Three-week American: Day 21 – The typical Tourist in NYC

Today I pretty much impersonated the clichĂ© of a tourist in New York: T-shirt, jeans, camera around the neck, taking photos of typical tourist destinations. But hey – let’s not forget that I actually am a tourist in New York.

First stop today: the tallest residential building in the world, which only recently has been completed. It has the very unoriginal name 432 Park Avenue and is 425.5m or 89 floors tall.

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Next on my list was something that most tourists probably don’t visit, but it was quite funny to do so because I live in Berlin – I looked at a part of the Berlin wall that had been taken to a lobby here in New York after the peaceful revolution in 1989 and the following reunification of Germany. Although of course this section of the wall is much less impressive than what can be seen in Berlin (whether it’s a museum site or just the traces left by the 28-year division) it is a strange feeling to see how much the reunification of the town in which I live is celebrated all around the world.

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Right next to the wall, by the way, is a neat little “waterfall park” embedded between tall skyscrapers of steel and glass.

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I then continued by foot through the streets of New York, enjoying the free WiFi that is provided in parts of the city. My next destination was what some people call the “world’s prettiest sky scraper” – the Chrysler Building, which was completed in 1928 and is generally not open to the public (except for the ground floor). I can confirm – it is a very pretty building indeed.

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Over all, today’s tour was a whole lot of walking, although it was worth it just to see the street life of New York. It seems that Americans are quite proud of America also in New York…

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There’s a particularly neat spot in this lively city – the Ford Foundation Building, which has an inside garden fully equipped with live plants and even a small pond. Other than most of the artificial biospheres I have visited so far, this is not a tropical rain forest but rather a temperate forest, but nonetheless a very nice place to rest for a while!

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Strolling through the streets of NYC…

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…eventually brought me to the Grand Central Station, which is not only a very impressive building, but also the world’s largest railway station. It’s quite funny how the ostentatious style stops as soon as you enter one of the platforms. But since I didn’t need to catch a train, I had plenty of time to enjoy the huge entrance hall in (h)all it’s glory.

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Oh yea, the next stop was another typical touristy location: the Empire State Building. From the outside it looked like there were not too many people waiting to go up the building, but the queue was well hidden inside the building, and we ended up waiting for an hour. On the platform it was rather crowded, but nonetheless there were a few good opportunities for neat photos. I think I’ll just put some of them here and not further commentate:

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On the way from the Empire State Building we stopped on the way to take a quick look at the Flatiron Building. And with a sky as nice as that today, of course there was another opportunity for a nice photo.

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And finally to complete this very nice, but also very exhausting day, we took the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back in order to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and also the skyline of NYC. And even though it wasn’t really intended, we had chosen the best time to do so – right as the sun set with a fiery red. Oh, and I, as a meteorology geek, was especially happy to be treated to a parhelion on the way there (the thing that looks like a broken rainbow).

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