The city that never sleeps.


“And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.” ~ Michael Bloomberg, 108th mayor of NYC.

Jake’s theme this week is ‘City’, and I immediately thought of one of the most famous cities in the world. I first visited New York in 1996, and fell in love with it. It certainly did feel like a big apple, just waiting for me to take a bite. There is so much to do and see, and everywhere you look, there are people busily scurrying to and fro about their business, and tourists just like ourselves, map in hand, just standing getting their bearings before the next onslaught on the city’s attractions.
One of the first things we did, was to take the ferry across to Liberty Island, to see the grand old lady who has greeted visitors and kept watch over the city since 1924.
 We just had to go right up inside this iconic symbol. It was so much bigger than I’d ever imagined, and we climbed right up into the crown. I lost count of how many steps it was, but I read that there are 354 steps and 22 storeys. It was quite some climb, and the stairs are so narrow as you pass people on their way down.

We marvelled at the lovely architecture of the New York Stock Exchange. I’d never seen a yellow cab before, except in the movies, and there were so many of them, everywhere.

The famous old buildings down near Wall Street, were a sight to behold.

It was difficult to get far enough away to get a good pic of the Empire State building, without standing the chance of getting run over by a cab.

Central Park, which had only been a name to me, now became a reality, with delightful little surprises around every corner.

The Disney Store was a treasure trove of souvenirs and we spent a good hour in there deciding what to buy.

The Rockefeller Centre was everything I’d ever imagined and more, and the beautiful golden maquette of Prometheus, one of the most famous statues in the world, did not disappoint.

Everything seemed bigger and better in America, especially our limo ride to the airport.

On a subsequent visit in June 2001, we took the ferry across from Hoboken to Lower Manhattan. (Our son had emigrated from South Africa in 2000, and was now working in the city).

We rode the elevator to the top of the World Trade Centre. It was such a beautiful morning as we sat way up there, enjoying our breakfast of hot coffee and bagels loaded with Philly cheese.

The view over ‘The Big Apple’ was truly breathtaking.

As I stood there in the morning sunshine, with not a breath of wind, I couldn’t ever have imagined that in less than three months time, this wonderful structure would be raised to the ground.

In May 2008, we took both our mothers over to see our son and family, and we all went into the city. Here is hubby’s mom who was then only 95-years-old, standing in the middle of Times Square. Both our mom’s had never been to America before, and they had the time of their lives, walking their legs off all around the city, and shopping up a storm in Macy’s. :)

Last year in May, we took a cruise out of New York, and got this shot from the ship, looking straight up 42nd Street where most of the theatres are situated.

New York is truly the most amazing city; it’s not beautiful, shiny  and clean; far from it, but it throbs with a vibrancy that is difficult to describe, and has an allure which is hard to resist. You really have to go there and experience it for yourself.

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80 comments on “The city that never sleeps.

  1. NYC: a great wonder. I haven’t visited the city but I would love to. Thank you for sharing, adinparadise, Many blessings and much love to you. :-)

    Subhan Zein

  2. This has to be the most beautiful set of pictures for the theme of ‘City’ I’ve ever seen. I’ve never been to NY, but it is certainly on my ‘To Do’ list!

  3. Thanks for bring back happy memories AD, New York is such a vibrant city, we were there the year before 9/11 and loved the buzz and the candid New Yorkers who speak their minds without fear. We could not get over the size of the sandwiches (not one slice of cold meat, but a family supply on one sandwich) and the delicious pastries in a coffee shop near our hotel. We did not go up the World Trade Centre but did the Empire State and the ferry right around the island of Manhattan. The guide on the ferry was worth the trip alone for his witty anecdotes about the city and its inhabitants. I would so love to go back there one day but it’s not likely :(

    • Glad you enjoyed, optie. Those pastrami sandwiches in the NY delis are a meal for the day. Did you go to Ellis Island? When we were there, my mom didn’t realise it was now a museum, and thought it was still in use as an immigration centre. :)

      • No sadly we did not get to Ellis Island, so much to do in a few short days :( Maybe we’ll get a “kykweer” one day. Have since read Edward Rutherford’s historial fiction “New York”. As frequent visitors I am sure you would find it fascinating.

  4. Absolutely enthralling entry! I have long dreamed of one day really discovering the big apple. Have had a glance at it from a distance, got to see lady liberty from afar on a foggy, blissfully dreary afternoon. But to really discover the feel of those bombilating streets, to experience the ebb and flow of the life, the culture, the art of the city….Aye, there is indeed a vibrancy and pulse that throbs with such allure and fascination. I loved pouring over the photos here and imagining all that you have described. Well done! Cheers,

    Autumn Jade

  5. I’m definitely planning in going there one day. There’s even a possibility that I could be seconded there at the end of my training contract :)

  6. Wonderful look back at your NYC experience in words and pictures Sylvia!
    I lived in Manhatten for a time many years ago, but lived in a line of sight location to the WTC on 9/11/2001.

    I’m thinking about a pushcart NYC hot dog or big salty pretzel now.
    Maybe a cruise through Zabars. :-)

    • Thanks so much, Phil. Glad you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. My son never introduced me to Zabars, which is a great pity, as I see that they do the most divine-sounding cheesecakes. :( Maybe next time we’re up there. :)

  7. I visited NYC many times in my younger days. I actually went out of my way to avoid it on the trip to Boston last year. Too many people, too much frantic energy and insane traffic. These days I much prefer the slower, calmer pace of living in the boonies. But that’s just me….. I know most folks seem to thrive on that intense energy.

    Really beautiful shot of the WTC, though….

  8. I’ve never been to NYC as a tourist,always as a truck driver (in that sense,it sucked big time),my Wife and I have it listed down the middle of the page of places we want to visit together someday though. Lovely post :)

    • Being a truck driver around New York must have been a bit of a nightmare, Steve. Hope you and Tina get to visit New York as carefree tourists some day. :)

  9. Whenever I see a photo of New York, I find myself immediately looking for the towers… Looks like you definitely experienced much of what New York has to offer!

  10. New York is definitely one of the most interesting cities on earth! And look at the World Trade Center. :-( We miss those buildings and all the lives that were lost in them…

  11. Ah AD. Maybe one day ;-)
    I absolutely adore those old buildings – saw a few of them in Istanbul as well.
    Such a cool place to visit!!
    And almost a close call in the WTC – heavens!!

  12. Hello AD,
    What a great post again! Love all your pictures of New York and yes, that is city to visit if at all possible – would be such a wonderful experience. On my bucket list as well!
    Have a wonderful week!

    Regards,
    GAIL

  13. Wonderful photos. My daughter and I were there in June. Her first time and a return visit for me. We both are now in love with the city.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  14. I agree, it is hard to describe. It is amazing. Love all the details you included here and all the sights you visited. The World Trade Center photo is phenomenal.

  15. We went there just after 9/11, most of the normal touristy things were closed to the public, like the lady with the lamp… we could go to the island but we were not allowed to climb up… we also found it a fascinating city.. one that never seemed to sleep or slow down… no matter what time I hit the streets there were always people around… me with my big mouth wanted to talk to everyone, and I was so surprised to find that when they heard I was from SA they all knew Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, naturally Gary Player was high on their favourite list… yet so few of them actually played golf…

    • We were also there just after 911, as we had to go over and hug our son. It was a very different city then; very subdued and emotional. It’s amazing how the New Yorkers have bounced back. I do admire them so much.
      My son was once mistaken for Retief Goosen. The person wouldn’t believe that he actually wasn’t Retief. :lol:

  16. A really interesting post Sylvia. I’ve not been to New York. It’s definitely on my list of ‘to do’ cities. I love the shot from the ship as you departed on your cruise. :-)

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