I got just one day for my visit to New York. But that was good enough to feel the energy of this most coveted city in the world. Cliché is that if you stand on the streets of New York long enough, you will get to see people from every nationality. I can assure you, you would not have to stand for too long. I remember it as a vibrant place with everyone moving at a great speed.
Visit to New York – Tourist Attractions
I did the usual tourist things during my visit to New York. Visited the Statue of Liberty island, Ellis Island Museum. Went up the Empire Estate building, looked at ground Zero (I did go after 9/11). Roamed around the streets and took the subway train to reach my friend’s place. It turned out to be a hectic day. But when you travel solo you enjoy those hectic travels. When you have no time to think. You are just moving from one place to another – absorbing all that you can.
Statue of Liberty
On top of the list was, of course, the island that has the most famous icon of America – the green lady that stands in the middle of the ocean – Statue of Liberty. I remember taking a ferry to the island. As you go closer to the island the statue just keeps getting bigger. On the island, you have to almost stretch your neck to look at it. Looking back I think it was the ride to the island that I enjoyed the most. For it not only gives you the statue in perspective. It gives you the vantage point to admire the famous skyline of New York.
Ellis Island Museum
Ellis island museum marks the site that served as the first port of entry into America. I remember the various presentations of faces that migrated to this land to make it their home. They would eventually make this a country worth envy for the rest of the world. An aspirational place for the next few generations. I particularly remember an installation that had the American flag that manifests into faces when seen from the other angle. I thought that was a very good representation of this migrant nation.
Empire State Building
Next, I remember going up on the empire Estate State building. After admiring some bright wall art on the ground floor at the waiting area. I found myself on top of the tallest building in New York. It is an experience to be at such a height. Especially when there is a tall and dense city all around you. The city seems like the game of Tetris with tall blocks trying to fit into each other. The streets look like mere lines with moving atoms on them. The view of the city is so different from what you get from the ground that you cannot describe it in words. It almost feels like you are in Lego factory except that the blocks are not as colorful.
At the Top
The wind at the top cuts through you and temperature drops a few degrees. Height scares and at the same time excites you. More than anything else what left me wondering about Empire estate building was that it was constructed in just about 400 days. A 102-storey structure constructed in little over a year. And it is still standing strong after 85 odd years. I look at all the construction work going around me and wonder if these people should take some inspiration.
Taking a subway train at the Grand Central station was a new experience for me. Though I had traveled enough in London tubes by then. But was yet to experience our own Delhi Metro.
I am sure I did not even scratch the surface of what New York has to offer. But it was a short rendezvous that would remain in my memory for the longest time.
Recommend you read following travel blog on my visit to the USA.