Welcome To New York (Again)

Back to the Big Apple

From Toronto, we took another overnight bus to New York. It’s cheaper to get flights to Europe from New York than from Toronto. We had enough time to make it out to NYC, so we figured we might as well see the city again on our way to Europe — we did enjoy it a lot the last time we were here. This gave us an opportunity to explore New York further and see some things we missed on our last trip.

But before we dove into New York, we had to visit New Jersey… because we had to see something special there.

The Grammy Museum in Newark, New Jersey, is currently hosting a temporary Taylor Swift exhibit — so Yuki immediately got tickets to visit it as soon as we decided to go to NYC. The Grammy Museum itself wasn’t large, but had a good history of the award ceremony and past award recipients. The most interesting part was a stage full of interactive instruments to try out, to hear how technology can change sound. We both noticed how crisp the audio was through the expensive headphones. It was like when you go to Bestbuy and you see the difference between a regular TV and a 4K HDTV — only this was with just audio.

Half of the museum was a room dedicated to the Taylor Swift Experience. There was a lot of memorabilia and old costumes from past performances and music videos, as well as interesting tidbits like handwritten lyrics. It was interesting to see costumes from concerts and music videos so close, and Yuki took a lot of photos and videos. By the end, we realized that we’d been in the museum for a solid 4.5 hours.

The problem with visiting the same city for the second time is that you’ve already covered most, if not all, of the highlights in the first visit. For the second visit, you’re mostly left with B-rate attractions… and our second visit to New York was a bit like that for us.

Even the places we’d been, though good, weren’t great. The food was still great, but the attractions were just meh.

The last time we were here, we didn’t feel like we got to really experience Central Park since it’s so big. This time we went to the south end (which we hadn’t seen before) but walking along the paths got boring pretty quickly. It might have been the 35 degree weather, but Yuki pointed out that since it’s not spring or fall the park doesn’t look as dramatic without the colors; everything’s just green. We did find some filming locations from movies and TV shows like Person of Interest but when we left the park, it felt oddly cooler on the street where there was a humid breeze.

One place we wanted to visit that we missed last time was Staten Island. Unfortunately we went on a Tuesday and Fort Wadsworth is only open Wednesday to Saturday. I suppose we would have known if we’d looked up the website online, but we neglected proper research and arrived to find the fort closed. Instead of getting to walk around the interior of the old fort, we had to make due with the lookout above.

It was disappointing that we couldn’t go in, and we saw other tourists who also didn’t seem to know. It seems like a place that could just be open all the time… but apparently not.

On another day in the city we went to hand deliver a letter Yuki wrote to Taylor Swift. Her apartment is in Tribeca, a nice part of Manhattan, which had some good old buildings to photograph. I was actually surprised that Taylor Swift didn’t have a penthouse on the top floor of a brand new skyscraper, and instead lived on the top floor of a modest 5-storey building down a quiet side street.

Around the corner was a nice view towards the new One World Trade Centre.

Of course, we also went out for a now-typical Taylor Swift Photoshoot in Brooklyn down under the bridge.