The first time I was in the Big Apple was in 2001, the summer before 9/11. Imagine having a picture of the Twin Towers just months before it collapsed. Makes you wonder what if…
I never went to the top of the Twin Towers, which was too bad. So the next time I went to New York, I wanted to make sure that I would go on top of the Empire State Building. But when we got there, there was a 3-hour line.
Empire State Building
If you want to go on top of the ESB, you need to do some serious planning, because it’s a whole process. First, you have to get a ticket (2nd floor). If you are early and lucky, you might only have to wait half an hour. Then after buying your ticket ($27 for adults), you have to wait in line for the elevator to the 86th floor and from there you have to get another elevator to the 102nd floor. Then climb some stairs to go to the rooftop. It takes a while, but when you are up there the view is breathtaking! The sight of concrete city surrounded by water. You suddenly realize the giganticity of Central Park within it. The Statue of Liberty waving from out far. The view is one of a kind and definitely worth seeing. I looked down and wondered: what if I dropped a coin, the thought was terrifying. Also, I couldn’t help thinking: what if a something would crash into this building at this moment. It horrified me to think what the people felt during 9/11; powerless. Don’t think of that when you’re up there, it’s creepy.
On our way down, we got a discount on our picture after pretending like we were poor students, which of course was kind of true.
The Metropolitan Museum of Arts is definitely a must-see in New York City. The museum is too big to see in one day, so take a whole afternoon off if you want to visit and wear comfortable shoes. We made a small donation, so we didn’t have to pay entrance fee (just tell the lady you want to make a donation).
The Museum of Modern Arts is also nice to see, especially when you are a fan of modern arts, which I am not. But because there was no entrance fee on Wednesday afternoon, I took the opportunity to take a peek inside. MOMA has a large collection of paintings, some of the most special and valuable paintings in the world. Even for a non-modern art lover like me, it was worth the visit.
Besides the fact that Central Park is a huge park in the middle of the concrete city, it is also funny in the way that I recognize everything in it from a movie, from Home Alone to One Fine Day to A Winter’s Tale. So when we were there, we reenacted some of these movies, which was fun, but kind of embarrassing as well. Luckily, people in New York don’t really care about what others do. There’s a lot of things to do in Central Park: sit on the grass, go sunbathing, watch people jogging or doing stuff, rent a boat from the boat house or eat at the charismatic boat house restaurant. Overall, lots to do and lots to see.