The Concrete Jungle of New York City
I am in the most fascinating city I have ever been to. New York City. It all intrigues me - the tall, shiny glass skyscrapers covering this big city, the bright lights in Times Square, the smell of thousands of different restaurants with tons of different ethnic foods, and the yellow cabs honking their loud horns.
I'm a girl from Toronto, and I always thought that Toronto was a big city until I got to NYC. For a Toronto girl, it was so unusually different to be in NYC. First off, NYC is so noisy! People say New York City is the city that never sleeps - and I finally understand why. No matter what time of day it is, the New York streets are always jam packed with people. It’s filled with heaps of people; I feel so congested I hardly have elbow space when I'm walking.
The cabs barely have any room, just like the people in New York. There are so many yellow cabs it's insane. The loud honks of the cabs one after another are quite overwhelming. New York is quite noisy. Sometimes I think they are just honking for the sake of honking. It will be for the dumbest reasons too, like the cars ahead aren't going fast enough. There really aren’t many normal cars in New York, mostly just yellow cabs. New York is the best for walking, though. Although in some streets it reeks of cigarettes, garbage, and pee, but on Broadway and Fifth Avenue there are many different little bake shops that have a delicious aroma of sweet smelling pastries and fresh baked bread that I can tell just came out of the oven. The smells of the baked goods makes my stomach growl.
The pastries just smell delicious, but something that doesn’t smell so good is dog pee. Here’s a weird fact: Some trees on the streets are surrounded by little hot peppers so that dogs will smell it and not go near it. I find it a very interesting way to keep the dogs from peeing on the trees.
Here’s a new thing about my NYC trip that I loved: there are so many little dessert shops with fresh pastries, like the famous New York cheesecakes that would melt in my mouth, decorative cupcakes, and cakes with the most delicate designs; they had very detailed designs of different kinds of flowers on each cake or cupcake. It would take so long to make the flowers on the desserts look so perfect; it looks almost as if the flowers are real.
When I’m walking the streets, I like discovering small hidden shops that aren’t well known in New York. Often people will line up in the long lines to get in the trendy restaurants and shops, but I like finding the little unusual shops and often they end up having the most delicious foods and cool, vintage-looking clothes. My favorite shop I found was in the streets of Soho; a soap shop called Sabon. I just love the earthy and floral scents of the soaps, incense, perfume, and candles.
I enjoy finding little shops in New York, but there are so many famous landmarks in NYC. It's strange to me going to the landmarks where so many movies and television shows were filmed. There are so many songs about New York like 'Empire State of Mind' by Jay Z and Alicia Keys, and 'Hey there Delilah' by the Plain White Tees. I just find it so amazing that I am finally in the city where so many movies and TV shows have been filmed and all these great songs are about this big city.
There are many other must see landmarks in New York. One of the best tourist places to go to is definitely Times Square! Being in Times Square is spectacular; the lights are so bright and there are so many screens. It’s like watching TV show commercials and advertisements for clothing one after another everywhere. There's always live music playing in the Manhattan streets.
Another great tourist place is the Empire State Building. The view from the Empire State was very impressive. You can see all of New York and then some. From that high up we can see all the glittering lights from all the skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty, and the thousands of yellow cabs covering the streets (they look like little yellow bugs). Even though I was 86 stories above the ground, I could still hear the blaring honks of the cabs all the way down on the streets. The only way to not listen to the cabs honking is to cross the bridge and go to New Jersey.
The hotel I went to was very comfortable. I love the hotels in NYC; the beds are huge and were filled with tons of feathery soft pillows. At the end of the day I was always so tired of walking the Manhattan streets, so I was happy to come back to the hotel and just lie in the comfortable feather down pillows. The bed was so possibly the coziest bed ever.
The strangest thing in New York City was the architecture. There were cars coming out of the buildings near Grand Central Station. People wanted to build a road where Grand Central Station is, but of course they didn't want to tear this landmark down, so the New Yorkers decided to make tunnels that go through the buildings. NYC is a cool place to visit and a fun experience.
Becca Tran is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.
All photos courtesy and copyright Becca Tran