Ah, New York- where every street feels familiar as it is out of a TV show or movie that I have watched.
I arrived in New York at midnight and immediately did the wrong thing by being talked into a black market cab, forgetting that I should have headed for the legitimate taxi rank. But it was late and all I wanted to do was get to the Big Apple hostel in Times Square where I knew my friend Phil had booked me a bed.
The next morning we woke up, grabbed a bite at the corner deli, passed the queue in Battery Park waiting to get to the Statue of Liberty and caught the free Staten Island ferry past the statue on Ellis Island. Gotta love a ferry ride- especially one with such a good view.
Back in Manhattan, the World Trade Centre was gone and had been replaced by a building site for the Freedom Tower Memorial. The surrounding buildings were still damaged.
Central Park was too big to walk the whole way from one end to the other- so we just hit the pond , took in the view of Belvedere Castle and visited the amusement park above the famous Bethesda Fountain.
I recognised the trees of the Liberty Walk, a tunnel and the handsome cabs that always seemed to be featured images of the park. I loved Central Park and wished I had more time to explore it further. We went to the MET and I absolutely adored the Temple of Dendur.
That night, we couldn’t find a bar easily near where we were staying so we went to the bar at the top of the W hotel which was quite swanky and expensive making us penniless backpackers feel a little out of place.
The following day we visited the New York stock exchange that had a huge American flag with and even bigger charging bull outside. This was the Wall St I had heard so much about.
We went to the United Nations buildings with all the flags and I relished walking down 5th Avenue passing the famous Chrysler Building, the Rockefeller Centre, Cartier and SAKS– so New York.
All I could afford in Tiffany was a key ring and the FAO Schwarz toy shop where I found the very cute American Kennel Club collection- wish we had that in Australia when I was a kid.
For something different, we went to Harlem, which didn’t seem scary at all with families having picnics in the park. I liked the Columbia University library and tried to imagine what it would have been like to be a student at such a well-known school.
From one school to another, we went to Greenwich Village and were in New York University/Felicity territory. Purple NYU banners surrounded Washington Square Park with the arch and the hanging elm.
We visited the West Village, the Meat Packing District and Soho where I found my dream loft apartment. It was Fleet Week and here the bars were overflowing and easy to find this time around.