Tis the season in New York

For years, I had been dreaming about going to New York and preferably during the Christmas season. So, that’s what I did at the end of my trip across North America. After spending about two weeks in a warmer climate, I went back to colder temperatures and hopped on a red-eye flight from the West to the East coast, where I arrived early in the morning at the airport in Newark.

I stayed at the Nap York Hostel in Manhattan for the last five days of my trip, so I hopped on the next train heading towards NYC. Although my bed wasn’t ready by the time I got there, I at least could freshen up a bit and even already met some people with whom I then went out to explore the neighborhood. And even Eva, whom I met on Oahu, joined us. As the hostel was only a short walk away from Times Square and Broadway, we headed there first and strolled to Central Park afterwards. From there, we walked back to Lower Manhattan. On the way, we stopped at the Plaza Hotel while strolling along 5th Avenue back to the Rockefeller Center and Times Square. Later that day, we headed out again for the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, which happened again after being paused for a year due to the pandemic. And although we waited for a total of nearly four hours, seeing the famous Christmas tree being lit was definitely worth it.

The following day, I met Eva for breakfast at a bagel shop nearby and then strolled across the city with her. On the way, we passed by Soho, the Flatiron building, the Financial District, Wall Street, and the World Trade Center. After walking across Manhattan the whole day, we decided to grab some sweet treats at Magnolia Bakery and sat down at the Christmas market near Central Park to enjoy our first New York cheesecake. In the evening, some other people from the hostel and I first went out for drinks at a bar and then headed to a club. So, after nearly 2,5 years, I finally made it back to a club again – and all that in New York. After a fun night out, together with Madison, I headed back to the hostel again.

As all admission tickets for the 9/11 memorial were sold out the previous day, we headed there early on Friday morning, and this time we were also able to get some tickets. After our visit, we took the metro to Brooklyn to go to Dumbo and then walked along the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan again. Back in Manhatten, we headed to the ferry terminal near The Battery and took the ferry to Staten Island. The ferry not only passes by the Statue of Liberty but also gives you a great view of the skyline of Manhattan. Plus, it’s for free. When we got to Staten Island, we took the next ferry back again and on to Upper Manhattan, where we strolled along Times Square and went to see the Christmas lights and decorations at Rockefeller Center again. And then it was already time to say goodbye to Eva because she was already heading back to Europe the following morning. But I still had some time left in the Big Apple. Thus, in the evening, Madison, the two German guys, and I went out for drinks at East Village and even grabbed one of the 1$ pizza slices on the way back home.

Then, Saturday was all about sleeping a little longer, grabbing one of the famous banana puddings at Magnolia Bakery and some coffee for breakfast, and enjoying it in the sun on a park bench at Central Park. As I’d always been around people for the last few days, I decided to spend the day alone and visit some of the many museums across the city. First, I went to The Met, where you could probably spend a whole day, and strolled across Central Park towards the Museum of the City of New York afterwards. Before it was about to get dark, I took the metro to Hudson Yards, where I watched the sunset from the Edge Observation Deck, an outdoor sky deck with 360° views of New York.

And suddenly, my last day in NYC and the last one in North America was already here. But I still had some things to do on my list. So, after breakfast, I went to the Top of the Rock to see New York’s skyline also by day. And I even made it to Central Station on my last day before spending my last dollars on shopping at Times Square. And I even quickly stopped by at FAO Schwarz, the toy store where they filmed Home Alone 2. In the late afternoon, I then met Leigh at the MoMA, which we visited together before I already had to head back to the hostel. Back there, Fabian and his friend were already waiting for me downstairs. And as their flight was leaving only an hour ahead of mine, we went to the airport together. Although – compared to all the other places I’ve been to in the past month – New York has most likely been the busiest one, I enjoyed every second in the city, and my time there passed by in a so-called „New York minute“. However, you can be sure I’ll be back again during another season.

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