crossing the ocean – a glimpse of New York

Foto 3

Wow. That was what I felt looking down at the ocean on my flight somewhere between Zurich and: New York! It was really just a stopover – I was on my way to Mexico – but I would be spending about 7 hours in that city waiting for my connecting flight and setting foot on American soil for the first time in my life. Why was that such a big deal? I guess because I grew up with this weird mixture of US cultural influence and random prejudice and movie stereotypes and I wondered what it would all be like…

I mean I tend to use British spelling – but people always tell me my accent is American.
I love pancakes for breakfast and pbj sandwiches.
I bake banana bread, brownies, muffins and fresh rolls…
Ok. I know its not all about food, but still.

So here’s some friendly advice and first impressions for others keen on getting a glimpse of New York during a stop over

  1. Its not really as complicated as I thought…the important thing is: don’t forget to fill out the ESTA form online! I didn’t realise til trying to check in online that I REALLY need this form even for JUST a stopover…ended up thanking God for WiFi on the bus to Zurich…its actually not that complicated – you go to the website and fill in a bunch of stuff, pay the fee and that’s it =)
  2. Don’t forget to go to the bathroom sometime BEFORE the plane lands…cos immigration (though not awfully complicated) does take a little while and its a bother if you need to go…
  3. Check in for your connecting flight and drop off your suitcase so you don’t have to carry it around with you =)
  4. AirtrainFollow the “Airtrain” signs and either ask the friendly guy standing there for help or just hop on one that will take you to “Jamaica” or “Howard Beach” there you will have to buy a 10 dollar ticket for the airtrain (return) and another 5 dollar ticket for the subway. (I confess: I watched a youtube video on “how to get to Manhattan from JFK airport” =D was actually pretty helpful!) Take the subway into Manhattan (A or E) and just get off somewhere…I got off at street 42 because that’s pretty close to Times Square =)

so once in the city centre I just spent about 5 minutes looking up at the enormous skyscrapers…then I asked a friendly looking guy that was regulating the pedestrian traffic for directions to times square…

once I reached times square I spent about another 5 minutes just looking at all the people, lights, traffic (yellow cabs) and ENORMOUS blinking shiny advertisements all over the place…

NewYorkI found a Herschey’s store and felt like a little kid all excited getting little free chocolates as I entered…

I basically just wandered around, took some pictures, used the free WiFi to tell family and friends I had successfully completed the first part of my journey and bought two souvenirs at a tourist shop. Feeling kinda hungry I looked for a burger place someone had recommended but since I didn’t find it I just opted for some delicious looking street food – definitely the right decision, it was amazing!

I made sure to head back to the subway three hours before my flight was due to leave – did not want to take any chances! It was just a quick trip and I’m sure I can’t claim to know even Times Square…but it was worth it to get a glimpse of the city that never sleeps…



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