Thomas Wolfe states that “one belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
Diversity and Immigration are just parts of its history and as a tourist, one feels that New York is not selfish in terms of sharing its culture. From the sparkling lights in Times Square to the Statue of Liberty’s welcoming torch, the city just proves its warmth and openness.
Going to New York has been always my life-long dream. People always asks me why I don’t shop a lot or eat in fancy restaurants, and now this is the answer! All the savings and frugality are for New York. Nothing is impossible if you dream and do something towards it, right?
Now,let me share my wonderful experience in this city that never sleeps!
I can just sit here the whole day just to observe all people. Times Square’s loudness, and artistry (street artists and performers) enrich all New Yorkers or even tourists’ own personality. This place gives people a certain type of character- something that is bold and adventurous.
However, if you don’t like the sound of the city, then you could just relax in Central Park.
Do you want to feel royal or are you just lazy to walk around the park? If your answer is yes, you may also try riding a carriage. As of September 2015, its rate is $50 for the first 20 minutes or fraction there of and $20 each additional 10 mins. These rates are per trip and not per person.
Are you familiar with this bridge? Bow Bridge rings a bell, especially when we talk about proposals, or even wedding photoshoots. I can say that being here is really romantic.
For me, a day is not enough to enjoy Central Park. It’s really big and you can have a lot of things to do here. I also admire Americans who always jog or ride a bike here. Say yes to fitness!
If you really like parks, there are a lot of parks that you can visit in NYC. I find Washington Square cool because it is near NYU and there are a lot of artists here. They share their current projects or they just simply perform.
City Hall is nice because there’s also a park here and there are also a lot of entertaining street performers. They will ask everyone to gather around them.Then, before they do their final stunt they will ask for a donation.
From City Hall, you can just walk in order to reach Brooklyn Bridge.
Ground Zero, 9/11 Memorial
The building below is One World Trade Center, which is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. You can also see Ground Zero here, where the Old World Trade Center were located.
Flat Iron Building
Fascinated with buildings? You can also visit the Flat Iron building, which can be found at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway.
Have you watched the film The Wolf of Wallstreet? If yes, then this street is indeed familiar to you. As what a New Yorker told us upon alighting at the station, take care of your money specially your bank accounts. This is Wall Street!
When you walk along the street, you will notice a lot of people around a sculpture. That’s when you’ll know that you’ve arrived at this famous sculpture made by Arturo Di Modica. The Bull symbolizes the “can do” spirit of America. As what Obama also affirms “Yes, we can!”
Empire State Building
Once you are in New York, you will never miss a chance to take a photo of this building. Going near the building may not be a good option. In order to have a perfect view of this building, we went to Rockefeller Center.
For just $32 (as of September 2015), you can visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. How I wish that it’s already Winter, because they also open their ice skating rink during that period. Remember the film Serendipity?
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art
I like the ambiance of this museum. MoMA’s Sculpture Garden is the perfect place to enjoy art and relax.
My main agenda in MoMA was to see Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. We’ve discussed his story back in high school and here’s Don McLean’s song to better contextualize Van Gogh’s art and his life.
“And now I understand what you tried to say to me how you suffered for your sanity; how you tried to set them free.Perhaps they’ll listen now, for they could not love you, but still your love was true. And when no hope was left in sight on that starry, starry night, you took your life as lovers often do.”
Andy Warhol has been famous because of pop art. He used mediated representation of images which allow the people to decode or interpret in various ways. Warhol states that “the more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel.”
There’s a free ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island. However, you can just see the statue from a far because the ferry wouldn’t go that near.
Statue of Liberty
The best way to have a good picture with the statue is to avail the paid trip. You need to be early if you want to buy the ticket for the museum inside, or if you’re lucky, you can also go up all the way to the Statue’s crown.
Last Semester, I presented about Emma Lazarus poem The New Colossus. It was nice to see it in front of the Statue.
There’s a ferry trip from the Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island. I did a lot of research about immigration in the United States and it is quite helpful and interesting to visit the museum there.
I watched Book of Mormon and the experience was really great! Dreams do really come true! I got a seat near the stage and I had a good view of the actors’ movement and acting. I also like how humble they are. After the show, we got the chance to ask for their autograph on the souvenir program. They were really nice.You can also ask them a lot of questions and they were happy to answer them. Once they were finished, they just walked home. No limo and no VIP treatment.
I wouldn’t end this blog without writing about what I’ve eaten in the big apple! One of the things that I find really different is that customers need to give a tip in a resto. It is difficult because sometimes the tip is so high that its worth is like a burger meal or more than that (student problems). Anyway, here are my recommendations that you wouldn’t think twice to splurge.
Actually, you can also find this restaurant outside NYC. My first try was in Santa Monica but I love my experience in NYC. The waitress was really nice, energetic, and helpful. We also played a game in German. Most of the questions were about the film Forrest Gump.
If West Coast has In ‘N Out Burger, East has Shake Shack. Their burgers and fries are really recommended.
Wafels & Dinges
Their food trucks are almost all over the place. It’s nice to chill in the park eating waffles and drinking a hot coffee. Priceless!
If there’s an award for the best food that you can ever eat in NYC, I’ll give it to the Halal Guys. Their Beef Gyros tastes really good! One rice meal is really affordable and for me, it’s good for two persons or meals already.
I will definitely miss Manhattan’s skyline, NYC’s food, and all the things or activities that I’ve done. This is just the first!
New York, see you soon!