The City That Never Sleeps I.


Looking back on our summer travels is always a delightful experience. And that’s exactly what I’m doing now, reminiscing about my trip to New York City last year. As I browse through the photos, I relive the vibrant experiences I had in the metropolis famously dubbed by Frank Sinatra as “the city that never sleeps.” The story behind the iconic song is fascinating in itself, being one of those instances where the music of a film surpasses the film’s fame. The most renowned song from Martin Scorsese’s 1977 film “New York, New York” was composed by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb, performed by Liza Minelli. However, it truly gained prominence when Frank Sinatra performed it at his concert in Radio City Music Hall a year later, subsequently featuring it on his next album. From then on, Sinatra made it his signature song, sometimes even performing it as a duet with Minelli, leading many to believe it was originally his. Today, there isn’t an event in New York where it doesn’t play, and the New York Yankees even unofficially use it as their anthem, spawning numerous cover versions. Just like the song suggests, I too wanted to be part of this American supercontinent’s third, and the world’s eighth most populous city.

Join me on this journey to the Big Apple, and if you enjoyed this, check out my previous story HERE!

Welcoming travelers with its three airports – La Guardia, Newark Liberty, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy – New York boasts excellent public transportation, primarily fueled by its subway system. If you’re spending several days in the city, investing in a 7-Day Unlimited Ride pass, just like we did, is highly recommended. We arranged to meet at the heart of the city, Grand Central Terminal, where the July 4th celebration had adorned the terminal with internal decorative lighting. This majestic building, with its information pavilion atop the main hall, features the iconic and highly valuable clock masterpiece made of brass, which is one of the terminal’s most prominent features. For New Yorkers, the phrase “meet me under the clock” is a clear invitation to rendezvous at Grand Central.

Our first stop naturally led us to the mouth of the Hudson River, to the Liberty Island and the Lady Liberty. The Statue of Liberty, standing at 305 feet (93 meters) including its pedestal, depicts a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet with the date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) in her left. We had pre-booked tickets for the ferry, which led to a queue that initially seemed daunting but moved swiftly. Following a designated path, we entered a building where we underwent a security check akin to airport screening before reaching the docks. As we sailed towards the statue, we were greeted with the breathtaking sight of the vast waters ahead and the stunning backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers behind us. It was a peculiar feeling to contemplate what immigrants might have felt when they were met with this view after a long journey by sea. Ellis Island, situated at the entrance of New York Harbor in the mouth of the Hudson River, welcomed approximately 30 million immigrants between 1820 and 1920. The structures there served as the point of “reception,” where immigrants were examined, their settlement requests adjudicated, and some were even turned back if, for instance, a physician deemed them unhealthy.


Planned: Judit Szőllősi

Photos by Franklin Ames (you can find more of his pictures HERE).

Returning to the present and our vacation, the following day we ventured onto the “broad way,” heading to Broadway itself. Despite there being several wide avenues in the city, it’s generally understood to refer to the Manhattan street, the oldest north-south thoroughfare in the city, where success or eternal oblivion is at stake. Seventy theaters line up side by side, earning it the title of the world’s theater exchange – The Theater Game – it’s astonishing to contemplate, as this place is hailed globally as the epicenter of American theater. Sitting in on a show was yet another unforgettable experience for me. The enchanting audio and visual effects of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performance transported me, making me feel as if I were a character in the story myself.

After the cultural program, it was time for a day of culinary delights. Embarking on a seven-stop food tour, including China Town and Little Italy, we sampled delicacies while our guide shared interesting tidbits about the areas. China Town featured street vendors selling fruits and seafood, with lanterns hanging between the buildings. Similarly, Little Italy, a city within a city, was filled with inviting Italian restaurants, evoking the atmosphere of La Dolce Vita. We also took part in a historical city tour, a must-do when in the city, and made sure to visit the 9/11 Memorial. From our guide, we learned about Ellis Island, the history of Wall Street, and visited the famous statue of George Washington, the first president of the United States, located at the National Memorial inside the New York Stock Exchange building, facing eastward towards the Brooklyn Bridge from the World Trade Center site.

Another one of my long-standing dreams came true as we explored Brooklyn during our New York wanderings. Emerging from the subway and heading towards the bridge, the neighborhood grew increasingly beautiful. During our walk, we toured the Dumbo district, saw the Power House (a massive bookstore), then continued to Main Street, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights (the old quarter of Brooklyn), Brooklyn Borough Hall (the old city hall of Brooklyn), and had a fantastic view of Manhattan from the bridge. Tourists were already queuing early in the morning at the Charging Bull on Wall Street, which formed a bustling crowd throughout the day. We also walked past the Trump Tower. The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, is equally iconic and unmissable when visiting New York. Spanning 5,989 feet, it connects Manhattan to Brooklyn. We walked across it, while vendors playing JAY-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State Of Mind” filled the bridge with their music.

The New York Public Library is also popular among tourists. While you can explore it on your own, you can also sign up for a roughly 1-hour guided tour, where they showcase the building. Behind the library, there is a park where summer film screenings, readings, and writer-reader meetings take place. It’s interesting to note that beneath the grassy area lies the library’s multi-level storage. A few interesting facts about the institution: the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building serves as a research center, built in 1911, guarded by 2 lions at its entrance. Inside, they preserve Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Gutenberg Bible, and manuscripts of Galileo Galilei.

In conclusion, my New York adventure was a rich tapestry of experiences. The city’s history, culture, cuisine, and landmarks all contributed to making it a truly unforgettable journey. Stay tuned for more tales from the Big Apple in future chronicles!

To be continued…

Szőllősi Judit

Ne maradj le semmiről!

Iratkozz fel hírlevelünkre és értesülj elsőként híreinkről, újdonságainkról!

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Daytona Beach, FL 32114

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Daytona Beach, FL 32114

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