New York: The City That Doesn't Sleep

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New York City. The Big Apple. The City of Dreams. Frank Sinatra sang about it, 9/11 happened here and changed the world forever, it's the most populous city in USA and I'm gonna go on a stretch and say; it's the most famous city in the world.

There are so much to do and see in New York, that I had to divide the city into sections. Midtown Manhatten, Lower Manhatten and Brooklyn in that respective order. Let's kick this list off!

Midtown Manhatten
1. Empire State Building

King Kong climbed it and so did Godzilla. I mean. there's just no way you're headed to New York not planning to visit the Empire State Building. The view over Manhatten from the observation deck is absolutely impeccable. Used to be the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1931, but is down at 28th-tallest today.

2. Times Square

Times Square is one of the busiest areas in New York. Half the people here are tourists, the other half works somewhat in the area possibly on Broadway. The rest of the New Yorkers do not bother to go here. It's a must though, and you can always spend your time here picking up a few souvenirs.

3. Central Park

Completely opposite the busy buzzing at Times Square, Central Park is a place to relax. The park in the middle of the Big Apple covers 341 ha (!!). You would not believe far you feel from the busy city once you enter Central Park, until you actually do it yourself.

4. American Museum of Natural History

Alright, I came here to the American Museum of Natural History for the dinosaurs. I mean who doesn't love dinosaurs?! The museum holds many other floors of interesting artifacts and was used in the Ben Stiller hit movies "Night a the Museum", where the T-Rex skeleton comes to life. Oh, Dum Dum is there too - go ahead and see if you can find him.

5. Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco-styled skyscraper. The building was recognized as the world's tallest upon completion in 1930. Just 11 months later however, it was surpassed by Empire State Building. Ironically, one of the best places to see the iconic spear of the Chrysler Building is from the observation deck at Empire State Building.

6. United Nations Headquarters

The United Nations has three regional headquarters around the globe. One in Geneve, Switzerland, another in Vienna, Austria and a third in Nairobi, Kenya. The main United Nations Headquarters however is located in New York City. Visitors are allowed in after a throughout security procedure. We actually went here to have our passports stamped with the official UN-stamp. This is unfortunately not an option any more and we ended up spending 2 hours not getting a stamp. The UN Building is still a pretty wicked place to visit. Theoretically you're visiting 193 countries at the same time, once you step foot inside. There's a few souvenir shops too, with flags from all over the world.

7. Flatiron Building

I actually didn't know that this building was named Flatiron Building, until I visited NYC. Like most other I'd seen it before in movies and whatnot. The Flatiron Building was originally named Fuller Building, but was changed by the public who commonly referred to the building as Flatiron, due to it's resembling shape of a flatiron. The building has been called one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world and I can see why.

8. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is actually consisting of nineteen commercial buildings covering a large area of Midtown Manhatten. Commissioned by the very influential Rockefeller family. You can enter an observation deck, just like at Empire State Building. Prices are kinda spicy in both places however, and we chose to save some bucks at Rockefeller.

9. St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral is a prominent landmark of New York City. Located right across from Rockefeller Center and somewhat out of the norm among the many skyscrapers surrounding it. The cathedral is also considered to be one of the most visible symbols of Roman Catholicism in the United States.

10. Trump Tower

With Donald Trump resiting in the Oval Office, visiting Trump Tower is definitely a high priority on the 2018 NYC Bucket List. Besides the marble floors, indoor fountains and otherwise ridiculously expensive interior, you can visit the Trump Rally Shop selling campaign souvenirs. Only American citizens are allowed to support political campaigns inside the US, so even if you wanted to buy something - you can't.

11. Tiffany & Co.

Alright, this one is for the Hollywood nerds. The Tiffany & Co. shop right next to Trump Tower on the corner of 5th Ave and E 57th St. is the one used in timeless classic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" starring an adorable Audrey Hepburn in the lead role.

12. Tower Fifty Seven

Remember the good old days, when Tobey Maguire was the Spider-man? On the corner of Lexington Ave and E 57th St you'll find Tower Fifty Seven. Or as I like to call it; Oscorp Coorporation! That's right, they chose this evil villain-looking thing among all the much more famous skyscrapers in NYC. Just awesome. Go Spidey go!

13. Live and Let Die - Voodoo Shop

Alright, this is definitely not the biggest attraction in NYC, but as a huge James Bond fan it was a must for me. The first and only time British spy James Bond visited NYC was in the 1973 "Live and Let Die", and that was just for a short visit. Many of the filming locations aren't around anymore, as NYC has changed a lot since the 70's. One of the most prominent featured locations is the Voodoo-shop Roger Moore enters. In the movie the shop is called "Oh Cult Voodoo", but today there seems to be a hair salon. Location: 33 E 65th St, on the east side of Central Park, not far from Madison Ave.

14. Hearst Tower

Hearst Tower is one of the more modern-looking skyscrapers in NYC. Home to one of the largest media and information companies in the States. "Tilt your neck, snap a photo, walk along"-kinda-attraction.

15. McGee's Pub

If you've ever been a fan of the show "How I Met Your Mother", you've got to visit McGee's Pub on W 55th St (not too far from Hearst Tower). Practically half the series took place in their local bar, and McGee's Pub was used as the filming location. They serve a pretty mean burger and offer a great range of beers.

16. Hope-sculpture

Andy Warhol's famous Hope-sculpture can be found on the corner of 7th Ave and W 53rd St (again not far from Hearst Tower and McGee's Pub). There seems to be someone talking selfies here 24/7.

17. Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden has a history which few other stadiums can compare to. From some of the biggest boxing matches in history to some of the most remarkable and memorable concerts ever played. There are guided tours, but we missed out unfortunately.

Lower Manhatten
1. Statue of Liberty

Possibly the most famous landmark New York City and somewhat also the most famous in all of the United States. You cannot go to NYC and not have a glare at the Statue of Liberty. Luckily, seeing the statue is one of the few free things to do in Lower Manhatten. Going on the island and inside the statue itself is not free obviously, but if you head to Whitehall Terminal, you can take the Staten Island Ferry going to St. George - for free. Most people simply get off and then catch the next ferry back. You can even see the ferry tipping to one side, as it passes the Statue of Liberty, due to the weight of all the tourists and cameras. Complete madness, but definitely worth it.

2. One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center is the new World Trade Center in NYC. Built after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 took down the two previous WTC towers.

3. Ground Zero

Ground Zero is one of the most important places in modern history and I think everybody should visit the 9/11 Memorial at least once in their lives. Where the two towers used to be is now two massive memorials with a railing containing all the names of people who paid the ultimate price of that awful day in 2001. An endless water supply is running into a deep well and standing here will without a doubt give you chills down your spine.

4. 9/11 Tribute Museum

The 9/11 Tribute Museum is an exhibition focusing on the personel and on-site survivors from the attacks on World Trade Center in 2001. We listened to a first responder for about an hour during our visit and it gave a completely different and much more personal perspective than the one the media brought. Worth every single dime.

5. City Hall

New York City Hall is absolutely not the most prominent building in NYC. I'm guessing it used to be, before it drowned in skyscrapers. The area around the City Hall still has a small park feel to it though. A pretty neat place to stroll by.

6. Charging Bull

The bronze statue of a Charging Bull near Wall Street, was original placed unofficially and without permission in 1989 by artist Arturo Di Modica, but its popularity led to it being a permanent feature. On March 7 2017, the night before International Women's Day a bronze statue of a little Fearless Girl was placed in front of the Charging Bull extending the artwork even further.

7. Wall Street/New York Stock Exchange

Unless you work here, there's not much to see at the New York Stock Exchange. Or is there? If you're a fan of the late Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan (who isn't?!), then this place might seem familiar to you. Yes, this is where Bane and his gang robbed the Gotham City Stock Exchange before riding off on motorbikes.

8. FDNY Ladder 8 "Ghostbusters"

On to the next movie location! That's right, Ghostbusters! Hook & Ladder 8, is actually a fire department, but in 1984 it was turned into the headquarters of the Ghostbusters. 80's nostalgia... where's my walkman by the way?

9. "Friends" Apartment

Let's move on to the 90's and possibly the most succesful TV series, like... EVER. The six Friends Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Joey used to live right here. Unfortunately, this place hasn't been turned into a museum just yet, but I'm pretty sure it's happening at some point. You'll probably be able to recognize the café down below as well as the other surroundings, which the characters passed from time to time in the many episodes and seasons.

10. Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment

Not much to say about it, this is where Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw had her apartment. If you're a die-hard fan it's a cool place to stop by. Also, it's not very far from the "Friends"-apartment.

11. Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the bridges connecting Lower Manhatten with Brooklyn. The bridge has become a major landmark from starring in various movies and TV-shows. And it takes us to our next part of NYC; Brooklyn.

1. Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum itself hosts everything from modern art to ancient artifacts. The reason for my visit here was an exhibition on David Bowie. To date it's one of the best exhibitions I've experienced and I'd recommend checking up on current exhibitions in Brooklyn Museum.

2. Street Art

Brooklyn is still somewhat an underground area of NYC. There are a lot of underground artists living in Brooklyn and every other corner you turn is bound to have some amazing artwork on it. Even staying just about a week in Brooklyn we saw new artwork pop-up here and there.

3. Thrift Stores

Who doesn't like thrift shopping? Brooklyn is full of thrift shops, second-hand stores and antique boutiques. There is gold to be found, you just have to look for it.

4. Jazz Bars

Jazz. The sound of NYC. A lot of small town jazz bars exists in the Brooklyn area. You'll definitely meet som characters in these bars and the atmosphere is quite something special.

5. Chicken and Waffles

I'm not entirely sure, that Chicken and Waffles is a Brooklyn-thing, but there are quite a few places selling it around this particular part of NYC. An odd combination when you first look at it, but it's surprisingly good and more than recommendable.

6. NYC-styled Pizza

When you look at Chicken and Waffles being the odd dish, Pizza is most definitely not. Being in NYC is every pizza-lovers dream. I literally had pizza every single day. You can't walk more than a few hundred meters without stumbling upon a pizzaria selling the oversized NYC-slices. That goes for both Brooklyn and especially Manhatten too.

7. Hoyt - Schermerhorn Station

Last stop in Brooklyn and last entry on this list; Hoyt - Schermerhorn Staion. If you're like; "Hoyt - Scherwhat?", don't panic. This one is for the Michael Jackson fans. Remember when Michael was being a badass in his music video to the smash hit "Bad" back in 1987? The music video was shot in this exact station and if you go and watch the video, you're not in doubt it's the same place.

That ties the knot for this list! I can't wait to visit NYC again, it seems like a sleepless city with endless opportunities and might I add; unbelievable shopping districts! And they do say; that if you can make it here, you can make it anyway. Not sure that applies for traveling, but I'll take it.

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