Day 2 in New York

Just like every sleep I spent in new places, I woke up early this morning. After a little chat with my love, I started the journey for my 2nd day in the NYC.

Most likely because it was early in the morning, there weren’t many people around so I was able to have my breakfast purchased at 7/11 and hopping into the train heading to Uptown without much trouble. The subway arrived at Battery Park in about 20 minutes and the Statue of Liberty could be seen from the shore, although being tiny due to the distance. Then I got my tickets from thr pre-paid window and checked-in at the ferry. The temperatures was still freezing, and with the presence of the strong sea wind, I stayed most of the time in the cabin. During the sailing, Miss Liberty gets magnified gradually as the cruise approaches and the details of her face, hair, robe and the torch becomes clearer and clearer. Not to mention that the view of the New York City skyline from the cruise was also very enjoyable.

After grabbing an Audio tour, I headed straight to the pedestal entrance that lead to the museum inside the pedestal that displays story and history of the statue. One little story to mention before the musueum: before entering the pedestal, I went to the locker room to have my backpack saved. They were using some hi-tech fingerprint protected lockers that costs $2 to store for 2 hours. So I had the money paid and my fingerprint scanned before seeing an instruction saying ‘Put your belongings into the locker and press the lock button to lock.’. I then opened the door and had a look at the locker to see if it has enough space for my bag. Just as I was sorting out things in my bag, the door closed and locked on its own! Then I saw the notice that says ‘You can only open the locker once to take your things out’. ‘Okay. Now this auto-lock feature is truely surprising.’ I thought. So I was about to get another locker when I found that I didn’t have enough 1 dollar notes. With the hope of solving the problem, I asked a lady who seemed to be a shopkeeper in the souvenir store beside the locker area. Amazingly, after knowing my locker number, she walked directly to the machine and opened the door immediately using some administrative tools. I was therefore able to avoid wasting my money on purchasing another locker! ‘Thank you and Happy New Year!’ I said joyfully. This experience, in a way, demonstrates that one should not be afraid to seek for help from others when in trouble, a simple solution might be waiting for you in someone else’s hands.

To be continued…

Day 1 in New York

Follwing my mom’s suggestion, I decided to spend the end of 2013 and the begining of 2014 in the beautiful New York city. The only thing I initially decided to do was to join the 2014 New Year countdown so I booked the flight and a hotel online (single bed in 4 bed shared room, much cheaper than other ones) near Times Square. After some hours of online searching, some other sites are added to the list of places I would like to visit, including The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park and American Museum of Natrural History.

I was already excited the night before the flight but managed to take a nap during the transfer flight. Right before the aircraft landed, I got my first impression of the Manhattan area: the amazing skyscrapers in the CBD and the distinct rectanglular-shaped Central Park. From a distance, the Manhattan Island looks like an extremely detailed miniature artwork that you can place on your palm. Then I was greeted by a sign on the meadow in the airport saying “WELCOME TO ♥ NEW YORK”.

The public transportation of New York City was fascinating. I was able to get on a Q70 bus just outside the airport and reach the Broadway St. Station where I then take the subway to Times Square – 42 St, all with just $2.50. The Midtown area, where the Times Square lies, reminds me of streets in London, Manchester and streets in the UK: grocery stores, restaurants, shops and things like that, all available within walking distance. I was able to check-in at the hotel at 4 PM and head to Times Square at about 5 PM. I was going later until a kind roommate reminded me that the NYPD have already blocked several streets and it won’t be possible to get a glimpse of the crystal ball if I’m not setting off ASAP.

I finished my dinner, a footlong Chiptole Chicken & Cheese, in Subway and grabbed 2 bottles of Spring water from 7/11 before joining the crowd that goes around the blocked Times Square region trying to get in. It was about 7 PM that I finally discovered the correct way to approach the ball, but there were already countless number of people ahead of me so I had to join the queue and move about 100m every half an hour. However, the ball’s in sight, so I got that going for me, which was nice. The rest of the night was filled with memories of freezing winds and squeezing crowd. My honey (loveya~ O3O) has been my strength to help me get through all the waiting and after seeing numerous couples/lovers around, I sincerely wished that she could be there with me to spend the night. The next time I come for the new year countdown, I’m definitely bringing her with me to enjoy the wonderful evening.

With the ball dropping and the crowd greeting each other “Happy New Year~” at 00:00 on 01/01/2014, my first day in the New York City has ended. Although being physically exhausted, I was happy that I made it to the last and shared my experiences with my love. It was a great day.

Happy New Year~!