New York without doubt has been overused by the film industry. After watching countless films and TV shows over the years, you get a sense that you know the city even though you’ve never been there. Arriving in New York definitely felt surreal. I was pretty much in a movie.
When we flew in from Denver, our original plan was first to go to Boston, so we had to make our way from the airport to the greyhound station. In times of desperation (as we were running late as usual) we took a taxi. Our local taxi driver decided that the best way to get there was to cross right through the overly crowded Times Square. We only made the bus because it was delayed but we definitely had the iconic New York taxi experience that I would never do again.
Our second introduction to New York wasn’t any better. From the greyhound station we caught an uber that was going to take us to our accomodation. Half an hour into our trip we realised that my friend had put in the wrong address in the app and that we were in Brooklyn instead of Bronxville. Giving up on personal drivers, we switched to public transport. I’m going to admit that the New York subway works extremely well. The trains come often, there are heaps of stations and it covers most of the city. The only downside is that they are still living in the last century and there are no escalators anywhere, only steps! Keren has definitely put on weight over the last couple of months so that wasn’t fun. When we finally made it to the apartment we were staying at, all of our frustrating experiences were made up by the view we had. New York from the 18th storey is definitely beautiful. We finally made it to our last destination.
From the countless t.v shows and movies, you want to see everything New York has to offer. Let me tell you now, that’s an impossible task if you only have 4 days. Trust me, I tried.
Day one consisted of Times Square, Rockafeller centre and 5th Ave shopping. Times Square is definitely worth going. It’s completely covered in tourists and overly crowded but it’s astounding the amount of led billboard signs and advertisements. If you get the chance, go at night as you get the full experience. That same day we also went to see Chicago on Broadway. You’d think that the shows would be incredible and over the top as its Broadway, but the theatre was on the small side of life which restricted the amount of space the actors had for dancing. Nonetheless it was spectacular and totally worth it.
Day two mostly consisted of Central Park and a little bit of East Village. Far out that park is big. After getting harassed by dodgy bike vendors on the street, we went for the legal option and hired out official bikes to go around the park. Do not underestimate the park. The 10km track around it has an uphill part that definitely reminded me that I’m in need of exercise. However Central Park was very pretty. They have closed the streets to cars so it’s very peaceful. Inside it, you can forget that you’re actually in one of the busiest cities in the world. After being extremely sweaty as New York is extremely hot and humid in summer, we ventured out to the East Village where my friend had a haircut appointment and I caught up with a high school friend who happened to also be in the area. She also went to summer camp and it was interesting to compare our experiences. She definitely had a more stereotypical fairytale experience of camp while I think I had a more down to earth time. East Village definitely felt like it was more of a residential area. It was nice to walk around and see how actual New Yorkers lived.
On day three we got serious and did some hardcore sightseeing. In the day we managed to take the free Staten Island ferry there and back to see the Statue of Liberty from afar, went to the Ground Zero memorial which was breathtakingly beautiful and sad at the same time, walked through Wall Street and part of the Brooklyn Bridge.
On the last day I said goodbye to my partner in crime Jess and took on NYC by myself. In the morning, I once again walked through Central Park to reach the metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is incredibly huge and I would’ve stayed longer than 2 hours if it wasn’t for the aircon that was on full blast. Entrance to the museum isn’t set, you can pay the price you wish and definitely get a map, so you donT become lost in the hundreds of exhibits they have. For lunch I ventured out to Chinatown to fulfil my craving for dumplings and bubble tea. At night I hung out at Central Park with a friend where we nearly made it into a free concert. Unfortunately we came too late and the grounds were too full. I also ate the iconic New York pizza where a slice is bigger than your face.
4 days definitely wasn’t enough. I didn’t get a chance to go up the Empire State Building (visibility was pretty bad during the time I was there), discover any of Brooklyn, cross over to New Jersey, see any celebrity or be photographed by Humans of New York. There’s a certain beauty New York has. NYC has captivated me. I know I’ll be back one day!