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Review: New York City

City/Town/Region/Island

United States

New York City Memories

  • By SilverTraveller phage

    25 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • August 2008
  • Adult family

118 people found this review helpful

Sorting through some old holiday photos recently while having a tidy up, I came across the snaps from our last holiday as a family back in 2000 when we travelled down the eastern seaboard of North America by train, and of course visited New York on the way.

As numerous people have said and written previously, New York is a big cosmopolitan city with more things to see and do than any one person may realistically achieve in many a year, so trying to see it all during a short three night stay would be impossible. Suffice it to say that we chose to visit the usual suspects: Time Square; Empire State Building; Macy’s; Battery Park, Statue of Liberty and the ubiquitous open top bus city tour. It was during visits to two of these that some memorable incidents occurred that, for me, epitomised the city.

The first happened about halfway through the city tour open-top bus, when our guide Max, a self proclaimed “true New Yorker” and a man with a voice that could grate cheese and that any self respecting rock star would pay a visit to the crossroads for, was passing on some insight into the history of a particular building. When a fellow passenger dared to offer a comment, hopefully ironic, on the validity of what was being said. Max, of course, took immediate umbrage to this slight and proceeded to berate the intemperate traveller for daring to question his honour and honesty. I am still not quite sure whether this was true outrage on someone daring to challenge his authority, or just an ironic comedic interlude for the benefit of the other passengers.

The second episode encapsulates the ethos of New York, the go-get, do it today attitude on which it prides itself. Just before we went to loose ourselves in the commercial jungle that is Macy’s mid-season sale, we visited the Empire State Building where I was hoping that we might find some of the marks left by that big gorilla. We marvelled at the art deco marble and tile foyer, and then took an elevator to the observation deck. Unfortunately, it was not one of the ornate ones used in the films, but one of the ordinary ones that the workers used, which meant that we had to get out near the top and transfer to another one to complete the accent due to building works. Once on the 86th floor observation deck we joined the circular flow of visitors drinking in the panorama and taking as many pictures as we could of the city and its other iconic buildings. On one stop we found ourselves peering out through the haze towards Staten Island, past the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. We were looking between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and ironically using them as a kind of gun sight and blithely saying that as time was tight today we would visit them the next time we were in town, confident in the permanency of things. But this was August 2000 and little did we know what was to happen in just 13 months time, thus adding weight the old saying about not to putting off till tomorrow what you can do today, an adage to be taken to heart by tourists everywhere.

Next day we made our way to the underwhelming utilitarian Penn Station to catch the train to Washington the second leg of our journey, where we would encounter a far more impressive edifice, but that is another story.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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