\We visited Chinatown and Time Square on March 26th. Time Square is beautiful, but I
wanted to label out Chinatown since we also have a Chinatown in San Francisco. I compared the
similarities between Manhattan Chinatown and San Francisco Chinatown. Both of these two
Chinatowns have many grocery stores, restaurants, intersections. But compared to SF
Chinatown, New York’s Chinatown definitely has more pedestrians, more cyclists, more trucks,
and more cars. Kyle was the first person that we met up with. He taught us about the expanded
sidewalks that are for pedestrians. They are painted brown so that drivers could see it clearly and
will not park in those areas. It was also interesting that New York’s Chinatown has long narrow
park in the middle of a street that people could rest and hang out in. While people were resting,
there were a few cyclists biking on the bike lanes which were in the little park. There were also
many protected bike lanes.
In one street there was a phase were people could cross in a L shape to go towards the
opposite end without stopping for the next light. This is very common in San Francisco’s
Chinatown we call this a scramble and people can cross diagonally. Kyle had said wider lanes
made drivers drive faster, so they changed it to make it narrower which more sidewalk space.
The way the bike lanes got improved was very interesting to me. It didn’t needed as much
funding as other projects and can probably help bikers in San Francisco as well.
On some of the streets, there were protected bike lanes that were protected by parked cars
which not only providing the drivers parking space, but also providing safer lanes for cyclists. It
was a very smart idea. In my opinion, we should also have bike lanes like that on Market Street
in San Francisco. Even though the roads in New York are changing, I still saw many jaywalkers.
Without New Yorkers’ cooperation, Vision Zero in New York will never be successful. It seems
like there is still a long way for Vision Zero to complete their mission.
-Roy Yu, Christina Cui
Today was the day of adventures. Getting firsthand experience of navigating through
New York’s train system was quite interesting, it wasn’t anything like the metro or Bart from
San Francisco where directions were telling you where to wait and which way the train went,
that component was innate for New Yorkers. On the way to the Central Park, I observed that
there’s provide the machine to check the subway time at the station, but it’s not working. First
destination, Central Park, one of the most famous public parks in the U.S., is comparable to the
Golden Gate Park back in San Francisco, filled with many trees and other attractions that draw
attention towards it. We strolled through the park and took many pictures for memory as well as
visiting the carousel and Chess and Checkers center. We moved on from the park and went to the
MoMA, where 5 floors of artwork were displayed, such as ones created by famous artist Vincent
Van Gogh, Picasso and many more talented artists.
Empire State Building, we waited for the sunset and took pictures of it. In the empire
State Building, you can see the all the view of New York City. Empire State building provided a
lot places for people to observe New York City. After lunch, we went to the Rockefeller and
Grand Central Station. There are many shops in Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station.
We took Uber home and went through the Brooklyn Bridge. I observed that the sidewalk lines
are not very clear especially at night.
As we walk the streets of New York traveling from MoMA to the Rockefeller Center to
Grand Central Station and end with a sunset at the Empire State Building, I notice the pedestrian
lights in New York don’t show their actual countdown, but instead blink second by second
compared to San Francisco’s. The reason for this could be to discourage pedestrians from
attempting to cross while it blinks as it is unpredictable when it’s actually going to land on the
hand. We had many moments of wondering if we should cross or not as we didn’t know how
much time we had left. Other than that, most of the New York’s traffic, whether it be car or foot is similar to San Francisco’s in many ways which is surprising considering the fact that New
York is known for its crowdedness and fast paced environment. Even though New York is
enormous compared to San Francisco, some basic aspects of the cities are very similar.
Throughout as we were walking to the train to Central Park our transportation included
walking and taking the train. In the train station there were four train tracks. However, the two
inner train tracks were for express. And those other train tracks were for stops. In San Francisco
once subway is clog with trains, there is no way for the trains to move out or pass through the
train that was stuck. Verse as in New York if there is a train that is broken there is the express
which they can stay at to let other train pass through.
-Chao Zhang, Diana Li, Nikki Wong
Today we all met up at San Francisco International airport at 3 AM since our flight
departs at 5:25AM. We had one layover at Denver, Colorado and spent most of our day on the
plane getting to New York!
What an interesting day today was. New York is so much more different than San
Francisco As we exited the airport, we took a bus that took us from Laguardia airport to
Roosevelt station. I noticed how the bus was shaped the way just like any other buses. As a
terminal bus, it would be be more ideal if there were more luggage space and places to stand like
the air trans that takes people around the terminal in SFO. I learned how to use my 7-day metro
pass in New York. It was a unique experience for us as we have never used my 7 day metro pass
that is in paper form. Unlike New York, San Francisco utilizes clipper, an electronic pass that is
made out of plastic. Clipper is more efficient in the sense that one can pay by tapping the clipper
as they board the bus. However, it’s the opposite here at New York. We had to feed our paper
ticket to the machine as a way to “pay” before we could board. We had to grab a paper receipt
before boarding the bus. This resulted in us missing our bus by accident as all 10 of us had to
feed our paper tickets through the machine. But, it’s an interesting way to see how different cities
work differently and can achieve equal success in their transportation system. It seems that it
doesn’t matter what method one chooses to use, as long as it works with us, it’s good to go.
This is the last day of the trip. Before I went to sleep last night, the weather forecast predict that there will be thunderstorm today. But when I woke up early in the morning and be ready for breakfast, the sky was clear. After breakfast, I was thinking it might rain later so I didn’t follow the other group to leave hotel. I stayed in hotel and took a nap. I woke up later in the afternoon around 12:30pm because we need to check out our room and so I get my luggage and clean the room then we leave.
When we leave the hotel at 2 pm, the sky feeling sad for us leaving and it rained. But we got on the airplane safely and we had a layover in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While we sat there for our next flight, the clouds start to gather and sky turns dark and I said, “It is going to rain soon”. After I said for few minutes, the rains poured down from the sky and the lightning and thunder are so bright and loud that it makes us all assume that the flight will be delayed. However, that’s not true. The rain slows down when we start to board. After we board, I checked the weather, it showed that Washington D.C. and New York City were also having thunderstorms. I felt lucky for those days we were in those cities were actually the days they have better weather. I am also glad that the flight did not get delayed. After this trip, there will be a camping trip tomorrow. I don’t feel ready for it. I am just hella tired but I am feeling great and accomplished.
P.s. for myself: Congratulation, you did it Meifeng! You have not eat any fast
food during this trip, are you proud? Yes I am.
Thank you Southwest for giving me this opportunity explore and grow as I visited
those three cities. Before I can only hear from people and look up online for those places
but now I can tell my friends, I been to those places and it is a great lifetime experience.
This trip is has taught me so much and all I had experienced are fascinating. And I can’t
be more grateful and thankful for Southwest’s support, you have make a great journey for
Today is the last day, before we say goodbye to Boston, some of us went out to the Quincy Market to just walk around, however, we somehow walk to the wrong direction, so we ended up visiting the Boston Harbor. Today was kind of gloomy day, so not a lot of people was out at the Quincy Market, and before we leave the market, we have to get ourselves lobster roll. After that we all head back to our hotel and finish up or packing and leave Boston. We took about two and half hour to Milwaukee. Before we get on the plane again, is started to rain super hard, lightning also happens, so I though we have to wait long before we can departure again, but lucky there rain suddenly stopped or got smaller, so we were about make go back to San Francisco on time and safely. Over all, I have gain a lot of experiences, learning a lot for different city, and at the same time I had a lot of fun.
Our flight was not until 4:45pm so we had a couple more hours to explore Boston. We had planned to go to the Public Garden, but we left the hotel late and ended up only going to the Quincy Market. On our way there, we got a little lost and ended up at the Boston Harbor and Wharf area. At the Quincy Market, we stumbled upon a comic book shop and spent a good amount of time there before getting lunch inside the market building. This time, I tried the lobster macaroni and cheese at the Boston Chowda Company. I always wanted to try it, but this one was just okay. It wasn’t too flavorful. By the time we finished eating, we had to head back to the hotel and check out. We took the Embassy Suites shuttle to the airport. The driver was very nice and helped us move our luggage onto the shuttle. By the time we went through TSA and arrived at our gate, we only had about 30 minutes left before boarding. We had a layover in Milwaukee. We had just enough time to grab dinner before our flight. When we sat down after getting our food, it started pouring heavily with lightning and thunder. We thought that our flight was going to be delayed. Fortunately, the rain only lasted about 15 or so minutes. It was weird because after the pouring rain, it became very sunny and there were even rainbows. It was still sprinkling slightly when we boarded our plane, but we were on time to head back to San Francisco.
It was about 10:30pm when we arrived back in San Francisco. It was very cold compared to the warm weather we were used to in the East Coast. Boston weather was actually closer to San Francisco’s as it was gloomy and somewhat cold.
This day finally has arrived -- the last day of our east coast trip! I actually have a mixed feeling towards this because it has been a very fun time so I do not wish it to end, but meanwhile it has been a good nine days of endless walking and lack of sleep so I do miss my actual home in San Francisco. According to the weather forecast, thunderstorm and rain were supposed to take place today, as we also did not have anything planned for today. Some of us slept in this morning and got some rest, while the other half of us decided to spend our last day in Boston outdoors under the rain.
We planned on the spot to explore the Boston Public Garden under the rain. However, we ended up going back to the Quincy Market as we wanted to explore more and buy food. We walked to the other end of the market to the harbor, then we explored about the gift shops and souvenirs. Next, we headed into the food market and back to the food booth where we bought our lobster rolls last night. Instead of buying a lobster roll, this time I decided to try the New England clam chowder. After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to pack up and check out our rooms. I actually could not imagine how I spent quite a lot of money when I step foot outside only for about two to three hours. Anyways, now it is the time to give Boston a big farewell, or actually say bye to east coast rather. On our way to the Boston Logan International Airport we go! We took the airport shuttle bus and arrived at the airport. We board on the plane and off we went to the airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a good three hour plane ride with multiple attempts to sleep, we bought dinner at the airport in Wisconsin. At the airport was when we eyewitnesses how the weather can change within one minute, from a half cloudy weather to a sky filled with grey clouds and rain started to pour and lastly flood the whole floor surface, along with thunderstorm. As we thought that the plane would be delayed, we actually boarded on time because thunderstorm seems to be quite a normal thing in Wisconsin. We then board on the plane and just only five more hours -- San Francisco, I’m almost back! Throughout the plane ride, I had quite some difficulty sleeping as my back and legs felt painful and uncomfortable. Nonetheless, I still managed to get some sleep as tired as I was. Finally, at around 11 P.M., we arrived at SFO! San Francisco, home, I am back!
Overall, this was a very fun trip! It actually felt as if it went by pretty quick because we stayed only for three days in each city, along with our endless walking and lack of sleep per day. My feet certainly felt painful and it has been quite a long journey through these ten days. As we visited each city, I gradually enjoyed the weather more. Our first city, D.C., was very humid. Next to New York, which was also very hot but not as humid. The last city, Boston, has a weather similar to SF’s, which I enjoyed the most. Throughout our trip, we visited many colleges and the Chinatowns in each city, and they can be comparable to one another, as I see many similarities between most of these places. This trip reminded me a lot of history information that I learned from high school, along with exploration around the actual places (instead of just images from the textbook). This has been my third CCDC trip, and I realized that the number of days increases along with the number of cities we explore on each trip. If there were a fourth trip for me next year, I would probably expect to go on a fifteen day trip to explore four cities!
In a blink of an eye the trip is now over. Our days of walking for 10 hours or more is over. Our days of getting lost and trying to use google maps to navigate us is now over. Today we will be going home. The weather forecast predicted that it will rain majority of the days in Boston, however, it did not rain until the day we were leaving. That day I was really tired so I caught up on sleep by staying at the hotel while the others went back to Quincy Market and other places for shopping.
We left for the airport around 2:45 PM and we did a layover in Milwaukee. On the way to Milwaukee, the turbulence was bad that I nearly cried on the plane but I made it out alive without crying. At Milwaukee airport, for a minute or more there was a thunderstorm, so we were afraid that our flight would be delayed but surprisingly we still boarded the plane. After the rain there was a rainbow and on the picture below you can see the sunset.
Theoretically, there was nothing planned for this day. We made an impulse decision to make a last minute run to the Boston Public Garden with half the group since the other half was dead asleep. We ended up not going to the Boston Public Garden because people took too long to get ready, so we went back to Quincy Market instead to buy souvenirs. I’m not too sure anything interesting happened between our time at Quincy Market and our flight back to San Francisco; there was an enormous thunderstorm at Milwaukee minutes before our flight, but it ended so abruptly so there weren’t any delays. The rest is a blur.... I slept until we got to San Francisco. From my early childhood, I’ve always held a bit of unjustified resentment towards San Francisco’s Chinatown. I didn’t have any particular reason for it really, it just wasn’t too appealing of a place. Gradually, I started to recognize Chinatown for what it truly is—a local hub to serve low-income folks that needs it the most, whether through affordable services, affordable groceries, or affordable housing. It wasn’t until my visit to Seattle and Vancouver last year, and Boston, D.C., and New York this year that I truly realize the blood and effort labored by San Francisco Chinatown residents to maintain it as it is, and away from the tempting claws of high rises and technology firms. My passion for San Francisco’s Chinatown is not a birthright, it’s something that I’ve come to earn over the years. And just a disclaimer, I’m no age-old hippie that opposes technology and modernization. In fact, I’m all for those things, just—not at the sacrifice of neighborhoods essential to the livelihoods of thousands, perhaps millions of people.
Thank you Southwest for this amazing opportunity!
On the Last day before we went back to San Francisco we ate breakfast in the Lobby for the last time. We planned to go to the Public Garden but our timing was off, so we changed our plans and went to the Boston Harbor. After this we went back to Quincy Market where some of us had lunch. We then went back to the Hotel where we checked out and went to the airport. At 4 p.m. we boarded the plane and went back to San Francisco. Overall, it was a very fun experience and I have learned a lot throughout this whole trip.
Thank You Southwest for giving us this Opportunity!