Christmas
in New York

The trainstation @Kempraten is all foggy at 05:00 AM.

Happy to have Zurich as my home airport. It's easy to deal with the preflight security checks and there's rarely a wait. Also there is plenty of seating and usb/power outlets available at the gates.

A few hours later and I'm already over the pond. It still amazes me that we're able to travel like this. I wonder what the futures holds for us as a species. What will it feel like to travel the solar system? I imagine going to Mars will be like when the first settlers from Europe sailed to America. A journey that takes months where as we can reach any point on earth within a few hours.

About to land at JFK in New York.

Times Square

First thing after landing, getting through customs, meeting up with Ryan and finding our hotel was going to Times Square. Although it was biting cold, Times Square was magnificent. Its dazzling lights and enticing adverts have a charm that is not diminished by the masses of people crowding the streets.

This was the first time that I've seen Times Square at night with my own eyes.

Taking a selfie with Ryan

To get out of the cold we went to an Applebee's and got some burgers.

Having been awake for almost 24h I was too tired continue walking around in the cold but unwilling to go back to the hotel, so we went to see the Grand Central Terminal.

Sow many people... *yawn*

ZZZzzzz ... .

IHOP

The next morning we took the subway to Union Square to get an IHOP breakfast. I find it rather nice that calories are listed in American menus. The menu says 1080 calories for a Split Decision Breakfast :-). But I guess I will burn some of it while walking, riight?!

The new WTC Transportation Hub

The view from the top of the World Trade Center Observatory is quite something. If only the window panes weren't that reflective.. because of course I didn't have my attachable filter with me.

The complexity of a city such as New York becomes apparent when viewed from above. About 1.5 million people live in Manhattan alone. 8.5 million in the whole city of New York. That's 400'000 more than the whole population of Switzerland.

The Statue of Liberty looks almost tiny.

Manhattan Bridge




Brooklyn Bridge

Looking across the Hudson River towards Jersey City.

Central Park Zoo

While there's no lion, zebra, giraffe nor hippo.. the penguins from the Madagascar movie do indeed exist.

After the Zoo we continued walking uptown towards the reservoir. On the way there I was able to take this rather nice picture of the Conservatory Water pond, which is a man-made pond for sailing model boats. I didn't see anyone sailing model boats on the lake.. but I suppose that's something you do when it's warmer. Someday I'll check this out in the summer.

Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

A now decommissioned water reservoir that's famous for the jogging track surrounding it.

I love the detail on these giant Christmas baubles. They even have hangers.

The next morning I woke up to a white New York.

Four Points Times Square

A snow white limo ;-) in front of the hotel we were staying at. The snow is quite slushy and wet. Luckily there's a side entrance to the Port Authority subway station just across the street.

Apple Store

The famous 5th Avenue Apple Store is almost invisible in the winter-morning-weather.

Across from the Apple Store there's the Snapchat Spectacles pop up store. I got a blue pair from one of the three vending machines inside. It's quite a special purchasing experience. Queue, pop in the credit card, choose a color, pop in the credit card again to pay and done. When I got them I was thinking of reselling them back in Europe (they go for about 3x the price on ebay) but in the end I decided to keep them. They're a cool piece of tech.

Rockefeller Center

Even this gigantic Christmas tree is dwarfed by the Rockefeller tower. At this point me and Ryan had pretty wet shoes from all the slushy snow and so we went back to the hotel after a quick visit to the Lego store located just across from the Rockefeller.

In the afternoon we went to Macy's for some actual shopping. Macy's claim to fame is to be the world's largest department store. The one at Herald Square is huge indeed. On every floor there's a mini food place, Starbucks, Mc Donalds etc. I feel like one could live in there forever without ever leaving.

In Manhattan they have these LinkNYC Wifi towers. They not only provide Wifi but also emergency services, free voice calling (in the US), usb charging and Google Maps access. Z├╝rich could use some of these!

Brooklyn Bridge

One of the most famous bridges in the world. You can't stay in New York without walking across it at least once.

The Manhattan skyline is stunning as ever.
Can you see the tiny Statue of Liberty in the background?

Cars in Brooklyn as seen from the Manhattan bridge.
It's kinda mesmerizing to watch them for a while..

Oil is still the lifeblood of the United States

Every few minutes a bunch of subway carriages cross the Manhattan bridge.

Mini Chinatown

After crossing the Manhattan Bridge we're treated to a unique birds eye view of New Yorks Chinatown.

Empire State Building

The Empire State is awesome. It's my favourite building in the world.

American Museum of Natural History

For our last day in New York we decided to visit the American Museum of Natural History. It's one of the largest museums in the world, consisting of 28 interconnected buildings with 45 permanent exhibition halls.

Ryan posing with his relatives ;-)

Switzerland according to the Americans ;-). They seem to like our birds.

More Switzerland things :D

Coney Island

Having spent the morning walking around the Natural History museum I just wanted to sit down and not move. (A week of New York really goes to the legs.) So we took the subway down to Coney Island (about 1h). Due to lucky timing we arrived right when the sun started to set and I managed to take a bunch of really nice photos.

The pier is rather well populated. There's a bunch of people fishing, but most are there to enjoy the sunset.

Flying home :) I wonder when I will be back..