It’s my last full day in New York City and I don’t have any grand plans with which to fill it. There are, however, a few things I’d still like to see. Some of them I’ve seen already, but I’d like to see again (probably because I failed to appreciate them when I was a moody 16 year old trailing after my parents), and some are new! Feet don’t fail me now.
1) Tudor City:
Set in Manhattan’s East Side, this huge neo-gothic red brick building was the first residential skyscraper complex in the world, and its buildings house over 5,000 people. You’ve probably seen it in the movies… according to Wikipedia, movies filmed in Tudor City include The Godfather Part III, The Peacemaker, Spider-Man 1-3, U.S. Marshals, The International, Taxi Driver, Scarface and The Bourne Ultimatum. It’s also famous for the large TUDOR CITY sign which sits helpfully on the roof.
Tudor City is also surrounded by luscious green city parks.. pretty idyllic spot for a quick sandwich. Or two.
And you might meet a friendly neighbourhood squirrel.
2) Ford Foundation Building:
This is a 1960s office building that puts most other 1960s office buildings to shame. It’s striking from the outside (if you scroll up to my first photo of Tudor City, it’s the one in the foreground on the left), but the lobby is open to the public, and it’s basically a 10 storey atrium filled with trees, plants, fountains and other landscaping features. Imagine being outside, but actually being inside.
If the inspiring work of the Ford Foundation wasn’t enough to make me want to work here, then the super chilled jungle-style environment probably is. Might send off a cheeky CV after I graduate next year.
3) Daily News Building:
Ok, so the Daily News Building is a big-ass 1929 Art-Deco skyscraper in the Turtle Bay neighbourhood of Midtown, Manhattan which was the HQ of the New York Daily News until 1995. For a change, I’m not here for the architecture, but for what lies within for in the lobby of this building is the world’s biggest indoor globe.
On the floor are handy compass directions telling you exactly how many miles and in what direction your favourite global cities are in. Hi Edinburgh! Only 3258 miles away (no doubt we’ll have fun doing that trip tomorrow..)
In the globe-pit there are a bunch of plaques on which are scribed some fairly mind-blowing facts about the relative size of all the junk in our Universe like the Sun and the Earth and stuff.
And the Great Nebula in Andromeda… which is apparently quite big.
4) Grand Central Terminal:
Trains and people come and go. There’s a lot of space for activities.
5) Chrysler Building:
More Art Deco. This time with Gargoyles.
6) Bryant Park
This is probably my favourite place in the city to sit and people-watch. I spent a few hours here last week when I was waiting for my bus to Rhode Island, and liked it so much I came back for more. It’s also the site of the New York Public Library, which is a very beautiful building and is also good for sheltering in should climate change suddenly render the outside world uninhabitable.
From the grassy lawn there are pleasant vistas of the surrounding skyscrapers. There’s also an outdoor cinema screen, and a stage where, at the time, various Broadway acts were giving taster performances of the evening’s shows.
And there’s free wifi, some tables and chairs, coffee huts, and it’s generally a splendid place just to sit and relax.
7) Times Square:
Need I say more? Bright lights, big city and all that.
I then saw this guy, who saw me trying to take a photo on the sly and used the opportunity to try and wangle a few bucks from me. Sorry pal, I’m Scottish, I’ve already spent all my money on haggis and heroin.
Go Team GB!! (Yes, it is the Olympics. I had almost forgotten)
8) Ground Zero:
Last time I was here, this place was not far off being a hole in the ground. I went to the museum with my parents and did the tour and stuff. It’s changed a bit.
One World Trade Center, or the Freedom Tower is almost complete. It will apparently be topped out somepoint within the next two weeks.
FDNY Ten House, home of engine company 10 and ladder company 10. situated right across from the WTC, not only did five members of this house lose their lives on September 11th, but the entire firehouse was destroyed by debris.
And this. This makes me very happy.
As you can probably tell from the ominous skies in the above picture of the Freedom Tower, we are now mid thunderstorm. I’m heading back to my hotel in Bowery to chill out, and perhaps go lightning-spotting on the roof terrace.
Bowery is a neighbourhood (and also a street) in southern Manhattan, bordering Chinatown and the East Village. It’s kind of got an artsy, bohemian vibe and I like it.
Somebody here likes this guy.
It may not be the best day to be exploring the roof garden…
…although, at least I have the whole place to my self.
The view is okay too, and I did see some nice lightening strikes, although catching them on camera proved to be another matter altogether…
And that, my friends, is all we have got time for today. I have an evening flight out of JFK to catch tomorrow, so I think I’ll spend most of tomorrow in Bryant Park relaxing and not rushing anywhare for the first time in god knows when… I’m excited already!