Or, to be more precise, Manhattan.
There's no other city where I love walking down the streets and seeing the sights as much as New York. Every time I go there, the city has a bustle, a life, and is busy! This Easter we decided to visit New York for 4 nights. Finding a hotel that was not sky high in price was a serious endeavor, Manhattan is one of the most expensive places on the planet! Eventually we found a place in Astoria, about ten minutes by subway from Times Square. Our bus fare was cheap too - $40 return! Don't you love (relatively) inexpensive vacations?
So, one and half hours after our departure on early morning Good Friday we arrived at the Peace Bridge border crossing. It was really busy.
There's a huge Toys R Us (42nd Street) in Times Square, which was my first stop on the night we got there. Being a Lego fan, the USA meant cheaper Legos!
Chrysler Tower and Empire State Building in Legos
There's a vibe about Times Square unlike anything. The public squares in Toronto or London pale by comparison - Times Square is the real thing. At all times, even at midnight, it was really crowded. The fantastic weather must have played its part in that.
From Times Square we walked to 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. This is the location of the famous street cart. We only found out how famous he was when we got there and saw there's a line for the cart! This was street food, at 1 am, and there were people in line!
The lamb/chicken on rice dinner with the white sauce from this cart was just too good. We went back every single day! I also saw Halal carts all around Manhattan - selling the usual ware from kebabs, chicken/lamb meals, gyros, hot dogs etc.
Radio City and Rockefeller Centre
The world's largest store - a Macy's (Dubai missed this title!) was right next to Empire State Building, so one can combine two birds with one stone. Besides, even though the Burj Khalifa is twice the size of Empire State Building, you can only go halfway up the Burj, so being on top of ESB = being at the Burj. However, the long lineups meant I prefer Dubai's timed slot visits (just like Pisa).
View from the 86th floor of the ESB
A great place to go for walks from downtown Manhattan was the Brooklyn Bridge - we saw lots of couples and families there. Remember Shah Rukh Khan in Kal Ho Na Ho? And how about Miranda and Steve in Sex and the City? This was the location - not to mention the Hispanic lady sitting there selling the cheapest souvenirs in the city!
Bronx (and Harlem) are north of Manhattan and even though the area had a seedy reputation in the past, and I still wouldn't walk there in the middle of the night, it's now quite clean and busy. As a rule, I generally found New York to be much safer, cleaner, friendlier and better than the last few times I visited.
The Guggenheim Museum is famous for its architecture
Everyone visiting NYC makes a point to visit Ground Zero - which at the moment is just a huge construction site. Nearby though, you can visit the 9/11 Memorial Preview Center.
The skyline as it was on that fateful morning
They show the timeline of the attack
The model of Ground Zero as it will be when all construction is done - the footprints of the original tower will have a fountain memorial with the names of the deceased engraved
We did the usual touristy stuff - the Statue of Liberty (we had tickets to go inside the statue - it was so much fun!), the cruise of New York Harbour, the Grand Central Terminal, the unforgettable Museum of Natural History (where Ross from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. worked with dinosaurs), the Hayden Planetarium show, the Wall Street bull and not to mention shopping!
New York is known as the Big Apple
Looking up Lady Liberty's skirt!
My weight on Hally's comet - gotta lost 0.002 lbs!
The Apple Cube on 5th Avenue - this was one trendy shopping district
New York for Canadians have always meant shopping. With generally lower prices south of the border, our dollar being at par with theirs, I am done with retail in Canada. A trip to New York for shopping alone actually pays for itself in savings!
Of course, while my wife bought sunglasses, purses, perfumes and clothes, I was more interested in this.
Since I managed to get this at almost 50% off the price here in Canada - I will classify the trip as a success!
we bought subway passes as soon as we arrived, and used them to go everywhere possible. The New York subway system was great! And it ran 24 hours.
In short - I ♥ N Y. You should visit!