For a long time, one of my biggest dreams was to visit the USA, to be more precise, New York. After all the movies, I wanted to be there to experience how it really feels to walk and breathe in the Big Apple.
Half past 8 in the morning we were leaving from Frankfurt by a giant plane of Lufthansa. After landing I could experience the whole airport procedure at first hand – which means that a kind American took my fingerprints, then I was submitted to a retinal scan, and finally, after a strict look, I was able to leave. This whole process took about 3 hours with standing in line and the rest. At this point, I didn’t really get the feeling that I was an ocean away from Europe. My friend, Kupi has bought the tickets later than us, so we agreed to wait for him at the airport. He told me there could not be any problem with finding each other, we just have to look for his favorite Yankees baseball cap – well, the fact that every other person wears that in New York, yet made it a little complicated. After all, it wasn’t that easy finding each other in the big crowd of people, but at least it turned out that JFK is huge and when I say this, I mean that we had to take an internal metro to get two terminals further.
After finally meeting we took a cab and the road to our accommodation. It was surprising to me that we were separated from the driver by a plexiglass. The touchscreen on the backseat served as the elemental paying option, but if the driver judged the situation safe enough, he could accept cash as well through a tiny opening on the wall. I suppose there are quite a lot atrocity against the drivers since even a sign was there to aware us – if we dare to touch the cab driver, a direct way leads to jail. Nice enough.
What do you guys think where we were living? Of course in Brooklyn. This district is not that bad as its reputation might suggest, though it’s far from the hipster, startupper side of the city. For the first sight it was a bit too eclectic for me, the crowd, the chaotic cityscape, but still, it had its own charm. All the school buses, the trucks, the steaming clouds from the drain, the metro, and the policemen. You can not really imagine that atmosphere if you haven’t been there.
Kupi swore that I will faint when I see the height of the skyscrapers. Indeed they were towering but it wasn’t at all weird or out of the common. Sometimes people tend to overmistificate the sizes of the big cities. This was the case with me in London, after all the pictures I saw of the Piccadilly Circus, in real life it almost seemed tiny – well, okay, not tiny, but it didn’t meet my expectations. It was the same with the Times Square, where I really didn’t want to go back again, but somehow I always ended up there. There are way too many people in a relatively small area, a dreamland of the pickpockets. Anyway, once in a lifetime you should definitely visit to experience all the bustle and the light of the glowing billboards everywhere around.
We planned our trip a week long, which is definitely not enough to explore all the sights of the city, so we decided to rather enjoy & inhale the spirit of it. Since we missed many emblematic places, we need to go back another time just to make up for it. 🙂
What I can suggest, to take the rhythm of the city, and try how the everyday life is in a real metropolis. I enjoyed taking the metro, even though they are in worse shape than our beloved metro 3 – once we had to wait half an hour in the completely dark tunnel. I loved that In New York the small portions are big enough to be full, though it might be true for every part of the USA. I lived in the pizza-burger-coke triangle for a week. The icing on the cake was the Dunkin’ Donut in every other corner.
If we have the chance to visit an (American) football game, let’s just do it. It’s an incredible experience, the Americans know how to keep the people entertained.
Entering and leaving the stadium was easy and without any problem, and you can find fast food restaurants on several floors. So grab a bucket of chicken wings with a coke and enjoy the game! It doesn’t matter if we don’t really understand the rules, the milieu will be fascinating for sure. The one and only problem we had was alcohol-related – since we didn’t have American ID, we had show our passports. The bartender got a bit confused when saw Hungary in the document, so at the end three of her coworkers and a declaration needed to get our Budweisers.
Many people watch the matches outside, from TVs while BBQing and chatting with each other. Even after a plain game, they stay in the car park, tossing that egg-shaped ball and having fun. However, the amount of litter they leave behind is outrageous, especially in the view of the setting sun.
The buildings of New York are really interesting, if you can, take a peek inside, and check the elevator as well. Modern and classic blending with each other in beautiful harmony. The architecture of the city would worth a whole new article, I could write about the shapes and lines, and the magic of symmetry.
The Empire State Building is a must-see, though the Rockefeller might be even a better choice, from there you have the best view of the city. One of my big dreams was to fly on a helicopter above the Big Apple. I checked the options and the FlyNY seemed to be the best choice. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time because of our tight schedule, but if you are interested, check out their page, the photos speak for themselves.
In New York you won’t be disappointed, everyone can find something for their taste.
We were two boys and two girls on this trip – their big dream was to go shopping one of the days. The best option was to visit Woodbury, which is a shopping village (actually it is rather a city) out of New York, but inside the state. There are several direct bus options to get there, but we chose to rent a car to be more comfortable. The prices are reasonable, the outlet itself is cozy, but honestly, it was bloody boring for me. Gentleman, be prepared, it’s a day-long activity. 🙂
One of the best experiences was to visit the World Trade Center Mall and the Transportation Hub, which is a real gem for photographers. Santiago Calatrava, the outstanding Spanish architect designed the building, which is like a soaring bird – pure heaven for Instagrammers. It is the most expensive train station with its 4 billion dollar budget. Two years ago the Westfield WTC mall has opened inside the monumental construction. It’s pretty weird that there are marines all around, keeping a close watch on every passerby. Getting out from the building we found ourselves in a park, where there are the foundations of the two towers. From the surface water flows under to commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks. Nearby there is the survivor tree, which lived through the raid and after a long rehabilitation was planted back to its original place.
My favorite part of the city is a secret English village called Pomander Walk in the middle of New York. In this tiny area, all the houses were built in the typical architectural style of the English boonies. Unfortunately, nobody can enter here except the tenants, so we just tried to take a peek inside – the atmosphere of the place was fascinating and mystical at the same time. I would love to try, even just for a day, how it feels to live in a tiny British village inside Manhattan.