Although i’m not much of a city person, New York has always appealed to me. Not so much for the thousands of people rushing around, i get more than enough of that in Liverpool! More for the incredible towering buildings that engulf the city. I tend to do most of my travelling alone and as cheaply as possible, but for once i decided i needed a proper holiday. Me and a friend decided to go away at christmas time, New York at christmas has always seemed so magical.
We went to the travel agents and book it, I was bit nervous as I was used to handing and booking everything myself so it was a strange feeling having someone else deal with all the important information. Our flight was long and tiring, and when we landed in JFK it took forever to get through the airport. I’ve never had any issues flying before, even in Thailand the staff were lovely and I felt right at home… New York was different. The airport was huge and going through security felt like i was getting interrogated. After a while we finally made it through security and started to make our way to our hotel. It took us a while to find it as we had no internet on our phone, but we eventually found it.
The hotel was lovely but the room was basic, it had everything we needed for the week so i couldn’t complain. The hotel was right in the centre of Times Square, but thankfully the room was quite quiet. Times Square is crazy! The building town over everything, thats when i realised why they call it the concrete jungle… the sun doesn’t even reach the floor. The buildings were incredible, i couldn’t stop looking up as i was walking around. Although the place itself was incredible, it was hard to enjoy it because of how many people were rushing around. Now, if you like the hustle and bustle of big cities then New York is definitely for you! I, personally could not think of anything worse to be honest. I’m used to jungles or forests… anywhere lacking on the people side of things. Once i got used to the vast amount of people i was able to work my way around the city. I spent most of my time doing the typical touristy activities such as the Empire State building, the Rockefeller centre, the American Museum of Natural History and i went to a lot of the amazing comic book shops! My favourite was defiantly the Empire State building, the view from the top was breathtaking! Freezing, but breathtaking! I had a brilliant time sightseeing, i only got lost once or twice and everyone i met were more than happy to help me out.
One of the days i spent in Central park, i walked around the whole of it. I did not realise when i started how big the park actually was and it took a good couple of hours to walk around the whole place and i was knackered afterwards, but it was a great walk! I also went to the Central Park zoo, in my head i was picturing the zoo in the film “Madagascar”, needless to say i was highly disappointed when i got there to find out that it was nothing like the zoo in the film! To be honest i was completely disappoint by Central Park zoo.
As an animal management student, i always wanted to go to an American zoo to see what they are like and this zoo was not what i hoped for. It was tiny and the enclosures are not as good as i personally think they could be, i was in and out the zoo in about ten minuets. They had some very friendly Sealions (pictured right), and i liked their monkey enclosure but the was about it. They also had a cute little children petting farm with a very friendly alpaca, i enjoyed the petting farm more than the zoo.
I was so disheartened by Central Park zoo, that was one of the main reasons why i wanted to visit New York in the first place. I had one day left and i had no idea what to do! After looking at a few different places i finally came across the Bronx zoo. It looked really good online and was only about an hour on the train from Times Square. I really wanted to go, but naturally i was bit nervous about venturing into the Bronx on my own. I decided i needed to go, i needed to see some more animals before i left for England. I hopped on a train the next morning and headed to the Bronx zoo. I really enjoyed the train journey, it was quite full but was nice to just sit and relax away from the bustle of the big city.
When you get off the train in the Bronx, the zoo it literally straight ahead of you on the road so very easy to find. As soon as i started walking down the road to the zoo, a man wolf whistled at me from a car, and i picked up my pace a little bit! The zoo was very quiet when i got there (which was a nice change from the city), and there was random patches of ice and snow left which was lovely to see as we don’t get much snow were i am from. The Bronx zoo is incredible! I started by going into a building called ‘Jungle World’, here they house a hole range of animals such as monkeys, jaguars and tapirs. The monkey enclosures are amazing, they have not only designed them to be nice for the customers to look at but also they are perfectly designed for the animals. As an animal management student i can’t help but analyse every part of an animals enclosure to make sure it meets the animals needs, i do it all the time now! I spent so long in the Jungle world section because i loved it so much in there, plus it was so much warmer than it was outside! Some more highlights of the zoo were the gorilla enclosure, the outside section was just beautiful… and also the bear enclosure (pictured left). The bear enclosure is huge, at first could only see two bears, then more just kept appearing and it was incredible to see them up close with no bars in front of them. They are just such a beautiful animal! I absolutely love this zoo and i wish there wasn’t an ocean between us so i could go visit it again! If you go to New York and want to spend a nice day out, i highly recommend going to the Bronx zoo!
Overall, I really enjoyed New York, I wasn’t to sure I would because of the vast amount of people rushing to get somewhere but once you get used to it its quite amazing! The buildings and the main sightseeing spots are a must see! I would also highly recommend spending a whole day in central park because it is just so beautiful. I’m not to sure if I would visit again, as I do prefer the more quite and peaceful destinations. If I did go back I would definitely go back in Summer as it was just so cold at Christmas time, I think it would be lovely walking around the city in the sun.