A Girl’s Guide to New York
You?ll never really understand the lure of New York until you actually get there. Sure, you see Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda tottering around its streets in sky high Manolo Blahniks and the scene where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks kiss on the Empire State Building in Sleepless in Seattle is one of the most beloved moments on the small screen, but being there is an entirely different sensation.
I arrived in New York after a week in the United States. So far, my main impression of America was how big it was. The food was big, the people were big, and as I flew into New York, I realised so was the City. How can a girl from simple Down Under even grasp the sheer magnitude of such a city? Within the CBD of Sydney, for example, there are a mere seven train stations. Within the New York City, there are around 100. Where do you begin in a city that has more people in it than the whole of Australia?
My advice ? start at the top. The Empire State Building towers over the city and is the perfect place to see just how far reaching the shores of Manhattan are. On a clear day, you can?t avoid the queues (up to two hours long), so try heading over there after dinner one night. The queues are dramatically shorter and your view of the city will be magical and romantic. Listen out for sirens and watch a police pursuit up 5th Avenue, or take a photo in the exact spot where Cary Grant waited for Deborah Kerr in an “Affair to Remember”.
Another perfect place to get an overview of the city is from Liberty Island ? the location of the State of Liberty. It may seem clich?d to visit this quintessential symbol of New York, but the view up close is worth the thought of any negative stereotypes. Try to get to the Ferry Wharf early as the crowds are immense later in the day. Visiting Liberty Island and neighbouring Ellis Island (where immigrants to New York were processed until the 60?s) is interesting and memorable. There is a plethora of information about America?s immigration experience about the enduring symbol of freedom associated with the Statue, but you get the impression if would mean a lot more if you were actually American. Regardless, it?s a journey that has to be taken!
Take a trip to Times Square and look at the amazing array of theatre to be seen. Every day from 3pm you can line up in the centre of the square and buy half priced tickets to the hottest Broadway productions. This area is well known for being the best quality theatre in the world and a trip to New York wouldn?t be complete without a famed Broadway production.
Of course there?s more to New York than the obvious tourist attractions. What is it that makes it so loved and desired by its residents? I believe it?s the energy. The vibe of this city is unparalleled with any other city in the world. It isn?t called ?The City that Never Sleeps? for nothing, right?! Carrie?s take on the matter is a little different: ?New York City is all about sex. People getting it, people trying to get it, people who can’t get it. No wonder the city never sleeps. It’s too busy trying to get laid.? Whether that is or isn?t your experience, you?ll know from the moment you get into your yellow cab at the airport and speed manically over the Brooklyn Bridge, you know the energy will be infectious and you won?t stop until you board the plane to leave!
Next month: Where to shop in New York!
By Bliss Baker – Intrepid traveller, journalist and Sex and the City devotee