Thursday, December 3, 2009

New York! Manhattan Part 1

The City that never sleeps. So they say. Our cousins took us to Manhattan which, luckily is not that very far from where they live, being in Long Island. We were told it's probably the only place that's good for showing tourists around. New York was actually the first state of our vacation. Not surprisingly, I was amazed when i saw Manhattan even from far while we were on the way. It was quite dim as you can see in the picture. Good thing it did not rain during our trip. Cold weather? Yeah! Better that than rain. On this day, we used up all our time in Manhattan. And we did not even finish walking around. Part 2 will be in another post. I love all the buildings in Manhattan, I again forgot all the names as I am composing this post after 4 months from our vacation. Here are some attractions though that are very famous and can not be forgotten.

Wall Street is just a street in lower Manhattan that crosses through the financial District. You can also find the New York Stock Exchange here. I think the cow status is their symbol for it. There were lots of tourists who wanted their pictures taken with the cow as the background. Lots of Chinese tourists and they were pretty rude. It's like, survival of the fittest. If you don't act fast and position yourself in front of the cow, you will be overtaken. We got overtaken twice and finally had our pictures taken on the 3rd attempt. These G.I.'s are pretty rude, because one of them grabbed my shoulder and motioned me to move away. Chinese tourists there were pretty cocky. They acted like they own the world. And they all seemed to be deaf as they talked very loud like they could barely hear each other.

Ground Zero - who can ever forget this. 9/11 was a day of devastation. Lots of people died. They were mourned. And the American spirit is stronger than ever, for this site, formerly the World Trade Center will rise a new tower called Freedom Tower which is taller than the original and surely be stronger with its foundations. When we went there, the area was and is still under construction. This will probably take many more years to complete. I did not even see any structures erected yet. The subway was already fixed and it was already operational. In front of Ground Zero is actually Hilton Hotel.

Remember the first scene in Spiderman 2 the Movie? That scene is Times Square. Lots of lights there and the place just seems to be never too boring. You can also see the famous logo of Yahoo!. Some neat establishments here are Ripley's Believe It Or Not, The Wax Museum, Broadway shows too. The Toys R Us store here is so huge. They got some neat lego assembled figurines like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Harry Potter characters that were human-sized in height.

Rockereller is also a famous spot in Manhattan. This gold statue is their famous symbol. During non-winter season, this area gets turned into an outdoor fine dining restaurant. Since the time when we went there was nearing winter, they made it as an ice rink. Near here you can also find their famous large Christmas Tree. Though sad to say, during that time, the tree was still under construction. By the way, it's a real pine tree and it's around 6 stories tall.

The Empire State Building is for now currently the tallest building in the U.S.. From the official website, the 86th floor to be where Cary Grant waited in vain for Deborah Kerr in an "Affair to Remember", while Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had their fateful meeting in the movie "Sleepless in Seattle." It offers the public a panoramic view of Manhattan, though it isn't free. I actually mistook the Chrysler Building to be the Empire State Building. Another knowledge learned ;).

Masidon Square Garden is located on Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. Home of the New York Knicks. Being a basketball fan, this is one of the most famous arenas in sports. It is also home to the New York Rangers of NHL and New York Liberty of the WNBA.

Being in Mahattan, is where you find most taxis since it is hard to navigate around even in your car and find a parking space. If I can remember it correctly, I think Manhattan has like 12 avenues? That's not counting the number of streets there, soooo many. We did not take the boat ride going to the Statue of Liberty though. After the 9/11 attack, people were not allowed to go inside the statue going to the top. So when you reach the statue, all you can do is take pictures of it. We took pictures of the statue from afar and the result was too small. Manhattan is also where you can find the largest Apple Store which is located beneath. Pictures of this and more in my next post about Manhattan.


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