In 2007 my parents took my brother and me to New York City in the States for a week. It was during the Eastern Holidays and the city was just making the switch from winter to spring. One day it was snowing, the next it was 16°C while the sun was shining. Although I know there are plenty of places on earth where the weather acts a lot crazier than this, I had never experienced such a season shift before.
Some touristic hot spots
Since it was our first trip to New York, my dad had planned to go to a lot of the city’s must-sees. I don’t recall our exact itinerary, but the trip was well balanced, taking us from architectural highlights to historically important places and, as a break, some shopping streets.
First up: the famous Flatiron Building. Called like that because its shape resembles that of a clothes iron (or “flat iron”), the Flatiron building is a New York City landmark that can be found in Manhattan. It has gained such an iconic status that the neighborhood around it is called the Flatiron District.
Another iconic structure we saw was the Empire State Building. Actually, we didn’t only see it, we even climbed it! Well, sort of.
There’s a (completely enclosed) observation deck on the 86th floor of the building, providing a 360° view over the city. You have to get tickets for this, but the view is quite impressive, although it was a bit of a challenge getting close to the edges with my fear of heights.
There’s another observation deck at the 102 floor, which costs extra to get on to.
Be aware that the waiting lines at the Empire State Building are notorious, but if money isn’t a big issue you can pay extra for skip the line tickets.
For more information on ticket prices and opening times you should check out the Empire State Building website.
The Flatiron building we saw, the Empire State Building we climbed… and a third famous NYC landmark we walked over.
I’m talking about the Brooklyn Bridge. One of the oldest suspension Bridges in the States, it connects Manhattan with Brooklyn over the East River.
But not only these famous landmarks caught our eye. As we watch a lot of American movies and television series in Belgium, there were other, more general things we saw all around us that often made us go: “That’s just like on tv!”. One example were the (to us) typical fire escape stairs:
Or the many many (yes, that’s twice “many”) skyscrapers:
We even had a great view on them from our hotel room:
Of course we didn’t look up all the time. There was enough to see at street level as well, like the Apollo Theater…
the many street vendors…
and just the everyday busy life
To get away from all the noise, we decided to talk a walk in what must be one of the world’s most famous parks: Central Park. The image from Central Park I’d gotten from television was that of a place filled with in-line skaters and squirrels.
While there weren’t that many in-line skaters when we were there (too early in the season?), the squirrels were very present (Sorry animals lovers, I liked the pictures of the park without any squirrels in them better).
Okay, okay. I might have overdone it a bit with the pictures, but I just couldn’t choose.
I shall return
As much as I loved visiting New York with my family, I’d love to go back to re-experience it as an adult (well, at least I’ve reached the age where I can be called an adult…). Since my first visit, I’ve learned about a lot of things I’d love to do now, that I didn’t know about back then. Having a cupcake (or two, three, four…) from the Magnolia Bakery is one of them, taking dance classes at the Broadway Dance Center is another.
I’d also love to see how the city has changed. I mean, look at these amazing photos of New York City Greg Goodman took! And although I can’t keep up with how fast my travel bucket list grows, New York is a place I will have to get back to someday.
But for now, I’ll cherish the memories I already have.
More things to do in New York City
If you’re planning a trip to New York at the moment, you might want to check out this list of Things to do in New York City.
Where to stay in New York City
Check Booking.com for an extensive list of options for all budgets and needs.
If you’re looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
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