I walk into one of NYC’s legendary subway stations – yes, they’re grungy, gloomy and you tend to jump at shadows, specially at four in the morning. Most of it’s in the head, of course; I get on the train to Jersey City, where I’m staying, without incident. There’s a motley bunch of passengers on board – fellow revellers, outright drunks and people who look like they’re on board just for the heck of it. Nobody looks at anyone else, a sure sign you’re in a big city. Still, as I reflect on the day, I realise that I’m already a fan of the Big Apple – I feel a strong urge to come and live here for a while, and I haven’t felt like that about any other part of America. New York isn’t so much a city as it is a state of mind – a mind that’s in constant ferment, admittedly, but that’s the fun of it. To infringe on our own copyright, it’s now in my blood.
What you’ve read is but a fraction of what New York City has to offer. You’d need to spend at least a month there to really do justice to it, and even then you’d just have licked the cream off the top. Like they say, if you’re bored in NYC, it’s your own fault. Take the museums, for example. Two whole days can be spent in the staggering Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its vast collection of exhibits through the ages, and this is to say nothing of the amazing Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), where I saw a magnificent collection of Dali’s works. You could then go to the Guggenheim Museum; the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is worth seeing just by itself.
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The International Center of Photography is a must for all those interested in the art. The American Museum of Natural History is among the world’s finest, and its three dinosaur halls are flat-out amazing. The Bronx Zoo, for those suitably inclined, is excellent as well. For aerial views of NYC, you’ll be enticed to go up the Empire State Building, but a far better (and less crowded) option is to visit the Rockefeller Centre, with its superb observation deck. The legendary Radio City Music Hall is right next door, an added bonus. As far as eating out goes, if you ate at a different place every single night of the week, you’d need something like 50 years to cover all of NYC’s restaurants. I could go on and on; in fact, I probably should, to do this amazing city justice. Alas, space restrictions constrain me. All I can say is this – visit NYC before you die.
There are literally thousands of hotels in NYC, and it’s really best to get on the internet and find a good deal, or contact your friendly neighourhood travel agent. For an authentic (and pricey) NYC experience, you could head to the legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where rooms start at about $350 a night. What the heck, enjoy!