Weekend in NYC, Part 1: My 22nd Birthday

The main reason for going to New York City this past weekend was for my extended maternal family’s Chinese New Year get together (which I blogged about here). Coincidentally, Saturday February 4th was also my birthday. As I age deeper into my 20s (well, I’m still pretty young), I realize the realities of adulthood and postgraduate life are looming closer than ever. But, there’s always a way to find time to celebrate and live in the moment.

So how did I celebrate the big 22? Preparations started on Friday February 3rd. Like any other school day Friday, I went to my one class of the day, handed in my physics problem set, ate lunch, and got ready to go to my internship at Temple Center for Asian Health. Except this time, getting ready involved dressing up just a little extra to get myself in the mood for celebrating later in the night. After my internship, I headed over to 30th Street Station to catch an Amtrak to New York City. That’s when the birthday fun started.

First up, dinner. A friend and I went out for dinner at a nice restaurant. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the lovely dinner, but I can assure you it was delicious. After eating, we went to a lounge downtown near the Williamsburg Bridge. In retrospect, I think I celebrated my 22nd birthday more like it was my 21st birthday, or at least like the way our societal norms suggest how we should be celebrating our coming of age day. I usually celebrate my birthday on campus in my dorm with my close friends (with cake of course). These experiences out of the bubble were bound to happen sooner or later, and I’m happy to have done them on my birthday of my senior year in college.

I also celebrated my birthday with my family at the Chinese New Year dinner. My aunt ordered a strawberry shortcake from Little Italy, and after the Chinese dinner, my family sang Happy Birthday to me. I blew out the 9 candles representing longevity in Chinese traditional symbolism. I’m thankful to have turned 22 in the presence of good family, friends, and food.