On the second day of my stay in New York I continued exploring the sights of this exciting city. It took me a while to decide what to wear in the morning, and this led me to revise my packing strategies. The problem with packing in the last minute is that you end up throwing random articles of clothing into your suitcase, hoping that there are at least 2 matching items there. I didn’t find half a pair of shoes and half a pair of earrings, and I couldn’t decide whether I left them at home or lost them. I really hope that it’s the former case, even though it would be evidence for my extreme messiness.
But I didn’t let that ruin my day, so I stepped outside, eager to make the most of the day. It is definitely summer here, the air is boiling hot, and the hot coffee I picked up on the way felt like a mistake after a while. After the gloomy days of London, it was refreshing to see people in shorts and summer dresses. I think that the weather makes everyone more relaxed. Although I would love to see how people behave in winter. I need to come back sometime…
My first destination was Battery Park to get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. I walked down Broadway to get there, and even though the downtown section is less than glamorous, I did pass some important landmarks, including the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street and Trinity Church. When I reached Battery Park, I thought about boarding a ferry there, but the endless queue stopped me. Instead, I headed to Union Square. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a temporary market there, selling vegetables and home-made produce among the hustle and bustle of the city.
From Union Square I walked upwards on Park Avenue, taking in the sights of the skyscrapers. Every building seems to have a different architectural style, but they mix harmoniously with each other. Modern glass towers exist side-by side with antique stone carvings, contributing to New York’s unique appearance. In this respect it is similar to London, but here it is on a much larger scale, just like everything else. On a side note, I was once again reassured of God’s love following me on my way. For example, when I needed a toilet, he directed me to a museum, and when I was suffering from a headache, he led me to a pharmacy at the foot of the Empire State Building.
Walking through Times Square was a slightly scary experience. While I found that the streets of New York were not so crowded, the crowds multiplied as we approached the square. I had to navigate my way through not only tourists, but ticket vendors and people dressed as superheroes. If I had to compare it to London, I would say that it is 10 times Leicester Square, with 5 times the crowds at Oxford Street.
Luckily, Central Park is not far from there. It is a refreshing sanctuary of peace amongst the skyscrapers, where the noise of traffic grows distant, but not too distant for those who, like me, enjoy the fast pace of urban life. Nevertheless, after trying to cram as many sights into the day, it was great to step back a little, relax and think about the things I’ve seen, and my life in general.
When it was getting late, I headed home. Needless to say, I got lost on the way. Unfortunately, I find the American method of marking streets slightly confusing, as avenues running all across Manhattan and streets stretching in both directions don’t offer any guidelines about my whereabouts. But God leded me in the right direction, and I was also helped by a kind lady also in need of guidance, with whom we huddled over my map to locate ourselves. But we both reached our destinations safely, and that was the end of an eventful day.