Fulfilling a Dream: New York, you were wonderful!

I can’t believe it’s been a week already since I left the exciting city of New York. I had a wonderful time, managed to see a lot and still haven’t scratched the surface. I already know new places to visit next time.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some more impressions with you that don’t include major sights (well, apart from a few) and to share some of my newfound ‘wisdom’.

Walk – as much as you can. Somehow Manhattan didn’t seem quite as big as I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, it is a big city but was manageable on foot. The grid system is easy for orientation and if you walk at a certain pace (namely mine), the lights will turn to ‘walk’ just in time when you get there and you can just keep walking. As long as you don’t change directions, that is.

If you are on a shopping spree on 5th Ave, get tired and find yourself on the upper end – grab yourself a coffee or ice-cream in the atrium of the Trump Tower and go up to the outdoor gardens on the 5th and 6th floor. You won’t get a great view but it’s quiet and tourists just usually stop by to take a picture and leave again.

trump tower clock

Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and here’s the thing. Entry is $25 but it’s a RECOMMENDED admission charge. You can pay as much as you like, they will ask you how much you want to give and won’t be offended if you part with less. Make sure you’ve got a couple of hours because there is much to see and don’t miss the roof garden (open May-October), the view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline is amazing.

skyline MET small

You might have to wait a bit at the elevators as numbers are restricted. But the view is worth the wait.

If you love books – Strand Book Store is the place to go. You can get books to reduced prices and even rare ones. Apart from the store on Broadway they also have Central Park Kiosks (60th St at 5th Ave).

If the weather is nice and warm don’t waste your time in a restaurant. Grab yourself something to eat and get a table or bench in a square or park like everybody else. Much more interesting and there’s always free space. Maybe even play a game of speed chess at Union Square.

union square

Relax at one of the tables in Union Square

But enough with the talking (or writing in this case), I wanted to show you some impressions that don’t necessarily include one of New York’s major sights.

First of all, there is the architecture. Keep your eyes upwards and you can spot intricate details on many buildings. Unfortunately I can’t tell you the name or location of every building and some I missed completely due to lack of time (or knowledge).

And then there is the more modern architecture (and no, not the Gehry building)

But if you’re looking more for that ‘village feeling’ and the typical fire escapes

Another art form New York is quite famous for is graffiti. Just walking up and down The High Line shows you some nice examples but you can find in various places

New York wouldn’t be New York without some curiosities

And finally my favourite sculpture. There are many in New York, in parks, on squares, in front of buildings, by the road. But this one caught my attention. It’s the American Merchant Mariners Memorial in Battery Park south from Pier A. Set out in the harbour on a stone break water and shows three men balancing on a tilting deck, one of them trying to reach a fourth man in the water. Their hands are barely touching, but when the tide rises, the drowning man disappears. It is moving especially as the waves break over the head of the drowning man making him appear to bob up and down. The sculpture was based on photograph of a real event from World War II.

sculpture merchants

The dramatic sculpture was dedicated in 1991 and created by Marisol Escobar.

I’m reading the book ‘I never knew that about New York’ at the moment that I bought on my last day in New York. I wish I’d had it before my holidays. It’s a good read and gives you some information and details you won’t find in your regular guide book. I’m already planning what I’m going to see next time…

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