New York, NY. It’s without doubt the most famous city on the planet and the first geographic place that anyone thinks of when it comes to the United States. Growing up it was always ‘The America’ that you seen on Television, so being able to travel there for a few days whenever I feel like it, takes some getting use to.
In Europe we’re use to cheap airlines, Ryanair will get you pretty much anywhere on the continent for not a ridiculous amount of money - provided you are of course willing to put up with the whole ‘Ryanair experience’, which involves constant in your face advertising and generally be treated like cattle. If you want to travel cheaply in the US, then the answer is Megabus.
Megabus have a fairly expansive network, meaning it’s possible to travel to almost any State on the East coast for as little as $5 if you book in advance. Megabus exists in Europe - it was actually founded and still owned by Scotsman Brian Souter (a big supporter of Scottish independence btw) - but with much higher gas prices, yet cheaper air travel you wouldn’t necessarily use Megabus for a journey lasting more than a couple hours.
I’d strongly advise taking the bus when you can, especially with the free wifi, it’s good for catching up on that assignment that’s due tomorrow…
New York itself… is well, New York. I thought this would be a fairly easy blog to write, but where to start… It’s incomparable to almost any other city on the planet and despite visiting the place three or four times, I’ve still to make it to things that were on my list for trip one.
But here’s just a few tips:
1. ‘Top the Rock’ for the best views.
Despite not being the tallest building in Manhattan, the Rockefeller Center offers perhaps the best views of Manhattan. It’s also the home to NBC, so you get can get a tour of their studios as part of you journey to the top.
2. Central Park for urban refuge.
The refuge from city life. From the ice rink, to boating, to the zoo. You could easily spend days inside Central Park without wandering back into the concrete jungle.
3. The High Line
Built on an elevated section of a disused railway, the High Line is a 1.45-mile-long park that cuts through Manhattan’s lower west side and snakes through the skyscrapers.
4. Go see where Brett & Jemaine lived!
If you’re a fan of New Zealand's ‘fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo’, you can go check out their old apartment building in China Town and the ‘New Zealand consulate’ is also just round the corner. Sadly, there was no signs of filming another season when I was there 🙁
5. Visit a Speakeasy!
During the years of prohibition, Speakeasies were a common occurrence throughout the country for those looking for their tipple. There’s still a host of bars in the city where you can travel back in time, and drink like it’s still illegal.
Take a visit to Crif Dogs - a hot-dog joint, and access through the old phone booth.
6. No matter, where you're from - you’ll find something to remind you home.
I had just finished lamented my friends with my “Scotland invented everything” chat, when oor national bard showed up.
7. It’s the city that never sleeps, just go with it…