New York: The Verdict

Autumn – or fall, as they say across the pond – is a beautiful time of year. The ground is littered with crisp auburn leaves while the trees have an ombre effect going on: from brown to orange to light green. I had fallen in love with autumn in England a long time ago – I’m a sucker for scenery. Little did I know that I could fall in love with it again, this time in the Big Apple.

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Times Square from the infamous red stairs

New York attracts some fifty million tourists each year but it certainly doesn’t feel like you’re one in such a large number. When you visit New York, you’re treated like you’re the first tourist to have ever walked the streets; to have ever wandered into Macy’s and been amazed by its sheer size; to have ever strolled through Times Square at night but felt like it was daytime, with the bright lights from the fence of billboards lighting up the place like a manufactured sun.

Pizza anyone?

Pizza anyone?

The weather isn’t too awful in autumn, either. There’s a drizzle in the morning but by midday you’re just round the corner from the One World Trade Center with a huge slice of pizza in the cosy sun, contemplating the magnitude of the place you’re in. It’s not too hot or too cold; nor is it too bitter or humid – New York City in October is a blessing and you do not regret visiting during the half-term, no matter how much work is waiting for you when you return home.

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Central Park: A man-made wonder

Central Park is another wonder of the magical city. It’s almost impossible to believe that you were walking down Fifth Avenue, marvelling at Tiffany & Co., the Apple Store and many other of the big brands usually confined to a small corner in your local shopping mall, and are now walking through a leafy, relaxing suburb-like area in the centre of the city that never sleeps. The colours in Central Park are gorgeous – more so than the colours here at home. They’re much more vivid yet soft and you simply don’t get tired of looking at them. I could walk in Central Park for hours.

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The view from Ellis Island

There are of course many other things to do when in New York City: the Empire State Building beckons, as does the wonderful Statue of Liberty and all of the freedom and hope she entails. For those who like a bit of history, take the trip on the ferry (although a wee bit too breezy for those of us with long locks) to Ellis Island and explore the sheer volume of history and humanity that occurred on the very spot you’re standing on. And don’t forget to look across the water. There, you will find the view that captivates so many hearts – I’m convinced it could cure hopelessness and despair. Look on at the city. The big, big city. It looks right back at you.

Visiting New York in the autumn is a wise choice. There is nothing to regret, other than the fact the ticket you bought wasn’t one-way.