Travel

My bite of the big apple – NYC

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do. 
Now you’re in New York, 
These streets will make you feel brand new 
Big lights will inspire you…   (Alicia Keys) 

I am standing in the middle of the big city life jungle, just watching everything and everyone rush by, and I feel alive. I`m in New York. Such an amazing feeling to just look up and feel the power of the skyscrapers drag you into a different “empire state of mind”.

Hustle and bustle on Times Square - fascinating place!
Hustle and bustle on Times Square – fascinating place!
A typical NYC yellow cab
A typical NYC yellow cab

There are a few things, visiting New York, that you can do to make your stay even more special and most of all, affordable. Here are my tips on how to enjoy New York like a smart traveler:

#1: the sky is the limit

The first question arising in my mind when I enter Manhattan is: how can I, as fast as possible, see this city from above. The most normal answer would be: go to the top of the Empire State building. But my advise is: go to the top of the Rockefeller Center! From there, you see much more of Manhattan and you have the Empire State building and the Chrysler building in front of you and not behind you, which provides you the best Manhattan view ever. Buy your ticket in advance to make sure that you`re able to enter on the day that you want.

Beautiful view from the "Top of the Rock"
Beautiful view from the “Top of the Rock”

#2: the liberty of the water 

One cannot be in NYC without taking a boat trip. If it`s not absolutely necesary for you to actually visit the Statue of Liberty, a good way of having an amazing boat experience, is taking the Staten Island Ferry. It takes 25 minutes one way and the ride is for free. You can go back and forth – having an incredible view of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn. My special tip: take the ferry when the sun is setting in the afternoon, the Skyline will look like its on fire. 

The Staten Island Ferry provides the best view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty
The Staten Island Ferry provides the best view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty

#3: in search of unknown alternatives 

After visiting New York several times, I wanted to discover something new that I hadn`t seen before. This time, my hotel happened to be situated in West Village, which for me turned out to be a great discovery. Make sure to visit the High Line (former train tracks turned into a nice green area) and the Chelsea Market. A great number of wonderful restaurant are lined up like pearls on a row, and the atmosphere is very different from uptown and downtown. The LGBT community is flowering here, which also is fascinating for someone coming from the outside.

This is one thing I really love about NYC, you can be who you are and dress how you like – you`ll just be considered cool or fashionable..or crazy, but in a good way.

A small market place inside the Chelsea Market
A small market place inside the Chelsea Market
Delicacies at the Chelsea Market - impossible to resist!
Delicacies at the Chelsea Market – impossible to resist!

#4: dare to get lost  

Some cities are not good to get lost in, but some cities are just waiting for you to wander off and be an adventurer. I took the ride to Brooklyn (because I missed my stop with the subway), and discovered the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and some parts of Brooklyn that I had never seen before. What a view! Then, I walked back over the Brooklyn Bridge and it took about a half an hour (and was very nice, even though very crowded).

Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge seen from Brooklyn
Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge seen from Brooklyn
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
Beautiful bay view with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop
Beautiful bay view with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop

Some things to be aware of when visiting NYC:

– the hotels are generally really expensive and the hotel rooms mostly much smaller then in other big cities in the States.

– when you read “continental breakfast”, don`t expect a continental breakfast as we know it in Europe or from other parts of the world. This will typically just be cereals, bagels with cream cheese, pastries and, if you`re lucky, some fruits. I read a lot of hotel reviews where people complain about the breakfast, but this is just something one needs to know before going there to adjust the expectations.

– NYC (especially uptown) is loud! If you have a hotel room with absolutely no noise, this is luck. For me, this is just a part of being in NY. If you are sensitive to noise when sleeping, make sure to buy earplugs.

– Life in NYC is fast! People walk around fast, they want you to be efficient when ordering and there is not a lot of patience. But, this is not necessarily rudeness, it`s just a part of the city culture. Most people are still very nice, though.

This is a city that I absolutely love, and I will never get tired of seeing the same things over and over again. There is always something to discover and I can truly say – it is one of my favorite cities in the U.S.

Thank you to my travel companion this time, my wonderful husband. It was great being on the road with you!

Dare to make your dreams come true – the journey starts with a single step!

– Charlotte –

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