New York

Trip Start Jan 11, 2013
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, January 24, 2013

I took an overnight bus from Boston, but the bus company was terrible. I should have taken Greyhound or Megabus, but I took a Chinese company. Somehow, they didn't speak English and i was dropped off in the middle of the night in a street of Chinatown. Furthermore, they didn't care my cap I left in the bus when I left the bus. All in all, I made sure that I would never take that bus company. Honestly, I was a bit scared of the area, because there were no people. Abut half an hour later, I found a McDonald's and stayed there until five.

Then I headed for the Statue of Liberty. That's the main attraction of New York and I chose it as my first destination. As soon as I arrived at South Port, I got on a ferry without knowing where it goes. In fact, although the ferry got closer to the Statue of Liberty, it was bound for Staten Island. In the ferry port of the island, there was a TI office, but it was closed. I didn't know where to go. When I was wandering around the port, I was talked by a police officer. Come to think of it, I was talked by police officers, security guards, and park rangers many times in New York. Did they think of me as a terrorist or something? Anyway, I asked her about a lookout to view New York Harbour and got out of the ferry port. However, it was freezing out, so I went back to the ferry port in 10 minutes. The TI office was still closed. Then because I didn't feel like staying there, I took a ferry back to Manhattan. I saw the Statue of Liberty again, but still didn't how to get there. In South Port, I knew a shocking fact. The ferries to the Statue of Liberty were suspended after the hurricane Sandy hit Liberty Island.... I couldn't give up on the statue, so I walked around the port, looking for a place to get a good view of the statue. Then I found Statue Cruises at Battery Park, which operated a cruise to the Statue of Liberty. When I saw it for the first time, they seemed closed too, but when I came back, they were open! The fare was hefty $24, but it didn't matter. I was very eager to see the statue close. The cruise took one hour and included the statue and Brooklyn Bridge. Honestly speaking, I knew only the structures. Because I couldn't hear inboard announcement and it was cold on the deck, I couldn't fully enjoy the cruise, but I was satisfied with a close view of the Statue of Liberty. 

The next destination was Central Park. This was the city park where I was the most eager to visit in the world, because I loved movies and had seen that park many times in movies. Anyway, minutes after I entered the park, I realised I needed a map there. Luckily I found the visitor centre and picked up a free map. Then I explored the park about one hour, taking many pictures, but I saw only one-third of the park. It was getting dark, so I decided to come back to the park later and headed for my hostel for the night in Brooklyn, the New York Loft Hostel. Actually, the hostel was the best hostel I stayed in the US. In the hostel, I met a Japanise guy Shintomo-san, who was taken to my hostel by another hostel's staff member. He said his hostel was shut down and he was moved to my hostel. In any case, I got a company to have dinner with. We had dinner in an Arabic restaurant nearby later.

On the next day, I visited High Line first. I had never heard about it before I talked to Shintomo-san. Back in the hostel, I read some reviews about the park on TripAdvisor and got interested. It seemed unique and fascinating. Because I didn't know how to get to the park, I asked directions at the reception. Surprisingly, they google it and printed out a map with directions! It was very nice of them. In the park, there were some health-conscious people jogging. I saw a number of joggers in Central Park and it seemed to me that New Yorkers love jogging. Although I felt like skating when I saw a lot of skaters in Toronto, I didn't feel like jogging in New York at all. I just enjoyed walking in High Line.

The next destination was the United Nations. To be honest, I almost forgot that the headquarter is in New York... It was a bit far from the subway station and not attractive in its appearance, but the inside was interesting. The admission to the reception area was free, but the guided tour cost $16. In other words, you cannot see most part of the building without joining the tour. Anyway, our guide, who is from Ukraine, was excellent and I was fully satisfied with her tour.

It was almost four, so it was about time to go back to the hostel, but I had to visit one more place: Metropolitan Museum of Arts in Central Park. I knew it was open until nine on the day, so I had chosen it for the evening sightseeing. I had been eager to visit one of the biggest museums of the world. I had been to the British Museum and Louvre Museum, and I had heard the Metropolitan Museum was as big as them. In my impression, Americans love simple and large things. So they don't value elavorate and small things, or art. It seemed that Metropolitan Museum also had the taste. There were many gigantic items including a shrine, chapel, walls and rooms. Some rooms were full of statues and the number was impressive. It was an interesting museum. Unfortunately, it was too big to see everything in a few hours. So I asked for a must-see list of the displays, but they didn't have.
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