Long Branch Trail

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A new Greenway is coming to the city!  And this one runs right through downtown.

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The old industrial side of town that has been crumbling for years is finally getting a new life, and this trail will help to connect everything together. The old tobacco factories are being converted into loft apartments, businesses, research labs and classrooms for the local medical school. It’s getting hard to believe this whole area was nearly abandoned just a decade or so ago.

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It was a chilly, foggy Sunday afternoon that we ventured out and walked along what would soon be the busy new trail. The Greenway will run along some old railroad tracks that are no longer in use, and include many bridges.

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Click here to see what this area looked like back in the summer, right as construction started. I kind of liked the overgrown look of what it used to be, but I am also excited to see what it changes into.

Skyscraper Search

I’ve always been a city child. The landscape of the countryside is pretty, but the wide open spaces, the lack of humans, and the absence of buildings, all makes me feel unsettled after a while. I had never given New York City much thought until recently, and when I visited, it seemed obvious that I would like it there.The city I live in only has a few skyscrapers, but I have always loved being downtown, nestled in between the tall buildings. So I felt quite at home, wandering the New York City streets, looking up, and admiring all the skyscrapers that put the ones in my city to shame.

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NYC: On the Street

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A collection of random shots I took while wandering the streets of New York City. Most of the pictures I didn’t frame of even stop to think about. I just snapped away as I walked.

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One of the many glorious city pigeons I saw!

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My favorite thing about our visit was just roaming the streets and taking in all the sights. I love the crazy atmosphere of the city, where there’s always something new and exciting to see every street corner you turn down. Although I am not a very social person, I feel safe and secure in large crowds. I like how busy everybody is in NYC; nobody tries to talk to you and everyone seems to mind their own business. Because of that, it seemed a lot less stressful and scary than my own city. I miss New York.

New York City

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I’d never spent much time thinking about New York City. But a few years ago I got the idea that I wanted to visit during Christmas time. And as the years went by, my desire to visit this city grew and grew until the next thing I knew, I was buying plane tickets this past November, to visit the city just a few weeks later.

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The last time I had flown on a plane, I was four years old. All I remember is eating fig newtons and being in a cloud the whole time. For years I had convinced myself that I was afraid of flying, and vowed to never set foot on a plane. But eventually I realized that was silly because I love traveling and there are so many places I want to go. It’s been years since got over my fear, but still hadn’t actually flown anywhere, so it was time.

When the plane finally took off, after driving around on the runway for what felt like an inordinate amount of time, I was so freaked that I couldn’t bring myself to look out the window for at least half an hour! It was such a tiny plane, smaller than a train car, and when it turned all you could see was the ground. But I was so excited to go to NYC it helped to cancel out how freaked I was. We were only in the air a little over an hour before we landed, I couldn’t believe how fast we got there!

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The next adventure was getting our subway pass at the airport, figuring out what bus to take to get to the subway, and then figuring how to navigate the subway to get to our hotel.

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After the long subway ride from Laguardia to Canal street in lower Manhattan, we climbed up the steps and found ourselves directly across from our hotel. Success! I hadn’t gotten us lost.  I was pretty proud of myself for successfully navigating the way there, by car, plane, bus, train and foot!

We didn’t have any major plans when we got there; just to wander around and explore.

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Our hotel was on the edge of Chinatown, which was a blast to explore.

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We walked on the High Line, which had some great city views.

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I got to see all the Christmas sights I had dreamed about, including the giant Christmas tree!

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I finally got to try an authentic NY bagel that I’m still dreaming about. Also, our hotel was conveniently located close to a pizza place that sold $1 cheese slices, which I forgot to take a picture of. We tried out a few pizza places during our stay, but the $1 place called Joey Pepperoni was the best.  I looked it up a few nights ago when I was craving a slice, and it’s only an 8.5 hour drive from the house 🙂 WORTH IT.

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We visited the World Trade Center and saw the memorial, plus this insane structure.

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We saw all kinds of crazy skyscrapers, including this giant cube which is the tallest residential building in the world, and full of billionaires.

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And we went to the top of 30 Rockefeller Center for a 360 degree view of the city.

I never expected NYC to be so much fun, and I am already dreaming of going back! My favorite part about the city is that you never know what your are going to see. Almost every time you turn a street corner you see something new, crazy or unexpected.

It’s a crazy city and I definitely recommend visiting it at least once in your life. I want to visit as many times as I can.

 

New York City Christmas Sights

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For the past few years it has been a dream of mine to visit New York City during Christmas time, and a few weeks ago, I was finally able to!

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It was our first day there and we just wandered through the city, taking in all the sights, with no particular goal in mind. It was just starting to get dark as we turned a street corner and I saw some sparkly lights off in the distance.  We raced towards the lights to see what they were, and it turned out to be this insanely decorated store on fifth avenue. As we got closer and closer to the lighted store, we realized we had just stumbled upon the Christmas sights jackpot! What luck!

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As we looked down the street we saw Radio City Music Hall, and then right on the other side of the road was the Rockefeller Christmas tree. There was so much Christmas I wanted to run around and scream!

(But that would have been impossible because the crowd of people was EXTREME.)

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I was so excited to see all these Christmas sights in person, after looking at them over and over again on my pinterest board. I also thought it was funny that we stumbled on them by sheer luck on the first evening there.

Visiting NYC was so much fun, and I am already dreaming about the day I can go back. I can’t wait to post the rest of my pictures!

Train Watch

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One windy autumn Saturday, my husband, sister and I went for a walk downtown. A few minutes into the walk, a train could be heard in the distance, so we raced over to the tracks in front of a local coffee shop to watch it go by.

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(Krankies Coffee)

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We waited and waited, but the train didn’t seem to be coming. We grew tired of the odd looks the people at the coffee shop were giving us as we stood in the parking lot staring at the train tracks, so we decided to forget the train and continue our walk.

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We had barely walked one block before the train’s horn sounded again, and so close!  We ran back to the coffee shop parking lot to get an up close glimpse of the train.

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After we finished our walk and were getting in the car, we could hear another train on the way!  We drove past it on the way back home.

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We even crossed under it!

I love spotting the train as it travels through the city.

Construction Zone- Part Seven

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It’s been almost three years since I started this Construction Zone series, and by the looks of it, it is finally nearing the end!

The city is building a Diverging Diamond interchange as a part of a brand new major road that is being built.

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In order for the road to be completed, a bridge for the already existing railroad has to be built. Since this is a very busy track, the new railroad has to be completely finished before the old track gets taken down, so the rail can easily be switched over with no train delays.

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These decorative arches were installed just the other week.

(I feel like it needs a ball of Christmas lights hanging from the center or something!)

 

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We were excited to see that our favorite biking trail seems to finally be back open after nearly three long years!  The part that was once a giant muddy swamp while this bridge was being built has been repaved and cleaned up.

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The remnants of some giant tubing still remain..

I love to document the changes this city is going through. It won’t be long until this area is no longer a construction zone and nobody remembers what it used to look like!