New York

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh, there’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York,  New York, New York: Jay-Z Empire State of Mind

Says it all really – NYC IS a concrete jungle, lots of lights and many, many more people.

 
 Below is part of our ‘hoooood…in Midtown East
 


The best way to describe NYC is that it is like Sydney, but x10 and add steroids…the volume of people here is incredible – tourists, workers, residents…it is non-stop.

Every street block has apartment buildings or office buildings – nothing smaller than four storeys.  The streets are, thankfully, predominantly one way so managing traffic is reasonably easy – well, easier than Hanoi.  Managing your way through the pedestrian traffic however…this is where you find out if you are cut out for the big city. 

This is a city of 8 million people, with 1.5 million residing on Manhattan Island, which is less than 60sq. kms in area.  Add to that the people who come to work into Manhattan (in the millions) and the tourists….a cab driver told us that there were 15000 cabs plying their trade and an additional 20000 limousines operating in Manhattan.

Where do you start to talk about NYC, there is so much to see and do in the Big Apple that a simple blog will not suffice.  This is the cross roads of the world – it all happens here.  The buildings are bigger, the lights are brighter and it just keeps happening around you.  It has great museums, the best couture, the best broadway shows and the quietest park in the centre of the island that you can imagine – you cannot believe that you are in NYC.

Below is a view of NY from Brooklyn Heights…taken after visiting an old school buddy who now resides in Brooklyn.

…and for the SITC fans…

NYC is easy to walk around, thanks mainly to its grid plan – numbered streets run EW and avenues run NS.  The only problem is when you come out of a subway and have no idea which is NSE or W.  And that, for the directionally challenged, happened regularly.  But after a short walk, you soon realise that you are heading in the wrong direction and retrace your steps.  But in downtown Manhattan, below 14th street, all that goes out the window, and you have streets which are all over the place.

 
 

NYC was hot and steamy – actually, uncomfortably so (no, there was NO sex in this city!!).  Made for some difficult days, but aircon is a saviour.

The subway was reasonably easy to navigate, once you understood how it ran.They say that it is best avoided late in the night – James seemed to have no such worries, coming home from shows early in the morning.

Walking through the skyscrapers in Mid-town for the first time was exhilarating – wow, we are actually in NYC!  Seeing the Rock, Empire State, the new World Tower and the iconic Statue of liberty needed some ‘reality check’ time.  However, seeing the Manhattan from the water, at night and during the day, was special and it is then that you appreciate just how magnificent this city really is.

 

So, what did we do – LOTS.  I will summarise, in no special order (just how I remember the bucket list) what we did and experienced.

Empire State rises like a rocket from the ground on which it is built. It is amazing that this building is over 80 years old and was built in a little over a year.  The view from the top is, well, tops.  king Kong was not on the building the day we ventured to the top…

 
 
The Rockefeller Centre, not far from the ESB, is another iconic viewing tower.  In some ways, the view from the top of the rock is better than that of the ESB as you get a wonderful vista of central park and beyond to the north and an appreciation of the concrete jungle that is Manhattan.  Here, we also experienced the NBC tour, taking a behind the scenes tour of NBC studios and the sets of SNL and some late night show jock.

Shopping – this was the Trish and Nicole’s domain, but Macy’s got a bit of a workout and Bloomingdales was also investigated.

To be continued…..

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