New York is the childhood dream of any traveler. Only the thought of crossing the ocean and getting to the world’s most famous and busy city cheered me up terribly.
As soon as I got there, I switched to another dimension: where everything was immense. I felt like Alice in the Wonderland. And I started so since I landed! I made 20 minutes by bus just to get out of the airport! Then it followed the majesty of Manhattan, where you are dizzy only if you look up and try to figure out the skyscraper’s height.
Like any conscientious tourist with little time available, I had some highlights in my mind, which I strongly recommend to you as well:
Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty
I chose to gain time and money to see the Statue of Liberty from a different angle: from the ferry boat to Staten Island. It’s free, the race takes 20 minutes, and the view is delightful. Yes, you do not get to the bottom of the statue, but you can not even see it from there. So, I didn’t do two huge queues (for the ferry and for climbing in the statue) and I didn’t spend at least 50 dollars.
After ten years from the tragedy, the memorial, which has a special symbolism, was inaugurated. In the place where the two towers were, today there are two “bottomless” fountains, in which the water falls in a frightening echo. In the back, there is the Memorial Museum, a new building that resembles a fallen tower. At the touching museum, you can see over 53,000 images, artifacts, life story histories, and over 500 hours of video footage.
One World Trade Center
I found out about this building only when I got there: it’s the highest construction in New York. Those believing that the Empire States Building is the tallest building in New York are badly wrong. With its 546 meters, One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the sixth tallest building in the world!
And the good news: from 2014, the last floor is opened to the public for only $ 32! The elevator climbs to the top in a minute, and you can enjoy a 360-degree view, the 102nd floor being circular and glass! From there you see the whole city!
Chinatown is the colorful part of New York, where you have the feeling that you are always in the middle of winter holidays: stalls with all the colors, lights, decorations as if you were at a huge fair! Each ground floor of the buildings is turned into a shopor in a Chinese restaurant. What is even more interesting is that in the heart of the Chinese Quarter you’ll find the Little Italy, where, obviously, you can eat the best pasta in the town!
For this monument, I had a conflict with myself: to walk by day or night? After all, I visited it in the evening and it was a unique experience: Manhatten’s lights, combined with traffic lights, with the flashes of the tourists’ cameras, with the stars rising near the Statue of Liberty. I stood on the bridge and admired these views and agitation for tens of minutes.
For me, Central Park remains a beautiful enigma: as soon as I entered the park, I never heard the cars from the boulevards. The green area is a natural antiphon, which allows you to enter another world. The park is large and perfectly rectangular. You need a whole day to see it. But the most beautiful thing is to get lost through it. You will hear the birds, you will see dozens of squirrels, you will find hidden benches on the shore of the lake and you will walk on the paved alleys with lanterns, like in an old romantic movie!
The most famous street in New York is so busy that you barely have some space to walk on the sidewalk and it’s impossible not to touch the people who go in the opposite direction. Here you can find everything: agglomeration, restaurants, impressive buildings, shops with very expensive clothes up (I saw a $ 2000 shirt!)
Broadway and Times Square
Walking on Broadway is relaxing and at the same time connects you to the heart of the city. This is where New York reveals itself to you, with good and bad parts of cultural diversity, with tourists, locals, homeless people. From Broadway, you get to Times Square, the madness of the tourists and the area New Yorkers absolutely avoid.
When you get here, you have the chance to stand in the middle of an event: from protests, speeches, shows and New Year’s parties, to exhibitions of all kinds. You will meet characters from comics and movies, tourists of all nations, but also the most deafening horns I’ve heard (because of the echo). The light panels will make you dizzy, the shops and the restaurants come out so hard that you will not know where to go next, the agglomeration will prompt you to run away quickly – and be careful, the traffic lights there are not worthwhile.
This article was published in Ioana magazine (Romania), July 2016 issue