This will be the final entry in my series on my Round the World trip April-June 2013. I stayed at the Q4 hotel/hostel in Queen’s Plaza, which was right opposite the subway and so it was really conveniently located for getting everywhere I needed to go. It had great facilities, including a large kitchen and communal area with a pool table and tennis table. I could have done without the annoying people in my room turning the lights on at 3am. I’ve stayed in plenty of hostels before and never come across people who so blatantly ignore dorm etiquette. But that’s a problem with the people, not the hostel. It was super easy to meet people in the communal area too, which is the main draw of any hostel.
Here are some highlights from my 5 day trip to New York City in June 2013.
When my friend Sarah promised me a trip to this diner on Times Square for our meetup in NYC (something for me to look forward to after a 26 hour flight from Sydney arriving the night before and thus a consequently sleepless night), I knew it was going to be one of the highlights of my trip. I wasn’t disappointed. The waiters SING to you while you eat, producing favourites from Grease, The Lion King and other fabulous show tunes (a lot of the staff end up going on to work in Broadway, so you can imagine how high the quality is). A song from Annie was requested and as soon as the waiters started singing, a group of school kids on a school trip stood up from their seats on the balcony and joined in. It was a completely all-American/Glee style moment that left me with the biggest smile on my face.
2. Central Park Zoo
This zoo is iconic, having been featured in so much of pop culture. I wasn’t let down; it’s a beautiful zoo with a great range of animals.
3. Central Park
I spent a lot of my 5 days in New York wandering around Central Park, either with friends or lovely people I met at the hostel or by myself in the last couple of days after everyone else had left the big apple and I was on my own. The weather was gorgeous, which always helps.
4. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
In the same day, I got to go and watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart being filmed in the TV studio. I was lucky enough that another American friend of mine, Becky, had a spare ticket and I absolutely jumped at the chance to go to my first ever tv set. So cool!
5. Tourist Hotspots
There are some things you HAVE to do if you go to New York City, so I spent a good day ticking off items on my tourist list: The National History museum, the Empire State Building, the National Public Library, Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty.
6. Ground Zero
It was extremely harrowing to visit the place where the World Trade Centre once stood. Ground Zero itself has been really well done and is beautiful as a monument in memory of all those who died as a result of the events of 9/11. Being a somewhat young person myself, this is an example of an event I can say I remember where I was when it happened and to visit the place I remember seeing in the news had a significant impact on me.
7. The New York Highline
My friend Lizzie recommended this to me and I am so glad I went! An abandoned railway line converted into a walkway and gardens makes for a beautiful and pleasant walk through the high rise buildings of New York. They even have food stands under the bridges, which makes for a good lunch spot.