An October 2004 trip
to New York by joellevand
Quote: When asked to cover the PhotoPlusExpo in New York City in October 2004, I decided to take advantage of the days off from work and make a mid-week "weekend" of it with my boyfriend. The result was amazing.
I was sent to the city on my first writing assignment to cover the PhotoPlus Expo in 2004. As my boyfriend was visiting from England for the first time, I decided to bring him along on this adventure and just make a midweek weekend of it: arrive on Tuesday afternoon, leave Thursday evening. It's one of my favorite things, introducing outsiders to New York City for the first time, and like most tourists and visitors I've taken on excursions with me, David was immensely impressed, even changed, by the experience.
As luck would have it, the Photo Expo was scheduled a week before the presidential election, which meant the usually busy Rockefeller Plaza was jam-packed with tourists exploring what was renamed "Democracy Plaza" for the event. There were speakers, displays about the constitution, and even a walk-through model of Air Force One and the Oval Office, where one adventurous tourist was addressing the crowd. Even the familiar ice rink was painted over in a map of the US ready to be painted in red and blue when the results came in.
When planning a weekend or even a midweek weekend to Manhattan, I recommend planning at least one full day for the museums alone. If you have young ones, stop by the American Museum of Natural History. For all others, a must-see is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or just "The Met" to locals). No matter your age or attitude toward art, you will find something in The Met that you like. Be it the peaceful Chinese garden in the Asian Art wing, the fully reconstructed Egyptian temple in the Egyptian wing, the costume gallery in the basement, or the sculpture garden on the roof, there's something for everyone.
Not that above-ground transportation is recommended. The streets of New York City are run by the pedestrians, and it’s not uncommon for a New Yorker (or New Jerseyan) to just step right out in front of traffic. Trust me, they will stop. Between the pedestrian right of way and the number of cars actually in the city, driving is nearly impossible, and you'll probably find walking faster than a cab--not to mention, only tourists take cabs, and the easiest way to flag yourself as a vulnerable outsider is to go everywhere by car.
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Abingdon Guest House
13 Eighth Ave.
New York, New York 10014
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Hard Rock Cafe
221 West 57th Street
New York 10019
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American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West
New York, New York 10024
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