A Tourist's Reaction to New York

I’ve lived in a suburb my whole life and have never been to New York City until this past weekend. My mom, sister and I took a girls-only trip there and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. If you’ve never been to the Big Apple, but plan on going at some point: here’s what’s to expect and the sites you have to see.

What’s that smell?

We stepped out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and right into the center of Times Square. I can’t even describe the smell. First your nose is hit with that gross odor of garbage, then the beautiful aroma of hot dogs and pizza. You’re exposed to a combination of so many different scents: both good and bad. And each block has a different smell to it. My nose didn’t know how to react. 

Times Square is surreal.

I was stunned at first and just stood in the middle of the sidewalk while crowds parted around me. Looking back I probably angered a lot of people, but I couldn’t help it! I felt like I was in a giant cement playground. I’ve never seen so many buildings so close together before. It fazes you. I felt isolated from the world outside the city and that’s a feeling one can’t explain. You have to experience it for yourself. Walking through Times Square was like living in a dream. All the signs and huge buildings created a picturesque scene.

Everything moves so fast!

The people, traffic, and even the signs are constantly moving. A casual stroll through the city is impossible with the crowded sidewalks. Every aspect of the New York lifestyle is fast-paced. You grab food on the go from a food cart, hurry through the crowds to get to your destination, and run to catch the bus before it pulls away. A day out quickly turns into a workout.

Central Park is so pretty!!

You let the whole city know you’re a tourist by doing so, but I recommend taking a bike tour through Central Park. Ziyo, our multitalented tour guide from Tajikistan, took us through the beautiful routes. He’s a perfect example of someone pursuing the American dream and his kindness was inspiring. Through a semi-thick accent, Ziyo told us all about the park’s rich history and all its landmarks. It took us more than an hour to finish our tour because there was so much to see, but it was really fun. And I had no idea Central Park was featured in so many movies! So thanks, Ziyo. I learned a lot.

Are you kidding me!? This Forever 21 has THREE levels!

It’s official. Heaven is a place on Earth and it’s the Forever 21 in NYC. It has three floors of amazing clothes and all the latest fashions. Of course, it was super busy, but the long check out line was totally worth it!

And Broadway will blow you away. 

Streets upon streets of playhouses make up New York’s theatre district. The flashing lights and billboards created a magical atmosphere. The actors and actresses are crazily talented and the inside of the playhouses are beautifully ornate.

So to recap: visiting Times Square, Central Park, and Broadway are a must. Also, be prepared for the (at times; disgusting) smells and the speediness. New York won’t slow down for some selfie-taking tourists. The city was a little overwhelming at first, but our trip to New York City was great and I think everyone should experience it at least once.