During my three day trip to New York City for the BlogHer ’12 conference we stayed at the Hilton New York (the largest hotel in NYC) in vibrant, fast-faced Midtown.  As a travel blogger, I found it irresistibly hard to be trapped inside the jam-packed hotel in sessions all day long with 5,000 fellow bloggers. My curiosity and desire to explore got the best of me so I snuck out during the live Katie Couric interview and hit Midtown.

Thinking the coffee line at Starbucks would definitely be better across the street of our hotel, I crossed the famous Avenue of the Americas to yet another Starbucks, equally full with a queue of at least 20 deep. Wow, Starbucks must really rake in the money and I don’t even like their coffee (it is bitter, expensive and reminds me of a coffee shop version of McDonalds).

My first stop was the world famous Rockefeller Tower. I had never been to the “top of the rock” before and had heard that if I only had a few hours, it was definitely a must.  The line was very long, and there were several lines in fact.  A line for a ticket. A line for a snapshot in front of a silly fake view from the top. A line for the elevator. A line for the stairs up to the “top of the rock”. And, it was $25 for the ticket up to the top. I thought long and hard about it reminding myself that $20 is enough money to vaccinate a child for life (my advocacy work with Shot@Life was burning in my head as it always does). It seemed rather steep but I decided that I had to go for it and check it out. It would probably be all I’d have time for as my sightseeing time was limited.

Was it worth it? Yes, yes, yes! The view on top was sensational. I could see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance, the entire end of Manhattan and lovely views of Central Park on the other side of the observation deck. I felt so incredibly exhilarated and alive; like I was on top of the world!  What a city!

I even got the perfect photo opportunity with one of the security guards on “top of the Rock”!  As a blogger, everything is a bloggable moment…..

My fast-paced tour of Midtown brought me to Times Square where I stood in awe and fascination as I watched the world go by at high-speed. No matter how many times I see Times Square, it never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been to big cities before yet there is something truly special about the manic energy of Manhattan. It is like no place on earth.

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  1. New York is my favourite city. It has a life of its own. I will never forget the first time I walked down Park Ave with my sister, we just looked at each other and grinned like Cheshire cats.

    1. There is really something about it that makes it like no place out. Hard to point a finger on it but it is unbelievable and truly an international city. I love Chicago too but it is very different. I lived there for five years and fell in love with Chicago and my husband. I would love to spend more time in NYC someday. I can’t imagine what an adventure it would be to live there! 🙂 Sounds fun about your trip with your sister! 🙂

  2. Visiting New York back in 2002, I loved the vibe of Midtown Manhattan – walking down 5th Avenue felt just like being home in Hong Kong. The endless skyscrapers, the big city buzz with everyone rushing about, even the marks on the pavement were identical!

    1. Yes it truly is an amazing city! I wish I had more time but it looks like I’m going back again for more conferences. I would truly LOVE to see Hong Kong as I am sure it is unbelievable. How is your summer going? Hope you are well!

    1. We are going opposite directions then! I’m heading your way and you’re coming mine. I just wished I had more time there to be a tourist but I learned a lot….

  3. Years ago I lived and worked in NYC. In my 20s I thrived and blossomed. Now in my 60s the buzz of the Big Apple is a tad overwhelming after just a few days visiting. The old adage still rings true…”Do it while you’re young.” Unfortunately the experience these days is not quite as liberating as it was in the late 70’s and 80’s when life was simpler, and cheaper, in “the city that never sleeps.”

    hugs…hugmamma. 🙂

  4. Top of the Rock is my favorite view of Manhattan, in any season. I am so glad you decided to go, after all! And you are right–no place like New York and the joyful, colorful, pulsating madness that is Times Square. It has gotten so much more pedestrian-friendly over the years. I think I am due for another dose of New York–thank you for the reminder 🙂

  5. I didn’t get to introduce myself at the Travel Philanthropy session but was so moved by your stories. I am looking forward to following your adventures!!

      1. I am hosted through WordPress.com and for the life of me can’t figure out why my site is down. (Newbie blogger problems!)

      2. I still couldn’t get it to work! Have you talked with WordPress help desk? It says page not found. Strange and I bet frustrating! usually if you pester WP help enough they can get it fixed.

      3. I’m not sure why, but it’s working for me and for most of my readers. Oh well! Keep up those beautiful posts and pictures though!

      4. I finally got on! I love it and have already been reading away! SO cool and so glad to have connected now through your blog!!!! Nicole

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