On our last day in New York City, we decided to save some energy at the end of the day for some night pictures. We ended up not pacing ourselves (everyday, we left the hotel in Long Island around 10 a.m. and walked around Manhattan for about twelve hours!) but still found some energy to head to Brooklyn Bridge Park and Times Square to capture NYC by night.
Monthly Archives: July, 2012
Since we had decided to stay in Long Island, where hotels are cheaper and where we could park the car for free, we had to rely on NYC’s subway system to get to and around Manhattan. That didn’t scare me: I love public transportation systems, and it beats driving in a congested city.
Chinatown in Manhattan is huge. It sprawls from Grand Street to Allen Street, and from Worth Street to Lafayette Street. It is both a residential and a commercial area: green-grocers, fishmongers, restaurants, banks, jewellery shops and bakeries are clustered around Mott Street and Canal Street, and some quieter streets have apartment buildings.
Our stay in New York City fell during the annual Gay Pride, and we thought it would be fun to check out the event. I attended many Gay Prides before, in Nantes, Paris and in Ottawa, both as a straight person supporting gay rights and as a photographer.
“The Village”, an upper class residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan. While we didn’t rush there to spot Chandler, Joey, Rachel, and Monica’s apartment building—come on, this is like soo last century!—we were still curious to check out the neighborhood.
If New York City’s skyline doesn’t impress you in the heart of Manhattan, it will from Brooklyn Bridge! Indeed, that’s where I realized how tall the skyscrapers actually are, something you don’t always notice when you are walking at their feet.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Central Park: some parks in large cities can be poorly maintained and downright seedy (for instance, I wouldn’t hang out in the Bois de Boulogne at night in Paris…), and in American thrillers, body parts and lurking serial killers can often be found in Central Park.
I must have walked/driven by the Merivale Fish Market thousands of times, but I had never tried it. I didn’t even know what kind of food they had exactly—well, fish, obviously, but I wasn’t sure what kind of place it was.
Well, now we’ve been there. Verdict? Good fish but I found the restaurant overpriced and the service wasn’t great.
I don’t go to museums as much as I used to, except when I travel. In New York City, we had to make a choice: to visit either the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The latter was high on my to-do list because I was hoping to see some modern Western masterpieces such as The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso, and work by artists I admire such as Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Francis Bacon and Roy Lichtenstein.
We decided to walk along the Fifth Avenue, the famous thoroughfare often ranked among the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Indeed, the street is lined with luxury department stores and prestigious boutiques, but I was more interested in a number of famous landmarks in the neighborhood (plus, my credit cards do have a limit!).
Our first choice was the mythic Empire State Building, the 102-story skyscraper located on Fifth Avenue (Plan B was the Rockefeller Centre). Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building is again the tallest building in New York, and I couldn’t wait to see it up close.
The day after Canada Day, a friend of mine and I headed to Chinatown for a sushi lunch. Our first choice was Sushi 88 but it was closed for the day, so we went next door to Yummy Sushi, an all-you-can-eat sushi place I had never tried.
From Wall Street, we walked to the site of the World Trade Centre, where the Twin Towers stood until 9/11. Like most people, I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the attacks—I was living in Hong Kong at the time, thousands of miles away from the U.S.A. geography and culturally-speaking, but yet the events affected me.
We arrived in Times Square, the first place I wanted to see with my own eyes. Like most people, I caught glimpses of NYC in movies. Over the years, books and songs from famous NYC artists helped me draw a mental picture of the place. But of course, seeing it turned out to be quite different.
On the first day of summer, we loaded the car with traveling gear: our backpacks, a stack of road maps and cold drinks. A spontaneous road trip, for a few days. We will see where we end up—as usual, we have no plans. We just need to relax for a few days.