New York, a bridge to the world

Coordinates: 40°40′N 73°56′W

New York might be one of the destinations most visited by Puerto Rico’s residents. Whether they are going for a family visit; they stop over on their way to another destination; they are Broadway fans; they want to see the Statue of Liberty or simply for a weekend getaway. The reason does not matter. The reality is that, despite its reputation as a hurried and slightly conceited city, you can safely say that many Puerto Ricans love New York City.

This famous person logo was created in 1977 by graphic artist Milton Glaser as part of a tourism campaign effort to restore the city’s image, affected by high levels of delinquency. (freelargeimages.com)

This famous person logo was created in 1977 by graphic artist Milton Glaser as part of a tourism campaign effort to restore the city’s image, affected by high levels of delinquency. (freelargeimages.com)

Trains ride underground. Cars ride over

I have visited this city more than fifteen times, even without relatives to be visited: as an adult, as a little girl, single, married, with family, with friends, to work and even to run a half marathon. For me this is a city of possibilities, a bridge to the world. Perhaps due to a refrain my parents would repeat every time they heard the city’s name: "New York, a city of grand avenues. Trains ride underground. Cars ride over." After returning with my in-laws, I realized New York has been avant-garde, especially in the creation of public spaces.

The New York City Marathon in November and the Half Marathon in the middle of March are among its key events. Both, cross over Central Park. Photo: Ray Cuevas

The New York City Marathon in November and the Half Marathon in the middle of March are among its key events. Both, cross over Central Park. Photo: Ray Cuevas

Central Park, an urban forest surrounded by skyscrapers

To learn about the groups that have fought to preserve eight hundred and forty three forest acres in the center of a city in development, has increased my love and admiration of Central Park. Graffiti, erosion, protection from contamination, as well as the restoration of a route around the Reserve, are some of the tasks needed in a space visited forty two million times a year. Every entrance to the park is like a threshold, which allows you to leave behind the city of yellow taxis and skyscrapers and arrive into a peaceful oasis.

The Central Park Lake can be navigated in rental boats in Spring and Summer. Photo: Marco Dettling

The Central Park Lake can be navigated in rental boats in Spring and Summer. Photo: Marco Dettling

Water, gardens and John Lennon

The park is so extensive that some tour it with a bicycle or in one of its famous horse carriages. We chose to go every day for at least one hour, to explore it little by little. We found fountains, gardens, playgrounds, water bodies, runners, restaurants and a memorial to the famous British singer, John Lennon.

The Brooklyn Bridge operates since 1883. Photo: Bruny Nieves

The Brooklyn Bridge operates since 1883. Photo: Bruny Nieves

Brooklyn Bridge, a city landmark

My in-laws, Swiss trekkers, made me walk from SOHO up to our hotel on 79th West Street. For real! Therefore, to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot was a piece of cake. This passage is scenic, not only because you see the Manhattan skyline from another angle, but for the bridge’s architecture itself. While you cross it, you must maintain a good pace to avoid stumbling with cyclists or the multitude of tourists that you find, no matter the season.

The Brooklyn Bridge is famous for being the first in the world where steel cables were used for suspension. Photo: Bruny Nieves

The Brooklyn Bridge is famous for being the first in the world where steel cables were used for suspension. Photo: Bruny Nieves

Manhattan vs. Brooklyn

Many artists and families came to Brooklyn in the nineties looking for cheaper rents versus those found in Manhattan. Now it is the other way around: everyone wants to live in Brooklyn. I do not blame them: I loved the eclectic and bohemian groove mixed with wonderful recreational spaces that reigns in the neighborhood known as DUMBO (acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). After recharging our batteries with a delicious pizza from Grimaldi's, we spent a calm evening exploring its streets and galleries and enjoying the Brooklyn Park on the East River’s shore.

This carousel, built in 1922, was acquired and restored by Jane Wallentas in the eighties. That's why now it is known as Jane's Carousel. Photo: Marco Dettling

This carousel, built in 1922, was acquired and restored by Jane Wallentas in the eighties. That's why now it is known as Jane's Carousel. Photo: Marco Dettling

Highline, a new use for old cargo train tracks

The Highline Park rises on Manhattan’s West Side as an excellent example of urban revitalization. The movement to save this space achieved its heyday through the images of photographer Joel Sternfeld, which captured how spontaneous nature had grown on the rails. Although the space is now more adorned with public art and the modern structure over which it rises, the feeling of crossing a wild garden remains.

The area known as the Diller-Von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature allows to refresh one’s feet in Spring and Summer. Photo: Bruny Nieves

The area known as the Diller-Von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature allows to refresh one’s feet in Spring and Summer. Photo: Bruny Nieves

Unique Flavor

Every borough has its own flavor and proprietary characteristics. Every time I visit, I stay in a new quarter, what helps deepen my understanding of this fantastic city and perhaps discover something nobody had told me about before.


There is always something happening at Times Square. Photo: Pamy Rojas

There is always something happening at Times Square. Photo: Pamy Rojas


Conscious Travel Practices:

1)   Respect public spaces. 

2)   Promote attractions with sustainable practices.

3)   Support small businesses.

4)   Explore destinations by foot or bike.


View from the Empire State. Photo: Pamy Rojas

View from the Empire State. Photo: Pamy Rojas


The Filling Station at Chelsea Market. Photo: Fernando M. Rojas

The Filling Station at Chelsea Market. Photo: Fernando M. Rojas


Chelsea Market is located in the 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16 Streets. Photo: Fernando M. Rojas

Chelsea Market is located in the 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16 Streets. Photo: Fernando M. Rojas