Manhattan in two days
We start directly from the hotel to Rockefeller Center to see New York from above, which is an absolute must.
In recent years, various other options have been added from which you can see New York from an elevated perspective. Personally, I think "Top of the Rock" is just the classic. On one side you have Central Park in front of you and on the other side the Empire State Building and a breathtaking view of the canyons.
Then it goes briefly to the Public Library, where unfortunately the great hall was closed to the public. So directly on to Grand Central Station, with beautiful Chrysler Building in the neighborhood. We then jump into the metro and go to Bowling Green. There we go to Whitehall Terminal to take the next classic. The free ferry ride to Staten Island. The line passes close to the Statue of Liberty and also offers the typical view of the Manhattan skyline.
Although I've been to New York several times now, I've never been to Liberty Island and thus never to the Statue of Liberty. Personally, this takes too much time, because quickly half a day is filled with it.
By the way, on the way out, place yourself on the right in the direction of travel to take photos of the Statue of Liberty, as the drive-by is closer on that way.
Oh yes, it goes then also directly, without further stay, back to Manhattan. To do this, you have to leave the ferry and in the best case, you come directly back on the ferry for the way back.
Now we go through the urban canyons of the Financial District. For me, this is still the part of Manhattan that many people who have never been there probably imagine New York to be. Our route takes us past Wall Street and Trinity Church. Then we walk along Broadway for a short while until we turn off at Fulton Street and come to Ground Zero / World Trade Center.
Before we get there, we pass the futuristic train station, which I always think had to be here somehow, even though it seems oddly placed.
Anyway, now we are at the WTC Memorial, which commemorates the devastating attack of 11 September 2001. It is always eerie and impressive at the same time that a city like New York has been given space for a memorial of this size. It makes clear in a simple and at the same time monumental way what dramatically happened here during the attack and the collapse.
That is why I find it absolutely repulsive how many people, especially young people, pose there, with the names of those who died, instead of pausing for a moment.
Next up is Greenwich Village. I find it a stark contrast to the Financial District. Because suddenly the houses are all much smaller and it's strangely quiet. No cars honking all the time and no masses of people streaming through the streets. Just relaxed. Here you also find those typical houses with the little staircases and front gardens. You know, the ones from Sex and the City ;-)
So we meander a bit through the Village until we reach the Hudson River at "Little Island".
Originally, I had planned to take the metro to Hudson Yard and the Vessel, but since we are still surprisingly good on foot, we decide to take the Highline.
The Highline is a former elevated railway line that has been converted into a park several miles long.
As it is still very warm, a small drinks stand on the Highline comes in handy. One cool beer for everyone. The anticipation of the cool beer must have clouded my view of the price board and I choked when I had to pay a whopping 36 USD + tax and, of course, a tip for three beers (12oz/350ml each). Phew, fortunately it was still refreshing.
Afterwards, as already mentioned, we walked along the Highline to the Vessel. I have no idea why it is there and why you should go up there. Well, it was on the way and from here it was only a few minutes to our hotel.
After we all had a shower, we wanted to have a bite to eat. So we went to Katz's Delicatessen. They are famous for their small Reuben or pastrami sandwiches. A tip on the side: only order two sandwiches for three people. I think it's something you simply have to do when you're in New York. At the end of the day we have a beer in the oldest pub in town: McSorley's Old Ale House. If you order one glass of beer, you get two, but they are half filled with foam and the whole pub smells like it's been wiped down with whisky.
The next morning we start with breakfast at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Here you are served by singing staff. They are all trained musical performers. It is simply a pleasure to watch and listen to them at work. A little tip: It's best to be there before 9 am, otherwise it's very crowded and you have to expect longer waiting times.
Well fortified, we now go to Central Park. We start at Columbus Circle and walk across the park. We pass Umpire Rock and the Central Park Carrousel. Then we walk down "The Mall" to Bethesda Terrace. We then walk a small curve and pass the Bow Bridge before leaving Central Park via Strawberry Fields.
We continue by metro from 72nd Street to Columbia University. The nearby Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is unfortunately closed on this day, so we have to be content with an outside view.
The campus of the university is very nice to look at, but not a must for the first visit to New York. The surrounding area is also very nice, as there are still many residential buildings with stone facades and the typical fire escapes.
Now we take the bus and drive to the Guggenheim Museum. Because of the limited time, we only have a brief look at the entrance area with the spiral staircase and the large glass window under the roof.
Then we walk down Fifth Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum. We always try to catch a glimpse of the opulent entrance areas of the apartment buildings. Unfortunately, we don't have enough time for an extended visit to the Metropolitan and only have a quick look at the entrance area. Now we sorely miss the missing day due to the flight cancellation.
Slowly the sky gets darker and the clouds thicker. On the horizon, it looks as if it is already raining heavily in the south of Manhattan. Since we don't know exactly where we want to go next and how sensible this is when it's raining, we decide on coffee and cake in Lexington Avenue, very close to the next metro station. We are still enjoying our coffee when it starts to rain quite heavily. But after half an hour this has calmed down again and we take the metro to the hotel, freshen up and then go once more to Chinatown.
In Chinatown we go to the Peking Duck House for dinner. It should be obvious what we ate there. Before that, however, we jump into the Hong Kong supermarket for a short while. I always find it interesting and also kind of funny what all the edibles are on offer there.
So that was New York 2022. Tomorrow morning we're off to Los Angeles.
I was a bit more sparing with my photography in New York on this trip, as I still have many impressions from 2017 in photos.
So if you want to get some more impressions, just have a look at my travel report: "New York 2017".