Spectacular venues, epicentre of the arts and world-renowned sights, New York City is the perfect destination if you’re looking for something that little bit special.
Earlier this year the Concert Team’s Merryn and Lidija took the leap across the Pond to experience the city’s many crowns, all to ensure that groups travelling with Rayburn Tours enjoy the very best on their concert tour. While Lidija is an old timer to the city that never sleeps, Merryn witnessed this bustling metropolis through fresh eyes. We chat to them both about their time in the Big Apple.
What stood out to you as a first time visitor?
Merryn: Any visitor to New York can’t help but be wowed by the diverse architecture on a grand scale – from towering skyscrapers to dramatic neo-Gothic churches. I also loved being able to experience those sights that have been made famous by the movies – Macy’s department store, Broadway, all the lights and videos in Times Square!
It also stood out to me how multicultural the city is. Everybody has a story, lots of different languages can be heard. You can meet the whole world in New York!
What is it about New York that makes it so special for musicians?
Merryn: New York is my absolute favourite place in the world! I totally fell in love with it because all of my favourite jazz and blues musicians have played there, and I was lucky enough to go to a couple of incredible gigs at The Village Vanguard to see the Bill Charlap Trio and Rockwood Music Hall to see Jim Campilongo trio.
It was fantastic to be able to attend incredible performances that we’d consider unique over here, but it’s just a normal week night in New York. I was walking on air after those evenings!
“It was amazing, the best travel experience I’ve ever had!”
What excursion would you recommend to any visitor to New York?
Lidija: My favourite excursion was the Liberty Statue Cruise. It’s a must for any visitor as it offers amazing views of the New York’s skyline and great photo opportunities of the Statue of Liberty and New York. We had the chance to climb to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty – again, great photo opportunities being so close to the most famous sights, and you can get up close to the Statue of Liberty.
The other great thing about this cruise is that you can also stop at the American Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island. I found it particularly poignant learning about the moving history of the populations that created today’s America.
Where can you find the best views of the city?
Merryn: While there are a number of places to get a great view of the city, Top of the Rock excursion on our first evening was a brilliant way of giving some context to the city’s layout. It took me a couple of days to learn the streets and avenues system, but it was really fun to get around by walking and using the metro. Seeing the buildings and landscape in a 360 degree setting was really amazing, especially at night!