New York City
New York City is the most populated city in America. The moment the guide announced the arrival of the bus at the city, everyone got excited. It is probably the dream of many to come, see, touch and feel the dream one had for years or decades. Moreover, it has almost all the highlights of the tour itinerary, such as Statue Of Liberty, Times Square and Wall Street. Here we go, for much awaited New York City tour!
New York City Tour – the 5 must-see attractions:
1. Statue Of Liberty – the symbol of freedom!
The Statue Of Liberty was a gift from France to America in 1886 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of American Independence from the British. During the war of Independence in 1770’s, the French were the main allies of the American in the supplied of war resources.
The trip to the main highlights of our America’s holiday, however, was a big let down, probably because the mode of transport to visit the statue was not right. We went there by cruise. This popular cruise was so crowded that it’s impossible to take a clear shot of the statue. The 1 hour cruise rounded the area without a stopover, thus when it comes near the statue, the few best spots was quickly taken-up by seasoned photographer. Anyway, the closest the cruise ever came near to the statue was still about 300 metres, faraway to get a good picture or closer look at the statue. The heavily crowded deck would not allow family photo as well.
The dream cruise to see the Statue Of Liberty finally began!
The moment the cruise got closed to the statue, the crowd started ‘fighting’ for space for a good photography site. Everyone was elated, but only the few who managed to get to the front were able to click good pictures.
Photography and Statue Of Liberty aside , the cruise was a pleasant one, for the beautiful skyline of Lower Manhattan is a feast for all .
Photography and Statue Of Liberty aside, the cruise was a pleasant one, for the beautiful skyline of Lower Manhattan is a feast for all.
2. Statue of George Washington
George Washington was the Commander-in-Chief during the American Revolutionary War in the mid 1770’s, and was later made the first American President. The British who colonized 13 American states between 1607 -1733 imposed taxes on the Americans. The 13 American states resisted the demand leading to the War Of Independence ( 1776-1783). The British were driven out and forced to recognize the newborn country, United States Of America.
The statue of American first President, George Washington is located just steps away from the world renowned New York Stock Exchange(NYSE). The presence of 2 must-see attractions so close to each other makes photography very challenging.
3. Wall Street – where money is never enough
Wall Street is a 1.1 km long street in New York City, it is the home of New York Stock Exchange ( NYSE). The Exchange provides a platform for buyers and sellers around the world to trade shares in listed companies, in brief, everyday there are some winners and some losers. Certainly a must-see for stocks investor – to witness the place where an average trade volume of about US$169 billion takes place, the biggest Exchange in the world. America’s economy is the world’s largest, as such the activities of NYSE is closely watched and monitored all over the world by political leaders and economists, besides the ordinary stock traders, it is the health of the United States economy, as well as the world. A local or international news event could easily trigger a chain reactions in the stocks market. The rise and fall of stocks market is instantly felt around the world, as the saying goes ‘ if American economy goes cold, the world feel chill’.
The place is congested with more tourists than locals, made worst by the presence of another must-see attraction just steps away, the statue of George Washington, America first president.
After years of dreaming, I’m finally standing at New York Stocks Exchange. Can you imagine, an average of US$169 billions takes place in this building Mon-Fri!
New York Stock Exchange is heavily barricaded and guarded, throngs of tourists could only stand far away in the narrow street for pictures.
Love these signage worded with ‘wall street’.
4. Wall Street – the charging bull
The Charging Bull is the iconic symbol of Wall Street as well as the financial stock market. A ‘bull market’ would mean companies are doing well, stocks prices are rising by the day, investors are making tonnes of money, the health of the economy is good and everyone is happy. On the contrary, a ‘bear market’ means stocks market has crashed, investors are bleeding with the daily depreciation of their stocks value, some are borrowing to live, everything is going downhill, the economy is properly going into a recession.
The Charging Bull statue is located not far from the main Wall Street area. A major tourists attraction, the narrow lane is packed with groups of tourists, which never seems to end. This is the most difficult area to take picture with a clean shot. Everyone is literally fighting to get a picture with the Charging Bull. However, it is not the head of the bull which is the favourite, the buttock of the bull is another attraction itself. It is said that ‘touching’ the bull’s testicle makes it happy, another way of curry favour and thus have a healthy financial year ahead.
Just by touching it alone makes everyone happy, the Charging Bull seems to has this extraordinary supernatural charms. Everyone wants to get a touch with The Charging Bull to ‘buy’ some luck probably. It doesn’t matter whether you are a stock player or not, touching The Bull gives a gush of belief that good luck and fortune is coming. That’s probably what everyone is asking for, very similar to a deity popularly worships by the Chinese, God Of Fortune.
The Charging Bull was created by an artist, Di Modica, he had spent a total of $360,000 to cast it and installed it in front of New York Stock Exchange, to lend ‘strength and power’ to the Americans during the terrible 1987 stock market crashed, it instantly aroused curiosity and attracted large crowd. Interestingly, it was initially disapprove by the state police and removed, but a public outcry eventually leads to the permanent installation. Since then it has become the symbol of Wall Street financial market and used widely around the world as an indication of the financial heath economy of a country.
The 3,200-kg (7,100 lb) sculpture stands at 11 feet and 16 feet long( 3.4 x 4.9 m). It looks imposing and aggressive when face to face with it.
It was said the Charging Bull was moved from the other street to this site due to the 2008 Financial Crisis. It was hoped that the Bull would charge up the slope, bringing America out of the presence economic dark clouds.
Noticed some are posing with the Charging Bull’s buttock? For the sake of good luck!
5. Times Square – here I come!
Times Square, located at the junction of Broadway, is one of the world’s most busiest street.
From the moment we alighted from the bus, we could feel the excitement and vibrancy of the place. Colourful gigantic advertisement boards were everywhere, almost every moves we made knocked onto someone else beside. We were told beforehand that shopping over here can be quite expensive, but at the end of the day, we found that was just rumour, we could easily found a numbers of branded products at value lower than in countries we had visited. But we were not quite interested in any form of shopping, after having our pockets bleed badly after the shopping spree at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
The place was not just for shopping though, categorized into different themes, there are places for food, theatres, arts performance and shopping, very alike to Universal Studios.
More notably, if this is your first stop in New York, then it’s good news for you, especially for traveler who comes on their own. Informative brochure on New York city tours is obtainable from lots of promoters lining the streets, they offer great discounts, and visitors can even join the tour straightaway. For good bargains, join the hop-in tour bus to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
My spouse had already had 2 bags of purchased goods in just 1 hour. I had to buy something to fill the gush of excitement. Moreover we’re just hours away from flying home.
Many had thought Times Square only retail expensive branded products. But we actually found the branded on big discounts and the less expensive but with good quality. It’s a matter of patience game. There are also many stalls and shops retailing souvenirs, don’t miss it!
After having watched too much of Hollywood movies involving NYPD with criminals, its exciting to finally see the NYPD right in front of our eyes. That’s what makes tourists so special, the local see it as an ordinary thing, but in the eye of the tourists, it is as good as national treasure! The local takes thing for granted, but the tourists never.
Madame Tussauds Museum at New York city, what a rare find! Regrettably, due to time constraint we didn’t make it into the exhibits.
Less than a 10 minutes walk away from Times Square is another famous shopping paradise, Fifth Ave. Unlike Times Square which looks more like Universal Studios with the many gigantic billboards and lots of theme entertainments, Fifth Ave features more on upscale fashion wares. The perception is obvious, everyone (except tourists) who were here came in elaborated fashion, they looked more like models than shoppers.