My last class finished at 10am. As usual, I went to my internship at Center for Asian Health from 2:30-5:30pm. After work, I met up with my roommates in Chinatown for dinner at the Malaysian restaurant Banana Leaf. We then parted ways: my roommate May went shopping, my other roommate Friend went to Hop Sing Laundromat, and I went to Asian Arts Initiative (AAI).
I had originally planned on going on a walking tour of Chinatown, but AAI canceled that because it was so cold outside. I also ran into a Haverford friend who is writing his anthropology thesis on Pearl Street Project. In place of the walking tour, we stayed for the “Loving Blackness: Race, Motherhood, Creativity” panel that happened to be going on at the same time. The panel featured a group of Asian/South Asian women who are in interracial relationships with Black men. They brought up points about anti-Blackness in the Asian community and how they cope with connecting with their problematic culture while being respectful toward their mixed race children. (I took some rough notes during the panel, but am too lazy to write them all here. Just message me if you want a copy!) After the panel, my friend and I ran into Bryn Mawr 2014 alum Lizzy Lee, who coincidentally also wrote her Cities thesis on Pearl Street.
After AAI, my friend took me to an art gallery Vox Populi just down the block from AAI. I think the building was an old apartment building, which was converted into an art space for artists to showcase mini exhibits in each tiny “apartment room.” Lots of people were there because it was opening night for new exhibits. The local Philly arts scene is quite active and vibrant. After walking around and looking at the art, my friend and I grabbed bubble tea at Chatime before calling it a night.
S A T U R D A Y
Back to New York City that day. I took a Megabus in and went to a friend Jane’s 25th birthday party in the Lower East Side. We had dinner at Carroll’s Place on Bleaker Street and then went to The Uncommons to place board games. I met this friend way back 3 summers ago at my Asian Cinevision AAIFF film festival internship. Most of my friends from that internship are currently pursuing film production careers. Even though I am not in the film industry, I have an interest in Asian American media representation and identity. That summer 2014 will always have a special place in my heart because of the friends I made and continue to stay in touch with. Whenever I am in New York, I always try to meet up with them.
S U N D A Y
I have an aunt who lives on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, which makes it super convenient for me to stay with her whenever I am in NYC. My Bryn Mawr friend Isabella also has an aunt and uncle who live on the Upper Westside. We arranged to meet up Sunday morning and ended up going to Absolute Bagels on 107th Street. Apparently they have the best rated bagels, and we just had to see for ourselves (after waiting in line outside the door). Final verdict: Yes, those bagels are really good. So good that we even took a cheesy tourist photo outside the store. After our bagels, we wandered around Broadway stopping in at thrift stores along the way — one of our favorite activities we even do together in Philly.
I later met up with Bryn Mawr 2014 alum Catherine at Paris Baguette to catch up. I was her garden party girl when I was a first year. I hadn’t seen her since over a year ago and had questions to ask about the impending postgraduate life. She is currently on a job search for web developer jobs and updated me on her life in New York City.
M O N D A Y
My aunt is the in restaurant business and took me to the International Restaurant and Food Show at the Javits Center. I had never been to such an amazing place with food and drink samples galore. Vendors were there marketing things ranging from appliances to food additives to innovative food materials. I had my lunch’s worth of food there just sampling and taking free samples home. Memorable foods include fermented ricotta risotto, gelato soft serve, vegan gelato, pizza logs, sake, and crepes with chocolate shaved off a rotating kebab.
I think my aunt and I spent a good 3+ hours there. The Javits Center is near the new 34th Street Hudson Yards subway station, which is where I would be returning later that day to catch the Megabus back to Philly. I managed to fit in some anatomy studying on the bus.
T U E S D A Y
Back in Philly for the day. The whole reason why I came back to Philly was to translate for SEAMAAC again between store owners in South Philly and Drexel design students redesigning their storefronts. Before heading down to South Philly, I caught up with a friend over lunch at Dim Sum House. My friend attended the Chinatown Development Proposals Presentation with City and Councilman Mark Squilla, and I wanted to hear all about it. I was only able to watch someone’s livestream of the presentations, but that person didn’t film the Q & A session. The proposals outlined potential apartment and senior housing plans.
I then made my way to South Philly to meet up with SEAMAAC. It turns out I wasn’t needed because they had last minute gotten an old friend to do it. I was already in Philly, so I still attended the final presentations of the storefront designs newly installed.
At around 6:30pm, I met up with my friend Joy for dinner. She took me to Monk’s Cafe near Suburban station, and we each got a bucket of mussels (so good!). We had to eat quickly because I had to be on a 9pm Megabus back to NYC.
W E D N E S D A Y
I had a 10am dentist appointment back in Ridgewood, NJ. I took a train in and walked to my dentist just a few blocks away from the station. No cavities! My mom then picked me up and I went home for the first time since Winter Break. I wasn’t home for long because my parents, my grandmother, and I then drove to Pleasantville in upstate New York for the day. We had lunch at a nice Indian French restaurant and then walked around the Rockefeller Preserve. We visited my grandfather and my grandaunt at the cemetery and then drove home (and stopped at Rockland Bakery along the way home).
T H U R S D A Y
I ate at Cheesecake Factory for the first time. My grandmother’s friend had a coupon and a gift card for a free slice of cheesecake. Cheesecake Factory lists all the calories next to their menu items, and it really makes you feel guilty for eating unhealthy. Servings were still huge and shareable. My grandmother and my parents then went to the mall because I need to update my wardrobe. That means returning my clothes I got from the free box back to the free box before I graduate. My mom and I did manage to get our free Uniqlo airism shirts while at the mall. I got two shirts and a dress on major sale.
F R I D A Y
S A T U R D A Y
My friend Joy visited New York for the day. We got breakfast at Maison Kayser and Argo Tea. Then, we took a free first dance class (with ticket stubs from the show I saw over Winter Break) at Ailey Extension. My mom and aunt joined too. We tried the Beginner West African Dance class. After class, we had lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Gazala’s Place. The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping (or window shopping). Joy bought a leotard and some clothes, including a potential graduation dress. I didn’t find anything that fit me particularly well, but I enjoyed being in SOHO since I hadn’t been there in a while. Joy’s friend (Bryn Mawr 2015 alum) Hannah also joined us and updated us on her postgrad life.
Saturday night was another long, but fun night out because another friend was also celebrating her 25th birthday (this friend is also from my internship at AAIFF). The party started at Dave & Buster’s, then headed to Blind Barber, then ended at The Spotted Owl Tavern. I met a lot of cool artists and new friends of friends. I am usually the baby of the group since I was the youngest when we interned at AAIFF together 3 years ago, but now I am finally of age. And another girl there was also the same year as me.
S U N D A Y
Day light saving started today. Spring ahead, yet it’s still so cold out. I met my parents and grandmother near the George Washington Bridge because they were coming back from the MET cloisters (which I slept through). We drove to New Jersey for some dim sum before they drove me to Newark to catch the train back to Philadelphia. Of course, the SEPTA regional rail from 30th to Bryn Mawr ran 25 minutes late. I got back to Bryn Mawr at around 7:15PM. The dining halls had already closed, but my loving roommates grabbed some food for me.
And that’s the end of my final undergrad spring break. Back to studying…
T H E E N D