New York City, one of the World’s greatest metropolises, is about 30 miles from Stamford, CT. By car it is two hours, by train 45 minutes. First time we visited New York by car, it was Saturday and the traffic was low. Still, it wasn’t comfortable, because the parking is expensive and it is impossible to avoid traffic jams.
After we parked our car, we went to the city. This was so great – we really felt the atmosphere of multicultural New York. We used the metro and drove to Times Square station. The first view on Times Square was really impressive.
At Times Square we found the Times Square Brewery to have a dinner. The steak was tasty and juicy. We also tried a famous beer sampler and had a New York Cheese cake for dessert.
After the first visit we visited New York City several times and tried several attractions. The ones mentioned below we really enjoyed and therefore also recommend to everyone else.
The Broadway and the musicals. We went to “Cabaret” and “Kiss me Kate”. The first one usually feels the most impressive and that’s what happened. We bought the tickets from the Tkts at Times Square, as they are sold cheaper there. Cabaret was played at Studio 54. From the moment we walked in the door of Studio 54, the atmosphere changed, it truly was 1930’s Berlin Club. Although the story was familiar, the music and singers were absolutely unforgettable. I think that was my best musical experience ever. After the break the emcee (played by Vance Avey) chose me to come to the stage. So, I danced with him at the Broadway stage.
The Rockefeller Center is monument of American architecture. With office space, stores, restaurants, a theater and other entertainment facilities as well as underground walkways, the skyscraper is a model of the commercial world. At the time we were there Jeff Koons Puppy stood in front of the Rockefeller Center. This sculpture was like a floral giant, composed from more than 70 thousand plants. According to its author, the Puppy is a symbol of "love, warmth and happiness" this contemporary masterpiece is a triumph of scale, color and materials. Rockefeller Center is like city within city and definitely worth seeing.
One day, after work, we went to New York City to visit the Empire State Building, the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1972. As the Observatory was opened until midnight, we could visit it on a working day. Even on a Tuesday evening, the landmark was very busy with tourists. When we were at the top, at the 86th floor Observatory (located 320meters above NYC bustling streets), we understood why – the view was magnificent.
Interesting facts about Empire State Building:
We like boat rides. So in order to see more of Manhattan, we took the Manhattan Cruise. There are many tour operators. We chose Circle Line, with no particular reason. Afterwards we were delighted with the choice. This cruise showed the grandeur of New York on a two-hour city highlights tour. We truly enjoyed magnificent views of the world's premier skyline. The sailed down the Hudson River, cruised around the Battery, up the East River and under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges to the United Nations and back. If you want to do the same, start from Pier 83 at 42nd Street on the Hudson River.
As New York is also famous for its Stock Markets, we could not miss Nasdaq and NYSE. They are both opened for public, although the experience is different as they are themselves. As Nasdaq is electronic stock market, you will see only the lights and numbers, but as they say, this is the future of global stock market. You cannot miss the place; it is in the heart of Manhattan, at Times Square.
The New York Stock Exchange, also nicknamed the "Big Board", is the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar volume and second largest by number of companies listed. Opposite to Nasdaq, here we saw real trading floor. It was interesting to see that there is one specific location on the trading floor where each listed stock trades. NYSE is opened to the public during its working hours from Monday to Friday 9:00AM – 4:30PM. The entrance is free.
Of course we could not leave New York City without visiting The Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty was built in New York Harbor in 1886. A gift from the people of France, the Statue is currently one of the America’s most endearing monuments and also symbol of freedom. We took a Circle Line boat from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and after 20-minutes ride with we were at the Liberty Island to enjoy the breathtaking view of New York City skyline. As the Crown was closed we climbed only to the observatory desk.
There was a lot more to see and do in New York City, but unfortunately the time was limited. So, may be more some other time.