Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Trip to the City of Dreams: New York City

NYC, New York City, City of Dreams, The Big Apple and what not. You can never describe this city with any vocabulary, not with the broken one I have at least. 8 Months in Rochester, NY was not even closely enough to prepare me for what I was going to experience in NYC. Rochester, well is a city in itself, but not even remotely close to what NYC is. Rochester's way of life is laidback, relaxed and well pretty rustic as far as I have seen. NYC is a complete contrast.

To say that i was all agape during my walk/MTA tour is an extreme understatement. To analogize in a very Tamilian way, its like a person from one of the remotest villages of TamilNadu coming to visit Chennai. And yet, I am not sure if it would scale up well with a comparison to NYC. I could rant on about how I saw cloud kissing skyscrapers, the ever busy times square and all that, but it would not even come close to the essence of New York. Its never one factor that makes NYC tick, its a jugaad, if you let me use that word of various factors like the people, the ever busy MTA, the roadside eateries, and of course the in-awe of NYC tourists like me (maybe).

After all the thought I gave to writing about NYC, I gave up. NYC is a unique experience to each tourist in my opinion and each one would have a different set of memories from his visits. As for me, I'd rather lead you into some facts of NYC I observed in the signage(s) and some of my own than try talking about it to no end. So here goes,

- Brooklyn Bridge apparently is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA

- New York was initially named New Amsterdam by the Dutch until the British took over the city, who named it to New York.

- The Manhattan Bridge has has three lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bike-way (may not be significant, but I was amazed enough to mention it here).

- The best way to commute in NYC is a combination of the MTA subway and foot.

- The Grand Central Terminal with a total of 75 tracks and 48 platforms was actually the house of an Oil Baron family named the Vanderbilts!

- The Staten Island Ferry is the cheapest way to have a look at the statue of Liberty (from a distance of course! if you don't mind). It costs you nothing! It operates from the Manhattan Borough to Staten Island.

- DO NOT miss the NYC skyline and Times Square by the night. You'll be grateful you did not and be in complete awe!

My visit did not cover quite a few areas or tourist hotspots. But from the ones I did, here are some clicks:

The Manhattan Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge

New York, Grand Central Terminal

Times Square

The building in Times Square where the Famed New Year Ball Drop happens

Manhattan Skyline

Sunset at Manhattan

Brooklyn Skyline


Brooklyn Bridge

Wall Street, NYC Stock Exchange

The wall street bull

Rockefeller Center, Hollywood Studios

Statue of Liberty, needless to say!

All this would not have been possible without Srinath guiding us and patiently taking us to all these places, even though he'd been to it umpteen number of times. It was an awesome trip man, and eagerly awaiting for the next one.

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