The city that never sleeps
We see New York being featured in lots of films, everyone seems to fall in love there, or miracles happen or even get the perfect job in New York. This is because New York offers so much to both its locals and tourists By Janie Livermore too. When I heard that I was heading to New York, I couldn’t contain my excitement. It’s one of those places where many people feel that their dreams will easily come true just by going there and I wouldn’t disappoint them by saying that isn’t true. While planning on what to do for your stay in the big apple, you can get carried away. With so much to see, you will need a good couple of weeks to be able to go and see those landmarks, and really take in the views. You want to be able to casually walk through Central Park, rather than march in and out in order to fit in 32 Escape Feburary 2011
Ultimate city breaks
the next attraction on your busy schedule. Therefore I have put together a little guide to hopefully help you make up your minds on what is a MUST SEE while you are in the land of dreams, and also, some personal highlights. As soon as you are on the drive from the airport, and head in to New York, the first thing you see is the Manhattan skyline. It is a photo moment, and the sight is very surreal. This is when you realise that you are actually in New York. Take in the view of this as you will only ever see it on your way back to the airport, and
it is a beautiful sight. For more beautiful, breathtaking views, you will need to visit the Empire State building. To avoid the long queues, go either at the earliest or latest time you can. For the best time to see how stunning New York really is, go around half three. Yes, you will have to queue for quite a long time, but it is worth it when you get to the top. On one of the floors you will get the opportunity to have your photo taken with King Kong, which is always nice. By the time you get to the top, you will be amazed. The best thing about getting there late afternoon is that it’s still light enough for you to see the buildings, and take photographs, but shortly after it will turn dark, meaning the lights will come on. Noone can physically describe the atmosphere or the views that you
will see; definitely worth it. Ground zero is the next must see landmark while you are visiting New York. There isn’t a lot to see, but the eerie atmosphere surrounding the horrific tragedy of 9/11 lingers around you whilst you visit the sight. The thought that people were just walking down the street, minding their own business when this awful tragedy happened, really does make you think. There is a mural made out of brass that has the horrific event in pictures, with flowers laid out underneath, shows that this will never be forgotten. It doesn’t sound such a nice place to visit but there is something about it that makes you want to learn more. A trip to New York would not be complete without a visit to Times Square. This is why New York is the ‘city that never sleeps.’
The lights in Times Square are constantly on, and at night the view in front of you is simply breathtaking: a busy street, lots of smiling faces, and everything is huge. It is definitely one of those moments where you feel like you have had an outer body experience, as you look around and try and take it all in.
“After seeing the landmarks, you will need to grab some souvenirs right?”
While you are there, make sure to eat at least one of these three restaurants. If you love Forrest Gump, you will need to visit Bubba Gump Shrimp. It is just like in the film, and
don’t worry if you are not a fish lover because they have other options too. Hard Rock Cafe is, as always, an amazing dining experience, with the likes of Mott The Hoople and The Beatles being played while you’re having dinner. The memorabilia that is scattered about is well and truly fascinating. Lastly, for another lot of memorabilia, but this time in the cinematic genre, head down to Planet Hollywood and gush over the props that have been used in your favourite films. The Statue of Liberty is a landmark that around the world is recognised, as the green goddess stands alone near Ellis Island. You use to be able to go up close, and even have a look inside the Statue, but due to security measures now, we can only admire from afar. To do this, you can go on the Statten Feburary 2011 Escape 33
Island ferry, which takes you to the island and back. There isn’t much on the island, but you do capture the views of New York, and the statue itself. Central Park is 843 acres, and yet, it is kept in lovely condition. Where many film scenes are set, it is a perfect location for meeting your friends, going for a jog, or even checking out the entertainment. You can get a horse and carriage ride around the park for $20 to see a majority of the sight, and even though most people will argue that it is just another park, yes it is. But, there is a lot to do and see, which makes it that bit more special. After seeing the landmarks, you will need to grab some souvenirs right? The shopping in New York is incredible. The choice of shops are in there hundreds, and even brands that we have back here in the UK, they have somehow made a lot bigger, with a lot more choice, AND usually quite a bit cheaper. Shops such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Fossil do generate big queues, but 34 Escape Feburary 2011
it is worth waiting the queue if you know you want to buy anything. A shirt here in the UK from Abercrombie & Fitch can range from £50 - £70, while in America, they also range from $50 - $70, meaning that you will be getting designer brands a lot cheaper than you would here. To get around, you definitely need to get a subway pass. Even if you are only going to be there for a weekend, a week subway pass which costs $28 is worth it, as it provides unlimited access to all subway stations, whereas if you pay as you go, you will end up spending too much money which unnecessary.
Just imagine, you can be shopping in Bloomingdales, and then drinking a mocha latte in a little coffee shop, taking photos by the famous fountain from Friends, ice skating in Central park, or watching a show on Broadway. New York is full of possibilities and treasures, which will be fun for anyone, any age. Going to New York is definitely a destination that you will have to visit at least once in your lifetime, as it is an experience not to miss. My one and only tip I will leave you with is this; do plan your days, as you really do not want to miss anything that this vibrant city has to offer.
* R E C O M M E N D AT I O N * I will REALLY recommend The Broadway Hotel and hostel is situated in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, within walking distance of Central Park, and offers a fully equipped guest kitchen and private and dorm-style accommodations. With a underground station only steps away, guests at the Broadway Hotel and Hostel can easily explore the entire city, and with its cheap prices, it is suitable for anyone on a budget.