A personal tale of a trip to the "big apple"
Landmarks, food and culture. Going to New York is one of those once in a lifetime things which is a must do. I was lucky enough to go to this magical city for my 21st birthday treat with my family.
From gazing at Manhattan from the Empire State Building, to shopping till you drop in Soho, there are lots of activities for tourists to experience in New York. The statue of Liberty is one of the famous landmarks, for $21 you can experience the view from the crown of this lady. Being at this amazing statue and seeing the world from its perspective, learning its history, is a wonderful experience. I was also able to visit the Empire State Building and went right to the top of the 102nd floor for only $34 per person, I particularly enjoyed the view from the 86th floor which gave a 360 degree view of New York in the warm July weather, the journey up to the viewing deck gives an insight into the building's fascinating history. Below the building experience we dined at the State Grill and Bar which had a delicious selection of American and oriental cuisine including succulent beef burgers.
A rural countryside enclosed in giants of New York architecture, Central Park is a slice of heaven. We spent two days in the park and there is a lot of things to keep you entertained such as the Bronx Zoo, the John Lennon Memorial and acres upon acres of beautiful lawns and parkland which we relaxed in during the hot summer days, and walked among the birds in the undergrowth and around shimmering lakes used for boating.
If you are looking for top high street brands and good prices, then Soho is the place to visit. From Chinatown to top fashion stores such as Bloomingdales, there are no end of shops. My particular favourite was the Converse shop which had every design of Converse imaginable, all at a decent price. Other shops in the area include the famous Park Avenue street, lined with more of the same high brands. One shop we went to, which is a must do, was Macy's; we spend three hours in the largest department store in the world looking at all their products (which were quite expensive so I only bought a couple of things). Leading on from there is Broadway which leads to Time Square, full of wonder and amazing flashing neon lights. I would recommended to go at night to see the lights in all their glory and the shops are open late to accommodate this, however it does get extremely crowded with other tourists enjoying the sights which can be a little claustrophobic.
If you pay a visit to New York you need to pay a visit to the 9/11 memorial pools and museum. I found it moving to see and learn of the devastation caused by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centres in 2001. Gazing over the waterfalls and reading the many names of the fallen made me quite emotional - the area seemed so quiet. I also went to visit the One World Trade Centre which is also known as the "freedom tower" and gazing out over New York from the tallest building in the western hemisphere is amazing.
New York was one of the best experiences of my life and I didn't want to leave at the end of the trip. It is definitely worth a trip and is an amazing once in a lifetime experience.