Between flights, train trips and business appointments I saw a snippet of New York. I will be returning, so don’t stress that I missed most of the major icons.
9/11, the day the twin towers fell, I think everyone remembers where they were that day. I had moved to the Netherlands, my first time living away from home ( I don’t do things by halves – I move out for the first time and move straight to the other side of the globe) and was on aol chat (yes, THAT long ago) to a friend from home who told me a plane had crashed into one of the towers. I laughed at such a preposterous idea, but as his insistence I turned on the TV and was shocked to see that it was true.
Some colleagues and I made our way to the memorial, which I think has been beautifully designed, very tasteful and respectful. We didn’t go to the museum, but we certainly took some time to think about how that moment affected so many people.
The Chelsea Market is not an outdoor stalls kind of market, but a permanent indoor ‘market’ of shops. The building used to be in an industrial district and the building itself used to be the National Biscuit Factory. The building now appears to be an apartment block with a market on the ground floor. The building interior has been stripped back to have a very industrial yet modern feel. I loved the exposed brickwork and steel features. I didn’t look in any of the shops, but simply ogled the awesomeness of the building itself. It’s absolutely worth a visit!
The High Line
The High Line is just outside Chelsea Market (though its actual start point is a south of the market). The High Line is an elevated train line that was disused and had fallen into disrepair. Rather than going through the very costly exercise of destroying it, it was converted into a walkway and urban garden.
The High Line is quite long, it extends from West 12th street to West 33rd. Along the way are loads of park benches, sculptures and art works. At a few points along the way are shops. At two points we also found some icy pole carts – these were delicious!!
Wandering the High Line is a brilliant way to spend a few hours, the scenery and atmosphere is just gorgeous and walking the length of it is, of course, good exercise.
Folsom Street East – Street Festival
From the High Line we spotted some kind of street festival in progress and decided to investigate.
Folsom Street East was a street fair with the theme ‘The New York you were warned about’ and is the “largest fetish block party on the east coast”. It was predominantly males wearing all sorts of bizarre and interesting outfits, which mostly appeared to be bondage related. It was pretty colourful street fair to wander. While fetish and kink aren’t my scene, I appreciated the humour in the arse-less trousers branded Cellblock 13.
MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art is a large, very famous, art gallery. I’m not the biggest art fan and by this time of day I was exhausted. Nevertheless I wandered floors 5, 4, 3 and the sculpture garden. The museum has beautifully displayed artworks, both old and new. I really enjoyed some of the very colourful art.
Also, after having visited the Salvador Dali museum and beach house in Spain and the Dali Desert in Bolivia, I was very happy to finally see the famed artwork “Persistence of Memory”.
On the third floor were some cool technology and pop culture exhibits. I learned a bit of history about some of the technology icons and symbols we use today and saw some original code from the PacMan game.
Tickets cost $25, or if you get the combined MoMA/Top of the Rock ticket it is $45 (it saves you $10 off the two tickets separately, and the Top of the Rock ticket is valid for 6 months from the purchase date)
I’m not sure if Times Square has any specific significance, I know it’s where the ‘ball drops’ at midnight on New Years Eve. Otherwise the area is known for all the bright lit up signage.
Walking around Times Square is as bright as walking under a midday sun, except the light is artificial. It is loud, obnoxious and quite the experience. In the words of a colleague it “looks like it has been designed by a 12 year old”.
I enjoyed walking around for a bit of a look-see, but that’s really all you need. Then I sought refuge in the enormous M&M world shop. What an extremely overpowering sugar smell! I loved the M&M shop, it’s so colourful and fun. Though I demonstrated extreme self-control and didn’t buy a thing, not even one single M&M!
Central Park in New York is HUGE!!! It’s a park in the middle of the city, with loads of grass, trees, rocks, wildlife and paths that you can use for recreational purposes or even hire a horse and buggy to show you around.
With our limited amount of time, we grabbed some food from a delicatessen and sat in central park for a picnic dinner and watched the sun go down. We had a brief wander of the southern-most section and appreciated the calm of the park in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the city.