New York, New York! How exciting to be heading to one of the most vibrant and energetic cities in the world.
I really had to pinch myself most of the time and so much of the thrill of being there only hit me when I got home. Hey! I was in The Big Apple on Fourth of July!
Five of us, my boyfriend Hugh, his sister and parents, arrived and cabbed it to our base at the Hilton Times Square, which turned out to be a great choice because we could either walk to everything, take a short cab ride or ride the famous New York subway.
Times Square everyone knows as the cultural heart of New York city so you just have to take in one of the shows which of course we did.
Poets, Buskers And Rappers
We had pre-ordered our tickets online and they were waiting for us at the hotel when we checked in. There are lots of ways to buy tickets, including the famous NYTix website so you never need miss out.
It’s such a happening place with poets, buskers and rappers all over Times Square and among all the ridiculous characters in costumes from kid's movies, which can be a bit of a nuisance if you are not careful.
Just be polite and firm if you don’t want your picture taken - and don’t pay more than a couple of bucks if you do.
Central Park was an easy stroll from the hotel, so we did that and all my episodes of Law & Order came rushing back to me at once. “Look! That’s where they found the body in episode six … and they arrested the stalker over here in episode ten."
“Who are you waving to Hugh? No one knows you.” I asked BF “Oh, I just saw Adam Sandler walking his dog.”
But as it turned out, completely by accident, we ended up making an appearance on some 4th of July TV special being filmed. So keep your eyes peeled for stars on the prowl, you never know.
Now, I love my modern art and, wow, MOMA did not disappoint. It was one of those ‘died-and-gone-to-heaven’ moments to wander among some the world’s greatest celebrity art like Andy Warhol’s soup cans, Monet and van Gogh.
It was so cool that you could take photos too.
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Guggenheim was also on my list but don't do what I did and mess up the times. It’s closed all day every Thursday, but Saturday is best because they have a special ‘pay what you wish’ from 5:45 until late closing at 7:45. Next time.
The Empire State Building is another sight you just have to do, even though I was trying not to be sick from the dizzying height.
But it was great to go on a clear summer day and see NYC stretch right out, unlike Paris where I was very much stuck in the clouds.
Of course, once everyone would have to do the World Trade Center, but we know what happened there so now it’s the 9/11 Memorial. Very sobering, poignant and moving and hard to keep a lump out of your throat.
Maybe Americans are used to all the propaganda stuff, but I found it pretty confronting. A lot of inflammatory words used that I thought a bit unnecessary, but then I was a long way away when it happened.
Also a popular tour is the Skyline Tour where a boat takes you around the shoreline of New York City. It sure isn’t glamorous but if you want to see grunge and get a dose of history at the same time, this is for you. Me, I could have missed it and not have been sad.
The helicopter is really the way to see the skyline, but hey, I’m still a student.
I have to say, I really enjoyed our day out to Brooklyn. It has a distinctly different feel to Manhattan, with a more cafe lifestyle, full of bookshops, quirky bars and interesting shops.
New York City sure is loud, brash and bright but it does fun and funky in spades too.