As far as city breaks are concerned, it doesn’t get any better than the bold, brash, bustling boulevards of New York City. The United States’ most populous city is synonymous with skyscrapers, yellow taxis, sprawling parks and a way of life that only a select few other cities in the world can ever claim to share.
Indeed, New York isn’t for the faint-hearted. The city that has come to be known as ‘The Big Apple’ is a modern metropolis and one of the world’s true ‘megacities’. Whilst there is plenty to keep tourists entertained for weeks, many choose to visit New York simply for the inimitable buzz that has come to symbolise the very essence of what makes the US what it is today.
New York has many nicknames that aptly summarise in a short sentence what this city is all about, but none more so than ‘the city that never sleeps’.
Whether its midday or midnight, the streets are always teeming with people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Times Square – the city’s iconic intersection, famed for its animated digital advertisements – is probably busier in the middle of the night than most other cities manage at rush hour.
Situated at the mouth of the Hudson River, New York is divided into five main boroughs: Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens. A wander through any of the neighbourhoods within these districts, will reveal the extent of the cultural diversity within this amazing city.
The areas of Chinatown, Little Italy and Spanish Harlem act as a constant reminder of the history of not only this city, but the country as a whole.
New York was one of the main entry points for immigrants arriving from Europe in the 19th and 20th century and Ellis Island – a small island located in New York Harbour – was the main point of entry for more than 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954. Today, Ellis Island is home to a fascinating museum that documents this significant period in New York – and America’s – history.
For those on a short trip to New York City, it’s possible to see all the main attractions in a couple of days. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Greenwich Village are all within reasonably close proximity to each other and if time really is of the essence, it’s probably possible to manage all of them in one long day.
Central Park – a large public, urban park located in the commercial district of Manhattan – probably deserves a little more time for exploration. With 25 million visitors each year, there are lakes, walking tracks, ice-skating rinks, a zoo, a wildlife sanctuary and a whole host of other attractions providing days of entertainment for those with enough time at their disposal.
With so much to do in this city, it’s little wonder that JFK International Airport receive around 60,000 passengers every single day from flights to New York, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. This helps to ensure that New York City remains one of the world’s greatest and best-loved cities.
Canal Grande – Venice, Italy
Image by Justin in SD
In Venice, this canal is the equivalent of a freeway, or perhaps a more appropriate comparison would be Broadway in a major US city. It is the main canal in Venice winding from one side of the city to the other in the shape of a backward "S".
I took this from the Rialto Bridge which is right in the middle of the Grand Canal and a very busy point where either side of the canal is lined with restaurants, boat docks, and gondolas.