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the best day in new york city

Hi, I’m Mio. Today I am going to share about an experience I had while in New York City.


In February of 2017, I stayed in NYC by myself for 12 days. I went to New York alone because I wanted to try new things, as I’ve lived with my family since I was born. I go to the university in my hometown, which isn’t a big city, so I find myself following the same routine. While my family, friends, and many people around me are amazing, kind, and funny, when I turned 20 in 2016, I realized that I should do something big right now, something nobody else around me is doing. While thinking this, the idea of going to NYC came to mine, so I decided to go.


Soon after deciding to go to NYC, I got a ticket and decided to stay at a guest house in Chelsea. After the new year, the adult ceremony was over, the time was finally coming.


To be honest, the flight was long. When I arrive at JFK, I was already exhausted. After the flight, I passed through a long immigration exam and when I finally got out of the airport, it was around 5pm. This is when the first issue happened. I told the driver the address of the guest house because I had to get to Manhattan by taxi, but he didn’t understand easily. I tried to tell him many times, and finally, I arrived at the guest house.


At the guest house, I lived with a Korean girl. Her name is Anna, but her real Korean name was difficult for me to pronounce, so I nicknamed her Anna. She was 5 years older than me and was so kind. I learned everything about living in NYC from her.


One day, around my 5th day of being in NYC, I woke up to Anna’s voice: “Mio, wake up! It’s so white outside!” Our guest house has no window, so we had to run down the stairs and go outside. I won’t forget that view - everything was white. I couldn’t even speak because I haven’t seen a view like this. I thought to myself, “Oh, this is the NYC I was looking for.” Everyone walking on the street wore hooded jackets and snow boots, covering their heads with their hoods and putting their hands in their pockets. This scene was so funny and cute.

ある日、確か滞在5日目。私は彼女の声で起きた。「ミオ、起きて!外が真っ白よ!」 ゲストハウスには窓がなかったから、階段を駆け下りて外に出た。あの景色は本当に忘れられない。すべてが真っ白だった。そんな景色を見たことがなかったから、何も言えなかったんだけど、“これがニューヨーク、こんなものを探してた!”って思った。待ちゆく人みんながフード付きのジャケットに雪用ブーツを履いて、フードを被ってポケットに手を入れて。その光景がおかしくて可愛くて、私はニューヨークにいるんだと実感した。

After we returned to the room, Anna said “Is going to Washington Square Park during such heavy snowfall crazy? It’s amazing! Don’t waste a single moment in NYC!” I thought, “Wait, perhaps she’s inviting me now? Really?” But at the same time I figured this is going to be an amazing memory to cherish for life. So, I replied, “Okay, let’s go.”

部屋に戻ってから、「こんな大雪の日にワシントンスクエアパークに行くって最高でクレイジーじゃない?ニューヨークにいる時間を無駄にしないで!」ってアナが言った。“待って、これ多分私を誘ってるよね?まぢ?”って思ったけど、それと同時に、“人生の中で最高な思い出になるかも” って。「オーケー。そうしよう!」

As you can see, without explaining, this day was a very special day for me.

I haven’t used the subway since I arrived because I was scared. Anna told me how to use the subway and recommended the best app. When I got to the subway station for the first time, I reconfirmed that, yes, in fact I am in NYC because of its indescribable atmosphere and smell. The sound of the train resonated throughout my whole body - from my toes - and made me feel like I’m alive. That was so amazing.


When we arrived at Washington Square Park, so many people were having fun. There were people walking with dogs, taking photos, and playing with their children. For these people, such heavy snow might only be a small aspect of their life, but for me, it was so beautiful, wonderful, and so fresh.


Anna started taking photos. “Mio, turn! Turn!” Anna screamed like a monster. We laughed so loud.


After we left the park, we took a lunch break. Because of how cold it was outside, when we entered the restaurant, the feeling in our hands and feet was gone. After we finished lunch, we enjoyed shopping in Soho. We also went to Starbucks and talked about our lives. At the end of the day, Anna took me to an amazing restaurant, and afterwards, we finally returned to our guest house.


I was so tired because we walked around in heavy snow that I am not used to. I couldn’t sleep - I felt like experiencing my first heavy snow while traveling alone for the first time was incredible. Even now, I still feel the sound of the subway and can picture this snowy scene. I think to myself that I have to keep this wonderful feeling in my heart forever and that I must not forget.

This is my memory of my most crazy day in NYC.


Images by Mio

English Edited by Lisa

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