On October 22nd I set off from London Heathrow for New York and after about 7 ½ hours I landed at JFK airport. A short taxi ride through the city and I arrived at the Paramount Hotel in Times Square.
The first thing to note about New York it is very busy, being the biggest city in the USA. Manhattan is very dense with skyscrapers covering the whole area. Traffic is always busy and noisy, with it being compulsory to sound your horn at every intersection or stationary vehicle no matter the time of day. The second thing to note is that for every night you stay you have to pay a “resort fee” of around $40.
Having been to the west coast and Los Angeles I thought I would try the east coast, there are many famous land marks such as the State of Liberty, the Empire States Building, World Trade Center, and of course Central Park. The best way to see these is through the City Pass system where you buy a book of tickets and see the various attractions.
As before I used public transport to explore the city. Like most other large cities New York has a metro system and extensive bus network and these can be accessed with a Metro Card which can be purchased giving 7 days unlimited travel for $33. Most journeys however due to the congested traffic can be quicker if walked. The staff on the Metro are not as helpful as in Los Angeles, London or Sydney. It took another commuter to explain that certain busses, even if you have an unlimited card, require you get a paper ticket before hand from a machine at the bus stop. It certainly wasn’t as good value as other cities to buy a 7 day card. Using a New York yellow cab is certainly an experience, all rules of the road seem to be exempt from these.
The hotel rooms are also very small for the price you pay, for the same price as I paid for 7 nights I would have gotten a much larger room in LA and with facilities to be able to make drinks and prepare simple food or even a fridge (this was available for extra cash and if the room was big enough or they hand any spare). With the resort fee on top of your room fee you can’t help but feel like you are being ripped off even if it does include free phone calls (local, long distance and international) and access to wifi.
Having been to New York and seen the sights there I would not necessarily go back there again, never say never though. A flight to Washington DC was booked but had to be cancelled due to getting a stomach bug and not being able to fly. I would like to see other places on the east coast such as Florida or Washington DC.
Check out the USA Galleries.