Walking down the streets of New York City is a vision most would have imagined at least once in their momentary lives.  As soon as I was granted my US Visa almost four years ago, there were no other alternatives for a first-time visit in the United States of America than the NYC – “the Big Apple”.


Have your ever wondered why New York City has been tagged as the “Big Apple”? I did.  The geographical shape of the city does not resemble that of an apple nor is it the biggest producer or consumer of apple.  Thus, I made a quite few readings and discovered that the term became popular because of a sportswriter named John J. Fitz Gerald of the New York Morning Telegraph when he wrote about horse racing in the New York area sometime in the 1920s.  Mr. Fitz Gerald picked the term “the Big Apple” from jockeys and trainers.  New York City was then called the “Big Apple” because horse races there were important.


Though NYC has also been dubbed as “the city that never sleeps”, the “Big Apple” sets a vibrant mood which makes it more appealing as a tourism slogan.  It surely sounds expensive and luxurious as well, that a long-term stay would not be feasible at the moment.


Over the past month, the average rent for a studio apartment in New York increased by 4% to $2,338. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment increased by 8% to $2,800, and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment increased by 4% to $2,900.  The analytics however changes drastically, so I frequently visit the website of zumper on updates from time to time.  This is in case I wake up one day and pack my bags for New York City as I wishfully think of working from home.


When properly planned, we surely can take a bite of the “Big Apple” through a month-long sojourn of the city. To be able to maximize the stay, it would be best to settle, rent a space or book a hotel room in a strategic location where the aligned exclusive shops, neon-lit theaters and commercial establishments, open spaces, parks and unique architectural and historical landmarks is just a stone’s throw away.  Transport cost becomes a huge savings.


The good thing I noticed in NYC is the fact that landmarks that piqued the interests of first-time travelers and visitors of the city are a short distance from one another.  Looking for accommodations, either to rent or check-in, while in the city would prove to be challenging and costly but it’s all worth it, when the neighborhood is clean, it is the center of commerce and most of all, convenient on all aspects as a visitor of the city.


We particularly stayed at Hotel Pennsylvania, which is just across the street from the iconic Madison Garden and Penn Station, the busiest commuter hub in NYC.  Located at the heart of midtown Manhattan, we were within a walking distance to all major sites.


So here is a rundown of the landmarks and sites that I have visited on my brief stint in the City of New York last December of 2017.




This colossal neoclassical sculpture on the Liberty Island in New York Harbor is a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, designed by a French sculptor and metal framework built by Gustave Eiffel.

The Statue of Liberty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The State Cruises operate the transport and ticketing facilities which departs from the Battery in Lower Manhattan.  No charge is made for entrance to the national monument but there is a cost for the ferry service that all visitors are mandated to use as private boats may not dock at the Liberty Island. 


Visitors intending to enter the statue’s base and pedestal must obtain a complimentary museum/pedestal ticket along with the ferry ticket.  Those who intend to climb the staircase within the statue to the crown needs to purchase a special ticket, which usually must be reserved a year in advance.


The ferries, which depart from Liberty State Park in Jersey City and the Battery in Lower Manhattan, also stop at Ellis Island when open to the public, making a combined trip possible.  Fortunately, we were able to do both despite the drop in temperature levels.




The Statue of Liberty is situated in Upper New York Bay on Liberty Island south of Ellis Island, which together comprise the Statue of Liberty National Monument.


This is a historical site that opened in 1892 as an immigration station, a purpose it served for more than 60 years until it closed in 1954.  It is said that the Ellis Island witnessed millions of newly arrived immigrants pass through its doors.




Spanning the East River between Manhattan Island and Brooklyn on Long Island, the Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in NYC.


The Brooklyn Bridge is part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and U.S. National Historic Landmark.




Indeed, there is no better way to view the city than from the Top of the Rock which is open from 10am until 10pm daily.  The three levels of indoor and outdoor observation decks provide an unobstructed 360-degree views of the city skyline.


Location:  30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112 (enter on 50th street between 5th and 6th Avenues)




On a historical perspective, this served as the final resting place of some of New York’s most legendary humanitarians and clergymen.


The St. Patrick’s Cathedral takes up an entire city block of Midtown Manhattan, thus, impossible to miss.  It is known for its titanic bronze doors, high altar, ad rich Neo-Gothic architecture, and a surrounded by a number of stained-glass windows.


Location:  50th and 51st Streets and 5th and Madison Avenues




Named as “America’s Favorite Architecture” in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, the Empire State Building is a historical landmark and the world’s most famous office building.



Situated at the junction of Broadway and the Seventh Avenue, the NYC Times Square is one of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas and referred to as “the Crossroads of the World”. 


The Times Square was named after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the then erected Times Building, now One Times Square.  This town square serves as site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop, which began on December 31, 1907. I have yet to experience this if time permits, as I left NYC during my first visit on the 31st of December.



Broadway and London’s West End together represent the highest commercial level of live theater in the world.  


Broadway is known as the heart of the American theater industry and is noted to be the only oblique street that crosses the city center.  A visit to NYC would not be complete, at least for me, without an experience of the world class theatrical performances at one of the aligned theaters of Midtown Manhattan.  Thus, we purchased our tickets for one of Broadway’s longest running show, Miss Saigon.




The Radio City Music Hall within the Rockefeller Center of Midtown Manhattan is part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and an NYC Landmark.  


The Music Hall hosted televised events including the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, the MTV Video Music Video Awards and the NFL Draft.




The Big Apple’s most famous street is the Fifth Avenue, also known as the Millionaires Row.  It is New York’s most expensive and best shopping street with the world’s most expensive retail spaces.


My first visit to the “Big Apple” did not disappoint and was definitely worth the hype.  For some time in the future, I could only hope that I would be able to stay long and discover more important landmarks and world-renowned museums, be at the same neighborhood and vantage point but of a more economical and reasonably-rated apartment for rent.

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