I never had a dream of living or working in America, ‘American Dream’ as the majority say. But I always had the fascination of walking in the streets of New York City. I tried my luck in applying for a US visa from Norway, it was smooth and really fast process. I remember I was asked with just 1 question, a very typical one.
‘What are you going to do in the US?’
In which I answered, ‘For my boyfriend’s birthday’. Then, VIOLA! The interviewer said, ‘Wait for your visa in your post’ . I got my 10 year visa in a span of 1 week.
Why New York? First, it was the cheapest state to travel from Oslo. Second, MJ had been in NY for his field trip few years back and he wanted to visit again. Third, I wanted to check off the city that never sleeps from my bucket list.
Although our airfare was cheaper, our accommodation was a challenge. NY is one of the most expensive state in America, fortunately we traveled with MJ’s mom and sister. His mom was a pretty good finder of inexpensive accommodations. We stayed in Chinatown area in Manhattan. The hotel is called Hotel 91(http://www.hotel91.com/). Well, it was not bad for the price we paid, in fact, it was pretty good. The hotel is surrounded by chain of restaurants (obviously Chinese restaurants!), markets, bus services to different states and metro station.
First stop, what else but the TIMES SQUARE, referred as the center of the universe, crossroads and heart of the world. I love how alive, bright and sparkling is the town square. This may sound exaggerating but my heart cried when I stepped in the center and realized that another dream unfolded right in front of me. It was magical and true.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ELLIS ISLAND- what is a visit to NY without dropping by the most known statue in the world. The liberty is a gift from the people of France to the Americans. It is an icon of freedom and a welcoming sight to the immigrants. It is located in the Liberty island, thus a boat or a helicopter is the only option. Being located in the middle of an island, a rainy and windy weather made the whole experience demanding. Nonetheless, meeting the lady was surreal.
THE NATIONAL 9/11 MEMORIAL- the only place in our whole trip where I had cold shivers. It was hard to imagine that the footprints of the twin towers was on the exact location of this waterfall and pool. The memorial plaza is a tribute and commemoration of the dark past and a hopeful future. Around the twin memorial pool are the names of the people who succumbed in the terror attacks.
BROOKLYN BRIDGE AND MANHATTAN BRIDGE- both connects the Manhattan and Brooklyn area. You can walk on both and they are also right next to each other. We are never a fan of walking thus we chose to walk only on the Brooklyn bridge. The view and the bridge itself was captivating, you can also admire the Manhattan bridge from here.