Last Saturday, I woke up at 6:30am with groggy eyes. Chowing down an apple and a cup of coffee, me and my friends rushed to the bus station, catching the bus to New York City. Growing up, I watched countless movies and TV shows taking place in the bustling metropolis. As the song goes ‘New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of! These streets will make you feel brand new!’ The big bright screens in Times Square, the iconic Empire State Building, the scenic and beautiful Central Park… My whole body was filled with excitement for the entire bus ride!
We finally arrived in Manhattan in an hour and a half. Exiting the bus station, we were immediately struck by the tall buildings, shiny billboards, and yellow cabs. Relax, I am going to spare you from the details of our very touristy and boring itineraries (the pictures below could speak for themselves). Instead, I wanted to share with you how I felt after spending a whole day in midtown/uptown Manhattan. You might be surprised, but the more I walked around the area, the more compelling the sense of déjà vu was. The tall buildings, the sheer amount of people, and the traffic, all reminded me of Hong Kong. Especially in Times Square, it felt exactly like the shopping districts in Hong Kong, but with bigger and shinier billboards. Never thought I would say this, but I was a bit underwhelmed. The good news is my friends told me that downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens had so much better to offer. I would definitely visit New York City again sometime!
Sunday was the NFC championship game. It was a big day for everyone because if the Eagles won this game, they would be playing in the Super Bowl for the first time in 5 years! One of my friends invited us to their tailgate party in the stadium parking lot before the game. For those who do not know what tailgating is, it is where people would have a food and beer party at the back of their vehicles before an event, usually sports games or concerts. On our way to the stadium, the SEPTA was packed with Eagles fans and it was spectacular. Everyone was so pumped up for the game, chanting on the subway. The parking lot was an impressive sight, there were marching bands, dance parties, campfires, the kids playing football with their parents… It felt like a carnival!
I absolutely adore the sports culture in Philadelphia, especially the dedicated fans. Long story short, we went to a bar in Center City to watch the game and the Eagles won! The moment the game ended, everybody rushed outside towards city hall to celebrate. Everybody was dressed in green, cheering and singing, it was a sight to behold. There were drums, confetti, and even fireworks. People climb poles and buildings, cheering at the top of their lungs. We all had so much fun in the celebration, and I witnessed the power of sports and how it unites people together. Looking forward to Super Bowl weekend!