It has always been a dream. Perhaps not on the very top of my list but definitely up there : Visiting New York City!
We arrived in October and first stayed in a small hostel called American Dream Bed and Breakfast, conveniently located in the historical Gramercy park and not far away from all the major tourist sites. It was a the cozy place to stay, not particularly spacious (as many places in NY), but yet very recommendable. We spent the first part of our trip in that hostel and were fortunate enough to also stay at a friends place for a few days after in the upper east side of town.
I think as a first-time visitor to the city you simply have to see the main attractions and join the busy tourist crowds. Due to high amount of places to visit you must as what to do in NYC? First, we wanted to get a look at the city from another persepctive. We took one of the ferries leaving from the east river and decided to start the tour with a view from the Hudson River. The weather for the time of the year was great, reaching close to 20 degrees during the day. Yet a bit windy, we had a very nice view from Manhatten, Governors Island and New Jersey as we passed our first major landmark – the Statue of Liberty. Definitely worth to see the city from afar and to get a good intro and insight into its dimensions and also to see if from a somewhat different perspective.
The city is made up of many different districts and neighborhoods and each one has its own charm. Life is pulsating in every street and is filled with interesting buildings, shops and markets waiting to be discovered. Some areas seem to be a bit run-down but still portray very interesting architectural designs. The gigantic towers down in lower Manhattan are simply breathtaking as you seem to squeeze your way through the narrow aisles of the streets and yet find yourself in front of an even taller building around every corner. I believe as an artist and architect the city must be a never ending fountain of inspiration.
Apart from the dynamic city life New York also has very beautiful parks, in particular one big one – the New York Central Park. The Central Park is of one largest urban parks in the world and also the most visited one in the United States. It is a recreational home to the city’s inhabitants and is a highly recommendable place to visit during your stay. While visiting we were lucky enough to have beautiful weather that day and had a very nice time enjoying a nice walk through the luscious green space of the park.
One of the other must-dos is to experience the city from the very top. Our choice was to do this on the top of the Rockefeller building as it provides you with one of the most spectacular views. You imagine New York City being gigantic, but this will prove you that it is simply enormous!The city stretches further than your eyesight can see and the skyscrapers pop out of the concrete like LEGO blocks – somehow it feels like you just zoomed out of your Sim City game and now observe you master piece from the top.
The city is truly amazing and perhaps one can write books about where to go and what to do. Another place I would yet encourage to see are the Central Station, Times Square (by night), MoMa (Museum of Modern Arts), the 9-11 memorial site and to visit a game of the New York Knicks! I highly recommend taking a few tourist rides to see the main attractions and after having seen those to discover the various districts by subway and by foot. The charm of the city is made up of its ethnic enclaves and neighborhoods and these offer a great variety of things to discover.
So, what to do in NYC?
1. View from Rockefeller Center (top of the rock!)
2. Central Park
3. Walk through Soho and the West Village
4. Eat a real New York burger, pizza and prime steak!
5. Discover Brooklyn (Williamsburg)