We blasted our way through the north eastern states pretty quick- the states are quite small and very populated. The major cities are not more than a couple of hours apart and connected by high-speed 10 lane highways.
We visited downtown Boston and checked out the Boston commons, downtown and the ‘most important’ tourist attraction of the area- the Cheers pub. No-one knew our name but one of the original actors was there talking to people and the pub was stuffed full of people.
Only a couple of hours away, we perfectly timed our visit to New York, New York on a long weekend. Because of the holiday, everything was very busy and we didn’t have any detailed road maps because apparently New York is the only state in America that feels it doesn’t need tourist information centers as you enter the state! However, we managed not to get lost and drove as advised into New Jersey and took the train into the city. As a side note, our hotel was an absolutely delightful establishment with bars on all the windows, a fenced perimeter, the office encased in bullet proof glass and loud fighting neighbors yelling and throwing things at each other till 3am. As the New Jersey cliché goes, it was a pretty dodgy neighborhood and needless to say, we walked to the train station in the day time but took a taxi home that night!
Downtown was jam packed full of people, big buildings, taxi cabs and more people. Over the next couple of days we kept up a non-stop New York pace and crammed in as much sightseeing and activities (eating!) as possible. There are so many recognizable sites and quite a bit of history in the relatively small area of Manhattan (a third of which is built up on landfill). A good way to get around was a bus tour; it was lower stress than driving and cheaper than the parking fees and toll roads. Yes, we were the tacky tourists onto of the double-decker bus listening to the loud tour guide who loves the sound of his own voice. Actually, some of them were quite funny and it was a great way to see down town.
Briefly, I will list some of the things we saw and did on Manhattan. We took a boat cruise around the harbor and to the Statue of Liberty, but didn’t get to climb up though as all the tickets for the whole year were sold out. We visited ground zero, the memorial and interpretative centre and got a feel of how catastrophic and affecting the disaster was for New York. Central park was huge- good fore-planning in the 1800’s to keep it a green space. We took in the obligatory Broadway show and it was very good- especially the men dancing in high heels and dresses. :) We took in a great 360 degree view of the city from the top of Rockefeller centre. Time square was just insanely teeming with people. Wall Street still had men in suits walking around and doing business.
We learnt that Manhattan means ‘island of many hills’, which is funny because most of it was flattened to make way for skyscrapers. New York was a great place to visit, there were almost unlimited things to do and always something to see in this super-sized-city.