City Girl

View from Empire State Building

I think I’ve always been a city girl at heart, despite not having grown up in a large city. Although I do enjoy the serenity and tranquility of nature, I am truly satisfied by the hustle and bustle of a metropolis. So when I was planning my short vacation for the summer, I knew I had to visit the largest, most famous city in America: New York City.

View from Bryant Park

I’ve only visited NYC once before, when I was ten years old, which was before 9/11. So, I’ve been way overdue for a visit. My family went two years ago, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to join them since I had just started a summer internship at Stanford. But this year, I decided that I was finally going to visit the city that never sleeps.

Times Square

Since I hadn’t visited New York City in over ten years, I made a fairly long list of things I wanted to see, which consisted of mostly tourist destinations. I only had three days to cram them all in, so each day was packed with running around the city, visiting New York City’s most famous sights. Luckily, I’m the type of person who enjoys doing things all the time at a fairly fast pace. I hate waiting around and wasting time (so much that I can’t stand waiting at bus stops… which often results in me walking to the next stop and then watching the bus pass me by. -_-). In fact, I consider it a good day when my feet are sore and swollen from walking around the whole day. Because of this, I didn’t have too much of a problem seeing everything I wanted to see.

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

I made the standard NYC tourist stops, including Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MOMA, Wall St., and Empire State Building.

Wall Street

The steps of the Met

Inside the Empire State Building

I also visited the Highline Park (an urban elevated park that stretches for about 10 blocks along 10th avenue), the NY Botanical Gardens (which is having an exhibition on Monet’s gardens right now, so beautiful!), and Chelsea Market (almost equivalent to the Ferry Building in SF).

View from the Highline Park

NY Botanical Gardens Conservatory

Chelsea Market 

If you’re visiting the city, I highly suggest taking the Staten Island Ferry, which takes you from Manhattan to Staten Island in just under 30 minutes. It’s a beautiful ride with great views of the city as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The best part is that it’s FREE! I didn’t get off and explore Staten Island, which I’ve heard is kinda boring, and instead just hopped back onto the next ferry going back to the city.

Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty

I also highly recommend visiting the 9/11 Memorial. It’s a truly poignant spot to reflect and remember the lives lost that fateful day. Since I haven’t lived through many historical events, I haven’t felt the gravity and sobering effect of memorials… until I visited the 9/11 Memorial. I couldn’t bring myself take a picture of me standing in the memorial because I knew the pain and sorrow of 9/11 since it was an event that I had actually lived through, rather than one I had just read about in history books. Although it had such a solemn effect on me, the memorial was absolutely beautiful and helped remind me to be thankful for each day of my life.

Overall, I’d say my trip to The Big Apple was a success! I saw the sights and bright lights of the city that so many people, including myself, love. What I love best about New York is that there is always something to do or something to see. The city moves at the speed of light and has new experiences waiting for you at every corner. Consisting of a mix of wandering tourists and brusque locals, the city has a little something for everyone.

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