It's been almost a month since I've been back in Delhi and thinking of writing about my trip. I've been both busy and lazy, but I finally got some time and decided to start writing. I was in New York City for 3 weeks for work and then traveled to visit the Niagara Falls, Disney World, Universal Studios and Miami. The focus for this article is my first destination, though I have to admit I'm already dying to write about the last ones too!
Though I have been to NYC a few times before for work, this was a special trip for several reasons. I discovered some new places in the city in terms of food, shopping and experiences, almost making it as exciting as the first visit to any place. Also, the romantic air of the city always made me miss my husband and I had him with me for the first time, though for a rather short time in the end! My selection of the best 10 places to see/ be at in NYC obviously has a a bias towards things I love - Walking around, Riverside, City View, Shopping, Eating. The night-life coverage unfortunately will be a little low. And I promise, I will try to cover them more in my next trip :). So here are my favorite places of the New York City! Since it is going to be long, I am splitting it into 2 parts.
Thanks to my poor memory, I had forgotten what it was like to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge and hence went on to relive that experience. And guess what, my heart skipped a beat yet again as I stepped on to the wooden walkway and felt the vibrations of the cars racing under my feet. I could actually see them through the gaps between the wooden planks right below me. At the centre of the bridge, you can even throw a coin in the East river below (not sure if that is allowed though). It was quite a feeling, not to mention the view! It is almost impossible to not feel a little bit romantic there :)
Yes, you have seen a lot of it both in Hollywood as well as Bollywood, but it's still worth seeing it with your own eyes. Honestly, I'm not really a fan of greenery but the vastness and serenity of this place is breathtaking. Seemed like the Central Park had also become a favorite spot for wedding couples. Saw quite a few of them with their crew of photographers following them along the park! The huge park spreads from the 59th street to the 110th street and has a drive space of 10 km inside the park used by joggers, skaters, cyclists etc. An interesting fact is that though the park looks very natural, it has been entirely landscaped and several lakes inside have been created artificially, but you simply can't tell!
Central Park Zoo: While this zoo is one of the smallest in NYC (Bronx being the largest), a few residents make a treat for the eyes. My favorite are the seal and the penguins! They also have a snow leopard and a polar bear amongst other interesting beings. It is not a bad place for an entry fee of $13! In fact on two weekends every year, they allow complimentary entries to all corporate employees and I happened to be there on one of those weekends!
I call it 'The I Make Everyone Smile' Square. No matter how I feel, the liveliness of this place cheers me up. The lights, the crowd, the hustle-bustle - all make it a happy place. I love sitting on the red stairs in the main square and watching the hundreds of people before me with something unique about each of them. You could often see an Elvis Presley or a topless but starred female guitarist or a Micky Mouse! The place also outlets for most of your favorite brands which also stay open till later than the other stores. The Times Square Forever 21 has the best collection and shopping hours, remains open till 2 am!
The 34th Street
For someone who loves shopping, 34th street cannot be missed! You have the huge 9 floor Macy's that has a solution for almost all possible shopping needs! The shopping in Macy's experience deserves an independent article I believe! You also have Victoria Secrets, H&M around though the Forever 21 isn't exactly great. And I have to make a special mention of the Fossil store. There was a small problem with my Fossil watch and I had gone there to get it fixed. Since the duration of my stay wasn't long enough for them to fix it, they gave me a brand new watch!!!!!!!!!!!! I was rather shocked with this 'unthinkable in India' gesture! But I would recommend that Fossil store to everyone for their courteousness and generosity. And please don't blame me if you had entered the store to just buy a watch for your girlfriend but ended up buying two for yourself as well :).
The spectacular view of the entire city from the top of the Empire State Building has again been dramatized in several movies and my first reaction too was nothing but a 'WOW' back in 2007. It is a different story that I went to the 45th floor of my office the next day and was equally mesmerized with the view that I got there! But if you're a tourist without the access to an office space in the 45th floor, you must visit this place! And the best time to go there I think is a little before sunset so that you can get both the day view as well as the night view! It is a photographer's delight! The lights, the buildings, the streets - it has to be experienced rather than read! It is not one of the post popular attractions of NYC for no reason.
Though I have been to only the 86th Floor and not the 102nd floor, 86th has an open space and I have read is better than 102! (You need to know this as there are separate tickets, 102 being more expensive). The skyride is also good is what I have heard.
Souvenir @ the Empire State
This is it for today. Pardon me and also correct me if there has been any factual errors. I have written this article more share my experiences rather than the widely known facts :). These snaps have been taken by three people (one of them being me), hence I cannot take all the credit :). Enjoy!