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The City that Doesn’t Sleep

I just got back from the city that doesn’t sleep last night, and boy do I miss it! Prior to my visit, I was hesitant to make the journey to the famous city. From the many ways that it has been represented, it seemed too fast paced, dirty and dangerous. Of course I was a bit hesitant to bite the bullet and head down to the Big Apple, even if the Statue of Liberty beckoned. A trip to a Broadway play was something that I had dreamed about for some time, and I always longed to witness the view from the famed Empire State building. But to actually go and stay in the middle of a bustling, over-crowded, over-priced, strangely ethnic city? That did not sound like something that was too terribly appealing to me. Then, my favorite actress signed on to do a Broadway play and I could not resist her charms.

My cousin and I were there from early Friday morning until Sunday afternoon and determined that two full days in the city is simply not enough. We stayed in a hotel on 8th street which is right below Broadway, and one block behind Times Square. We had such a great time, we planned our next trip before we finished the first one! With a detailed map in hand and iron wills, we traveled all over the city and grew accustomed to it rather quickly. After we checked in and went for a stroll I immediately felt at ease there, which is something that really surprised me. The only drawback to the city in my eyes is that it is very pricey. Beyond paying nearly six hundred dollars for a hotel, we paid close to eighty dollars each for unlimited access to a 24-hour tour bus that circled the city, and three hundred each for plane tickets. If we add what was doled out for our airport shuttle service to and from the hotel, the small amount of souvenirs we purchased for friends and family, and our meals the trip totaled about $900.00 for each of us. Of course, that doesn’t include the play tickets.

The city is beautiful and laced with history, style and ethnicity. There are millions of things to do, provided you have the funding for it. You can ice skate in Central Park and Rockefeller Center, sight-see until you drop and experience cuisine from all parts of the world. We rode the double-decker tour bus to see the most popular spots and to hear detailed stories of the city and it’s landmarks. Our package included the tickets to Liberty Island and the Empire State building, so we did those on the first day because our play tickets were for the next night. We stood in line at both of those places for about an hour and a half each, but the reward of visiting the landmarks was well worth the wait. We strolled past the famous Macy’s, walked through Rockefeller Center, and mourned at the site where the Two Towers fell, all in one day. Bed beckoned us around eleven pm because we had tired ourselves out like a couple of children that had spent all day at an amusement park. I deemed the phrase “I love New York” one of the truest ones that has ever been uttered. I am in love with the city.

The Empire State view is quite frankly breath taking and unmatchable. Even the pictures that we took from the 86th floor observation deck do not do it justice. Our spirits were not even dampened by the chilly weather because of the beauty that we were allotted. The city was still decorated for Christmas which gave us even more sparkle for our trip, and all of the store windows were lit up exquisitely. The next day we spent the daylight hours visiting ‘Tiffany’s’, having coffee at ‘Trump Plaza’ and walking through Central Park. We ate New York styled pizza for a late lunch and then got ready for the play on Broadway that I was so excited to see. The play, ‘Pal Joey’ was exciting, our seats were great and after the show I stood to wait for my actress, Stockard Channing to exit. I got to meet her and get her autograph and a picture with her, which is something that I have longed to do for quite some time. Needless to say New York was glittering pretty brightly in my eyes at that point.

We wrapped up our last night with a thick slice of New York cheesecake and another tour of the city on foot. We came home armed with two hundred photo’s of our visit, an autograph from a major Hollywood star, a few t-shirts, and other souvenirs and a newfound respect for New York City. We were actually quite sad to leave, in spite of the fact that we failed to understand all of the languages that surrounded us all weekend. We had a fabulous time and had experiences that were terrific and fascinating and can not wait to do it again. Only next time, I will make sure that I take enough money to shop at some of the most famous stores in America. Though it was merely a short weekend stint in the city, I am at least familiarized with it, so that navigating the city will be a bit easier next time. My new favorite phrase; “I love New York!”