Bright Lights, Big City – New York

This week Natalie Schlager will be taking us to the magic city of New York. Natalie is an american girl from the state of Minnesota. She has always enjoyed travelling and last year, in the summer of 2014, to celebrate her graduation from high school, her parents took her to New York. It has always been a dream of hers to visit the city so she was beyond excited for finally having the chance of doing so. She now considers the big apple one of the best places she has ever been to and here she shares her unforgettable days discovering New York with us!

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New York City skyline

She chose the City Club Hotel to stay with her parents. It is in a great central location and only two blocks away from Times Square.

There were countless places to eat within walking distance, as well as things to do just as close. This cute little hotel was “once a stately private political club” (cityclubhotel.com), which I thought was so cool, as a history-lover! The building was small but not cramped, and the service was excellent, always willing to answer any questions, give directions (and shortcuts!), and take care of anything else we needed.

The best food they found while walking around New York was not at fancy restaurants. The best food was found in the street from the street vendors she thought.

One thing that I recall in particular was a small bag of nuts that were covered in sugar and cinnamon and broiled to a tasty crunch. We liked them so much that we went to the vendor the following day as we had to get more to snack on, as well as to take back home to share with some friends!

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Ice Cream food truck

The Red Flame Diner goes as a suggestion to have your breakfast. It is a more traditional place and a fun restaurant with Natalie promises you great food.

I will always remember eating here because this is where we first experienced the “New-Yorker” stereotype with one of the servers. A fun memory, for sure!

As things to see while in New York the city has a huge variety of places visit and sightseeing!

One thing that my family and I really enjoyed was visiting Ellis Island. We took a ferry there, which was a fun experience within itself! Having an interest in history, our visit to Ellis Island was absolutely fantastic. I definitely hope to visit again someday. Another fun place we visited was Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It’s not everyday that you bump into someone, turn around to apologize, and realize it’s Johnny Depp… but just a wax figure version of him, unfortunately, ha!

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Musicals are a must go as while in New York as Broadway is world wide known for amazing amazing shows all year long. Natalie and her family had the opportunity to see not only but three musicals! They went to If/Then, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Matilda. They did not only the show but they also had the exciting chance to meet Idina after the performance of If/Then at the stage door as well as Neil Patrick Harris at Hedwig stage door. As to her favourite she could not decide and she says she loved them all!

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We, of course, had to visit Central Park, as well. We took a lovely horse-drawn carriage ride through the park. It was the perfect way to spend a beautiful afternoon!

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Grand Central Station is also a very famous place to visit while at New York and one Natalie affirms it is definitely Grand and with a lot of beauty and character.

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A more emotional place they visited was Ground Zero. They ended up not going to the museum because there was too big of a line but they did get to visit the structures of water surrounded by the names of the victims.

This was a very interesting place. New York City is very loud and busy, but in this one place, it was so quiet it was eerie. This was a very interesting and sobering place to have visited. I do recommend that anyone visiting the city goes there.

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There are many good ways of getting around the city such as cabs galore or the the subway which they found fairly easy to navigate. If you choose a central hotel walking is also a good option.

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New York, USA – take a note

The famous city of New York in the United States of America is one of the world’s most desired and famous places to visit. Home to some of the most unforgettable Hollywood movies, the city of New York is the most populated city of the country and also one of the most populated cities of the entire world. Usually called city of New York to make the distinction from the state it belongs to which is New York. It is divided in 5 different boroughs – Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx.

In Manhattan there are many skyscrapers which makes the place famous for its skyline as it has also been home to many of the tallest buildings in the world, including the twin towers.  Manhattan is also the administrative and financial center of the city.

Queens is the largest boroughs of the city by area and the place with the most ethnically diverse not only in the United but also the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. Population wise the biggest borough is Brooklyn with 2,621,793 habitants.

Religion wise Christianity is the one with most followers with a percentage of 59%, being 33% of those Catholicism. It is followed by Judaism, with approximately 1.1 million Jews over half living in Brooklyn.

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“Always having wanted to visit the city, I was ecstatic to finally have the chance to spend a few days there! There was so much to do and see, and we unfortunately didn’t get to do all of it, but I guess that is a good reason to go back soon, right?”

Natalie Schlager

Country:United States of America

Capital: (united states capital) Washington D.C. ; (state of New York capital)

Largest City: (united states largest city) New York 8,491,079 habitants

Official language: American English

Currency: Dollar (£1 =1.54 USD)

Population: 8,491,079 habitants

Total area: 1,214 km2

President: Barack H. Obama (2009)

The mystic New Orleans, Louisiana

Filipa Alexendra is a 21-year-old studying in England who went to do an year placement in the U.S.A. During her placement she had the chance to visit many places in the United States but New Orleans was the one she fancied the most.

Street bands play all around the city, they play mostly jazz and blues.
Street bands play all around the city, they play mostly jazz and blues.

In this vibrant city Filipa found her favourite place to eat – Acme Oyster House. New Orleans is all about seafood and oysters mostly, and Acme is the best one to eat these! It is a very small place and usually you will find a big queue to be seated, but it’s worth the waiting. Her suggestion to order are the seafood soup and charged grilled oysters.

View from Filipa's hotel (Marriott downtown) to the Mississippi river
View from Filipa’s hotel (Marriott downtown) to the Mississippi river.

Her fabulous view from the 35th floor of her hotel Mariott downtown room was what Filipa named as the best sightseeing as she could see the whole city from there! Filipa strongly advises Mariott New Orleans downtown hotel to stay at.

“Not the cheapest, but was not crazily expensive, really nice rooms and pool, huge breakfast buffet.”

Some must sees are the St . Louis Cathedral on Jackson square and Garden district.

St . Louis Cathedral
St . Louis Cathedral

Garden district is also very beautiful, with the old and sophisticated houses.

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Garden District

New Orleans is full of night life and Filipa specifically recommends – Bourbon street, a street full of bars with mostly live music, where you can also drink outside.

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Bourbon street, main street of bars and nightlife.

The city is fairly easy to visit by simple walking since the must sees are all close to each other. Since most streets do not allow cars, renting a bike is a suggestion Filipa makes.

French quarter streets (a neighbourhood full of French influences on buildings and food)
French quarter streets – a neighbourhood full of French influences on the buildings and the food.

All over the city can be found interesting little patios which sometimes are simple patios or other times are used for a specific propose. The one shown below for instance was being used as an art gallery.

Art gallery in a patio.
Art gallery in a patio.

“New Orleans is the witchcraft city, you can actually feel the energy in this city, and it’s very mysterious, with plenty of voodoo and witchcraft shops and people reading palms and cards on their little stands on the street.”

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Handmade art and craft market at night – there are buckets with chalk around the place so people can write on the floor.
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A poem written by a street man on a typing machine.

New Orleans, Lousiana, USA – take a note

New Orleans is an american city located in the state of Louisiana and it is the largest city of this state. It is considered to be one of the world’s most fascinating cities – here you will find a unique mixture of culture, food and music. It is also one of America’s most culturally and historically-rich destinations.

New Orleans has many major attractions. The famous French Quarter and Bourbon Street’s notorious night life are just two examples. There is also the St. Charles Avenue, home to many famous must sees such as the historic Pontchartrain Hotel and the 19th century mansions.

As listed in recent travel guides, New Orleans is one of the top ten most visited cities in the United States.

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“New Orleans is the witchcraft city, you can actually feel the energy in this city, and it’s very mysterious, with plenty of voodoo and witchcraft shops and people reading palms and cards on their little stands on the street .”

Filipa Alexandra

Country:United States of America

Capital: (united states capitol) Washington D.C. ; (state of Louisiana capitol) Baton Rouge

Largest City: (united states largest city) New York 8,491,079 habitants ; (Louisiana largest city) New Orleans, 343,829 habitants

Official language: American English

Currency: Dollar (£1 =1.54 USD)

Population: 378.715 habitants

Total area: 907 km²

President: Barack H. Obama (2009)