I’ve been to New York City four times in my life. I’ve walked from Harlem to Manhattan, ridden the subway uptown and down town countless times, and seen all of the sights. Each trip defined parts of the city for me that I hadn’t discovered previously.
My first trip there was in the summer of 2006 just after the end of my eight-grade year. It was a school trip with a lot of my friends and another school. I t was in the heat of the summer when New York was at its most humid and lightning storms were a daily occurrence. We saw all of the sights. Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the cold cloudy observation deck of the Empire State Building were all on our agenda. We also spent some time at the World Trade Center, which at that time hadn’t been turned into the stunning monument that it is today and instead was just the two sub structures where the buildings had once stood. We caught a Broadway show, Wicked, when it had first come out with the original cast including Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. This trip was meant as an educational tour of the city and what makes it a great powerhouse in our country.
The next time I would be in the city was for my 24th birthday during my junior year at university. My friend Jaime flew out from California to visit me in Rhode Island for the occasion. The morning of my birthday we caught a bus into the city from Providence. Lucky for us the bus ride wasn’t too boring because a lot of my friends who lived in the city were heading home the same day for winter vacation. We arrived midday at Port Authority and my friends all dispersed towards their final destinations leaving Jaime and I with our luggage in the middle of the terminal.
We were staying in Union City, New Jersey and had to catch a city bus to our airbnb. We lugged our suitcase to the pick up point and fought with them as we boarded the bus. It was a quick trip across the Hudson River and a short walk down the street to our home for the next two nights.
After dropping our stuff off and getting ready for the evening in the city we hopped back on the bus and back to Port Authority. We were all dolled up even though the night was freezing and we walked uptown about 25 blocks to an Indian restaurant for dinner. We enjoyed fruity cocktails and so much food we couldn’t finish it all between the two of us.
Our next stop for the evening was a Broadway show. Chicago, though not what I was expecting it to be like, was wonderful. The seats we had had a great view of the stage and the actors were phenomenal in their roles. As the play let out, we followed the sound of the night to Times Square and took in the lights and the city that surrounded us. The city truly never sleeps.
We caught one of the last buses back to Union City and immediately planned what our next day would look like. We only had a limited time, and as two budding photographers, we knew we wanted to see Central Park.
We caught our regular bus into the city and then hopped on the subway bound for Harlem and the top of Central Park. We spent hours roaming the park and taking pictures of EVERYTHING. It was cold and the wind whipped around us. We passed the upper east side and cute across to the upper west side. We hung out around the reservoir and visited the castle. By mid day we were frozen and all of our batteries for our cameras and phones had died. We went in search of a café to warm up in and to recharge at least our phones. That’s when we had decided it was time to venture to the top of the Empire State Building; Jaime had never been there, and she wanted to see the city at sunset. Unfortunately the sun set faster than the line took but the lights of the city were still breath taking and we spent about two hours up there shivering and taking pictures.
Our time in New York City was over and we were headed to Boston, but that wasn’t my last time visiting this vibrant city. About a year later I went with my roommate to the city, it was only a day trip and our only real plan for the day was to find the Nutella bar we had hear about, though we did stop at MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art). Turns out it was about a 30 or more block walk away from Rockefeller center where we had been dropped off. It was across the street from the Flat Iron building inside an Italian market called Eatily. The scenery of this part of the city alone was worth the walk but the Nutella Crepes were heaven. We wandered the city and shopped, well window shopped, on 5th Ave. for the rest of the day.
My last trip to the city was completely different. I was working for a tour company called GO Educational Tours and we were there on our training trip. It was a city familiarization trip and I spent most of my time in Times Square and at the MOMA and The MET. I was in heaven. Museums and Art are incredibly inspiring and interesting to me.
These trips all went by so fast and I have no doubt that I still have so much to see in this vibrant city. I can’t wait for my next trip there and the places I’ll find while I explore the city.