea Market is right there is a huge plus. Picture me spending the morning walking along the High Line and ending up at the market for lunch! Doesn’t that sound like a perfect day in Chelsea? I think so!

Tea sold in bulk at the market.

Tea sold in bulk at the market.

Brooklyn Bridge

I have Julia to thank for this one. I was indifferent on walking the length of the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, but Julia persuaded me and I’m so glad she did! The Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful and the view of the Manhattan Skyline from the bridge is magnificent!


The Manhattan Bridge as viewed from Brooklyn Bridge.

The Manhattan Bridge as viewed from Brooklyn Bridge.

Regardless of what I experienced this time, my opinion on New York still stands.  I want to love New York as much as everyone else does, I really do, but I just don’t. Maybe it’s the crowds. Or the shopping. Or maybe it’s the sheer size of this metropolis. Time and time again, I found myself exhausted and wanting to go home so badly.


I’m sorry, New York, I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to connect with you.

P.s. If you are on Instagram, let’s be friends!


  • Reply Camels & Chocolate January 16, 2014 at 1:37 am

    How you feel about NYC is my feeling on London exactly. Want to love it, but no matter how many times I revisit it, I just…don’t =/ But I keep trying nonetheless! And I adore the rest of the UK, so my ambivalence toward London is perplexing even to me.

    I feel like NYC is one of those cities you need to experience through a close friend or family member who lives there, otherwise you don’t really find the bits that the locals love so much.

    • Reply Pauline January 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      THANK YOU, KRISTIN!!! At least somebody else feels the same way I do! For the longest time, I thought I’m the biggest party-pooper because I don’t love New York, but I’m glad to know you feel somewhat the same way towards London. I think I just don’t handle crowds well, though, because I feel the same way when I went to London and Hong Kong *shudders*

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