Jez and I love big cities. New York is not the biggest city we have visited on this trip (statistically behind Beijing, Moscow and Istanbul) but it certainly is a place where you know you are experiencing, or in the epicentre of, something significant.
Personally, I love being caught up in the rush of people as they flit from office buildings; from lunch; from the subway; from their tiny apartments to shops, restaurants and galleries. New Yorkers always walk with purpose! During our 12 days in the city we walked with purpose and at length (as we often do!) to see a number of amazing sights.
One of the best experiences was visiting the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. On a gloriously clear day, we caught a very crowded ferry across to the island to see Lady Liberty up close. We went without an audio guide, preferring to take in the view back to Manhattan and across to New Jersey with quiet appreciation. Our online tickets gave us access to the inside of the pedestal, which housed a museum and the original Liberty torch.
We spent one afternoon walking along the famous Highline, an elevated rail system that has been turned into an urban oasis running from Midtown, through Chelsea and finishing in the Meatpacking district. This park in the sky literally runs through buildings and beside skyscrapers. It’s a popular place for people to picnic and people watch or just admire the views to the sky.
Another beautiful afternoon was spent walking the entire length of Central Park. Yes, the entire length! We caught the subway to the Upper West Side and walked from 110th street, Central Park North, through the Observatory Garden with manicured lawns and up over the baseball diamonds nestled between rocky outcrops. There was plenty of activity in the park, as it was Saturday afternoon, so there were families riding bikes and enjoying the sunshine. We walked through a particularly wild and woolly section of the park called the Ramble which had a beautiful view across the pond and up to the buildings of Times Square.
We arrived in New York just in time to help celebrate the end of summer, the Labor Day weekend, at a festival called Electric Zoo. We had an amazing time and met a bunch of awesome people. We were astounded at the number of people who approached us, out of nowhere, to chat about the music, their city and where we were from. It was so much fun!
Even though we left New York with many souvenirs of our adventures, I know one of the most special memories will be experiencing the first chill of Autumn in early September. To feel the heat and humidity disappear from the air and the sun’s glow change ever so slightly, was to experience something significant. Something we will always share with this big city.