I apologize for the dormant activity this past 6 months or so. I’ve moved abroad to the great big apple NYC for college and it’s just been so overwhelming getting used to the new environment – mainly the vastly different school culture and system – and new people of varying personalities and backgrounds that I would have never met if I had stayed back in a local college. Most of all, there’s just so many things to do in NYC – so many neighbourhoods to explore, so many restaurants to try, so many shows to catch, so many random activities and festivals to be a part of… And it is absolutely insane that there’s just so many things going on every single second. As busy as Singapore can get, NYC is far more hectic and hustling. The difference between a local and a tourist is evident – locals are constantly occupied, walking at the fastest pace you could ever imagine, tourists, on the other hand, are constantly gazing around, strolling at the slowest pace ever and taking pictures of every single object, whether iconic or not, just because of their location in the great big apple.
In some sense, I would have to admit that I am still that tourist. I am no longer in awe by the dazzling lights and thousand million screens in Times Square; in fact, I avoid it as much as possible because of the jam-packed crowd, most of whom are tourists, and the countless people dressed in character outfits whom to me are absolutely terrifying because they walk straight up at you, conning you to take a picture with them and then demanding a over-priced charge for that photo. I no longer think Central Park is the greatest park in NYC. Yes it is unquestionably beautiful and breathtaking, but I’ve learnt that there are as many other spectacular parks in the other neighbourhoods such as Prospect Park, Inwood Hill Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Yet, I still admire in absolute awe at the breathtaking view from my dorm – the NYC skyline and of course, not to miss, the gorgeous empire state building that illuminates in different colours almost everyday in accordance to the occasions. I still enjoy walks around DUMBO, tours in the museum and I’m always eager to explore the different neighbourhoods and boroughs of the city.
So that’s just a short introduction of how my life have very much been this past few months, on top of the regular humdrum school life. Thus, it’s pretty much self-explanatory for my lack of commitment to the sphere of blogging and writing and I very much apologise for that. However, I have definitely not lacked on going on food adventures and making friends with people who are just as passionate about food as I am. Now that I’m out on winter break, I definitely do have plenty of time on my hands and I am extremely excited to share what I have discovered and enjoyed during my time in that great big city.
My first ever food adventure was with my roomates during the first few days before school started. It was probably the end of August/start of September and it was sweltering hot and slightly humid then (I kept complaining that this weather that you would probably experience on a good day in Singapore was not what I was expecting to experience in NYC. Hahaha I guess I do not know what summer in a four-season country really feels like). We chanced upon this ice-pop place in the West Village and was immediately drawn in by the array of ice-pops of all sorts of colours. Unlike the regular popsicle that is made by mainly freezing some kind of flavoured liquid, Popbar features ice-pops that are made with either a sorbet, gelato, or yogurt base, and everything is gluten free. In addition to choosing the flavour that you would want to savour, you get to create your very own ice-pop – dips and toppings. For dips, there is choice of half-dipping or full-dipping or ice-pop with either white, milk, or dark chocolate. For toppings, you get to chose from a variety of crushed nuts – almond, hazelnut and pistachio -, sprinkles and many others. Your dip acts as a glue for the topping, before hardening up to make it a perfect crunchy chocolate shell, a textural contrast to the creamy and smooth ice-pop. In the foreground was my creation that consisted of a hazelnut gelato half-dipped indark chocolate and topped with crushed almond. At the lefthand side is one of my friend’s creation of a coffee gelato full-dipped in dark chocolate, topped with chocolate sprinkles and coconut flakes. At the back is a simple blood orange sorbet pop.
What I absolutely love about Popbar is the freedom they give to design your own dessert, it definitely does bring out the kid in you. And whatever flavours you pick, your popsicle will always be somehow aesthetically pretty and stunning. With the wide variety of flavours and toppings, you’ll always be in for a new treat and you’ll never ever have to repeat the same few boring flavours again and again.
5 Carmine Street
New York, NY 10014
Tel: +1 212-255-4874