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Published: August 26th 2014
One favourite place for us in New York is Central Park. We make sure to go there every time we are in New York either for a walk or for running.
Roaming both the famous places and the more anonymous ones
We have been to New York City a few times over the years. On this visit we revisited some of our favourite places, we went to one place that is changing fast to see the developments there and we discovered a few places that were new to us.
One favourite place for us, and for countless others, in New York is Central Park
. We make sure to go there every time we are in New York either for a walk or for running.
There are several other parks we like in New York, such as the Washington Square Park and The High Line Park
. The High Line Park is a fierce competitor with Central Park for the title "Our Favourite Manhattan Park". It is very special in that it is very narrow, often less than five metres wide, but very long, well over a kilometre. The High Line used to be an elevated rail line for freight trains on the west side of Manhattan. From the 1950-ies and onwards less and less freight was carried on trains in favour of trucks and in 1980 the High
Squirrels are quite common in the various parks in New York. They are so cute and therefore they are always welcome into the blog
Line was abandoned for good. Almost 30 years after he last train ran on the tracks of the High Line Park it was once again put into use, this time as a park.
A place we visit each time we are in New York is the World Trade Center site. It is a site that has seen a lot of changes since the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Since last time we visited the memorial park has opened, with two pools marking the original position of the twin towers, and new skyscrapers and a transport hub are being constructed.
On this trip we were accompanied by Emma's sister Anna. Since this was Anna's first visit to New York we took her on the ferry to Staten Island. The Staten Island Ferry is a free ferry between lower Manhattan and the borough Staten Island. From the ferry you can get a pretty good view of the Statue of Liberty without having to take a time consuming and somewhat expensive tour.
At Pier 86 on the west side of Manhattan is the aircraft carrier Intrepid permanently moored as the centrepiece of the
New York streetIntrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
One of New York's straight as a ruler streets as seen from the High Line Park
. If aircraft carriers is your cup of tea then it is also likely that you are interested in several of the other exhibits in that museum. The three top attractions are
• A Concorde plane. Only 20 were ever built and only 18 exists today. The guide at the museum called the Concorde "the fastest successful passenger plane ever". That was intelligent because Concorde is the second fastest passenger plane ever built. There was for a short while a slightly faster passenger plane named Tupolev Tu-144. It was however not successful, it only flew about 100 flights with passengers, so often Concorde is erroneously granted the title of being the fastest passenger plane ever.
• A Lockheed A-12, which is a predecessor to the Blackbird and also one of the fastest jet planes ever. The A-12 looks just as cool, as evil and as deadly as the legendary SR 71 Blackbird. Ake knows because he has seen a Blackbird in Washington DC
• Space Shuttle Enterprise. Ake has seen the Space Shuttle Enterprise
before when it was on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. The question then was if it is correct to call
World Trade Center site
In the memorial park two pools marks the original position of the twin towers
Enterprise a Space Shuttle. It is not a complete shuttle and it was never in Space. It was built for testing various concepts, such as air stability and flight characteristics, but lacked both engine and heat shield. The possibility of adding the missing components and making it fit for space flights was for a while considered to replace Space Shuttle Challenger after it was destroyed during a launch in 1986. Those plans were eventually shelved.
A place much visited by locals and visitors that we have never gone to until now is Coney Island
. Coney Island has been a seaside resort for more than a hundred years. Apart from the beach there are also amusement parks and many other activities going on during the summer months in Coney Island. During the winter it is probably a very quiet place though.
When we arrived in New York we found a guide book to more unusual sights in New York. We decided to buy a copy and looked in it while we were doing our sightseeing, thus finding some of the lesser known places of interest.
In the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway
World Trade Center site
Memorial to the firefighters that lost their lives on September 11, 2001
there is a clock embedded in the street. Barthman Juwelers Store had it mounted in the sidewalk just outside their store as a publicity stunt. The text "William E Barthman since 1884" is written on the brass fitting of the clock. The year might indicate when the company was founded rather than when a clock was first mounted outside the store. But it is safe to assume that a clock has been there well over a hundred years by now.
At the subway station 14th Street - Eighth Avenue there is a permanent art installation called Life Underground
. We have written about that after one of our previous visits to New York but we happily write about again because it is a bit cute. The installation consists of more than 20 small sculptures placed in various parts of the subway station.
Another Subway-related lesser known place of interest in New York is the City Hall Subway Station
, a disused subway station that used to be underneath the City Hall. City Hall station can be visited by taking a guided tour. However, getting a ticket to such a tour is very difficult and for most visitors it is not an
The High Line
The High Line used to be an elevated rail line for freight trains. In 1980 the High Line was abandoned for good. Almost 30 years after he last train ran on the tracks of the High Line Park it was opened as a park.
option. But what makes City Hall Station different from most disused stations, also commonly referred to as ghost stations, is that it is possible to see the station anyway, or at least see glimpses of the station. You take subway number 6 to the end station the Brooklyn Bridge - City Hall Station. Instead of exiting the train when you are told to do so you stay on the train. It is perfectly legal and very common to do so. Nobody will questions why you don't step out. The train then drives on through a short loop before returning to Brooklyn Bridge - City Hall Station on the other side of the platform. In the middle of that loop is the City Hall Station. You don't get to see much, since the station is dark and is only lit up by the lights on the train you are on. But at least it is more than nothing.
On West 23rd street is the Hotel Chelsea
, best known for having had many famous residents, many of them staying for months or even years in the hotel, such as Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Stanley Kubrick, Madonna and Jimi Hendrix.
Statue of Liberty
Is she doing the Rocky pose...? No, that's two arms up in the air...
The last of the lesser known places of interest we are going to mention here is 586 Lexington Avenue. It was here they shot the original scenes in the movie The Seven Year Itch where Marilyn Monroe has her skirt lifted up by a stream of air coming through a subway grating. The final scene in the movie however is largely shot in a studio since the noise from on looking crowds rendered much of the film shot at location on Lexington Avenue unusable.
Finally we would like to mention one place on Manhattan that could have been a big tourist attraction but sadly does not exist anymore - the Pennsylvania Station
. Not the modern transport hub Pennsylvania Station but the original Pennsylvania Station. It was an architectural and artistic masterpiece that was demolished in 1963. All that remains of that station today are the stone eagles that used to adorn the main entrance. The rest is gone for good. From the photos we have seen on Internet the original Pennsylvania Station was just as grand and imposing as the Grand Central Station is today. So all you can do today is to go to the Grand
Ellis Island was the first stop for millions of immigrants to the United States since US immigrations has their New York office there for more than 60 years
Central Station, admire it and then in your minds try to imagine what it could have been like to walk through the Pennsylvania Station back in the days.
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