Big Apple- essentials of New York

“There are many apples on the tree, but only one Big Apple”

Why NYC is called Big Apple I found out recently, already after the visit in the city. It all started with one journalist, who was using word “apples” for writing about racing courses.


Actually, it was after two visits when I finally found out why The Big Apple, because I have to say during my stay in the United States I visited New York City already twice.

The first time was when I was leaving for four days on the campus of St. John’s University on Long Island for my Au Pair Training School. Sounds cool, if not the fact campus was 2,5 hours away from Manhattan and we had “classes” from 8 am until about 7 pm… Well, at least for few days I could “be” an American student hehe.

The second time was caused mostly by my homesickness, I’ve met my family in New York. During that trip, for the first time, I could  try the most famous invention of XXI century, which is Selfie Stick.


What can I say about that city after two visits?
For sure, it doesn’t look like an apple (maybe despite hundreds of souvenirs in stores).
And that is really spacious on the map, what I mean is some things look like 5 minutes from  each other, but in reality you need to take 3 trains and it will take you 45 minutes.
And that is full of huge buildings that make your neck hurts when you try to see their tops.
But I think this is one of the reasons we want to live it. See it. Feel it.
Because New York is so much different. So much special.
And for sure worth money you spent.

During my first trip the only day we had in Manhattan, we had bus trip through the city. Unfortunately, there was rain, there were windows, there were no good photos or views. But I have to say, it was amazing to drive through crowded New York streets, listening to “Welcome to New York” or “Uptown girl”.
When you were listening to them, when you were watching that non-stop rush of the city that is always alive, you could feel its pulse inside you, and feel yourself inside the city.

Apropos  pulse- the horns. New Yorkers horn more than polish people. Unbelievable

But during my first trip, I did something, what everybody who visits New York needs to do at least ones. And this is seeing the city’s panorama. You can do this from a lot of places, of course, the most famous- Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, but I prefer my way- Rockefeller Center because you can see the panorama WITH the Empire State Building.

Go after dark, you won’t regret it.

This is what I did. And I cannot describe what I saw. I can show it tho, but even the most beautiful picture isn’t able to show everything.


I have to say sadly during my second trip I wasn’t very creative and was checking off the list all staff that every tourist needs to see.  Yes, every tourist. I hate calling myself like that, but well… Every non-New Yorker is a tourist in NYC.

  • So let’s start- Statue of Liberty, the gift from France for the United States.

If you don’t want to spend too much money, don’t let anyone persuade you into buying 20-30 $ ferry ticket, find the “South Ferry” and follow the crowd. You’ll find yourself on the orange ferry, that runs every 30 minutes from Manhattan to Staten Island, it doesn’t get very close to the Statue, but close enough to have a nice view.

  • Brooklyn Bridge- the most famous bridge that connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. A lot of guides will tell you- take the 45 minutes walk across the bridge. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for that, but I bet it’s worth it. But instead, I took a walk from Wall Street to Pier 16, from where you’ll have a beautiful view of the Bridge and the Brooklyn panorama.
  • Of course- Central Park. Amazing place for everyone and everything- tourists, students, young couples, old couples, socials and anti-socials, picnics, wedding  photo sessions, relax time, art and hundreds of other things people may invent.

The place where artists of every type meet nature and a whole society of New York City.

We had a lot of fun with roasted peanuts and squirrels. And also with weird rocks all around the park.

We’re in the Central Park. Of course, as a big movie geek, I couldn’t miss the next point.

  • Natural History Museum.

Unfortunately, inside despite beautiful hall with the famous T-rex and the “Hey Dum-Dum! you give me the gum-gum” on the third floor, there wasn’t a lot from the movie.

What you should know if you’re a poor tourist and you spent all your money on flight ticket and the hotel, Natural History Museum and also few other places accept so-called “suggested price”. That means you say you want to donate something for the museum and you get tickets for the main exhibit, it can be even the symbolic dollar.

In front of the museum is also the biggest gathering of famous food trucks, I’ve seen. People say eating something in that truck is an essential, but if you don’t really need to don’t do this because you may regret it…

  • World Trade Center Monument- sad part of our trip.

The thing you see going there are two huge holes “without” a bottom, with hundreds and thousands of names. Beautiful after dark. They remind a little bit the fountain of tears.

In the evening it’s nice to go walk through East Village and find some nice place to eat. Personally, I can recommend Taqueria restaurant on Saint Marks Pl. Really good and cheap Mexican food with a great decor.

Of course New York is a portal to other places.

  • Chinatown- China inside the USA, Chinese newspapers, Chinese stores and ads.

If you like Chinese food, it’s easy to find some good nice restaurant, it’s great to check the market to find some exotic fruit, for example.


Going through Chinatown you’ll finally get to Little Italy, where you have to try Italian ice-cream, especially if you haven’t been in Italy.

When we’re speaking about other worlds. If you’re not freaked out by all the movies, get into the subway and go to Harlem and/ or Bronx. There’s that funny moment when slowly all white faces disappear in the train, closer to Bronx you get. I have to say, I was a little afraid to take the camera out, so I don’t have any pictures.

Check it out yourself 😉

  • Coney Island- talking about adrenaline, check out real American Luna Park, that you can see in hundreds of movies and read about in hundreds of books.


And my advice- check the opening hours, before you go…

But we are on the Coney Island and this is the moment when we remind ourselves New York lies by the ocean, and right next to us in Russian neighborhood lies the most beautiful beach in New York (Russians, of course), where you can find a lot of funny, interesting staff.

  • Grand Central Terminal- really grand.

The beautiful terminal that with its look took me back to times of World War II. With my imagination I could see the soldiers saying “goodbye” to their beloved, crying women and children.

The biggest I left for the end:

  • Times Square- New York’s great symbol.

Are you one of those people who dream about the New Year’s Eve there? I’m not surprised. There is one word to describe that place- lights.
On Times Square the night becomes the day.



Look for some weird things, maybe you’ll find the Statue of Liberty texting?






Or spend few minutes waiting to see yourself on one of the billboards.





My trip also became bigger adventure thanks to the unusual accommodation, found on AirBnb (what I personally have to recommend if you haven’t heard about that one yet), which was a boat in one of Brooklyn’s marinas.

But what I have to say, if you want to stay on a boat, better do this during summer! But despite few problems, we had a lot of fun singing sea shanty and taking pictures on the yacht.

Funny thing -> so many types of police cars I think I’ve never seen before.

I’ll add two more photos, just in case you didn’t have enough.



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