Day-2 in USA : From Art to Nature and Skyline in NYC

After settling down in the heart of New York City on the first day to overcome the “Jet Lag” and getting a good night’s sleep, it was time for me to head back to the city and continue my adventure. On the second day, I planned to explore the “Middle Manhattan” area to fully immerse myself in the culture of being a “New Yorker”, to make the flying more than ten thousand miles is worth. 🙂

Today, I woke up at around 6:30 AM with the cold weather almost hitting 0 degrees Celsius (but it was refreshing because the air quality index (AQI) here is very good). After setting up my brain to start the day, I showered and got dressed before heading out to find breakfast around 8:30 AM. Yesterday, I was so tired and fell asleep early, forgetting to prepare something to eat for breakfast in next morning. Normally, whenever I stay at a hostel, I prepare breakfast for the next day to save time and money, and the breakfast I make is simple, like bread with milk or fruit juice. Luckily, there was a McDonald’s near my hotel, so I walked over and had a delicious meal of McMuffin with cheese and hot coffee for $6.50 USD (about 200 THB). I sat and ate at the chill restaurant, taking my time to relax from the busy city life. 🙂

After I had finished breakfast, I was ready to head to our first destination of the day, which was The Metropolitan Museum of Art (THE MET). I traveled there by Subway, starting at Delancey/Essex St station on the line-F heading Uptown for two stops to Broadway-Lafayette St station, then transferring to the Line-4 heading Uptown again to get off at 77 St station. From there, it was just a 10-minute walk to THE MET. I arrived at the museum around 10:30 am, just as it was opening. THE MET is the largest art museum in USA and one of the three most visited museums in the world. It was founded on April 13th, 1870, almost 150 years ago.

The purpose of its establishment was to provide a collection of artworks and serve as an educational center for Americans. The museum building is located on the east side of Central Park. It was divided into 19 departments, covering an area of over 200,000 square meters, and exhibited more than 2 million artworks ranging from classical, ancient Egyptian, African, Asian-Pacific, modern American art collections to European paintings and sculptures. The museum also displays various collections of musical instruments, clothing, ancient weapons and armor in different areas. THE MET is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (open until 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), and the admission fee for the general public is $25, which can be purchased at the entrance counter or from automated ticket machines that accept both cash and credit cards. Photography is allowed inside the museum, but video recording is prohibited.

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As mentioned, I experienced the diverse and extensive art collection at THE MET. It was overwhelming to see so many pieces from both old and modern eras. For someone who enjoys art, this is paradise ! However, I only focused on pieces that caught my eye and spent more time admiring their details. For pieces that didn’t interest me, I quickly moved on. Despite not being a serious art enthusiast, I spent a delightful three hours at THE MET, enjoying the artwork on display. Afterward, I felt hungry, so I strolled around to find a good meal. I ended up discovering the famous sandwich chain restaurant, Subway and enjoyed a sandwich with a refreshing soda. Then, I was ready to continue exploring the heart of Manhattan.

My next goal for today was to explore Central Park. It’s located right next to THE MET (to be precise, THE MET is situated inside Central Park) and it’s the largest public park in New York City and USA, located in the heart of Manhattan island between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Covering an area of 3.41 square kilometers (approximately 460 football fields), Central Park is the most visited public park in the city. It was built in 1853 with the intention of being “The lungs” of New York City. Inside the park, there are vast areas of grassy fields, bike paths, running tracks, ponds, restaurants, and numerous statues and sculptures. It’s a great place to relax and unwind, and there are also a zoo, a baseball field, an ice-skating rink, and it’s often used as a venue for various festivals and events. Central Park is open to everyone for free every day from 6 am to 1 am (although some areas may be closed after sunset or require an entrance fee, such as the zoo). I think many people have seen Central Park in movies or TV shows since it’s a popular filming location.

TOP VIEW ของ CENTRAL PARK
Source : https://www.architecturaldigest.com

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I spent one and half hour leisurely strolling through Central Park, heading south towards Downtown. I stopped and started, taking breaks and snapping pictures as I soaked in the atmosphere. Eventually, I reached the southernmost point of the park, where I stumbled upon some exciting events. There were running races and bike rides taking place within the park, and plenty of people walking their pets or having picnics. Perhaps because it was a Sunday, the park was bustling with activity and people were out and about enjoying the beautiful day.

Around 3.30PM, I thought it was time for the highlight of the day: watching the sunset over New York City from the top of the Rockefeller building. I decided to walk there from Central Park, taking Fifth Avenue all the way down. This avenue is like the main artery of Manhattan, with famous brand stores and buildings like the Trump Tower lining its streets. My plan was to get to the top of the Rockefeller building before the sunset time, which was estimated to be around 4 PM that day, to avoid long queues and higher ticket prices. I walked straight up to enjoy the view and take some pictures. Along the way, I passed some interesting spots like the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, St. Thomas Church, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, all of which were free to visit. I took some time to explore these places before heading to the top of the Rockefeller building.

Apple Store at Fifth Avenue : The store is underground

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I arrived at Rockefeller Center around 3.30 pm and didn’t hesitate to ask the receptionist where I could buy tickets and how to get to Top of the Rock. She kindly pointed me to the direction of a large entrance sign located on the side of the building. Since I hadn’t purchased tickets online, I headed over to the ticket counter and was lucky enough to find a short line. The ticket price for the observation deck was $38.

In front of Rockefeller Center
The entrand to go to the top of Rockefeller

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After buying my ticket, I went through the security scan process for the building and took the elevator straight up to the top floor of the skyscraper. I would suggest preparing warm clothing for the observation deck as it can be very windy and cold during the winter. When I arrived at the top, the sun had not yet set and I took the opportunity to capture a breathtaking photo of New York City and the Empire State Building from a high angle in the warm light. The Rockefeller Center has three observation decks, the first one is a large hall that can be used to warm up during the winter. If it gets too cold while taking pictures outside, you can come in and rest. The other two floors are located on the top and offer a 360-degree panoramic view of New York City and Central Park.

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Before sunset, I spent time wandering up and down all three levels to capture some photos of the New York skyline. As the sun began to dip below the horizon, the anticipation for the highlight of my day started to build. Once the sun had disappeared, the sky gradually turned darker and the lights of New York City started to illuminate the buildings. The Empire State Building, in particular, embodied the meaning of the term “Concrete jungle” and looked stunning. Initially, I had thought the ticket price was too high, but seeing this view made it all worth it.

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After taking photos and admiring the nighttime atmosphere of New York City from the top of Rockefeller building, I took advantage of the time before people started to leave the building. If I had waited for everyone to leave at once, I would have been in a long line for the elevator. When I finally descended to the bottom, I took the opportunity to walk around Broadway Street, an area famous for its colorful lights and renowned theaters in New York. Although I am not a fan of the shows, I enjoyed the ambience and bought some souvenirs before heading back to the hotel on the Subway for some rest. Because I needed to wake up early the next day for another important landmark of New York City. 🙂

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When I returned to the hotel at around 8pm, I immediately took a shower and rested because I felt like I had walked for miles. But it was a fulfilling kind of tiredness because I had spent the day pondering about life and its purpose. I realized that “If we know what we want in life and go after it with all our might, it’s something that truly makes life worth living.” We may not get everything we want, and life can be full of disappointments, but as long as we keep moving forward, we can always find small moments of happiness along the way. Sweet dreams!

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Written by : SHIPY SIWARIT TIASUWATTISETH

HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SHIPYSHIPDOTCOM

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