Ten days in New-York, not enough you will say! Absolutely not enough but for sure better than nothing, and despite this very short period of time we definitely could feel the spirit of the city, enjoy the streets, the non-stop activity, and the people.
Check out the places we could visit and the photos we took.
Who doesn’t want to visit New-York? Though we usually prefer to visit old historical countries or at least countries which culture is very different from ours, we must admit that the mythical city of New-York is a real exception to this rule! Paradoxically, many American people we met said they didn’t like New-York on the opposite to the foreigners. For us coming to New-York was not like to realize a dream but something we felt lucky we could do, this stop was also in our Bucket list.
As other great cities like Paris, Istanbul, Roma, are the reflexion of the past, New-York is an open air museum for the present and the future, it is also with its incredible brew of communities a small replica of our planet like a small world in the world.
Where did we stay?
As we arrived in NY in the middle of the high season, it was very diffucult to find a host throw the Couchsurfing website so we stayed at an Airbnb apartment in the Inwood neighborhood, which is situated at the end of the red line subway, station (207). This is a Dominican neighborhood, and we really liked it. It was easy to get around, and we could get to Times Square in about 45 minutes.
What did we do and visit?
The Statue of Liberty (of course!)
You don’t have to go to the statue to feel that you’re in New York, but if you don’t do it, it feels like: “Ooops! I think I forgot something…”
We actually didn’t go to the statue itself but to Staten Island from where you can take good shots. You can take a ferry from the southern bottom of the red line (southern ferries). This is free, and from the ferry you can see the Statue of Liberty quite well. If you have a zoom, you can also take good photos. If you want to go to the island where the statue is, you have to take another ferry for $17.
Though very touristic, it is a must-do, there are always a lot of activities going on lights, sounds, street performances, music, giant screens, you really don’t know where to watch! It is nice to go there at night.
It is at the same time easy and difficult to write about Ground Zero. The feeling that comes to you once you arrive at the place where used to stand the Twin Towers is indescribable. You enter first the museum where is related minute by minute what happened on September 11, there you feel that the disaster just occurred and that the city is still recovering ( I think mainly because the people who died there were our contemporaries), at the same time, this tragic event already belongs to the past and to the history of the city but will never be effaced from it. The museum shows also how the city stood up again thanks to the huge solidarity of the New Yorkers and to all the Americans.
You arrive then to the very place of the towers where stand now two immense pond-fountains. The name of the victims are written all around each basin. The place is very emotional, I felt I wanted to read all the names. You see also how the human being is valued and victims honored.
You can visit Ground Zero for free, you can make a donation in return. We couldn’t find any toilets on the site so we had to go to the KFC near by. There are a lot of security checks at the entrance.
Another free activity. Like any bridge or monument once you’re on it you don’t see it any more! Well we didn’t walked very far in the bridge (which is very long) we were already very tired so we just took some shots at its beginning. You can photography the bridge from its Manhattan and its Brooklyn side if you want a photo of the whole bridge.
Central Park. It is pretty big, so you can spend all afternoon there, walking or biking. The park is really beautiful.
The Empire State Building.
For the reason mentioned above for the Brooklyn Bridge, we didn’t go up to the building we just took some pictures from beside of it. If you want to go to the top, it cost $25 (that’s the second reason!)
Chinatown. Like any other Chinatown!
You can enjoy just walking in the streets of NY, taking buses, having a rest in the parks, etc.
Food and Drinks:
Street food is always the cheapest, especially the hot dog stands, where you can sometimes have a whole meal (rice, vegetables and meat ) for less than $8.
For drinks, restrooms and Wi-Fi, McDonald’s is the best.
We usually had our breakfast at a Dominican restaurant, and took our dinner in the Dominican neighborhood as well, as this was much cheaper than downtown.
Dominican breakfast: fried cheese, fried or smashed plantain, avocado, eggs. Not hungry for a while!
And if you are not resident and you want to travel to the US you can apply for US visa waiver. (This website is neither owned nor affiliated with the United States Government. We assist travellers with Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA) for an additional service fee. However, you can also apply your ESTA directly through the United States Government by visiting: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov)