A couple weeks ago I took advantage of my New York Pass and had me a tourist day in the Big apple! Even on my day off, I forced myself to wake up by 8:00am and get going. I figured if I got to Battery Park around 10am with my NY Pass to go enjoy Ellis Island and Lady Liberty that I would be able to catch the ferry within the hour. This did not go as planned! By the time we got there (We being me and my boyfriend, Yesid) there was a line for the ferry going around the block…literally. My advice is the earlier arrival the better! Battery Park is beautiful enough on its own to visit, that we enjoyed just walking around and taking pictures. I even saw a stray turkey walking around – gotta love NYC! So, we recalculated our itinerary and decided to go to Top of the Rock and just go from there.
We could not have picked a more stunning day to visit Top of the Rock. The sun was shining, the sky bright blue, and the crispy cool Fall weather was refreshing at these great heights. 30 Rockefeller Center is so mesmerizing from the outside and within. Walking down the stairs to the Observatory ticket area you are greeted with a breathtaking cascade of crystals and reflecting light. This is the Joie chandelier all made of Swarovski crystals. Being a Saturday there were lines for everything everywhere, but our NY Passes let us skip the ticket line and go straight to security. Besides the Swarovski work, architecture and murals – my favorite part of Top of the Rock is always the light show elevator. The ceiling to the elevator is transparent so you can see blue lights zooming by as you ascend up 67 floors, and an array of lights and patterns dance within the elevator walls as reflections. Always a fun ride. I actually prefer Top of the Rock over Empire State Building because you can see the Empire State Building in view and it makes this NYC landscape that much better. Even though I have lived in NYC for 8 years, there are still so many buildings and parks and sights that I am not familiar with and are new to me. I love that there is always something new to learn about the Big Apple!
So, we originally planned to attend a walking tour in the afternoon but this changed as well. Instead of heading back down to Battery Park to take the Underground Railroad Tour, we decided to go across town to see the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. This place is huge, for lack of a better word. The Intrepid is this very impressive ship that houses the museum and an air craft hangar. We started our adventure in the Growler, a docked submarine from the cold war era. Note to those who are easily claustrophobic - this tour has extremely narrow passageways and entranceways you have to duck into. It was fascinating to see how huge this submarine is and yet how compressed the living quarters, social quarters, offices, and command stations are. My favorite was that within the small kitchen unit there is a huge old fashioned blender more than half my size, bolted to the counter. After crawling out of the Growler, we walked into the museum section and enjoyed the array of photos, models, planes, games, flight simulators and so much more. Note: for those who love roller-coasters and adrenaline pumping rides, try the G-Force Encounter flight simulator which straps two people into a small pod that can twist, turn, and drop. Not for those with weak stomachs! At the top of the Intrepid is the air craft hangar which was really impressive! From jet models to helicopters, the Intrepid exhibits aircrafts from the earlier wars to modern models. I thought the A-12 (Lockheed SR-71) was the coolest plane there.
Right after the Intrepid we hopped onto the NY Water Taxi at pier 83 right there and headed to South Street Seaport. The Water Taxi is another NY Pass attraction, and allowed us to see the sights of Manhattan by water. Although really windy, the ride was great. Our tour guide speaking on the mic was very personable and friendly, explaining some historical and fun facts of Manhattan and New Jersey.
Once we pulled into South Street Seaport we headed to the Bodies Exhibit. South Street Seaport is one of my favorite places in Manhattan. The views, the ships, the history – I recommend everyone stop by this pier when visiting Manhattan. The Bodies Exhibit was very unique. This museum exhibits the human body in a variety of perspectives and models. The thing is. The models are really human muscles, tissue, bone, organs, etc. Yup, this museum exhibits real human body parts stripped and displayed so you can really see what we look like within. Again…not for the weaker stomach due to some graphic displays.
After the long night we ended up going to a movie and were going to call it a night when we walked by the Empire State Building and decided to finish with a nice night view of NYC from one of the most popular destinations in Manhattan. Even though we went at 11:00pm, it was still very crowded! The cool thing about ESB is that it is open until 2:00am. This is perfect for those who want to live out their own scene from Sleepless in Seattle, or for those late-nighters who prefer to see Manhattan in all of its nocturnal glory.
What a day….What a city! After a very long fulfilled day, I got to know my city that much better and loved it. Minus the lines and congested crowds, New York City still has a magic that will always be incomparable and fascinating!
VIDEO of Lauren and Yesid out and about as October tourists: http://youtube/x-X2Wh00eXE on DISTRIKT’S video page: www.youtube.com/distrikthoteltv