NYC: A New York State of Mind
What do you think of when anyone mentions New York? Depending on your interests the answers could range from a building, a monument, a park, a museum, a giant Christmas tree, a stadium, a concert hall, a television show, music, art, a bridge… There is just so much that comes to mind that it’s overwhelming! When you first see the skyline of the city from the window of your plane seat, you think you know what you will feel or even what you are about to experience. But wait till you get out of the airport (of which there are three!). It’s almost akin to a car slowly trying to merge into the highway. You better be prepared to keep up with the pace.
New York is not just a city, it’s an attitude… a way of life. Everyone is on their way, doing what they need to do, making their way through the crowd, getting to where they need to go. The whole city is on the move. What did you just picture? Let me guess… Time Square in the day, flooded with pairs of feet strutting along the sidewalk, hurrying to their destination. Welcome to New York! Once you manage to navigate your way through, what can turn out to be a sometimes amusing and oddly entertaining ride, the subway and climb up to the street level out of Times Square 42nd Street Station… you find yourself in the middle of a sea of people, from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds, with familiar looking giant electronic billboards surrounding your peripheral vision plastered over tall buildings that make up this impressive metropolis. It feels like you have been there before but yet not quite. Seeing the streets nearby listing the choicest of shows in the most prolific of theatres, the word that immediately jumps to mind is - ‘Broadway’! Having seen the city through movies can only do so much. Right then watching a bunch of yellow taxis go past can give you a real sense of final confirmation. You are truly here!
As you make your way around Manhattan, you’ll find countless stores housing the biggest luxury brands along 5th Avenue. It’s a true shopaholic’s paradise. Walk through central park to fully experience the expanse of greenery and nature that envelopes you right in the midst of the tallest buildings you may have seen. One would be remiss to not check out Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and also the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). Make sure you don’t miss out on the best of street side delicacies the city has to offer, as you pass the numerous food trucks that serve Tacos, Hot Dogs, Falafel, Shawarma, Waffles etc. It is bound to feel like the world washed up along the streets! As you munch on your favorite nibbles, make your way towards yet another iconic structure – The Rockefeller Centre. You can then walk down to what was once known as tallest building in NYC – The Empire State Building. I won’t blame you for humming the lyric ‘Let’s hear it for New York…’ from a famous song by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z when you get to the top. Even if you don’t have a Sleepless in Seattle like moment, it makes for a stunning view of the skyline reaching outwards from where you are. That’s when you get to take in all that the city stands for. Reaching your dreams with hard work. Getting to the top and feeling resilient against all odds. It’s an incomparable and inspiring feeling!
Do pass through the Hell’s kitchen to find a wide array of eateries and restaurants. From hole-in-the-wall to upscale styled venues. The selection is hard to not get enticed by. As you make your way down through the Meat Packing District, do make sure to walk through the High Line Park which was built on an elevated unused rail track! It is a must-see place to include in your to-do list. Especially if you can go during sunset, it really provides for beautiful views looking over to Jersey City across the shore on one side and Chelsea on the other. As you proceed further down South, you must stop by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. It truly reminds you of the unwavering spirit of the city. The next stop involves taking the Statue Cruises ferry to reach Liberty Island. It would really be an incomplete trip without going atop the Statue of Liberty - the night skyline of the city is just a pure vision to behold. Once you get off the breezy ferry ride back, it is imperative you make it to the Brooklyn Bridge. There’s a reason why it is found as inspiration for art on T shirts! To wind down you may walk through China Town and get some of the best Chinese cuisine in those familiar yet typical take away boxes and chopsticks.
As for the night life, if you aren’t able to find a concert to attend in Madison Square Garden (it makes for an excellent concert venue and not just sporting events), there are plenty of bars and clubs that make for a vibrant scene for nocturnal instincts to kick in for you to party the night away. To do all of the above, one definitely needs to plan for at least more than a couple days stay in this amazing city. It’s really worth making the memories!
By Dhiraj Korwani