New York, My first love 

High rises, men, and women suited up, Broadway shows, crowded streets, the largest Macy store, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan and of course 9/11 attacks, that’s what makes New York all time favorite

 New York, My first love 

Karishma Kirpalani

This city holds a lot of memories, a lot of nostalgia for me. And it was the first ever place I visited outside our country. And the first time I saw Times Square which was buzzing and alive and kicking even at midnight, I instantly fell in love with the place. And so, I’ve come back, again and again, visiting this city over 7 times till date.

On my first visit, which was in 1995, I was one of the lucky few to have gone up the World Trade Centre before the attack. It was my first time climbing up such a high rise and seeing the world below, where I felt on the top of the world, and everything was so small below me. Of course, 6 years later, when the attacks took place and I heard the news, my heart completely sank. I actually thought I had lost a part of me. And after that incident, the next few times I visited the city, the mandatory visit is the Memorial at Ground Zero, to pay respect to the nearly 3000 who lost their lives.

A must visit is also the 9/11 museum located in the prism shaped building. Obviously this whole experience brings tears to my eyes but I always end my visit on a high note by catching the beautiful views from the Freedom Tower. Another iconic building in the city is the 11-storey Macy’s department store on Herald Square which is the largest store in the world. Just for its sheer size, lighting and decor, this place definitely should be on a check list. When one says New York, a top of mind recall is Broadway. Just like Los Angeles is synonymous with Hollywood, New York is with Broadway.

Every time I visit the city, at least one show is a must. Some of the shows that are worth a watch are Aladin, Mama Mia, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chicago, Wicked, Book of Mormon and, of course, The Phantom of the Opera which is the oldest playing Broadway show. The glitz glamour and lights of these theatres make Times Square the most lively place you can come across.

There’s so much of light even in the night, that you probably need an equivalent of sunglasses even at midnight. Some of the best stores to visit here are MnM World and Hershey’s Land. And if you are fond of make up, the Sephora here is larger than life. New York when I think of you, the other place that I have wonderful memories of is Central Park. As a child, I would go around the park in the horse carriage, and take a picnic basket filled with jam sandwiches and could spend a whole day there. As I grew up every time I visit New York, I go and do an early morning session of yoga in the park. A romantic spot in the park is the Shakespeare Garden, it’s actually quite hidden, and away from the hustle bustle. It’s quite a popular spot for many weddings to take place. The first time I saw the Statue of Liberty when I visited New York, there was nothing I had seen like her.

Her sheer size, almost 300 feet tall, and all the magnificence, overwhelmed me. There is a lift that takes you up to the crown and when I looked at the ground below, I felt so tall. I think I walked a few hundred steps to go up the torch as well. Today, unfortunately because of security reasons, one is not allowed to go right up to the torch. Also, it’s better to purchase tickets online well in advance to go up, because if you don’t, there’s a very high chance you will return back disappointed. Sitting in 2019, every traveller is constantly on the look out for Instagram worthy spots. One of these spots in New York is the Flat Iron Building in Flatiron District, Market Street. What makes it stand out is its very unique triangular shape and short height amongst many of the city’s high rises. If you come and photograph this building on the weekend, make sure to get some good drinks and street food at the Union Square Holiday Market which is just a hop skip jump from the building.

Talking about food, New York is a foodie’s paradise. Because of the number of Jews in the city, one of the best smoked salmon or lox with bagel and cream cheese is to be had here. Visit the restaurant Russ and Daughters for the perfect fishy experience. As I mention fish, another great restaurant for Japanese and amazing sushi which comes to my mind is Morimito in Chelsea District. Food also means a whole lot of desserts and two places in the city are sinfully divine. There is the Magnolia Bakery, actually made famous by the sitcom “Friends”. It has the most amazing cupcakes, especially the red velvet one and pecan pie. And then, there is Serendipity 3, world famous for its hot chocolate and ice creams.

New York, New York, I have so many memories of the place. Somehow, this is one city that keeps calling me back, and as many times I go, there is always something new to go back to.

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