From New Jersey I travelled to New York City! I have to admit, it was only this summer that I learnt that New York is, in fact, NOT the capital of New York State. One of the girls from Camp goes to college in Albany (the actual capital of New York state) and she informed me of my mistake. Apparently a lot of Americans are also unaware of this fact, which made me feel a little bit better about my ignorance up to this point!
Once again I’m sofa surfing with friends. Although, perhaps that’s not quite the right way to describe it since I’m staying in a four star hotel at the moment. Believe me when I say, this is not the kind of place that I would be staying if I was paying for it myself, so i’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can whilst it lasts.
The great thing about the hotel is that it’s located only a half hour walk from Penn station. As soon as I dropped my bag off I decided to go out and explore around Times Square, only nine blocks away from the hotel.
Being a self confessed geek, I love to have a proper read of my travel book, or look up the history of places online. So here comes the geekiness! Times Square – sometimes referred to as ‘The Crossroads of the world’ – stretches from West 42nd street to West 47th Street. The Square got its name in 1904 after The New York Times moved its office there. Formerly, it had been known as ‘Longacre Square’ when it was named in 1872 after Long Acre in London. In 2009 the area was made a pedestrian only area, apparently in an effort to ease traffic congestion. (It also means that it’s possible to take pictures without the fear of being run over by an unnoticed car!)
I did, of course, go into the most important shop on Times Square – DISNEY! Because honestly, i’m a child in an adults body. An adult who was kind of upset that there were no dresses in her size, and that she couldn’t buy any of the stuffed animals because I have no room in my suitcase (it will simply have to wait until another time)!
Whilst I’m sure that the area has become increasingly ‘disneyfied’ over time, it is no less impressive. The gigantic, flashing billboards are always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Times Square, and they certainly did not disappoint. The seemingly never ending crowds of people, the flashing signs and colours and the background of cabs and people is exactly how I had imagined New York. In short, Times Square did not disappoint! It’s very obvious to me why Times Square is near the top of every ‘must see’ list for New York, and it certainly has a place up there in mine as well!
‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ Mark Twain