New York, New York

New York, New York

When I first came here, my friends and I made all these plans: we were going to go to New York, to Boston, to the beach, to an amusement park... Well, the weeks passed and we were always busy with something: midterms, visiting relatives, the portfolio... and we wasted many a weekend simply hanging around the apartment trying to recover from the past week. Thankfully my awesome roommate Jocelyn came to me two weeks ago to ask me if I still wanted to go to New York. She had never been to New York and really wanted to go before she left, even if we only went for one day. So, after trying to find a date that fit everyone, we decided to just go by ourselves on the very last weekend. We could only go for one day, because we both still had some work left on our portfolios and because I still had to go to my last volunteer opportunity on Saturday. So on May 4th at 5 am, we arrived at Union Station to board the bus that would take us to the Big Apple.

We arrived in New York and immediately booked a hop-on-hop-off tour that wasn't too expensive (unpaid interns and all) and sat on the top deck of the bus enjoying the sun while New York's biggest landmarks flashed passed us. Our tour guide was hilarious. He knew all the best little tidbits about the neighborhoods we drove through and kept waving at people who walked passed the bus, only to complain about how rude New Yorkers can be. Our first stop was Battery Park, where we took the ferry to Staten Island to get a closer look at the Statue of Liberty. The ferry was packed with tourists who all vied for the best spot on the deck to take pictures of Lady Liberty, which made it rather tricky to take a picture yourself. But as they say: if you can't beat them, join them. So I elbowed my own way through the horde of mesmerized spectators and acquired a good spot at one of the railings.


Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty


After our windy ferry ride, we made our way from Battery Park through Wall Street to 9/11 Memorial. I had already seen the Memorial on my first trip to New York, but it still impresses me. The Memorial is simply so beautifully done. It truly leaves a lasting impression. Our original plan was to raid Century 21 right after, but as we were pressed for time, we decided to head back to where the bus dropped us off, which was easier said than done. We took a couple of wrong turns before we made it back to the right spot, but luck was with us that day. Even though we ended up making a detour, we made a detour through Battery City Park, along the Hudson River.

 

Along the Hudson River shore

Battery City Park


We hopped back on the bus and headed to Central Park, passed by Times Square and listened to our tour guide's info on famous people who lived in the city. This tour guide was not as funny as our previous one, but he did hand out candy, which was a definite plus. We had a moment of despair when it started raining, but the sun reappeared a few minutes later. We got off the bus at Central Park and were immediately ambushed by a Pedi cab driver who offered tours of the Park. We initially did not want to, because we didn't have a lot of time and were on a tight budget, but after a long negotiation, Jocelyn convinced him to give us a good discount and he offered us more stops than were part of the thirty minute tour we chose. There is absolutely no way to see the most important parts of Central Park on foot, so we were very lucky to get this offer. The stop we chose was Bethesda Fountain (my personal favorite) and he also drove us to the fountain from the Friends opening credits and Strawberry fields. On the way to Bethesda, he drove past other Central Park landmarks and gave us some more information on the park. When we arrived at Bethesda, a ballerina was giving a beautiful performance right in front of the fountain and a band was playing in the arches under the stairs. Unfortunately after about two minutes it started raining again, and heavily this time. We raced back to our Pedi cab and finished our tour with a very wet ride through the park.

Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda

 

Thankfully it stopped raining again after about fifteen minutes and we were able to continue the rest of our New York adventure walking in the sun. We headed to Fifth Avenue, stopped for some Falafel on the way, visited Grand Central Station and headed to our last stop: Times Square. I don't know about you, but I love Times Square. Standing on the red steps gazing at the all the screens really makes you see that there is no other place in the world that is quite like New York City. From taking a picture with Spiderman to the M&M store and the Naked Cowboy, Times Square is the craziest, yet best place I have ever seen. Some people may find it tacky, but I can't help but love it. As we were short on time, we did not have very long to take in all that is Times Square. We soon had to head back to our bus stop and back to DC. I will definitely come back to this city as soon as I can, even if only for a day, I just can't get enough. To misquote Samuel Johnson: When one is tired of New York, one is tired of life (sorry, London).

 

Times Square

Goodbye Times Square....

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