Weekend Wanderer: San Diego to New York City

Justin Halbert Weekend Wanderer

Justin Halbert, a San Diego native, is living up to the city’s nickname, the “City in Motion,” with his busy lifestyle. As a chef, photographer, teacher, and father Justin knows just how to capture a world in motion. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in New York as part of Alaska Airlines’ Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

How would you plan a trip to NYC if you were a San Diego native? For me, I based my outings around the best photo spots and dining in the city. Shoot a little before sunrise, have a great breakfast, walk, cab or subway to the next location, shoot, eat a good lunch and so on. I was cold but that made the experience more fun – we don’t get to wear layers in San Diego.

Traveling is about making memories. That’s why I try to bring a friend or someone in the family on all my trips. This trip was special because I brought my wife Stacy who had never been to New York. She loves going on photography trips with me because I set the agenda and she gets to enjoy and experience the places I photograph, the restaurants we dine at and she gets to meet friends I’ve made through social media that I try to meet up with. It’s important for me to share the amazing opportunities I get with my friends and family.

I’m a classically trained chef and creativity is what fuels me. Whether it’s food or art, I’m constantly looking to improve and hone my skills. Just before the trip, I had some chef friends from San Francisco stay with me in San Diego. One friend had just returned from working as a chef for five years in New York so he had some recommendations for restaurants. The first night we ate at Boqueria – a Spanish tapas restaurant, which we absolutely loved. One of the best dinners my wife has ever eaten was the vegetarian tasting menu at Contra – six courses for 67 dollars … that’s an absolute steal in the city. Every place where we ate was good – and I have to say, New York pizza does taste better in New York!

Other highlights include sunrise at Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, visiting the 9/11 Memorial, sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge, the view of downtown from the Manhattan Bridge. This trip was truly memorable.

Hey guys! @justinhalbert here! Thanks for following along on my journey through NYC as the #weekendwanderer. I got up before sunrise for this one to get a shot of the Brooklyn bridge before the crowds. It's a must see while in New York.

Hey guys! @justinhalbert here! Thanks for following along on my journey through NYC as the #weekendwanderer. I got up before sunrise for this one to get a shot of the Brooklyn bridge before the crowds. It’s a must see while in New York.

Some people focus only on the photo of the bridge that they miss the fact that the Empire State Building lines up perfectly underneath it if you stand in the right spot. this was a fun one to shoot since I've seen it in movies and TV so much.

Some people focus only on the photo of the bridge that they miss the fact that the Empire State Building lines up perfectly underneath it if you stand in the right spot. this was a fun one to shoot since I’ve seen it in movies and TV so much.

Such a beautiful piece of art to commemorate one of our nations biggest tragedies.

Such a beautiful piece of art to commemorate one of our nations biggest tragedies.

I'm always hunting for a nice sunset even if I am surrounded by skyscrapers.

I’m always hunting for a nice sunset even if I am surrounded by skyscrapers.

When we got to the top of the rock, it was cold and windy and the sun was hidden behind the clouds. But when I saw that clear sliver of sky on the horizon I knew it was going to light up. So we waited. And then this happened.

When we got to the top of the rock, it was cold and windy and the sun was hidden behind the clouds. But when I saw that clear sliver of sky on the horizon I knew it was going to light up. So we waited. And then this happened.

Can't visit NYC and not visit the iconic Grand Central Station.

Can’t visit NYC and not visit the iconic Grand Central Station.

Trying to stay warm under the city lights and getting in the Christmas spirit.

Trying to stay warm under the city lights and getting in the Christmas spirit.

Trying to hold on to the last colors of fall before the snow gets here. We took a nice long walk through Central Park for our last day here.

Trying to hold on to the last colors of fall before the snow gets here. We took a nice long walk through Central Park for our last day here.

Apparently I brought the San Diego sunsets to NYC! No Photoshop, no color enhancements - just the Big Apple putting on a show!

Apparently I brought the San Diego sunsets to NYC! No Photoshop, no color enhancements – just the Big Apple putting on a show!

What a weekend in NYC! From sunrise till past midnight we were nonstop, seeing and eating as much as we could. What a great experience. We just scratched the surface so expect us back soon. San Diego, it’s good to be home!

What a weekend in NYC! From sunrise till past midnight we were nonstop, seeing and eating as much as we could. What a great experience. We just scratched the surface so expect us back soon. San Diego, it’s good to be home!

 

 

 

 

One Comment on “Weekend Wanderer: San Diego to New York City

  1. Wow! I love the Weekend Wanderer series, but Justin’s photos are especially breathtaking!

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