New York City always seemed to fill me with inspiration and hope. Perhaps it was because of all of the TV shows; Sex and the City, magazines, and the fact that it seemed to be the capital of novel and unique experiences, but I had to go there – and so I did.
It was day one of my NYC adventure and needless to say, I was really excited! After reading about all of the things you can do in New York, I decided to start my adventure with a visit to Union Square Greenmarket (Farmer’s market) where travelers and citizens could support the local agriculture. I knew the day ahead of me would be a long one, so I made sure to buy some of the local produce to keep me energized throughout the day. I tasted wine, fresh apple cider and organic fruits that had been locally grown; I spoke happily to the vendors who were all very pleasant and helpful despite the reputation the Big Apple has for its busybodies. I sat down with my bounty from the market on a bench in Union Square Garden. I enjoyed watching all the beautiful people walk past me as I ate the goodies. It was a great moment and a day that I’ll never forget!
Madison Square Park
My first impressions of New York City were really starting to form a picture in my mind when I visited Madison Square Park. I stopped in at Shake Shack and fell in love with the “Shack Stack” so delicious! I stayed there for a while, watching a showcase performance by The Studio Series. And you won’t believe what happened next! I got the chance to see Kate Davis perform live! Her music was beautiful and touching – a great end to the day.
High Line Park/ Chelsea
I decided to relax a bit by simply enjoying the breeze and the views. I had brought along my “Part B” examination materials (It’s a qualifying exam to get called to the Singapore Bar in order to be a Solicitor and Advocate in Singapore) and I was supposed to find a quiet place reading it. High Line Park was the perfect place! After a bit of reading, I decided to go to Chelsea Market to find some boiled lobsters. And, of course, I had to have dessert. The best cookies in town are to be found at Fat Witch. I took the food with me to High Line Park where I looked down upon the passersby with food in my hand and a smile on my face. This was the experience I’d always been dreaming about and I was going to enjoy it as best I could.
George Washington Park/ Greenwich
It was a fun day spent at Washington Park: Chatted with few strangers, watched a few street performers play the guitar and another play a grand piano.
I also went to Time Square and just sat by the TKTS booth on those famous red steps people seem to marvel at and watched the world pass by me. I love that feeling of detachment you get in a new city. Though I have to say… Here, amongst the millions of other people that were walking these beautiful streets, I felt at ease.
Rooftop Movie Club
My fifth day in New York was epic thanks to Rooftop Cinema Club. A 2008 movie called “Milk”, on a roof top and a magnificent sunset view over Manhattan. Imagine, being on a roof, with a view of Manhattan, wrapped with a warm blanket, the movie was great and the people I met friendly. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had.
I started the Sunday morning with a jog in Central Park and headed over to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reservoir where I did a few laps. After that, I got myself a very nice salad plus a healthy drink from Wholefoods that was nearby the park. I watched a friendly neighbourhood baseball game which kept me entertained. There are lots of activities that you can do while you are near Central Park. You can rent a boat or have a picnic (i did). If you are creative, you can have a really interesting time.
Shopping is what the next day is all about! I went to Soho, a famous neighbourhood in Manhattan, and browsed through some of its stores. It is impossible to get bored in Soho. There are many beautiful things to buy and I tried hard not to spend all of my money.
East River State Park, Williamsburg
I decided to be spontaneous. I looked at a map of the city and randomly picked a place to visit. The East River State Park caught my eye, and that is where I headed. I don’t regret the decision to visit East River – the skyline view was absolutely breathtaking. East River State Park should be a must-visit item on your list when visiting New York
Top of the Rock
Forget about Empire state building. I flagged down a cab and made my way over to the GE Building – the tallest skyscraper in the Rockefeller Centre. I went to Top of the Rock, an observation deck situated on the 70th floor of the building. The views from here were absolutely amazing! It was very informative too – I watched three films depicting all the history of the building and its surrounds.
The Brooklyn Bridge is a sight to behold. If you are planning to visit Brooklyn Bridge, make sure you arrive before 10 AM as it gets crowded after that.
I have figured out what my first impression of New York City is. It comes down to this: the city gives you a taste of freedom and energy from the moment you arrive. I simply fell in love with New York City. All of the things I did and places I saw created memories I will never forget and eager to create more and more. If I could do it all over again, I would do exactly the same!
One thing that I dislike…it’s the subway! Don’t get me started…