New York… endless songs from Frank Sinatra to JayZ and Alisha Keys. From “FAME” to “Sex In The City, seasons 1 through 6” oh the list could go on….but that will be another post!  Having finally vistited NYC ourselves, we found the allure immediately.

Yellow cabs buzzing by… yes…they own the streets, and our first sight of the big apple would be the one and only New York Times Building as we exited the bus station to hail down a cab…luggage and all (note to self, if it doesn’t fit into a backpack…it does not get packed!) no more suitcases for us! The most beautiful old buildings, New York history and Pre War Buildings from my perspective is the pulse of the city. Others’ may fall in love with the fashion, the food, Broadway…. but for me, it was the architecture.  For my children, I believe it was the Statue of Liberty, and the New York Public Library!

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Photo by Kathy Lum

The Statue… was beautiful!  It was a special experience being there, and the cost wasn’t overly expensive either.  You could take the Staten Island Ferry for free, which offers a nice view of Liberty, but for $18.00 person, we were able to go right up to it, and spend the day.  Beautiful seating areas, and lovely views of the skyline.  Be sure to check your times though because the last ferry leaves quite early, 4:00 pm when we were there. Be sure to also prebook your tickets for the CROWN access, as they were sold out until December!  (It was August…)  So that is something…if important to you to plan well in advance…

A little history of Ellis Island is that this was the first place European immigrants would arrive, excited in anticipation at a new life, a new world! “1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a small island in the New York Harbor”.And as you arrive by ferry, it’s really quite amazing to think of how excited they must have been to catch their first glimpse of true freedom, arriving from the various places they left, which makes the United States,…and Canada what we are today!

For those who don’t know, the Statue of Liberty was designed by architect Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The Statue was originally named “Liberty Enlightening the World” and was a collective effort by the United States, and France. Dedicated to the United States from France as a gift on October 28, 1886.

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Photo by Kathy Lum

As the entire theme of this blog is based on frugal travels… I’m going to tell you that we did not go up the Empire State Building elevator, nor did we go up Rockefeller Building’s elevator, as they were asking $33.00 per person, and there were 3 of us, and that math did NOT add up to us!  My children just couldn’t justify riding an elevator for that cost…so we spent the money we saved on a nice italian restaurant, one of many…food was good, but the service could have been better so it’s not making the cut on here. Brutal, I know…

HOWEVER, Little Italy Pizza, was THE BEST New York Style Pizza one could ever ask for… we ordered delivery back in our room late on our first night and it surpassed all the dreams I had of New York Pizza for 2 months prior to the trip. The crust was thin and textured, the pizza has large, each slice…large, cheesy, floppy-both-hands-required most deliciously satisfying pizza… yes, it was good! And I could have had it every night.

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Photo Credit – www.yelp.com
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Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Oh… the beautiful New York Public Library, another monument I could not wait to visit. And might I mention…free, free and free.  Beautifully designed, stunning architecture and paintings, with a hallway dedicated to the history of when the library construction first began in 1895 displaying photos of well dressed ladies and gentlemen from the era wearing suits, and long dresses waiting to enter on opening day, May 23rd, 1911.

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Photo by Kathy Lum

A taste of history taking you back in time, or maybe subtly inspiring a small wish to be there….if even for a moment…or a day.. (or is that just me who wishes for time travel?) Either way, the library was beautiful.  The painted ceilings in the foyer were breathtaking, unfortuantely though  The Rose Reading Room was closed for much needed renovations, as rumor has it that plaster was falling from the ceiling. Guess I will need to return to see the grand re-opening of this majestic room, and of course… I will need to spend at least half a day reading…writing…contemplating… you know, the simple things that one must do at the New York Public Library.

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Photo by Kathy Lum
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Photo by Kathy Lum
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Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com

Oh….Bryant Park!!!  Such a little gem in the middle of Manhattan, a 4 acre gem actually, and one could easily spend the day watching the bustle of the city go by.  As we were there in the summer months, the park was full of energy and life.  Park supervisors were organizing games, one imparticular which was similar to Horseshoes..fun to watch the participants excitement when they actually managed to hit the wooden block placed on the ground before them.  Cafes, food, chess board tables, and electrical outlets for your phone dispersed along the many park benches and tables along the inner edges of the park.  Yes… a place in the middle of Manhattan to charge your phone!  Bryant Park… How I love thee!

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Photo Courtesy of biking-in-manhattan.com

As one could never do New York in a day…. I’ve decided that one could never do New York in one post!  Stay tuned for more ways to enjoy New York on a budget!

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