The Statue of Liberty

I am officially a New Yorker

I had the pleasure of knowing that I was renting in a walk-up by the time I got out of the cab

It has been a month since I called this city home and oh boy, time flies in the city of dreams. As many of you may have experienced, moving to a new city can be a massive headache that not everyone is ready to face. Setting everything up and running can take time, and even tears. Add that up to the fact that the USA is at least a 6-hour flight away from rest of the world, and you got yourself a good recipe for getting homesick. To be honest, I have been through the whole emotional cycle in under 30 days.

I moved to New York City two weeks before my first work day as there was some paperwork to be done, although I was more worried about finding an apartment. I stayed in a sublet for a couple of weeks in Hell’s Kitchen in a 5th floor walk-up. Piece of advice: always ask beforehand if the building has an elevator. I had the pleasure of knowing that I was renting in a walk-up by the time I got out of the cab in West 47th Street.

The Vessel by Thomas Heatherwick at Hudson Yards

Getting to know the city

As promised, my journey began with a visit to The Skyscraper Museum. They have a very small exhibition down at Battery Park, although for me it seemed big enough to satisfy the curiosity of those who love high-rise history and design. It is close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry, and about a 10-minute walk to World Trade Center, so it is a nice stop if you are interested.

Buying a 10-day New York Pass allowed me to see the city essentials such as the American Museum of Natural History, the MoMA, the Guggenheim, or the 9/11 Museum. I also took advantage of the walking tours, and got to see neighborhoods that I would not have visited on my own. From SoHo to Chelsea, the Greenwich Village or Williamsburg, each area has a distinctive charm.

One Vanderbilt as seen from Top of The Rock

When Alicia Keys sang “Empire State of Mind”, she was not looking closely

Climbing to the top of every possible observatory is a must, as you will experience the city from different locations. For even better results, enjoy the view at a different time of day each time. Having seen New York from the Edge, the One World Observatory and Top of The Rock, my favorite is still the latter. Being so close to Central Park and Billionaire’s Row makes me a very happy kid.

Looking up

Walking around Manhattan has taught me many things. For one, that Alicia Keys has been lying to all of us. The lyrics to “Empire State of Mind” talk about a concrete jungle (New York City) in which dreams are made of. However, everywhere I look I see a bit of everything. Perhaps singing “STEEL and CONCRETE jungle where dreams are made of” was just not that catchy.

Jokes aside, steel is not uncommon for building tall in this part of the world. Of course you have 432 Park Avenue by Rafael Viñoly, 111 West 57th Street by SHoP or the Central Park Tower which are concrete, but those are residential buildings. On the contrary, if we were discussing office space like One Vanderbilt, One World Trade, or the challenging 270 Park Avenue, we would see nothing but beautiful steel framing.

In the end, I think we are better off singing “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift.

Andrés Alonso


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