Preface : You may probably know Frank Sinatra and his popular song, New York New York. And this was one of the reasons I wanted to visit the city. I just simply followed the sound and lyrics, because I want to be a part of it…..New York, New York…. I wanna wake up, in a city That doesn’t sleep!
In my opinion;
Public transportation : ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪
Getting around on foot : ✪ ✪ ✪
Daytime safety : ✪ ✪ ✪
Nighttime safety : ✪ ✪
✪ = poor, ✪ ✪ = fair, ✪ ✪ ✪ = good, ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ = very good
Be prepared before departure:
You need to check whether you need a visa to visit USA or not!
As a German citizen, I needed a kind of Visa and it is called The Visa Waiver Program (VWP). To those of you who haven’t visited USA, you may wonder what the hell is this….and let me tell you this… The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is designated to certain countries. You must check at your nearby US Embassy / Consular for further information whether your country participates in this program or not. Anyhow, a visitor must apply for this VWP…like say… 72 hours before boarding time, and it costs around 15 USD. Usually one can get it in no time.
As for a flight, there are 2 options; either to Newark or JFK. I chose JFK airport, because I would spend less time commuting from the airport to the sleepless city.
As previously mentioned, I’d prefer hassle free from the airport to the city, so I booked a hotel which situated along subway line E, J, or Z, because I didn’t need to change to another train. Believe me, a subway and its station in NYC is usually packed.
Where I stayed:
I chose to stay in Midtown at Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan, because it was close to everything…literally everything….I could go to everywhere at no time and plus both a subway station and Penn station are situated right around the corner. However there were some down sides which I experienced after I arrived. The hotel was kinda old, services were not so pleasant, very very limited choices for breakfast and most staffs weren’t friendly at all, except the cleaning ladies who always gave me nice smiles. Anyway, the bed was great which was more important than those downsides.
One nice tip :
If you planned to visit NYC, you’d better book a hotel room at least 6 months in advance in order to get a real good deal. You could book with free cancellation option though, in case you would change your mind later or get a better deal from another hotel.
THE FIRST 3 DAYS
Looking around and roaming in NYC :
Planning to see places in a big city like NYC wasn’t easy. So I decided to group where I wanted to see.
The 1st Group:
I planned to visit the lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge in the early morning, because it wasn’t busy, yet, and of course I wanted to photograph places without people interfering camera views.
After seeing the Battery Park, go to Pier 15, East River Esplanade for a fabulous view of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan Bridge as the background.
View from The Pier 15 to the City
View from The Pier 15 to Brooklyn and the bridges
After that you could walk along the river up to the Brooklyn Bridge and make a turn towards Canal Str., which is located close to the China Town and Little Italy….there you could enjoy your lunch quietly before people get in restaurants. After that you could enjoy walking around and along the Broadway street down to the Wall street and Chambers Str. comfortably, because people were eating…..less hassle…. Then you could walk to the World Trade Center and there you could enjoy various fabulous and spectacular architectures like this favorite one of mine designed by Santiago Calatrava.
Wall Street, Chinatown, and Little Italy
911 Memorial and The Oculus, designed by Santiago Calatrava
The 2nd Group:
I wanted to see the Central Park and The Guggenheim Museum, because I’m an architect and this one was part of the history of architecture.
The Guggenheim Museum
Naum Gabo Linear Construction in Space No. 1 at The Guggenheim Museum
What I could do, was….I took a subway up to the 79st., and walked towards the Central Park. By the way, if you felt like to stop at the American Museum of Natural History, this would be your chance, because it is located just a few hundred meters from the 79 St. unless get out at 81 St. that would be closer!
Walking across the central was such a great experience, because I could see one of the fabulous skylines of NYC, situated at the other end of this greenery park. It was like clearing up my mind before I entered The Guggenheim Museum where I could soak up my soul with beautiful art pieces.
After that I walked down along the 5th Avenue to the Plaza. With this route, I also had a chance to stop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as well .
At the Plaza…. if you like shopping, from this point, you will be in heaven!!
The Time square:
I would keep it short for this one, because this place is packed with people 24/7. Although, it is a must to see and experience standing there among thousands of people, but after 15 minutes I had to leave……
Tips for you:
– Go to Barnes & Noble at E 46 Str / 5th Ave to enjoy the view from its top floor bakery to the 5th Ave while having a cup of coffee or two.
– DUANEreade is your best friend for many things, because you can buy from hundred kinds of drinks to some take away, in case you are hungry and don’t want to bother by sitting with many people in a restaurant.
– If you like shopping, you will probably want to visit The Mills at Jersey Gardens. It is quite easy to go there from New York.
– Along W46 Str. you can go to various restaurants with reasonable prices.
THE FOURTH DAY
A great alternative:
Well….I was at NYC, and I had an idea to visit a nice city nearby as a day trip. There I went. Washington DC……Oh no, I didn’t want to travel by a train or a bus to DC, because DC isn’t small and it isn’t that close to NYC, which means, I might probably end up stay overnight due to exhausting and time.
What I did was, I booked a day trip with Gray Line New York which located at W 47 Str / 8th Ave. The trip costed around 190 USD which was almost the same or cheaper than a round trip by train, but I could see the most of DC in a day without too much exhausting…. easy peasy….
United States Capitol
The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Washington DC Veterans Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery