In a NY state of mind, en route to world’s happiest city.

Ever since I landed in New York City for the first time in 2011, 22 and starry-eyed, playing Alicia keys’ “concrete jungles where dreams are made of ” on a loop (corny much?), I have been re-visiting at least twice a year and falling a little more in love with each adventure in this chaotic bustling city with its dizzying skyscrapers, sprawling parks, and delicious bagels and pizzas.

The first time I got here, I was here for an interview for an internship with Morgan Stanley. The interview went incredibly well; I kicked ass (Not bragging; this was my first great interview after a series of hysterically-awful ones) and, needless to say, I snagged the internship for 3 months in NYC. But along came another company with a better offer shattering my dreams and robbing me of my stay in NYC (How rude! :P). No real regrets, life took a different spin and while I’m happy to be where I am today, I still fantasize about moving to NYC and calling this place home one day. My caring friends have warned me that the banes may outweigh the boons- “you are going to spend your entire paycheck for living in a broomstick closet; kitchen-restroom and bedroom rolled into one apartment; you will be walking everywhere; getting groceries in snowy winters; jostling millions of tourists on your way to work” and blah blah. But I think I’m ready to trade in the “luxuries” I have for a slice of the big-apple life. It’s probably good to have a smaller apartment; lesser hoarding and easier to maintain; walking is a great exercise and a better way to explore the city (think about all the audiobooks and podcasts I can listen to). My parents have managed all their lives without a car and I’m sure I’ll embrace that life after a couple of months of whining. One real threat I foresee are the bitter winters. Bah, humbug! Surely I’ll adapt?

With all these thoughts buzzing in my head, I took the bus from La Guardia to Manhattan. My plan was to kill a couple of hours around Penn Station before taking the train to Newark, from where I would board the flight to Copenhagen! (Wee!!) My friend Darsh who moved here about a year ago always has great recommendations for things to do. I took her advice and spent three blissful hours – starting with lunch at Khatti Roll company followed by coffee at Culture Espresso and a brief stroll through Bryant Park. Another perfect day in this city!

The loveliest wrap since Pashmina at Khati roll Company

Kati Roll Company is a delightful crowded little space with big retro Bollywood posters and wallpapers and great Khatti rolls. I ordered an Unda Aloo roll (egg roll) and an Aloo masala roll (roll with spicy mashed potatoes) with a cup of masala chai (spiced tea with milk and sugar, yes please) and a bottle of mango lassi! Yes, all for me and one meal, I was quite hungry alright? Pfft! I shared a table and stories with a nice Chinese man in his early forties. The perks of traveling solo, you meet all kinds of interesting people. 🙂

Culture Espresso
The Chinese man helped me roll my luggage to Culture Espresso and wouldn’t take no for an answer. After he left, I ensconced myself at a cozy corner in this adorable café and ordered a cup of macchiato, which was excellent. I also managed to get some work done.

Signing off with some of my favorite postcards of NYC!