It was on my last day in the United States and I was in New Jersey staying with a family from our hometown. I was happily talking, after having just arrived from Tampa an hour before, when my uncle said we need to get moving to catch the last trip. OK, what trip is this? We are not going home to Siquijor and we need not catch the last trip to get to the island. Advertisements
Mazzarro’s Italian Market in St. Pete was a surprise — a really good surprise. This was super near my aunt’s home that I did not even think there was a good surprise here. I thought it was just one of those huge American supermarkets specializing in Italian food. The “market” is two huge warehouses that doesn’t seem to look like a lot from the outside. When I saw the small Italian cars and the painted walls near the parking lot, I was warming up. The inside was different though. You would never want to leave. It’s like a Walt Disney for Italian food lovers.
My aunt and uncle gave me a spin around the city of St. Pete. It is a small city and a LOT different from New York. But because it was a small city, it reminded me of Cebu and Chiang Mai — only you have a beautiful and uninterrupted view of the ocean in St. Pete. During one of those daily city spins, they took me to the Sunken Gardens.
When my plans to the U.S. were finalized, I immediately looked into the government website of St. Pete, Florida, and see what places it recommends to visitors. I was quite surprised to learn that St. Pete is home to the museum with the second largest collection of Salvador Dali art works — next to the museum in his home town in Figueres, Spain.
“Meet me at the steps,” those are the words I told my friend who I was meeting at the Metropolitan Museum. I sent her the message at 12:30. There was something wrong with the train and at 2:00 P.M., my colleague and I were still walking to the Met, praying we were heading towards the right direction.
The first museum my colleague and I visited was The Museum of Modern Art because it was on our way back to our hotel from the National Library at Bryant Park. The MoMa is behind the Uniqlo flagship in Fifth Avenue. Don’t be surprised to find a long, long line of people to the museum’s entrance on a Friday afternoon. That is because Friday’s is Uniqlo’s free museum day at the MoMa. We skipped the line though and paid $25. Was the $25 worth it?
“So tell me, Psyche, how on earth did you manage to get yourself to this hotel from JFK?” my boss asked me over a glass of wine and cubes of cheese at the small courtyard at The Park Lane Hotel in Central Park. Hmmm.. “After immigration, I walked past the door that said ‘Exit,’ followed the sign to where the Airtrain was, and rode the train,” I replied. “You are an independent woman!” my boss exclaimed. I just followed what the guide book said. My boss and his wife had fits laughing.