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Lost In The City That Never Sleeps: My First Impressions Of New York

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Since even before I started traveling out of my home state, I knew the number 1 place I wanted to visit was New York City! The home of Hip Hop & some of my idols as well as one of the top fashion districts & food hubs of America, how could one not want to experience that at least once! I didn't want to go until I was ready to enjoy the city for what it is and as I write this I am blessed to say I was able to finally visit, and it did not disappoint! With the help of some friends of mine in New York & their advice on some great food & sites, I was able to have a great first time in the city of dreams that is, New York City!

Fortunately for me, I was able to enjoy New York City in many different ways as it was also my first time in the East Coast! I was on a work trip in Boston that I had booked in the beginning of the year and had later decided to extend it and drive to New York after my day of work and spend the remainder of my trip there after seeing Boston, which is also an amazing city I was fortunate enough to capture! Before I get into New York, it wouldn't be right to talk about the amazingness that is Boston and what it had to offer me for the 3 days I was able to stay there.

Outside of some legendary architecture and a beautiful waterfront off of Boston Harbor, the food was surprisingly great as that was not something I was anticipating before I left. After a corporate photography event downtown, I went to go and get my own photography where I walked all around the Harbor and up and down the downtown area.

I made my way to Gordon Ramsey Burgers, which was amazing, where I also got a great picture of the legendary street near the Union Oyster House where President Kennedy would eat nearly every Sunday! Smart move for Gordon Ramsey to land his top tier Burger restaurant near this area as the burgers were amazing and very well priced for anybody who wants to stop in and grab a quick burger that will change your life! It was by far the best burger I've ever had, and I don't say that lightly! I am a fan of his television shows and I know how he feels about a good burger and this proved he definitely makes sure his kitchen delivers!

After my 3 days in Boston, it was time to get to New York. This was in the middle of October and when I checked I had seen the weather was going to be oddly warm so that helped my drive from Boston to New York, which is about 4 1/2 hours with a little traffic, not bad! I didn't have much traffic and I had rented a Fiat Spider which made the trip much more enjoyable as the sites were beautiful and another side of New York I wasn't expecting to see or that they even had to offer, I guess I'm naive some New York natives would say. Like most tourists, I was expecting to enter NY and it's just big buildings & no grass, I was wrong. I got lucky enough to see the beautiful fall weather New York has to offer & it made me more excited to get to the bright lights of NYC!

Once I got into New York & started heading towards where I would be staying, which was right in Yonkers outside of NYC, I decided to stop at an Italian food shop called Michelangelos Pizzeria. I order some of the best grilled Chicken Alfredo with homemade bread & original cheesecake, I will definitely be going right back when I come back and this made for a great start!

Now making my way to NYC after dropping things off at an airbnb the drive itself was amazing! I had to play Notorious B.I.G "Ready To Die" entering the city of dreams where I was on my way to the evening cruise along the whole NYC piers & under all of the bridges and over to the Statue Of Liberty! Luck was on my side as I scored free parking for the night right near the pier & got to enjoy 2 hours on the water seeing some of the best sites the USA has to offer! You can see all of the amazing photos in my New York photo gallery in my portfolio!

The Statue of Liberty At Night
The Statue of Liberty | Photo Credit Adam David

After ending my first evening on the water in New York City, I was inspired to see everything and couldn't wait to get some rest and get on with the rest of my trip! The next day I was up early to go and get a famous sausage, egg, & cheese sandwich based on popular recommendation from a very credible New Yorker. I then headed out to the Empire State Building to go see one of the highest points in New York City.

The entrance was a little confusing to find, but luckily I wasn't the only person having trouble so luckily I got to meet some great people looking for the same place and we ended up experiencing the same thing together which made it more of an experience! On the way up we got a chance to witness the history behind the building as they had rooms that told the story and also had displays of the mock ideas for the building structure which was really cool! It's not a guided tour so they allow you all the time you need to see the rooms before enter the elevators to the top floors.

Once we all got to the top of the building, which historically has 102 floors, the view is more amazing than the photos could do justice. I was given the perfect day in October to be there as it was unusually warm and the sky was clear and blue. The top was filled with tourists and everyone was taken back by the views which I'm sure is an everyday occurrence. When you visit the Empire State Building you have to take a photo at the top floor overseeing the city, or at least ask someone to take it for your if you aren't with others. This was a 1 of 1 experience and a first time that I won't forget!

One important thing about this trip before I get to far that the first time traveler may find beneficial, is that before you go on a trip like New York City you want to have your schedule planned at least if you are wanting to see specific attractions. Things you should factor in are parking, attraction prices, & whether. One thing about me is I'm spontaneous, but in these big cities as a tourist it's hard because you may not get the experience you want if you just decided to do everything spur of the moment. I ended up purchasing a City Pass before coming so I had already chose my destinations. They allow you to chose from discounted attractions purchased with the pass and even if you don't use all of the options they allow you to keep the credit for another trip within a certain time frame. Another helpful tool is Spot Hero, where you're able to find the best parking spots at the most affordable rate! These two tools helped make my trip a success and I even ended up getting free parking everywhere I went!

Another great place I was able to visit was the American Museum Of Natural History and let me tell you there was more in this museum then I could see in 3 trips to New York! My favorite part was the space exhibits where they had so much history about anything that had to do with space and the universe! You can also go to different parts of the massive building and find themed rooms where you could learn about different parts of the world!

Although I could only make it to a select handful this is one of the things I'm excited to get back and finish exploring! You can also choose between different events held in the building from The Secret World Of Elephants, The Beauty Of The Invisible Words, & Worlds Beyond Earth Space Show as well as many more options. I was able to see the Space Show & it did not disappoint as I would go see it again anytime! Im sure the other shows are amazing as well if I would have had more time I would have went to learn about the elephants and check out their amazing Butterfly show display as well!

After a long day of walking and learning about the city, I was ready for some relaxing food and culture so I luckily had a great friend of mine who's a New York native born and raised take me around the Bronx to find some food and check out the homie of many of my favorite musicians and artists! One thing I noticed about the Bronx, as well as Brooklyn, is the amount of familiarity it had to me as its the home of many movies, music videos, cultural moments in history, and many other things that just brought me some nostalgia as we were driving around looking for food taking in the culture. We ended up stopping at a local food truck for some Birria Tacos which are some of my favorite food and went down to the pier to do some walking in the beautiful New York nights! Another tip about New York is that they give you a lot of food, at least everywhere I went, so I always had fresh leftovers everywhere I was which worked out great for me!

My last day of tourism was a rainy day so it put a little bit of a damper on a few plans but I couldn't leave without seeing Times Square and everything around it. The rain actually turned out to be a great addition as I got to experiment with some city puddle photography that came out amazing! Walking in the rain was a lot better when you're doing it in New York City as a tourist, and even when we had arrived to Times Square it was packed with people still and the lights were just as inspiring. If I would have missed out on seeing Times Square I believe the trip would have lacked something but thankfully I didn't and I got the photos and video I wanted and then some! This was an amazing cap to my trip on the tourism side!

As I woke up the next day ready to head back to Boston to catch my plane, I was left with the memories of how amazing this city truly is and how you can't really leave without thinking about what you're going to do next! I think that's the beauty of it and why it's called, "The City Of Dreams". This only inspired me to visit more places and want to come back in the summer time or many different seasons to take advantage of all the beauty, culture, food and more in this wonderful city! If you're a traveler looking for an amazing trip, or someone like me who always dreamed of coming to New York I hope this article helped you either book the trip, or gave you some ideas and tips on what to do for your trip to the East Coast!

You can find my New York gallery of photos below to get the full experience! Be sure to subscribe to my social medias for more exclusive content and in-site on where I'll visit next!


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