I´ve spent around 2 weeks with a friend in New York City and I was really impressed by this city. There are so many things to discover and every district is completely different and in huge contrast with other districts and in its own way interesting. Here I will tell you about the 16 things that I liked the most in NYC:
1. Relaxing in the Central Park:
When we went to NYC, it was September and the weather was still great. Around 27 degrees and sunny! If the weather is like that, you should not miss to enter the central park, grab an ice-cream and just relax on the grass, watching the huge buildings which you can see from there. Anyways, I can imagine that the park is also very beautiful in winter time.
2. Drifting away in the streets of Manhattan:
From the Upper West Side along the Amsterdam Avenue to Columbus Circle along the Broadway to Times Square, visiting the Hard Rock Café and small cake or hat shops, adore beautiful old buildings, taking a rest in one of NYCs churches or in one of the small parks with nice fountains. You can just drift away in the never ending streets of this big city and you´ll be impressed by so many things – the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center, crazy teddybear-shops, street markets, old graveyards, the NYC Public Library, walking along the Hudson River, having a coffee or two in a little café in Soho. You´ll find great street art and crazy architecture – just take your time to discover and you will be amazed. But consider, that the distances are huge and sometimes, you also have to take the subway within Manhattan, if you want to reach a specific place very fast. Sometimes, we were walking from a.m. to p.m. and were just wasted in the evening
3. Having a huge street food bagel with coffee for breakfast:
That´s just the best! Every morning I was looking forward to get a huge bagel with egg, cheese and ham, supplemented by a coffee with milk from the street vendor around the corner. A perfect start of our day with new adventures. And the best: it´s very cheap – together around 3 US-Dollar. Don´t miss that 😉 (Unfortunately I don´t have a foto)
4. Watching a Yankees baseball match in the Bronx:
We got free tickets for a Yankees match from a friend and we did´t want to miss that chance of experiencing a real NYC baseball match 😉 It was really funny and just entertaining like in the movies! People are more interested in eating Hot Dogs, Burger, French Fries and Chicken Wings (which is very expensive) during the match than in the match itself. In the stadium itself you can buy every Yankees item you can imagine – Yankees Baseball-Caps, T-Shirts, Wallets, Umbrellas, Teddys, shoes, etc. They also have a museum – the entrance is for free, but we didn´t visit it, because there was a unbelievably long queue. Also the Bronx, in which district of NYC the stadium is located, is very interesting – so absolutely different from Manhattan and honestly a bit stereotyped. Anyways, the people were nice but I would not necessarily walk there alone at night.
5. The Times Square:
Just one of the craziest parts of the city and doubtless one of the most famous ones – the Times Square. I was just overwhelmed and had a sensory overload from all this lights, advertisements, people, cars – and last but not least from the famous naked cowboy 😉 Especially at night it´s impressing.
6. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial:
In contrast to the bubbly Times Square, this place is very calm and prayerful although there are also a lot of people. The entrance is for free but you have to get tickets in advance in order to get your visiting time for the 9/11 Memorial. In that time (September 2013), the Memorial Museum had not opened yet. Anyways, I was impressed by the place. The huge fountains whose water flows into a dark ground, the enormous new buildings around them, the names of the victims around the fountains – some of them with roses. And the “Life Tree” which survived the attack and stands in the middle of the site.
7. Watching stressed managers at Wall Street:
A paradise for banker, investment broker and top-manager – the Wall Street. Here I liked to just stand still in the middle of the huge and elegant bank buildings and watch the stressed, very important people, getting a bagel and a coffee in a coffee shop around the corner and quickly eating it on the way back to the office, where they will most probably stay until the late evening. Tourists were more interested in the huge bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange building.
8. Going for running along the Hudson River:
If you are a very active person and cannot pass on going for running, even while you are traveling – the Hudson River is a very good option. It´s beautiful, easy to reach and there are not too many people around than for example in the Central Park.
9. Getting lost in a huge costume shop:
You can find many shops like that in NYC – and it´s really fun to slip into different roles, not just for kids In a costume shop in NYC you can really find everything what you are looking for.
10. Walking on the “High Line”:
The “High Line” is an old 30-feet-high railway for freight trains which has been transferred into a nice public park. It is located from the Gansevoort Street in the “Meatpacking District” to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. In my eyes, it´s a really creative, nice and useful project in order to utilize areas in the city which are endangered by degradation and transform it into a special greenery area, open for everybody. We really enjoyed it to linger there, have a talk and just enjoyed the nice area, the buildings around us and the nice weather.
11. Taking the ferry to Staten Island:
The ferry to Staten Island is for free – and we didn´t know that. We went by subway to the last station in the very south of Manhattan (M1, South Ferry Loop). There we were desperately looking for a box office who sells tickets for the Staten Island Ferry. But we didn´t find it and when the huge ferry arrived, we were asking one person who was also waiting for it. And he told us, that´s for free! Great! So we got inside, like 300 other people and the journey startet. From the ferry, we were able to see perfectly the skyline of Manhattan which became smaller and smaller and Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty. Staten Island is completely different from NYC. It is like a village with family houses, gardens and small streets. It´s interesting to just walk through the streets and I really liked to see the big contrast.
12. Walking on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset:
After coming back by ferry from Staten Island, we were walking along the FDR Drive to the Brooklyn Bridge. For getting up there, we had to walk a quite long distance in north-west direction, along Dover Street and Frankfort Street. Here we also found the quite impressively high New York City Hall. We got up the Brooklyn Bridge at perfect time for watching the sunset, which was very gorgeous to see from here with a perfect view over the skyline and the Manhattan Bridge.
13. Dismounting in a “gay”-coyote ugly bar
One evening we had the fabulous idea to look for a gay-bar in NYC. We also found one in Upper West Side. It was just a funny and hilarious evening and we were the only girls among many gay guys. But everybody in the bar was treating us very nice and they were very funny. Later the three bar tenders were performing a great coyote ugly show. We were laughing and drinking with them and later a old man from Australia came to our table. He was asking us why we are here and telling us that he was the only non-gay man in this bar. But he was accompanying a friend, who is gay. We told him, that we were just curious about going to a gay bar in NYC and he was laughing, glad about finding other people, with whom he can talk normally without the need of flirting 😉 So, if you are just a curious girl (or a gay), don´t miss that chance!
14. Walking through Harlem:
When I think about Harlem, I think about beautiful little churches, many black people and the Harlem Shake Harlem is just exactly like I expected it to be and I really like it like that. We went there by walking along Amsterdam Avenue starting from our accommodation in Upper West Side. Before we reached Harlem, we visited shortly the beautiful campus of Columbia University and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, which is definitely worth a visit.
15. Visiting the “American Museum of natural history”:
I really adore this museum and one day is definitely not enough to explore all areas of this museum. It´s about animals, cultures, countries, expeditions, nature, humans, etc. Normally, the entrance fee is quite expensive, but since we didn´t have enough money with us in that moment, the woman on the cashier´s office told us, that we can just pay as much as we could and we were able to enter the museum. On the museums website, you can get some more information.
16. Enjoying the smells of China Town:
New Yorks Chinatown is a rather big area – once you are in you really think, that you have switched the country within seconds. The smells, the people, the sense of hygiene, the noises – everything is completely different from the other areas in New York City. For people who have never experienced Asia its a challenge – for people who are “Asia-experienced” it´s just funny and interesting to see, how the Chinese people were really able to transfer a part of their own culture to a western country.
My article about NYC was also published on Pink Pangea.