"I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible." -Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Hi Readers,

Just a heads up, this is a look back at our NYC trip in 2015 and not a recent one. New York City is one of the places we have jotted down in our bucket list (frankly, we don't have a "bucket list"; it's just something we have in our minds that we actually wanna do before having kids). We were dreaming of this trip since 2013 and we were finally able to realize it on April 2015. Due to time constraints and work-related reasons, we only got to explore NYC in a total of 5 days.

While we were in the process of planning, we had asked friends who actually live there and friends who had been there on somewhat a basic guide to going from one tourist attraction to another, and all of them have one common notion -- one cannot possibly tour this concrete jungle in just 5 days.

Idealistic and optimistic as we were at that time, we held on to a glimmer of hope that somehow, we can make the most out of our 5 days in the city. And so we did. And we even got the chance to ride the bus down to Washington D.C. right after the Cherry Blossom Festival (which we will feature in a separate blog entry).

Disclaimer: Our suggestions may not be applicable to all, especially those who want to spend more time on a specific location. There's only so much you can do in 5 days and we did what we could given the time that we only had.

Tip: To save on expenses, you can purchase a 5-attraction New York City Pass at smartdestinations.com. The 5-attraction pass was around $120 each when we purchased it. You also have the option to purchase a 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10-attraction pass or create your own combination. This is actually cost-effective because one tourist attraction may charge a fee of more or less $30.


We arrived at LaGuardia Airport in NYC from Eppley Airfield in Omaha at around 4pm. We didn't know anybody, no friends to meet us up at the airport, so we ended up asking people around. Good thing, New Yorkers were very understanding to first-time travelers like us. The airport receptionist gave us a map to the city, which was confusing by the way because NYC is so big.  We decided among ourselves to just stick with the tourist attractions in Manhattan. A random stranger we asked told us to get a 7-day Metro Card so we would have unlimited access to the bus and the subway. We then boarded the bus to our reserved Airbnb (bed and breakfast) in Harlem, upper Manhattan.

By the time we got fully settled in, it was already around 6pm. We wanted to see the NYC skyline at night so we decided to use the first pass for the Empire State Building. We passed by Bryant Park along the way and managed to snap some photos.


Gwend and Gel at Bryant Park, tulips already in bloom Mid-April


Gel at the Empire State Building lobby, looking tired after being awake for 36 hours


Gwend and Arneil with the NYC skyline at night (no pictures of J-salem because he was the one taking all our pictures)


the grandeur of NYC

On the same night, we went to Times Square and had our late dinner there before going back to our Airbnb.


times sqyare

The 4 of us in Times Square

Sending love your way,



Published by Gwend & Gel