If you are thinking of going to New York in the middle of July: go at your own risk. I went to the Big Apple with my brother from the 20th to the 23rd of July. On his first intercontinental trip, my mother decided that was better if my brother took a direct flight from Milan to New York. So, I decided to take two birds with one stone and visit New York for real. On my first days in the States, I was in New York but I visited just a couple of places. This time we had two full days, not a lot but better than the first couple of hours.
The 20th my brother arrived at 8 pm and went out thru security and immigration one hour later. It was 10/11 pm when we arrived at our hotel: The Jane. If you’ll go to New York and you are not one of those picky people, this is an amazing place. It’s in the Meatpacking District, close by to everything you need. We walked everywhere without taking the subway once. Just the bus to and from the airport. It has the architecture and the design of the inside of a ship. The room that we had, with a bunk bed, was really tiny but it had two TVs and a really loud AC. It was enough for our short stay.
DAY 1 – UPTOWN
We started our day pretty early, around 8 am we were out of bed and ready to visit around. The weather was sunny and really hot and humid. Just a step and you were begging for a piece of shade. After a Starbucks coffee, our first stop was the High Line, a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) elevated linear park built on an old railway track.
The second stop was the Madison Square Garden, just from the outside.
Walking on our way to the Grand Central Terminal, we saw the Empire State Building and the New York Public Library. We entered into the library since it’s free and a fresh place. I loved the architecture, the peace inside and the Children’s room in which there were the stuffed animals that inspired Winnie the Pooh’ stories.
After the Grand Central Terminal, we headed back to Bryant Park, just right next to the New York Public Library. We sat, booked online our tickets for the Rockefeller Center and we relaxed before heading to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral before lunch.
After lunch, we headed to Central Park passing in front of the Radio City Hall. We wandered around Central Park. We found the Balto statue, the pond and then we relaxed under a tree before heading to the MOMA.
The MOMA was our next stop. From 4 pm to 8 pm on Fridays, the museum has free entrance. Since we were lucky enough to be there on a Friday we decided to avoid to pay 25$ and head there a little bit before 4 pm. That was a good call since the line was really short when we arrived, while when we left it was long and still.
At 8 pm we went on the top of the Rockefeller Center and this time I had the opportunity to see the view with sunlight still out. The first time I was there it was January and it was all dark except the ten thousand lights in the New York skyline.
On our way to the hotel, we decided to stop at Times Square. I know, my opinion may be unpopular and irrelevant to most, but I hate this place. I think it’s the worst place that I’ve ever seen in my life besides Los Angeles and all the commercials around the city.
DAY 2 – DOWNTOWN
The second day we decided that was all about downtown, except for the Flatiron Building, our first stop, that we skipped the first day because we didn’t have enough time.
The second stop was Union Square. It was a dream of mine to see this place. I’ve seen it in so many movies and I dreamt to spend some time there all my life.
On the way to Ground Zero, we passed thru the Greenwich Village and TriBeCa. It wasn’t my first time at the 9/11 Memorial but like the first time, I got caught by emotions. It’s such a heartbreaking place and I become furious when people don’t respect it.
On the way to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, we passed thru Wall Street and then we took the ferry, for free, from Whitehall Terminal, where we could see the Statue of Liberty.
On our way to the hotel, our last stops were Chinatown and Little Italy. Obviously, I wasn’t expecting anything exciting. Chinatown in New York looks exactly like the Chinatown in Toronto or Chicago. But I still wanted to give it a look.
After this last stop, we crashed on our beds, tired and ready to let our feet rest after two days in which we walked 60k steps total. I don’t really like cities, I’d rather see something more natural, most of all in that heat, but New York, of all the American cities that I’ve seen, is on the top of the list. I would never live there. It stinks and it’s full of people every single time of the day. But it’s a nice place to visit, just for two days.
Shoutout to my brother Lorenzo, who was one of the best buddy travelers that I’ve ever had.