After visiting New York we understood why people love this city so much, and we also understood why many people hate it. Cities like this teach us to overcome so many things, even ourselves while at the same time teaching us not to take everything seriously and to appreciate the little things in life better. While being lost in the sea of people you can still find many things in New York.
I still remember the long lasting rush of adrenaline from our 3-day stay there which made us narrate our trip with so much enthusiasm later. Gradually, though, fragrances tend to thin out, memories are not as clear as before, and the places we’ve visited begin to seem so far away and unreal…
For sure, New York is not a city you can easily forget. We see it a lot in movies, in pictures, get to know it from others’ stories so we create a mental image of the city long before we actually visit it. And all this continues long after we’ve left it.
New York welcomed us in the beginning and then sent us back home at the end. That’s why it’s so special to me – because after our 4-month stay in the USA we went back there as explorers for a few days and so this was the city which succeeded in turning us into the always searching for a new experience people we are now.
When we arrived we decided that we will walk through Manhattan without a map, a definite goal or a route. Our hotel was a cheap one on Times Square, which was perfect at the time as we only went to sleep there at night. I still shudder when I remember Carter Hotel but I guess you can’t go without some experience on the bad side. Anyway, if you have a tight budget you may check out the place, they offer competitive prices (but have in mind it’s the only competitive thing they offer).
All this was left behind when we found ourselves in a very hospitable and surprisingly green city with small and large parks, multicultural neighborhoods and cozy places. Dido and I both liked the cosmopolitan atmosphere of New York which can be felt everywhere – on the streets, in people, in the air itself.
After we left our stuff at the hotel we decided to go on our first large tour of the city. We had already fallen in love with Central Park during our previous visit so we started walking along 6th Ave which leads to this green oasis. We saw on our way the large advertisements competing with architecture and overhanging so much so, making people forget the blue skies above.
Along with the advertisements, there are also many historical places nestled in between modern buildings like the Cathedral of St. Patrick which just can’t be missed. The same goes for the beautiful façade of the St. Thomas Church which we discovered after turning on 5th Ave.
If you like parks as much as we do you’ll love Central Park, too. It has these slowly uncovering picturesque settings which look like taken from a painting. While we were walking § talking we didn’t even notice the sun setting down. The contrast with the busy streets was too big to leave us indifferent.
During the night, you can discover hidden treasures just by seeing them from a different angle. You have to keep in mind, though, that the park is closed to visitors from 1 am to 6 am. After the relaxing walk, we went back to our hotel to get some sleep and get ready for the next day.
The noise, the animation, and the car sirens of Gotham City woke us up early in the morning. Our second day was promising to be sunny. The plan for the day was a bit tight so time passed really quickly. The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Soho, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, the 9/11 Memorial, China Town. All this sounded really promising and we were impatient to start.
We visited again Battery Park but this time, we stoically waited in the long line for the ferry which took us to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
I wouldn’t like to disappoint you but the Green (or Blue, depending on the point of view) Lady wasn’t what I imagined it to be. Its size is not as impressive as I expected and the statue is a bit lost among the trees of the park which surrounds it. I like the fact that it’s a symbol of the new and the adventurous, though, so we visited it anyway.
Ellis Island was way more interesting for us. Much more history, intertwined stories, and destinies – you can spend many hours there. The museum is really impressive, and the view of Manhattan is beautiful. Elis Island was the first land immigrants saw after the long transatlantic journey they took with the hope of a better life in the New World. I strongly recommend the Golden Door movie which perfectly describes the place and the feelings it provokes.
We spend a really long time on the islands as I’m addicted to history. After that, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge which is near the harbor. We wanted to see some parts of the city on the other side of the bridge but time was pressing so we stayed in Manhattan. During our next visit, we’ll get there for sure.
Our trip took us to the place of the tragedy from 9/11. Regardless of my opinion on the reasons for the attack, when you visit the place you realize how dreadful it was back then. It’s a central place, full of people, almost like a beating heart of the city. We couldn’t see the finished 9/11 Memorial – it was still a construction site, but I liked the concept very much. We bought some souvenirs from the shop (you can’t miss it, there are always loads of people in the front). There you can also see documentary movies about the attack, you can listen to interviews, etc.
From there we continued to Wall Street and the famous Bull Statue which is a symbol of welfare. Believe me, this is maybe the most shot location in New York. It’s almost impossible to get near it. As if the money will automatically start flowing into your pockets after you touch the statue. Well, we all know things don’t exactly happen like this. After that, we went to China Town.
There we tried the Dragon Beard Candy which is a Chinese specialty, and they made it in front of us. The way it looks and tastes is close to the Turkish pismaniye. It was so much fun to watch it how this guy made it.
Our tour led us through Soho and many more places. That’s how we discovered Manhattan in the night – wondrously colorful and slightly hypnotic. That’s how the second day passed – full eyes, full heart.
We spent our last day preparing for travel. We drunk coffee near the hotel looking at the people with umbrellas hurrying by. New York sent us away with dark and rainy weather as if sensing our own mood. We weren’t ready to take our good-byes yet, at least not that day. We didn’t have any choice, though. The Port Authority Station was near our hotel so we took the bus to JFK airport. We started our long way back to Bulgaria.
Good-bye, New York – until we meet again!
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