NY: Battery Park - Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island, Wall Street - Bronx - Yankee Stadium - Roosevelt Island - Queens
Wall Street Bull
On Wednesday morning wake up early, breakfast at the hotel and at 8:00 we were already out and about in the city. If you want to find points of interest with few tourists, early morning is the right time. So from 34 St – Herald Sq Station with the metro line R we went to Rector Street Station where the Bull of Wall Street is about 300 meters away. The bull is a bronze sculpture symbol of the Wall Street district, created by the Italian artist Arturo Di Modica and is located in Bowling Green Park. It is common practice to touch the bull’s horns, testicles and nose as a wish for good luck. At 8.30 there are very few tourists and it is possible to take photos and selfies in peace.
About 300 meters from the bull is Battery Park, one of the parks in New York. A very clean and tidy park where among other things there are the boarding points to reach Ellis island and the Statue of Liberty. It takes the name Battery Park because in the past there was a battery of cannons installed to defend the port and the city. Today there are several monuments, memorials, statues and there is a panoramic view of the Statue of Liberty, although it is quite far away.
Statue of Liberty.
The day is long and there are many things to do, so we preferred not to spend much time in the park. So we immediately embarked to reach first the Statue of Liberty and then Ellis Island. The visits are included in the city pass so very quickly, they printed us the ticket and we boarded the boat. As you move away from Manhattan you can admire the skyline of the buildings. After about 10 minutes of navigation we arrived at the right distance to take magnificent photos of the Statue.
We got off the boat and collected the free audio guides in Italian and followed the itinerary of the audio guide which explains the history of the statue in detail. With the city pass ticket you can only visit the island, but you cannot go up on the pedestal or in the crown because you need additional tickets. If you decide to go up or to one or the other we advise you to buy tickets online, as to get into the crown you have to book several months before, remember that there are 354 steps to go to get to the top. On the official website all the information. After the tour we took the boat back and went to Ellis Island, the island that was once the sorting site for immigrants. On the island there is the Immigration Museum, the entrance ticket is included in the city pass.
It is a place that leaves you breathless and that makes you think about many things.
Back in Battery Park, we walked to the famous Wall Street street. We saw the New York Stock Exchange (the New York Stock Exchange which is closed to the public). The Federal Hall National Memorial which is the building where George Washington was elected as the first US president. The “Fearless Girl” is the bronze statue of a young girl who previously stood in front of the bull on Wall Street, but has now been positioned right in front of the bag. This work created by the Norwegian artist Kristen Visbal wants to raise awareness among companies to hire more women in managerial roles.
About 300 meters away is the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States which can be visited for free, but by reservation. On the official website the times to book the tour.
In the Financial District there would be much more to see, but there is not much time available. So we continue our itinerary and from Wall Street Station via subway line 5 we went to E 180 Street station in the Bronx.
One of the entrances to the Bronx Zoo is about 500 meters from the stop. So taking advantage of the free entrance on Wednesdays, we also visited a part of the zoo and went out to the other side to get to Little Italy of the Bronx. It is an immense zoo, the largest in the United States with many species of animals. Inside there are restaurants, various clubs and even tables for those who want to have a picnic. After taking a nice tour and seeing numerous species of animals, we went out on Southern Blvd and after about 500 meters we arrived at Arthur Avenue, in the heart of the Little Italy neighborhood of the Bronx. This is probably the real Little Italy of New York, nothing to do with what we saw in Manhattan, full of Chinese people.
This area is inhabited by Italians, the locals are Italian and it is not difficult to meet locals who talk to each other in Italian. There are restaurants, patisseries, bars, ice cream parlors and coffee shops run by Italians. In short, the ideal place if you want to eat something Italian or if you just want to drink a real espresso. Since we arrived in the area around 14:00 we took advantage and had lunch in a restaurant run by Italians.
After lunch, just to digest, we went to Fordham Road Station about 1 km from the place where we had lunch, and through the metro line D we arrived at 161 Street – Yankee Stadium Station, just to see Yankee Stadium. It is the most famous stadium in the city, a real tourist attraction that in addition to the many fans attracts many tourists who want to know the history of the Yankee, the home team. The stadium is also a symbol of the Bronx district, in fact in the past this area was considered dangerous and was avoided, but today also thanks to it it has been re-evaluated.
In the stadium there is also a museum that contains all the trophies and memorabilia of the Yankees, a shopping center, fast food, restaurants, cinemas etc. The stadium can be visited with prices starting from $ 20.00, on the official website the prices and times of the tours. We arrived in front of the stadium at around 3:00 pm, there was a game in progress, so the tours could not be done even if we wanted to, and we didn’t even think about entering due to the long queue that was there.
So we continued our itinerary and through subway line 4 from 161 St – Yankee Stadium we went to 59 St-Lexington Av Station where the Roosvelt Island Tramway is about 300 meters away or the cable car station to go to Roosvelt Island . It is an islet of the East River between Manhattan and Queens. In the past it housed prisons, hospitals and asylums, but today it is a fairly quiet residential area. The name Roosvelt Island was given to it in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. You can get to the island by metro, bus, boat and cable car. We chose the cable car, the trip takes 6-7 minutes and the view is truly breathtaking … On the island you can take walks and admire the Manhattan skyline, visit the ruins of Smallpox Hospital, or visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedom Park.
Queens and Gantry Plaza State Park.
We took a very short tour and this time by subway, from Roosevelt Island Subway Station we went to 42 St-Bryant Park Subway Station with the F line and then from 5 Avenue-Bryant Park Station to Vernon Blvd – Jackson Av with the line 7 to get to the Queens district and precisely to Long Island to visit Gantry Plaza State Park. This is the park that houses the writing “Pepsi Cola”. It is a new, very well-kept park where there are beautiful benches and beds to rest and relax. From here the panorama is truly spectacular, one of the most beautiful places to see the Manhattan skyline, some truly exceptional photos are taken, especially if you are lucky enough to go there at sunset or in the evening with the illuminated skyscrapers.
The itinerary was to reach the Harlem neighborhood since on Wednesday around 19:00 some Churches celebrate Gospel Masses, unfortunately a fault with the metro blocked us for almost an hour and therefore we changed the itinerary and went to Time Square.
So since line 7 was cut off, we went to 7 Avenue Station with line E from Court Square-23 St Station.
When you think of Time Square you think of a square, it is actually the intersection of several streets including 7 Avenue and Broadway. The atmosphere is chaotic … thousands of people, taxis all the time, sirens of ambulances and firefighters speeding, the neon lights of the advertising billboards that blind. There are numerous shops, one of the most beautiful the M & M’s World or the Disney Store. Many restaurants and famous places. Parallel to 7 Avenue is Broadway, the street of the “theaters” where the famous musicals are staged every evening. Walking further we find Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. Very frequently we met several street artists disguised as Disney or Marvel characters who asked us to take a selfie in exchange for a tip.