New York


14.07 - 13.09.1996




My dreams about New York

I have been dreaming about visiting New York for a long time. However, I had to wait until I graduated from my secondary school when I came across a piece of good fortune. I was invited for holidays by my aunt who had been living with her family in New York for a few years. Just after writing my Matura exam I went to an appointment in the American Embassy in Cracow . A nice talkManhattan with a lady from Embassy was completing by awarding me a visa to the USA for half a year. Then everything went so fast. Booking the plane ticket, countdown of the days till my departure cross the ocean, packing up

My flight or rather flights (As at first I flew from Wroclaw to Warsaw and then from Warsaw straight to New York ) were an earnest of all surprises that were to come. Having a seat at the window gave me a lot of fun like watching the earth, ocean and clouds from the air. But the most beautiful was Greenland with its white slopes.

First steps on the new land

After having landed on the JFK Airport in New York I was shocked by the huge number of planes, when ones of them are starting and other ones landing every a few tens of seconds. Long way through the halls of terminal finally led me to the passport check. While waiting for my turn I noticed an advertisement which made me laugh : “With VISA card you need no visas”. A small talk with an officer, receiving a luggage and, at last, I could meet my family that was waiting for me at the airport. I had an opportunity to live in Brooklyn in New York for two moths.

View from 107 floor World Trade CenterApart from a high air moisture, which you have to get used to while being in New York , I have to add a boiling heat in summer. That is why, it is not surprising how widely the air-conditioning is used in houses, offices, stores, buses, tube and cars. Great variety of cars driving along wide roads may be a lucky find for fans of motorization. Automatic gear case is a basis for easy traveling in traffic jams. The New York underground is also a good way of traveling. I heard it is the only tube in the world that brings benefits. The underground map can be taken from a ticket office for free. These offices also sell chips and magnetic cards that open entrance gates to the station. After coming through the gate you can use the tube as long as you like until you come through a gate in one of another stations.

City that never sleeps

New York are skyscrapers but also beautiful bridges. While two of them that are probably the best known ones: Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge that connect Manhattan and Brooklyn are more classical, Verrazano Narrows Bridge is longer and more modern. It connects Brooklyn and Staten Island and you can drive over it for free. For 7$ you can drive over a two-level bridge with three traffic lanes in each direction on both levels. Taking a ride over it I stacked in a huge traffic jam what let me get out of the car in the middle of the bridge. Constant motion of this constructionSkyscrapers is initiated by cars and wind. For drivers it is also fine to use the tunnel connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn which shortens the distance and time of travel. However, one has to pay 3,5$to avoid standing in traffic jams.

City, that never falls asleep, is illuminated by thousands of lights. Night stream of cars seen from the Empire State Building is created by white and red points rushing in all directions. The best place to watch at night is the platform of the Empire State Building where you can stay up until midnight. Ticket-offices are closed half and hour earlier and do not sell tickets after that. Going up to the top of this skyscraper you may stay until it gets dark. It is an opportunity to watch the city from the air both during the day and at night. There are two platforms on the Empire State Building . The first one on the 86th floor, which is a balcony around the building. The only problem is that the view is disturbed by the iron bars that are to stop any potential suicides. The other scenery platform is on the 102nd floor but a few last floors have to bee covered on foot. The room with glass shields is quite small but not so crowded.  


Anyone who was delighted with Empire State Building should also reach the top of World Trade Centre – the highest building in New York . Slender construction of the twin towers distinguishes incredibly from the background of other skyscrapers. The whole 107th World Trade Centerfloor of the building is a scenery platform surrounded with huge glass shields through which one may observe the city below or clouds covering tops of the highest buildings at any weather. 110th floor seems to be the most interesting one and you can get there via escalator. If the weather is nice the entrance to the terrace on the roof is opened.

I recommend visit on the Times Square to all the lovers of interesting places. And it’s not just because of its popularity, hundreds of adverts and crowds of New Yorkers and tourists. Among the fascinating things we can find juggling shows and a huge music store called Virgin. To anyone who loves fast lift rides I offer using glass elevators of the Marriot Hotel located on the Times Square . There is no problem with entrance. But just in case, I propose to behave as if you were living in this 45-floor hotel. At a wall, inside a huge pillar, a few elevators goes up and down at the same time. Only some of them go to the last floor. Of course, you can count on the fastest ride if you don’t stop on middle floors. Well, while visiting this expensive hotel you may see how rich and famous people live.

Interesting places of New York

Walking down the alleys of Manhattan you can meet both mounted police and cars of services responsible for keeping cleanness in the streets, which are decorated with colorful lights. In contrast to this, we can find some interesting buildings: Madison Square Garden , Chrysler Building ,View from ferry United Nations Building and other skyscrapers. Quiet Wall Street is something completely different from the well-known Rockefeller Center . Exclusive saloons of Mercedes or Ferrari, electronic equipment stores or huge malls attract buyers. After shopping fever you can have a rest in Central Park – a green oasis of New York . For those who require something more I recommend a trip to the mysterious world of dinosaurs, human evolution and animals in the American Museum of Natural History. This huge museums has got rich collections enhanced by the information computers with touch screens. Displayed films and projectors of two-dimensional holograms also attract tourists. Model of an archeological outcrop involves moving pictures of people – astonishing solution. You have to sacrifice at least 3 hours to sight see the museum. 

The skyscrapers of Manhattan can also be watched from the board of a ferry floating between Manhattan and Staten Island . Additionally, you may see the monument – symbol – the Statue of Liberty. There is also a huge number of yellow taxis Manhattan is associated with. However, you can also come across some peculiar vehicles like scooters with engines. Wherever in New York you are, you always hear the sounds of ambulances and police cars.

Boiling hot and moisture

The summer heat can be survived by a bath in the Atlantic Ocean . Wide beaches of Coney Island attract crowds of salt-water baths and sunbathing fans. Watching airplanes landing at JFK airport is permanent element of staying on the beach. They suddenly appear over the ocean and fly above the beach one after another so that at least one of them is always noticeable. Additionally, there are small sports planes flying over the beach and carrying boards with adverts. A lunapark with CYCLONE roller-coaster can be a nice entertainment as well. Not really high but fast, classical roller-coaster still has lots of fans. At the second ride you may try to negotiate the price of ticket.

New York streetNew York is the only city in the USA where you can cross the street on red light, if there are no cars upcoming. If someone in Manhattan waits for the green WALK patiently while all the others already crossed the street, it is possible that he is a tourist from Western Europe . Also drivers can feel privileged in an uncommon way. Within the city they can use sound signals of their cars almost all the time. It usually takes place at crossroads where slow ride of some drivers is criticized by using horn. Everyone in this city is in hurry and it doesn’t depend on how he travels, by car, tube or on foot. It explains popularity of all sorts of fast foods which are located on almost each corner on a street.

The capital of dreams

Multinationality of New York is noticeable nearly everywhere. Immigrants create this city and it might be the reason for its exceptional character and atmosphere. May of them believe that their American dream about richness will come true. For the present, all of people learn tolerance andNew York usually gather themselves in ethnic or national groups. In this way, a lot of Chinese people live in Chinatown , Italians have got their Little Italy and Poles live mainly in Greenpoint. I suppose that each nation of the world has got its representatives in New York . Magic of this place attracts many tourists that wish to taste the big world or check if it looks like it is shown in films.

I think that anyone who has an opportunity to be a part of this huge organism is convinced that New York is an unusual place. It is easy to like this expansive metropolis full of people. Of course, during these two moths I spent in New York , I didn’t manage to see all the interesting places but I was fascinated by this city for sure. This largest city I have ever seen had a great influence on my life. My previous assumptions about New York have changed a great deal. I haven’t expected this city was so cool. Everything is much larger there then anywhere else and optimism of people is shared with others.