Friday, July 08, 2005

New York on Holiday

The only full day we spent in NYC was the Saturday at the 4th of July weekend. Most people have left for holidays, yet the parks and amusement places were packed with people. I again felt what I call "New York feeling", that the city and its people just feel different in a way that is impossible for me to describe. You just have to be there.

As I was walking in front of the public library in the morning on our way to the subway, I noticed a familiar face across the street. What are the chances that you and one of your close friends will happen to meet eachother by complete accident in the middle of Manhattan at a random day of the year? I didn't know he was there, nor did he that I was. We have barely met eachother inside the usc campus, not in another city!

First stop was the Guggenheim museum, a building with a great architecture that nevertheless reminds a toilet from the outside. We were lucky to be the only 2 people in the 11am tour, so a cute asian-american girl showed us around privately, and that was so great since we could discuss freely wondering what the hell were we seeing. Guggenheim is an art museum (paintings, some picassos, sculptures, everything after 1800's). She was a volunteer then and also very kind of explaining the story and makings of several paintings. Thanks!

Straight opposite from the museum, we entered central park, and after only 2 minutes of walking we found ourselves in the place above that hardly reminds of a metropolitan city. We met a lady at starbucks that she and her husband just retired, and they decided to spend the rest of their lives in Manhattan. As she very well put it, NYC wouldn't be the same without Central Park. So true.

Thousands of people had flocked in Central Park at this beautiful Saturday afternoon. The oval garden dominates the center, where people play baseball, soccer, roller-skate, have picnics or just lie down under some shadow.

Meanwhile, at the Southeast corner a set of truly excellent performers were announcing joking "We need money for college. Give us yours so that we don't have to go". They were also plain true: "The more money you give us the more we stay outside your home". Really good show.

I think this is my favorite building in New York. The colorful skyscraper opposite of the Bus Terminal just made my day, every day I walked by it.

Towards the evening we decided to do The Walk: Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, the very first bridge built 130 years ago that connected the island of Manhattan with the mainland (Brooklyn). Hundreds of people and bicyclists were walking at the time.

Brooklyn offers some spectacular views of NYC, and we had dinner while watching slowly the sunlight vanishing and the lights turning on in the buildings. The final night view was beautiful, just beautiful...

This is the Empire state building, all the way from Brooklyn with 10x zoom. Damn, I love this camera!

The busy 42nd street, home of cinemas, theatrical plays and shows is always busy at night. The Chrysler Tower can be seen in the background.

I will have to end this with a picture that captures so much of NYC by night; I just love it. The food stand, people walking fast, traffic lights, cabs, lights, skyscrapers, plus the Empire State in the background. Goodnight, New York. Goodnight...