New York City is so much fun it’s Inspiring

March 4, 2013 · 0 comments

in Best Road Trips, Favorite Road Trips, Inspiring Destinations

If you are doing some road trip planning, this post may be just what you’re looking for. New York City, NY is one of the most exciting destinations from any point in the world. Over 50 million tourists, from all over the world,  trek to this great city every year. If there is one city tourists never tire of visiting, it is New York City.

Times Square

Even folks who live here never get to do everything there is to do. I get excited just thinking about visiting New York. It is to cities, what the Grand Canyon is to natural wonders. The huge population and the small space of land they inhabit make it the most densely populous area in the world.

We have visited New York City at least three times, not counting drive through visits. The best trip, the most enjoyable trip, was when we stayed an entire week. It was in the early summer and the temperatures could not have been more pleasant. New Yorkers might disagree with me about the temperature in June, but I’m from the deep south where it gets so hot in June that fire hydrants look for a shade and hope a dog will pass by and cool them off.

This trip was planned to a “T” (a play on the Taylor word) by our oldest son. We had both families stashed away in a motel a good distance from downtown. We walked about two blocks, caught a subway and were in town in less than half an hour. Unless you have to do it everyday, a half hour commute isn’t that bad. There was a neighborhood in Queens that was fairly close to our motel. We could get in our cars, drive a few blocks and eat in neighborhood diners, drive-ins and dives. Downtown food is good, but the choices are limited if your money is limited at all.

One evening we were able to catch a game at Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium @ Night

This was a game in the great rivalry between the New Your Yankees and the Boston Red Socks. I can’t say that I hate the Yankees, but I definitely do not love them. It did my heart good to see the Red Socks not only win the game, but they ran away with it so bad that home team fans began to leave before the seventh inning stretch. Now that’s just not very patriotic!

We went to see ground zero, the infamous site of the 9/11 massacre. Even though we only saw a huge hole in the ground which was being filled with new steel, we wept as we stood there. The thing that puzzles me … how could anyone not love America? To hate the U.S.A. is to hate the entire world. Our country is made up of people from every nation.  To hate America is to hate your own kind as well as the other kinds. It doesn’t make any sense.

From Ground Zero we went to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty. We have natural wonders that almost make your heart stop, but nothing man-made in our land compares with the emotional and social significance of being able to see the Statue of Liberty. Those words, “Bring me your tired your poor” are more than raised letters on a plaque, or engraved letters in stone, those words are the heart and soul of all Americans. All of us came by way of the sign that says “Welcome to America.”

We took two tours of the city on the big bus where you ride on top of the bus! One tour was in the daytime, the other at night. The youthful guides on the big bus, make the city come alive. Your guide fills you in on history, intrigue, ghostly tales and human interest stories at every turn of the wheel.

We took time to see other renowned areas of the city. At Times Square we went into Toys R Us and gawked at the indoor Ferris Wheel which fills three stories of the lobby. We bought T-shirts from street vendors which proclaimed us to be NYC Firemen and Policemen. We ate in New York Deli. I nearly got my fill of hot Pastrami on Rye. There are delis throughout the country but there is ambiance, color and atmosphere here that isn’t found anywhere else.

When we finished eating, we strolled back to Times Square and watched the nearly-nude muscle man who was painted silver, as he posed and directed traffic while hundreds of wide eyed tourists tried to snap pictures of him. Where else?

One night we went to the Broadway show. We saw the play Tarzan.

Tarzan on Broadway

I don’t know if the play was considered good or bad by the New York critics. I have a little experience in theater and I thought it was a clumsy attempt to move the jungle boy indoors. The actors were talented and did their best, but the production seemed to fall short. The redeeming quality of the play was the musical scores, which were very enjoyable.

We ate in the famous Lombardi’s Pizza Kitchen, at 53 1/2 Spring Street, at which in 1905 was the first Pizza made in the USA. The brick oven pizza is undoubtedly the best I have eaten. If all pizza tasted as good as this, there would be a pizza parlor in almost every city in our country. Come to think of it there are. America loves Pizza, thank you New York.

One of our favorite afternoons was spent in little Italy. This Italian neighborhood is filled with stores and sidewalks full of merchandise. It is like a 20 block flea market, although that’s not the way they like to describe it. The vendors are very aggressive, much like those in Mexican border towns. They follow you down the street trying to make a deal. The prices are generally lower than department stores, but some of the merchandise is knock-offs, not what it is represented to be.

My advice about going to New Your is very simple. Get online, check prices, inspect schedules of events. Locate a place to stay that is either downtown, that’s expensive, or close to a subway or bus stop, but farther from downtown. The subway is best because it avoids all traffic jams. Plan out your days as if you were forced into a schedule. There is so much to do that you will never get through. If this is the trip of a lifetime, and it is for many, stay as long as you can, be as busy as you possibly can be, see all you can see. If you get another chance to visit, you will find plenty of new things to do.

On our trip we drove from Mississippi to New York. It took us three days to make the trip, because we planned to stop and see some other sights along the way. There are hundreds of great destinations between here and there, but this place is special, inspiring, exciting. Hope you get to go soon. Hope I do too! Maybe I’ll see you there.

We have to pull over for now. We’ll catch up with you later. Remember what we say … We don’t count the miles, we count the smiles. Keep smiling.

Bill Taylor

Author – King of the Road Trip – an Amazon eBook

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