15 November 2017

The Big Apple On A Not So Big Budget - Touchdown

After all the preparations, it's time to BE in New York City! Arriving past 5PM at JFK, we booked a Lyft to our AirBnB. Now I usually book Uber in the US but Lyft was having a 5 dollar off promo for my first 3 rides so Lyft it is!

at JFK Airport
But even with the promo, the ride cost us USD72.19 or roughly Php3,700 for a more than an hour trip to West 37th Street.

Our first sighting of the Empire State Building!

Our AirBnB place was not hard to find and Blake (the host) was in contact with us all throughout. By the way, it pays to get a local sim card for internet and calls / sms. I got mine at Lazada before the trip for around Php2,000 pesos with unlimited data and calls / sms for 30 days. When I registered the sim card online, T-mobile says it is at plan $75 which is a steal at Php2,000! Others got their sim at T-mobile stores in the US for Php2,000 but limited to around 4-10 Gigs of data.

Our room for the next 4 nights!

The living room

After exchanging pleasantries with our host, we quickly dumped our things and headed to Times Square! The night is young!

Just walking outside the chilly October New York air was delightful enough. Add to that the New York apartments with their familiar stoops and exterior fire escapes, we're already having a blast. A few blocks more then came the lights!

Times Square

While some say that Times Square is overrated and full of tourists, it was still worth it! This was the confirmation that we made it to New York! Looking around, the ads, the crowd, everything, it was not overrated but instead it was overwhelming for a guy like me whose farthest DIY travel was Thailand.

There are a lot of souvenir shops in NY and there's one right in Times Square with a 99 cents souvenirs basement. We almost forgot that we haven't had dinner yet and it was already past 10PM! Walking around some more we stumbled upon Frame Eatery near the corner of 7th Ave. and 40th St. where they sell food by the pound. When we saw that there was rice inside, we were sold! They have cold and hot food for around $10 a pound. Two pounds after and a couple of drinks, our total was around $25 or Php1,275.

This brings our day's total expenses at Php6,975.

To those counting, total expenses before travel plus this day is already at Php33,175 without airfare.

Next stop: SoHo, Chinatown, and Midtown!

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