New York City: That’s a wrap! Thanks from the big apple!
And then I was off to my final destination: New York City. After 121 hours on the train (which equals 5 days and 1 hour, delays not included) and 3 hours on planes, I arrived at my 12th stop. Oh, what an amazing ride it has been! And that not just literally because of the great views from the train.
NYC showed me something new all over again. It was my first time in the big apple or any city of that size. It seemed different from the tourism I experienced at the Niagara Falls or what I described in BC.
The biggest thing might be that I felt like I was among locals most of the time while in NYC. Of course, that might have been because I’m lucky enough to have a friend in town who could show me some hip places, but also because NYC doesn’t seem to have such designated tourist areas, like Niagara Falls for example. It didn’t seem too hard to get in contact with locals on the streets, on the subway or during a concert in Central Park in the pouring rain at 7 in the morning.
Yup. You read that right. Every Friday, the breakfast show Good Morning America takes to the stage in Central Park with a big guest from the music scene. This week on the schedule: James Bay — British and one of my favourite musicians. So I just had to go, even though the concert/live recording started at 7 in the morning and despite the dark clouds hanging in the sky.
Well, actually, I might have slept in if I’d known that it would pour down that bad. But that’s why you just spontaneously have to make friends with big umbrellas. And then find the nearest laundromat to strip off all your clothes and shove them in the dryer. Funny looks from old ladies included.
(Too) Much to See
New York City seems torn between free things to do, like the concert, and expensive tourist stuff, like tours to the Statue of Liberty or the $25 admission fee to the 9/11 museum.
What keeps everything in balance might be the affordable alternatives in between. You can just take the free ferry over to Staten Island and you’ll go past the Statue of Liberty quite close as well. There are other museums with more affordable student tickets, like the Museum of the Moving Image ($11), or even better the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) where you decide how much your budget allows – you don’t pay admission but simply make a donation.
And holla! What you get in exchange for your (probably few) dollars! Art from every continent and every culture and every era. So much and varied, it’s impossible to see everything in one day!
Most impressive to me was the several thousand years old jewellery from the Middle East which was just as detailed and finely crafted as you would find today. Closely followed by the section about European painters. It was so fascinating to see original Monéts and Renoirs and Van Goghs that you’ve seen so many times as photos or prints. These here, right in front of you, were the actual pieces that the painter and the brush touched so many years ago.
Another very impressive place in the city is the 9/11 memorial. You can visit the memorial, which outlines the positions of the twin towers, for free without paying admission to the museum. The most touching aspect is the nearly 3,000 names of the victims of the attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001, and on February 26, 1993, that are engraved in the massive fountains. Especially if you then see a rose sticking in one of them and this one, random name – Charles E. Sabin, Sr. – suddenly sticks out. It becomes so real. What is his story? Who put the rose here? Someone who knew him, his family? Or was it randomly chosen by someone who wanted to honour all these names?
And on that note, there’s only one thing left to do: I want to say thank you to everyone I met on my journey, who travelled a part with me and who made it so special – no matter if we spent five days together or five minutes. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. And I want to say how thankful I am that I had the opportunity to do this trip and see so much of this beautiful, interesting country we call Canada. Thanks for being so great (metaphorically and literally)!
And thanks for reading and following along on my journey!