New York - The City that Never Sleeps
New York – the city that never sleeps. Only when hearing the name one can get bigger thrills of excitement than some trips cold provide for 10 days and more.
For the impatience
Let’s begin from the very start. The organization as a whole is a bit longer than a casual visit in Europe but this has both its bad and good sides. For the impatient rushers, like me, there are a few months to go to your interviews in the embassy, then to wait for someone’s approval. But on the other hand, the experience starts from the moment your foot steps in the embassy. So at least for me the next few months afterwards were pretty monotonous, I woke up, ate, slept and one day when I woke up again it all changed – I was travelling.
It all started with that plane travelling to Istanbul. The next one was waiting there to departure to New York. It was a lovely airport especially compared to the scale of other airports in the Balkans but being waiting for the Big Apple for a few months now everyone was so excited and having only one thought -,,New York’’, so we actually appreciated the airport a few days later. After so much waiting, a few people that got lost, a friend of mine who locked herself in the bathroom and a lot of sweet and delicious ‘’things to munch’’ we were finally traveling and the waiting began once more.
I don’t know if you have traveled in plane for the tremendously long period of 18 hours. The feeling of only a sit and a corridor being at your disposal is a bit strange to say the least. On the half way to the city that never sleeps everyone got so sleepy, probably because it was already night and because of the delicious ,,Balkan-style” amounts of food we have all eaten. But I now, traveling more and more with Turkish Airlines, understand that it is normal for them. Literally I am not the biggest eater, especially at night but considering these amazing food … I went up 3 times to go grab something from the back.
While many passengers around me were already sleeping I could not close my eyes out of excitement. Plus I finally had time to think about something rather than delicious food. So I was very happy they had the Kate & William’s wedding songs so I put my head set on, dunked in thinking and started making plans about what and when to visit, because one could never see everything when in New York for just 10 days and my afterwards goings to the city have proven that point.
I woke up. Obviously I did sleep. May be for hours or two. We were now only an hour away and you could see the picturesque view from the plane. And then we landed. An interesting fact is that no matter how much have you travelled you have probably never been checked so many times. After all this and the late hour the only thing left to do is to get a taxi and go sleep.
New York is a magnificent city. It really grabs you. It is not like other places where you have to have read hundreds of books about the culture of a place to really feel it. New York is a completely different story. It shakes you, it hits you in the face and then you are forever in love.
So the first impressions are as follows. You get up early and you see this vibrant life of people running around, going to work, for a walk, for a bagel or just to walk the dog. The boulevards are amazingly big, there are skyscrapers, enormous cars, even their windows and umbrellas are bigger than in Europe, I sometimes tend to think that even people are somewhat larger. This enormous grandiosity just makes New York looks bigger than anything in your whole life.
Another interesting fact, that I understood after a few days, is that in the Big Apple you could literally dress in anything and no one would take the time to be surprised and look at you with curiosity. Actually this is a thing I personally adore.
As a matter of fact, New York is as in a movie. What I mean is that what you saw on the screen is what you will experience going in that vibrant city.
MoMA – the Magic of Modern Art
My top 1, first and foremost priority was MoMA. I waited for that moment a lot being manically obsessed with modern art and one of the biggest fans of Yayoi Kusama and her exhibition in MoMA at the time.
Let me tell you, everything you heard about MoMa is not true. Everything you read, you imagined, you were told by a friend can’t compare at all with what MoMA really offers. MoMA is a manifest of the modern art culture- from the helicopter that awaits you above the stairs to the ubiquitously famous ‘Scream’. If your heart does not tremble in MoMA there is something wrong with your taste in arts.
Central Park or how to get lost for 8 hours
If you have never been in Central Park there is no way you could imagine its scale. I remember reading somewhere that it is bigger than Morocco. And the painful truth to know about it is that if you have not been there at least 10 times before, be careful because you will most probably get lost.
From the very entrance there are so many creatures that will welcome you, from the incredibly brave squirrels that eat directly out of your hand to the birds. We took at least an hour feeding the squirrels and watching them trying to move slow, which is very funny considering the fact their ‘slow’ movement is them being static and from time to time move extremely fast just for a sec and then stop again.
Sometimes soon everyone gets attracted by the nature that surrounds him and starts getting deeper and deeper in this vast green gigantic park. For 8 hours of almost no breaks we saw half of Central Park but let me tell you every single step is worth the experience. The place is amazing for things like meditation or jogging, especially considering the fact that there are traffic lights for the runners.
As a whole, Central Park is an amazing journey that involves picturesque views and a lot of walking.
Empire State Building – a sea of light
Everyone has heard of Empire State Building but many people go to New York and get disappointed when they reach the 86th floor. There is a trick here, the question is not ‘how’ or ‘why’ but rather ‘when’. It was strange to find out that Empire State Building works at night and let me tell you – you must go there when the night comes.
Walking on a square-like terrace with nothing but wind and darkness around is strange at first. Until you look down straight forward and see the sea of light, thousands of millions lights glimmer around and it all reminded me of church with million candles. You understand the ‘city that never sleeps’ phrase when you go there. And for a few more dollars you could actually get even higher where you will go with the old elevator of the building and will be almost alone in a dome of glass in the church of cosmopolitanism.
Water walking around Manhattan
Circle Line Cruise is one of the most famous attractions in New York. Let me tell you now, if you don’t know how to do it, it is not worth it. Many people stay on the second floor shoot some pictures, point at the Statue of Liberty. No! When the boat starts you should do what I did on my first ever experience on that boat. You go up to the prow and stand there, take pictures, enjoy and do have at least a jumper because on the prow you will be holding hands with only the wind and the water splashes from time to time, but you will definitely fall a little bit more in the magic of the Big Apple.
Appreciating the American culture
It is a crime to go in the USA and miss an NBA match in our particular case NY Knicks vs Miami Heat in a year the two teams were 1st and 2nd.
First and foremost, the whole city is full of people wearing ‘NY Knicks’-things from the morning. It was like we were in the crowd from the moment we started travelling to the famous Madison Square Garden. The streets, the subway it was all crowded with people going to the match. I was shocked.
When you walk in there isn’t something much to see but everyone literally fighting for food and taking 4 burgers, chips and at least 2 beers with them. I took a chips as well but everything else was quite too much for me, NY’s burgers are the best though!
So you go on, sit on your seats, and people around you start buzzling until the teams go on stage. Everyone starts screaming on their feet and then the ‘beat them’ shouts from every single person around you are just amazing. The match was incredible plus I adore basketball but I have never in my life seen so many people get into something so passionately. It is, to say the least, unforgettable.
American Museum of Natural History
A destination everyone must visit. It is as big as everything else in New York if not even bigger.
Leave a whole day for that gorgeous beauty because it is that big that there are skeletons of T-rex and other pretty large dinosaurs in the hallway.
You could see everything from stones, to dinosaurs, animals and much much more. The part that grabbed me the most though were the human figures that told the story of our first keens from every corner on the world, what they did and how- it showed them in their natural habitat. For me it was amazing!
More about the Big Apple
A single article would never even merely capture the vastness and the magic that New York carries around but let me tell you a few more things.
Starting from Broadway and Times Square. These two are probably one of the most talked-about places in New York but for me it was not worth it. And now let me tell you, we have not been able to watch what I wanted in Broadway so we went to watch Spiderman, and being the most expensive musical to be put on stage it did not stop us from falling asleep. (I want to implement that after that journey I went in New York a few more times and the only time I did like a Broadway performance was ‘The Book of Mormon’ – you should see it!) And Times Square being an amazing place to pick a New York hot dogs or the amazing garlic bagel early in the morning has never been something more too me. Way too much people, way too dirty and the lights might be fun but from the crowd you have no times to enjoy them.
What is a big part of being in New York is called shopping. I really give you the advice of going there with a half empty case if you want to go back with 2 or 3 full ones. Every time I go there I buy a case because everything in Macys or some other malls is so cheap that you just have to buy it. My first visit was in Victoria Secret and being a boy I came out of there with 8 full bags with gifts. The shopping is what you must do!
The moment of sadness. Every time I have left New York it was like leaving a piece of my heart there. Even now I get slightly depressed when writing about it. I know that if you have been there you absolutely understand me.
So the routine was again the same, Turskish Airlines – their amazing music, movies and food, I ate from depression that time, then Istanbul, then Sofia. It was the first time I felt a particular feeling- nostalgia. It took me two months to get out of it, but the journey was worth it and beyond. Wish you to go there if you have not because since then every year I’ve been traveling to the city I love almost as much as Sofia.