New York, New York – so good they named it twice! Having seen it so many times in the movies and on TV, in November 2015, my husband and I were really excited to finally visit the Big Apple for real. It was all that we expected and more – noisy, brash and exuberant – and full of surprises.
We were based in Mid-Town, not far from Central Park, which was a blaze of autumn colour and the perfect haven from the constant bustling of the streets. We were mostly blessed with mild and warm weather, and the clear blue skies made the legendary NY skyscraper skyline stand out with great clarity – with abundant opportunities for photography everywhere we looked.
Determined to make the most of our short stay, we visited as many of the ‘must-see’ places as we could, from the iconic Guggenheim Museum with its famous spiral gallery space, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – which was truly amazing in scope and would have taken many more visits to see in all its glory. We also took in The Frick Collection built up by Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), one of America’s most successful industrialists. Housed in a beautiful early 20th century townhouse, the collection includes masterpieces of Western painting, sculpture, and decorative art – from Titian and El Greco to JMW Turner and John Constable.
No trip to New York would be complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty, so we took the boat trip across the harbour along with seemingly thousands of other tourists and enjoyed a sunny morning admiring the colossal statue, America’s proud symbol of independence and freedom. We also had time to explore Ellis Island, which lay nearby and which in the early 20th century was the gateway to the United States for many thousands of immigrants from Europe and beyond. Later the same day, we visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which told the moving story of that tragic day.
We also braved the queues at the Empire State Building and were rewarded with breath-taking views across Manhattan, even though the wind was incredible on the viewing platform 102 floors above ground level! There was also time to take in some shopping at Macy’s and to enjoy a Broadway show – The Color Purple, a musical based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, on which my sister, Catherine, was working as Musical Supervisor. Starring Jennifer Hudson and wiith an uplifting score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, the show is a real triumph.
Overall, New York didn’t disappoint – and we were delighted at how friendly and helpful the people were, always eager to assist us when got lost or couldn’t find the right bus stop. Thank you, New York! See you again soon!
(c) 2015 Mayflower Media Ltd