Apologies for the relatively long hiatus; I’ve been dazzled by New York City.
We returned from our six-day vacation yesterday, passing through Chicago-O’Hare just as we had done on the way out the previous Wednesday. During the rather lengthy period we were set loose on NYC, we covered a good portion of Manhattan, seeing many of the things you would likely want to see while there – the main ones being the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, the Staten Island Ferry, the WTC, Chinatown, and the Tenement Museum.
There were also lots of little things that we experienced, made good and bad by New York’s population density. I know this will come as no surprise, but New York is DIRTY. It might come as a surprise how safe I felt, though. And the restaurants…god, the restaurants. So amazing.
I think my highlights (besides getting to see the USS Intrepid and the Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise-because, who can beat that?) include visiting the Ghostbusters Firehouse (a.k.a. Hook & Ladder No. 8), an outstanding dinner at Manhatta on the 60th floor of the 28 Liberty Street building, and a trip on the Staten Island Ferry, passing by the Statue of Liberty. It was very enjoyable.
Having an entire week was good as well, because it gave us room to stretch out, take our time, and figure things out. Upon returning, I took my 1995 World Atlas which I use to track my trips and marked the portions of Manhattan that we saw (other than Staten Island, and LaGuardia on Queens, we did not visit other boroughs on this trip), I was somewhat shocked at the number of things we did not see. Nevertheless, we both felt that we got a full experience in the time we were there. Maybe on a subsequent visit would exist an opportunity to go beneath the surface a bit more, but NY is expensive no matter how you arrange it.
If you go, be aware that some aspects of New York will bring you down. As I said, we weren’t accosted or had any reason to feel unsafe; nevertheless the homelessness issue is still prevalent and ever present. Additionally, the place smells bad and there is often litter just floating around. The people we encountered were polite and friendly, contrary to the standard notion that New Yorkers are gruff, I found those we interacted with to be fairly nice.