A Bite of the Big Apple: New York City

NEW. YORK. CITY. I was finally going to the Big Apple and I was excited, understandably so. I was about to experience one of the world’s most powerful cities first-hand. I contacted my friend to tag along and even though it was last minute, she obliged. Yes to the spontaneity!  In the end, let’s just say it was quite the experience.

My First Impressions

Dirty: “Wow, do they actually clean this place?” was my very first thought. There were a few clean places, but for the most part, it really is a dirty city, especially the Downtown area.

So many bodies: Now, I lived a major part of my life in one of the busiest metropolitan cities in the world, Lagos, Nigeria (24th) but when I tell you I was still taken back by seeing too many people in New York (9th). You could barely walk freely without stumbling into somebody. I had a headache at some point, no jokes.

Hot temperatures in Subway stations: The subway stations were like ovens, almost as if their intention was to roast all the passengers before they made it to their destination.

My First New York Experience

I barely had two days to spend in New York and quite frankly, that is not enough to experience it fully. I did that in Boston about three weeks ago, (you can read here) and I thought I could pull it off in New York but, not a chance. However, in true Ufuoma fashion, I made the most of those two days. I went to the Statue of Liberty, Statue cruises, One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, China Town, Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge. Not too bad, right?

Why do I look really excited? Because I was. Whoop!
Why do I look really excited? Because I was. Whoop!
Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is very historic and was a friendly gift from France to the United States. It represents freedom especially for immigrants going to America to seek better lives for themselves.

Everyone deserves a Statue of Liberty Experience so if you are in New York, you should definitely do this. We used Statue Cruises to get to the statue as it is inaccessible by road.  It was $18 for ground access which is a bang for your buck. You can go all the way to the crown of the liberty statue but that was sold out. I hear you have to book months in advance to reserve a spot. Crazy!

We took this to see the Statue of Liberty
We took this to see the Statue of Liberty
The crowd to get into the ship
We cruised through Jersey City, New Jersey. Isn’t this beautiful?
Hey now
Dreams come true!
Dreams come true!
How gorgeous is Lady Liberty?
How gorgeous is Lady Liberty? This was the best experience of the trip.
Bonding with the good lady
Here's to many more travels!
Here’s to many more travels!
One World Trade Center

You most likely already know about the disaster that happened in September 2011 that totally ruined the World Trade Center. The One World Trade Center was rebuilt and it is currently the 6th tallest building in the world. I got to see it and it was truly beautiful even though I had that bitter taste in my mouth.

One World Trade Centre
One World Trade Center
9/11 Memorial

Going to the 9/11 memorial was quite emotional and even though I didn’t see it coming, it hit home. Sometimes you simply are just emotionally disconnected from the violence that goes on in the world when you don’t know anyone involved, have never been there or whatever else. It’s really not that you don’t feel bad, you do and you sympathize with the situation but it does not hit too deep but this was a very unfamiliar feeling. Thankfully it rained that day so everyone had something to blame the tears on.

Names of the deceased inscribed all over]
The inscriptions were not random and that was extremely sad
The inscriptions were not random and that was extremely sad
Brooklyn Bridge

I have some of the most random things on my bucket list and one of them was to walk the famous Brooklyn Bridge, which I finally did. Yay. I was super, duper elated and the place is an absolute stunner. On our way to the Brooklyn Bridge though, we saw some really pretty walls.



The Brooklyn Bridge


Times Square

Saving this one for last because this was the most chaotic and overwhelming experience in New York and of course, the most memorable. It was so packed and was busting with energy. We had some funny experiences with people there too; the man who came over to rap for me, the man who volunteered to take a group picture of us and ended up charging us for it, the very random introductions, a lot of street performances, etc. Safe to say, New York is blessed with so many different characters.


It shines, it gleams, it’s sexy





Quick bit on transportation

It is recommended to buy a Metro Pass. New York is better navigated by train to avoid the traffic and that is also a cheaper alternative to taxis. It costs $3.75 for a single ride which I found a bit steep because there are no transfers but it definitely is way better than paying for a yellow taxi. Now that I think about it though, taking a yellow taxi in New York may have been great just for the experience because they are highly symbolic of the city. Maybe next time.

The train is neat and had air-conditioning


A typical NYC taxi

So, that was my New York story and even though I was only there for a short period, I definitely had a bite of the big apple. Do I recommend? Yes. But please, make plans for a few extra days to experience it fully. Don’t be like Ufuoma.

Have you visited New York? What do you think I missed? Let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe below.

Till next time,

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  1. Hi, What hotel did you stay at? I’m looking for a decent and affordable one close to times square

  2. Your write up on NY is pretty accurate. It’s my first time visiting NY which happened to coincide with my birthday and my first thought was “wow! This place is dirty and stinks. Why’s the subway so hot? And worst part was me getting flashed by some random dude in the subway. Felt so sick and disgusted, still am. First night and I hate it already, coming from the south,NY is not my normal pace but I’m determined to make the best of my short visit. Wish me luck LOL

  3. Wow! I love ur write up? So proud of u Jessica?.I will love to visit New York too..heard so much about the place and from your experience,I can’t wait to be there..

  4. Every bit of the NewYork experience is narrated to detail. My biggest culture shock is the fact that you get billed with the amount of tip you have to give at a restaurant, not even an option to decline, I find that quite funny and exploiting..LOOL. Lovely Post Girl!

    1. So true! How could I have forgotten that part? Compulsory tipping defeats the whole concept of tipping if you ask me. If you are satisfied with your service, you tip. Crushing on your waiter? You tip. Feeling generous? You tip. But making it compulsory AND in your bill? Beats me.

      Thank you, glad you liked it.

  5. When I visited New York, I had an instant deja vu feeling. It took me back to Isale Eko.

    Bye bye.

    1. Hahaha! Isale Eko. Lowkey reminded me of Balogun market but let’s talk about this some other time.

  6. Your way of writing and expressing made it easy for me to imagine myself there. I always look forward to reading your blog, all your articles are a1. Keep shining , just thought you should know this

    1. Thanks a lot Mariam! Glad you enjoy this blog and thank you for sticking around- you’re awesome!

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