I never used to relate to those travel quotes as much as I do now, but I guess that is the thing with life. It has to be something you understand even better through experience to vibrate on the same wavelength.
You know the way African’s dislike when non-Africans think Africa is a country, we live on trees and ride lions or have lions for pets? Yeah, turns out the rest of us can sound ignorant out there. Through experience and research, I found a couple things one needs to know as an explorer in New York.
- There is New York State, then there is New York City which has 5 boroughs: (like constituencies if you are from Kenya.) These are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Manhattan is the smallest in square kilometers but has the most development. All we know is mostly the city, but the state is larger than the 5 boroughs.
- The main borough is Manhattan: where all the action takes place due to the development and all. That’s where most attractions are. Times square, Empire state building, Rockefeller center, Central park, Metropolitan Museum (where the MET gala takes place), Broadway and the likes.
- You can never finish exploring Manhattan: being a village girl, I have never seen the importance of taking a motorbike to get around Nairobi town, so obviously when I touch down in Manhattan, I prepare my feet for the walk. That’s a terrible decision. The place is huge; they don’t call it a concrete jungle for no reason. Even if exploring is your thing, take a bus, or the metro. Even if you are a long distance runner or hiker, save yourself the energy.
- Take a train ride especially If you come from a place where commuting through train is not a common occurrence. It is fun and there are characters on the train. The interesting and the weird ones. They are all there. What a joy is it getting to your destination in minutes especially if you are used to sitting in traffic for hours.
- Everything is exciting especially if you are visiting for the first time. I felt like Osofia in London when the bus from DC first dropped us. Everything is so surreal when you stand in between the skyscrapers. The familiar streets like, 5th Avenue, Broadway, Wall Street, Little Italy, China Town and familiar establishments like, Chipotle, Tiffany’s, Macy’s etc. I, mean if exploring is your thing, you can never be bored. There is a lot to see. The real question is, do you have the time?
- You can have a lot of cheap dates, buy snacks and sit at a park, or by the roadside or at the stairs and eat. Everyone is just on their way minding their business so don’t worry, a chokora (street kid) won’t come to you asking for your freshly opened can of soda. Park benches by the Hudson river are a treat, especially if you need to sit for a minute after all the exploring.