Well, I got the good fortune of being able to travel to NY for 2 weeks for work, and it’s simply the most amazing place I have ever been. Feel free to check out most all the pics I took…none are labeled, and I’m not sure I will ever have the time to do that, but most all of them turned out pretty well.
For my trip, I traveled to Stony Brook, NY, which is out on Long Island. From the time I got here I thought it was pretty cool. Good people, good food, and the weather….well…it beats 105 in Austin. Since I was here 2 weeks, I decided to take a train on the Long Island Rail Road on Saturday, so that I could get a real taste of NY, and I went into the city. From the time I got off the train, i was amazed. The train dropped me off in Penn Station, which is right below Madison Square Garden on 7th Ave. People EVERYWHERE. wow! As I stepped out onto 7th Ave., again, people EVERYWHERE! I had looked at a few maps, and had some ideas of things I wanted to see, so north I headed. My first “stop” was Times Square. Talk about sensory overload. The guy that figured out you could make buildings into billboards is a genius. Being surrounded by thousands of people walking and all those buildings was just an amazing site. The sound of cars honking their horns (yeah just to drive) was great. As I walked up 7th Ave. I took in the view, and checked out a number of street vendors. They all sell the same stuff, but I guess you just can’t have enough with all those people. I continued to walk and ended up at Central Park. I walked for a while through Central Park, just soaking it in, checking out the people and the scenery. Amazing that something so beautiful and expansive is surrounded by buildings in all directions. I think I walked about halfway through the park before I decided I should probably start heading back the way I came. For some perspective, in total I walked about 50 blocks. Gyros are YUMMY! So I headed back to Penn Station and caught the train back out to Ronkonkoma (the closest station with regular stops) and got back about 8pm. Oh, I didn’t get down there till about 2:30, it’s a 1.5 hour train ride approximately, and it’s maybe 45 miles away.
Based on my Saturday experience, and the fact that the energy, and just shear excess of it all was amazing, I made up my mind that I would pay the $19 round trip ticket again on Sunday. I got down there around the same time, maybe a little earlier, as I missed the train right as I got there. This time I decided to head south. I kept walking south, and eventually cut more west and ended up at the Hudson River. I walked along it, with the Jersey shore on the opposite side. Eventually I walked far enough to where the Statue of Liberty came into view, and walked about as far as I could to get some decent pics of it. That was about 2 hours of walking, so I decided to turn around. On my way back I walked to the World Trade Center. That site, while it evokes much tragedy, is amazing. The size of it all, the fact there are still buildings today standing around it that are so damaged. Obviously there is a lot of work being done there to rebuild that area. I then continued walking, and found Broadway. I walked along Broadway for a little bit, and say NY City Hall, as well as their federal (?) court here. It is huge, and looked so similar to the Supreme Court in DC as far as size and such. I then ended up in Chinatown sort of by accident. Not much pictures of this, as there were tons more people than even in Times Square, and it was all moving very quickly. I then walked my way up and ended up in Union Square, where there were a number of shops on Broadway, much the same as Times Square. Eventually I found my way back to Penn Station and caught the train home again around the same time. That was an event, as when thee train arrived, literally hundreds of people began running for it…there’s not really enough seats from what I experienced.
Overall, I can say that NY and NYC in particular is one of the most amazing places I have been, whether it be in the US or Europe. It is pure energy, constant, and everything is in excess, which is probably a big deal when there are 8 million people. Also, NYC was more like Europe to me than anywhere I have been in the US. Just how people are, how shops are, how restraunts all have tables on the sidewalks…so much reminded me of Europe. If you notice also in my story, no mention of the Empire State Building. You are probably asking yourself..Duane, how did you miss it, it’s like the tallest building ever. Well, I saw it, a few times, just never took a pic for whatever reason. Ultimately, I’m not sure you could stay here a week and see it all. I am hoping that sometime soon I will be able to come and stay in the city, and really just live it for a few days. Everyone that I knew that had been here told me that I would love it so much, and I would have to agree. They make all those ” I heart NY” shirts for a reason apparently 🙂