The thing I most love about New York is its patchwork of neighbourhoods each with its own personality. In fact, if you peek at a map of Manhattan, that’s exactly what it looks like – a giant grid.
Nearly one of out of every 14 Americans lives in this area, so I always asked as to “why are the other 13 missing out on such a great place”? Theatres, restaurants, museums, shops, architecture, music, sports and you are now pondering, is there more? You better believe it.
Needless to say, I was born here and lived in the ‘city that never sleeps’ for most of my life. Travel is an important component for my family and me, and I thank that to New York City for introducing me to so many cultures that reside here, including those originally from Kenya residing in Flatbush Brooklyn.
What can I tell you about New York City?
Well in New York, nearly every activity is here. Ice skate, kayak, cycle, rock climb, fly on a trapeze, ride a helicopter, sail, roller blade, horseback ride and fish in the East River are just a handful. New York can satisfy even the most bias visitor with such variety of cuisines from every nation on earth that can be found even in food trucks.
They say that Time Square is the “crossroads of the world” with it neon signs being the brightest ever and the NASDAQ sign being the largest. There is a palette of 16 million colours and 8,000 panels that illuminate the darkest of nights. This is the home to the Broadway Theatre District, whereas you can see a drama or musical on the stage any night of the week.
New Year Eve is celebrated here with the Waterford crystal ball drop down at midnight. Not only are the streets filled with over a million people, the ball has become a symbol all throughout the world as the ‘official’ start of New Years, even if it occurs hours earlier thousands of miles away.
On the other side of town is another favourite of mine, a train station. I rarely used it to get out of the city but am more in awe of it. I adore to walk through the largest train station in the United States with thousands of people passing through its brass doors. Naturally with the crowds, the noise level is sometimes deafening, especially during rush hour. Grand Central Station is a New York City landmark that’s filled with plenty of secrets. For me, there is one mystery that I always share with out-of-town friends to experience.
The “Whispering Gallery” is an area in the terminal when speaking in a whisper will sound as if shouting across the main corridor in the station between opposite arches. Speak if you must in the “Whispering Gallery” but make sure you do not want all of Grand Central Station (GCS) to hear you because they will.
The other fun thing to note is on the ceiling in the main lobby. If you are knowledgeable about the stars, you should notice that the zodiac is pictured backwards. The artist, Paul Helleu did not make an error and was motivated by medieval book showing how the stars would appear if seen from outside our celestial sphere. I have visited and viewed the ceiling quite a bit in December. An impressive laser light show plays non-stop every 15 minutes on the ceiling.
Everyone who comes to New York runs to the Empire State Building. I suppose it is iconic to New York, but I prefer the Chrysler Building. Completed in 1930, it was the first structure to bypass the 300-metre mark. As we know, Chrysler makes autos and the ornamentation at the top is designed to resemble the hubcaps its auto.
My other favourite building design is downtown. Lower Manhattan is a wide array of neighbourhoods, and many of the original buildings have remained intact. There are no firsts for the Fuller Building other than being built in1901, a time when there were so few tall buildings especially in a strange design. But its unusual design makes it stand out. It should now be known to many that the Flat Iron Building (or Triangle Building as I call it) is ‘Peter Parker’ of “Spiderman” place of work at the Daily Bugle in the film series.
How about a getaway holiday to the Big Apple, with lots of beautiful attractions adventures awaiting your discovery? Find all the ingredients you need for you next vacation in New York.
Right on the Hudson River is what I consider my playground. Chelsea Piers Sports Complex helps the children and adults knock off the extra energy. You can enrol in numerous sports activities, including bowling, ice skating, rock climbing, batting, driving golf balls or gymnastics with professional sports and Olympic participants as your teachers.
I have so many favourite haunts in New York City and it is difficult to choose what I consider the best in museums. Being fortunate to have the Met as my patch of heaven in the city, I was able to roller skate directly there after school and check in my skates and books, sometimes exploring with my friends, while many times alone.
Though you may feel it would be a disadvantage for a child living in an urban city, such as New York, nothing can be further from the truth. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was my hangout and skipping class and staying there all day was constructive. I use to rationalize that I probably learned more in that one day at the ‘Met’ than in class. I have always wanted to explore the ancient ruins of Egypt. Although an improbable thought at that time, this museum fulfilled those dreams. Even as an adult, whenever I get wanderlust for other lands, this museum always appeases my desires.
I normally travel in NYC by bus even though the subways will take me to a destination faster. However, I am people watcher and like to see the scenery as if being at a screening in a movie house. My other favourite way of travelling is by taxi. There are two types of taxis in New York City.
There is the traditional yellow taxi with black trimmings that can whisk one anywhere in the four boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens) at a hefty price.
That is not the type I am speaking of. The other taxi – Water Taxi is my favourite and it is much more cost efficient and a unique way to get around.
The ‘Water Taxi’ is a water-based public transportation system running between Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. It operates on a set schedule and transports the rider to a number of key stops. I love riding on the upper open level as it feels like an amusement ride as well.
Another favourite place is the Central Park, it is perfect for relaxing, I like spending my day exploring the beautiful green spaces, sightseeing and enjoying all the exciting activities in the park. There are so many things to do and see in this beautiful park.
So there you have a glimpse of what I see New York City as. I believe that everyone should get a chance to see it at least once. Of course, if you want to hear more, just let me know. I will be more than pleased to show you more.
Have you visited the Big Apple? Share with us your experience in the comment below: