Street art on a Sunday stroll and Times Square
We had planned to spend the first Sunday at home, just chilling and relaxing, but the day was so nice that we decided to go run some errands and walk around for a bit. We ended up exploring Harlem and its surroundings for a few hours. During this walk I noticed all the beautiful street art that’s everywhere. There are stunning murals the size of buildings, full of interesting details. The colors are vibrant and the art amazing!
While I was exploring the street art, I couldn’t help but think that I hadn’t really seen any graffiti during my trip. Emily told me we hadn’t really been to the neighborhoods where graffiti is more common and that maybe the big murals had drawn my attention away from the smaller graffiti. This is probably true, since the big pieces really catch your attention.
Many of this area’s murals have the same theme: birds. The paintings are a part of the Audubon New York project that aims to raise awareness of endangered bird species. You can find these bird paintings on walls, doors and garages. All paintings have been approved by the property owners, so these aren’t illegal pieces. The paintings have been made by local artists.
We didn’t go see any specific sites, but instead walked around different neighborhoods checking out the architecture and vibe. I think it’s interesting how you can tell when a neighborhood or area changes. Each neighborhood has its own distinct vibe. In Brooklyn for example, it’s very different from the neighborhood my friend lives in here in Harlem. You could almost say that each neighborhood has its own personality.
We went to explore the farmer’s market next to Columbia University. They sold local produce such as fruit, vegetables, meat and bread. One of the stands offered recipes that could be made with the ingredients being sold that day – perfect combined marketing! We ended up buying rhubarb and picked up a couple of recipes for it.
On Tuesday my friend had some errands to run in the heart of Manhattan, so we decided to include a little sightseeing tour to the day. It was a rainy day, but it didn’t really matter since we ended up missing all the huge masses of people that usually roam around the area. Times Square has never been as empty as it was when we were there! We first walked through the theater block and though about if we should pamper ourselves with a Broadway musical on one night. It would definitely be a memorable experience! Let’s see what we end up doing.
Being in the heart of Manhattan, we of course had to go see the iconic Times Square. It was funny that we came out of the subway with Times Square behind us and I didn’t realize that it was right there! You would think one notices that sea of lights and people, but not me. We ran some errands and came back through the theater block. That’s when I realized how close we had been. It was impossible to capture the vibe on camera – this is really one of those things you have to experience for yourself. Our visit was in the afternoon, but Times Square gives its best at night when all the lights pop out even more. I can only imagine what it looks like – woah!
We had missed lunch, so we decided to cross one more thing off my bucket list and go have a slice of authentic New York style pizza. I was told that the area right around Times Square is super expensive (no surprise) so we walked a few blocks away from the most crowded tourist area. The pizza was very tasty, especially in that state of hunger – greasy, cheesy and crunchy. A little tip if you ever want to have a slice in New York: before you order, ask them how much their cheese slice costs. A good price in tourist areas is $2-2,50. In other neighborhoods it’s $1-1,50. A cheese slice is the base of all the pizzas and you can add toppings on top of it. The pricing of toppings varies a lot but knowing the price of the cheese slice can give you a general idea of the quality of the pizza. It tells a lot about the ratio between cheese and sauce.
We were supposed to start the next week with a visit to Chinatown, but my friend had to work late so we moved that to another time. We did however go on an evening stroll to Central Park, which I’ll tell you more about in a future post!
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