This was not my first visit to New York City, but it was my first visit to New York during the summer. Prior to this trip, I had only visited in the autumn, or during the dead of winter. NYC in summer is a completely different beast: hot and crowded and overwhelming.
I was there to visit friends who live in Queens, but they were kind enough to take me into Manhattan to do a little exploring. One of my friends works in the financial district, and I followed him around like a lost puppy, gaping at the shiny glass skyscrapers and all of the people scurrying about in crisp business suits.
There are times when I simply have to accept being a complete tourist. Anytime I visit New York is one of them. The city towers over me, and I feel a sort of small I don’t think I would ever get used to. But there is no denying New York is an amazing place to visit, and I look forward to living near it in the future.
On this visit, I was finally able to see the Statue of Liberty for the first time in my life, albeit from quite some distance. We also made a stop at the Rockefeller Center, at which I overenthusiastically had my picture taken at the Indonesian flag, much to the bemusement of the other tourists around me.
I also finally accomplished a life-long dream, and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met has one copy of my favorite Van Gogh paintings, “Wheat Field with Sunflowers,” and I foolishly did a little dance when I finally found it after wandering through the Met’s numerous rooms. There is also a huge section on Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and I was thrilled to see Indonesian art represented amongst the many other pieces.
There was a time when I dreamed of living in New York City, and while I now wonder if I am too much a farm girl to live in the big city, I still love the chance to pop in and say hello.
 This is something I am actually very bad at. Because I have rarely traveled without also living in a place (I studied abroad in London, and I now live in Indonesia), fleeting visits to unfamiliar countries and cities always feels very strange, and it has taken me some time to embrace that role and take advantages it presents.
 After my second grant in Indonesia, I will be attending Stony Brook University for Applied Linguistics, thereby living much closer to NYC than I ever have before.
 The other copy is in the National Art Gallery in London. I can now happily say that I have seen both copies now—check that off the bucket list.