Ahh, New York. There’s no place like it. Having seen photos and watched countless movies and TV shows set in New York, I felt like I knew the city before I even went there – visually, anyway. When I pictured New York in my mind, I thought of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, Miranda and Steve running to each other on the Brooklyn Bridge, Serena and Blair gossiping in Central Park, little Kevin McCallister at the giant Rockefeller Christmas tree, bar dancing in Coyote Ugly, Audrey Hepburn on Fifth Avenue, Sam and Annie meeting at the Empire State Building in Sleepless in Seattle, and loads more! The city is literally a film set!
But it’s not just the ‘images’ that make NY the way it is, it’s about the ‘feeling’ you get being immersed in such a place – it’s the same way I think about Japan. There’s so many different things going on, and always something for everyone. The tour guides I met were so passionate about their city! And the people I met throughout my trip, whether locals or tourists, all added to an unforgettable holiday.
In my last post, I talked about some of my fave things in NYC: Strand bookstore, Coney Island, Staten Island ferry, Times Square, and the High Line. So, let’s keep going…
Just like the diversity of people who live and visit New York, you can find almost any food you could want, at any price range. I guess the food most synonymous with New York is pizza. I had it a few times, and it was delizioso! The crust just tastes so good – whether it was the thin style, or deep dish. Also, it was my first time to try proper Mexican food (although I realise it’s probably New York-style Mexican)! I tried a quesadilla for the first time – the tortilla bread tasted like a perfect thin crepe. And, Chinatown took me straight back to my trip to Hong Kong! Yum yum yum!
One of the most iconic places is the oldest suspension bridge in New York! Manhattan being an island, means there are so many bridges. It can get hard to remember which is which, but a fun fact I learnt… there are three bridges connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, from the south, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge i.e. BMW, like the car. :) I also learnt a little about its history. The bridge was designed by a guy by the name of John Roebling. He was involved in an accident during construction which ultimately resulted in his death, and so his son Washington Roebling took over. But he also fell sick and was bedridden. While he oversaw everything from his window in Brooklyn, his wife Emily took over the on-site supervision! Can you imagine a lady in charge of building a bridge in the 1870s-80s?? Pretty impressive!
Interactions with the City
One of the coolest things about New York is how interactive it is. You’re not just there to passively ‘observe’ (although you can be if you want), but I felt like we were encouraged to connect with what was around us. Everything from the street art, to the chess players in the park who are looking for challengers, to the buskers and street performers, the city relies on us as much as we rely on the city.
Well it really needs no introduction. Central Park is possibly the most famous park in the world. It’s actually a very calming place; there is laughter and music coming from every corner. I passed a group of young children engaged in a riveting puppet play starring humpty dumpty; further down the path was a big outdoor yoga class; around the bend and through the tunnel, I came across a lone elderly man playing the erhu fiddle; above the tunnel was a road full of runners; and beyond that, I was able to enjoy a free outdoor movie! Bliss!
Coming up next, my #1 favourite thing about New York! Any guesses??