I toyed with whether I’d write a blog post about my New York trip for a number of reasons. One of my reasons was because it’s such an amazing city, and I literally did the typical tourist version as I’m no expert. But I guess, really, that’s what most people researching a New York trip do isn’t it, look into how to get about easily? So, before I begin: I didn’t do any of the cool, backstreet, “experience the culture” New York stuff. I hit up the Sky scrapers and helicopters, baby! I’m doing two posts: a summary of my day times and then a summary of my night times!
First: the basic stuff that excites people like me.
The traffic lights, the (terrifyingly dangerous) pedestrian crossings and the street names and signs. I liked usual famous ones (5th, 34th, Lexington Ave, Park Ave, Broadway, etc) but Duane is my favourite, as an avid Die Hard fan. They also have drugstores called Duane Reade everywhere. Cue me exclaiming “DUANE” at almost every opportunity.
I went on the subway and did not die, go the wrong direction or end up in Queens. This is amazing, given that I didn’t understand a single instruction/sign post in the stations – they’re not user friendly at all…nor are the staff. Going in the right direction was sweet chance.
Street art. If you search for the hashtag LAWMART you’ll see that this secretive artist leaves this fantastically quirky art all over Manhattan.
Genius. I only spotted this one and I wish I’d seen more! Or in fact, thought to look more closely!
Peek a boo! I felt like such a child; every time a famous building peeked out from behind I got so excited to see it. We walked to and around most of these famous buildings/areas but when planning the trip you need to decide on what you actually want to spend the time doing – we didn’t visit the Statue of Liberty because we didn’t want to dedicate the time to the ferry, queuing and climbing stairs. Maybe next time!
I was advised to go to the top of the Empire State Building by day and the Rockefeller by night, and I’d definitely advise the same. The Empire State Building is much more open and perfect for daytime, whereas you look through glass at the top of the Rockefeller which breaks the wind at night (which means prevent a breeze, dad. The building doesn’t fart. Men!)
Coolest shadow ever. I decided that dangling my phone off the tower to take that photo was worth the risk. I hope you agree. The views are just spectacular. I loved looking and trying to pick out areas, streets and attractions.
Speaking of spectacular views…nothing beats the view from the helicopter ride around Manhattan and Central Park. It. Was. Amazing.
Hilarious selfie. I was so excited I look drunk.
The views were absolutely breathtaking – and I found it amazing how a city could feel so, SO huge when you’re on foot, but look so tiny from up high. The helicopter ride worked out at about $140 each which I personally though was worth it. You got a good tour right around Liberty and Staten Islands, right around Manhattan and Brooklyn and also the edge of New Jersey.
It was a sunny day so I’m going to have to apologise about the reflections! There was a game playing in Hudson River Park as we hovered above, it was so cool seeing the players scramble like ants below us.
We touched down and it was time for an endurance test: walking to the Brooklyn Bridge from the helipad, and then walking to Brooklyn in the roasting hot sun. Totally worth it. Especially when there’s frozen lemonade at the end. Frozen lemonade is so amazing – I’ve never seen it in the UK which is a tragedy!
Know what this is?
That tiny speck is Ground Zero. I was stunned at how tiny and almost insignificant it looked (despite Freedom Tower) from the sky. Everyone remembers where they were when they found out about 9/11, and most people feel oddly connected to it despite only seeing it on TV. For a couple of hours it was thought that my family returning to the USA were in one of the planes, and based on that alone I’ve always felt so strongly about anything 9/11 related.
Standing there, it really moved me. Firstly because of huge everything felt. Freedom Tower is staggeringly tall. The waterfall pools are staggeringly deep. This will sound morbid, but in my head I tried to imagine two Freedom Towers collapsing in the space I was in with the huge antenna on the Empire State Building in my head included. You just can’t even imagine it can you? I can’t put into words what it felt like to stand there – like many others there, I shed a few tears due to the gravity of it.
The roses indicate the birthdays of those lost, which I think is beautiful. People who worked near one another, were related or were friends are named near one another. I must say: the Ground Zero visitor centre really is a beautiful memorial. It’s so tasteful and sensitive to those involved.
Let’s continue on a positive note…look who it is! Jim Brass from CSI!
I had to run away ahead of him to get this hideously candid photo. No regrets.
Let’s move onto The American Museum of Natural History and then Central Park.
I’m SO bad for taking pictures of everything rather than just the meaningful stuff. So my favourites: wise words from Theo, and the main attraction….you know what’s coming…
“Me no dum-dum. You dum-dum. You bring me gum-gum?”
In seriousness, the dinosaur wing is absolutely FABULOUS. I learned so much about DNA, evolution and dinosaurs in general. It’s just fantastic, my main complaint is that unlike the movie, Sacagawea is not in the museum. I was most upset. I wanted to ask a museum attendant “Is she deaf?”
Central Park is amazing in the sense that it’s a crazy big, manmade park in the midle of the concrete jungle but also because it’s strangely soundproof. NYC is very noisy – constant vehicle noise and the tooting of horns, people talking and shouting, music, tannoys, sirens…but when you’re only a few feet into the park you can’t hear a thing but tranquil park noises. Noises such as me singing ‘How do I knoooooooowwww, heeeee loves me?” (rhetorical question!)
I was going to finish my huge ramble here, but then I realised that I almost forgot the one sight that few people will bother with, but it was absolutely vital for me to take the subway and walk for miles to find. I literally nearly broke my feet walking here and searching.
THE GHOSTBUSTER STATION!
This is a working fire station with no Ghostbusters memorabillia. Not even a poxy sign! None of the shops nearby have tacky Ghostbuster stuff…I was pretty annoyed at the locals for not making more of an effort. Ghostbusters is a big deal, okay?
I’m going to leave it here and you can look forward to my ‘New York by night’ post. I hope this was entertaining…as I’m pretty sure it wasn’t helpful. There are loads of really helpful websites but I personally love NYCGO as you can enter your travel dates and see what’s on! I have plenty I want to do when I next go back. While I was there I thought “Yeah, I’ve done it, I’m not sure I’ll go back” but as time goes on I just fancy it again! I’ll definitely go back, even if it’s just for a steak…