After two nights in Brooklyn I packed up my bags and cruised towards Manhattan in search of brighter lights. A friend Christoff and I checked-in at one of the most impressive hostels I have stayed at thus far - Hosteling International NYC. Here we enjoyed great facilities and activities including a fully equipped kitchen, cinema, pool tables, numerous chill out areas, free pub crawls and hilarious comedy shows. It was a great feeling walking around the hostel and hearing different languages being spoken in each corner of the room. The most social and festive place at the hostel was definitely the kitchen area. In total there were about 8 well equipped cooking stations where one would find a mix of nationalities cooking up some interesting travel-budget friendly meals.
One of the things on my to-do list in the States has been to attend a Frat party. Luckily for me a close friend from D.C. arrived in New York one evening and invited us to a Columbia University student party. Here I had a memorable night on a roof top overlooking the city. The sub zero temperatures and spitting rain added to the thrill of climbing higher and higher up the cold steel ladders of the fire escapes.
On my fourth day in New York STA Travel arranged a Heritage Tour of New York City through a company called Urban Adventures. Urban Adventures offer numerous day-tours in many countries around the world. The particular tour we did ended up being a great success. Uncle Phil, a part-time actor and comedian, showed us the lighter side of life through historical areas such as the Jewish tenements, little Italy and China Town. It was a welcome change to be exposed to the historical and culture side of New York City.
For me New York City turned out to be nothing like I expected. I came in thinking that the big, flash and fast paced nature of the city was it all. I thought `fun` in New York City would be seeing the major sights - the Statue of Liberty, Wall St, Ground zero etc. I saw many of those sights but at the end of my time in New York City I realized that the most fun I had came from unexpected and unknown places. The small back roads of old Jewish district, the live music bars, the dazed and confused odd bods that you bump into on the late night train home, the break-dancing crews and the buskers in the underground. These little events are what I found most interesting.
New York City is like a good movie; It`s entertaining, memorable, has great characters, is hard to understand at first, makes you think and feel like you have never before, holds your attention and never lets on to what is going to happen next…
So next time you visit the Big Apple let her take you in and don`t fight the urges to resist. Go with the flow and live life in the Big Apple without feeling the pressures around you.