New York City is always one of my favourite city destinations. I had visited the Big Apple a few times before, but always for an extremely short period of time, and I really wanted to get to know this fascinating metropolis a little better. So I cashed in some Airmiles and booked a four-day trip to NYC from October 15 to 19, 2010. Immediately upon arrival at the LaGuardia Airport, I picked up a 7-day Metropass which would allow me to explore the city with unlimited public transit over the next few days. I simply love the New York City transit system, especially the subway.
Of course, during late afternoon rush hour it took me almost two hours by bus and subway to reach my abode for the next few days: the West Side YMCA at West 63rd Street, right across from Central Park, a perfect place for exploring New York City on a tight budget. For about $94 for two people we had scored an absolute bargain on NYC accommodation. I was going to meet my good friend Linda tomorrow, so the two of us were going to share a tight room with two bunk beds together. The room was not fancy, but it had everything we needed and the location was fantastic.
During my first evening I strolled southwards past Columbus Circle to Times Square and was visually bombarded by the hundreds of brightly lit neon and LCD advertisements on NYC’s most famous public space. The area was hustling and bustling with huge crowds who were enjoying the recently introduced pedestrian-only environment at Times Square.
After a nice dinner at the bar at the Olive Garden I kept walking south on Broadway and was impressed with the additional pedestrian spaces that had been created along this iconic roadway between Times Square and Herald Square. After a quick peek at Macy’s and the Empire State Building, I started my long walk back north past the New York Public Library.
A few minutes away I stopped at Grand Central Terminal which was framed by a brightly lit Chrysler Building looming overhead. New York City’s most famous train station was starting to quiet down after a busy day of funnelling commuters to and back from work. Close to midnight my stroll also took me past Rockefeller Center where people were still skating and socializing.
Back on Madison Avenue I admired the various upscale stores and explored the courtyard outside the New York Palace Hotel with its gorgeous view of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Walking further west to 5th Avenue I strolled past Bergdorf Goodman, the Plaza Hotel as well as a state-of-the-art Apple Store on the southeast corner of Central Park before I turned in for a good night’s sleep.