Heng and Daniel
How We Met
The one and only in New York? We met on OkCupid. I messaged her after a search put her name at the top, as the most likely match in all of New York City. Even so, our first date at Calle Ocho on the Upper West Side did not go well—she was very unimpressed. Based on the scores we expected to be similar to each other. But we were not. Optimistically, I immediately asked her on a second date, she said no. Later her roommate convinced Heng to give me a second chance. Our second date lasted seven hours as we roamed the city, going from Hell’s Kitchen to the MOMA to Central Park, talking the whole time. We soon discovered that our cultures were a lot more similar than we thought. Her Chinese family and my Mexican family shared a common experience of displacement and immigration—a difficult new start and growing up in working class neighborhoods where many languages were spoken. We were both the first in our families to go to graduate school. She was someone I did not have to be guarded with and she understood the struggles that first- and second-generation migrants face. I found out we were both committed Christians with mothers who tended to break out into church hymns. We soon began to go on adventures around the city every weekend. Soon we were regularly making the trip up and down the red line from Morningside Heights where I was finishing my PhD to Einstein Medical School in the Bronx where she lived. I admit, I was a little apprehensive the first few times going to the Bronx, but I soon discovered the borough has some of the best food in the city.
How He Asked
Last spring, Daniel proposed with a scavenger hunt across New York.
Clues were written and hidden by friends at twelve strategic locations where we had memorable dates, including Russ and Daughters, the High Line, and the New York Public Library, and included finding tickets for every museum, movie and Coney Island Ferris Wheel ride we had been on before proposing at the Belvedere Castle in Central Park and dinner at Calle Ocho, where the couple first met.
This time, she said yes.