In 2006/2007 I attended High School in Rhinebeck, New York for a year. Like so many, I fell in love with NYC during that time and every time I get to return, my stomach is filled with excitement. But NYC is only one aspect of New York State. You wouldn’t believe how much nature there is and especially Rhinebeck is in a beautiful area along the Hudson River. The Hudson sometimes is so broad that I thought it was a lake and in fall, the forests are so colorful that everything looks like in an idyllic painting. Returning to NYC and coming back to Rhinebeck still somehow feels like coming home.
While I was in Rhinebeck, I could catch up with family and some friends. We rode bicycles along the river, hiked to waterfalls and went to the cinema for 3$ 🙂
Four days out of these two weeks I spent in NYC. Every time I go there, I discover new things. One time, my host sister and I took Amtrak there because I received a 100$ coupon after I called them and complained about my 31 hour journey when I was going to Seattle.
We took the free ferry from South Ferry Station. It brought us to Staten Island. On the way there, we had an amazing view on NYC’s skyline and passed by the Statue of Liberty really close. Then we had to leave our ferry and wait about 20min until we could board the return one to get back to Manhattan. From there we walked towards Ground Zero and bought a Gyros for lunch from one of the street vendors. I love food trucks!
Ground Zero is impressive with all the new high buildings and the black memorial fountains in the center.
From there, we took the subway to Union Square (they were shooting a tv show there) and then walked along Broadway towards Times Square. Of course we couldn’t go without a little shopping along the way 🙂 Times Square with all its lights and billboards is still is as exciting to me as when I was there the first time. Now with the chairs and umbrellas that are in car free zones all over the city it’s actually really nice to just sit down and people watch for a while too.
On another day, I met up with Miriam. She was the girl who travelled through Western Australia with me and happened to come to Montréal the same time I was in NY. It would have been a shame not to come down here and so my journey kind of came to an end with the same person I started it with (there are only two weeks left now…). We just walked around downtown for half a day and looked at all the famous buildings and sights and then spent some time on the High Line. These are old elevated train tracks that were turned into a green oasis where NYC people can go for walks, drink coffee, eat ice cream and spot some decorated windows from the nearby houses.
In the evening, my host dad brought us to a speakeasy bar. Apparently, during prohibition times some bars existed anyways but they were hidden and you needed to know the places and a password. This one, we entered through a telephone cabin. I felt like in Harry Potter 🙂 That would be a good business idea for Switzerland too.
As luck would have it, one of my Rhinebeck friends was playing the guitar in another bar and we went to watch him for a while.
The next day, I finally had enough time to take the train to Coney Island. In all those years, I have never made it there before. In summer, it must be really nice and there is a lot of entertainment.
On the day of my flight to Honduras, I returned to the city once more. First, I went to the Museum of the City of New York on 103 St. There was a great movie about how NYC had developed since its beginning.
After that, I walked through Central Park and was surprised again how there still are paths I had never taken before.
Then, it was already time to meet a friend from my Whitsundays boat trip who lives in NYC. The world is smaller than we think and it’s nice to have several chances to see people again although you met them in a total different place.
In the evening, I took the NJ Transit train from Penn Station to Newark Airport (13$). I really enjoyed my time here. These two weeks have been the longest I’ve had time to stay there since 2007. Who knows when I will have such a long (chosen) vacation next time? Because I still don’t have a job yet and I really hope I find one soon after I return to Switzerland. I can’t just sit around doing nothing, while I could be travelling. However, stocking up my funds is not a bad idea.