By HANNA SHIN | Junior Reporter
When my sleepaway camp was canceled unexpectedly, my family booked a last minute trip to New York. I’ve never been to the Big Apple and I was so excited to explore the city. There are so many things to see and do in NYC but these are the top 10 things that I enjoyed the most during our 5-day stay there:
- Chinatown is located in lower Manhattan. It’s a bustling town and very festive. Colorful lanterns adorned the streets, and the sidewalks are lined with all sorts of vendor carts selling fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and herbs, clothing apparel, toys, snacks, and souvenirs. We had lunch at Hop Kee Restaurant on Mott Street and loved the salt and pepper pork chop.
- The Little Island is a 2.4-acre floating public park in Hudson River and supported by tulip-like columns. It’s a beautiful green park with large grassy area, flower beds, and lots of trees. It has a 700-seat amphitheater for theater, music, and dance performances. I enjoyed walking around the spiral paths and stairs of this unique park with a stunning view of the lower Manhattan buildings and the Statue of Liberty.
- The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear greenway park on the West Side. I was so impressed when I learned that it used to be an abandoned freight railroad track. We started walking from the southern most access of the park on 8th Ave and 14th St all the way to Hudson Yards. The entire pathway was lined with flowers, plants and grasses. We saw several birds and butterflies flying around. There was some artwork displayed along the way too, and the mixture of old and modern buildings made a good background for our photos. It was a beautiful and scenic stroll.
- The Edge Observation Deck is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. It’s suspended in mid-air, giving you the feeling of floating in the sky. It was thrilling and exciting to stand on the glass wall corners and sit on the see-through glass floor. The city view was gorgeous from up there!
- Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge by foot is a must-do in NYC. We started on the Brooklyn side and it took us 30 minutes to get to Manhattan. The bridge gives you one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline. The bridge itself is a beautiful colossal art work and a perfect subject for taking photos.
- The iconic Times Square! We went there at 10pm and I loved all the sights and sounds of the place—the huge LED screens, the tall buildings, the street performers, the variety of shops, and the food trucks!
- Our visit to the 911 Memorial & Museum Tour was very informative of what happened before, during and after 911. The memorial plaza itself is breathtaking and the museum is well laid out with all the artifacts, personal items, videos, and recordings. It’s a somber experience but such meaningful tribute to all of the lives that were lost.
- Taking the ferry boat to Liberty Island. I loved the beautiful views of the city as we took the ferry to the island. The museum was very educational with all its photos, exhibits, and videos. Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is a different experience. You can see it clearly in all its glory and splendor!
- Visiting the Empire State Building is a New York City tourist attraction that everyone should do once in a lifetime. Before you get to the observatory decks, there are exhibits on the 2nd and 80th floors. Exhibits include the history and construction of the skyscraper, efforts to maximize energy efficiency within the building, current-day office tenants and amenities, the Empire State Building’s starring role in the film “King Kong” and a gallery of celebrities who have visited the building over the years. We went at night time and the city view from the observatory deck was stunning!
- Riding the bike around Central Park is the #1 activity that I enjoyed the most! Central Park is known to be the largest and the most beautiful urban park in the country. It’s mind boggling how this gem is located in the middle of the busiest metropolitan area. During the bike ride, we got reminders of that when we saw skyscrapers sticking out from the top of the trees! I love the varied landscaping of Central Park. It has sprawling grassy lawn, meadows, protruding bed rocks, lakes, ponds, and forests. On top of that, there’s a zoo, restaurant, several playgrounds, bridges, gardens, tunnels, biking and hiking trails. I enjoyed every moment as we meandered through, in and around the park on our bikes.
And oh, Serendipity 3 is not in Central Park but worth mentioning that they serve the best frozen hot chocolate. It’s on the upper East Side of Manhattan.
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