Make your mark in New York and you are a made man -Mark Twain
New York is the city that never sleeps. There is so much to see and so much to do. The best part of Manhattan is that you can never really get lost. The whole city is built in a very logical way. The most important thing to remember while in Manhattan is if you are going downtown or uptown. As long as you know that you can basically never get lost. Taking the subway is complicated though but that’s not a big deal because walking is much more satisfying, there is so much to see. I walked almost everywhere.
If you need help or want to ask something the New Yorkers are more than happy to help. When I for example asked for directions they stopped and tried to help me as much as they could.
Things you need to see and do in the Big Apple
There is a lot to see and do in Manhattan but there are some things that is must-do-must-see, according to me anyways.
I was there for a week and I must say a week was too short for a visit to the big apple. I wanted and needed at least three or four more days to explore the city.
Walking around in Central Park was one of my favorite things to do in Manhattan. The park is like an oasis in the middle of Manhattan, saying is a big park is an understatement. Central Park covers land from 59th street to 110th street, between Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue and covering 341 hectare (3,4 km2). Beside walking around you can do a lot of things; you can for example rock climbing, boating, carriage horses and go to The Central Park Zoo. But the best part is just to walk around in the park and look at the skyline. It was an unusual experience, one minute you are lost among all the skyscrapers and next minute you are surrounded by trees, it was almost magical. Walking around in Central Park is a must, if only to take a break from the big city.
The biggest proof that New York is the city that never sleeps is Time Square. This place is truly amazing! All the lights, people and noise make this place feel bigger than it actually is. Time Square stretches from West 42nd street to West 47th street and is the hub of Broadway Theatre District. The best time to visit Time Square is obviously during the night when it’s dark outside; otherwise you wont see all of the lights. This place is covered with billboards and advertisement which try to seek your attention with bright colors and neon lights. Around this area you can find the funny stores like Disney store, M&M’s World and Toy “R” Us (where they have a Ferris wheel inside the store). Just walking around and looking at all of the billboards is mind-blowing. This place is worth your time.
230 Fifth – Rooftop Lounge
230 Fifth is New York’s largest outdoor Rooftop Garden. With breathtaking views of the NYC skyline, this place is a must when you are visiting the big apple. This place has two floors; one is fully enclosed (Penthouse Lounge) and private event rooms, as well as an outdoor rooftop. The best thing with this place is obviously the view. We sat on the outdoor rooftop looking out over the skyline and it was amazing. We had the Empire State Building right in front of us and with good company this place is one of New York’s must see in my opinion.
Interesting fact about this bridge is that it was designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the United State and was completed in 1883. The best thing you can do is just to walk over the bridge. It really is a great walk with wonderful view over New York. You don’t even have to cross the whole bridge, we just went half way and then turned back and still felt that we got a feel of the bridge.
The memorial and the museum are located at the World Trade Centre site, on the former location of the Twin Towers. Where the Twin Towers once stood there are two big fountains instead. The water pours down into a square-like fountain and in the middle there are a square-like hole where the water pours down. Around the fountain there are the names of all the people that lost their life during the attack. It feels unreal that at that place there were once two gigantic towers. This is a must-see if you are in New York.
See a Broadway Show
Even if you don’t like musicals you should still see a Broadway show! It is an experience like no other. I watched The Lion King and it was amazing! Worth all the money and time. You could see that the team behind the show had made an effort and the actors were beyond good. With clever ideas and good props the show sucked you into the story and you forgot that you were sitting in the audience. I bought my ticket back home in Sweden, just to be sure that I would see The Lion King, but you could buy tickets in New York. Remember! The Broadway shows are popular. If there is a show you really want to see you should buy the ticket beforehand.
Top of the Rock
If you want to see New York from above you should definitely go up to Rockefeller Center and the observation deck, located in the center of Midtown Manhattan. From there you can see all of Manhattan. It’s a breathtaking view. Just make sure it’s a good day because if it’s too cloudy or rainy day you wont be able to see all the beauty. The tickets are a bit expensive but totally worth it.
The High Line
The High Line is a revitalised piece of New York City’s past. Back in 1934 the High Line opens for trains. It is designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, carrying goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district. The last train runs on the High Line during the 80s and a group of property owners want to destroy it, but a man named Peter Obletz, a Chelsea resident, activist and railroad enthusiast takes this to court. Now there is a whole community that is dedicated to preserve the High Line, Friends of the High Line. But it wasn’t until 02/03 the planning framework for the High Line’s preservation begins. It will take six more years until section 1 is open to the public and in June 2011 section 2 opens to the public. I really enjoyed walking around on the High Line! It was truly amazing how beautiful they have made it. With cafés and different events every month this wonderful place is a popular place to visit. I highly recommend a visit to the High Line when you are in New York. You get a park-like feeling while you can see the big city life from above.
Another must-see is the Statue of Liberty. To get really close to her you need to take a boat to the Liberty Island. It’s not far from Manhattan but it’s full of tourists and it’s a bit expensive. Instead of taking the ferry to the Statue of liberty we took a ferry to Staten Island. That ferry is free and it passes the statue which gives you an opportunity to take pictures of it.