Greetings from New York

Yhdysvallat (USA) - 31.8.2018 16:04

Check out the video of our time in New York here:  with password 1205.

Greetings from Big Apple,

It was the first time for me to visit the city that never sleeps. All I knew New of York before were the Islanders, Rangers, and the Yankees.. Well, I knew some other things as well, but not as much as my wife for sure! It was quite a contrast to the farm life we had in Canada. Some of the people we encountered were not as friendly as the Canadians, even quite rude, self-centered. Many looked tired.. The city was fighting for the attention of my senses as well, overwhelmingly! Lots of billboards, although I have to say some of the ad displays were of better quality than our TV. When they played the Aquarium ad it looked like it was real, but the size of a building!

The subway was hot and loud, making us sweaty and then cold once outside. We grew grey hair trying to make sense of the subway sometimes paying entrance only to go the wrong way. It was difficult to know when the next train was coming, if it was coming at all. But the subway saved a lot of walking in the end. However, still on one of the four days we walked more than 35,000 steps! On average we struggle to reach 10,000 steps per day.. Central Park was nice, though. We could find ourselves alone, for a second. I really liked the fact that you can be in the middle of the city but not see any building or car around you. There were great biking and running routes around the park, as well as sports grounds for baseball and football. I enjoyed watching the remote controlled boats racing on a pond, the old man leading a dance class by the Turtle Lake, and the busker at the John Lennon memorial.

We stayed in an Airbnb right by Times Square. That was such a busy spot, and so many billboards around the square. Always something going on, I don’t know how our host could live there. Although I’m not sure he even did. We never saw him around, just other Airbnb guests. But it was a good location to explore Manhattan! There were so many great eateries around, especially in Hell’s Kitchen area. I found the food the best thing about NYC! The burgers at Shake Shack were delicious, and the curry at Pure Thai was authentic, just like in Thailand. Juliana’s in Brooklyn had the best pizza. Bluestone Lane, Black Fox, and Two Hands were excellent for coffee. Luckily we had Deb’s friend from Mercy Ships, Kristi, whom we met for a breakfast, living in the city so she could advice us on the restaurants and cafes.

Nearby us was also the Hillsong Manhattan church, where we went to on the Sunday we arrived. Robert Madu gave such a powerful message on Jesus’ authority I want to link it here too:

Luckily we had done (most of) our shopping already in Canada, so the little time we had in New York we could spend on sights and entertainment. One evening we met with Deb’s cousins and their families for a dinner together. They were really nice people. Deb and her mom had stayed with them already 5 years ago when they first came to visit New York. I got well along with Jo, Rachel and her husband-to-be who were about our age. They had been to Iceland so we received some valuable tips from them for our next destination.

We were pretty lucky with the weather. Apparently it had been very hot the previous week and in the city where there is no wind it gets really hot. For us the weather was a bit breezy and cloudy for one day and sunny but not too hot for the others. The cooler weather was good for sightseeing, so we went to Brooklyn and walked over the iconic Brooklyn bridge back to Manhattan. I liked Brooklyn. It was charismatic and less busy. That day we also went on top of the Rockefeller center, from where we had nice views of Manhattan and the Central Park. I wasn’t keen on spending time going to the Statue of Liberty, but we saw it from Battery Park in Southwest Manhattan. The history around the area is interesting as it served as the first point of entry to New York for visitors back in the day, and Statue of Liberty was there to greet them. Also quite nearby was the Titanic memorial, which we visited.

There are a few high rises in New York that one could visit: e.g. the Empire State Building, The Rock, or the new WTC One building. Had we not gone to the top of the Rock already, the WTC tower would have been a nice one to visit as well. The 9/11 memorial was an impressive site as well; there are two holes in the ground as fountains the size of the towers’ foundations, and the names of victims engraved around the monuments. There is a whole big museum about it as well, but we didn’t have the time to visit that one. Around is also an impressive work of architecture, The Oculus, which is a 4 billion USD transit hub at WTC. We also saw other significant sights such as the New York Stock Exchange, the charging bull, and the house from the famous TV-series “Friends”.

A definite highlight of the trip in New York was going to a Broadway show! We had received tickets to “Chicago” musical as a wedding gift from our friends, and we loved the show. It was really entertaining and professional. Funky jazz music played by an on-stage-orchestra who were also included in the play sometimes, great dancing, funny characters, and a storyline which was interesting and easy to follow. That was a great experience, and I would definitely recommend going to one of the Broadway shows if in New York. Just make sure to book early as they sell out pretty quickly.

Although New York (Manhattan) was busy as I had expected, it wasn’t crowded like Mong Kok in Hong Kong, and there were benches to sit down and take a break. In Manhattan we could go shopping for clothes until 2AM, but we couldn’t find a place to go dancing on a week night. So it seemed to be busy for business but not so much for party. And we had thought once in New York we will surely go dancing.. We did find a nice rooftop bar though, but the party was not there either.

Then it started raining and it was already time to pack, say good bye to our apartment at Times Square, and go to Iceland..

Looking at Manhattan from the top of the Rock Uptown Manhattan Manhattan bridge from Brooklyn Statue of Liberty Friends' apartment Tiffany's :) She learned to love coffee! Deb's family in New York It was time for a Manhattan hair cut Fancy cup cakes Trying to grab a picture with the charging bull was something we had to fight for! Breakfast with Deb's friend Kristi, a local from New York The Oculus at WTC WTC One 9/11 memorial   Looking gorgeous at Broadway CHICAGO!  Central Park Flat Iron building Alice in Central Park Manhattan @ Times Square New York Grand Central Terminal Empire State building Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn bridge to Manhattan Cristopher Columbus monument Imagine all the people... LOVE

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