I travel from Pittsburgh to New York on business quite frequently. But I always return once I finish my business. I usually park using the extended service available in Pittsburgh airport parking and return home. It makes traveling so much easier. However, I converted my recent trip to a vacation weekend and enjoyed the Big Apple.
There’s so much to see and do in New York that a weekend is not nearly enough. So cram as much as you can in your whirlwind tour of the city. Start with a trip on the water to see that beautiful lady- the Statue of Liberty. Does anything scream ‘freedom,’ more than this icon? Its 152 feet height makes it a shining beacon of hope and liberation. Take a boat ride to Liberty Island or get to Battery Park in Manhattan to look at the Statue and the Harbor. Like so many places of interest in New York, it gets crazy busy and crowded virtually all times of the year. Do book your tickets before you get there.
If the business of business has worn you out, catch a break in the lungs of New York- Central Park. Even a first-time visitor to the city is familiar with this vast expanse of green, right in the middle of New York. Whether it’s the lake, the zoo or the evocatively titled Strawberry Fields, the park has something for everyone. Skate in the winter, paddle in the summer, play a game of ball with your friends, bike around the park, walk your friend’s dog – you can do so much.
For strolling of a more excitable kind, get to Times Square. What you’ve seen of the Square in pictures -the bright lights, the flashing billboards, the taxis and the crowds? They are all true. Not just this, the Square is packed with theaters, shopping spaces, and restaurants. It’s also a safe place; even Disney is here.
New York is such a symbol of freedom and acceptance that it is a threat to so many narrow-minded people. 9/11 is forever etched in everybody’s mind. To make sure that such an incident never happens again is The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It honors not only those who died in the September 11th attack but also in the 1993 bombing. 30-foot waterfalls flow into two gargantuan pools that used to be where the Twin Towers once stood. The names are etched on the parapets near the pools and artifacts related to the attacks bring home the senselessness of terrorism. This is a somber space in a city with an indomitable spirit.
Another structure that’s always defined New York is the Empire State Building. Nothing outlines the skyline quite like this one does. Go to any of the two observatories (floor 86, and 102) and take in the panoramic view of this splendid city.
Apart from all this, check out Radio City Music Hall, the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Staten Island Ferry, a Broadway show- and this is not even a partial list. That’s the beauty of New York- so much to do and see.