Statue of Liberty with Manhattan in the distance
  • Statue of Liberty with Manhattan in the distance
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After paying a multitude of highway tolls throughout the labyrinth of New Jersey, my spouse and I had finally arrived. The bright lights of the Manhattan skyline welcoming us, we passed through the Lincoln Tunnel, leaving Jersey behind for a world of enchantment and style.

As soon as you set foot in this vibrantly alive city, you’re immediately immersed in the hustle and bustle. It’s no wonder generations past and present have flocked to and idolized the Big Apple.

Transportation is readily available, be it the PATH, which runs from New Jersey to New York for under $2, or the vast subway network that spans four of the five boroughs. Or perhaps you might enjoy using your sea legs on the ferry to Staten Island to view the iconic Statue of Liberty. Gazing at this lofty statue, one can’t help but feel her grandeur. I was instantly captivated by her poise, strength and what she represents to the millions of Americans who have made the journey and found their way here, one way or another.

Constantly on the move, New Yorkers are extroverted, sociable and diverse. The diversity is simply amazing – it’s like traveling the world in one glorious city. Such a melting pot can only render fabulous international cuisine, art and style. New York’s fashion style is unique: from chic to glamour to vogue, it’s all intertwined.

Did I mention Times Square? Times Square surrounds you with shimmering lights, tall billboards, advertising – expressing the people, products and productions of the moment. Who’s in, what’s hot and what’s now.

For entertainment, there’s no better place than Manhattan, with an array of venues from the latest art exhibit, to the hot new restaurant, to opening night at the opera on Broadway, to a recreational day of ice skating in spacious Central Park.

Being a Southern California native, ice skating was a must – I grew up with a lack of snow and had never been on an ice rink. Let me say that it was an exhilarating experience: I grabbed the side of the rail courageously and proceeded to stumble around the rink a few times, thrilled to be on the ice for the first time in my life as more experienced skaters ran circles around me.

I enjoyed the serenity of Central Park, and in the distance I could hear the loud chirping of neighboring birds, most likely laughing as they watched me attempt to ice skate.

After the fun at the rink, I indulged in some traditional New York food, the hot dogs I’d so often heard of, from a local cart vendor. After two hot dogs, dessert and coffee, I was looking for a place to relax when lo and behold, I saw a horse-drawn carriage approaching. It was heaven sent – I couldn’t walk another mile.

I immediately stopped him and boarded the carriage, and we trotted through the outskirts of the vast Central Park area. Miles and miles of park foliage and lofty trees – quite the refuge in this magnificent city. Truly majestic.

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