It’s New York Baby!!!

Twin Towers, the heart of Manhattan at one time, it is unfortunate that we’ll not be able to see them again in our life. It is heartbreaking to see the pool and waterfall instead of real World Trade Center which once existed and welcomed a lot of people earlier, is now a history. Names of those innocent people who lost their lives during the terrorist attack on Twin Towers on 9/11/2001 are written in bronze panels on the edge of the pools. We’ve seen the video of 9/11 attacks on TV and it’s completely horrifying and painful. This was certainly an inhuman act which was performed by some psycho people. This place has some feeling of agony and sigh. I was teaching in a school back in 2001 when we heard of this devastating news and attacks on business district of NYC. We’re told to line up kids immediately and keep 2 minutes silence remembering those people who died. Small kids who we taught were asking questions about what exactly happened and why are we doing it?? Its sad feeling and confusing how to respond to the naive kids about the violent act which had terrorized the whole world. As humans, we together have to work together to make this world a better place to live with love, kindness, non-violence and forgiveness. God has created this beautiful earth and crafted some wonderful creatures for everyone to live peacefully. He has his own way of termination, it’s better to respect that rather than these random acts, I pity those who get carried away with hatred and love seeing blood everywhere. May God give good sense of wisdom to those who believe in violence and killing innocent people!!!IMG_7244

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IMG_7247New York City, how we wished to be there since last 4 years!!!! Booked couple of times but had to cancel due to some reasons. Driving there was not fun this time either, first our car broke down, that too at the border of US and Canada. And then, it was rainy cats and dogs on Highway I-80 and I-81, acute darkness, hilly roads and major transports made it very difficult for us to continue further and reach our destination. We somehow continued on 80kmp/hr on 110kmp/hr road, even the trucks were over taking us. Have you ever seen Red Bulls ads?? “Red Bull gives you wings”!!!!! After taking a break for 5 min and Red Bull, we proceeded further. I believe, we just got acclimatized with the situation. I’d never want to drive there at night again. We retired at Hampton Inn, Denville that night around 12:30am. It was a exhausting long drive, started at 12noon from home but due to car trouble and heavy rain, it took us more than 12 hour to reach there. New York was another 60 Kms from Denville. “All’s well when end’s well”, landed safely, thank God!!!! Good night, sleep tight!!!

Finally we’re in NYC!!!!Our stay in Hyatt Place Times Square was fantastic; we could see Times Square Center from our corner room on 20th floor. Newly built hotel at the heart of Big Apple has spacious rooms with comfortable big beds; the staff is welcoming and accommodating. Times Square Center was just opposite our hotel, I still miss walking there every night. The night view from 54th floor from Hyatt Times Square hotel is mesmerizing. While visiting Empire State building, we inquired one of the guards if it was really worth to spend dollars to visit the observatory, “We’re staying at Hyatt, Times Square on 20th Floor”, we added. ” The city view from Hyatt top floor and Empire State building would be the same!!!! “You don’t need it.” So far I haven’t witnessed this big crowd at one place as I’ve seen at Times Square. Imagine people dressed up as Spider man, Minnie mouse, Captain America, Elmo passing by your side, they look so attractive, you can’t resist taking pictures with them specially when you’re with kids but don’t be fooled, they charge you money/tips, it’s their business so shouldn’t complain. Mr. Brilliant and Revlon’s #Loveison was the highlight of our trip to Times Square Center where a live camera captures you and shows on screen, so happy to see us on Big screen a couple of times. You can read our review of Hyatt Times Square on http://www.hozpitality.ca/news/reviews/hotel-review-by-hozpitality-hyatt-times-square-new-york . I will definitely recommend it to fellow travelers who are planning to visit Manhattan soon, magnificent property and excellent location.

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IMG_6916Some tips here:-

  1. Always choose to start driving early in the morning when traveling long distances.
  2. If you start as early as 4am from Toronto, by the time you reach Niagara Falls, it’s around 5:30am, there is no rush at the immigration and roads are so clear which makes it easier to drive. There’s enough street light on the roads between Toronto-Niagara in spring/summer till October, and then sun rise is early, perfect for a drive. You can enjoy beautiful sights on the way to New York
  3. This time instead of Rainbow Bridge/ New York through way, we tried Queenston Bridge while coming back from New York, the drive through Queenston Bridge/ Stoney Creek and Hamilton was much better than regular 401 West.
  4. Will advise you to check the weather forecast before you plan your travel. In case you get stuck in rain/snow condition, better to take frequent breaks. Your main motto is keep safety of yourself and your family.
  5. Avoid driving to New York during evening/ night hours, you’ll find a lot of trucks on the road at night and it’s only 2 lane highway. Keep in mind; you’ve to drive more than 400Kms in the hills, it’s always better to travel during the day.
  6. Please keep at least need 3-4 nights to explore in and around New York, we stayed for 4 nights and feel that wasn’t enough.
  7. IMG_8259IMG_7269 IMG_8154 The above shots were taken from the rooftop bar which is located at 54th floor at Hyatt Times Square New York Hotel.

Tourist’s buses are your best bet to explore the city when you’re at a new place and have no idea where to go, what to visit etc. After paying we realized, most of the major attractions were steps away from our hotel. We took a bus to The Empire State building and found our way back on foot to the Times Square via Grand Central Station, Rock Feller Center, Chrysler building etc. But the night tour on upper deck of the covered bus was totally worth it, they take you to Brooklyn, uptown, downtown Manhattan and back to the Times Square Center.

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IMG_7009Yo, Yo, Yo!!!!! Our tour guide, maybe in her 60’s, a local New Yorker, was a lively lady who expounded the history of New York City to us very well. Phenomenal Skyscrapers in the nightlight gave a magnificent sight, Brooklyn Bridge looked so beautiful. Soho is the best destination for shopping lovers; the best designer’s clothes in never heard prices are only to be found here and can’t be compared with the store at Times Square Center. The great place for ladies, “Where you shop, till you drop”!!!!!! After 2 hours of exploration in NYC, coming back to Times Square was something we’re really amazed to see. This place is so lively, it was Friday night, and I’ve seen such a crowd in any major attractions in my life, except the fairs back home. So many happy, smiling faces, taking selfies, the surrounding with vibrant colorful lights, this place at night is something else, so many people gathered at one place at midnight, this city for sure never sleeps.

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Home to 50,000 Multimillionaires and plenty of Billionaires, Manhattan has it all. Famous Movie/TV Actors, Singers, large business tycoons have chosen NYC to make their residence. Glamor, glitz, fashion, business, tourist attractions, New York is a city which welcomes everyone. Our tour guide informed us that there are 3000 churches and 1000 temples and mosques in New York, quite astonishing. Our day ended after visiting Major tourists attractions in the area on foot, maybe around 7-8kms and bus tours, retired by probably 1:30am finally at Hyatt Times Square.

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Began our next morning with Uptown Manhattan bus tour, visited the University where Barack and Michelle Obama first met during college elections. What a lovely relationship that started years ago during elections and together they have come up so far, making themselves First Family of the United States!!!! Roamed around Harlem area, which is recently mentioned in Bruno Mars song, “Uptown Funk you up”, was slowly getting in love with the city. And we witnessed the premier of “Mall Cop-2” with Paul Blart on the streets of New York, seen the first part, will have to watch part 2 for sure. I was anxiously waiting for our next visit to see Lady of Liberty, boat tour in Hudson River, beautiful skies, eye gazing Manhattan Skyline was really worth. Couldn’t get a chance to actually land in the island and take a close up with the Lady, “So sorry, please hold up that lamp up so high till we’re able to visit you again”.

IMG_7219 IMG_7173 IMG_7147 IMG_7096 IMG_7076 IMG_7072Walked back to the hotel around 12Kms, we wanted to explore more and the night was still young so kept going, our boy was so desperate to take a cab back but we’re there to experience the city, not to sit in the hotel. Poor guy, kept up with some chocolates and Pizzas on the way. This is what our problem is, when we’re vacationing, we want to do as much as we can without even proper rest and our meal times fluctuate a lot. Our kids have somehow adapted that as well coz we all love our lives on the road couple of times in a year. The journey becomes easier when you have good company, love my family. Multiple breaks on the way at the restaurants, loved walking in the city at night, taking plenty of picture, totally in love with this city, New York.

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New York is definitely one of the most visited cities in the world. We remembered all those movies shot here, “Spider man” where your friendly neighborhood spidy keeps jumping from one building to the other. Super-hit Bollywood movies have been shot here, everyone remembers Shahrukh Khan singing song on Brooklyn bridge, I so missed walking on it, probably next time.

Adios New York City!!! Loved meeting you and your people!!!

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