Trip de Americae: New York City

Apologies for the much delay, life have been pretty hectic recently and I sort of been getting another outlook at life recently. Back to back of a couple not so good news give me a couple of bad weeks. I finally got the time back to write up this super long overdue trip report of mine on New York City! The big apple that I finally got to visit back last year! New York City is one of a dream come true for me! I guess it was a dream for probably everyone. The land of freedom and liberty, people of all community and background given a second chance and a clean slate. I am glad that I am finally able to come here, especially on the Thanksgiving Week. I have already shared my thoughts on spending my holidays in NYC in an earlier post so hit that up if you have not! Check out how did I spend my 6 Days in New York City!

Let me first share a little on the place itself, some basic tips on the city and the transportations itself. I got in from Frankfurt, arriving in JFK which is the main airport serving up New York City. The other airports in the region would be LGA and Newark Liberty. Of course, being an international world class city, New York City wouldn’t be the cheapest place to visit. To get from JFK to the city, Manhattan which I guess is the main destination for most of the travellers, the cheapest way is via the Subway, which cost $7.75, although it takes roughly an hour and you will need to do multiple transfer. To take the Subway, you will need to get the Metro Card which is an non refundable $1, although the good news is that you can use one card for multiple riders. All one way ride on the Subway cost 2.75 and with a min of 5.50 value add, you get 5% more credit. Given the traffic, Subway is a good bet in NYC.

Taxis are the most expensive option, especially after the “Mandatory Tip” that you will have to give, so that is a no no. Instead, which I will recommend if you wanna get a ride and more privacy, I will recommend a Uber or Lyft. These are much more affordable and lighter on the purse. An UberX Ride to Manhattan will cost roughly around $50 or if you are alone you can try the ride share options which will probably cost you around $20-30. I took uber and lyft many times in the states and they are so convenient and sometimes they are cheaper as well since I am in a party of 3. And the subway is a flat $2.75 each rider.

Another alternative and the one that I will recommend will be these chinese car services such as New Golden Horse. A booking can be done online in advance. And a ride will cost around $40-48 to JFK. Which I took to the airport when I leave. With a little tip. You can look at $60 for a ride. For 3 of us, that is not too bad.

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NYC consists of 5 borough, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. The main interest here would be Manhattan, not only the financial hub of the world, it also contains most of the sights that a tourists would be interested in. Despite higher prices here, I would still recommend the visitors to stay here to be close to all the actions. I did actually stay near the Grand Central Terminal which is simply just walkable to many places and if not the Subway stop is just a min walk away and really connects to everywhere in NYC. Now, check out the places that I have been! Follow me on! The iconic Brooklyn Bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn!

We had a pretty easy first day in town, after all we will pretty tired from all the travelling, especially for my parents that came straight from Singapore, that is a good old 12 hours time difference. I however still did have my very first vibes of the New York culture and the people. I find Americans to be very polite and helpful! We had a little walk around town, enjoying the place, snapping photos before ending up near Nomad and Madison Square Park. I love the place and the ambience. I also got my eye on the iconic Flatiron Building, which I would say is really an eye opener for me! I love the sight of the yellow top taxis as wells as the “Hawker” kind of food carts that you can see all around town! Another very special thing according to my driver is this “NYC music” that you can hear around town, which is the constant sirens from emergency services where you are able hear all day long!

The next day, I was out bright and early, all ready to conquer this city that I was in! All ready for New York City! First up on the agenda is definitely breakfast! Mcdonalds it shall be! Say hello to my first ever Mcdonalds meal in US of A. So delicious and good! And check out that Mcgriddles that I have miss so much. You just got to love Americans and the way they do breakfast!

Next up I went to the long awaited dream of mine at Grand Central Terminal! I have always wanted to visit this place for so long. An iconic filming place for many iconic movies such as Sex and the City, that iconic Friends with Benefit flash mob proposal scene, OMG! Check out some of the pictures that I have took here. Beauty!

The Grand Central is one of the main rail connections on the east coast, beside that it is also a shopping and dining hotspot in the city. The terminal is also an absolutely beauty. Built in 1871, the Beaux-Arts terminal main centerpiece is the Main concourse. You will definitely recognize this scene from your favourite shows. One of the most majestic terminal in the world,  The terminal is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, with 21.9 million visitors in 2013, excluding train and subway passengers. The terminal also have a Shake Shack and Magnolia Bakery, which is a must try!

After that I went to check out the Statue of Liberty! Another icon of the city, it is like the Eiffel to Paris, Colosseum to Rome and Merlion to Singapore. I guess you can’t be said to be to NYC without seeing it as well! I took the Subway to Battery Park and check out the surroundings before taking the ferry to Liberty Island. The place where the Statue of Liberty was housed at. Do note to buy tickets in advance online, especially if you were like to visit the Pedestal section or the crown of the statue. These tickets were like hotcakes. Thankfully I still managed to get the ticket to the Pedestal despite missing out on the crown ticket! Battery Park is located at the southern end, in Lower Manhattan near Wall St! I arrive earlier to check out the surroundings before boarding the ferry!

Do keep in mind that of course the Statue of Liberty is a popular attraction and it is of course a national landmark to the country and the world. Security is heavy, as is anywhere in New York City, there will be airport like security check, so I will definitely advise against bringing large bags and stuff. The ferry were nice and spacious. I will definitely recommend to go to the 2nd or 3rd deck to have some exterior views, since it is really lovely, be it the view of the statue coming into sight, or that skyline of New York City.

The copper statue was actually a gift by the French back in 1886 for the independence. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad. When I look at it, I was actually feeling a little inspired. The sight for a new life if anyone wanted it. What an icon. The statue is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is actually brown in color originally as is any copper, but corrodes by the air to green as is the Statue of Liberty that we recognise. I will not say much more anymore but instead let these pictures do the rest of the talking. I will really say so cater more than half a day here to fully enjoy the place, I spend most of my time around Liberty Island, taking so much photos that my parents were complaining before heading to Ellis Island for a short walk before returning to Manhattan. Ellis Island is pretty much skippable, it do has an informative museum talking about the refugees and immigrants though!

As you pass by Wall St, one sight that you can’t miss is the statue of the Raging Bull that is in fact pretty popular as well!

As we wind down the night, as any tourist should have done when you are here. Head to Brooklyn Bridge for a stroll, while the sunset accompanies you! What a lovely sight! Yes that bridge, the one that spider man loves to climb on! The Brooklyn Bridge is kind of special since the first level is for the vehicles and then on top of that you have the pedestrian and cyclist path. The place is a very instagrammable spot! So get those cameras on the ready!

What is New York City without the Time Square and Broadway! The most happening place on earth? There it is! The most lighted up place in the world? There it probably is! This is also why it is known as the city that never sleeps! The lights that power up times square is more than enough to light up 1.6 million 100 watt light bulb! It is also one of the most expensive place in the world to place an ads or market your stuff! Those neon, colorful billboards that you have seen. It easily cost between 1.1 Mil to 4 Mil to do an adv here! Whoa! I won’t say that there is a must do here, but simply have a walk here and soak up all the vibes.

Visit the iconic Time Square Mcdonalds for a bite as well. The branch is pretty special!

Then pop by Virgil’s BBQ for some authentic American texas smoked meat. And you will never be disappointed.

For another perspective outlook on NYC I will recommend you to visit the Highline! A very new place in town. Perched among the skyscrapers, this little elevated park, built on a previous rail train is a very scenic and peaceful place in the city. It is perfect for a run among the fancy buildings. I luv this place!

Then head on to Chelsea Market which is a stone throw away. An urban artisan gourmet market you can find many interesting stalls here. Some of the more popular ones would be the Seafood Market where you can get huge steamed lobsters and also Los Tacos No.1. Oh trust me! The Tacos are unbelievable. I didn’t get enough of it at all! Fresh tomatoes, guca, lime and of course those freshly roasted meat!

Another worthy place to visit would be the 911 memorial site back at the World Trade Centre in the past. It has since been rebuilt and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is located just south of One World Trade Center where the original Twin Towers once stood. There are two very nice pool that is surrounded by the names of people who died in the attack!

Of course, together with the Statue of Liberty the Central Park is my favourite place in New York City. I love walking in parks and the central park is such a nice place of greens right smack in the middle of skyscrapers and buildings. It is a place for performance, for dates or just a friendly stroll with your love ones. I love how scenic and peaceful it is! Inside this huge park, you will never expect that you are in the middle of the city! There are also so many nice photo spots in the park itself. Coming on the holiday weekend, there was plenty of families, friends, all having fun, running around, basking in the afternoon sun.

Here are a couple of other pictures from my stay in NYC! I luv New York City!

I did not expect what a lengthy post this has become to! After all there are so many places and things in NYC. As much! It is probably the most happening place on earth! I truly enjoy my time in NYC this time around and I believe that I have covered all the necessary must see here. If I am ever again, I will really love to explore some of the places outside Manhattan, such as Brooklyn, Bronx, which many people have tell me that it will be a very different vibes. Thanks for following me on this post. Next up, stay tuned for my adventures from Vegas baby!

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