.All Trips / New York / North America / Northeastern USA

New York: A small bite of the Big Apple

1) New York City — Arrival terminal at JFK airport

New York is one of those vast cities you could live in all your life and never experience half of what’s interesting to do. So the best you can hope for on a short three day visit is to sample some of what it has to offer. That’s all we managed to do — nibble at the massive buffet that is the Big Apple.

There are so many great travel destinations in New York, it’s difficult to decide how to discuss them in a short blog post like this. We were staying near Times Square so, of course, we wandered past the flamboyantly lite jumbo-trons many times and enjoyed a musical theater production on Broadway (“Memphis” — a catchy and lively show, highly recommended). We wandered around this region of Manhattan, gawking at the skyline and enjoying the city’s fine architecture, especially the beautiful Chrysler Building. We spent several hours wandering through the great New York Public Library (we’re big fans of libraries and love books), one of the finest in America. We did a little shopping on Fifth Avenue, including at elegant Saks Fifth Avenue, and visited 30 Rockefeller Center. We walked past the World Trade Center/9-11Memorial site but didn’t have a chance to visit (be forewarned: reservations are required). We were relieved to see that after 10 years there was active construction and that Ground Zero was FINALLY being rebuilt (in a city that constructed the Empire State Building in only 18 months).

New York Public Library

We spent an evening at the Empire State Building and enjoyed the wonderful view of the night sky over Manhattan. This is an experience I’d certainly recommend to first time visitors to New York. We visited Grand Central Station (very aptly named) and dined at it’s famous Oyster Bar restaurant. And we walked and walked and walked. Like most cities it’s best explored on foot. We spent a fascinating afternoon wandering through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gaining little more than a fleeting impression of its vast and fine collection. And the food in New York lived up to its high reputation!

Our visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island was unique enough that I’ve written it up as a separate blog post, which you can read here.

Our brief visit ended with a flurry — literally. We were caught up in the first snow storm in October in the Big Apple since the Civil War. The city was not prepared for this storm and everything ground to a halt. Our flight from JFK Airport was canceled and we had to scramble to rebook for the following day and to try to get a hotel near the airport — not fun but part of traveling.

In summary, we liked New York a lot, loved the visit, but wouldn’t want to live here. The city’s far too crowded and we’d quickly miss the wide open spaces, mountains and forests of the West. New Yorkers often seem too busy and too stressed out — and not very happy (though I think most are). But like Paris and London, everyone should visit New York at least once in their lives. And if you love big cities pulsing with life, then this is definitely where you want to go.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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2 Responses to New York: A small bite of the Big Apple

  1. Mari Musante says:

    I love your informative writing and then your photos are so spectacular! What a gift you are sharing
    with others. Thank you so much!
    My Mother, now deceased for 10 years, was born and raised in Missoula and as a child, I spent about
    every other summer between Missoula and Butte (my Father’s hometown) with my 4 younger siblings.
    I have so many fond memories of western MT – swimming at Lolo Hot Springs, going to the annual
    picnic at the Bonner Mill (had a great uncle who worked there), going to the train station to see my
    maternal grandfather, M.A. McClain (Jumbo) arrive back from his run. He was an engineer for the NP
    RR. I will be in MT next summer &n am planning a trip to Flathead & Glacier as it has been years.
    My Mom attended the University, but she and my Dad moved to San Francisco in WWII as my Dad
    went to work at the shipyards at Hunter’s Point. I now live in San Jose with my husband. Last summer
    I was again in MIssoula, Butte and Walkerville with a sis and her husband. We stayed with a cousin
    who lives in the Bitterroot Valley in Corvallis. There will be a family reunion next July and afterwards,
    it will be off to the glory of Glacier for me! Mari Malarky Musante

    • Dr. Fumblefinger says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Mari, I really appreciate hearing from you and learning of your history with Western MontanaA This remains one of my favorite travel destinations in the world, especially when you take the strip of geography from Montana to include southern Alberta (where I’m living now — in Calgary). I wish you wonderful return travels and thanks again for taking the time to look at the posts. Perhaps our travel paths will cross some day.