Although I haven’t been to many places in the world, out off my twenty years of existence, I would say that the best one on my list is visiting New York City. While planning on transferring to New York University I had decided to visit the campus and the city this past winter. Coming from laidback Los Angeles, New York is my type of pace. After the experience, I have come to truly believe a New Yorker saying “There is no a better place to live but in New York”.
My excitement built up during my flight from LAX to JFK on Virgin America. Virgin America has some great features such has your own television, where you can view T.V. programs, flight tracking map, and hear music from their playlist. The downside is for those food lovers who will be overpaying for a burrito or sandwich. Speaking of food, New York has some of the best Chinese food.
Since my family lives in Greenlawn, Long Island I had to travel by train to get into the city. I planned ahead by getting a schedule of the departures of the MTA Long Island Rail Road and a route map on how to get around in Manhattan. I recall standing outside on the cold platform of the Greeanlawn station waiting for the 7:35am departure. Once inside the warm moving train all I saw was the Manhattan suburbs and its leafless winter trees. As the train moved between Queens and Brooklyn the view from my window was of the New York Skyline far in the distance. Soon after, I noticed the Brooklyn Bridge. After a few minutes of that we went underneath a tunnel all the way to the final stop in Penn Station.
I immediately felt the hectic rush of the city by just walking out of the station. I don’t know how those detectives of Law & Order can do their job with such a crowd. I exited on West Thirty Third Street and walked down to the street corner that met Fifth Avenue where the Empire State Building stands. From there I decided to take a taxi. The cab driver was curious where I was visiting from. The conversation continued as the cab driver was speeding down Fifth Avenue until we stopped at Washington Square N.
The first thing I noticed was the Washington Square Arch. I walked through the park and saw the fountain, which is in the center of the park, and also statues of historic icons such as George Washington and Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi. Washington Square Park is surrounded by NYU campus. I spent some time gathering information on NYU. Now it was time of my favorite meal of the day, lunch.
I went to Chipotle Mexican Gill which was located on East Eighth Street. The atmosphere of the restaurant was welcoming and warm compared to what was outside. After lunch I walked north on University Place where it turned into Broadway and passed Union Square Park. I walked along Broadway and turned on Twentieth Street where the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt sits in the middle of the block. Then I continued my walk north on Broadway until I came across the Flatiron Building and Fifth Avenue meets Broadway so I went north on Fifth avenue all the way to the south end of Central Park.
While walking and admiring the skyscrapers, I came upon the New York Public Library. The library has a magnificent exterior and interior architect design. A little further up Fifth Ave is Rockefeller Plaza. Just across the street is the beautiful gothic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. I then continued my way up north to the Trump Tower and the neighborhood of what was once Audrey Hepburn favorite breakfast “joint”, Tiffany’s. Just a bit more north I came to my destination, the south end of Central Park. There I not only admire the horse carriages but also the famous historic Plaza Hotel.
After a while I headed on down the same street to go back to Penn Station. When the train came out of the tunnel, on the Long Island side, the New York Skyline appeared just as the sun was going down. The three buildings that stood out were the Empire State, the Chrysler Building, and the United Nations Headquarters.
If my transfer process is a success I’ll be sure to know what to expect in order to become a New Yorker. Even though I am a fast walker, I had to adjust to J-walking. Of course, I had to complete my New York visit by buying an “I Love NY” T-shirt. I find that Manhattan is unquestionably magnificent for its unique atmosphere. One can drive or ride through a city but then you only get a glance. By walking with the people, hearing the sounds, and taking the smells you will know just what the city is all about. As I get older I’ll see more of the world, but this New York experience will be the benchmark for all my travels.
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