Wednesday, June 20, 2012

At the Big Apple

Today, I was extremely excited to go to New York City for the first time ever. We woke up at 7:15 and walked to the Amtrak Station half an hour later. While playing a quick game of cards, we lined up for the train. In just one and a half hours, we would be setting foot at New York City, one of the most renowned cities in the U.S.

When we arrived, it was unbelievably crowded. At the subway, it was so crowded that it was hard to walk to the exit. Just staying together seemed like a not so easy task. Finally, while emerging from the stairs to Time Square, the heat just hit us. We all were trying to find a cafe, while, at the same time, admiring the huge buildings and banners at this metropolis. It was a new experience for me because the Bay Area never had that crowded atmosphere like Time Square.

Busy streets in Time Square
After we thought we had seen all what Time Square had to offer, we set our eyes toward Columbia. The temperature felt as if it had increased by 20 degrees since the morning because of the combination of humidity and sunlight. We survived with water, and as we walked on campus, we noticed that Columbia, compared to U Penn, was much smaller, but had two amazing libraries that were nothing like the U Penn buildings. One good thing about this campus was that I always knew where I was, unlike U Penn, which was too big of a campus to walk through without a map. Once we finished our tour, we rushed back to the train, because we were on a tight schedule. Unluckily for us, we got delayed for a little less than one hour.

New Columbia Library

The Original Columbia Library

Entrance of the Amada Restaurant 

The delayed train forced us to only have a 40 minute break between our New York visit and our dinner at the Amada Restaurant. The restaurant had a casual feeling to it, unlike the extremely fancy Fountain Restaurant. The lights were dim and the candles there outnumbered actual light bulbs.  I really knew it was a different restaurant when the food on the menu had unpronounceable names. Because we were not used to the food, we all agreed on having a chef choice to surprise us with he recommends. Boy, we were in a shock when we found out that we would be eating about 15 servings of different foods. It was just overwhelming, with dishes like octopus, lamb chops, sardines, salads, and others that we had no ideas what they were. It was so good that Calvin even drew a drawing on the plate to show his appreciation.

While as hot as the day was, it was just as amazing as the other days staying here in the East Coast. What was displeasing in weather was made up for from the experience. We went to three enjoyable places all in one day: Time Square, Columbia, and the Amada Restaurant.

Lamb Chops
Sweet Desert
Calvin's Drawing

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