When I was young I never had the wish to go to the United States. I grew up with presidents like George Bush sr. and jr. at the Oval Office. And even Bill Clinton didn’t make it better for me, having all those military operations of the U.S. and the numerous CIA interventions in South American in mind. But after Barack Obama came into the White House, I thought I should change my mind.
Something absolutely worth being put on your list is a visit to Madison Square Garden (“The Garden“, MSG) – a stadium for different sports and a concert hall in the center of Manhattan. It names itself “The World’s Most Famous Arena“, dates back to the year 1874 and is home to the New York Rangers (NHL), New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Liberty (WNBA).
New York is a paradise for museum enthusiasts. You’ll find well-known museums of modern art, natural history or cultural anthropology – you already heard of them all. I’ll just list the big ones you cannot omit while being at New York.
Yeah, okay – it is only a pizza chain in New York; but a really good one. And they have a store in my favorite neighborhood, Williamsburg, close to the subway station Bedford Avenue. The pizza is really good and if you need to fill you stomach while cruising through the bars of Williamsburg it is always worth a visit.
If you are in Manhattan and need some green fields, trees and a place for a picnic, a short boat trip is helpful. Close to the southern tip of Manhattan Island there is Governors Island, a place that was used by the U.S. forces until 1997. From 2003 on the island is open to the public and you can visit Fort Jay and Castle Williams.
The Highline is a pretty new but already well known sight in New York. It is an old railway track converted into a park above the ground. It opened up in 2009, was extended later on and is now 2.3 km long. It is running throughout the Meatpacking District of New York and is always a good cause for a promenade.
To me the best viewing platform in New York City. The Rockefeller Center is a building complex consisting of 21 skyscrapers with lots of bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities. It also has a nice square where you can sit outside and the media industry uses Rockefeller Center as a main location. The GE Building with 70 floors is the highest building within this venue.
I already did a lot of stupid things while travelling. But what about standing in line for hours in New York City just to get pastries from a bakery? Well, it is not any bakery, it is the Dominique Ansel Bakery selling very good products. And one day, Dominique Ansel invented a combination of a croissant and a donut – the Cronut.
Beer and the United States? That doesn’t fit too well together for a German, continously experiencing the advantages of the German purity requirements (“Reinheitsgebot“). But in fact, there is a pretty good brewery in New York City. One with splendid bottle designs and various kinds of beer to taste.
If people think about Japanese food, they always have sushi in mind. Or maybe kobe beef. But the best of all – and I’ve been twice to Japan – is Japanese curry. It is rice with chunks of meat of your choice with an extremely delicious gravy. I would walk one hundred miles for that.