New York Part: Final part

Once again, we woke up early. I wondered at times how long til I can cope with the jetlagged. It felt easier during the university days. Anyway, day 3 we opted to continue on our honeymoon sightseeing in Manhattan. Our agenda of the day - the Empire State Building. But not before we took a stroll at Times Square and Broadway, the theatre world epicentre. Frankly,  I do not quite fancy Times Square mainly due to how packed and busy the place is the whole time, rather an ironic thing to say about New York City, a place 8.5 million people in population, and 40 million more as tourists.

Our first stop is the Flatiron building. Situated by 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue and Broadway, facing Madison Square Park and pointing directly at the Empire State Building, stands one of New York’s most iconic skyscrapers. Its peculiar form and postcard-perfect structure has inspired countless artists, photographers, filmmakers and travellers like us who, camera on hand, hope to catch its geometrical magnificence from every possible angle. Afterwards, we made our way to the Empire State Building, took the elevator up and bought our tickets. The Empire State Building is perhaps the main skyscrapers to be most associated with the City. At one point it was the tallest building in the world. On top, above the clouds, we were presented with the most stunning 360 degrees views of the City. Beautiful views of Central Park, the 30 Rock, the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and Macy's make for a memorable photo op. If you are ever visiting New York, it is not something you would want to miss!

From here we made our way to the Museum of Natural History. We went and viewed a number of exhibits being displayed there and came across a special exhibition on Alexander Hamilton, one of the nation's founding fathers. Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), was a brilliant politician-lawyer who served as an indispensable aide to George Washington during and after the American Revolution. Among his many achievements, Hamilton is credited with creating the financial system of the United States, and was the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. I used to read a lot about Hamilton when I did my SATs (as part of my plan to go to as US college, which didn’t materialise). Hamilton is a hit at this point of time due to the award winning broadway show written, directed and acted by Lin-Manuel Miranda (didn't get to watch it, tickets were sold out months earlier especially when Lin-Manuel Miranda was leaving the play). The museum, like any other places of interests in New York, is humongous, and is afforded with a wealth of different forms of historical and cultural artifacts from around the world.

Out of the places we visited though, the best for us (ok maybe me), was the visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Coincidentally, an exhibition called Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, was open for the public, an exhibition which explores the beauty and artistry of fashion. Manus x Machina, meaning “hand and machine,” is an ode to the making of fashion, one that aims to “demystify some of the processes” behind it. With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, designers from various labels, old and new were on display, Prada, Kei Kawakubo (read Comme des Garcons), Gucci, and many more. But the one that caught our attention was the Karl Lagerfeld's haute couture wedding ensemble for the House of Chanel (autumn/winter 2014–15). What amazed me was not purely the size of the dress (20 feet length wise), but the amount of details placed into the ensamble. As cliche as this may sound, but you really have to be there to believe it.

The last bit part of the day for us was taking a slow and relax stroll around the city, and where else to do that other then at the Central Park. Whenever I think about Central Park, the first thing that pops into my head is Gossip Girl (for some reason). The Park is huge, packed and filled with all sorts of activities! As a visitor, we can’t help to compare our home country/city with the place we are visiting.  In this case, one of the things that I was thinking about when being here was the fact the Brunei lacks a park within a the city as part of a place of interest if not a family place to go to. If you think about the big cities, like Tokyo, London, and even Singapore, theres always a city park, where its free, functional, clean and well maintained. Whether people intend to go there for a jog, for family time during the weekend, or picnic with the family, and city park provides the relief of nature and rural life  from the hustle and bustle of the city. Also, it seems ironic to me sometimes that we proud ourselves with how much we are preserving and conserving the nature in our country, yet we lack one of the basic feature of urban nature conservation, i.e. Parks.  After spending hours at Central Park, and a few (hundred) snaps and as the sun sets, off we went to our apartment.

Manhattan is a beautiful place, and very very memorable. What amazes me is the fact that it has a city within the city: theres always things going on on different parts of the city. A few days visit will not be enough; there’s too much to see and experience. Suffice to say, it will not be our last visit.


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