Off to the Melting Pot
I can’t sleep the night before my trip to the bustling city of New York or “The Empire City” because of too much excitement. It was my first trip to the United States of America and I’m so overjoyed because I am lucky enough to visit the city that almost everyone dreams of visiting. As I disembarked from the plane, I suddenly felt very nervous because of being alone in an exciting city and it was freezing.
To minimize my own whining, I decided to just fathom the streets of the city and to find a noodle house to warm me up. Before I forget, I bought a map of the city.
The city was called Fort Amsterdam and later New Amsterdam by the Dutch in 1624. The English seized the place, they renamed it New York, after the Duke of York who later became James II of England.
New York City is the largest city in the United States of America. The city is the center of global finance and business. Its high residential density, hundreds of tall skyscrapers and apartment buildings, extensive public transportation system, and more than 400 distinct neighborhoods makes the New York an unusual city among the other cities. NYC’s cultural richness is rivaled by other cities. Because of its huge size, its concentrated wealth, and its mixture of people from around the world, New York City offers its residents and visitors a staggering array of cultural riches and educational opportunities. The city is the world’s leading center for performing arts and its museums contain a wide range of artistic and historical subjects. A mixture of cultures from around the world is reflected in the street festivals and ethnic celebrations that take place year-round. In addition, more than 100 institutions of higher education operate in New York City, including some of the nation’s more prestigious centers of learning.
Located in the southeastern part of New York State just east of northern New Jersey, the city developed at the point where the Hudson and Passaic rivers mingle with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. Its harbor is one of the largest and finest in the world and is ice-free in all seasons.
New York has a temperate climate with annual precipitation of 1,200 mm (47 in) per year. The temperature ranges between 41°C (106° F) and –24° C (–11° F), but the Atlantic Ocean tends to moderate weather extremes in the city.
My first stop was the Central Park, the country’s first landscaped public park. I have heard so much of this place from documentations, films and songs. I watched the street performers and I ate hot dogs. Today, the 843-acre plot draws millions of visitors to its skyscraper-bordered vistas in all seasons: sunbathers and picnickers in summer, ice-skaters in winter and bird-watchers in spring and fall. After some minutes of rambling my way through the Central Park, I have made my way to 5th Avenue. I felt that suddenly I became a city girl which is heart-warming for me.
Statue of Liberty
I took a taxi and asked the driver to bring me near to the Statue Liberty. As I saw the Statue of Liberty standing tall in the cold wind, I quickly took a shot of the most iconic piece as a very nice keepsake of my journey. After a short sight-seeing, I crossed the river through the Brooklyn Bridge, which highlights the architectural innovation of New York City.
I have spent many hours in the Intrepid Museum. The museum is very elegant with its life-sized helicopters, tanks, fighter planes, and even space shuttle. This is different from any art museums because the Intrepid Museum also focuses on air, sea and space complex. Many local and tourists visit the Intrepid Museum with their whole family. The museum is a child-friendly and your kids can learn from the exhibits.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
I also ended up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. There are curatorial collections from countless of eras and cultural perspectives. There are extensive assemblage of musical instruments, different kinds of weapon and armors, and many other anthropological things behind its amazing neoclassical façade.
One World Observatory
The tallest building in the Western hemisphere, the One World Observatory, provided me a 360-degrees view of the Manhattan skyline. My $32 entrance fee was worth the tour.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
My last stop was the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I saw the magnificent man-made waterfalls which is the North America’s largest creation. The bottom seemed endless. This site is a place for those who want to pay respects for the victims during the terrorists attack back on September 11, 2001 and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Inside, visitors can hear first-hand accounts of survivors, see picture and video footage of the attacks and see recovered objects such as wrecked recovery vehicles, large pieces of warped metal foundation and the 30-foot National 9/11 Flag.
After long hours of wandering the city, I was very tired and famished. I went and booked in a hotel. After recovering myself, I reviewed my experiences throughout the day and I felt proud to myself.
New York City is a place for people who want to experience living in a fast lane. Without the stinky smell in the streets, dirty pavements and some unsociable New Yorkers, the city can or will be the most perfect place. To those from outside the United States of America who wants to explore the city, expect a great deal of culture clash. If you are to wander the city alone, try to act like you belong and that you know the city as you know the fingers of your hands. Don’t just talk to strangers, instead talk to security guards or vendors.
New York City is a wonderful place to travel and a day is not enough to rediscover the whole city. I was only given a day in New York and I wasn’t able to visit all of the tourist attractions in the city. But I am still satisfied and overwhelmed because I saw many new things.
I can’t wait to be back in the city that never sleeps.