I love New York

It is my first ever visit to New York, and I now fully understand the “I love New York” brand. Only here for four days, but having a great time. Have caught up with some Kiwi friends in the Big Apple, and also made some new American friends!


This is what you see if you catch a NY taxi. You see your location on a GPS map, plus get the live news. Now that is cool – especially for someone like me whose brain wants to explode if stuck in a taxi with nothing to do.

I caught the train up from DC (definitely the way to travel if under five hours), and alighted at Penn Station.


My hotel is next to Times Square. Having seen it on the TV so much, it was cool to actually be there and just taking in the huge billboards, the screens and oh yeah the hundreds of free seats on the roads. It is the most vibrant place I have been to – absolutely humming. Would love to do a New Years Eve here.


This is at the New York City Information Centre in Manhattan. They have these giant interactive table displays with a giant map of New York. You touch the screen to see various places, landmarks and facilities and click the ones you are interested in. It then produces a customised map for you showing the locations you wanted, plus gives background one each of them. You can e-mail it to you (as I did above) or have it printed out.

I absolutely recommend to anyone doing the tourist thing in NYC to go to the Visitors Centre (the one at Bloomingdales) first and ask for Louise. Without doing a sell, she tells you all the stuff that you might want to do, can advise on where to buy things, and is just a superb Ambassador for the city – even though she is Chicago born. She has been out to NZ also, and loves Kiwiland.

The other reason you should go to the Visitors Centre first is you can buy tickets for stuff like the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building in advance. This can save hours of later queuing.


This is the lower part of the famous Central Park. very relaxing – reading a book under a tree during a spare hour.


Not much to see due to the construction but this is Ground Zero.


This is now displayed at Battery Park in the Downtown. It used to be displayed in the foyer (or nearby) of the World Trade Centre and while battered and dented, survived miraculously.


This is the view of Midtown and Downtown from the Empire State Building. And if you think that looks big, consider this is just part of Manhattan, which is only a small (but the best) part of New York City.

If you wish to go up the Empire State Building, I absolutely recommend you get a ticket in advance, rather than queue for a ticket at the building. But be warned – even without queuing for a ticket, it can take close to an hour to get to the top. You queue over half a dozen times – the security queue, the ticket check queue, the stupid queue to have a photo taken even if you don’t want one, the queue for a lift etc. But yes it is worth waiting for.


This is the view towards Uptown and the Bronx. You can just make Central Park out towards the left.


Until you look down you forget how high up you are. Those other buidings are actually pretty huge but are dwarfed by the ESB. Up until 1971 it was the tallest building in the world, until the World Trade Centre was built.

It has been visited by 110 million people.

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