Since I came back from North America there is one place I can’t get out of my head. Every day I wonder how I should define it and if it is a place I liked or not. The more I think about it, the harder it is for me to decide. I guess New York City is the first place that sticks in my head.
My first impressions of New York
From the moment I arrived at the Port Authority bus station in Times Square on a Saturday night, everything suddenly accelerated up. I remember exactly this passage, from the calm and dreamy drive from the Stewart airport to the moment when I suddenly found myself in the “Center of the World”. The glow beating from neon signs in Times Square made me wonder if it was day or night. I remember that I was struck by the mass of people on the streets, steaminess and stench.Yes, New York stinks. It smells really bad. I needed a moment to adapt to the rhythm of the city. Even though I din’t have to I speeded up. My number one goal was to get to Queens, where I was supposed to stay overnight by CS host. I needed a moment to figure out this tangle of 27 subway lines. Although initially, this city frightened me, it’s surprising that I did not feel threatened in any way. I joined the million anonymous mass, no one pays attention to others, the only thing that matters is to get from point A to point B.
New York – city of contrasts
What is New York like? Exhaustive, thrilling, diverse, fast, inspiring, demanding, evolving, unforgettable, crowded, magnetic, nervous, addictive, homeless, cosmopolitan, expensive, fashionable, frustrating, …. It is a city of discrepancies. A place where it’s hard to work, but some say that if it survives, it is impossible to live anywhere else in the world. New York is still attracting new residents and tourists. Millions of people, even for a moment want to feel how it is to fall into the concrete jungle.
The Big Apple also has its second face, it’s place with many green areas. Apparently the number of parks and recreational areas in all boroughs of New York is over 1700. Sometimes even a small green space is called a park though. Parks definitely help in the survival of this hustle and bustle. It is amazing how people look for contact with nature and even change an old railway viaduct into a park.
When it comes to boroughs of New York, there are 5 of them and each of them has different energy and atmosphere. Below you can find short characteristics of the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island.
One of the first associations when it comes to New York is Manhattan. It is the best known district of New York and at the same time the most densely populated. It is situated on a long island surrounded by the Hudson River from the west and the East River from the east. On the surface of almost 60 km2 there are 90% of the most popular attractions of the Big Apple, such as Central Park, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, MoMa, Wall Street and Times Square.
Separated from Manhattan by the East River, Brooklyn is second in terms of popularity. There are living more than 2.6 million people with a large ethnic diversity. This makes it a “bedroom” for people working in Manhattan. Another term for Brooklyn is the city of trees, due to the numerous parks. One of the options to get to Manhattan from Brooklyn is to cross the famous Brooklyn Bridge. It is estimated that daily over 120,000 cars, 4,000 pedestrians and 2 600 cyclists use this one of the most famous bridges in the world.
It is territorially the largest and fastest growing boroughs of New York. There is a lot of Asian and Latino communities here, which means that you can find here a lot of interesting restaurants. In addition, there are two airports: JFK and LaGuardia.
It is located in the northern part of the city. Not always associated positively and avoided by tourists. Which is wrong, because here you can also find many interesting places. The most popular attractions include the New York Yankees baseball stadium, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Zoo, which is considered the largest in the US and one of the largest in the world, and the New York Botanical Garden. In addition, it is the brithplace of the famous music and dance style – hip-hop.
The least known and smallest borough in New York. It is mainly a residential area and looks most similar to the American suburbs. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn and New Jersey with bridges, and you need to take the ferry to get to Island from Manhattan. It is especially popular with tourists because it gives the opportunity to admire the famous Statue of Liberty. On Staten Island there is Greenbelt Park, which is the most biologically diverse green area in New York.
Would I go back to New York? I think so. I still have a lot to see there. Did I like it there? I think this city somehow fascinated me. It has such an unspecified feature that attracts and makes you want more. What I know for sure after this stay is that I couldn’t live there. Definitely this city is too big and too chaotic for me and it seems to me that in the long run I couldn’t find my place there.
Have you been to New York? What do you think about it? Would you like to live there?
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Hi! I have been once to New York with a friend 😀 My first impression was the same as yours. GOD IT’S OWERWHELMING! But once you get a bit outside of the crowded areas, you can discover peaceful places. My favourite borough was definitely Brooklyn. I loved the architecture, Prospect park, which was smaller than Central park and the Bushwick area with all the streets art… and the pizza by Roberta’s and the vegan brownies at the Bake shop!
Hi Delphine! I also was there with a friend:) For sure it made this trip even more amazing 🙂 I haven’t been in Bushwick area but definitely it is on my list for the next time! Thank you for your pizza and vegan brownies recommendations!:)