On August 3rd I made my first trip to New York City at the age of 34. I can’t believe it took me that long to get there considering how much I like to travel. As a matter of fact that was my first expedition ever into the Northeast Region of the United States. For this my wife affectionately labels me a “redneck.” It’s not that I have been impartial to New York. Quite the contrary as I have been an avid aficionado of cinema that takes place there ever since my childhood. Some of my favorite flicks with New York being center stage include Godfather, Goodfellas, and Home Alone 3 Lost in New York (just kidding on the last one). A few of my favorite novels also take place there being J.D. Sullinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and F. Scott Fitsgerald’s The Great Gatsby. So you can see that I have enjoyed cultural components of New York without being exposed to it full force.
It was quite a sensation to emerge from the Lincoln Tunnel in our Coach USA Shuttle bus from Newark Liberty Airport to Midtown Manhattan. I mean you are right in the thick of things! Driving first by Broadway and Times Square and then ending up next to the Grand Central Terminal, it becomes a whole new expansive yet condensed world. The diversity of people, businesses, and the never-ending columns of high-rise buildings provided me a feeling of awe only experienced once before in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I felt truly energized but a little bit intimidated by the buzz of activity on the streets.
After our coach bus made two prior stops in Midtown Manhattan at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and then Bryant Park (next to the world famous New York Public Library), we arrived at our final destination next to the Grand Central Terminal. After disembarking the bus, retrieving our luggage, and tipping the driver, we walked up Lexington Avenue nine blocks to 51st and the site of our hotel, The Double Tree Metropolitan. Surprisingly it was not so difficult to walk that distance with suitcases in hand. Well, it was Friday after 6 p.m. so I figure most of the work commuters had left the island by then. I admit I felt relieved to finally get to our hotel after such a long day of traveling from Denver. However I knew that the day had just begun because as we would shortly set out on our conquest of the big apple! Next post I am going to describe our stay at the Double Tree Metropolitan, which amazingly included a free upgrade to the Presidential Suite! I would like to leave you with a question to respond to if you have the time. What do you remember about your initial impressions of New York City the first time you visited?