New York, Washington (DC)
Part I - New York
October 2016

If you want to skip directly to Washington, then just hit Washington .


This is an abridged description of a trip to New York and Washington (DC) in October 2016. The intention is to give a firsthand personal experience of how Joy and I did get to and around these two cities. This report may not be as interesting as the other trips to more exotic destinations. And it is only a very small part of the USA anyway. And as far as most of you are concerned, it may not be all new to you since many may already have visited at least New York.

As you probably know, you have to get a Travel Authorization from the US Homeland Security called ESTA before you leave for the USA. But beware of using a German Site for the application, because they will charge you at the end 74.00 USD instead of 14.00 USD. Cheating seems to be intended, because you can easily mistake the 7 for a 1. That's a nice profit of 60.00 USD without much work because it's mostly done by a computer program. So watch out.

Since this is not only a travel report but also a personal memory album, so don't complain that Joy is often standing or sitting in the way while taking the photos.

Also don't complain about the photos not adjusted correctly on the right side if you use Mozilla Firefox. I propose to use the Explorer or Edge of Microsoft instead.

Getting from Berlin to New York and back from Washington

We flew with British Airways from Berlin to Newark (New Jersey) and back from Washington (DC) both via Heathrow in London. We booked the flight at six weeks in advance and paid 505.53 Euro per person. That was cheaper (at that time) than if we would have directly booked at British Airways, not to mention other travel portals.

There were two flights a day we could choose from. We decided for the early morning flight at 07:05 in order to arrive in Newark in the early afternoon at 01:20 pm instead of in the evening. That was also a better time because we needed some time to find out from where the hotel shuttle buses were leaving. It is P4 and you have to take the Monorail to get there. Once you know it's easy. But when we got there, the Ramada Inn shuttle bus just left and we had to wait over an hour until it came back. Yes , we did book the hotel
Ramada Jersey City
65 Tonnele Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Tel.:(201) 432-6100
at for 150.00 USD a night including breakfast and free shuttle service. That's 136.00 Euro taking the average exchange rate of 1.10 USD for 1.00 Euro. That was much cheaper than comparative hotels in Manhattan. That's the reason why we flew to Newark instead of JFK in Queens. In addition, the trip to Manhattan from Jersey City was faster than from Queens or Brooklyn, because from the Journal Square Station just around the corner of the Ramada Inn it took 15 minutes with the PATH train to the World Trade Center in Downtown Manhattan and the Metro Card for all New York transportations can be used the same.

One more word to the money. All of the ATMs I used charged an extra fee of 3.00 to 4.00 USD added to the amount withdrawn. It seems that this scheme becomes common practice worldwide for Credit Cards not issued in the same country. By the way: USA is not cheap anymore, also because the Euro is very weak thanks to Draghi and the Greek.

First day

We arrived on a Sunday thus the next day was a Monday, of course. But a special Monday because it was Columbus Day. We took the PATH train from Journal Square in Jersey City in the morning to get to the World Trade Center station in Manhattan. There also was a PATH train directly going from the Journal Square to the 32nd Street but not during weekends and holidays. Then we took the subway going up-town to 42nd Street in order to get to the 44th Street, where on the 5th Avenue the parade was supposed to start.

Click the small picture to get it enlarged

World Trade Center on Columbus Day
Since the parade has already started we walked along the 5th Avenue while overtaking the slowly advancing parade until we found a nice spot to watch. If there would not be all the skyscrapers around we would have thought to be in Italy. This parade seems to be an Italian festival. Yes, Columbus was an Italian but sailed for the Spaniards, as everybody knows. Following are only two photos. All the others are shown under Columbus Day Parade.

Many carriages took part in the Columbus Day parade
After the parade we went to the Rockefeller Center just around the corner from 5th Avenue. It hasn't changed. Still the Channel Garden and Promenade to the Ice Skating Rink and the golden statue of Prometheus.
Next: From the Fifth to the Rockefeller Center
This is the 266m tall building 30 Rock and visitors in front
Here you can read what Rockefeller has said
Getting hungry. Where to eat? We passed the Brasserie Ruhlmann just at the side of the ice skating rink. We were lured inside but left right away after a look at the menu. One "plat de jour" was Bratwurst with Sauerkraut with some other meats, called Choucroute Garnie, for 32.00 USD (29.00 Euro). Without the expected 20% tip, of course. I didn't know that you can get Bratwurst with Sauerkraut in a four star restaurant. The Burger was a little cheaper for 27.00 USD (24.50 Euro). A Currywurst with fries for 13.99 USD (12.72 Euro) was even cheaper at the German Bierhalle at 5 W 37th Street.

Then we walked hungry along 50th Street in the direction to 7th Avenue where we saw "Au Bon Pain". Here we ate Pastrami (similar to roastbeef) Baguette, Pumpkin Soup, Apple Streusl Muffin and Coffee enough for two and paid less than 16.00 USD (14.50 Euro). It also had free WiFi and a clean restroom. There were many more "Au Bon Pain" café's all around New York and even in Washington. Joy always was happy when she saw one. After being fully stuffed we continued to the famous Times Square. Not much to describe. Look for yourself.
Next: The Times Square It's famous
It's busy It's crowded
It's a must to sit on the red steps It's a must to look down
It's big It's touristy
There are many sight-seeing buses in New York. One of them is the BIGBUS with the possibility to hop on and off at many places. The ticket, valid for 72 hours, for example, costs 63.20 USD (57.50 Euro). This is a good deal. But book at because it offers some discount. Not so other travel portals like who charges 75.89 USD (69.00 Euro). I didn't book it, because I had another agenda and I knew how to get around in New York. Ok, let's continue with the Times Square.
Looking south Looking east
Looking at the changing neon signs Ford I like best, of course
This is not Joy with the living Liberty Statue But this is Joy with the presidential candidates
Close-up of the south building of the Times Square The Times Square was once scary but it's funny now

Second day

On that Tuesday we had a reservation for a trip to the Statue of Liberty. It was not far to the Battery Park from the World Trade Center station. On the way it was just a sidestep along Wall Street to the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Hall.
Thanks to NYPD we always felt save in New York Next day we visited the Stock Exchange first
Then the Federal Hall with the Washington Monument in front And then we walked to the Battery Park
No time to get inside the Clinton Castle This is the Immigrant Memorial in front
There was already a long line from the pier up to the entrance of the Clinton Castle, but of people who didn't have a reservation. Around thirty minutes before our scheduled reservation time they opened up another line which was much shorter. But still: it took longer than half an hour to get on the ship because of an intensive security check like at the airport.

The eTicket did cost for an adult like Joy 18.00 USD (16.40 Euro). For me as a senior it did cost only 14.00 USD (12.80 Euro). It included the roundtrip by ship to the Statue of Liberty Island, access to the pedestrial and the visit of Ellis Island. Please take a look on the photos we took.
Finally leaving by ship from the pier View back to downtown Manhattan
This is not Manhattan but Jersey City on the other side This is Ellis Island where millions of immigrants arrived
There she is The Statue of Liberty
View up to the torch View up to the tablet
Joy always wants the utmost: Climbing into the torch. But that was not open for the public. I recommended to get into the crown. But unfortunately the next available date was two month later. So we only did get a reservation for the pedestrial, which is the base construction for the statue itself. The statue looks small from far away but big if you just stand in front or even look inside.
This is a full size replica of the torch in the basement Only walking up to the crown is allowed
This is a full size replica of the face This is a full size replica of the foot
These ladies were supposed to be models for the design of the Liberty Lady
Please illegals leave the USA or go to jail (that what Trump said)
Please don't turn your back to the visiting or naturalized Hispanics
She has a shadow in her face maybe she's sad about what the future will bring to the world
We hold the torch right up for the liberty for all people in the world
View to Manhattan View to Brooklyn
View to Brooklyn harbor Mass of passengers waiting on Ellis Island
After seeing the mass of people waiting on Ellis Island getting back on board, we decided to stay on the ship and skip Ellis Island. We later looked up the internet for photos and description of its history. I advise you to do the same if you want to know more. On the way back we had the most beautiful view to downtown Manhattan in the late afternoon sun.
On the way back to Manhattan
Back in the hall of the World Trade Center

Third day

Back in downtown we now had the time to visit ground zero. But before we did we had a break in a coffee shop close to it, where the following posters were hanging on the wall. And right after that we couldn't miss to look at the new One World Trade Center skyscraper with 541m, the highest now in NYC.
We shall never forget 9/11 when almost 3000 people died
This is a part of the flag above with the names of the victims
The new One World Trade Center with a height of 541 meters
Many terrible memories came to my mind at the site where the twin towers stood. Also my personal memory came back to when I went up by elevator to the 50th floor in the summer of 1972 even before the towers were officially opened. At that time I worked for the Continental Insurance Company at Maiden Lane 80 in downtown Manhattan. I even may have died if I would have continued to work for that company which also had a couple of stories occupied in one of the towers when it collapsed.
This is the site where the twin towers stood
The names of the victims will never be forgotten
The Continental Insurance Company at Eighty Maiden Lane was once my work place
If you continue to walk on Maiden Lane to the East River you will get to the South Street Seaport. It's a pity that it does not look so nice anymore with some buildings around under construction.
Close to the South Street Seaport with the new Continental Insurance Building in the middle
Close to the Brooklyn Bridge On the way to China Town: The Surrogate's Court
After the seaport we walked to Park Row: One side the City Hall other side the drive-up to the Brooklyn Bridge. On the way we saw a modern new skyscraper designed by Frank Gehry as I later found out. If you do not know who he is then look up the internet. But everybody knows Woolworth. He was the one who built the first skyscraper in New York which was completed 1912. At that time, it was the tallest building in the world with 241 meters.
Would be nice to live up there in this skyscraper designed by Frank Gehry The left building is the oldest skyscraper built by Woolworth
And finally Chinatown. But it's not the neighborhood I remember. No real Chinese atmosphere. Only very few traditional houses. But still many Chinese restaurants and stores. However, most are hardly recognizable as such from the outside except for their Chinese signs. Yes, you still see many Chinese people around. The same is valid for adjacent Little Italy on the other side of Canal Street, but with more Italians, I suppose.
And finally Chinatown as you can see But also with typical New York City houses
It's a Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegan Restaurant Steak lover Joy didn't like the Vegan steak, though
We rather should have eaten fish or lobster in a real Chinese restaurant
Also would have been better than eating Pizza or buying T-shirts in Little Italy opposite Chinatown

Fourth day

This day was a New Jersey day. The reason was that we made a big mistake by booking a room via airbnb. I thought it would be a good idea to stay with an American couple in their private home while learning their custom and having a nice chat about the American way of life. That may have been the original idea of airbnb, but it has become more and more commercial. Even real estate companies trying to offer accommodations via airbnb faking private owners.

After coming back from Manhattan the previous night we took a taxi from our hotel to Weehawken up north. The land lady, whose name was Martha, received us friendly. She also has put our names on the door of our room. Next door also had a sign with two names. So we were not the only private guests. And no husband around as shown on Martha's profile. We went to bed and tried to sleep but that was not easy. Next day Joy and I didn't feel well from last night and much more. We decided to leave in the morning to stay again in our Ramada Inn. You can go to and search for Martha in Weehawken, New Jersey and read my comment.

Back in our Ramada Inn we slept a little and relaxed from last night. The rate this time was even cheaper with 137.00 USD (125.00 Euro) a night. What to do with the rest of the day? We walked around a bit to learn in what kind of neighborhood our hotel really is located.
This map shows our neighborhood This is the famous Loew's theatre at Journal Square
What a surprise: One area north of Journal Square is not Little Italy again but Little India with many Indian restaurants and stores. The street was decorated for an Indian festival, the Navratri.
Back in Jersey City: Little India
Another surprise when we continued on the Newark Avenue: We must have hit also a Philippine community with Philippine stores and restaurants. To the delight of Joy not only with Philippine dishes but also very cheap as you can see. One hour before closing at 8:00 pm you could get the dishes even for half the price.
Joy is happy: She found also Little Philippines
Nowhere we ate so cheap as in the Philippine eatery. The most expensive dinner we had at Friday's restaurant in NYC: 80.00 USD (73.00 Euro) for steak and chicken. The good old times, where a steak with oven potato and salad did cost 1.49 USD at Tad's Steak House are gone.

Fifth day

It's a must to get on top of the Empire State Building. We didn't book in advance. The line already reached the street when we arrived late morning. We moved slowly and steadily forward but it was a long way while passing security check and the cashier counter. A ticket for an adult did cost 32.00 USD (29.00 Euro) and for a senior 29.00 USD (26.50 Euro). Take a look what you get for that:
In the lobby of the Empire State Building
View to the south of Manhattan View to the south west and Jersey City
View to the north west View to the north
View to the north east View to the east
View to the Herald Square with Macy's, the department store View to the Bryant Park and Hotel with the same name
Looking to the Art Deco Chrysler Building Looking at tourists on the top
Our souvenir from the Empire State Building Joy liked it and framed it
After coming down the Empire State Building we walked all the way up north along 5th Avenue, while passing by the Philippine Consulate with the UN Mission and the St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Rockefeller Center again, until we reached Central Park.
Paying tribute to the Philippines No praying in the St. Patrick's Cathedral
Walking in the Central Park with view to the buildings on 59th Street
The southern Central Park pond with view to the buildings on 5th Avenue
We saw the second and last debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton while in the USA. Joy and I like Trump, but didn't dare to admit it. Now we do since he is elected and he has become more modest, but he still follows his agenda. Good for America, bad for Europe, though.

The German people would have more reasons to elect somebody like Trump. If Germany does not change course, it will end up as a NIC, which actually means "Newly Industrializing Country". Better would be "No Innovations (anymore) Country". Brazil is a NIC as part of BRICS. Look up the interviews with and the writings of Professor Dr. Dr. Gunnar Heinsohn in the internet. "It's the economy, stupid" is more true than ever. If it's getting worse the more social unrest will accompany it. And this is not post-truth (postfaktisch). People can see what's already going wrong. People with common sense already foresee where it is leading to.

Let's forget politics for now and take a look at and into the Trump Tower through the following photos. Otherwise there is no chance now, because of security reasons you are currently not allowed to enter, except if you are invited by President-elect Donald Trump.
Next not to miss: The Trump Tower A must to take a look inside
Not necessarily to have a Trump drink at the bar nor to buy a Trump souvenir
But to take the escalator to get up to the top of the lobby
Some guys don't like Donald Trump This guy is nuts for Winston Michael Ray for president

Sixth day

This is our last full day to look around Manhattan. It's a Saturday. Joy looked up the internet for flea markets. They are only taking place on weekends. So, it was Joy's day, because she is a flea market addict. But she was disappointed, because she was spoiled by all the flea markets in Berlin. The first one was called the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market located on 39th Street West corner 9th Avenue, close to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The Hell's Kitchen Flea Market was not big but with a lot of curious stuff you do not usually see anywhere in Europe. And what the hell is that: Seven inch sexy rubber girls being sold for 15.00 USD for one. One guy was really all excited about them but didn't buy. Neither did I.
Not Donald Trump's apprentice nor voter (or?)
But for sale on the flea market like the empty cigar boxes
One of the few (messy) flea markets in NYC
After Hell's Kitchen Flea Market we went to another one: The Chelsea Flea Market on 39 West 25th Street, between 5th and 6rh Avenue. But that was really all commercial and you have to pay 1.00 USD entrance fee. Ok, not that much, but the dealers have very high prices. Joy asked for the price of a blouse made in Thailand: 20.00 USD. All other stuff looking antique were pretty pricy too. We didn't buy anything.

However, I bought a real 100% Cashmere scarf made in Scotland for 10.00 USD (9.00 Euro) from a street vendor lady. It felt real. Or was it Scottish sheep? I was always looking for one after I lost my Burberry scarf many years ago. A new one would have cost 395.00 Euro.

Ok. That was the last full day in New York. We could have seen and done a lot more. But that would have become strenuous. So we took it leisurely.

Seventh day

It's a Sunday and our departure day. I had booked on-line the Greyhound bus to Washington (DC) for 64.45 USD (58.60 Euro) for both of us. That's cheap. The train would have cost much more. We left at 10:00 am from the Port Authority Bus Station on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue and arrived at Union Station in Washington (DC) at 2:20 pm. It was a comfortable trip. For more information look up

This was the end of New York. As it was said before and will be said again: There could have been seen and done a lot more. Also I could have written more. If you want to know more all about the places we have visited, then just look up any of the many guidebooks or the internet.

If you want to skip now to Washington, then just hit Washington.

Created December 2016

© WEW Tours