Now I know why they named it twice!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
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Trip End Apr 27, 2010


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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, August 7, 2009

Where to start with NYC.... it's an amazing city, far too much to see in a few days. In fact I think you could probably go there every year on holidays and never get bored or actually see everything!!

After outfoxing another downpour by being on a bus during it I arrived in New York City on Sunday night. The bus drove within a few blocks of my hostel then proceeded downtown into the buildings that are so familiar from tv and films but at the same time completely unknown! Caught the subway back uptown (surprisingly straightfoward and painless!) and, after a quick bite to eat from the Chinese across the road I got myself off to bed to conserve energy for my tour of Central Park in the morning.

Just as well I decided to get that early night - the tour lasted 5 hours and we still didn't see everything Central Park has to offer! It was almost possible to forget I was in one of the busiest cities in the world...then I would spot one of the skyscrapers and that was a pretty good reminder! The park was designed over 100 years ago when NYC was much, much smaller but the designers did a good job of planning for it's future expansion. We started at the north west of the park and worked our way over to the north east (past the swimming pool, woods and lake) then headed south to take in the rest of the amenities - baseball pitches, boating lake, reservoir with running track, Italian style castle, funfair...I could go on! It's a brilliant place to relax while still being in the city.

After resting my weary legs I headed down to the Rockefeller Centre to go to the top of the Rock and view the sunset over the city. The views of Central Park and the Empire State Building from the top were well worth the admission fee. It was interesting to watch how the city changed as the sun set and all the lights came on - it's certainly true that it's the city that never sleeps!

Tuesday morning I headed off on a walking tour of the city organised through the hostel. We caught the subway over to Brooklyn and after a look around Brooklyn Heights (a really nice neighbourhood with some beautiful townhouses) we had lunch looking across the river to Manhattan. To walk off lunch we carried on over the Brooklyn Bridge - the pedestrian walkway is up above the cars so you get a great view as you go across. After a stop to soak feet at the fountain in front of City Hall we carried on to view the rebuilding work at ground zero and the church that is only about 100m from where the twin towers stood but miraculously escaped with only debris being scattered in the graveyard. The first new tower has been completed (it's first 6 floors are made of steel to protect it from truck bombs) and the work has begun on the Freedom Tower but it is not scheduled to be complete for about 10-15 years. There will also be a memorial for those who died when it is complete but in the interim period the sphere that used to stand in the World Trade Centre Plaza has been recovered and placed in Battery Park with an eternal flame. After a trip on the ferry across to Staten Island past the Statue of Liberty (and back) I was growing tired so headed back to the hostel (via a pharmacy for some throat sweets and tissues for my developing cold) and took myself off to bed.

On Wednesday I went for a walk around Manhattan and ended up at Times Square where every inch of space seems to utilised for advertising! After having lunch sitting on the red steps that don't actually go anywhere (not sure what they are for other than to have a wee seat on!) I joined the queue for reduced broadway tickets for that night. Opting for Shrek the Musical saved me 40% on the face value of the tickets - a bargain at $78! The show was worth every cent though, absolutely hilarious and managed to stay with the story from the original film but also expand it and introduce loads of new songs.

For my final day in New York I did....absolutely nothing! I took the opportunity to have a rest and catch up on my reading. The shops were all too tempting to visit when I couldn't spare any of my luggage weight allowance for new purchases!!

I enjoyed New York, it's a brilliant city but it's very busy and noisy and I found it a little overpowering. It's definitely a place I'd like to go back and visit - preferably after a lottery win so I didn't have to think about how much I was spending and could have my own private plane to carry all my shopping back!

Oh....my theory about why they named it twice - it's so noisy no-one heard them the first time so they had to repeat themselves and over time it just developed into an automatic reaction!!
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