A virtual trip to… New York

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references
A virtual trip to… New York

"Where are we going today?"

"How about a virtual trip to New York, the city that never sleeps?"


"Great idea, let's go now!"


New York, Liberty Island

7-day virtual itinerary in New York:

  • Liberty Island e Ellis Island
  • Wall Street e New World Trade Center
  • Brooklyn Bridge, Time Square, Broadway, Empire State Building
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Central Park ed Harlem
  • Greenwich Village
  • Moma - Museum of Modern Art - e Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

 

 

It is a late afternoon of a day in mid-June and we land in New York with a flight lasting about 9 hours, we leave the airport and we come across the first typical yellow taxis of New York. There is a long line of tourists and American citizens who are waiting their turn, it takes some time but we can take our taxi and reach the hotel located in the heart of Manhattan, in the area called the Financial District (the Financial District).

Here are the first buildings in New York in Art Deco style of the 1920-1930s, we are still in the suburbs but the atmosphere of New York's past can be breathed all over.



We reach the hotel for dinner time, after a long journey through the traffic of the city, we settle our luggage and go out for the first walk among the skyscrapers of New York. Let's discover the surroundings of our home while staying in the "Big Apple". After a quick dinner in a local area in the evening we return tired of the journey and of the time zone that the first day makes itself felt. In Spain, on the other hand, it is late at night and the next day an early morning rise awaits us to start our virtual journey to New York and begin to consume the package of tickets of our New York Pass.

The next morning, after identifying the place for our breakfast - George's Restaurant, which will accompany us throughout the week - we indulge in our American breakfast.

Abundant is an understatement. They have doubled in size compared to ours, from pancakes with maple syrup to chocolate and coffee muffins. It's all giant.

We are full and ready for our first mission, we are waiting for: Liberty Island ed Ellis Island. We take the ferry from Battery Park and set sail to discover the origins of the expansion of New York today, which took place thanks to immigration from the European continent.

Despite the gray day, the Manhattan skyline is gorgeous. It is from the waters of the Hudson River that the heart of New York can be admired in all its magnificence.


New York, Manhattan skyline

After crossing the Manhattan Bay, the first stop is on Liberty Island and we finally approach the Statue of Liberty. A copper-clad steel colossus, 93 meters high, representing a woman with a crown on her head who raises the torch of freedom from the top of her figure and at the same time embraces the table of American Independence: the symbol of New York!


New York, Liberty Island

Seen up close it is even more beautiful, a unique emotion.

New York, Statue of Liberty

We continue our journey and set sail to nearby Ellis Island to find out who were those who were greeted by the Statue of Liberty in the American past, when ships from Europe crossed the Atlantic Ocean, sailing for weeks in search of fortune, and reached the city of New York landing right on this island. The Immigration Museum details the massive historical event that enabled New York City to become the multicultural metropolis it is today. The museum is made up of blow-ups, the representation of the enormous reception rooms and the rooms where travelers were welcomed awaiting checks on their health and health situation. Controls that at times have divided many families, due to the lack of eligibility for access to the country of some members of the family unit. In the most desperate cases, unsuitable immigrants were destined for repatriation, with immense pain for the rest of the family. Even today you can consult the names reported in the registers of the arrival of the millions of immigrants who touched American land in the early 1900s. A real blast from the past.


New York, Museum of Immigration

 

New York, Museum of Immigration

In the early afternoon we return from our leap into the past of New York in the early twentieth century and we set out along the streets of the metropolis towards the Financial District.

New York, skyscrapers

On the way we come across the Trinity Church and we decide to enter. It is an episcopal church whose chapel is the oldest religious building in New York, inside it also houses an ancient cemetery still in use. During the attacks of 11 September 2001, when the nearby twin towers collapsed on themselves and an intense blanket of dust hovered around, the church became a refuge for the first victims and rescuers, as well as a storage place for electronic equipment and of the documents of the first offices destroyed by the terrible tragedy.


New York, Trinity Church

On the second day we decide to head towards Wall Street, on our way we come across the typical New York buildings that we have seen so many times in American films, with their external iron staircases joining one floor to another.

We reach the largest stock exchange in the world: the New York Stock Exchange. It is Sunday and in the surroundings there is a calm that we imagine there is not in the days of activity of the stock exchange. We can calmly admire the historic building inaugurated in 1903 and immersed in the financial skyscrapers full of offices. It is the beating heart of the Financial District.

New York Stock Exchange

A little further from the New York Stock Exchange is the symbol of Wall Street: the Bull. We don't want to miss it. The world-famous bronze sculpture dating back to 1989 was an artist's Christmas gift. Surrounded by tourists, we decide to photograph the Wall Street Bull from behind, from where you can admire the shiny jewels often touched for the much vaunted luck they should bring.

New York, Wall Street Bull

We resume our journey north to reach Chinatown, the Chinese quarter, but before getting there we run into the Little Italy, a concentration of places to eat our dishes. And the atmosphere is immediately familiar with the street players.

New York, Little Italy

 

New York, Little Italy

Here we are in Chinatown. It is a chaos of shops offering Chinese food, clothing and trinkets. The air is full of the scents of oriental cuisine and spices. We walk through it and fill our senses with colors, scents and sounds. We close the circle by returning home.

New York, China Town

We continue to enjoy the city with its buildings, ancient and modern, parks and from afar we glimpse the new Freedom tower at One World Trade Center, built on the ashes of the two twin towers that collapsed in the attack of 11 September 2001.

New York, Financial District

And it is astonishment at first sight! The enormity of its dimensions, the lightness of its glass facades that reflect the blue of the sky, its flagpole that tries to touch the clouds, make this work a power, the force of rebirth, American pride.

It is a strange sensation, the sense of admiration is mixed with a bitter taste. It is inevitable, you cannot fail to do it: you admire the new colossus but try to imagine the two towers, the profile of New York erased forever in a morning at the beginning of September at the turn of the century. The shadow of the two towers is almost real and palpable.

It is difficult to photograph the Freedom Tower in its entirety but we did it. Here it is, before our eyes.

New York, Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center

We collect the ticket for the ascent of the tower and enter. It is advisable to book early before leaving, because the requests are numerous. A very modern elevator takes us to the top, its walls are actually screens at natural height and like a film they show us in less than a minute the birth of New York City, from swamp to metropolis. Reached the 102nd floor, 541 meters high, you can enjoy an incredible panoramic view of Manhattan. Here she is.

At the exit of the tower there are two swimming pools, which are located right near the headquarters of the North Tower and the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The pools, which recall a constant play of water, show the names of the victims of the attack on the dark shelves that delimit the pools. It's surreal, every name has a weight, a huge weight. The sadness and anger are all in the air. The disbelief, even after years, of how such a tragedy could have happened is still very strong today.

New York, New World Trade Center

We go down to the basement, where the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and we get lost in the finds recovered from the collapse of the two towers, in the area also called Ground Zero. It was 8.46 am on 11 September 2001 in New York, when the first American Airlines airliner crashed into the first tower, everything else is history and we know it very well.



We leave this place with a broken heart and resume our journey home, with bitterness on us.

The third day we dedicate ourselves to walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, the gigantic steel construction that connects the island of Manhattan to the borough of Brooklyn. Below us the cars slide and we feel part of the numerous cinematic scenes of American films seen on TV, which we have always dreamed of reliving.

New York, Brooklyn Bridge

 

New York, Brooklyn Bridge

We get lost in admiring the city even from the top of its most important bridge and we don't finish photographing every possible view. We then decide to take the subway and get off at Broadway, direction: Times Square.

New York, Broadway

We are in the heart of modernity, in the exaggerated New York, where the illuminated signs dictate the times and the life of the New Yorkers who live there. Broadway is also known for its abundance of theaters and cinemas, it is the beating heart of nightly entertainment in the city that never sleeps. We promise to come back in the evening to enter some club and listen to live music. We reach the famous Times Square, illuminated even during the day, crammed with people and billboards; immersed among the very tall skyscrapers we imagined it to be larger, instead it is a cozy square - even if it is actually a crossroads - where New York New Year is celebrated and where the American stores with the most famous names such as Virgin Records, Toys, are concentrated. Bubba Gump Shrimp.


The sky is overcast and it starts to rain, the weather threatens a long and rainy afternoon, we decide to go into some museum.

We opt for the Museum of Natural History and enjoy some prehistory. The place also nicely reminds us of the film "A Night at the Museum" and we get lost in the huge rooms that contain the real representations of the beasts of the past and the afternoon goes by fast.


The fourth day we dedicate it to one found at the Metropolitan Museum, an art colossus, full of prestigious collections among the most disparate and important in the world.

A little taste of the museum ...




It takes almost all day and we decide to skip some works, so in the late afternoon we return and along the way we find ourselves in front of Madison Square Garden, an authentic place of worship for basketball lovers. A photo is a must.

Still Freedom Tower, still want to immortalize it.

The fifth day has come and we decide to enjoy the mythical Central Park, an unmissable scenario in many American films, seen and reviewed on the TV screen in all seasons of the year.

New York, Central Park

We set out and decide to see most of them, there are several points of interest on the map of the park and we choose some.

New York, Central Park

We walk and reach the Bethesda fountain and terrace, the lake, the statues of Alice's world in Wonderland, the Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn (the largest grassy expanse of the park) where the most important musical concerts take place. .

 



For the return we opt to walk on the Highline, an elevated linear park recovered from a portion of an ancient railway line, just over 2 kilometers long. A pedestrian path over the city, enriched by the green of the well-cultivated vegetation on the edge of the street.

New York, High Line

 

New York, High Line

We get off the High Line and notice the basketball courts, present everywhere, we cannot but stop to browse and observe the favorite pastime of young citizens - especially blacks - of New York.

In the afternoon, before returning home, we decide to go to Harlem, the black neighborhood of Manhattan. We have heard several times about the Harlem Gospel Masses, there are many that also welcome tour groups. But we decide to go down to Harlem and set out in search of something different. The neighborhood is tidy, the buildings are not very tall, we get off the subway and walk the wide main street, 125th Street. Around us black people live their daily lives, we head along our path and take a look at the houses, the shops, the churches. It is late afternoon and it is the perfect time to attend a Gospel mass. Let's take a look at a small, collected church. There are several black ladies who come in with their Gospel in hand, we ask one of them if it is possible to enter and participate in the evening ceremony. "Yes, of course!" they answer us. Enthusiastic we enter, the mass will begin in a few minutes. We sit in the side benches, we leave the central seats to their numerous faithful and we look around in disbelief. They welcomed us among them without hesitation, we are the only white tourists in addition to another couple more distant to us. We participate in the longest mass of our life. More than two hours of intense ceremony, with sermons, songs and sermons, with a heartfelt participation of those present, some called to the altar to tell their difficult past and how thanks to faith they managed to save themselves. The story is very excited and pressing, in addition to the tone of the voice also the body shows all the suffering suffered. During our participation in confession, the faithful speak with strong agitation, concluding by throwing themselves to the ground. The desperation is felt all. We are deeply moved by such sincerity. The long story ends with the embrace of the other faithful and their song of encouragement. We decide not to take photographs in Harlem for the utmost respect.

They say that Greenwich Village is another New York, we decide to go there the next day, and we find ourselves in front of a neighborhood on a human scale, with low buildings, well-kept courtyards of houses that hide small private gardens. A real treat.

New York, Greenwich Village

 

New York, Greenwich Village

There are two days left and we still have many things to see. We decide to visit theEmpire State Building the evening. Upon our arrival we are surprised by a thick blanket of fog which unfortunately makes the panorama from the top floor hard to see. We decide to go up anyway and relive the scenes from the King Kong movie with his beloved Ann Darrow.

New York, Empire State Building

Unfortunately, the top of the Empire State Building is not visible due to the fog.

New York, Empire State Building

At the exit the sky has lightened slightly, here is the illuminated Art Deco skyscraper.

New York, Empire State Building

The seventh and last day is dedicated to visiting two other important museums in New York, the singular ones MoMA Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, museum of modern and contemporary art. Inside are the most eccentric and bizarre works of art in the art world. The contained collections range from painting, to sculpture, to photography, there are design items or just bizarre ideas created with a banal object of common use.

The exterior of the structure of the Guggenheim Museum is particular and promises a building that is already unique in its kind, due to its spiral shape. At the entrance, raising the view, you understand the intention of the builder: a huge white helical staircase takes us to the floors for the exhibition of the works. The MoMA is housed in a more modern building and contains a large number of works of art, even in the outdoor garden there are several bizarre sculptures. Here is a small taste of the two museums.

New York, Guggenheim Museum New York, Guggenheim Museum New York, Guggenheim Museum
New York, Guggenheim Museum New York, Guggenheim Museum New York, Guggenheim Museum
New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art
New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art
New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art
New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York, MoMA Museum of Modern Art

Thus ends our virtual trip to New York and still fascinated by the richness of this modern city, we promise that we must return. New York must be reviewed several times and above all it must be experienced several times. The next trip is sure to be real.

add a comment of A virtual trip to… New York
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.