Three-week American – Day 19: The many Sides of NYC

My first full day in New York City was packed with many different things to look at and do, and by moving through different parts of the city, I saw many different faces of New York. Although it is an amazing city, I must say that it is also very dirty, with trash on the streets everywhere, and also very smelly – which especially seems to be a problem when it has been hot and dry for a long period of time. As I already previously mentioned, we’re having a big heat wave here in the US with temperatures reaching around 40°C and the asphalt literally melting in some places. The subway stations are incredible hot and humid currently and it is almost unbearable to wait for much longer than five minutes. But the first part of today’s journey was by foot anyway – a walk to, and through, the Central Park.

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Next, we went further south (by subway) to visit the Mast Chocolate Factory, where various “strange” flavors of chocolate are made by hand. It is located in a “trendy” region and hence there is also quite a bit of art in the streets.

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After this, we continued by foot to the eastern river, and then boarded a ferry to be able to enjoy the skyline as well as the Brooklyn- and Manhattan Bridge from the water, and with a nice refreshing wind.

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After we got off the boat and walked through the streets of NYC for a while (where we once again encountered a fire engine with very friendly firefighters who waved back at us)…

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…we went on to visit a very important memorial site: Ground zero – the place where the twin towers were located before the terror attacks on the 11th of September 2001. Where the two towers once stood there are now two holes in in the ground, with water flowing down from all sides.

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But right next to the memorial site stands the new One World Trade center – as if to say “your terror attacks will not stop us from living our lives and carrying on”. Over all, it’s a strange atmosphere at ground zero. Although it is a memorial to remind the world of a tragic event, the place is of course very touristic and hence the general atmosphere would be quite relaxed – if it weren’t for what you know happened here.

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After having original New York pulled pork sandwiches for lunch there was one last thing to visit today: the times square – which pretty much fulfills all the clichés on Capitalism. It is basically a place where people go to look at huge advertisements and buy as much as they can – consumerism at its finest.

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