Like many of you, I have been in travel hibernation for these long months the pandemic has encompassed. And, like many others, after seeing my elderly and fragile, followed by the sturdy and young ones vaccinated, I stuck a toe out in the world beyond my immediate community and climbed on a plane. (It would be important to point out I have no family members under 12.)
This landed us in New York City during the summer months and normally high tourist season. There truly were many American tourists visiting, including New Yorkers enjoying their own city.
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Restaurants and venues were opening up right before us. The international travelers were certainly missing, but the upside was the ease in visiting popular tourist sites like the Statue of Liberty, The Edge, The Vessel, Hudson Yards, and The High Line, to name a few.
We visited the newly opened Little Island at pier 55 on the Hudson River. Along its winding paths amidst flower gardens, activities aimed at children can be found, as well as an amphitheater, viewing platform, and concessions in a central plaza. The park will likely require a timed (but free) ticket if you are not able to arrive before noon. Go to littleisland.org to obtain tickets.
One hot muggy afternoon, we stumbled across Citrovia, an enormous display near Hudson Yards with a Seuss-like lemon tree grove and lemons of all sizes under a rainbow canopy. Instagrammers were having a heyday with the quirky displays, while visitors were plied with lemon sorbet samples and fun facts about lemons.
We made our first foray to The Edge, which is a triangular platform jutting out from a massive building in the Hudson Yards area. Like the World Trade Center Observatory, this is not an inexpensive visit!
The lines were happily short, so we decided to give it a go. The views are breathtaking if not dizzying–a portion of the floor is see-through, which adds to either the thrill or vertigo, depending on who you are. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the experience.
Times Square was hopping after the long quiet. Elmo and Olaf were back, ready to have their pictures taken, their costumes freshly laundered. There was a certain jubilation in being together again. The multistory advertisements dazzled and stunned the blinking crowd in their full technicolor glory.
Steps away, we were lucky to attend the first opening of Bruce Springsteen on Broadway. In fact, the first show to reopen there since the pandemic. It was an inspiring performance with an emotional artist and a grateful audience.
These are odd days for our little planet. Even amidst a new rise of Covid cases, there is much to be hopeful about. The travel industry has suffered, gone dormant in many cases, or closed up completely in others.
Within the parameters of pandemic safety, we will continue to get back out there, try new things, meet amazing people with different perspectives and be inspired by the beautiful world we live in. I won’t be taking that opportunity for granted for a long, long time.