Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it – New York, New York. These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray. Right through the very heart of it – New York, New York.
I felt the song in my heart while strolling along the streets of New York two weeks ago. I was in the Big Apple for one week and indeed NY is the city that never sleeps.
I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps. To find I’m king of the hill, top of the heap…
Ate Stella, my cousin who is a nurse in NY, and Kuya Danny, her husband, were my hosts. They made me stay in their home for a week of fun and excitement. Those places that I saw only on TVs or movies, I saw them all with my two big, round eyes (yes, my eyes grew bigger and rounder just to even think I was in Time Square).
I visited a number of places. At the 50th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is the largest decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in North America. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church.
Few architectural features:
* The cathedral is built of white marble quarried in New York and Massachusetts. The parish is bounded by 59th Street, 3rd Avenue, 44th Street, and 7th Avenue and encompasses 302 city blocks. The spires rise 330 feet from street level.
* The windows were made by artists in Chartres, Birmingham and Boston. The great rose window is one of Charles Connick’s major works.
* The St. Michael and St. Louis altar was designed by Tiffany & Co.; the St. Elizabeth altar was designed by Paolo Medici of Rome.
* The Stations of the Cross won a prize for artistry at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
* The pietà is three times larger than the Michelangelo’s Pietà.
* A bust of Pope John Paul II is located in the rear of the cathedral, commemorating his visit to the city in 1979.
* The roof is made from slate from a relatively unknown town by the name of Monson
Who doesn’t want to visit ground zero? For those who were born just recently, it is the place where the Twin Towers once existed and bombed on September 11, 2001. Even after almost 6 years after the tragic event that killed thousands, standing at ground zero is a bit spookish. It was one of the biggest and disastrous events in my generation that I cannot forget. I was in the Netherlands that time and classes were suspended as everyone was glued to the TV sets and all were teary-eyed watching people scampering to escape death from two burning towers.
The timeline provided at the viewing area of ground zero made me recall all those memories. Reading from how the terror began to how the terroristic act managed to succeed, the feeling was unimaginable. There were photos displayed. I said a prayer right then and there.
Currently, there are rows of steel beams and tower cranes soar the skyline for the construction of the Freedom Tower. It will be the centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center complex currently planned for Lower Manhattan. If the spire and antenna height (the criteria of one category of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) are included, Freedom Tower might, at 1,776 feet (marking the year of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence), qualify as the tallest office building in the world if no other rival towers are completed first.
Most of the time that I was in Manhattan, I was just shopping. Dude, was it good to shop at Time Square! The goodies were all tempting and had I been alone, I would have emptied my bank account for clothes and shoes. Thank God I was with my cousin Mona! Somehow, she was my salvager. When she’d ask me that we go to some feminine store for her needs, that prevented me to shop for more. However, I still coughed up hundreds of bucks for personal luxuries.
This is the Empire State building. It is once again the tallest building in New York after the destruction of the World Trade Center. The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Where to stay in New York City:
Super 8 Stamford/New York City Area (around $68 a night)
Situated in Stamford, Super 8 Stamford/New York City Area is close to E. Gaynor Brennan Golf Course, Museum of Black World War II History, and Stamford Center for the Arts. Also nearby are Stamford Public Library – Ferguson Library and Stamford Town Center. Wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is complimentary in public areas. There is a 24-hour business center on site. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast each morning. Additional amenities include multilingual staff and ATM/banking services. Self parking is complimentary. The 99 air-conditioned guestrooms at Super 8 Stamford/New York City Area include safes and hair dryers. Complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access is provided. 32-inch LCD TVs are equipped with cable channels. All accommodations provide desks and phones.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Stamford/New York City (around $80 a night)
Situated in Stamford, La Quinta Inn & Suites Stamford/New York City is in the business district and close to E. Gaynor Brennan Golf Course, Museum of Black World War II History, and Rich Forum. Also nearby are Palace Theatre and Stamford Public Library – Ferguson Library. The hotel offers a restaurant. A complimentary breakfast is available. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. There is a business center on site. Additional amenities include an indoor pool, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Self parking is complimentary. The 158 air-conditioned guestrooms at La Quinta Inn & Suites Stamford/New York City include coffee/tea makers and hair dryers. Guests can use the in-room complimentary wired high-speed Internet access. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels. Bathrooms offer shower/tub combinations and complimentary toiletries.
Fairfield Inn New York Long Island City/Manhattan View (around $110 a night)
Conveniently near the airport in Long Island City, Fairfield Inn New York Long Island City/Manhattan View is close to Thalia Spanish Theatre, SculptureCenter, and Museum for African Art. Also nearby are P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and 5 Pointz The Institute of Higher Burnin. The hotel offers a snack bar/deli. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas. The hotel features business amenities including a business center, a meeting room, and limo/town car service. Additional amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, multilingual staff, and tour/ticket assistance. Guests have complimentary access to an area shuttle within 1.00 mi. Guest parking is available on a limited first-come, first-served basis (surcharge). This is a smoke-free property. The 154 air-conditioned guestrooms at Fairfield Inn New York Long Island City/Manhattan View include safes and coffee/tea makers. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is provided. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs with cable channels. All accommodations provide desks and complimentary weekday newspapers; free local calls are offered (restrictions may apply). Bathrooms offer shower/tub combinations, hair dryers, and complimentary toiletries. Additional amenities include irons/ironing boards and blackout drapes/curtains. In addition, housekeeping is offered daily and amenities available on request include hypo-allergenic bedding.
Or search for a hotel in Manhattan NY that is within your travel budget.