I Fell in Love in New York City

I have always been impacted by disordered eating. As a child, I intensely participated in gymnastics and dance, both with an extreme emphasis on body image, size, and diet. I also was blessed with a challenging stomach and food OCD. It is next to impossible to explain to someone how that impacts day to day life. For me, I love food, trying new foods, eating old favorites, fixating on one food, all of it. There are days I don’t eat and even the idea of consuming anything at all is repulsive.

Some of my most favorite foods I have discovered are when I traveled. I associate many of my travels with epic meals I had or delicious culinary discoveries made whilst exploring a new destination.

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So how is this a love story, you ask? Well. I will tell you.

Back in 2006, I graduated high school. Instead of a graduation party that I would have detested, being an introvert and despising being the center of attention in any capacity, I chose a trip. I wanted to take my Dad to New York City. He is of Italian descent, and I felt he had to experience Little Italy at least once. I had gone a few years prior on an orchestra trip and thought Little Italy was downright magical.

So we went. We did all the activities one would expect. We went to see the NYC Ballet, Wicked on Broadway, (my Dad is a phenomenal girl Dad and enthusiastically participated in all of these), the NYPD Museum, the Met, Grand Central Station, shopping on Fifth Avenue, we did it all.

Here is where the love story comes in. The food. NYC has some of the best, most varied, and limitless options of cuisines, unique eats, and dining experiences. Thankfully, I have many friends who reside there, so I gladly indulge and am fortunate to go somewhere new pretty much anytime I visit. It’s incredible.

Some of my favorites over the years have been: paninis at the Europa Cafe, anything at Obica, American Brass, Pongsri Thai, Martha’s Country Bakery, Ginger and Lemongrass, and anywhere my one friend in particular chooses. Honorary mention to Station House in Forest Hills for the Flowers in the Garden drink (now discontinued, RIP).

Needless to say, I have a longstanding love affair with NYC cuisine. The love story that inspired this post is bubble tea. I had bubble tea for the first time on that trip with my Dad in 2006. We walked into a random shop in Chinatown and thought it looked like a fun drink (we are both food enthusiasts and will try anything). It was love from the first sip.

Through the years since, I have been an avid bubble tea drinker including learning how to make my own at home. My friends ask for recommendations on where to find good bubble tea both in my hometown and anywhere I have traveled.

I traveled to Europe in 2013. At the end of the trip, I had 20 Euros left. Found a bubble tea place by happenstance and used the last of my Euros on a pile of bubble tea. Not such a great decision less than 12 hours prior to boarding a plane, but you live and you learn.

Kiwi Pear with green tea and a mix of tapioca and blueberry or mango bursting boba is my standard choice. I occasionally will venture into a milk tea (like a honeydew) or flavors unique to specific places. I have introduced many friends to bubble tea and helped them to make choices and discover the adventure of this quirky beverage as well.

I was reflecting on this the other day, while drinking an apple passionfruit bubble tea, on where I even was first introduced to bubble tea. I fondly recalled the trip with my Dad where my love story with bubble tea began. Who knew then that wandering out of curiosity into a restaurant (probably with a panda- my other favorite), would be such a love affair with a food item. But here we are.

That is the story of the time I fell in love in New York City.

Comment Below Any Favorite Flavors, Places, Bubble Tea, or Food Adventures!

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