I kicked off my east coast trip in the Big Apple with my long-time friend, Nick.
Saturday, 15 August: Aside from an unexpected mad dash to make my connecting flight, my travels went smoothly. My first impression of New York was how vast it was; I’ve never seen a city with so many buildings, including Toronto. Nick picked me up from La Guardia soon after I landed and we ate dinner before going back to his residence in Yonkers. I was nervous to meet Nick’s family because they were (understandably) uneasy about a perfect stranger living in their house and I didn’t want to say or do anything that might make them question my intentions. However, our evening went well and his family are lovely people.
Sunday, 16 August: We hit the road for Cooperstown (about a three and half hour drive) to see one of our favorite bands, Brand New. We made good time and got to the venue as the doors were opening. The venue was outdoors at a brewery on the side of a hill. Although it was humid, it was unlike any other outdoor concert I’ve been to before. It was an incredible show and the fireworks during the encore were a lovely surprise.
Monday, 17 August: We took the subway to Battery Park, where a ferry took us to Liberty Island. The Statue was magnificent. We had access to the pedestal, which had especially wonderful views of the skyline. Our tour also included access to Ellis Island, but we had to skip that portion to make our tour at the 9/11 Museum. Both the memorial and museum were beautiful but sad; I’ll admit I got a little steamy-eyed. After that, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge, which also had wonderful views of the city. Our four hours of sleep caught up with us and we decided to call it a day after that, omitting The High Line from our itinerary.
Tuesday, 18 August: In the morning, we headed towards Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey about an hour and a half away. It was similar to the Six Flags park in Los Angeles that I’ve been to several times, but it was fun to ride new roller coasters, including the tallest one in the world, Kingda Ka. My favorite ride was Nitro; although it didn’t loop, the tall drops were exhilarating.
Wednesday, 19 August: We headed out for the city once again for another busy day. We started out with a long walk though Central Park followed by seeing Les Misérables at the Imperial Theatre. It was spectacular. The theater was beautiful and the cast was extremely talented. It has been a dream of mine for quite some time to see a play on Broadway and the whole experience was so surreal. After a short walk around Rockefeller Plaza, we went to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. The views were spectacular from all sides and levels. To wrap up our day, we took a short walk through Times Square before taking the subway back home.
Thursday, 20 August: For our final day, we saw things we didn’t get a chance to earlier in the week; The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The High Line. I was impressed with how vast The Met was. I got lost several times and had difficulty prioritizing exhibits. However, my favorite exhibits were the American and the European art. After that, we went to The High Line, a restored train track lined with vegetation a few floors above the busy streets. To end our day, we had dinner at the pizzeria Nick works at.
I was really impressed with New York and I’m glad I got to do everything I wanted to and then some. After an exhausting week, I’m ready to do it again in Philadelphia (after I sleep on the bus ride there, of course).