These are a very brief guide (as much as I can be brief!) to what was our trip to America a few months ago.
I hope it can be a useful guide for your first trip to New York, and that you also love photos.
Just married, Stefano and I, we flew over the ocean, where I had a fantastic wedding to photograph, I’ve talked about it here.
In the meantime, we took a few days off for our first visit to the United States of America.
The first impact was not the best: out of the plane a heavy rain welcomed us! But then luck played in our favor: for all of our stay, there were wonderful November days, with temperatures well above average.
Our apartment was in Brooklyn, not far from Williamsbourgh, so to make the most of the few days, we decided to focus our energy on Manhattan.
The first day was dedicated to the city’s skylines, the most famous and strategic points to see the city from above, at any time of day.
The morning was dedicated to the Rockefeller Center, in front of which the skating rink was extremely impressive. Inside there are offices and shops, and also a very famous venue: that of NBC Studios where one of my favorite shows is recorded, the Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon!
Before entering, however, you must book at the ticket office the time you want to go up, then, once you get on the elevator up to the roof entrance, know that there is usually a bit of waiting: the files in New York they are a constant everywhere, get used to it quickly!
Beyond the skyline, what you will see in New York will be a long flashback, if like me you are a movie fan: almost all the places in the city, starting from the most famous ones to the most hidden ones have been used over and over again. in any movie set.
So the feeling is and will always be the same: that you have already been there.
But it is not a foregone feeling that it is not worth visiting the city, indeed.
It ‘s like having looked for the whole time a model of a mountain and then finally climbing to the top for real: there is no more beautiful feeling that the wind on your face.
And after all, for an Italian girl like me, grew up through American movies, music and art, it was like being on the on the other side of my unconscious but always present foreign culture.
Leaving the Rockefeller, you have one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the city before you, it does not cost you anything to make a quick jump there: the very irish St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
From there on foot we headed to another place of millions of movie sets: the Grand Central Terminal.
The sparkling golden places in New York, literally speaking.
Take a leap to discover the architecture of the largest train station in the world. This is a perennial meeting place, and the four-sided clock at the top of the information desk is perhaps the most recognizable icon in Grand Central.
A restoration carried out in the autumn of 1998 allowed to see the original shine of the elaborate ceiling decorated with a star map. The Dining concourse (literally: The Lunch Atrium) is located below the main lobby.
It contains many fast food and restaurants, and this is where we stopped for lunch.
Let’s say that the whole day was more or less dedicated to the places I loved and I already had in mind where to go after the visit to the station: in an emblematic place of a famous 80s movie: Gosthbusthers.
The headquarters of the New York Public Library are housed in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue, at the height of the 42nd, in an impressive Beaux-Art building, flanked by two giant lions, in front of Bryant Park.
In short, the effect of being in front of the building is priceless: inside, in addition to admiring the rooms full of students and scholars, you will also find the original letter with which Columbus announced the discovery of America and the letter Farewell Address of George Washington to the American people.
Under the “museums” section, I can recommend the only two that we managed to visit: the Guggenheim and the MOMA. One of my regrets about my trip to New York is not having had time to visit the Whitney Museum. But I’m sure I’ll refer to the next visit to the States.
I will not post photos of the interior of the museums, only some of the Guggenheim, due to its particular architecture.
I would not ruin the surprise of visiting them live.
Always go to museums, only really houses where to find good food for your soul.
Finally I arrived in my favorite part of the journey, the one in which I speak of an item in particular, perhaps the one I loved most of my trip to New York: the light.
In the heart of Manhattan, completely surrounded by mirrored buildings, there is a special light: in which the transverse reflections arrive everywhere, and create for each block a specific set of different colors. Especially at sunset, where warm and low light bounces on each side of a mirrored building, and is reflected on the moving faces of people on the street.
See it lower, blush and then turn into a twilight, while the sparkling lights of the signs invite to start the night life: this show was magical to observe.
We decided to observe New York from different angles, so in the evening, at sunset, we dedicated ourselves to the second skyline of the day, the one from the tallest but most famous and romantic skyscraper in New York: the Empire State Building.
Go there and dream about the night life, the parties on the roofs, the life of a thousand blinding lights of the city that never sleeps: Broadway, Madison Av, the Hudson River on the horizon that embraces Manhattan … the famous magic that surrounds this city, in front of you.
And then get off the skyscraper and find a great bar to continue the evening!
And if we talk about night lights, it is imperative to take a leap into the most famous square in the world, the center of the modern world as we know it: Times Square, with its sparkling signs that make you forget it’s deep night.
We were not really early risers, but we still wanted to optimize the days in the city, so I planned a long walk to get to know the residential neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan.
Departing from Tribeca, walking very calmly we stopped to make a substantial breakfast with a couple of bagels, then continue towards Soho and land at Greenwich Village.
Undoubtedly, if we talk about architecture, this is the most historic and fascinating district of New York, the one in which the comedies are set, to be clear.
Villas and shops, bars and fantastic places, is a very busy district, whose houses and streets, narrower than the typical Avenues, are very reminiscent of a European town planning.
I confess that I could not resist, and I passed two of the Village’s most famous houses.
The first, is a house where the six best friends of the 90s lived, and the second .. well, the second was the background to many loves of a certain Carrie Bradshaw.
Stopped for a coffee in a Starbucks (when it’s cold and hands are frozen, nothing is more New Yorker Style than walking with a super hot coffee with your name, spelled wrong, above), we relaxed a second sitting in Christopher Park, where you can find the Gay Liberation Monumentate. The art installation commemorates the Stonewall riots and features four figures in “natural, easy” poses: It was completed in 1980 and was the first piece of public art dedicated to LGBT rights.
From there, always on foot, if you like walking, you will easily reach one of the most famous parks, Washington Square Park, seen thousands of times in American movies.
Here you will find the typical tables with chessboard, very popular and always full of supportive and thoughtful people.
Eating is never a problem in New York, if you are in a hurry, take a hot dog on the fly. It’s the typical quick meal you can eat while walking, and it’s absolutely a must-eat.
And talking about food, we stopped for a snack of fresh oysters in Chelsea Market, the noisy and lively market I’ve ever been in.
Duly decorated for Halloween, every corner of the market was full of terrifying attractions.
One of the most amazing peculiarities of American culture is to be able to transform the atmosphere of a place by creating unique and original decorations: a sense of the show that is very strong and admirable.
I admit, we were lucky to get to New York during the Halloween period. Otherwise, we would never have seen the Village Halloween Parade, the historic parade that takes place between 6th Avenue and Canal Street.
All Americans love this party, with its ironic, grotesque, scary or funny masks, is enclosed in this long, very loud and delirious procession.
It ‘a show absolutely not to be missed, and get there by metro was the best choice. As a tradition, after the parade there is a real party, so it is forbidden to go home but you have to celebrate all night.
A separate chapter deserves the lung of New York, his heart and the favorite set of every love movie set in the Big Apple: Central Park.
Yes, it is exactly as you have always seen it, it will amaze you to enter and recognize every corner of it.
The Bethesda Fountain, the Bow Bridge, the boats with lovers that wade into the eyes while they row. I advise you to visit it in full, but to do it in a short time, equip yourself with a rental bike: it will be easier and more pleasant to reach all the points of interest, weather permitting.
Stefano let himself be carried away by all my plans, but he had a personal curiosity: go to Coney Island.
OK, November is definitely not the most suitable season, all the rides and activities are closed.
Yet making the trip is worth it, and I’ll tell you why: a very special atmosphere wraps around Coney Island.
It is perhaps the most melancholic place to go to New York in winter.
Bare, cold, yet mindful and aware of a vitality that has stopped.
While the Riegelmen Boardwalk is cradled in the memories of summer, with bars and rides, tight and still, do not fear the cold, waiting for the thaw and the life that will fill it again.
In the meantime this scenario occurred to me, a beautiful sunset was before our eyes, from Pat Auletta Steeplechase, the long fishing pier, which juts out towards the horizon.
Last chapter of our trip is dedicated to one of the most famous sporting events in the world: the New York Marathon.
Initially I was not so excited about seeing a flood of runners running along the streets, but like anything here in New York, I discovered it was a show in the show.
The marathon, in addition to being beautiful because it involves the entire city, is very experienced both by the participants and by the spectators, which are an essential part of the event: banners, hymns, posters and songs of encouragement.
You can find any type of audience at the edges of the streets.
And there are pit stops dedicated to marathon runners with drinks, food, and even bands and rappers, who hold concerts on site.
We decided to give ourselves to the vision of the marathon from a small local in Williamsburgh, where, while we were having lunch, we watched from the window this festive sea of people.
It was really worth it: watching this marathon made me understand what it means for the New York population to gather around an event. Both positive, as in this case, that negative, I perceived how New Yorkers feel accumulated in one spirit, and how they draw strength from one another only because they live together in a chaotic, crazy but absolutely incredible city.