Writer on vacation! – part 2.1
It’s been a long time since I wrote part 1, but now here I am, ready to tell you about our stay in New York City.
Andrea and I had been in NYC eight years ago, but it was Christmas, the atmosphere was different, and we stayed for three days only. Moreover we couldn’t do certain things because of the snow. So this time we were decided to make the most of our time.
We left Boston in the morning with a bus (by the way, what a bus station! It was almost like an airport) and arrived in NYC in the early afternoon.
Ok, before you go on reading, let me tell you something. I had a very romantic idea about New York, an idea fed by books, movies, tv series and that trip we had at Chirstmas time eight years ago. I spent the last eight years dreaming about being in New York again so I clearly had high expectations.
Realty was different (as usually happens with reality).
It was hot, grey and moist. There were a lot of people on the sidewalks (of course it’s NYC, but they were much more than I remembered from my previous visit). I was tired. We had to trail our luggage for many blocks towards the hotel. All I could see were a mess of gaudy signs, scaffolding, and filthy pavements. When we arrived at our hotel, I was exhausted.
And I hated New York.
Where was that magic atmosphere that had captured my heart the first time?
I was in the city I used to love the most and I couldn’t wait to go away. What had happened?!
Our hotel was on the Fifth Avenue, right in front of the Empire State Building. The room was small but there were a bed and a bathroom, that was everything that interested me at the time.
It took me an afternoon of rest and an evening around the lights of Manhattan to make up with New York. I felt an intruder, completely unconnected with the town. However, after a while, I got used to it and found my love for New York City again.
The first view of the Empire State Building by night was a good medicine for my spirit. A very good dinner in a pub near our hotel did the rest.
The next morning the weather was far more fetching: bright blue sky, shining sun, gleaming skyscrapers everywhere. I was in love again. We started the day going to the Lower East Side, then we headed to the Financial District and finally we took a ferry to take a tour on the river. This was one of the things we couldn’t do in our previous visit, we didn’t even manage to see the Statue of Liberty from the distance, so we were really excited about this.
There’s no denying it: the view from the river is impressive, majestic, powerful, stunning in its own way. It makes you feel like you’re at the centre of the world and you think “Oh my God! I’m in New York City!”.
During the tour, I sat on one of the benches because of my precarious knee, that’s why I had the chance to look at the tourist around us. The most funny scene occurred when we passed the Statue of Liberty. Most of the turist were turned with their back to the Statue, taking selfies, and not looking at it at all! I was shocked.
Our day-one in New York was dedicated to spectacular views. So in the late afternoon we went on the Empire State Building. The last time we went up the Rockfeller Center so this time we opted for the Empire. It was an interesting experience, because we were given earpieces and a little screen on which we could watch and hear stories about the building, its construction, the energetical improvements made in the past years and so on. It made the waiting and the entire visit much more enjoable. Moreover it made us feel we hadn’t spent so much money just for a fine view. I admit it’s breathtaking, but 32 dollars per person? And we didn’t even went to the top, we stopped at the 82nd floor or it would have been 52 dollars! I mean… anyway, it was worth it.