My First Solo Trip! NYC Spring 2018.

Hello everyone,

You guys, I am not even going to try and make any excuses for my long absence from this blog. However, I will say that I have trouble juggling my work, and social life, therefore my blog has suffered again. With that being said, I do want to commit to this blog more, so I have decided to post twice a week. I will start with Music Monday, I’ll be posting music video reviews or my current playlist on Spotify and tell you all why I love the songs. The second day of the week will be Friday, I’ll post anything related to travel, music, and daily life topics. Now without any further ado, here is today’s blog post.

At the beginning of this year, I made a decision that I would like to go to New York City by myself for the long weekend in May. I wanted to have more time to explore the city by myself and do this at my own pace. Last year I went to New York City for the first time with my family but I didn’t get the chance to do a lot of the things that I wanted to do and see. So this trip was all for that!

 

I booked my flight for May 18th to May 21st, I have never traveled solo to a city where I am not meeting anybody and where I am literally all alone to explore and navigate throughout this busy city. Let me describe what my days were like and what I did. 

My plane was scheduled to take off at 10:27 AM, so I woke up extra early that day to make sure I shower, double check if I packed everything that I need. Going to the airport  I carried one small carry-on backpack and I had a big suitcase because I was planning to buy some things while I was in New York. I flew with American Airlines and I don’t have any complaints about my flight it was very quick and the view was coming into NYC was absolutely fantastic. Seeing the beautiful cityscape below made me even more excited for the days that were coming up.

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Also when we were flying out of Toronto there was a wonderful view of the city and Lake Ontario.

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I arrived in the city around noon, I was debating whether or not to take an Uber or a taxi. I had enough money with me but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t waste all my money on taxis so I tried to figure out the most inexpensive way to get into the city. Lucky for me I stumbled across an airport staff who let me know there was a shuttle bus which costs only $16. If I were to take a cab it would probably cost around $30 or $40. I got on the bus and there weren’t that many people, the drive was also quite quick because there wasn’t any traffic. The bus arrived at Grand Central Station and when I got off I debated whether to take the subway to my hostel or walk.

 

My walk was probably around 20 minutes and let’s keep in mind that I was pulling around a very heavy suitcase. I wanted to challenge myself and navigate throughout the city by following the map. I am not the best at following directions and I get lost quite easily even in my own city. I pulled out my phone I clicked on the Maps app and I started following the GPS. Let’s just say somehow I managed not to follow the GPS properly but eventually after 20 minutes or so I arrived at my hostel around 2 PM. I was quite early because check-in time wasn’t until 3 PM so I decided to leave my big suitcase and go out to Dunkin’ Donuts to kill some time. I haven’t been to Dunkin’ Donuts since 2001 so it was exciting for me to go back and have a delicious donut to unwind after my trip.

 

After I relaxed for a bit, enjoyed my donut and iced green tea, I walked back to my hostel. I walked down some side streets so I can see more of the neighborhood. Then I went to  CVS because I needed to get a few things like soap and I also bought some miscellaneous items. I went back to my hostel, got my suitcase, went up to my room and I napped. I was up at 6:30 AM so I was feeling tired and getting some sleep was essential. After I got some much-needed sleep, around 6:30 PM I started getting ready to go and see Aladdin on Broadway. I was very, very excited to go and I couldn’t wait. This was my first time attending a show solo in a different country. I’m used to going to concerts by myself because my friends and I have very different tastes in music so it kind of felt weird going by myself. I decided to ignore this feeling and wait to see how I would feel when I arrive at the theatre. I got dressed up, put on my make up and got ready for a night out in New York City.  I caught myself a cab and I was actually lucky because the cab just happened to be right there as someone was getting out. 

 

Asking people to take your photo when you’re traveling solo can be a bit awkward. For example, when I got out of the cab there was a beautiful shimmering sign of the Aladdin show right across the street.

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I wanted someone to take a photo of me but people were not willing to stop and take my picture. I guess it may be because I approached them and said, “excuse me can you do me a favor.” Don’t say that, instead just get straight to the point, “excuse me do you mind taking a photo of me.” Now keep in mind people are always in a rush, even tourists, but there are some who are actually willing to take your photo. After I got a few photos taken I went across the street to get inside the theatre. The theater was beautiful and I loved the architecture, the feeling of awkwardness came back again but I pushed it away.

 

This was a false feeling and I didn’t want this to get in the way of having a good time. The show was fantastic, the acting, dancing, and singing were superb. The actor who played genie was memorable for me because he put so much effort into his performance. During intermission, I purchased some souvenirs and then it was time for the second half of the show. After the performance, I wondered what to do next, whether to go back to the hostel right away or go for a walk through Time Square. I decided to walk around for a bit and enjoy the nightlife in NYC. I felt safe because there were police officers everywhere, and I also was very aware of the surroundings. Just in case! 

 

I suddenly felt a bit overwhelmed at how many people were there at 11 PM, it felt like it was daytime. I never actually experienced the crowds of people at Time Square when I was there last year. Never to this extent, at least! I walked around, took photos of the busy nightlife and I purchased some souvenirs for my friends. Then it was onto the toughest task of all, catching a cab. If you’ve been to NYC you know how tough it is to catch a cab and it took me 35 minutes to get one. I am not kidding! I even got the help from two police officers trying to stop a cab for me, but that didn’t work either. I thanked them for trying to help me and I proceeded walking to the side streets with a higher chance of catching a cab. After 35 minutes I finally managed to stop a cab, I was so relieved and happy. The taxi ride was nice and I had a good chat with him, many people I’ve run into at NYC to move to Canada. I can’t blame them for feeling this way, and we are pretty great. I finally arrived at my hostel, and I couldn’t wait to go to bed. I stayed up a bit to watch a show on Netflix and then it was time for dreamland.

May 19, 2018

The next day I woke up around 8 AM and I did what I typically do when I wake up on a weekend, stay in bed for a while. I can’t get up right away I need to give myself a few minutes to wake up. When I finally got up I proceeded to complete my typical morning routine, put on my makeup and pick an outfit for the day. Unfortunately, it was raining a lot that day, it was gloomy and cold. I was a bit disappointed because I needed a sunny day for my photography. However, that wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying the day.

After I got ready I went downstairs to the lobby and sat there for a while waiting for the rain to stop. It didn’t and it was raining hard, but I decided to go ahead and just brave the day. I walked all the way to Grand Central Station to hop on the subway, the subway is not difficult to navigate if you pay attention.

 

I actually got off by accident at the wrong station but luckily I ended up at Bryant Park and the New York Public Library.

 

Visiting the library was already on my list, so I thought this was a funny accident. I spend about an hour and a half in the library exploring and taking lots of photos. I was fascinated by the beautiful artwork and the architecture.

 

I bought some gifts from the gift shop and then I decided to make my way down to Macy’s. My mother requested to buy some stuff from there so it was time for that. It was very crowded that day so I couldn’t wait to leave the store. Truthfully, this trip wasn’t about the shopping it was all about sightseeing. Going back I got lost quite a bit, but with the help of some kind strangers, I managed to get back to Grand Central station.

Before I exited the station I stopped to listen to a jazz busker, he was very kind and was telling me a bit about his music. I can’t say no to discussing music, because music is life. I mean, you can tell from my domain name that I love music. After we chatted I left and went back to my hostel, I arrived around 3 PM. I was so tired I decided to rest for an hour and take a nap. At 4 PM it was time to be on the go again and luckily it stopped raining which was great. The day before I wanted to go and capture some day shots of Times Square so it was time to be on the move again. Yet again there were many people so I took some photos and then I was on a quest to find a pizza place. I walked a few blocks until I ran into the first pizza shop I went to in NYC last year. It is called Gotham Pizza, I really like the name (if you are a DC Comics fan then you’ll know why). The pizza was really good and highly recommend going to this place. After my meal, I wanted to go to the Empire State building and go up to the observation deck. Now that’s when I got really lost. I decided to walk to the Empire State Building but I ended up going in the wrong direction. At one point I gave up and decided to take a cab, when I arrived we were told the fog is very thick and we will not be able to see the city at all. So I decided to go back to the hostel, but before that, I went to the supermarket to purchase some food so I can save some money. I also bought some breakfast for the following day with the purpose of not trying to hunt down for a food place. I arrived at the hostel around 8 PM and then I binge watched 13 Reasons Why.

May 20, 2018

We have finally arrived at my favorite day of the entire trip, it was such a warm and sunny day. Actually, it was so hot, I was sweating profusely! Maybe you don’t need to know that but there we go I said it.

Seeing the sunshine brought a huge smile to face and I was super excited to get started with my day. I bought a city pass so there were a number of places I wanted to visit like Top of The Rock, Empire State Building (again), and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The CityPASS is super useful for tourists because it allows you to enter three or more popular tourist attractions. It costs around $100 plus tax, and you can enter the touristy attractions once. I didn’t want to take too many cabs that day so I did A LOT of walking. I walked from my hostel to the Top of The Rock and it was a lovely walk. I got the chance to see different neighborhoods and unique streets. I love walking because I get to see more of the city, but this can also be tiring so make sure you rest along the way. Top of The Rock is located at Rockefeller Centre, I used my pass to get in which was very quick and easy.

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When you get inside you can take a fun photo with a green screen behind you. Since it was my first time there I decided to purchase the photo for $25. My favorite part was finally going up to the top and seeing the city from above, I’ve envisioned that for so long. The view was excellent and it was so sunny. When you travel solo, picture taking is quite a task, I took a few selfies but then I had to find someone who would be willing to take a few photos of me. All you have to do is ask politely someone for their time and then offer to take their photo. Big thanks to the kind strangers who took a few photos of me!!! Now let’s talk about the views! The views were spectacular, to see the Empire State Building like this and finally take a photo like the ones I always find on Google was awesome. After taking soo many photos there, I got some souvenirs and I was onto my next destination.

As I exited the Top of the Rock building I took my time to enjoy Rockefeller Centre, it looks so wonderful in the sunshine. NYC seems even more dynamic during the summer with beautiful outdoor patios. I was making my way towards the Empire State Building, but in the corner of my eye, I saw St. Patricks Cathedral across the street. I decided to go in and I stayed for the full service. The details inside were beautiful, the artwork, the glass stained windows were stunning.

After the service I walked down to the Empire State building, I was excited to finally go inside and take some beautiful photos. As I expected the views were awesome, there is something about NYC views from above that’s so amazing.

I wrapped up my stay there and I decided to go grab some food before I continued walked to the Iron Building District. I came across a pizza place called Little Italy, it was quite busy, even busier than the other pizza restaurant. It was nice to get some food when I am on the go so much I forget to eat properly.

Afterward, I walked down to the Iron Building District and I have to say that’s when I felt like NYC is truly remarkable. Those NYC streets are amazing, you will never feel bored in NYC. The overall vibe of NYC is infectious, you feel like a true New Yorker. When I arrived I took some pictures of the building, and then I hopped on the subway to go to Brooklyn Bridge. Yet again I got lost, the subway system can be a bit confusing at times. I went back and forth quite a bit before I finally figured out which subway line to take. It was kind of comedic actually, I started laughing at myself a bit. Once I arrived the tiredness suddenly hit me, I arrived there around 2 PM. For some odd reason, I thought there weren’t going to be many people, but it was packed. It was hot and there were lots of people. My goal was to take a nice photo of the bridge but so many people were in the way. Despite this I did take some nice shots, leave to the photographer to figure out how to take nice pictures despite the circumstances. I even got a few good shots of myself!! I’ve got to admit no matter how many times I go to visit Brooklyn Bridge, I can never get sick of it.

Then I decided to go and get on a boat to see the Statue of Liberty but sadly I missed the last one and they were closing. I was disappointed but instead of being on the go again I decided to sit down by the water and enjoy the view. I think that’s one of the things we forget to do, we forget to slow down and enjoy life.

After I was done relaxing, it was time to go and see the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. That part of the city was probably my favorite, it was less busy and more interesting to me. Seeing the 9/11 Memorial was emotional, I didn’t expect to feel so emotional. For those of you who down know this, I was four years old when I watched Home Alone 2. This movie made me fall in love with New York and seeing the twin towers, it was my goal to see them in person one day. I think that’s why I got emotional because I never got the chance to see the twin towers. However, the Freedom Tower was beautiful!

Then I walked into the 9/11 Museum, before entering I got the chance to chat with one of the workers. He was giving me tourism tips, and talking about the creation of the museum. He was very kind and it was chatting with him. Walking inside was chilling, there had items from the twin towers and an entire gallery of the victims. It was really sad, but the fact that they use this to become stronger and unite together is admirable. I bought some things from the gift shop because it helps to support the museum and keep it open for a long period of time.

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Now it was time to head back, I had to make one final stop at Macy’s and the get food because I was starving. I bought myself a new purse, and then I went to Korean Town to get some delicious ramen. Downtown was so pretty with the sun setting down, I couldn’t resist taking some photos.

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Then I thought of going back to Top of the Rock to take some night shots but that’s when I found out that I can’t use my CityPASS twice for the same location. So I hopped on a cab, went back to the hostel and organized my luggage. In the morning I took a cab to the airport, and I arrived in Toronto around 3 PM.

So in conclusion, do not be afraid to travel solo because for me it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I can’t wait to do this again and see more of NYC next time.

Thank you so much for reading and see you again this Friday 🙂

 

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Music Monday! (G)I-DLE – LATATA

Hello everyone,

Welcome back o Music Monday!

Today I will be introducing a new Kpop group that just debuted under Cube Entertainment. The song I’ll be sharing is “La Ta Ta” by (G)I-DLE!

This South Korean girl group debuted on May 2, 2018, and they currently have two million views on their music video. The group consists of six members, let me introduce them to you!

Soyeon is the leader of the group and former contestant of the popular talent survival show, Produce 101. The showcased her talents as a rapper and she also appeared as a contestant on Unpretty Rapstar Season 3 and the places third on the show. She is the most popular member, so it makes sense for her entertainment agency to push her as the center of the group.

She was a formed YG Entertainment trainee and she was supposed to debut as part of BlackPink. She is the main vocalist!

She is from Thailand and she is known for also being a Rising Star Cosmetics Model. She is the lead vocalist of the group.

Growing up Soojin took jazz dance lesson, and was quite keen on becoming an idol despite her father’s opposition. She became a trainee in 2016 and her position in the group is Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist.

Yuqi is the lead vocalist and dancer of (G)I-dle and she was born in Beijing! For me personally, her deep voice stood out in the music video. I can’t wait to hear her sing more.

Shuhua is the youngest member of the group and her position in the group is vocalist and visual. She has stated that her biggest inspiration for becoming a Kpop idol was Hyuna.

This is a brief look at each of the members and I think they’ll be big one day. Their music video is visually appealing with wonderful fashion and a pleasing aesthetic. The song is catchy with an edgier concept that I think is needed in the Kpop industry.

They just debuted but I already can’t wait for their comeback single!

Thank you for reading and see you soon!

 

Source [http://kprofiles.com/idle-profile-facts/]

My Dance Journey!

Hello everyone,

I am back again with another blog post and today I want to chat about my dancing journey.

I’ve been dancing since I was a child, but it wasn’t until November 2017 that I got back in the dance studio part-time. One of the reasons why I finally decided to get over stage fright and attend dance class was because of a friendship breakup. Last year I went through a friendship breakup with a friend who was like family to me, so I needed a distraction. I’ve been following a dance studio Instagram account for a few months and they offer Kpop classes. As you guys know, I love absolutely love Kpop and I love to learn the choreography. One day I saw they are offering a six-week course for the Blackpink song, “As If It’s Your Last”.

I knew this is the perfect opportunity because I was obsessed with the song and I’ve been wanting to learn the dance for a long time. The price of the course package was around $125 and it was worth the price. At the end of the course, a cameraman came to film the dance music video and posted it on the DanceLifeX Youtube channel.

I was quite nervous the first day I started the course, I preferred to stay at the back rather than the front. The thing is I’ve always known I am a good dancer, but it’s been a while since I’ve danced and I didn’t want my teacher to watch my mistakes. As time progressed, I started to feel more confident and I started moving closer to the front. It was also helpful because I could watch myself in the mirror while I danced to see my improvement and fix any mistakes I made. I noticed a change in me when I started dancing, I became more confident in my abilities as a dancer. It also helped me to become less introverted. I am very thankful for my dance studio and the people I have met!

The last day of the course was shooting day, we all came dressed up and ready to show off our moves. I was on a team with two people and we rehearsed a little bit before it was our turn to perform. Our turn came and we filmed the dance twice, the first take I messed up a bit because it was my first time being in front of the camera. The second take was much better and I felt even more confident. If you are curious to watch the video, I will add it below this text. I am the girl with the floweral shirt and long black hair!

This is not the end of my dance journey, in fact, this is only the beginning. In January, I joined another six-week dance course for BTS’s song, “Mic Drop”.  I noticed a major difference in me when I started the course. I was always at the front of the class close to my teacher because I felt confident enough to dance in front of all the other students. My dance technique improved and my moves were sharper. This course offered a new challenge, formations. Dance formations are very popular in Kpop dancing and they can be quite challenging. We didn’t have the opportunity to practice longer to perfect the formations but we did our best. Filming day was fun and super busy, we shot the dance music video in one take. My facial expressions were better and I made more eye contact with the camera. I will add this video as well when the video starts I am part of the third teams that are shown and I am in the center.

Now, what’s next? Well, I am currently training for my first dance recital that’ll take place in June. As you can see I went from staying at the back of the class to training for my first dance performance. I feel super proud of my progress, and I can’t wait to continue. I’ve always wanted to get back to dance but something always stopped me. Never let fear limit your abilities, on the other side of fear is a brand new life.

Thank you for reading and I will see you tomorrow for Music Monday 🙂

 

My First Cosplay Experience!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to my blog!

Today I want to share with you something I did that was very exciting for me and that is my first cosplay experience. I am turning thirty next year and I have a list of things I would like to do before this big milestone.

I started going to conventions when I was fourteen and I stopped when I was seventeen. However, I always heard about Comic-Con and in 2014 I decided to go and see what the fuss is about. Let’s just say to this day I look forward to March to attend Comic-Con and it is always so much fun.

I am an artsy person, but when it comes to designing or creating my own outfits that is something I cannot do. I always pay close attention to the details and hard work cosplayers put into creating their costumes. Kudos to them because they are rockin’ it! On the other hand, I bought my costume from eBay for a special Halloween photoshoot last year. When I was done with the photoshoot I didn’t know when I’ll wear the costume again, so I decided it is time to cosplay for the first time. The only thing I needed was a wig, everything else I had in my possession. If you are wondering who I cosplayed as it was none other than Daenerys Targaryen (in the blue costume) from Game of Thrones.

The day of attending Comic-Con arrived fast and my friend and I got ready early in the morning. My friend dressed up as Sailor Jupiter, it was also her first time cosplaying. After we were done, we rushed to the train station and we were on our way. I felt lots of excitement, this is something I’ve wanted to do for 14 years and I felt really happy to finally make it a reality. We attended Comic-Con on a Saturday so there were many people there. The coolest thing about this experience was people asking to take pictures with me or of me. I’m not going to lie, I did feel like a celebrity. I thought I would feel weird being dressed up, but there are so many people there who will compliment you. We were all there to have fun and no one will make fun of you or criticize you.

As I was strolling around the convention center, I stumbled upon Game of Thrones cosplayers. They were part of a group called CosParty who pick themes and cosplays. Later on that day I found out they were on a popular Canadian talk show. Talk about being lucky. They invited me to join them for some photos in the lobby, and then for a professional photo shoot on the balcony of the convention center.

It was an amazing experience and I am actually going to cosplay again for FanExpo as my favorite DC Comics character, Catwoman.

In conclusion, just be yourself and do what makes you happy. If you like to cosplay but you’ve never tried, just do it. You’ll have a blast.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Music March! Late 90s Week Finale.

Hello everyone,

I’ve done it again, I missed the last two days of Music March, but here I am today to share with you the final two 90’s music videos.

The two 90s songs I chose are “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears and “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys. I chose these two songs because they got me into listening to the late 90s teen pop era. I have the greatest memories watching these music videos on MTV, back when MTV actually played music videos.

Britney Spears – Baby One More Time

This song was the beginning of Britney Spears’s career, I remember I was so obsessed with this song. The song was released on October 23, 1998, through Jive Records and it became an instant hit. It reached number one in every country it charted in, including the United Kingdom, where it earned double-platinum certification from the British Phonographic Industry and became the country’s best-selling song of 1999.

The Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way

It was released on April 12, 1999, as the lead single from their third studio album, Millennium. It was written by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson, while Martin and Kristian Lundin produced it. This song was called the pop ballad of the year and it reached the number-one spot in more than 25 countries, including Austria, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

I hope you guys enjoyed these two songs, and thank you so much for keeping up with my Music March schedule. Again, my apologies for falling behind schedule! April will not have a theme, regular posts will return this week.

Thank you for visiting my blog and see you soon!

Music March! Late 90s Week|New Rascals – You Get What You Give!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Late 90s Week, today I will be introducing New Rascals and their song “You Get What You Give”.

They are an American alternative rock band active from 1997 to 1999. The lead singer Gregg Alexander has written and produced all the songs. On July 12, 1999 Gregg announced the group will be breaking up for good.

Their hot single You Get What You Give was released in 1998 and it reached number five in the United Kingdom and number one in Canada and New Zealand.

Let me know what you think about the song in the comments section!

Thanks for stopping by and see you soon!

Music March! Late 90s Week|Destiny’s Child – Bug A Boo.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Late 90s Week, today I will be introducing Destiny’s Child and their song “Bug A Boo”.

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I started listening to Destiny’s Child in 1999, I was ten years old at the time and the time where my love for music became stronger. Destiny’s Child formed in 1997 in Houston, Texas with Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Robertson, Letoya Luckett and Farrah Franklin. There were a few changes to the line up around that time, and eventually, the group became a trio with Beyond, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams.

I could’ve chosen many of the songs but this song made me love Destiny’s Child even more. The single was written by Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Robertson, Letoya Luckett and it was released August 23, 1999. Unfortunately, Bug A Boo failed in sales after the huge success of their song “Bills Bills Bills”.

Despite this, I still love the song and I wanted to share it with you all! I hope you like it.

Thank you for stopping by and see you soon!