I will never forget the adventure through the United States. Now I laugh when I remember it, but at the time, I felt and wanted something that had never happened to me on a trip. I wanted to go back home, but I have to say that only for a while, and that the next day everything was an anecdote to laugh at.
Traveling to New York is one of those things that you have to do more than once in your life. Because New York changes at every station - in fact, it changes every minute. And, of course, every year, there is always something new: exhibitions, buildings, restaurants. I had been to the Big Apple before in summer and knew, from experience, that New York is extreme. The heat was stifling and the cold then, in our trip in winter was polar. But there is always something to see that only happens at that moment.
I have visited large cosmopolitan cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, London. I must admit (as many travelers) that New York has a special charm and that makes it unique in the world. In addition, despite having a large population, its large sidewalks and countless open spaces, does not make it as claustrophobic as some cities that I mentioned above.
We visited the city that never sleeps at Christmas. We count our essentials to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve in New York. Spending Christmas and New Year's Eve in New York is a bit like living an American Christmas movie. There are Christmas decorations, Father Christmas, Christmas carols, the drop of the ball in Times Square. Is New York the most Christmas savvy city in the world? It seemed to us. With the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving, Christmas is officially opened in the Big Apple. Even museums are decorated with huge Christmas trees.
Today we give the itinerary of those days that we learned a little in an incredible city. Put on your most comfortable shoes because, even if you do not stop going on the subway, you're going to walk a lot in Manhattan and the rest of New York boroughs following in our footsteps. Are you sure you want to visit New York in the fall? Everyone talks about autumn in New York, but see what you think after reading this article. One last tip is to leave space in your luggage, because there will also be time to visit the outlets in New York.
24 Hours in New York
We arrived at the Jfk Airport in New York at 12.10 at night. There we took the train that left us at the Sutphin Boulevard subway station. Since we got off the plane, until the train drop us at the subway station we had spent an hour. So we reached the subway at approximately 1.30 in the morning. The first impression of the New York subway on early morning any day is hard. At least for me it was. We had to take a subway that was not going to arrive in half an hour, and I was there with my brightly colored backpack. I do not say more.
After more than 15 stops, we reached Wall Street. There we had to walk a bit until we reached Staten Island Ferry, the Ferry station that would take us to our house. Since the Ferries at night only spend every hour at half past one, we arrived at 2.32! So we lost the 2.30 one and had to wait an hour more! We spent our time eating our first pizza slice of the weekend. We do not have photos since we did not even want to take the camera.
There is not everything. Our trip coincided with one of the most touring times in New York of the year of the Christmas holidays. Although we arrived after the 25th, New Year's Eve in Times Square is still a great tourist attraction that fills the hotels in the Big Apple. This time we decided to rent a flat in Staten Island. We chose this site for the price, since accommodation in Manhattan is expensive.
We enjoyed seeing that every day and every night the New York Skyline and the Statue of Liberty from up close, free of charge. After the experience, I advise that if you go for a few days you should stay somewhere in the center, otherwise you lose a lot of time.
When we finally got to Staten Island we had two missions to solve. The first is to get home, and the second is to get the keys to the house, because by mistake we told the owner that we would arrive at 9 but it was 4 in the morning!
The first goal achieved in about 10 minutes. We got a taxi driver who took us first to a cashier to get money to pay and finally took us to our house. Without knowing it at the time, this taxi driver was going to become the protagonist of one of our major liaisons in New York. We'll tell you later.
Well it was 4 in the morning and there we were in a neighborhood of Staten Island on the door of what would be our house for three days but without keys to enter? Between one thing and another we got home at 4.30 in the morning. With a lot of face calling the poor woman at that time, the truth is that she did not take it too badly. She gave us a code to enter the house and told us where they had hidden the keys. She was a charm of a woman to that we did not meet her in the next 3 days.
Finally we were safe and sound in our house. I take a shower and got to bed. Although we proposed to get up early, we did not. We had been traveling for many days, and the beating of the previous day took its toll. We got up around 11, but between preparing the route and the rest we did not get back to Manhattan until 1 in the afternoon. We saw everything different.
It was our first day of the day for the great city that is Manhattan. The truth is that we were somewhat lost, to start with. To get energy we went back to buy some pieces of pizza and we began to do what we like, by getting into unknown places. The first stop, by proximity was Wall Street, the entire financial area, the famous bull and ground zero.
Later we went to visit the central station that this year celebrates 100 years. There we met a very nice lady who told us to visit Bryant Park, a park that is not as well known by tourists. We went there and liked it a lot because it was full of chairs where people sat and read a book that they could take in any of the shelves that were in the park. The park is next to the national library, and near Times Square.
In the afternoon we decided to take a tourist bus, which stopped at the most typical places in Manhattan. We began to realize how long were the distances in this city, and that we would not have time to see everything. The ticket is valid for three days. On this bus we did two tours during the day and at night. The truth is that they show us everything from National Library, Soho, Broadway, Empire State, Little Korea, Little Italy, Zero zone, Bull, Financial zone, Times Square and China Town.
After the tour, we went down again near Times Square. We started walking looking for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). On Fridays you can enter this museum for free. So we went there. After walking a little lost we found it. The MoMA is at number 11 east of 53rd street. On Friday it closes at 8pm, and on the other days it closes at 5pm. Later we decided to take the tourist bus to make the tour of the night.
In the evening, we were also in Brooklyn and saw from the Manhattan Bridge the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Once the two tours were done, we spent the night walking and enjoying Times Square. We dined at a restaurant on 7th avenue. The dinner came out for 35 dollars with two beers and a hamburger. You should know that in the United States it is customary to go behind asking for your tip, and it's fine when they take good care of you. The dinner was pretty good but we thought it was quite expensive, although we think we were paying for the place.
After resting a bit in the hostel we left for Times Square to see the New Year's Eve party. Although we could not get closer until the 53rd and the good thing is that there are giant screens to see it. Times Square is on the 42nd. The Times Square Ball Drop is one of the best-known New Year's Eve images. Thousands of people gather to admire the drop of the ball, which explodes with its thousands of confetti. We took a subway to Staten Island Ferry on Times Square. Like the previous night, we lost the Ferry at 2.30 am. So I had to wait another hour.
But since not there was not everything, once in Staten Island, we realized that we had forgotten the paper with the address in the house. So we did not know how to return. In the morning we caught a bus to take us to the station, and more or less we remembered the way. But it was more like that, more or less, after 15 minutes of walking, we recognized that we were lost.
After a while, we remember that the taxi driver from yesterday had given his phone number, in case we needed to call a taxi in those days. So we called him, and as we could we explained that we were lost and that if he remembered the name of our house, and then I remembered. We told him the street where we were. He came to pick us up and took us home.
48 Hours in New York
It was our second morning in New York and we were not as lost as the first day. We got off the boat and went running to take the tourist bus, so as not to pay for the subway. We went to buy the ticket to go to the Top of the Rock at the roof of the Rockefeller Center. We bought it for 6 in the afternoon since the sunset was scheduled for 6.50. So we would see New York day and night from one of the tallest buildings in the Big Apple.
After having our tickets we went walking down the luxurious fifth avenue to finally get to relax and let time pass in Central Park, the lung of the city. Despite being festive, there are many things to do in New York on New Year's Day. We begin with a guided tour of Madison Square Garden.
At the scheduled time we went to the Top of the Rock, to enjoy the show. To see the sunset from one of the tallest buildings in New York is impressive. To enjoy how the lights of the skyscrapers go on, facing the incredible Empire State Building, we had read online, you have to buy tickets in advance.
We arrive and wait a queue of 10 minutes at the most and we get our tickets. So even though there is no Internet, we advise you to stop by and try to buy it because it's worth it. When we went down we photographed the ice rink with the Christmas lights and the Christmas tree.
At night we went to dinner for another hamburger and beer. I ate the best burgers that I have eaten in my life. They were delicious and super cheap compared to the previous night at 8 dollars per hamburger. The end of the day was spent again in Times Square, with the bad fortune that it started to rain. So at about one o'clock we went back home, because there was not much to do there, but before that we had time to get some photos.
But of course, the day could not end quietly. When we arrived in Staten Island this time with our address in hand, we asked the driver of a bus if he stopped on our street. He said yes, so we ride on the bus heading home. After 20 minutes driving and seeing that we were alone on the bus, I get up and ask the driver. It could not be, we were lost again for the third night in a row. The truth is that the driver behaved well and let us ride for free back and let us know when we were at our stop.
72 Hours in New York
We began the day by visiting Manhattan for its most recognized icon to the Statue of Liberty. We go from the South Ferry. Afterwards, we entered the immigration museum on Ellis Island, the building through which over 62 years saw more than 12 million immigrants trying to enter the United States.
Our street was very long and the bus stopped in it, but in number one, and it was raining above. Now we laugh at the situation but at the time we did not do anything funny. We got up early to organize the bags and take advantage of the last morning in the city. It was Sunday, and Wall Street was dead. We could take a picture with the Bull with no one in between.
We also went to the Brooklyn Bridge since we had only seen it from afar. We walked a bit on Wall Street. After a few hours we took the subway, and then the train to JFK airport. All those stops that the first day seemed like a world, were totally normal.
At 2 o'clock in the afternoon we took the penultimate plane back to Istanbul. We were waiting for 10 hours of travel, but there we would not arrive until 7 o'clock in the morning, Turkish time.