New York City! The so called concrete jungle where dreams are made of…. I had a connecting flight scheduled to depart from JFK international and decided fly in two days early to explore one of the busiest cities in America. I have been to the state of New York as a kid, but had never been to New York City, so I didn’t want to pass up a chance to finally see the Big Apple.
It took about an hour to get from the airport to my hotel which was conveniently located near Central Park and a few blocks from Time Square. I stayed at the Park Central Hotel and was happy to hear that I would be staying on the 11th floor. Of course I assumed I was going to have a perfect view of the city, but oh, was I so wrong. I failed to realize that with so many towering buildings, most views of downtown are blocked by taller buildings nearby or several off in the distance. I’m sure the view varies from room to room and building to building. Nonetheless it did not bother me.
One thing I got use to seeing so much of was the sea of yellow cabs that blanketed most of the streets. I would assume the yellow cab is part of New York’s iconic history since they’re everywhere. You literally cannot miss them. I think I saw more cabs than people at times!
Time Square was busy all day and all night. This is the place where all tourist, including myself, ended up at some point while walking around New York City. This became apparent when a person asked me to take a photo of him and his family. As we engage in a brief conversation I mentioned that I was only visiting and not from here. He replied, “Neither are we.” To see all of the lights and LED screens during the day is something else, but to see it at night is an experience all in itself. There are so many LED boards and screens that even as night falls, it feels like daylight still exist in the square.
Got to meet some really cool NYPD Officers out protecting the streets in NYC. There is a very large presence of officers (NYPD, Transit Police, Homeland Security, etc.) on almost every corner. Probably as many police officers as the amount of yellow cabs.
I walked a small portion of Central Park near my hotel. It would probably take weeks to experience the massive park. Still, nice views of the city.
I made my way down to the financial district and was able to see the One World Trade Center as well as the 9/11 memorial. I made a promise back in 2001 that I would visit the place where the twin towers once stood and I was finally able to do so. As part of the memorial, two holes remain in the ground where the twin towers once stood. Surrounding the edges of the memorial are the names of all the victims who perished during the attacks.
I took the One World Observatory tour to the top floor of the tower. I paid about $37.00 ($80 because I bought a ticket for my wife) and took a high speed elevator to the top. The elevator moved at 23 MPH and you could barely tell. The view at the top was amazing.
I finally got to walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
I didn’t think it could happen, but you CAN get lost on the subway in NYC. Luckily for my wife and I we have a friend who lives in New York help us familiarize ourselves with the subway transit system. Aside from being very old, the subway is so complex and depending on where you are going, you may have to get off of one, walk a few blocks to another subway terminal, then get on another to reach your destination. It sounds difficult, but with today’s technology and Google maps, its not to hard to find your if you do get lost.
I had a blast walking around parts of New York City for 2 days. I know there is lots of the city I did not get a chance to see, but from what I was able to experience, I am sure to return to learn more about the city that never sleeps. I look forward to spending much more time and venturing a little further to areas I missed during my short stay.