Tag Archives: new york

New York, New York!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith one part of the study tour over and a short gap before the next part would begin. A colleague, Marie, and I spent four days exploring New York at our own pace. While there we also met up with Wayne, who I had been on tour with from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro in May.

Around New York I revisited some places I had already been, as well as seeing new sites.


The Top of the Rock is an observation deck accessible from Rockerfeller centre. I got my ticket combined with a MoMA ticket for $45, but I believe entry to Top of the Rock by itself is around $27.

There are three observation levels at the top of the building, approx. 850 feet (260 metres) above sea level. The lowest of the three is predominantly indoor, but has an outdoor section. The middle of the three is predominantly outdoor but has a small indoor area without views. The top level is smaller, and is completely outdoor. The views from the building are absolutely spectacular. The view of the Chrysler building wasn’t fabulous, but the Empire State Building and Central Park had clear, uninterrupted views.

Something I love about Observation decks, is that once you are there you can stay as long as you like. A suggestion would be to arrive at the end of the day to experience the views during daylight ours, stay through sunset and then appreciate the night skyline. My personal choice, based on a friends recommendation was to see the Top of the Rock during the day and the Empire State Building at night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStatue of Liberty & Ellis Island

It turns out that if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty’s museum in the pedestal or to go up to the crown, you need to book a couple of months in advance. So as you can imagine, I didn’t do those things. For $18 I got a ferry to Liberty Island and to Ellis Island, with an audio tour for each included in the price. It probably would have been cool to go up to the crown, but I honestly didn’t feel I was missing out by not having done it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe audio tour around the Statue of Liberty was really good. It was interesting information and it was well narrated, the audio tour on Ellis Island was less interesting to me because it was more of a museum with loads and loads of history. I also found the building much too cold, and I was tired by that stage so I had quite a short attention span.

It was really cool to see Lady Liberty, she was a gift from France to the USA. The Americans simply had to make a pedestal for her to stand on. She is made of very thin copper on an iron frame and stands 305feet tall from the ground to the torch. I find the statue to be elegant, and I loved running around taking pictures!


A quick stroll along Wall Street and around the Financial District was interesting.

The Charging Bull sculpture is pretty awesome, but the crowd around it is ridiculously dense. There certainly isn’t even a glimmer of hope to photograph it without random people photobombing.

Down the way from the Charging Bull, on Wall Street itself is the New York Stock Exchange. The building is rather grand and imposing in a beautiful way.


I’m not an art or museum lover but I do appreciate architecture and atmosphere. The museum design by Frank Lloyd Wright is fascinating both inside and out. I found it a very pleasant art gallery to wander through. The use of lines, curves, light and shade were fantastic and I even saw some art along the way that I appreciated looking at! It was worth my $18 student entry fee.


Brooklyn Bridge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Brooklyn Bridge is a New York icon, so we walked from Brooklyn across to Manhattan. The bridge structure is really cool to look at, so many interesting lines and symmetry. The walk is very pleasant, not very far and certainly not in the slightest bit taxing. It also provides great views on the Manhattan bridge and general surrounds. You can also cycle over it, but we chose to walk.

Central Park

I have mentioned it previously, Central Park is simply enormous. It is 3.41km2 public park. It has cafes, lakes, a castle and more. It is a great place to go for a walk, have some food and just enjoy the atmosphere. After two visits I have still only seen a tiny portion of the park. If you want to see more of it and don’t have days to do it, then I would recommend looking into bike rental costs. If I had had the time I would certainly have done it.

Empire State Building

We visited the Empire State Building just after sunset, the queues weren’t excessive and soon enough we were at the top, enjoying stunning views of New York at night. The roads are buzzing red with traffic feeding the city with life. The whole city glows and buzzes with energy, it’s quite spectacular to absorb such an amazing sight.

General City Sights

Around New York there are loads of things to see: interesting architecture, cute parks, cool sculptures and funky street art. Some things I really liked were the Flatiron Building, the Hope and Love sculptures and the glass cube Apple Store.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI would also highly recommend Bryant Park, near the New York Library, it’s certainly not even on the same scale as Central Park, but in it’s small size and location it is a hive of activity. There are Café’s, Bars, outdoor reading zones, tables and chairs, lawn space and more. They also have a big screen set up for evening movies during the summer. It’s a brilliant spot to hang out.

July 4th – Independence Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur stay in New York coincided with July 4th. We went out and bought ourselves little American flags and parked our butts near-ish to the waterfront of the East River on the Manhattan side to enjoy an evening of fireworks. We chose not to go too close to the waterfront because the crowds were just way too big and full on for us. So we sat a block or two back and enjoyed the views of the fireworks over the rooftops of the lower buildings. It was a fabulous evening!!!

Check out all my New York photos on Flickr



A day and a bit in New York

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 Memorial

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA9/11, 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.

Chelsea Market


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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFolsom 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”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn 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)

Times Square


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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWalking 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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACentral 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.

For all my New York photos, check out my album on Flickr