Day 1 was the most action-packed – I embarked on a 5 hour bus and walking tour of New York. I thought this was a good introduction to the city and I got to see all the places I wanted to – 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building, Times Square and a complimentary ferry trip.
Then that evening came the highlight of my trip! I slithered into a little Irish pub just off Times Square and sunk about 4 glasses of wine (I know but I’m a scouser) where I got talking to a strange but interesting American guy called Ricky. He was drunk, I was drunk but I’m sorry, I had plans and needed to leave.
I then made my way over to Union Square and met fellow travelers for a jazz tour of Harlem. What a treat. Our tour guide took us around 3 amazing jazz bars; one with a 12 piece brass band, one classy cocktail jazz bar and a backstreet jazz bar with some of the best musicians and singers I’ve ever seen. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t pay that much attention during the last bar but I was severely jet lagged and the wine had knocked me out. A cracking night that will live with me for a long time.
On day 2, with a sore head, I took a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty. I knew it was coming into view, and I was excited to see one of the most famous sights in the world, but when I actually gazed at the Statue of Liberty for the first time I was just blown away. It was one of those moments that I’ll never get to live again….even if I tried to re-invent it. I then ate pizza, had a Slush Puppie, bought a t-shirt and made my way back to the city.
My next adventure: although the Empire State Building looked appealing, I’d read many reviews that the Rockefeller Center brought better views of NYC from the sky. So I bit the bullet and went to the top of the Rockefeller Center in a lift that went up as fast as a lightening bolt. As soon as I got up there I felt dizzy and like I was walking on a boat and sliding from side to side. I wasn’t sure if that was the height or the fact that I was still struggling with jet-leg. Needless to say, I took this amazing photo and then got out of there as quick as I possibly could.
I then took a ‘stroll’ (AKA the longest walk in human history) to the New York Library for a look around. It’s just a library. Nothing too special. But it felt kind of good to be walking around one of the most famous libraries in the world. Grand Central was equally mesmerizing – indeed a grand piece of architecture with busy commuters flooding in and out of archways. I was jealous that this wasn’t my home station back in London.
On my last day, I took a lovely stroll through Central Park. I got lost which was a welcome outcome. I wish I’d have had the time to explore it more and regret not getting lost in it earlier in my trip. If you get a chance, take the time to walk around this beautiful park. It’s well worth the effort.
I’m writing this blog entry about 18 months after this trip and I still remember it as clear as day. It was, without a doubt, my favourite holiday of all time – despite being on my own. I met some incredibly interesting people and the four days will be forever imprinted in my mind.
I’m still being drawn back there. The connection I have with the city is as strong as ever.