Sunday, December 13, 2015

New York Work Trip

It's been a year since I started working here and I must say this first year has been great. In fact, way better than what I expected. I've been very fortunate to be able to be based in Huntsville, work with a nice team of people, and traveled a pretty good bit. After Houston, Philly, Chicago, and Tampa, my last work trip of the year happened to be in New York City. This may not mean anything, but I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to 'work' in our HQ office in New York since I started with the firm in Penang 5 years ago. 

Nov 1-8: 3rd visit to New York

Nov 1 (Sun): My original flight was delayed, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I was rebooked on the next flight and got upgraded to 1st class, with dinner served. =) Arrived New York late but it was pretty cool to see all the lights from the plane.


My accommodation for the week at Westin Grand Central. Glimpse of Empire State Building from my corner room. Chose this hotel coz it's SPG and only 10 minutes walk to the office.


The view from the office...for just an hour...

before we got moved to the basement (no windows no view) for the rest of the week. =.=

Morning walk to the office.

Evening walk back from the office.

Walk to K-town for dinner.

Was pleasantly surprised by our seemingly serious and stern partner when he brought the team to this live music bar. Amazing performance by the house band! 


This is what happens when you're bored in the hotel...lol!!

Load up on Asian/Korean food every time I travel for work. =)

Coincidentally, Ali was in town for some personal errands so we met up for lunch. Also made a trip to New Jersey to visit team Hennifer from China Rush and met their cute twins!

Nov 7 (Sat): Hubby flew up to NY for the weekend. Thanks to my 3-week work trip in Tampa last August, I received 3 free weekend nights in Sheraton so we were able to use 2 nights at Sheraton New York Times Square this time. 

The hotel was conveniently located close to Times Square, Central Park, and 5th Avenue. Best of all, these 2 nights would have costed us $672 but we paid $0! =)


We walked a whole lot around NYC during our previous visits in 2008 (countdown for New Years at Times Square) and 2009. This time we decided to be lazy and bought the City Sightseeing 2-day hop-on-hop-off bus for $42/pax. We didn't mind paying for this tour coz it included hop-on-hop-off tours for Downtown, Uptown, Brooklyn, and Bronx, Night tour, Ferry tour, and also entrance tickets to the 9/11 Tribute Center, and Museum of the City of New York or New York Historical Society Museum. We didn't actually go for all the tours nor utilized it for 2-day but we saw all we wanted so it was all good.

Started our day with the downtown tour. Unfortunately, it was gloomy all day on Saturday so the photos didn't turn out very pretty.

Visited the 9/11 Tribute Center. This entire area was still under construction when we came in 2008 so it was something new for us this trip. It was kinda sad reading the stories and seeing the exhibits there.

Back in 2008, this area was still called Ground Zero but it's now known as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The Memorial consists of two reflecting pools, which lie within the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood.

One World Trade Center, 6th tallest building in the world and the current landmark of NY.

We then hopped on the ferry from the World Financial Center to Dumbo/Brooklyn. Nice skylines of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Jersey City.

The ferry went through Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge. We also learnt on the ferry ride that Dumbo (not the elephant) stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan view from the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The main reason we went to Brooklyn was for pizza. The 2 famous pizzerias within walking distance from the Brooklyn Bridge is Grimaldi's and Juliana's. We picked Juliana's coz the reviews were pretty good and the lines were shorter. =P 

We sat at the booth and got to watch our pizzas being made. We ordered a small pizza (yes that was small) and tried a Brooklyn beer.

I was looking at the old photos I took when we ate at Grimaldi's in 2009 and noticed that the building that Juliana's is currently located used to be Grimaldi's. I suppose Grimaldi's business was so good that they upgraded to the bigger building next door.  

Hopped back on to the bus for the Brooklyn tour. To be honest, Brooklyn is more of just residential area with nothing much to see. Worse still, there weren't any tall buildings to block the winds so it was so windy and cold sitting on the top of the double decker bus. I stupidly decided not to bring a jacket during the day thinking that it wouldn't be cold. =.=

Finally got back to downtown and went back to our hotel for a quick pit-stop. We both desperately needed to wrap and layer ourselves up before the night tour.

We pretty much went through the exact same route as we did during the day, but NY is much prettier when it's lit up at night. The bus drove through Manhattan bridge to Brooklyn and it was actually pretty scary sitting on the right side of the bus coz it felt like you could fall off the bus and the bridge as you can't see the railings from the upper deck. =P

Nov 8 (Sun): Central Park was only a few blocks away from the hotel so we decided to ditch the bus and went for a walk in the park. Love the autumn colors!! This was my 3rd visit to Central Park. Winter 2008, Spring 2009, and Fall 2015...one more Summer and my four seasons compilation will be complete...lol!! 

Walked through 5th Avenue along the way back to our hotel and stopped by the Microsoft store (for hubby) and Uniqlo (for me). =)

We saw a lot of people queueing for this every time we pass by so we decided tapao this gyros meal for lunch and ate at the Sheraton Club lounge. 

Goodbye NYC! Till we meet again!

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