I had a very short stay on Manhattan as part of flying to Costa Rica. I've never visited New York before and thought I'd made the most of the opportunity on the way through.
With the news of all sorts of weather warnings, I flew from London to New York. The pilot told us that JFK airport was shut and we might be re-routed to another airport. Fortunately that didn't eventuate as JFK airport opened only half an hour before we landed. It was very foggy and we only saw the runway as we landed heavily. There was plenty of snow around and lots of machinery clearing the surrounding airport. Delays as we waited for planes to be de-iced but at least we had made it!
I was staying near Grand Central Station which was very handy for walking around and seeing lots of iconic New York sites. Grand Central station itself was quite something and seemed much more grand than just a train station. It includes the famous Campbell Apartment which I had to visit. The Chrysler Building was almost next door and built for $15m almost 80 years ago. Quite a feat of engineering. I'd never seen so many high-rise buildings before and I spend a lot of time looking up!
Central Park was covered in snow and ice making a precarious walk but offered good views of the city. Then it was up to the Rockefeller Center to see the famous Christmas tree and the "Top of the Rock", a glass-topped elevator ride to the top. Despite the fog, this offered awesome views across the city. Unfortunately the visibility meant that only Manhattan could be seen. There was quite a wind up high so plenty of warm clothes were required! I walked back past Times Square which was inundated with tourist traps before heading to a steak house for dinner. I had New York cheesecake for dessert of course.
The following morning I battled peak hour on the subway to the World Trade Center. There is plenty of building on the old site plus the 9/11 memorial. The heavy rain put me off entering the memorial. It's right next to Wall Street and has an interesting mixture of old and new buildings. I had to visit the three-storey REI outdoor shop on the way back.
As I write this in JFK airport, CNN is reporting on the extreme cold weather that is heading towards New York. I am thankful that my flight is on time and I'm leaving before the harsh weather returns. It's time to head for the warmer climate of Costa Rica!
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