"30 hours in New York City - Ready, Set, Go!" New York City by Carmanah
New York City Travel Guide: 15,557 reviews and 30,993 photos
I guess I should explain how I spent 30 hours in New York, and not 30 days.
Essentially, me and my boyfriend were in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a wedding during the last week of May and the first week of June in the year 2002. We had 6 days in the Boston area but thought perhaps it would be too much. Because New York was only a 3 hour train ride south of Boston, we figured, "why not go? Why not do an overnight stay, just because we can?" After all, it's not like we can afford more than one day, and it's not like we'll be in the neighbourhood again any time soon! And a bonus, we can catch a New York Yankees game while we're there!
So we purchased a train ticket via Amtrak, and spent 30 hours in New York!
We left the Boston train station around 10am on June 3rd. The train travelled southbound through the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut before arriving in New York. As we approached the city, we could see all the famous buildings and structures - the Empire State building, the Brooklyn Street Bridge.. the Chrysler building. We were here!
And just at that moment, my boyfriend's cellphone started to ring. Who on earth would be calling us in New York? He picked up the phone. It was his boss. It turns out that he accidentally sat on his cellphone, which somehow turned it on and automatically started to dial his boss, long distance, in Vancouver. He explained that we were just entering New York, and that we didn't mean to phone him, and that he would see him in a few days.
As soon as the train enters Manhattan, the tracks go underground. The train finally stopped, and we got out at Penn Station. We took the stairs up to the main level, and found ourselves in a very busy train station. Nevertheless, unlike what I originally thought, I was not overwhelmed.
So we walked outside, and there we were. It was 1pm, and gorgeous and sunny. It was lunch, and people were wandering around. There was Penn Plaza, and the Madison Square Gardens.
As soon as we walked outside, there was the Empire State building. So we walked a few blocks down, and, still at this point, I was not feeling like I was in New York. I just felt like I was... I don't know... somewhere in downtown Vancouver. It was very, very strange. Of course, the buildings were a bit taller in general *grin*... but I couldn't believe I was there, just wandering around nonchalantly, along the streets in New York!
So we entered the Empire State building, and bought a ticket to the top. We took two elevators, and while we were waiting for the last one to the very, very top, the staff said, "it would be faster if you climbed the stairs... it's only 6 more floors".
So, that's what we did. We got into the stairwell, and... all of a sudden I had visions of the World Trade towers... oddly enough. How creepy. But being on the 100th or so floor in New York, in the city's tallest building... in a stair well.. what would you expect?
Anyhow, so we got the very top, and went outside to the viewing decks. It was so gorgeous and clear outside. We looked as if we were on top of the world. There was New York... and right then, I finally felt like I was there. But I still couldn't really believe I was there. It was too easy! Here I was! I just... appeared there! And now I was at the top of the Empire State building!
The views were fantastic. I took at least one full roll of pictures. It was a great way to start off the trip because I could orient myself and get an idea of where everything was. It put the city into perspective. Down below to the north was Central Park. To the south was Battery Park. That little blip on the horizon? That little thing not much bigger than the letter "i" - was the Statue of Liberty. Bahaha.
So, after the Empire State building, we walked along Broadway. It was touristy, for sure, but it was on our way to our hotel. It took us a good hour to walk along it. We passed by Macy's, and all the funky billboards at Times Square. We even, by accident, stumbled across the studio for Late Night with David Letterman. And there was the Happy Deli, where David Letterman goes to bug Rupert!
Passing hundreds of delis and touristy t-shirt stores, we finally approached the block where our hotel was located.
We entered the building, and went up to our room, discovering that our room was like the "coffin suite" - big enough for a bed, and not much else. We had a tiny window... and when I looked outside it, all I could see was a brick wall. However, we were only there to sleep. So it didn't matter.
After junking our clothes out of our backpacks (as we were technically backpacking here in New York), we decided to head back down to Broadway for some pizza at a deli.
Well, that was completely overwhelming. We walked for blocks and blocks around 5pm, searching for a deli. They all looked good, but which one do we choose?
We even walked around the block and accidentally found Radio City Hall. We finally agreed on a deli off of Broadway that had fresh, brick oven-baked pizzas, and a buffet. I ordered a really good margarita pizza.
After dinner, we strolled back to the hotel, gathered up our stuff, and prepared for our walk along Central Park to the subway station to get us to the Bronx. We were on our way to the Yankees game!
The subway took at least 20 minutes to get to the Bronx... probably bit longer. It seemed to go on forever, but we eventually arrived at Yankee Stadium. The sun was shining, and everyone was in a great mood. We bought hotdogs, and coke, and I even bought a little Yankees panda bear. We had awesome seats - right by third base! Yankee Stadium was great. :)
After the game, even though the Yankees lost to the Orioles, they blasted Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York".
We took the subway back into Manhattan, got off at our stop by Central Park, and walked along the park back to our hotel.
The next day...
We slept in until 10am and were out by 11. We decided to spend the morning in Central Park, eating pretzels and just enjoying the serenity of this park.
We then walked our way to the Gugguinheim Museum and toured that for a bit.
After the museum we took the subway south to the Brooklyn Bridge station and ate the best sandwich I've ever had from a street vendor. We decided to walk across the bridge... and I took many pictures. The bridge gave us a great opportunity to take panoramic pictures of the city.
After walking across the bridge, we jumped on the subway again, this time going to Battery Park. Still, the Statue of Liberty was way off in the distance and looked very small and puny. Oh well.
By this time the sun had disappeared, and it became quite cloudy outside. It even rained a bit. We started to walk back north to Penn station, but found ourselves by the old World Trade Center site, humbling to say the least. While we did not go to gawk, we dropped by just to pay our respects. We then continued futher north and took a subway to Grand Central station, and walked back south, past the Empire State building once again, through the Korean neighbourhood, and then popped into Macy's so I could buy my mom a gift.
We boarded the train at Penn station around 5pm, and by 7 we were back on the train to Boston.
- Pros:Wonderful people, culture, nightlife, excitement... yet I also found it quite serene and more peaceful, and more realistic than I expected...
- Cons:Expensive... do not come here if you're a starving student.
- In a nutshell:The Big Apple? I don't know... throw away your preconceived notions of what the city's like and come see New York for yourself!
In Manhattan, the crosswalk signs state "Walk" or "Don't Walk", but this appears to be a suggestion, not a rule. If... more travel advice
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