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I recently made a trip up to New York for another National Geographic workshop, and stayed at the beautiful New York Marriott Downtown. If you are looking for a hotel in Lower Manhattan, then look no further.
The New York Marriott Downtown is located within walking distance from Battery Park, Wall Street, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and One World Observatory. The hotel is also situated near a few subway stations making it easy to get around the city and to your favorite sites.
My favorite part of this hotel is the view. Instead of getting views of a brick wall, the New York Marriott Downtown offers views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The hote also is home to Bill’s Bar & Burger, one of New York’s top burger joints, as well as Bill’s West Side Bar.
If you are looking for a comfortable hotel and affordable hotel in The Big Apple, then you need to book a stay at the New York Marriott Downtown.
When I was planning out my trips for the year, I never expected to attend another National Geographic Expeditions trip or head back to New York so soon, but it ended up working out perfectly. This trip to New York marked my third trip with National Geographic, and I decided to step it up a bit with the advanced level class. Our assignment for the weekend was to capture the people of New York experimenting with light and flash. This assignment was kind of a lot out of my comfort zone, but it really pushed me to try out things I had never considered before with this art.
Our first location was the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park. This section of Central Park is considered the heart of the park. It provided the perfect backdrop for capturing tourists, locals and street performers. The best way to access this part of Central Park is from the 72nd Street Station, and just follow the path for Strawberry Fields and the Lennon Mosaic.
That evening, we headed to one of New York’s more iconic locations, Times Square, to continue our lesson on street portraits. Let me tell you it is no easy task to approach strangers for thier portraits. Additionally, Times Square is one of the more challenging locations to shoot due to all the bright and changing lights.
For our second day, it was unfortunately raining, but we made the most of it and headed to Grand Central Station to practice movement with people and light. Grand Central is one of my favorite places in New York. Not only does it make for some people watching, but it is a spectacular piece of architecture.
What are your favorite places to people watch in New York?
Home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, The Big Apple is consistently one of the top 10 US tourist destinations.
When a work trip presented me with an opportunity to tack on a three-day weekend, I took it. The Tall Man and I spent two solid days playing mega tourists and checking off our NYC bucket list: Times Square, the Empire State Building, New York Public Library, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and more.
Times Square is a major commercial intersection and tourist destination in Midtown Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square daily. Formerly known as Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the Times Building, which is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop that began on December 31, 1907. In addition to the New Yare’s Eve ball drop, Times Square is known for its brilliant lights.
New York Public Library
Our hotel, Dylan Hotel NYC, was conveniently located to the main branch of the New York Public Library making it the perfect stop on our New York tour. The New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States behind the Library of Congress, which is perfect for this book lover. The Main Branch opened its doors on May 23, 1911, and is home to thousands of volumes. We were completely blown away by the intricate details inside the building and the architecture in general. I would totally go to my public library more if it looked like this building.
Empire State Building
One of the most iconic buildings in New York is the Empire State Building. Construction on this massive yet beautiful structure finished on April 11, 1931, and it once held the title of tallest building in New York for 70 years. After purchasing tickets, you ride the elevator to the 60th floor where you can stroll through the small exhibit and the gift shop before riding the elevator to the 68th Floor Observation Deck. Take a second and walk through the exhibit. It’s pretty amazing the expense, time and expertise that went into building this iconic building. Lucky for us, the night was clear and we could see all the lights of New York.
If you are looking for spectacular views of Manhatten, I suggest you take this hike—it is totally worth it in our opinion. Plus the bridge in and of itself is a pretty spectacular piece of work. Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridges in the United States.
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Once in Brooklyn, we headed to One Girl Cookies for a small treat and hot chocolate before heading back to Manhattan.
New York Harbor
What is a trip to New York without saying hello to Lady Liberty? We grabbed a pair New York Harbor tickets to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Dedicated on October 28, 1886, Statue of Liberty has stood guard of the New York Harbor and welcomed immigrants during Ellis Island’s operations.
Central Park was established in 1857, and today it is an 843 acres park in middle-upper Manhattan area. It was surprising to me how this space makes you forget you are surrounded by a concrete jungle, your only reminder is the honking of passing cars.
Have you ever been to New York City? What is on your New York City bucket list?