15 Things I did in NYC as a Young Adult
In May, I, on a whim, went to NYC as a young adult on vacation for the very first time. Not as a student, not for a conference or work, but just for pure vacation. It was kind of spectacular. I went with my roommate, Gordon, and our objective was to “go hard”. Here’s what we did:
Vlog of New York Trip
- San Marzano
- Ichiran NY
- Halal Guys
- Park Ave Spring
- Clinton St. Baking Company
- Ichi Cellar
- Pocha 32
- Angel’s Share Speakeasy
- Turf Club in Brooklyn
- Monarch Rooftop Lounge
- Wicked on Broadway
- Brooklyn Botanical Garden
- Madison Square Park
- Visiting Google
- Visiting Facebook
This is an Italian restaurant in East Village. Their tomatoes are famous for being grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. They primarily take reservations with their prefix menus, but they serve unlimited sangrias and mimosas for an hour and a half.
To get through our drinks, our squad played a Korean drinking game where each person would pose a superlative then all members would point to the person who they think the superlative applies to the most. If you were the one with most fingers pointed at you, then you’d have to drink. However, you can choose to block. If you block while being the most pointed at, everyone else has to drink. We asked questions like:
- Most likely to go to jail
- Last to get married
- Most likely to cheat
- Most likely to get fired
- Most likely to lose contact with all friends
- Most attractive
- Most likely to be on Forbes 40 under 40
Ichiran is perhaps the most popular tonkotsu ramen shops in Japan. The set up is quite anti-social in that the seats are individual booths and you interact with the waiters through a small bamboo curtain in front of you. You don’t typically have to make eye contact with anyone at the restaurant.
Although this is a tourist staple, I always make sure I hit up the Halal Guys stand near the MOMA. It is certainly a privilege to eat their $7 chicken and rice plates with their secret white sauce and fire red sauce. New York keeps it real.
This three-dollar-sign New York restaurant changes its decor and menu based on the four seasons! It’s definitely on the pricier side, but it was time for me to be a young adult and try a premium dining experience. I even dressed up!
Based in the Lower East Side, this is a premium but humble comfort food restaurant that serves blueberry pancakes, buttermilk fried chicken, muffins, and more. There is quite a wait, so do try going during off-peak hours.
Bars & Clubs
Although I’ve never heard of it before, Angel’s Share is an ironically well-known speakeasy in East Village. It’s hidden behind a restaurant that’s on top of another restaurant. I never developed a liking for cocktails, but the drinks at Angel’s Share blew me away. My friends and I are making it a tradition for us to go each time we visit New York.
My friend invited me to a summer lawn party to celebrate the opening of The Turf Club at Westlight in Williamsburg. Attending this event made me remember just how stunning New Yorkers are. They really know how to clean up well. The Turf Club is a series of summer pop-up parties hosted at the Westlight Rooftop. You get a breathtaking, 360-degree view of the skyline as it transitions from day to night.
When you need an accessible, ratchet club to go to on a Friday night, Ichi Cellar in K-town is an excellent choice. The club is somewhat small, so the wait may be long during peak hours.
After dancing at Ichi Cellar until 3 am, we went to Pocha for watermelon soju and late night Korean food. You must get their cheese/cream corn and budaejjigae!
This is a pretty standard rooftop lounge, but it has a direct view of the Empire State building.
Wicked on Broadway
Watching Wicked was such a privilege to have experienced. I was hesitant to watch since the original cast has long moved onto other things in life. I’ve only ever listened to the original soundtrack. However, the 2018 cast was strong and unique in their own way. Wicked never seizes to amaze me on how well their characters develop over time.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
As beautiful as nature is, it was way too hot for me to appropriately enjoy the botanical garden. What I did appreciate is the lawn of people lying in the shade reading or taking a nap.
Madison Square Park
I came with my roommate for a hot minute to just sit and talk about our philosophies in life. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors and to people watch.
Visiting Google + Facebook
One of the privileges of working in tech is that I have lots of tech friends who can give me tours and free meals at Google and Facebook. I remember when I’d be so bedazzled by seeing these companies.