USA Week 7: Lots of sightseeing in New York
A lot of sightseeing
In New York
The end of our long road trip across America is upon us. After three months of intense travel throughout Mexico and the USA, this week we are off to our final destination. As regrettable as we find this, we were still looking forward to this week. The Big Applehas been on our bucket list for quite some time so we’re closing with a bang! We were in New York for our 7th and final week. Are you enjoying our beautiful last week with us?
Compared to our previous flight, this flight was a lot more pleasant. Little turbulence and the time passed quickly. We were really looking forward to going to New York. This city had been on our bucketlist for some time. There’s so much to see and do. Everyone we heard talking about this city was very enthusiastic. Us too? Everyone has an image about this huge city and we were very much looking forward to seeing if and how this image would change.
We stayed for the week at a giant AirBnB in Brooklyn, a 20-minute drive from Manhattan. Brooklyn is very beautiful. It’s a lot quieter than Manhattan and rents are considerably lower. Still, don’t think that this neighborhood is “less” than New York’s busy downtown. On the contrary, Brooklyn is home to beautiful villas and a lot of greenery. A very nice place to live and we definitely recommend this neighborhood to stay when you travel to New York. Everything in Manhattan is also easily accessible by public transportation from Brooklyn. We strongly advise against using a cab as traffic in Manhattan is frightful. Drivers are honking, everyone is in a hurry, and pedestrians are walking everywhere. We were already getting nervous on our cab ride from the airport to our AirBnB. Taking the subway is much more pleasant!
Where the hustle and bustle of this city completely reaches its peak is, without a doubt, Times Square. This place is so chaotic and crowded that you can’t imagine it if you haven’t been there yet. Everyone wants to look at and photograph the giant billboards and famous stores. Consequently, of course, no one can take a good photo and there is also no time to behold as you are swept along in the flowing masses. We chose to eat at a restaurant in Times Square so that, in a quieter way, we could watch the whole thing from a safe distance. We enjoyed this very much!
To take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city, Central Park is the ideal base. When entering this huge park, there was still quite a crowd, but once we walked deeper into the park it became quieter and quieter. In the midst of one of the largest cities in the world, you’ll find an oasis of calm. It’s as if New York understands your occasional need to escape the chaos and recharge in the park. We imagine that’s the case for many New Yorkers. We traversed all of the park, hiked for miles through the impressive nature and enjoyed all of the beautiful views Central Park has to offer. This is truly a wonderful park and we would love to take it home and walk around in it daily.
New York is more than just the well-known center of Manhattan. As mentioned earlier, Brooklyn is also worth visiting. And perhaps the other parts, for example Queens and The Bronx, of New York are too. If you want a beautiful view of Manhattan, you should definitely go to the Brooklyn Bridge. Here you can enjoy one of the world’s most famous views of Manhattan. You see this image on all postcards and souvenirs of New York. Just keep in mind that it can be crowded. Taking a great photo is not that easy. We succeeded in the end!
Statue of Liberty
After the most famous view of Manhattan, we moved on to the most famous statue in the world: Statue of Liberty. To view this statue, you must take a boat across the water. We chose not to since we don’t find a statue that impressive. It would take a lot of precious time to go there. Time we preferred to spend on discovering the rest of New York. We did see the statue in the distance on the water and we also saw it pop up in just about every souvenir store in New York. And there are many!
New York is known for many things, yet mostly for its impressive museums. From the MoMa to the MET. There are so many to visit but we chose The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET for short) and the 9/11 Museum because they appealed to us the most.
The MET has long been on our bucketlist as it is the mecca for numerous famous faces at the MET gala each year. This gala, where all the big celebrities are very artistically dressed, has just happened and you can tell at the museum. Very impressive exhibitions of high fashion inspired by Christianity were on display. Furthermore, this giant museum is the place for all art lovers. There are treasures from Ancient Egypt, as well as contemporary and modern art. And a few big names including Monet, Ernst, Delvaux, etc. Something for everyone!
You can not avoid it. 9/11 is an event that marked New York. There is a New York before and after these sad attacks. We only know the New York after this terrible event and can remember this day a little bit. For the past few years we have been watching documentaries about 9/11 on a regular basis because it really interests us. So when we arrived at Ground Zero, the place where the WTC towers used to stand, we got goosebumps. It’s very surreal to be here and see these tremendous depths in the ground. We really can’t imagine what that day must have been like for New Yorkers.
So we wanted to visit the museum of 9/11, which has been open for several years. The entrance fee is used for education about this day and assistance to the victims. This museum is mostly built underground which makes the experience feel even more real and impressive. Here we saw pieces of the destroyed towers, equipment of the emergency services and so many other remnants of that day. The many testimonies of victims and emergency responders of September 11 were very touching. It is really impossible to comprehend what took place that particular day. This will make you silent.
Besides these fantastic museums, we also happened to see some wonderful exhibitions. Many artists want to break through in New York and conquer the world. Therefore, there are numerous exhibits to be found throughout the city. Especially in Brooklyn, art is a common theme.
Fifth Avenue is perhaps the most famous street in New York. This mile-long street runs throughout Manhattan and is known for its famous stores. And you can certainly shop till you drop! We planned a day of shopping and only managed to see a quarter of this street. Also, the famous church St. Patrick’s Cathedral is located on 5th Avenue. Across the street from this church you can see the Rockefeller Center with its world famous statues of Prometheus and Atlas. Beyond all these attractions, there are plenty of other things to discover on Fifth Avenue. This street is definitely worth a visit!
Part of our stay in New York was very memorable of Memorial Day that we were able to experience. On this day Americans honor their military and soldiers. All over New York, Marines walk around in gear to celebrate this day. They are known to drink and party a lot on Memorial Day weekend. Most stores in the USA also give you a 40% discount, which made our day of shopping even more fun!
Shows in New York
Broadway is the most famous place in the world to see impressive shows. We were also looking for tickets to the many shows, but unfortunately everything was already sold out. Getting there early is the message! Instead, we bought tickets to a burlesque show in downtown Manhattan. In the end, it was a show with a bit of burlesque, sensual dancing, but mostly humor and acrobatics. A nice experience!
You see, our last days in America were well filled with all the great things New York has to offer! We were therefore very impressed by this metropolis. It is a city that truly has something for everyone, so we understand why everyone dreams of traveling here someday. New York certainly lived up to our expectations!