New York is even more than anyone could ever imagine. The first time I’ve been there was during a July weekend in 2018. In not even 48 hours I understood that New York is chaotic and its modernity coexists seamlessly with antiquity. Being in New York is like being in a movie. You never completely and fully realize you are there, neither you do when you leave. The city where all dreams come true, where fairy tales become reality.
The first impression is of a city so damn big that gives you the feeling of getting lost several times in the same street. Flocks of people occupy the sidewalks at any time, especially Times Square, the house of billboards and lights and people. It’s exactly as you see it in the movies, nothing less and nothing more, maybe just even brighter and more majestic. In my opinion, it has nothing extraordinary or magical, compared to other monuments around the city.
Surely one of the things not to be missed is the view from the top, whether it’s Top of the Rock of the Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building. It’s not cheap, but I won’t miss the opportunity to see and feel what happens in the sky of New York. I went up to the Top of the Rock, with a multi-level, obviously 360° view of the Hudson and Central Park, the green lung of the city and it was breathtaking.
You can’t miss the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. Brooklyn was considered a low-ranking neighbourhood, but in recent years it has been re-ranked and many celebrities live there. Walking across the bridge is sensational. The colors, the size of the bridge, and the skyline are incomparable. It’s scary to walk over a street, as the walkway is wooden and narrow, but the feeling of grandeur is priceless.
Another spot is the harbor, where the steamboats leave for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Nearby, at the Sea Port District, you can eat something at Dorlan’s Tavern & Oyster Bar. Obviously, I recommend the typical dishes, such as oysters and lobsters or dishes containing these ingredients. From the port you can take the boat to the Statue, but to visit it inside you have to book months in advance, otherwise it’s impossible.
From the port you can walk a few minutes to the Financial District and see the headquarters of the New York Stock Exchange and the very first seat of the American president, a primitive White House. Still on foot, it’s easy to reach the 9/11 Memorial or Ground Zero, the two “pools” built on the foundations of the two former Twin Towers, which collapsed on September 11, 2001. A memorial that gives you the shivers at the thought of the hell that day may have been. Chills in imagining the noises, the smells, the dust, and the screams, the despair that day must have brought directly and indirectly into the lives of every New Yorker. In the area you can also find the “museum” One World Trade Center, that in my opinion is more profit than anything else, and The Oculus, a library and center, built by the great Calatrava.
The Chelsea Market, a covered market with the most beautiful part reserved for artists called Artists & Fleas, and The High Line, a former elevated railway, that today become a park and walkway with a view of Manhattan it’s the perfect sport for a great photo.
The other “few” things not to be missed before leaving New York are a walk and perhaps a nice dinner in the characteristic district of Soho. Treat yourself with some shopping in the most beautiful streets, such as Prince Street, and all its side streets, and get lost with your head up to admire those buildings with the typical fire escapes brick, cream, and white.
Finally, you can’t leave without seeing at least a small part of the huge Central Park, the subject of many movies and TV series, so that the most famous places are easily accessible with a map and always super crowded with tourists. Entering Central Park you forget you are in a chaotic city like New York. Leaving the park, on the right, you will find the famous 5th Avenue, a very long street to walk down that has the MET – Metropolitan Museum of Art.