new to me in new york

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of New York. So I don’t really ever go out of my way to visit this monstrous city. But I found myself here because our flight out of the country departs from New York. So without too much of a plan, we explored some of what New York has to offer, and it ended up that all of the stuff we visited was new to me.

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This was my first time visiting New York during the Christmas season. There were many Christmas decorations up, and many of the trees throughout the city had lights on them. And of course there’s the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which we passed briefly, but for some reason I didn’t take a picture of the tree.

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The last time I came to New York the World Trade center area was still under construction. Now the construction is mostly complete, there’s a memorial for each of the twin towers that were destroyed on 9-11, and the Freedom tower is just about complete as well. There’s also a 9-11 museum, which we didn’t have time to visit.

nyc1Despite having been to New York City a few times, I never really visited the Theater District. We wanted to see “The Book of Mormon” seeing as how that would have been one of the few plays that wouldn’t be too bromantic to watch, but found that even the cheapest tickets were nearly $200. We decided to wait in line for standing room tickets, which ran concurrently with the ticket lottery. (There’s a limited number of standing room tickets that are first come first serve for $27, and there’s a lottery for an even more limited number of front row tickets for the same price.) We weren’t successful in the lottery, but we were able to get some of the last standing room tickets. They’re actually in a pretty good location, right behind the orchestra level seats, the only downside is you have to stand for the entire show, and by the end of it my legs were hurting pretty badly. It was totally worth the pain to save more than $150, and the show itself was hilarious.

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Another thing we had to wait in line for was the cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery. We waited about an hour for it, possibly one of the most famous baked (or is it fried?) goods in America. It’s also probably pound for pound the most expensive baked (so actually according to Wikipedia it’s fried) good I’ve ever had, costing $5 and an hour of my time. I’d say it’s worth it though. It’s hard to describe, it’s flaky like a croissant, but at the same time it’s sweet and doughy like a doughnut, which I guess is the point, seeing as it’s a cross between the two.

lower manhattan from a random pier

After polishing off our cronuts (and several other delights from the bakery) we decided we needed to walk off some calories. We walked towards the waterfront and found a pier from which we took some pictures of the skyline of lower Manhattan.

the high line

Then we walked on the High Line park. This is another New York attraction that’s new since the last time I’ve been to New York.

watching the traffic is fascinating

To be perfectly honest, I think the High Line park is a bit overrated. But there are some cool features built into it, like this little amphitheater where you can watch the traffic drive by underneath you. Why is that cool? I don’t know to be honest, but it felt cool just because I’ve never really seen anything like it before.

I enjoyed my time in New York city. It was cool seeing all the things that were new since my last visit. And I guess my attitude towards the city has improved. My main gripes with NYC were the dirtiness and crowdedness of the city, as well as the perceived danger of being in the wrong parts of the city. But after having traveled to some of the major cities in Europe, I’ve found that NYC isn’t all that bad, and it isn’t all that different from cities like London or Paris or Rome. Those cities are just as dirty and crowded. And after being in those cities, I’ve come to realize that NYC is pretty cool too, and I wouldn’t mind returning for another visit.

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