Saturday, January 18, 2014

New York City 2012: Roaming Manhattan

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This may seem like a cliche but I can't help thinking of these song lyrics as I breathed the air in Manhattan:

If I could open my arms
And span the length of the isle of Manhattan,
I'd bring it to where you are
Making a lake of the East River and Hudson

- Death Cab for Cutie

This song means so much to me and I found it fitting to have been playing in my head as I walked around the streets of this city.

Before that, a quick trivia for you.  New York City is divided into five boroughs that were consolidated into one huge city over a hundred years ago: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.  In the future, I'll visit them all, but as of that moment, I was in the cultural center of USA that is Manhattan.

From Broadway street at Times Square, walked half-aimlessly, half purposely along 7th Avenue.  I told my cousin I wanted to see all the famous landmarks specifically.  I knew I would have other chances in the future to be back in New York, and so at this time, I needed to prioritize.  

A few steps from the middle of Times Square, I saw familiar building. Lo and behold, Parson's School of Design!  For all the numerous times the facade has been featured in the Project Runway TV show, I would be too dense not to notice.

Manhattan has been the setting of countless films and television shows that it's impossible not to exclaim with delight as I personally see each object with obvious familiarity.

On 5th Avenue, I found NYC's most famous building - The Empire State.  I went in and there was a long line to go to the top.  Someday, I'll have the time to climb it and see Manhattan from a bird's eye view, but not today, not today.

The lady to the left is in no way associated with me.  Nice smile, though, Random Stranger.

The Manhattan Mall - Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) corner 34th Avenue.


At the opposite direction from Times Square, we went to Rockefeller Center, an imposing skyscraper with a more famous ice skating rink (at least for me, as it has been featured in Gossip Girl).  But before reaching it, I saw my most favorite building - Chrysler - from afar.  By wanting to save the best for last, we ran out of time, but I think part of me knew that leaving Chrysler unconquered would motivate me harder to come back.  Its superior art deco design is such a beauty even from a few blocks away.

Still before reaching Rockefeller, we passed by St. Patrick's Cathedral.  I had to have a picture in front of the ornately carved doors.

What else would be on 5th Avenue? Saks!  It's just across Rockefeller and it's vintage, classy architecture made me sigh ala Holly Golightly, so classy, so poignant (speaking of which, I totally forgot to reenact Breakfast at Tiffany's!).

Finally, we reached the center of Mr. Rockefeller's vast fortune that shaped America.  Do you know his connection to the Philippines?  He funded the establishment of Central Philippine University.  Just with that fact, I think he's pretty cool.  I also think Andrew Carnegie, another American industrial forefather, is (for lack of a better word) cool because of his anti-imperialist principles during the Philippines' independence in 1898.  He even went as far as offering us $20 million to buy ourselves back from the US... which did not really materialize.  Anyway, for a moment there, I forgot that this is a travel blog, not a history blog.  Moving on...

A little Lego-love never hurt anyone.

In a few moments, you'll know what made the Rockefeller Center popular in, well, pop culture.

And here it is... the most famous ice skating rink.

This building is warming up to me. I guess it's my favorite now.

There is still so much to see in Manhattan, so many restaurants to try!  I did try Shake Shack near 86th Street and I love their burgers!  

I promised myself I'll be back for more of this city that I love, love, love so much.  But then, there's still the rest of the world to see.


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