I have always wanted to visit New York City. The glamour and craziness – it just seemed so cosmopolitan. I had grand plans to visit all the tourist sites, as well as the off-beaten path – little, independent book stores, markets… all the amazing places you see on television.
My bestie and I are die hard Harry Potter fans, so when they opened Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway in New York City, we scrambled to get tickets. If you are also crazy – you know about the waiting room lottery and the craziness surrounding getting tickets to the show. After three ticket releases, I managed to snag tickets. The trip was on.
We planned. We packed. We researched. We planned some more. We decided to do a HomeAway rental in New Jersey, instead of staying in a hotel in the city. Mistake number one.
Two country bumpkins in the Big Apple by ourselves. Mistake number two.
The traffic is horrendous. The people are rude. New York is not like the shows and movies you see – it is a crazy, fast-paced, technicolor experience that cannot be explained.
Don’t get me wrong… it was amazing to finally visit New York City. At no time did we feel unsafe traveling by ourselves, and for the most part the people we interacted with were decent, helpful individuals.
We saw some of the craziest things – my favorite was The Grinch crossing the street right in front of us. We even saw a man lie down in the middle of a crosswalk – and when the light turned green, the cars just drove around him!
At night, is when New York shows it’s true beauty – Times Square is lit up and the dirty and grime of the day is hidden in the dark. The mood is festive and fun, with people rushing home from work, to grab food, or attend a play or musical on Broadway.
Probably one of the most awe-inspiring things we did was take a boat tour down the Hudson to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the skyline of New York.
With such a short visit, and the difficulty in getting around the city (we were SO unprepared), there were a few things I wish we could have done. First – visit the World Trade Center Memorial. Second – see the Christmas window displays in the shopping district at night.
We did make it to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and the hotel where they filmed Home Alone 2.
We even rode the Subway from Little Italy back to Times Square. And lived to tell the tale.
New York City is an interesting place, but not my cup of tea. I have been there once, but I am not sure I would ever go again. It is loud, dirty, full of rude people, and the traffic is atrocious. This country-hearted girl would rather sit on a deck and listen to the ocean waves or enjoy a mountain view.
Seeing a play on Broadway was amazing. Imagine the best play or musical you have ever seen, and then multiply that by a million. The acting. The lights. The special effects. Several times I looked at Danielle and mouthed “how did they do that?!” It was magical. And, I so badly want to tell you all about the play… but we were sworn to #keepthesecrets.
If you plan on heading to New York, here is some advice that helped us:
- Buy a Frommer’s New York guide book
- Considering taking an open bus tour the first day to get the “lay of the land”
- Stay in the city. Don’t stay in New Jersey like we did.
- Install the Moovit app on your smart phone. This app is amazing – it helped us navigate the buses, subway, and even the city streets.
- Take in a play on Broadway
- Eat like a local.
More than anything else, New York is a city of superlatives, a place where the best, the brightest, the biggest, is the norm.Marilyn J. Applegate
While our visit to New York was a trip of a lifetime and I was able to experience it with an amazing best friend, I am not sure I would ever visit again.
This girl would rather visit the ocean or mountains – not stand on the most recognized corner in the world, with the world passing by at the speed of light. That’s just not for me.