My traveling experience as a young single female – Part II: New York City
This is part II of the series – My traveling experience as a young single female. It talks about my first traveling experience to New York City, New York.
It was about 21 years ago when I travelled to Long Island, New York. I had quit my job at Bank of America and was waiting to start my graduate study. I didn’t really like my job there. I was too green and lack the sophistication to deal with corporate politics. I longed to stay innocent for a little bit longer and to be back to school again. My father happened to have a business trip to New York City, so I tagged along. We stayed in the house of an ex colleague of my father’s for a month. In that month, I would tag along to the LIRR station in Long Island City and started my expedition.
In New York City, you really don't need to join any tour. It is very easy to tour around Manhattan on foot. All you need is a subway map and a street map as well as your own feet. Most of the points of interest are within close proximity.
The LIRR train would take me from Long Island City to Penn Station. After arriving at Penn Station, I would either walk or take the subway to my destination. It all depends on the distance between Penn Station and the part of the town that I was going to explore. There is so much to see in Manhattan. There is so much similarity between Taipei and New York City, the richness in the city. Where should I begin? It is not easy to retrieve the places I visited from my fading memory. You would have to bear with my random thoughts. I did most of my sightseeing is without a camera. To tell the truth, I didn’t have a camera. If I needed one, I just bought the disposable one.
1st week – Uptown - Museums:
Penn Station (32nd street and Seventh Avenue) -> took subway to Metropolitan Museum of Art (82nd street and Fifth Avenue) -> on foot to American Museum of Natural History, Rose Center of Earth and Space (80th street and Central Park West) -> on foot to Whitney Museum of American Art (74th street and Madison Avenue)
I am a museumgoer. However, I cannot say that I am a museum enthusiast or a museum lover. I lack the appreciation of fine arts. I cannot tell one from the other. They all look beautiful in my eyes. By now, you must have guessed that my first stop would undoubtedly be the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are so many collections in that museum. It is impossible to tour the museum in a day. I would suggest spending two days at Metropolitan Museum of Art. What a feeling to be totally immersed in art! I like French paintings, impressionism in particular. I believe that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has by far some of the best French masterpieces in the world with artists such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. My favorite artists are Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Hubert Robert and Claude Monet. Some of my favorite paintings are The Bathing Pool from Hubert Robert, Study for "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" from George-Pierre Seurat, By the Seashore from Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies from Claude Monet and The Storm from Pierre-Auguste Cot. I have a poster reproduction of “The Storm” framed in our great room. I really like that painting. I have forgotten most of the paintings I saw. In addition to the paintings, I was lucky to see the beautiful mummy coffins displayed from Egypt. I can’t remember if that was a special exhibition or a permanent display. The mummies were really beautiful.
By the way, you will be able to view the art masterpieces online. This is the link -> European Paintings. At the bottom of this article you can also find links to paintings that I like and can still remember. There is one painting that I really like but I couldn’t remember the title or the artist. It is a lady dressed in white.
2nd week – Midtown (all on foot)
Penn Station (32nd street and Seventh Avenue) -> Madison Square Park (between 23rd and 26 streets and Madison and Fifth Avenues) -> Empire State Building (33rd street and Fifth Avenue) -> Macy’s (34th street and Six Avenue)-> Grand Central Station (42nd street and Park Avenue) -> Time Square (42nd street and Seventh Avenue) -> Rockefeller Center (49th street and Six Avenue) -> St. Patrick’s Cathedral (49th street and Fifth Avenue) Saks Fifth Avenue (49th street and Fifth Avenue) -> Museum of Modern Art (53rd street and Six Avenue) -> Trump Tower (56th Street and Fifth Avenue) -> Tiffany & Co. (57th street and Fifth Avenue) -> FAO Schwarz (58th street and Fifth Avenue)
While in Flatiron District, don’t miss Flatiron Building, MetLife Tower and New York Life Insurance in Madison Square. FAO Schwarz is a toy store not to be missed. It is interesting to see all the life size toys.
3rd week – Downtown (mostly on foot)
Penn Station (32nd street and Seventh Avenue) -> took subway to SoHo (from Canal Street to Houston Street and between West Broadway and Crosby Street) -> took subway to Financial District / Wall Street -> World Trade Center (W. Broadway and Barclay) -> City Hall, Cathedral of Commerce / Woolworth Building (Barclay and Broadway) -> Federal Reserve Bank (Liberty and Nassau Street) -> New York Stock Exchange, Trinity Church (Broadway and Rector Street) -> Federal Hall (Broad and Wall Street) -> Museum of American Finance (Wall Street and William) -> South Street Seaport (Front Street and Fulton) -> took subway to South Ferry station for a ferry ride to Statue of Liberty on Staten Island
SoHo is an interesting place, artsy and fashionable. While in Financial District, remember to visit the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
My father’s ex colleague used to work at a bank located at One World Trade Center. It is sad that the twin towers don’t exist anymore. Now it only exists in my memory as I did not take any picture of them before their collapse from the 9-11 tragic event.
4th week – Central Park Zoo (all on foot)
Penn Station (32nd street) -> took subway to Central Park (103rd street)
Central Park spans two and a half miles from 59th Street to 110th Street. Below were the places that I went within Central Park:
Harlem Meer from 106th to 110th Street
Conservatory Garden at 105th street
The Reservoir from 86th street to 96th street
Delacorte Theater at 81st Street
Cleopatra’s Needle at 81st street
Shakespeare Garden between 79th and 80th Street
Turtle Pond between 79th street and 80th street
Henry Luce Nature Observatory at 79th street
Belvedere Castle at 79th street
Swedish Cottage at 79th street
The Ramble from 73rd street to 79th street
Alice in Wonderland at 74th street
Conservatory Water from 72nd street to 75th street
Bethesda Terrace / Fountain at 72nd street
Mall from 66th street to 72nd street
Central Park zoo at 63rd street
Wollman Rink at 62nd Street
I was so fortunate to have the luxury of time to look around Manhattan. It reminds me of Taipei. If you are a single young female traveling alone, you should always be on the lookout for your safety. Always pay extra attention to your surroundings and watch for any suspicious people. My dad was mobbed on broad daylight in front of a department store. Everyone just went his merry way without paying any attention to him or the robber even though he kept shouting for help. I was followed twice in broad daylight but I was not alone in both instances. Once when I was with my girlfriend and another time when I was with my husband. That time when I was with my girlfriend, we went to a hotel and stayed in the lobby for a few minutes after I realized that we were followed. Just use good judgment. Stay in areas with lots of tourists and get back to your hotel between 5pm and 6pm. It is better safe than sorry. In New York, I would suggest staying away from Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn areas. Other than the places I mentioned above, I have also visited Columbia University. The campus is beautiful. My father’s ex colleague gave us a tour to the school. It is a nice university but in a bad neighborhood. I don’t know if it has rectified that bad reputation.
I am sorry to have written such a long article. There are just so many places worth seeing in Manhattan. I was back to the city again half a year later during winter break and then again while I was on business trip. My husband and my son were with me then. I didn’t realize that I was pregnant with my daughter at that time. We brought our son to Central Park Zoo and he really enjoyed it. I don’t know if we will ever visit Manhattan again. It is just too costly to fly to New York and stay in Manhattan.
Note - These are links to my favorite paintings displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Jean Baptiste Joseph Pater
Note: quit - past tense, past participle in American English: had quit I have corrected a lot of my British English usage and pronunciation but occassionally, I still leave behind some traces. I know that it has created some confusion to my readers. As I have stated in my blog before, you should try to stay consistent in your usage. There are grammatical and usge difference in American and British English. It would be best to stick with one to reduce confusion from others.
quitted - past tense, past participle in British English: had quitted
quit - past tense, past participle in American English: had quit
I have corrected a lot of my British English usage and pronunciation but occassionally, I still leave behind some traces. I know that it has created some confusion to my readers. As I have stated in my blog before, you should try to stay consistent in your usage. There are grammatical and usge difference in American and British English. It would be best to stick with one to reduce confusion from others.
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