Birthday Holiday Part One – New York

I’ve always had a fascination with New York; it’s hard not to with so much television, music and fashion coming from there. The city offers such a great opportunity to take photographs, everywhere you look there’s something worth pointing the camera at.

So to celebrate my birthday I decided to book a holiday to the US. I’ve been to America before but it was work related and I didn’t really get a chance to do much sightseeing.

I planned to be in New York for seven nights, I flew from Birmingham to JFK via Amsterdam and the flight wasn’t half as bad as I had thought it would be, I watched a few films, stared out of the window and even had a go at the airlines bush tucker trial.

To make sure I had plenty of things to do I bought a NYC CityPASS ticket in advance; the ticket provides admittance to a number of attractions at a reduced price. Here’s a few things I did with it;

Circle Line sightseeing cruise. Its a boat trip along the Hudson River, you sail past the Statue of Liberty (no need to actually go on the island) and under the bridges linking Manhattan Island to Brooklyn, its well worth it and you get some great views of the skyline.

The Empire State Building Experience. Here you get to go to the observation deck on the 86th floor. The views are amazing and the wire mesh that stops you climbing over is wide enough to poke your camera through. The ticket also allows a second visit on the same day, I used this to go back up at around midnight to photograph a night view when it’s a lot quieter .

The American Museum of Natural History. I will be honest, I didn’t think it was that good; we have much better museums in this country.

Top of the Rock observation deck. It’s slightly taller than the Empire State Building but lacks the character. The observation deck isn’t as good and has a glass screen rather than a mesh making photography a bit more difficult. Getting tickets and a time slot was a pain and both buildings get exceptionally busy at sunset.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. It’s an old aircraft carrier moored on the river. I found this to be quite interesting, not so much for the exhibits but more for the chance to wander around one of these large old ships, it really does make you wonder what life would have been like at sea. It has a number of aircraft on the deck and one of the space shuttles.

I spent the majority of my time in New York walking the streets trying to take it all in, I dread to think how many miles I must have covered, my feet and legs were certainly sore at the end of each day. Whats immediately apparent about New York is that there isnt a spare inch of space, it’s all being used. It’s certainly true what they say, New York is a 24 hour city, the place doesn’t stop; there are always people moving about and there’s always an emergency services siren blaring out somewhere.

Overall it was fantastic experience, there was so much more to do and see and I would definitely go back.

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