Discovering the Big Apple

Who I am
Martí Micolau

Author and references

We hope that this travelogue of ours will serve to entice someone to visit New York, to savor the Big Apple, a special place where we felt at the center of the world. You can hate it or love it but you can't? remain indifferent to the timeless charm of New York City.

1 day

-19 August

? NO HAND LUGGAGE !? This is the lapidary intimation at the check-in dell? Capodichino airport in Naples? (recent fears of terrorist attacks) Ci? means that the bag with all the? photographic equipment will have to? travel as normal baggage. In spite of ourselves we put the bag with camera, video camera and other equipment in the semi-empty trolley that we carry with us and intended to accommodate the objects to be purchased in New York, we do it? and cross our fingers! We hope it goes well, otherwise we expect an unexpected expense! One thought grips us: will we be able to make the video footage to be sent to? At the foot of Kilimanjaro ??
It is 9.30 am, we board and, after the plane change at Malpensa, we arrive in Newark at 18.00 pm local time. At baggage claim, are we thrilled when, we can't believe it, the first suitcase that appears on the conveyor belt? our own trolley containing l? video photography equipment! Hurray!
We wait for a good hour for the Volatur bus that takes us to our hotel, the Paramount Hotel in 46th, a few steps from Times Square. The hotel, housed in a building from the 30s,? been furnished by? architect Philippe Starck. Do you arrange our things in our room at 19? slowly, without even resting, we go down and let ourselves be possessed by this city? unique in the world. Immediately attacked by a strong emotion, we decide that we want to wander without a precise destination, without a map of the city, letting ourselves be guided by? instinct. A few steps and we are in Times Square where we are literally assaulted by people, lights, traffic; do we feel dazed by this city? unique in the world but with a timeless charm. We are tired, we go back to the hotel?

2 day

-20 August

And we find ourselves almost by magic in the famous Fifth Avenue, moving on almost by inertia, stunned by the frenetic pace of the city, we are greeted by the bells of St. Patrick, a magnificent example of Gothic revival, as well as? the "P? great catholic cathedral of the United States. What better welcome?
Then we meet the headquarters of the NBA, and all? Suddenly we are literally surrounded by a myriad of Harley Davidson, the legendary American motorcycles probably gathered for a gathering. After admiring the famous? HD? we visit the Rockefeller Center and returning to the? hotel we take a look from afar at Times Square that we intend to enjoy calmly and above all with more? vigor: the tiredness of the journey begins to feel, we go back to the hotel.
Scheduled in the afternoon c ?? the Volatur bus tour. We are not very enthusiastic about it, we prefer to run freely, but ?.
As a first stop we are in? LITTLE ITALY? with the pleasant feeling of still being at? home? breathing the perfumes d? Italy. But the coffee ?? .. While wandering through the various shops of Mulberry Street we come across the procession of S. Rocco not to document a place of infinite tragedy but only to remember, respect, struggle. Then we arrive at BATTERY PARK, cos? named for the cannons that once protected the bay and from a distance we see the statue of Liberty, confidentially called? LADY LIBERTY? and with whom we will have a meeting in the next few days. Here we are at? GROUND ZERO? in a? almost ghostly atmosphere. Being in the place where the Twin Towers once stood means to recall the? September 11 means remembering the tragic images of that day. I shoot a short sequence not to document a place of infinite tragedy but only to remember, regain and hope? In zona c ?? L? American Express Tower, the home of our credit card.
We continue the tour and we stop to observe the famous Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. On our return we are engulfed by TIMES SQUARE in the midst of a flood of people, including street artists playing ethnic music, extraordinary panoramic colors and sounds, incredible shops including TOY? S a huge toy store. We stay in TIMES SQUARE until late in the evening getting drunk with lights, characters, clubs like there? Hard Rock Caf ?, Pizzeria Sbarro and above all of that New York way of life that leaves no room for stops.

3 day

-21 August
Today we are in Lower Midtown and we make a visit to the splendid GRAND CENTRAL STATION and the Chrysler Building which with its steel crown spire? defined the pi? beautiful skyscraper in New York. We head towards the headquarters of? UN in First Avenue for the guided tour led by a brilliant Italian-Brazilian-American girl who takes us around the? immense architectural complex showing us where the destinies of the world are decided: the room of the Security Council, the room of the Economic and Social Council and finally the room of the? General Assembly.
The mosaic? The Golden Rule? by Norman Rockewell and all? the various sculptures exhibited in the gardens from the one by Henry Moore to the particular one by Karl Frederik Reutersward: the pistol with the crumpled barrel.
After this memorable experience we resume the way back strictly on foot, cos? we live the visit of a city, and we head towards the Upper East Side where we find the Guggenheim Museum, with its particular spiral shape, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibition dedicated to the famous Iraqi architect Zaha Adid is interesting. All? exiting the museum we make a visit to Central Park. Immediately encountering the Reservoir a large artificial lake. The great green lung of Manhattan, designed as a place for relaxation and full of playgrounds, and areas for all kinds of pastimes. The 340 hectares of the? Garden? of the city? they are well maintained and full of lakes, hills and large meadows. Just the time to take a breath we have to move from? 88th to 33th: waiting for us there? Empire State Building, Chelsea. What about the? Empire, there are no words other than this: gorgeous!
We enter the? atrium where a? relief image of the skyscraper pi? high of the city? ? superimposed on a map of the state of New York. L? lift in less than a minute takes us to the? observatory dell? 86? plan. The sight ? spectacular: to the north the skyscrapers of the Theater District, Central Park and Harem; to the south the Financial District, the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge; to the east, Queens and Long Island; to the west the Hudson River and New Jersey. We are exhausted, let's go back to? hotel to rest

4 day

-22 August
Today we dedicate the day to a nice tour of Times Square with breakfast at Mac Donald? S and going up there? Avenue of The Americas we arrive at? Central Park south entrance in front of the Grand Army Plaza: we need to oxygenate ourselves to face another tour de force. All? inside the park we witness a particular scene: a set of a gay movie! New York ? this too, astound in transgression. We then go up, strictly on foot, Broadway and turn onto 48th to reach Rockefeller Center to visit the lower level full of elegant shops. Through the 46th we reach Pier 86 where is there? Intrepid? Sea-Air-Space Museum. All? entrance welcomes us a monument to the victims of the twin towers. Honor and respect. On display on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier of the Second World War, ancient and modern fighter planes from the 40s to the the world's fastest spy plane, the famous Stealth. What satisfaction is there? ? me too? plane of our Frecce Tricolori! Downstairs there are helicopters, flight simulators, documentation of American space companies. We also visit the Growler submarine. L? latest news? of the museum? the Concorde.
A short distance c ?? L? heliport where you can embark for a breathtaking flight over Manhattan. Our flight booking? for 19.30: we want to see the landscape at sunset why? sar? certainly more? suggestive. Luckily we have front row seats and the feeling? indeed stunning. Video shooting is not easy for l? opacity? of the Plexiglas of the cabin but I hope so. Here we are in flight on? Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty flying over Ellis and Governors Islands. Turning north we admire on our right the famous skyscrapers that are now part of the city skyline? (fantastic we see them from above, we are higher than the Empire!) on the right the long theory of the mooring piers for boats. From afar you can now see Central Park. One more turn and back to all? heliport after a flight of about 15 minutes that we wished it would never end!
Satisfied with the good experience, we return, always on foot, to Brodway passing through an Argentine pizzeria where we eat better pizza than the other pseudo-Italian pizzerias! Usual evening tour for Times Square that we now consider our territory and immediately in the hotel why? tomorrow we expect an early rise.

5 day

-23 August
Wake up at 4.00, the Volatur bus that must take us to the? airport for l? excursion awaits us at 4.45. We take the opportunity to take photos and videos in the beautiful hall of? hotel that, given the? now, we find it deserted. In a short time we are all? La Guardia airport and we board the flight to Buffalo where we arrive in a short time. Waiting for us a? another minibus with the Italian-American driver-guide from Salerno with whom, obviously, we immediately sympathize. We arrive at Niagara Falls on the United States side where an exciting show awaits us. From afar you can see the cloud d? water that the gigantic fall d? water generates and already? we feel intimidated by this spectacle that nature offers. After stopping for about a? now, let's move to the Canadian side and cross the border with formalities? reduced to a minimum. Do you breathe a? air of great civilization and? a beautiful feeling. The guide provides us with tickets for the boat that will take us? until under the jump d? water and then we embark. I have a doubt: but if the engine fails, what happens to us?
Straight on the rapids? But no, don't worry, says the guide, the boat has four engines! L? experience ? fabulous! After putting on the strange colored raincoats that are provided to us, we head towards the waterfall. We have no words,? a fantastic show. My photo-video-shots are carried out in a daring way: in order not to get too wet the lenses I hide, in the most moments? ? wet? behind a structure of the boat, to then appear at all? sudden and resume. However, I can not avoid a shower d? water that soaks me.
Wet but happy I ask Bianca to dry my head as best she can since she, provident as always, has brought a small towel.
Back by bus to the panoramic restaurant for lunch.
The restaurant ? a mega-super-panoramic restaurant also made? it to astound. Apart from the ultramodern structure, you can enjoy a view of the falls that we will hardly forget. We are not talking about the refined and well served lunch. The guide chooses to sit at our table, complimenting us on our sympathy. Needless to say: we are from the south! Return to New York in the evening.

6 day

-24 August
Today we have there? appointment with LADY LIBERTY!
This time on the subway, not out of tiredness or laziness but to see it, let's get to? boarding the boat that will take us? on Liberty Island. Navigation? pleasant as we see the Lady getting closer and closer. Visit of ritual and episode to Ellis Island. We leave Lady Liberty behind us regretting not having climbed to the crown as for fear of attacks visits to the top of the statue are prohibited and we move towards South Sea Seaport once teeming with sailors and sailing ships, the heart of the port of 17th century New York. Now the port? became an active complex of shops, restaurants and museums. Pier consists of a glass and steel building with three floors of shops and stalls alongside which historic ships such as the Peking, the second largest, are moored. largest sailing ship in the world that we visit with much interest. After making some purchases we go up all? top floor from which you can enjoy a? great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the ancient ships moored in the harbor. We visit the sailing ship Peking, the second largest sailing ship? big of the world and we look in vain l? craftsman who makes model ships, figureheads and above all ships in bottles that I collect. Am I disappointed with the laboratory today? closed and no one can tell me when to reopen?.
The Financial District? close and we go all? intersection that pi? any other has had importance for the city, in the past as today, of that between Wall Stret and Broad Street. Here are the Federal Hall National Monument, Trinity Church and the New York Stock Exchange. It goes without saying that we are curious to see the symbol of Wall Sreet: the bronze bull weighing 3,2 tons and almost 5 meters long carried and placed in the square on the night between 15 and 16 December 1989 by the sculptor Arturo Di Modica, helped from relatives and friends who downloaded the work in just 8 minutes, evading police surveillance .. Needless to say, Di Modica? of Sicilian origin.

7 day

-25 August
Busy day, we take the 43th towards the sea to reach Pier 83 for the mini-cruise that will take us? all along Manhattan. At 11:30 we set sail, the day? slightly dull but luckily it does not rain. The light haze suits for? a particular charm to the skyline, indeed the skyscrapers, the coast, and the bridges of New York take on an almost unreal dimension that captivates us in an extraordinary way. After enjoying Manhattan from the sky, this sailing along its coast shows us a particular side that we could not even imagine: Manhattan? almost lying on the sea in an atmosphere that shows it in a peace that is not noticeable inside due to the frenetic pace of life that takes place in it. Snack at a Turkish restaurant and the day ends at MoMA, a unique example of museum architecture. L? building? It has been renovated and now has six exhibition floors, almost double the size of the old museum. The MoMA? he was the first to include practical objects in his collection; they range from appliances to stereos, from furniture to lamps. The Architecture and Design section? located on the third floor where the? Italy is the host in fact there are countless works by Italian designers. Do you think? even a Piaggio Vespa scooter on display! We stop for a long time in the Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller sculpture garden what? a true oasis of peace.
IS? almost evening and we spend the last hours in New York in Times Square: at 23.30 pm we leave Newark for? Italy? .. Or at least we should leave! The flight ? been canceled! What's now? We stay in Newark until tomorrow at the expense of? Alitalia! An unexpected extension of the journey that we do not mind and that we spend in joy with Italian friends forced like us to postpone the departure.

8 day

-26 August
The departure alternatives are either by Alitalia plane at 17:30 local time for Rome or Continental at 23:00 for Milan. We opt for Rome, plus we will be more? close to Naples. This time they accept to check in hand luggage ie l? photographic equipment and the trolley with the purchases made.
The trip for luck? quiet. We arrive in Naples on 27 August at 13:00 local time and I find that a suitcase has undergone a forced opening attempt and a? other not? arrived. Not bad, in this? last there was only dirty laundry. L? tomorrow they call me from? airport to tell me that the suitcase? arrived: who knows? that they have not sent the laundry to the laundry ?.
We hope that our travel diary will serve to entice someone to visit New York, to savor the Big Apple, to be in a special place where we felt at the center of the world. You can hate it or love it but you can't? remain indifferent to the timeless charm of New York.

Audio Video Discovering the Big Apple
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