New York’s Manic Manhattan

You can’t but help to be caught up in New York’s manic Manhattan – an energetic epicentre for entertainment, culture, shopping, art, and of course, finance.

What to expect

As one of New York’s 5 boroughs, Manhattan is the most densely populated.

Manhattan, New York, USA, North AmericaOffering a tireless and endless array of entertainment, restaurants, and theatres – Manhattan is not known as the city that never sleeps without reason.

Manhattan is electric as it is vibrant. Its 24/7 perpetual awakening is exhausting, as this sprawling urban expanse swirls around you and dwarfs even the tallest of buildings.

Still, it’s not my first time on Manhattan Island but this time, it’s part of an amazing sailing trip down the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to New York.

Each visit ensures a new experience or offers a deeper intimate snippet of genuine local life.

Manhattan’s shopping is second to none and world-famous for this favourite past time. If you’re a shopaholic, you’ll crash and burn with exhaustion whilst run off your feet, trying frantically to visit the plethora of exclusive boutiques. I’m not a shopper.

Instead, I would much rather just absorb what this city throws at me each day.


Founded back in 1624 as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic, its name was New Amsterdam in 1626. The English arrived and changed the name to New York in honour of the Duke of York.

Manhattan, New York, USA, North America

More battles ensued, the American Revolution in the 1700s, then the amalgamation of surrounding cities to form New York in the late 1800s also included Manhattan.

Although congested, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and Central Park are Manhattan’s most famous and top attractions.

Exploring this metropolis leaves you breathless from the deluge of choices for activities.

Getting there

Whether you’re staying in expensive Manhattan itself, close by in popular Brooklyn, quieter Jersey, or on picturesque Staten Island, getting to Manhattan is easy using regular trains, buses, and ferries.


  • Take the Staten Island Ferry for a gorgeous trip across New York’s Upper Bay, whilst passing the Statue of Liberty. Absorb the past whilst contemplating the over 12 million migrants that arrived on Ellis Island, during a 60-year period from 1892 until 1954.
  • Once on Manhattan Island, take the Subway for the best and fastest way to travel if you don’t feel like walking.

Wall Street

Claimed as the “leading financial centre in the world”, and dating back to 1624, infamous Wall Street is a must on your visit – if only to wander its hectic pavements.

The sheer number of Pierre Cardin, Louis Vuitton, and hideously expensive designer suits will leave you feeling rather underdressed.

You should stumble upon a couple of groovy sculptures along your walk.

Grab a relatively cheap bite to eat at one of the few available carts, to help them along in this expensive neighbourhood. I can only imagine what rental price they’re paying for a piece of concrete in Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street

Strolling along Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street district, news reporters, protestors, and thousands of people congregate to protest.

This movement is described as a “left-wing protest against economic inequality”.

I’m not sure if this is an apt description, but perhaps it depends on who’s telling the story?

The Occupy Wall Street slogan is “We are the 99%”.

If you’re deeply passionate about changing something…

…then why not take the time to demonstrate solidarity for a cause? It is a democracy after all.

9/11 Memorial

I remember visiting this site in 2008, when it was bare massive holes in the ground with its extensive area fenced-off.

Now in 2011, the transformation into the 9/11 Memorial is remarkable and tastefully incorporates the names of the thousands of victims.

The only thing I don’t like and have to mention is that for me, the Memorial shop is quite tasteless, considering what occurred at this site.

Ground Zero tours are also available at a price.

Little Italy

If you’re a coffee or a pasta snob like me, then by far the best offered in Manhattan is in the ethic neighbourhood of Little Italy, in Lower Manhattan.

Only Italian restaurants and stores grace the streets.

Step into any cafe in Little Italy and you’re thrown back into an Italian scene of friendly rowdiness, lingering coffee aromas, and wonderful sweet pastry scents.

As Little Italy is close to China Town, then check out this neighbourhood also for great Asian delights.

Empire State Building

Visiting Manhattan without visiting the iconic Empire State Building is like visiting Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower.

Completed in 1931, this 102-storey building stands at a still imposing height of 443.2 metres – views are stunning from this height.

Urban madness…

…and a perfect spot to watch the sun kiss the horizon.

Grand Central Terminal

New York’s majestic landmark Grand Central Terminal covers 48 acres, consists of 44 platforms, and is not to be missed.

Love observing the movement and franticness of commuters, whilst relaxing from a quiet corner – this building never sleeps.

The terminal has always been one of my favourites in Manhattan, especially to just stop for a while and people-watch.

Spend a day exploring the many levels and areas made famous in many movies over the decades.

Central Park

A perfect place to relax and collect your thoughts whilst visiting manic Manhattan, Central Park is great also as a picnic spot…

…or just to play.

Established in1857, this urban parkland spreads over 778 acres whilst still constrained by the walls of the city’s buildings.

Central Park draws many artists wishing for a quiet space just to create, in the frenzy that is Manhattan.

Rambling below central park, we stumble upon a flea market selling bric-a-brac, clothing, art bits, and curios in a closed off street. Many markets are held under cover and outdoors on the island, which are another way to experience a local flavour.


Today sees a visit to the Museum of Modern Art as we can’t possibly pass up one of America’s most famous street photographer Vivian Maier’s exhibition.

Maier’s candid work is fabulous and MOMA is a wonderful venue in which to host any exhibition.

Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum Complex

A slightly different encounter on Manhattan that you may not have heard of is the the Intrepid complex, which is both educational and fascinating. Children love this spot and its interactive activities.

Visiting the U.S.S. Intrepid craft, which was built during WWII is awe-inspiring and the history lesson is eye-opening. You can even overnight on the Intrepid just like enlisted sailors did, for a different Manhattan experience.

James A. Farley Building

Formerly named the General Post Office Building, this famous commanding Corinthian-design landmark was built in 1912, and now occupies 8 acres – two full city blocks.

The building’s famous inscription is hard to miss: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

A great spot to rest for a while on the many aged steps.

The post office’s 24-hour service ended in 2009 with upcoming technology, and is now used as an Amtrak train station.

Apple Store

Today is when the announcement that Steve Jobs passed away hit the global arena.

And, although this is not the reason for visiting the Apple store, I’m surprised at the hundreds of post-it notes with commiseration messages.

This store is impressive as it is opulent and innovative.

Don’t expect a discount at this store, as typically prices are fixed as always with Apple products.

Manhattan Vibes

Roaming around at a leisurely pace offers unusual streets scenes that perhaps you’ve never seen of Manhattan – not all are wealthy on the island.

Buskers belt out their craft in the hope of earning a few dollars. Stop and listen for a spell, they’re usually excellent. Leave a little something for the privilege of being a part of this free art.

Locals go about their daily jobs…

…and some, just relax the day away.

Not quite the Abbey Road album cover, but I liked this scene.

Taking a break from shopping…


Leaving Manhattan

It’s time for yet another little side-trip by bus and head to Boston for a few days before flying back to Peru to continue the South American jaunt.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more images. More posts on USA at Image Earth Travel.

Central Park, New York, USA, North America
Photo credit: Neil Lintern

94 responses to “New York’s Manic Manhattan”

  1. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Amazing. How close we may have come by. Our protest was in Bryant’s park. I need to look for the pix. But if I recall, I lost most of that trip’s pix. Computer glitch.
    (Occupy! Occupy! Occupy)
    Just got back to MOMA last November as you must know.
    Buona giornatta Nila.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      You made my Trash again! Had to “restore” this comment.
      That’s amazing! We probably walked past each other – a very small world.
      Would love to visit MOMA again. Brisbane has GOMA, but not quite the same. 😉
      Buona sera Brian

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Yeah. We probably did. One day we’ll get a beer wherever we coincide… 🙏🏻

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I really hope so but not beer – uno vino Rosso per favore… 😉

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        More a wine man “meself” (being a Frog and all…) Vini rossi! Due prego.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, si! 😉
        Hope you’re keeping well and staying safe.

      5. equinoxio21 Avatar

        You too. There was a positive case in grandson’s classroom today… So class is closed and he will be tested on SAturday. 🤞

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        It’s crazy but hope you’re grandson isn’t sick for too long – fingers crossed.

      7. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Fortunately he’s not sick. There was a psotive case in his class. So we’ll just have to wait. He’s already caught it a couple of times.

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        The younger ones seem to be more resilient than the elderly folk.
        My Great nephew (15 months) also caught it, which knocked him over for 2 days then he was back to normal again but his parents caught it from him and they were ill for a week or so and still now very tired.
        I guess the best deterrent is not to catch it in the first place, which is proving even more difficult these days.

      9. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Younguns are definitely vectors. You’re right: better not to catch it. (Easier said than done these days)
        Buona settimana amica.

      10. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed they are incubators and agree, better to avoid than catch but it’s getting harder and harder to avoid and easier to catch.
        Grazie e a te 🙂

      11. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Grazie niente…

      12. equinoxio21 Avatar

        “Great nephew”?! OMG. I imagine you have older brothers or sisters?

      13. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed and just found out this week that my niece has another on the way. Two older sisters and one younger brother. 😉

      14. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Another in the way… congrats. Are you all in the same place? Or scattered around Oz?

      15. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I’m the only one in QLD and the rest are in NSW so only a 9 to 10-hour drive away depending on the relative. 😉

      16. equinoxio21 Avatar

        A day’s drive? Good highways I imagine?
        I hope you get along well enough to stay the night after dinner… 🍽

      17. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, sadly, wouldn’t visit everyone just a select few. 😉
        The highway isn’t too bad but I haven’t done the run for quite a few years.

      18. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Ah. Family issue… I can relate to that. Planes must be an option? In lieu of 10 hours drive?

      19. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Of course, but I like a road trip. 😉

      20. equinoxio21 Avatar

        You’re a brave one. I now shy away from long drives. My back protests.

      21. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Not really and yes, my back plays up but I stop every 2 hours for a stretch so it’s not too bad. 😉

      22. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Does it now. Sorry to hear that. (it is the origin of the expression “a pain in the…”) I need to find good stretching exercises. All the ones I know are counterproductive.

      23. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I found that yoga stretches helped massively. When I was in Italy, I was doing online yoga (free) from half-hour to an hour every day for 3 years. I had no back pain. Return to Oz and stagnate sitting in front of a computer without much yoga anymore and my back isn’t great. The 2 yoga instructors I followed:
        Jen Hilman – for great long stretches (loads of lower/back videos)
        Adriene – more fast-paced yoga
        When my back gets to the stage where I can barely walk, then I see a Chinese (GP) acupuncturist – brilliant!
        Hope this help as it sucks being in pain.
        Have a great weekend!

      24. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Ciao Nilla. We’re almost “Live”. Though you’re probably already Sunday. That is very weird. To be “talking” to someone who’s a day later. Sounds like time travel.
        Thanks for the references. I did a bit of yoga when I was in College. I will look up Jen Hilman…
        Grazie mille Amica.

      25. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, time travel indeed… 😉
        No problem. Although they’re both good, Jen is my preferred as she’s slow and keeps you in a stretch post for a while. Just noticed that there are only a few videos on her channel. Better to type her name in Dr Google to return a plethora of videos.
        Niente Amico

      26. equinoxio21 Avatar


  2. navigationjunk Avatar

    I love New York! Such a beautiful city with so much to see…the 9/11 Memorial is one of my favorite sites, as well as the Empire State Building.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi, yes, NYC can hold you captive for a long time. I’ve been a few times now but still haven’t seen most things.
      Where do you stay when you’re there?

  3. Lisa Dorenfest Avatar

    Making me homesick with this gorgeous post #NYC2020 ⛵️

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your kind feedback, so you’ll be back in 2020?
      This was a little side-trip to catch up with Tehani-li and sail down the Hudson River – such a brilliant time!

      1. Lisa Dorenfest Avatar

        ….and Tehani Li arrived last evening! Maybe you, Karel and I will find ourselves together someday soon.

        Yes, the plan is to return to NYC for a year or so to replenish the cruising kitty. Not a bad place to spend a bit of time.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Now that sounds wonderful and very special – I hope we do meet up – please give the guys a big hug for me!
        Spooky, sent Karel a message last night with a pic of my latest attempt at the Spritz. I’m perfecting this refreshing Italian summer drink and waiting for you guys. 😉

        Sounds like a great plan…we may have to do this in Australia next year.

  4. map195 Avatar


    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar
  5. inese Avatar

    Brilliant post and photography, as always!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the kind feedback and glad you enjoyed my post. 🙂

  6. Rachel Avatar

    Love your post, I recently enjoyed a trip to New York too, but really regret not visiting Wall Street, there’s so much to do in this city we just ran out of time. Definitely somewhere I would like to return too. Great photography documenting the protestors too!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Rachel, there is so much to do in NY, think you could spend weeks there really and still not see it all. Glad you liked the photos. 🙂

  7. Aixa Avatar

    I love the ferry rides along the Hudson River! I can’t wait for the warmer weather to take it again!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It’s a lovely and peaceful way to travel in NY. Not sure if you saw my sailing down the Hudson River post? You may enjoy the read…

      1. Aixa Avatar

        I just read it now!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Cool and thanks for leaving a comment. 🙂

  8. Emma & Nathan’s Travels Avatar

    Stunning! I loved New York when I visited with my best friend about 5 years ago. The 9/11 memorial museum is possibly the most moving I have ever visited and I agree about the shop. Your black and white photos are my favourite. Feel like I was transported back in time to before colour. Love it!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and happy that my post brought back memories.

      B&W is my favourite medium. I take these in B&W and don’t convert – I’m one of those painful purists. 😉

      Yes, it is very moving. Have you been to Poland? I found the Auschwitz Museum and Birkenau Camp extremely confronting, and hard to fight back tears.

      1. Emma & Nathan’s Travels Avatar

        No haven’t been to Poland yet. We’re looking at it for later in the year though. I can’t imagine what it’s like to visit Auschwitz

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I have a few posts on Poland, which may help. It’s such an easy country to travel in and so beautiful, albeit the history is tragic as you know.

        I also visited another site in Lublin (not a popular tourist destination) Majdanek State Museum.
        (Just noticed that all my formatting is out since changing to a new WP theme – so annoying as now I need to go back and re-format all my posts.)

      3. Emma & Nathan’s Travels Avatar

        Amazing. I will check them out!! Thanks so much. Oh no, that’s a total pain!! 😔

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Cool, I’m sure you’ll love Poland.
        Just re-formatted Lublin so think it’s OK now. The joys of WP. 😉

  9. Sudha Avatar

    Lovely post and pictures Nilla.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Sudha and happy you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for Boston on Sunday. 😉

  10. Patty Avatar

    Hi dear Nilla,
    It’s getting harder, day by day, to keep up with my favorite bloggers.
    Hope all is well and here to send you a big hug again!
    Warm regards, Patty

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hey Patty, I know exactly what you mean and as I follow more and more cool bloggers, it gets worse.
      Great to hear from you again. Keep enjoying yourself, hugs Nilla 🙂

  11. Debbie Harris Avatar

    I’ve not been here Nilla, but your stunning photos make it a place not to miss! I love how you tell stories through your photos, a real gift!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Aww…thank you and what wonderful feedback – you’ve made my day Debbie!

  12. susielindau Avatar

    Gorgeous street photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Susie! I love taking candid shots.

  13. suzie81speaks Avatar

    One of my favourite places, I’ve been lucky enough to visit three times now and I still want t9 go back! Love your stunning images too!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I know what you mean as each time I visit, I see so much more and feel there is still a lot more to see.
      Thank you for your great feedback and glad you like my photos.

  14. lillyevechristie Avatar

    Amazing and wonderful pictures Nilla, would love to visit there on day.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Lilly for your kind feedback and I’m sure you would love Manhattan. I haven’t met anyone yet that hasn’t enjoyed this great destination.

  15. shelbyangle1 Avatar

    I wish I could go to New York!!! This read just made me want to go even more! I love how you gave me the history of everything along with a brief description. It pretty much laid out a check list for me! Also beautiful photography! Great read!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your wonderful comment Shelby and glad that my post has inspired you to visit New York. You may also like to read my post on the sail down to New York.

  16. a mindful traveler Avatar

    I have such fond memories of Manhattan Nilla. Having family there makes it even more special. I never did get to see the 911 memorial though. I have mixed feelings about visiting the site. Something to think about for the next visit I suppose. Gorgeous photos too 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It’s great to have family in overseas places as you’re always shown the non-touristy places.

      I was the same Lorelle but thought I’d see it whilst I was there anyway. And apart from the shop, the shrine is tasteful and hope that it’s kept this way in the future, as the real estate in Manhattan is so valuable.

      Thank you for your feedback 😉

  17. Rachna Avatar

    Loved the post, Nilla. You refreshed the memories from a time when I visited there. You know I have pictures taken of the WTC Towers before they were brought down. So tragic! Loved your detailed pictures and tips.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hey Rachna, many thanks for your comment.
      That is so sad and yes, extremely tragic, which changed our world forever. It’s hard to look at the site without imagining the towers still there….

  18. the eternal traveller Avatar

    I’m not a shopper either and I’d much rather wander and explore like you have in this wonderful post. It would be easy to spend several days just in this place.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, two peas in a pod then and thanks for the great feedback!
      You can easily spend more than a few days in Manhattan there is so much to see…

      1. the eternal traveller Avatar

        It would be great to stay right there in the middle of all the action.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I did that back in 2008 but it was expensive and I can’t remember where either, I’d have to check my travel journal.

      3. the eternal traveller Avatar

        I guess it’s a case of knowing you’re in one of the major cities in the world and have to pay accordingly. We’d do an Airbnb.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yes, and it’s great for short-term travel but it doesn’t take long until it breaks the bank when long-term travelling.’t that
        That’s what I usually do these days but airbnb wasn’t around in January-March 2008, it started in August that year (I think).

  19. aliterarybent Avatar

    Great shots as usual. Im not a shopper either. Loved Central Park. Theres always so much going on there. Glad you mentioned Vivian Maier. I have her book and saw an exhibition of her work in Paris a couple of years ago. Ironic that she didn’t live to see her fame.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many thanks for the great feedback!
      Yes, love Central Park and it’s a great place to escape and relax.
      I love Vivian’s work and she’s very underrated, but then again many female artists seem to not get as much exposure. It is ironic and also tragic although many great artists never lived to see their fame.

  20. francisashis Avatar

    Thanks for the stupendous images and description of New York’s Manic Manhattan.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Francis, many thanks for your great feedback and happy that you enjoyed my post.

      1. francisashis Avatar

        Yes,It’s indeed my pleasure.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you!

  21. ecopoet Avatar

    Thorough capturing

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback.

  22. TheMysteriousBlogger Avatar

    New York … N E W …. Y … O … R …K!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Indeed! Love New York and always hear that song in my head when I think about New York! 😉

      1. TheMysteriousBlogger Avatar

        Dah … dad-dah … daa … daaaah!🎊

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You’re too funny… 🙂

      3. TheMysteriousBlogger Avatar

        🥁Exact words my wife said on our honeymoon!🥁

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, I could say: “Great minds think alike…” but the other half of that saying is: “…and fools seldom differ” – it’s important to have a laugh.
        Have a great Sunday!

      5. TheMysteriousBlogger Avatar

        Yes! And that aptly applies to great mime’s!🤹🏿‍♂️no 🎭no 😷no 🤡no no 🤓no no no!

        Where’s an emoji when you need it!?

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed it does! Maybe you should create a new one? It may go viral and you’ll make your fortune then can retire to a deserted island.

      7. TheMysteriousBlogger Avatar

        Already retired and living in a deserted 55-plus community. Well decades older than that though!

        A deserted island lacking imagination, creativity, vitality and cannoli’s! 🥠

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Oh dear, lucky you have a creative outlet in your blog.

      9. TheMysteriousBlogger Avatar

        My fortune is my family!

      10. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        A lovely response.

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