The arrival: What is the best way to get there by car?
After Philadelphia, New York was the next destination of our trip along the East Coast. So again, we started looking for a place to stay in the city. We quickly found out that it was not going to be that easy with Gary if we didn’t want to rob a bank and keep all our organs. Not only that the hotels & Airbnbs in New York were not already expensive enough, there are also horrendous parking and toll fees. So the next idea was to find a hotel outside and then commute into the city by public transport.
In the end, we chose a hotel in New Jersey, the Kenilworth Inn. From there we always went by car to Liberty State Park and finally by ferry to Brookfield Place. This worked out quite well for us because we could park right at the ferry for $7 a day. On top of that, it was $8 per person/direction for the ferry (if you buy a 10-ride ticket, otherwise it’s $10 per ride). Overall, the stay was still not a bargain, but at least cheaper than living directly in New York.
OK, we’re in New York, but what are we looking at?
From the beginning, it was clear to us that we would only be able to see a fraction of New York in a few days. Especially since Nadine wanted to explore the city on foot. Accordingly, we have concentrated mostly on Manhattan and only made a small excursion to Brooklyn. The tour to the Statue of Liberty had to be one thing, of course. During the 5 days we spent in New York, we did the following tours:
Day 1: Lower Manhattan to Chelsea
From the 9/11 Memorial, our route led south. Past the New York Stock Exchange and the Charging Bull to the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we continued north via Union Square Market and the Flat Iron Building to the High Line. From here we headed south again past Magnolia Bakery, the Friends Apartment, Ghostbusters headquarters and the Staple Street Skybridge back to the ferry at Brookfield Place.
Day 2: Brooklyn & Top of the Rock
The following days we took it a bit easier and took the metro to Brooklyn to the New York Transit Museum. From there we walked through the Dumbo neighborhood to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Finally we went – again with the metro – to the Top of the Rock within the Rockefeller Center, where we watched the sunset.
Day 3: Intrepid & Fleet Week
We started the third day with a visit to the Intrepid Museum and the ships lying next to it. Since we were lucky enough to be in NYC for Fleet Week, there were other US Navy ships anchored here. From there we went to Times Square (right, again on foot) and then back towards the hotel.
Day 4: Liberty Island Tour
Since our feet were still burning after the last few days (despite the shorter routes), we only took the tour to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty on the fourth day. In the museum on Ellis Island, we were able to spend an appropriate amount of time on the history of immigration to the USA.
Day 5: Upper Manhattan (Central Park to Empire State Building)
At the end we had planned to visit Upper Manhattan. So we took the subway to 86th Street and from there past the Guggenheim Museum and the Met in the direction of Central Park. Once there, we took the chance that all New Yorkers were jogging and looked for a hot dog stand. Here we treated ourselves to the obligatory New York hot dog. Freshly strengthened we went on the last stage. Past Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and Trump Tower to Bryant Park for a last break. On the way back to the hotel, we finally checked off the last sights on our to-do list with Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building.
So what do I take away from this experience?
Overall, of course, I think New York is an impressive city. Alone because of the sheer size and the many things to see. Thereby, many things I noticed positively, which I would have expected differently:
- Of course, there is a lot going on in the city, but it is nowhere near as crowded and hectic as I had assumed.
- According to Nadine, there is generally much less traffic in the city compared to her last visit. There are now many bike lanes and individual squares or streets have been completely or partially traffic-calmed and are used by local bars & restaurants for outdoor areas.
- The noise level is absolutely within limits. There is no constant wailing of sirens and/or horn concerts; however, helicopters are continuously flying over the city.
Through all the walking we have seen a lot of New York (according to the Health App we have traipsed through New York just under 65km). However, I noticed on the last few days that the head is no longer really receptive. Next time I would probably look at less, but with more time and definitely use the metro more often …
On the following map we have collected all the sights that we have seen in the city. Additionally you can find all pictures in the gallery.