By Matthew Kim
“Wake Up Matthew, it’s time to go!” I slowly begin to open my eyes, still holding tight onto my blanket, as my friend Ryan tries to wake me up. The time is 8 am and it’s my last day in the state of New York. I was visiting for the very first time in my life and was having a great time. This past July, my friends and I stayed in Manhattan for four nights and spent the last night in Port Jefferson. We spent the majority of our last day trekking all the way to Newark International Airport, where we had a return flight to Los Angles to catch at 2:35 pm. Surely, we had enough time for one last eventful day in New York.
We all rushed out of our hotel as soon as possible to grab bagels at a local spot, Fratelli’s Bagels, before heading to the train station back to the city. We all grabbed a generous extra amount of bagels to eat throughout the day and to take back to Los Angeles. The train ride took a while but it was fun being around good company, eating delicious bagels in a completely new environment. We only had one goal to accomplish in the city before hitting the airport, which was to get a very essential meal of Korean Barbeque.
When we arrived at Let’s Meat, the KBBQ restaurant we had been looking forward to eating at, they allowed us to leave our luggage in an open space near the front and told us they would look over it. Throughout the meal, the service kept getting better as our table always had meat and appetizers filling our plates as quickly as we could eat. The food tasted great, and it wasn’t served frozen as some KBBQ places serve it, which was a big plus. After only eating bagels up to this point in the day, we made sure to get our money’s worth before hopping back on the metro for Newark International. After eating, we checked the navigation to the airport and we were scheduled to arrive roughly 20-25 minutes before our flight. We weren’t too concerned but we knew that we had to move with urgency.
After a half mile walk from Let’s Meat to Penn Station, we had to purchase tickets for the train to Newark. This was the most stressful part of our journey back because Penn Station could be a bit difficult to navigate for a first timer. But eventually, we found our way onto the right platform with our train waiting there. With a couple transfers we arrived at Newark International 30 minutes before our flight. We arrived a bit faster than the navigation estimated but we still had no time to spare. We had to get all the way to the other side of the airport to enter the right terminal and we were running as fast as we could. Luckily, security wasn’t that busy that afternoon and we got to our terminal relatively quick. We had enough time to refill our water bottles and use the restroom before being one of the last few people to board the plane. I learned that time management is especially important on trips where you don’t know the area super well, but thankfully we made it safely home to Los Angeles after a wonderful trip.
Matthew is a sophomore studying Psychology at the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California so he is very familiar with the area. In his free time, he works as a Community Facilitator, goes swimming, and watches Netflix or sports. Matthew has teaching experience tutoring middle school students privately and as a teacher’s assistant in a summer enrichment program for elementary students. He loves to eat good food and try new activities throughout the city.