Summer in New York City… I’m spending a whole summer in NYC this year, and not just spending it IN the city but more like WITH the city!
I complain about heat and humidity just like everyone else here, celebrate short bursts of rare storms, hate MTA and scroll through my Twitter feed to see where other New Yorkers are currently stuck and if there is any hope. Sometimes I give up and leave to walk above the ground, marveling at the evening sun reflecting on glass buildings and closing flower shops.
Summer in New York is also a synonym for guests and it was definitely on our “reasons” list for choosing to move here, even if sometimes that means sharing a twin bed with Ben in the kitchen. I love being able to show the bits and pieces of the city to my favorite people and to create memories of them here. Summer and the city itself might physically be a little uncomfortable, but I do love what it does for my soul.
After a few visits from friends and family, I feel like I know the routine. We all change to comfortable flats, pack bottles of water and 2-3 cameras, and set out for long walks up and down the New York city streets and avenues together, stopping for brunches, photobooths, doughnuts, ice creams in the parks, and then escape into various shops with air conditioning. Speaking of AC, it’s also smart to carry a cardigan or a summer shawl in your bag — the temperature drop between the sunlit streets and the subway cars is no joke.
Last week we did some major touristy New York City activities when my mama was visiting: The Empire State Building and The Staten Island Ferry (….and more) all in one day! We got lucky with The Empire State, at 11 a.m. on a Sunday it wasn’t all that crowded, though still a bit confusing. If you’ve been there, you know there are lots of halls, rooms and escalators slowly leading to the top. It took us about half an hour to make it to the observation deck. It’s touristy, but glorious. I’ve visited it at night before and honestly, I can’t pick a favorite, both views are amazing. I wish they had a yearly pass or membership so I could come more often in different weather and times of the day.
Later that day we took a ferry to Staten Island that goes past the Statue of Liberty and offers fabulous views of Lower Manhattan. I took this ferry 7 years ago at sunset, all by myself. I took a picture of my lonely reflection in the ferry window with the Statue in the background and the setting sun. Being there this time with my mama, husband and best friend felt especially meaningful and moving.
Tips for taking the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty:
- It’s free, there are no tickets, you just show up at the Whitehall Terminal (right next to South Ferry 1 train subway station.)
- There is no line at the terminal to board the ferry, just join that big crowd in the room, the direction most people are facing is probably the right gate. A ferry comes approximately every 30 minutes, the gates open and everyone rushes in.
- GO RIGHT and upstairs. The ferry doesn’t turn around as it leaves the dock, it’s double-ended, which means the Statue of Liberty will always be seen from the same side of it. When you board in Manhattan – right side after entering; from Staten Island – left.
- If you want photos of the Statue (of course you do!) take them on the way to Staten Island, on the way back to Manhattan the ferry passes further away from the Statue.
- Wind-proof your outfit — watch out for your hat, skirt and cheetos while on board.