New York City: A Journey not a Vacation

Ehy everybody!
First of all happy new year!! I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I wish you the best for your 2015!Happy New Year 2015
During my last week I was in New York City, so I wanna share with you my travel plan and give you some impression and maybe tips.

I’ll start  by saying that we decided to buy the New York pass. It definitely was the right choice, because we saved a lot of money and everything was included! The pass cost 180$ (on sale) it might seems a lot but it was worth it. Here the link.nyCardGuidebook
We also bought the MetroCard with the 7 days unlimited option for 30$. A single ride is 2,50, without any offer, and we were used to take circa 4 rides every day. So imagine the save.

Where did we sleep
We booked this basement apartment in Brooklyn through airbnb for 856$ for 8 nights. I think it is a pretty good deal because the place is for 4 persons, but honestly I don’t think I will stay here again. The apartment is very close to the subway and our hosts were very nice and provided us everything we needed. Unfortunately, since it was a basement apartment it was very smelly and the people living upstairs were loud. At night was also cold because I think the apartment suffered from heater disperion, and sockets need to be fixed! They for sure don’t compliant with legal standards. The owner just started running this place, so maybe they can make some improvements with time.

Now let’s talk about my week in NYC.
I arrived by bus and the place to pick up the New York pass is right behind port authority, so I saved the money for the shipping charge. Here is our schedule:

28 DICEMBER
morning
Radio City Music Hall: The tour behind the scenes was very good. The tour guide was fun and explained us a little bit about the place and its history.
afternoon
The MoMa (Museum of Modern Art): we went there just because is famous.  I didn’t like too much the artworks that were exposed. I was interesting only in the ones I studied at school and we took only 40min to see everything because we didn’t linger .
Kleinfield

29 DICEMBER
morning
Central Park:  We took a bicycle tour, but we forgot to stop at the zoo (which is at the entrance) and at Balto’s statue.
afternoon
Broadway:  I started this tour knowing nothing, but the tour guide was awesome and told us a lot of things not only concerning Broadway and its shows, but also about Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen. Time flew by. I really recommend this tour.
Discovery Times Square: depends on the exhibition. My friend wanted to see something I already saw in Italy. So for me it was pretty boring.
Rockfeller center – Top of the rocks: You have to go there in the morning to book the tickets for the afternoon visit. My suggestion is to go when it is still bright. The decks are awesome, no barriers, and you can take some really awesome pictures with you and the skyline. Thing that you cannot do on the Empire! It is a pity I didnìt know that before.

30 DICEMBER
morning
Grand Central Station:  We had an audio guide and I believe it was very interesting! I learnt lots of curiosities and I felt like being part of gossip girl.
Chrysler Building
Bryant Park
NY Public Library
afternoon
Empire State Building + NY skyride: You need an entire day because we spent hours in line (probably 3), maybe it was because of the holiday, but is was awful. The tour that explains you lots of curiosities about this skyscraper was really nice. The decks were good, but you cannot take pictures with you and the skyline because of the barriers. My suggestion is to go in the evening because unless you have a very powerful camera you can’t take nice pictures at night. Just enjoy the view! The skyride is aweful! Avoid the line and go somewhere else.

31 DICEMBER
morning
City Hall
Brooklyn Bridge: It was a good tour and we learnt alot about the bridge, and since the weather was beautiful, the walk was pleasant. Manhattan’s skyline was different because it wasn’t from the top and we stopped to take pics. We also learnt something about some Brooklyn’s neighborhoods. If you have time, you should take this tour.
Wall Street:  Good thing was that we had a radio with hear phones to perfectly listen to the guide which was a weirdo. He had a particular accent and sometimes made jokes that only Americans were able to understand. You should understand at least basic English before taking this tour, but in any case it was fast and interesting. If you wanna know more about Wall Street, the World Trade Center etc definitely go ahead and take it!

1 JANUARY
morning
Battery park
Liberty statue: The ferry and the audio tour were included, but the visit inside the statue wasn’t. However, to me the audio guide is interesting enough and there is a nice view of Manhattan in which you can make some nice pics because it is not crowded!
afternoon
American Natural History Museum:  That was a very nice one! 70% of the things in the museum are real. I liked alot all the realistic settings in which animals and things were placed. You just need 3,30-4,00 hours to see everything!
Dinner at Eataly: The best Italian restaurant ever! The food is awesome and you have to arrive early to reserve a seat because there is a long line.
Madame Tussauds: You have to like this kind of museum. I personally don’t find emotional take pictures with wax statues, but I think there were some great spots to take stupid and artistic pictures with friends.

2 JANUARY
morning
Bronx: It is the tour I enjoyed less. I think that the tour focuses too much on the architecture. In fact the parts that I liked more were the introduction about history and the conclusion that was about hip hop and graffiti.
Highline Park: It is very particular, and I found walking there nice. However I think in winter is a little bit sad. In spring with colors i feel like is definitely better!
afternoon
Museum of Sex:  Really, don’t go there. It is the worst museum ever. Nothing to see, I mean, nothing! No porn, no sexy toys, nothing. We went there because it was free. A waste of time!

3 JANUARY
morning
The metropoltan museum of art: you cannot bring food inside, so if you have your packed lunch you should go in the afternoon. It is a very huge museum and you actually need an entire day to see everything. My suggestion is to choose before the sections you wanna visit.
afternoon
Intrepid sea and space museum:  it is not a long visit but I think it interesting going inside a submarine and a big army ship. I’ve never been in a place like that, just saw images from documentaries. So it was really nice and it took us just a couple of hours to see everything.
9/11 Memorial: Is nice, but very short. I heard that the best part is the museum (which is not included in the pass) and that on Tuesday is free!
FAO Schwarz

We also planned to go to the United Nations, which wasn’t included in the pass, but then we discovered that you have to book in advance and we didn’t know about it.

At the end of this very long journey travel I end this post  saying that I’m not a big NYC’s fan. Personally I think that it is too chaotic, dirty, smelly (fried, smog, garbage…), it is inaccessible for people with disabilities and the old things are not historical but just shabby.
Moreover it is not new and technologic as I aspected. Same skyscrapers are new, and maybe the furnitures inside are too, but when you walk along the streets it just looks like an old city.
There are some positive things too though: There is always something to see and visit and you don’t need to have a car. Plus I believe that that the skylines are really awesome and very suggestive. Both night and day. Maybe the best ones I’ve seen until now.
Lots of people say that to fully comprehend NYC’s spirit you have to come back many times… We’ll see it in the next episodes..

Susa

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