Individuals: Visiting New York City

I’ve been to New York City a handful of times, but I’ve never been able to do even half of what I wanted to do.

I have a vague childhood memory (early 1980’s?) of driving around the city in our family’s van on a roadtrip, but I’ve no idea when. Although I grew up in Colorado, I had grandparents in upstate New York so we did drive across the country several times. On that trip, we took the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty and I think we went to the top of the Empire State Building.

In high school (1989), our orchestra was invited to play at Carnegie Hall as part of the summer youth series. We saw Cats on Broadway. We ate pizza in the basement of a Sboro’s with windows looking at the subway station. We walked through Greenwich Village in the early evening after dress rehearsal, wearing our matching black formal dresses and oblivious to how out-of-place we looked. We had a taxi driver take us on a joyride and we paid him anyway.

I spent two years (1991-1993) as a nanny only an hour’s drive north, but only took the train into the city a couple of times. Another nanny and I saw the Rockettes’ Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall. Afterwards, we had to ask for directions several times to find our way back to Grand Central Station. The final time we asked, the police officer looked at us funny and pointed behind him. We were standing right by the entrance, but it was just a rather unremarkable set of doors in line with many brightly-lit storefronts. Neither of us recognized it!

A decade later, my husband and I went on a school trip to NYC, driving down from VT. We visited the American Museum of Natural History, of which the most memorable part was the Rose Center for Earth and Space. It’s a huge globe in a glass box. We followed our guide through the streets, walking so fast we could barely breathe and there was no chance to stop and take in the environment or even snap a photo. Our guide was a native New Yorker and he wanted us to experience what it was like to walk like a real New Yorker.

Once we had kids, we intended to take them to the city. It was only an eight hour drive, but paying for a hotel and meals and everything else we’d need was more than we could afford. I still want to visit the 9-11 Memorial. I want to go to the top of the Statue of Liberty. I want to do all the things I never did on all the other trips.

We live in Colorado now, so a trip to NYC would be much longer than an eight-hour roadtrip. It’s still on the list.


Tell me about your experiences visiting New York City.