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New York, Museum of Architecture


My next destination will be Africa and my various flights have led me to New York, more or less voluntarily. It was the least expensive stop and I chose to stay two days there to rediscover the city nine years after my last visit. By bike, I could see more. My host (found via the website Warmshower) lives in Brooklyn, part of the city I did not know. The red brick neighborhoods alongside abandoned factories witnesses the end of a not so distant industrial past.


Brooklyn Center begins gradually to look like her big sister Manhattan. Skyscrapers grow there like weeds and the Chinese have opened Chinatown’s branches all over. We had already noticed during our last visit how Little Italy had also succumbed to the yellow peril.


This town is a gem and I’m having difficulty in where to begin, what to describe, pictures to put in the article. There is not a street that does not deserve its picture, almost every building has a special charm that deserves a detailed description, each neighborhood is a symbol of this city. I will try a more comprehensive description by neighborhood.

Everyone has heard at least once the name in a movie or a TV series of each neighborhood of the city. It is a museum, a living museum that moves, teeming, who plays 24/7, a huge melting pot, a unique architectural marriage. The looks are all drawn up in the depths of the rectilinear avenues. The business district south of the island of Manhattan is probably the most messy in terms of urban planning and traffic. The streets are crooked, sometimes paved, often pedestrian around Wall Street, the famous New York Stock Exchange Street, heavily guarded.


Amid these business centers, these huge buildings, a church, lost but enhanced by its position embedded between two glass and steel towers. I drive 2 minutes to reach the World Trade Center. During my last visit in 2006, there was a huge hole where we saw the subway at the bottom. Today it stands the tallest tower in New York, as if nothing had happened.


Not far away, the platforms offer a great view with the statue of liberty and Ellis island in the background. Across the Hudson River, Staten Island I did not go but whose towers would rival any European city. All this in less than one kilometer, and it is far from finished.


To go into Central Park, take one of those immense avenues. Madison, for example. Every corner is an opportunity to stop and discover an architectural wonder to see that more and more high buildings make you feel almost dizzy.




Along the way, the magnificent building of the central station is here, surrounded by the towers. The interior is equally imposing. Broadway is not far. Its gigantic advertising screens rotate day and night. The sound and permanent light, atmosphere, emulation of this place has a better interest than Las Vegas.


Leaving Broadway by the North, Columbus Circle, local CNN and Central Park are waiting for you. Central Park is constantly animated by joggers, cyclists and horse-drawn carriages for tourists but there is always a relatively quiet place. The park is huge, measuring from the rest of the city. From South of Central Park, I missed the Empire State Building, we must go back. Up close, it is difficult to see the top and yellow taxis swarm like insects from its panoramic balcony. And not far from here, the Chrysler building and its magnificent peak that we hardly distinguishe from below.


 If you do not look all the time everywhere, you inevitably miss a remarkable building in the corner. Luxury stores also excel at their front and blend into the mass with French bistros, Japanese restaurants, pizzerias, major banks, Indian shops, and street vendors burgers.

North of Central Park, Harlem and the Bronx. District so famous for their sulphurous reputation that the second is even passed into the vocabulary of the French language. Anyway, by day, it looks there is no risk at all. The buildings look a bit like Brooklyn and the population is black and poor in majority.




We discover along the way the Yankee stadium, and a view of the various bridges linking New York neighborhoods. The prettiest is the Brooklyn’s one, in stone, almost medieval style.


In two days I cycled 100 km in New York and I still feel to have missed many things. I love this city, it always happens something unique everywhere we are. And we have already said in other articles, but the Americans are friendly, sometimes very eccentric. It’s fresh, it’s alive, it evolves. On the spot, I remembered pictures of the ugly Paris’ Montparnasse Tower, his embittered people, lifeless streets after 1 am (we even turn off the Eiffel Tower)! City of Light? In short, you understand that I am a lover of New York. Connoisseurs may find that I forgot to talk about many things. Who could make an exhaustive description of this place? I just add a few pictures here that I did not know where to insert before :





In the evening, I returned to Brooklyn to go to the Barcklays’ Center to attend a NBA game : Brooklyn Nets received the Toronto Raptors. Not that I’m a big fan of basketball, but I wanted to know once the atmosphere of these games. The show is very american, Cheerladders come and show their bodies every 5 minutes to fill the many time-outs and the speaker is trying all evening to inflame a public, oddly enough individually but very noisy in little group. The opposite of France. The game itself is a whole other level than in Europe, much more fun to watch. In short, it is the world class basketball.


This visit to the Big Apple was not planned at all and it has been one of the highlights of my trip, one of the most exciting places I have (re) seen. And then I accidentally discovered that my Brooklyn hosts had lived two years in Zambia. For a guy who wants to travel in Africa, I’m pretty lucky here. Next step, the African continent!

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P'tite Mougeotte, le Wednesday May 20th, 2015

Très très fort Greg, t’as réussi à bombarder tes photo de NY sans faire apparaître un seul taxi !