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Oct 6, 2014

{TRAVEL}: NEW YORK DIARY


New York Fashion Week (#NYFW) has long gone, and I've already come back to Singapore for a month, but the memory about New York still stays so strong in my mind, as if It was just yesterday. It takes me a month to publish all the photos, the blog entries that I'm supposed to do, and I'm still not done yet. There are (approximately) 6 more blog posts after this one, so please allow me to live in my New York dream for another month, before I come back to the reality. That excessive amount (1300) of photos, I took during my 8 days in New York, is good enough to tell you how much New York offered me. 

Just like many people, New York is my dream city. Since I was 15 years old, I've always been hoping for that one day, I could visit New York. I put this city on my Resolution List every year, but I didn't know how, neither did I see any chance of making it happen. Many times, I felt disappointed, upset and hopeless. 

Until one day in June, my good friend- Ashley (who lives in New York) asked me to visit her. At the same time I received an invitation from RewardStyle to attend their rooftop party during fashion week, and suddenly, a serious thought crossed my mind "It's time to go to New York". 

First, I was so excited, so yes, I had to go. On second thoughts, I was worried: "I don't know anyone in New York other than Ashley, what would I do there all by myself?", "I hate traveling alone, I've never done that before", "It costs too much money. I have to save for other important things". I had more fear than excitement, I consulted many people for advice, I pre-booked the hotel and I cancelled it, twice. It went on like that for 2 months. 

Until the third week of August, there was a very spontaneous thought that made everything change: "You know what? Stop worrying so much about everything, let's just do it once and see what happens. This is your dream, make it happen". I booked the flight immediately via Expedia, as I was afraid If I didn't do it right away, I would change my mind after that.

Flight booked. Hotel confirmed. I went from the situation of "I wish to go to New York" to "I have to go to New York". My 15 year long dream of going to New York was accomplished within a click of a mouse, just like that?  While my boyfriend was excited for me, I was still worried: "What should I do there for 8 days all alone?". #NYFW happened during that time. I should visit Lincoln Center to get a glimpse of how fashion week looks, and perhaps, take photos of street style fashion to feature on my blog. That was all I thought of doing. 

But then the ambition and the passion didn't allow me to stop there. I spent a few days searching on Google for an answer of "How to attend New York Fashion Week?". I couldn't find anything, except for a little bit of information like: You can't buy tickets, you have to be invited or you must be press or media. That left me with not much choice. I took courage to write an email to IMG World Wide (Mercedes Benz Fashion Week organizer) to introduce myself and to express my keen interest in covering the event. I didn't put much hope that my email would get their attention as they probably receive thousands of emails like that everyday. Surprisingly, somebody from IMG replied to my email and told me to register as media. I followed her instruction, paid USD$100 for my application fee and was fully aware that my application would unlikely be approved. There were thousands of applications submitted for media. Besides, my humble blog is nothing compared to ELLE, Harper Bazaards, or other famous bloggers in the industry. I had very low expectations of success as I didn't want to be disappointed later. 

Two days later (on August 25th), something magically happened. An email was sent to me from IMG saying: "We are happy to inform you that your application for Press and Industry Accreditation for {{Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015}} has been APPROVED". I screamed out loud, ran around like a crazy kid, and smiled like somebody who just struck a lottery. 

I made it as one of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week approved media. Invitations to the shows started flooding into my mailbox. I put all of them in my calendar so that I would not miss any shows. Meanwhile, I put up a casting notice on a photography platform to reach out to photographers in New York for a potential collaboration shot while I was there. I received more emails than I expected. In the end, I shortlisted some good photographers to shoot with me on day 3, day 4, day 5 and day 6. Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my casting call. I wish I could stay a little bit longer to do more shoots with all of you. 

The calendar was quickly filled up. I left Singapore for New York at midnight, with only two pieces of luggage, a camera, a laptop, a flight ticket, a hotel confirmation, a bunch of invitations, and of course, a big dream. The rest of the story, let the photos speak for itself. 

Finally, I can say, I'm so happy and honored to share with you, my dream-to-reality trip: New York! 
 Travel in style! When it comes to longhaul flight, I always go for a simple outfit that gives me maximum comfort. In this case, I picked a simple tee, slouchy pants, sneakers, denim or moto jacket to keep me warm. I bought the ELLE luggage specially for this trip to keep all my important things: camera, charger, laptop, personal items and some skin care products for this flight. I'll share about my in flight skincare routine next time. 

Having 25 hours in flight without internet connection was a big challenge to me, thus I made sure to clear off all outstanding emails before I took off. 

After 25 hours, my dream land was finally here, for real!
 I stayed at my friend's house for 2 nights as she insisted that I should spend personal time with her first, then I moved to this place: the Park Central New York hotel.


 Thank you, the Park Central Hotel for your excellent service and hospitality while I was there. The king sized bed was so comfortable to sleep in. I didn't even have jet lag at all. 



Thanks to Julia Jordan for giving me 2 beautiful dresses to wear to the shows. It was truly a sweet surprise and the warmest welcome I've ever had. 


A home away from home with a mini shoe closet. All was ready for a big day, in the next morning.

 Collected my press pass and got myself ready to watch the first show of the day: Lie Sangbong Holding a press credential in hand, with my photo and my name on it, I couldn't help but feel a little bit emotional. I flew almost ten thousand miles for this. A month ago, this pass was somewhere in my luxurious dream, almost impossible to get. There I was standing, right in front of Lincoln Center, with my media pass and about to watch the first show of the day. I realized, our dreams are not as scary as we think. It is our fear that stops us from achieving our dreams. If we work hard enough, eventually dreams will come true.


After the first show, I went to RewardStyle party. It was a rooftop party that I was invited to attend in June. 
 I met so many amazing people. This includes Super Model Coco Rocha which I truly admire. It was a fan girl moment for me. She was so nice that she bent down to take a photo with me. 

 Met a famous blogger Jessica Stein from Tuula Vintage. 

 In between the shows, I always made time for myself strolling around the city to experience the life of New York. The building, the street, the people, the subway, the food stall, and even the parking system appeared fascinating to me. 









New York in real life has much more energy, vibrancy and charm than it actually does in many movies I've seen. Even though it has always been my dream city to visit, I didn't know if I would love it or I hate it before this trip. I heard different opinions from different people about New York. Some love it while others hate it. I'm so glad I've made it all the way here to form an opinion of my own about this famous city. 

As much as I'd love to talk to you more in depth, but it's impossible to put it all out in this blog entry which is already quite lengthy. It feels just like a dream while I'm writing this blog post, and I do not want to wake up from this dream just yet. 

I'll have to see you in the part 2 of my New York Diary. 

Thank you so much for being here with me, thus far. 

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3 comments

  1. Jens Ken Lundstrom11:01 PM

    Lovely pictures and post!
    njoyed watching it.
    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for reading Jens! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Giustinella8:40 PM

    so jealous you could be there, it's my biggest dream!
    Great pictures, hope you have a great time there :)

    xoxo,
    http://giustinella.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete