New York City

I’ve been to NYC three times, in April 1998 with my husband, in November 2003 with my cousin who won a glamorous weekend in NYC in a cell phone company contest, and in February 2005 with my family. Every time it was freezing cold with icy winds, but the unfavorable weather conditions couldn’t diminish my love and fascination for this amazing and incomparable city. It has been my city of dreams since I was 13, and although I have doubts today about it still being my number one, there will always be a special place in my heart for NYC. Am I being a bit slushy romantic?

Anyway, my first encounter with the city was also my first step on the American soil. Not knowing anyone in the US, but knowing a lot from movies, I was so frightened of being mugged or killed that I was constantly looking over my shoulder to see if someone was following us. I didn’t even dare to go for a ride on the subway, although I wanted it badly (mostly because of the scenes from the Warriors). Can you imagine that? Such is the power of influence exerted upon us by movie makers. And all this with no CSI at that time.

We stayed at the Arlington on 25th and Broadway and spent five days exploring the city. I had read extensively about the sights before the trip so I knew that the best way to see the NY skyline was not from the Twins, but from the Empire State Building, because of its location in the center of Manhattan. A bad choice, though, because next time the Twins were no more. However, we were clever enough to climb the spiral staircase of the Statue of Liberty and saw that there was no restaurant in Miss Liberty’s head. Although the Statue is a sight I’ve seen a million times, I was surprised when it gave me goosebumps, just like Stonehenge did a year before.

Five years later I was there again, but this time I flew business and stayed at the Chambers on 56th and Fifth. This trip was a glamorous four-day weekend for two, the first prize that my cousin Kristina won. She asked me to go with her since I was, in her opinion, so well-traveled , and I just couldn’t say no. We were accompanied by a person who took care of everything and a cameraman. Yes, we were on TV later that year. We were driven in a white limo all over the city, saw Chicago in the Ambassador, dined in fancy restaurants and went clubbing. It was a totally OTT weekend. Don’t we all deserve something like this at least once in a lifetime?

Less than two years later I arrived in NYC with my family. We stayed at the Best Western on 49th and Third and this has been my most leisurely visit. We had a great time, saw many sights and felt safe all the time. But let the pictures speak a thousand words.

New York City