World Trade Center
One thing I am so fortunate to have is numerous friends who have grown to become based in one of the most beautiful and influential places in the world, The World Trade Center area. I was so fortunate, to be welcomed by my University of Virginia sister and mentor, Alice Wu who introduced me to my former dream workplace, Conde Nast. Conde Nast is the incredible conglomerate housing Vogue and GQ Magazines, and of course Anna Wintour.
From Conde Nast, I could see the vast FiDi (Financial District), across various streets, The Oculus, the 9/11 Memorial, and all the way to the Statue of Liberty. Honestly, I count my blessings. Thanks Alice mama.
Then next to One World Trade Center, I walked briskly to catch advertising expert and friend, Vincent Ganzon. Vincent already knew I wanted pictures inside and outside of the white and towering winged architectural feat, The Oculus. Little did I remember, I had passed The Oculus under construction in my early 20s, while I crashed at my friends', Director Tracy Ofosuhene’s and actress Wunmi Fowora, black couch in a massive shared NYC movie-style studio worthy of a sit-com. Afterwards, Vincent gave me a surprise photoshoot from One World Trade Center to 3 World Trade Center.
Before I finished my photoshoot and breakfast, I made sure to pay my respects at the 9/11 Memorial. In 2001, after the tragic attack my sister, nephew, and Ate Dading, took me to visit Ground Zero. I could barely hold my tears, almost 18 years later, vividly remembering the missing faces posted all over the temporary construction walls, the candles, the mourners, the bouquets of flowers, and the shared pain. Visiting the Memorial was another reminder of what should never be repeated, and we should all love every day, as tomorrow is never guaranteed.
New York City Hall
Then, Vincent has to return to his bougie job with his hot coworkers in one of the most prestigious workplaces in the world, while I head downstairs to find my ECAASU and Cornell MBA rockstar friend, Melody! This babe, took an overnight bus from the cold ass small town of Ithaca, New York, to spend a day with me to do touristy things in NYC and watch…HAMILTON. (Yes, bish, we got TICKETS, but didn’t eat for prob a week) So I tell her, time to go to the Brooklyn Bridge, I have never walked on it! She’s so sweet and follows me where I even accidentally find NYC City Hall, snap some shots and we walk onto the busy highway, to finally walk up the Brooklyn Bridge!
Here, the photos speak for themselves. I cannot believe I have never walked, ran, or biked here. It’s stunning. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge led us to Dumbo, where later in the day, we would find one of the most famous places to take photos in New York on Instagram. But first, something was more important to do before starting our photoshoot, so we rushed Park Avenue during a UN General Assembly meeting.
Meet inspiration leaders like Frances Hesselbein
Fortunately, when I was 23, I was accepted into the HESSELBEIN GLOBAL ACADEMY OF STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/hesselbein/). There was I was introduced, coached, and inspired by some of the world’s brightest leaders and up-and-coming global youth leaders from all over America, Iraq, Taiwan, Mexico, and more. Unfortunately, I could only meet Frances Hesselbein, the founder, digitally during graduation, but I swore an oath, I would meet her one day. If you google Frances Hesselbein, you will understand why she is such a leader to look up to, and finally, at 29, I met her. What a joy! She is engaging, captivating, inspirational, and reminded me of everything I want to be, joyous, charismatic, and influential. Thank you, Frances, for meeting me, you are forever one of my most followed leaders! Special thanks to Tiffany Monsalve, for making it happen and Melody for waiting for me in the lobby while doing her MBA homework. Haha!
Ride the NYC Subway
A man was reading a massive book on the subway, and this train was artistic as hell!
We made it back to Dumbo, Brooklyn and after eating at the scrumptious Bread & Spread obsessed over photos. I ordered two sandwiches the Porchetta (12USD, Thinly Sliced Creekstone Duroc Pork Belly with Garlic and Fennel Seed, Pickled Red Onions, Arugula, Red Peppers Spread, Aged Provolone) and the Beef Short Rib (12 USD, Short Rib, Pickled Shallots with Ginger, Baby Greens, Blackberry Jam, And Swiss Cheese on Ciabatta) You can even order in advance if you are in a rush from https://breadnspread.com/.
Total cost: 24 USD
I have been waiting to visit the Vessel since it opened in the fresh Hudson Yards area in Chelsea. Melody and I had only 30 minutes to visit before Hamilton: The Musical was due to start, thus we were sweating running up and down the stairs!
“The extraordinary centerpiece of Hudson Yards is its spiral staircase, a soaring new landmark meant to be climbed. This interactive artwork was imagined by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio as a focal point where people can enjoy new perspectives of the city and one another from different heights, angles and vantage points. – Hudson Yards New York
Tickets are free if you book a specific time to enter in advance but if you are in a rush and need flexibility, tickets cost 10 USD. You can book tickets here: https://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/vessel
Total cost: 10 USD
Watch Broadway especially The Hamilton Musical by Lin-Manual Miranda
We didn’t eat for a week after buying these tickets haha.
Total cost of 1 Hamilton ticket: 150-500 USD (unless you win the lottery, https://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery/)
Say hi to Celebrities
TLC’s Chili and T-Boz were so polite and incredible. We waited until an intermission where they were quietly waiting for intermission to end, complimented, and was so nervous only took this dark and blurry selfie. TLC music is life!
Pictures and food in Times Square!
Afterwards, I was starving! Luckily, friend Cathy Cao, introduced me to Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery. Wow! Talk about American sized food and portions. The service was excellent and I found out Tracy Morgan frequents the restaurant. Thank you so much Cathy and Junior’s for the excellent food, I was stuffed and still had to a friend’s.
Thanks so much for reading the about my 2nd my 2 days back in New York. Hope you get to explore all these places! Zozo, Zo