Wanting to make the most of our time in New York City, we booked the 6:30 AM bus from Washington DC to NYC with Bolt Bus. We woke up at 4:00 AM and took a taxi to Union Station where the bus stop was. The bus ride took about four hours, with a break at a rest stop in the middle. We spent most of the ride catching up on sleep. The NYC stop was a 10-15 minute walk from our hotel. We stayed at the Wyndham New Yorker. When we arrived, only two of the rooms were ready, so we dropped off our luggage in one room before heading out. We bought a 7-day unlimited metro pass to travel around for $31 each. For lunch, we were going to eat at a hot pot place at 99 Favor Taste, but we were tight on time. We ended up quickly eating at a small Chinese cafe. My table had two types of Chinese porridge (congee) - pork with preserved duck eggs and peanuts with other things. We also had beef rice rolls and fried dough wrapped in rice rolls. We then headed to Tenement Museum near Grand Street to go on the “Then and Now” Tour to learn about the housing within the area. Our tour guide was SJ. She showed us many previous apartment buildings and synagogues. After the tour, we passed by an ice cream place called Minus Celsius. Their specialty was rolled ice cream. They pour melted ice cream onto a cold surface and then used a spatula to scrape the ice cream into rolls. I got the Thai Tea one with fruit toppings such as strawberries, mangos, and pineapple. It was very refreshing in the humid weather.
Afterwards, we headed to check out the Highline Park. We got a little lost and ended up at the Hudson River Park. The Highline Park was a park that was suspended above ground. The park was filled with many people and was a good place to relax and enjoy the nature. Afterwards, we headed back to Grand Street to eat at the hot pot place that we were originally going to eat at. When we got out of the subway station, we saw a food stand selling skewers. A couple of us got skewers before heading to the restaurant. The beef skewer was very flavorful. The hot pot restaurant was a little different than the usual ones that I’ve been to. Usually, they give one big pot for a couple people to share. This restaurant had individual pots for each person, where we could choose specifically the type of broth we want. I chose the pork bone soup. By the end of the meal, we were very full. We ordered 3-4 rounds of meat and vegetables as it was all you can eat.