Besides an overnight trip to Washington D.C. and a couple of nights in Boston, all of my four weeks in USA were spent in New York. New York is such a large city, I still feel like I only saw a portion of it during my time there. My favourite thing about the city is definitely the variety of different people you can meet on the streets, and the different shops and restaurants in every single corner. Also, navigating in New York is really easy. On Manhattan, the streets are named by numbers that increase the further north you go. Numbered avenues run from east to west. The subway is easy too, just head north with the uptown train or south with the downtown one. It’s really easy to adapt to New York. It’s strange, I had never been there, but as soon as I landed at JFK Airport, it felt like coming home.
Below are some highlights of my time in one of my favorite cities in the world.
Halloween is huge in USA and nowhere more so than New York. It was incredible to be in a city where, on one single day, almost every person you see is dressed in the most imaginative costumes. I had a blast walking the New York City Halloween Parade (and apparently almost got eaten by a vampire).
I survived camping overnight in subzero temperatures at Harriman State Park. The massive park is located an hour’s drive north of New York City. There are small huts called lean-tos that provide shelter for campers. The height of the fall foliage had already passed but the trees still had some colour in them.
I skateboarded for the first time in my life. Despite falling over a couple of times, I loved cruising (or rather rolling at minimum speed…) down the streets of Brooklyn.
I found my favorite restaurant in New York! Unfortunately I didn’t find it until a few days before leaving and only had time to eat there once. The macrobiotic restaurant Souen has three locations in downtown Manhattan.
I also ate a lot of New York pizza…
I watched the sun set over New York from the Empire State Building. A visit to the 86th floor viewing platform costs $29.
I got lost at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum is so big, you could spend several days here. Like most museums in New York, entry is donation based.
Another museum on Manhattan I visited was the International Center of Photography. On Fridays between 5 pm and 8 pm it’s pay-as-you-wish night! The exhibition was by Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, with spectacular photos from around the world. I really recommend visiting this lesser known New York museum if you like photography.
Besides the two museums on Manhattan, I also visited the Brooklyn Museum. This donation based museum had several interesting exhibitions, such as an entire exhibition about high-heeled shoes. The best exhibition was Crossing Brooklyn, which showcased local artists and collectives.
The New York Neo-Futurists’ show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind was one of the coolest things I experienced in New York! This theatre group puts on an ever changing show with the intention of performing 30 plays in 60 minutes. The audience are given a menu and they can order plays in whichever order they want. Entry is $13 plus whatever you roll on a six sided die. See it!
I saw my absolute favorite musician live. I’ve seen Ryan Adams live on three different continents and he just gets better every time. I don’t know how the hell he does it – he just sits there with a guitar and has the entire audience captivated.
I played tourist in Times Square (hey, I didn’t actually enter Madame Tussauds!). I did however manage to get a $30 ticket to see the Aladdin musical. Once again, the odds of winning the raffle for a matinée show are quite big.
I visited The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, where until the end of this year, you can see Xu Bing’s large phoenix birds made out of debris. I also attended Sunday mass at another Harlem church. It was a pretty crazy three hours full of singing and preaching! Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
I witnessed the beautiful autumn colours of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
I experienced New York’s holiday lights and the weather at its coldest!
Goodbye New York. I’ll miss you.