Sunday, July 26, 2009

Manhattan, New York, USA (2003)

We initially stayed at Holiday Inn in Manhattan for 2 days. Then we moved to my Aunt's place a few train stops away, near Pelham Station. We explored the city that never sleeps for a few days armed with maps, a stroller and our strolling-ready feet.

We commuted from my Aunt's place to the city for 3 days. We took a train from Pelham Station which took around an hour to reach Grand Central Station. It was a convenient commute and we got the hang of it instantly.

We bought the NY 3-day pass which cost USD125 per adult to get discounts to admission fees to most of the NY attractions like Empire State Building Observatory and Skyride, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Circle Line Cruises., Liberty Island Cruise, Intrepid Museum, Museum of Natural History, etc. It included a guidebook and  hop on-off bus pass. We had a great deal with this pass.

Here are some of the places we visited.

Central Park's 843 acres include 136 acres of Woodlands, 250 acres of lawns, and 150 acres of water in 7 waterbodies. The Park's six-mile perimeter extends from Central Park West to Fifth Avenue and 59th Street to 110th Street. Central Park is the first public park built in America.

From Central Park
View of the apartments and business buildings in Manhattan from Central Park

Hotdog stand just outside the Museum of Natural History, across Central Park. The closer we were to the Park, we realized that the more expensive the hotdogs were!

Kelvin with Balto - a Siberian Husky sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 Serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by sled dog to combat the outbreak of the disease. (wikipedia)

the site of the World Trade Center in New York City, which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

From Manhattan
World Trade Centre Cross (a.k.a. Ground Zero Cross)
a group of steel beams found amidst the debris of the World Trade Centre following the September 11, 2001 attacks (wikipedia)

The place was well "cordoned off" with screen barricades. It was also undergoing construction work for a proposed underground mall or something.

From Manhattan
This was what's left from the ruins of the Twin Towers taken 2003

There was an eerie feeling just looking into the place. As we walked around the area we could  see the other buildings across the street still had broken glass windows. We came upon the list of names of all those who perished in the terrible attacks and said our prayers.

From Manhattan
with my cousins, Tristan and Lauren. Our tour guides (somehow) and fellow tourists :) 

From Manhattan
Overlooking Jersey City from Manhattan

From Manhattan
we walked from Ground Zero to Times Square. That was a long walk from the 14th street up to the 47th!

From Manhattan
Times Square is a major intersection in Manhattan, a borough of New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. The Times Square area consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north, making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan.

A visit to Toys R Us is a must - esp if you have kids in tow. Prepare to explore around 4 floors of toys galore!

From Manhattan
Inside Grand Central on our way back to my aunt's place.

From Manhattan
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL (GCT) — often popularly (and incorrectly) called Grand Central Station or simply Grand Central — is a terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains, it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them.

LIBERTY ISLAND -- formerly called Bedloe's Island, is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty.

We took the Circle Line Ferry to get to Liberty Island. Tickets included in the NY 3day pass (it's free!)
Statue of Liberty -- The Statue of Liberty, officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World,dedicated on October 28, 1886, is a monument commemorating the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, given to the United States by the people of France to represent the friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution. It represents a woman wearing a stola, a radiant crown and sandals, trampling a broken chain, carrying a torch in her raised right hand and a tabula ansata tablet, where the date of the Declaration of Independence JULY IV MDCCLXXVI is inscribed, in her left arm. Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship.

during our visit, tourists were not allowed to go up the Statue (security reasons resulting from the Sep 11 attacks). We just walked around the grounds and took pictures at the base of the Statue.

From Manhattan
outside FAO Schwartz - an upscale toy retail shop located at Fifth Avenue. It was nice to see a whole lot of toy collection. But it was only for window shopping for us. As the name suggests, it was upscale :)

We also visited the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - twice! First time , July 25,(free from our NY Pass), we were only able to go to the Rose Centre after our walk in Central Park. It was already late in the afternoon and there was not much time. Few days after, on July 29, we came back to see the exbihits. Actually it was a toss up between Broadway show Lion King or Museum. We decided to go for the museum, together with my cousin, Lauren, who lives in New Jersey. She and another cousin, is sort of exploring Manhattan with us on some days of our visit. The second visit was sponsored by our aunt. Entrance to the museum USD68 per person.

Here are some pics inside the museum. Beware, lots of dinosaur skeletons.

rubbed shoulders with famous people, dead and alive

NY Skyride USD13.50 per adult. Free for kids below 4yrs old.

 view of neighboring buildings from the top of the Empire State Building

at the building lobby 

home to New York city's most noteworthy landmarks and celebrated attractions, in the heart of midtown Manhattan (

a complex (built by the Rockefeller family) of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 52st streets in NY (wikipedia)

was declared a National Historic Landmark  in 1987 (wikipedia)

 Prometheus - one of the most famous sculptures in the world

This cruise took us around Manhattan thru the Hudson River. We were able to see the Statue of Liberty from afar, the Trump buildings, the bridges around Manhattan, etc. We took the 430pm cruise.
 it was windy on board the cruise ship

 a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty

 Manhattan Bridge - one of the many bridges surrounding Manhattan

 Roosevelt Island Tramway

we're reaching the end of the cruise and Kelvin fell asleep

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