Hello, Big Apple! Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of you and all the things you have to offer! Growing up on movies that were filmed in New York has left a big impression on me. This was my first winter trip to the Big Apple, and it felt a million miles away from my regular life in Detroit. However, although it was so different it felt familiar from films that I have watched in the past—yellow cabs, steam coming up through subway grilles, hotdog stands, neon lights in Times Square, towering skyscrapers, I felt like I was on a movie set. However, like many world-class cities, I realized you could not see everything you wanted without blowing the budget. On our 1st day, we decided to go to Central Park and Rockefeller Center.
Central Park: (one of the most famous places in New York) Although we visited during the winter and it was very cold, we did not let that discourage us from seeing the park on foot. Central Park was the first major landscaped urban park in the United States when it was designed in the 19th century. The park is 843 acres and is now a National Historic Landmark and one of the premier urban parks in the world. We spent a couple of hours walking around the south end of the park moving at a fair pace because we did not have much time and wanted to cover as much ground as possible. We decided to see the park on foot, but the carriage rides did look like quite a bit of fun and seemed to be a favorite alternative to walking. My family and I were dedicated to walking on this trip and trying to explore as many places on foot.
Rockefeller Center is the symbol of midtown Manhattan and easily one of the best attractions in New York, especially during the holidays. The Rockefeller center was built to be a city within a city. Without a doubt it in my mind, it is! It is the home to many corporate headquarters, offices, television studios, shops, and restaurants. Both the internal and external decorations are some of the world’s most beautiful.
Standing on the west side of the Fifth Avenue is the well-known Channel Gardens that is very famous for the display of the Christmas Angels. The Summer Garden Restaurant gets turned into the ice skating rink in the Winter. The steps on either side of the sunken plaza leading up to the private street named Rockefeller Plaza. This is where the towering Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree stands every year! To your left (facing west) are the Today Show Studios, from which the program is broadcasted live EVERY MORNING!
When visiting the Big Apple on foot, many people like to start on the Brooklyn side so they can enjoy the view of the Manhattan Skyline. Below, you can see why. It is incredible! Our walk over started through the lovely park surrounding New York City Hall. Several main subway lines take you right to the start of the bridge. Here, you will always find crowds of people and many things going on. Food carts filled the promenade towards the entrance to the bridge. All around us was a buzz of activity. You will get a chance to see the Beekman Towers and many residential buildings all around. The piers below harbor rows of boats and barges loaded and unloaded on the East River. The bridge itself sees a constant stream of motor traffic, which you come very close to at the start of the pedestrian part of the bridge. I was shocked to find how narrow the pedestrian walkway was on the deck. Foot traffic goes both ways on one half of the path while the other half is reserved for bikes. IF you want to enjoy taking pictures and peering over the edge at the fantastic view, walking is more recommendable over biking. There are a few spots for anyone to pull over and take a look, but on a bike, it is near impossible for most of the pathway. Keep in mind it is very windy up there. This might be a challenge for anyone with long hair.
World Trade center
There is just something about the World Trade Center that draws you there. Ever since the tragic day of September 11, it has been a symbol of evil and terror. It was a lot to take in and thus took the year for people to recover. After visiting this place, I can see why. This site has that calm surrender when you look at “ground zero,” but it now represents a symbol of hope and perseverance of one nation. The World Trade center now offers a fantastic observatory in which you can be on top of the tower. It seems like you are on Top of the World! My family agreed that this would forever be etched in history as a tragic event in our country, but at least they came back stronger.
In the heart of Madison Square is the famous Flatiron Building which is one of New York most celebrated skyscrapers. Its elegant design and narrow wedge shape have viewers amazed whenever they visit. This building has been the subject of many postcards, films and seems to have grown to be an iconic symbol of the Big Apple. It’s a symbol in my family living room! It’s a staple on our wall, and I would always remind my husband that this place is a must see location when he takes me to the city. Little did I know he would make my dreams a reality sooner than I expected.
The trendy area around the building is now known as the Flatiron district. The building is now owned by a famous Italian architecture firm that is converting the building into a luxury hotel. The hotel will open by the end of 2019. This is officially on my bucket list as a place to stay.