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// SEPTEMBER 2009
Movie stars!
London
Vancouver
Three Valley Lake
San Francisco
Monterey
Pacific Coastal Highway 1
Los Angeles
Las Vegas
Torrey
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon
Santa Fe
Denver
Ottawa
Niagara Falls
New York
Boston
Quebec
Montreal
Kamloops
Lake Louise
Banff
Canmore
Calgary
Sausalito
Napa
San Simeon
Santa Barbara
Malibu
Santa Monica
Venice
Calico Ghost Town
Zion National Park
Bryce National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Flagstaff
Petrified Forest National Park
Painted Desert
Ice Caves, Grants
Albuquerque
Los Cerrillos
Los Alamos
Taos
Taos Pueblo
Montreal
Toronto
Mystic Seaport
Newport
Plymouth

New York


25th of September
We couldn’t sleep at all…

And how could we, after all, when New York. was waiting for us. We started our journey at dawn. There were many bridges, while we were, continuously, passing from turning points of the Niagara River. We crossed the valley of the Hudson River. Beautiful colors, just before our arrival. We took the route downhill, through Harlem, towards Manhattan. Far away, we could see faintly the Sky Line of the Big Apple.

We arrived, at last!!! What a magic feeling, when you see for first time The Big Apple’s far line of the horizon!!!


What do you want to be when you will grow up?

Today, Manhattan is the most densely populated area in the USA and one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
We felt as if we had known it forever.
The most distinguished island of the planet was spread in front of our eyes, with all its shinny store fronts, its skyscrapers, theatres and museums. A city, that never sleeps, literally.

I LOVE NY, as it claims the characteristic logo that can be found everywhere!

I am sure, that if you could ask a city what it would want to be when it would grow up, it would definitely answer, without second thoughts: New York.

Our mood was almost hyper and our smiles were reaching our ears. We had a timeframe of 24 hours, divided within two days, in order to see as much as we could. We were so excited!


Has it been a miracle???

We searched for the most recognizable spots. We went around by car, taking photos of everything that was attracting our attention. We had, of course, put into the GPS all the sights, but the sign was permanently lost. The skyscrapers are to blame for this problem. The skyscrapers, which are with no doubt the trademark of the city. So I learnt to read the map in zero time. I counted roads, vertical ones and parallel ones and I eventually figured out our exact position.

No, there was no miracle, after all!!!

I, who can be easily lost in Thessaloniki, wasn’t now moving around New York like a real habitant of the city, as if by a miracle. The damn need was responsible for the awakening of the orientation sense inside me… I was already thinking of what kind of an excuse I would give to Christos, the next time that I would be, again, carried away and lost in my own neighborhood!!!


The cinematographic Gotham City.

We were in between the areas TriBeCa and Soho. The Canal Street was packed. We went to Little Italy and to Chinatown. Then, we moved towards World Trade Center, while we were trying to find the Broadway Street. We continued towards Lower Manhattan.

We saw the old buildings with the external emergency stairs, which reminded us of San Francisco, while in the far end, ahead, there was the vacant lot, the tragic “Ground Zero” of the International Trade Center. The area, in which once, the Twin Towers overtopped every other building around them, was still gated. The ruins were at the same condition that the disaster of the 11th of September had left them.

Our first stop was at the World Trade Center-Ground Zero.



We approached the Town Hall square, heading towards Wall Street with its famous symbol, the buffalo. We passed by the customs office and, since we wanted to see the Bridge of Brooklyn, we moved towards the southern part of the island and the East Coast.

In front of our eyes was towering the famous bridge, with beautiful views to Manhattan. We crossed it. It is very impressive, indeed. We strolled to one of the nicest spots, where from one may observe Manhattan.
We continued and then, suddenly, it felt as if we had all the skyscrapers of the Financial District at our feet! We were at the East Coast and were moving in parallel with the waters, towards the Empire State Building.
We passed underneath the Williamsburg Bridge and admired its frame.
We crossed the 61st, at the east part, and then we moved towards Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue.

After a little while, we saw the southern part of Central Park. There were beautiful buildings around us, at the Upper East Side, all of them with emergency external stairs. Upper East Side is one of the most beautiful, modern and expensive neighborhoods in New York, very near to Central Park.



Familiar shapes far away.
Park Avenue, Madison and Fifth Avenue. The famous park was spread ahead, while its trees were filtering the sunlight at the Fifth Avenue. All the famous buildings were in front of our amazed eyes. We continued to the 43rd and met the Rockefeller Center.

Always in the heart of Midtown, we arrived at the Shopping District at the 54th. We carried on towards the 5th Avenue and saw the Cathedral of Saint Patrick at our right hand side. Of course, we got a taste of the impressive stores of the Fifth Avenue.

Afterwards, we turned to the 43rd, which would lead us to Times Square. At last, we arrived at the famous square, with its huge illuminated posters.


Our eyes were hurting from too much light

We were at the 5th Avenue and at the far end we could see the Flatiron, the triangle building which has as a motto the following saying:

“How can you prove that a piece of land is triangle?”
“Well, by building a triangle building!”

5th Avenue and Washington Square, with its characteristic arch. The skyscrapers were hiding the sky. We continued towards the heart of Greenwich Village.
We had a stop there and met Giannis Vrotsos, our fellow countryman, who treated us a coffee. We were really happy to meet him. We went for a promenade on foot, so as to feel the pulse of the neighborhood. It is one of the most pleasant student areas that we have ever met.

We took the car again and went to the 8th Avenue, in the heart of the West Village. Our next destination was Chelsea. We saw the Grand Central and also the Chrysler’s building, with its characteristic roof. Then, we moved north, we took the 57th Avenue and we saw the Trump Tower, right in front of us.



What did I tell you before? I am an expert when it comes to Manhattan’s map. We were walking up and down, from the north to the south and from the east to the west for hours and hours…

I’ve got the “charisma”, oh yes! As long as I am beyond… the Greek borders!! I will not expand the issue, though…

Account of the day that we had spent to the city of the cities, in the centre of the world:

We saw a lot. But… within a very narrow space of time. Nevertheless, we managed to exclude everything that would request a second view and we kept it in mind for our next visit.

We enjoyed a perfectly magic sunset and then we passed across to New Jersey, to Hoboken, through the Holland Tunnel…

We explored Hoboken a little bit and before going to the W Hoboken, where we were going to spend the night, we tasted an amazing New York Steak.


26th of September 
Even the tour guides need some rest…

We woke up enjoying an amazing view, from our room in the hotel. We saw the sun rising over Manhattan’s skyscrapers, while one more ship was entering the port.

It was impossible for us not to have thoughts about the 11th of September and not to imagine the guests of the very same hotel watching the horror, from the same windows, at that tragic day, which scarred America forever…



We started a new tour.
Through Lincoln Tunnel we went to Midtown Manhattan. Anytime we were entering a tunnel or a subway, I was feeling that my heart was tightening, somehow. Eight years after the tragedy, the memories were still raw…
We were on the 8th, towards the neighborhood with the theatres. From the 40th we continued to the north and to Upper Manhattan. The city was still asleep and the roads were empty.

One of New York’s trademarks is the steams that can be seen coming out from everywhere.

We arrived at the entrance of the Central Park and tried to find a parking place, or to cross the park by car. Parking was proved impossible, but we found an entrance point and managed to cross the park from there, by car. The entrance was from the 8th and the exit from the 5th .

We crossed again Park Avenue and moved south, towards Battery Park, where from we could have views of the Statue of Liberty.

We stood at East River’s jetty, so as to take the last photos of Brooklyn Bridge. We passed by Astoria, at the suburbs of the city, we got some supplies of bagels and then started our journey towards Boston.


Country: United States
Date: 2009
Route: Canada - United States of America
Cities: London, Vancouver, Three Valley Lake, San Francisco, Monterey, Pacific Coastal Highway 1, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Torrey, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon , Santa Fe, Denver, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, New York, Boston, Quebec, Montreal
Duration: 18
Difficulty:
Population: 322.762.000
Rating:
comments
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comments
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Country: United States
Date: 2009
Route: Canada - United States of America
Cities: London, Vancouver, Three Valley Lake, San Francisco, Monterey, Pacific Coastal Highway 1, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Torrey, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon , Santa Fe, Denver, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, New York, Boston, Quebec, Montreal
Duration: 18
Difficulty:
Population: 322.762.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: United States
Date: 2009
Route: Canada - United States of America
Cities: London, Vancouver, Three Valley Lake, San Francisco, Monterey, Pacific Coastal Highway 1, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Torrey, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon , Santa Fe, Denver, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, New York, Boston, Quebec, Montreal
Duration: 18 days
Difficulty:
Population: 322.762.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW