It was the 10th anniversary of 9/11, so, as you can imagine, it was a weird moment to be in the city. The police were everywhere. Random bag checks on the subway, or just anywhere else, really. I opted for walking the whole day, so I wouldn’t be using the subway or spending time in other crowded places, just in case.
My hostel was located on Central Park West, so I walked into Central Park pretty easily. There must be an easy way to get to the other side of Manhattan, I thought. Well, there wasn’t one. After some peaceful time spent in there (I would totally go jogging there if I was living in Manhattan, I swear!) I came back out again. On the same, west, side. And then walked along Central Park West until I arrived to Columbus circle. It was time for some building-admiration and money spending.
I walked by the American Museum of Natural History. Did you know they had a huge spike in visitor numbers right after Night at the Museum, the movie with Ben Stiller came out? Yeah, me neither. I visited it a few days earlier, but I arrived 30 minutes before closing time, so I didn’t get to see much.
I stood in front of the Dakota. Where John Lennon was shot. Yoko Ono still lives there. It feels weird to take photos of the exact place where someone was murdered, but, it’s not like I was the only one doing that.
I like skyscrapers. Therefore, I liked Columbus Circle.
I took some ugly selfies and walked over to 5th Avenue.
First, the Plaza hotel. It turned 100 years old back in 2007, and it still looks fabulous.
Next stop: the Apple store. Why is it open 24 hours a day? I mean, it would make sense for a Manhattan location to be open, but still. Who buys an iPod at 3 in the morning? Extremely jet-lagged people? It was very crowded in there during the day, so maybe it’s useful if you’d like to shop in peace, to visit at 4 in the morning.
Then, the famous Bergdorf Goodman. I took a few photos of their displays. That white dress on the left, I wouldn’t mind it coming into my closet, even if it’s two years later now and it’s not even remotely fashionable (probably). The first photo in this post is also from Bergdorf Goodman. Aren’t the little outfits adorable?
I walked past some amazing stores: Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton… Ahh, I wish I had money. And a better attire. I certainly wouldn’t dare walk in there in jeans, carrying a backpack.
And then I found another Forever 21! Their Times Square location was, of course, huge. This fifth avenue store was small, but there were 6 floors! That’s what you get when you put something in an old, fabulous building. Yes, I bought clothes here. Mmmmmhm. Unfortunately, this store doesn’t exist anymore. It was temporary. Shame.
I’m afraid there will be no culinary part in this post. You have to understand, I was pretty much broke. I ate lunch at McDonalds every day. Don’t look at me like that! I tried to find KFC, but their restaurants were nowhere to be found.
Everyone buys a lot of stuff when in America, right? So much, that they need another suitcase? Right? As I had anticipated, I bought too many clothes to fit into my old Samsonite suitcase (*that I had bought 7 years earlier in Las Vegas after buying too many things to fit into one suitcase. It’s a vicious circle). Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Many things are much cheaper in USA and it would be a shame not to buy them. Plus, the exchange rate from dollar to euro was so bad that it didn’t make any sense to bring my hard-earned money home. Shopping-pallooza!
So when in Manhattan… Where should you buy a suitcase? Not even Google knew where, so I went to Macy’s. Before actually finding their luggage department, I was already tired! After all, it’s the world’s (second, since 2009) largest department store. However, everything was too expensive for me. I was looking for something around $100, not $400.
Century 21 was a better, and cheaper, idea. Their luggage section was a lot more budget-friendly and I found a gray Dockers suitcase, 4-wheeled (I wish it had four-wheel drive, but no, you still have to pull it yourself), bigger than any of my other suitcases, but still small enough to carry it downstairs from the hostel in NYC to the one in Boston and upstairs when I eventually came home. For less than $100. You’ve got to love America! (I now own 5 suitcases. Five.)
Naturally, I spent the rest of the day shopping. Shopping, shopping, shopping! Aeropostale, American Eagle, Forever 21. Two years later, the American Eagle jeans are still my favorite. I wish we had their stores in Europe, but, sadly, we don’t. There’s no Aeropostale here either. There are Forever 21 stores in Great Britain, and all three of them have online stores, but the shipping costs are enormous.
For a True Blood fan like me, finding the HBO Shop was like a dream come true. I didn’t actually buy anything other than a bottle of Tru Blood. I don’t really need a Merlotte’s t-shirt and apron, right?
In the evening I had to visit Hershey’s store at Times Square. I needed something to remind me of how much I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. How about an ice cream bowl? Everybody needs a bowl. I needed a bowl. I bought the bowl.
After a week spent in Manhattan, it was time to leave. Farewell, New York City! I hope to see you again soon!
As you now know, I was carrying two suitcases. And a backpack. And a purse. And I was in a hurry (am I ever not?). Someone I had never seen before carried one of my suitcases downstairs at the subway station. And then a police officer carried one upstairs for me at another subway station. I was so relieved and in love with the city yet again. I snapped this photo of all my luggage. It almost weighed more than me!
The last thing I saw before I got on the bus was the Empire State Building. I even took a crappy photo of it with my iPod. I was carrying two cameras… But when there was a need to take a photo on the go, the iPod was the only thing handy.
Stay tuned for next week… I’m going to Boston!