top of page

Our Farewell to New York - Fear on the High Rise, Tall Houses and the Ghostbusters

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Time flies even faster than usual when you're travelling. Our three weeks in Florida were over faster than you can say "Key Lime Pie". The morning after our farewell day at the beach, we had to get up early. The suitcases were already packed and shortly before seven we left our beloved flat in the Shore Walk Full Condo in Bradenton complex in Bradenton and headed for Tampa airport.

We could get used to a roof-top bar like this at a lofty height.

After a leisurely 90-minute drive, it was with a heavy heart that we returned our rental car, a wonderful Chrysler Pacific that had served us faithfully for three weeks. We can indeed recommend this car unreservedly to all families on the road - a great car that we would have loved to take home with us.

Arriving at the airport, we quickly took a photo under the huge flamingo and waited for the United Airlines flight to New York over another coffee near our gate. For the second time in four weeks, we landed at Newark Airport. We were looking forward to our second visit to this crazy city and still had a lot to do. Especially the hotel we booked added to our anticipation.

The gigantic flamingo at Tampa Airport is a popular photo motif

On our first stay, we stayed at Elements Times Square New York and were very satisfied. This time, my wife surprised me by digging a little deeper into her wallet. She really wanted a hotel with a pool in a central location for our last two days or nights. She chose the Margaritaville Resort Times Square and it was truly excellent.

The Margaritaville Resort Times Square is an exceptional hotel.

The Margaritaville Resort Times Square is an extraordinary hotel, which is already apparent in the entrance area, where you are greeted by a large flip-flop. The entire hotel has a beach atmosphere, the dining room has a large Statue of Liberty, the pool on the sixth floor is really fun and the roof top bar on the 32nd floor tops it all off. We had floor-to-ceiling windows in our room, which gave us a wonderful view. All in all, a real stroke of luck!

The night view from the Roof Top Bar is great even without alcohol.

Once we arrived at the hotel and checked into our rooms, hunger inevitably led us to the streets of New York. You don't have to starve there if you have the necessary change in your pocket. We decided to experience fast food in the USA and after Burger King, Mc Donalds, Wendy's, Shake Shack, Chipotle, a classic hot dog stand and Dunkin Donuts, we wanted to try one or two more chains. By chance we ended up at a Taco Bell branch and stuffed ourselves with Mexican fast food. It was better than expected.

Full to the brim and in a positive mood, we headed back towards Times Square. We had a destination and wanted to visit two more flagship stores: The M&Ms and the Disney store. The former blew us away. The colourful chocolate drops were everywhere and in all shapes. There was merchandise in countless varieties and of course we left this sugar temple with bags of M&Ms. As the founder of an advertising agency, I can only say: a great touchpoint of the customer journey. Immediately afterwards, we took a seat on the stairs in Times Square, watched a bit of the dance show on the open-air stage and munched on M&Ms. Ideal after the Mexican food. The Disney Store was not nearly as impressive, although our expectations were very high, especially for Disney.

In the m&m's store you feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland. My look says it all.

We spent the rest of the day at the hotel pool and on the Roof Top Bar with great views. We enjoyed New York from head to toe.

On our last full New York day, we got back on the underground. There is one destination, anything but close to the centre, that should not be missed, especially with children: Coney Island. The ride from Manhattan took about an hour and it was well worth it.

Coney Island is a neighbourhood and entertainment district in the southwestern part of the New York borough of Brooklyn. The neighbourhood is bordered by Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to the east, Lower New York Bay to the south and west, Gravesend to the north, and includes the Sea Gate subdivision to the west. More broadly, Coney Island consists of Coney Island itself, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach. Many people mistakenly believe that Coney Island faces the Atlantic Ocean, but this is not true. Coney Island is on the Lower Bay, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean further south. The only part of New York City that actually faces the Atlantic Ocean is the Rockaways. Also, Coney Island used to be the westernmost of the Outer Barrier Islands on the south coast of Long Island.

Our arrival at Coney Island. Only a five-minute walk and you're at the beach.

Riding the underground to the end of the line, we had to walk another 5 minutes and finally stood in front of the surprisingly beautiful beach on Coney Island. New Yorkers have it good. A cosmopolitan city and wonderful beach access, publicly accessible. I was almost a little envious. Separated only by a boardwalk is the famous, but partly aging amusement park. However, we first went to the New York Aquarium, a great way to get to know the underwater world better. You should plan at least two hours for this visit if you want to see everything. It was an experience not only for the children.

The New York Aquarium is an absolute highlight on Coney Island.

Afterwards we got hot dogs, burgers and a corn dog - if you're going to go to Coney Island, then go for it. After a bag of ice cream, we went to Lunapark. I recommend taking a walk through beforehand and thinking about what you want to ride, because there are different providers and different point cards. If you're particularly brave, you can take a ride on the Cyclone, an almost 100-year-old wooden roller coaster that looks like it might collapse at any moment. My wife dared to go on the ride with our son. She briefly regretted not having made a will yet.

Coney Island not only has an amusement park, but also a beach!

Afterwards, we actually got to say goodbye to the sea again on the beach before heading back to Manhattan. Except for the seagull that mistook me for a toilet, it was a great experience and a great day. I say an absolute must-see when in New York. We spent the evening by the hotel pool and on the terrace after a load of New York pizza slices (tip for those on a budget). Our last night in New York, indeed in the States, had begun. We were a little sad.

Four weeks in the USA will pass. We really wanted to get started now, to buy a motorhome and drive to the West Coast without any time pressure. That would be a dream, but what isn't can still be - until then, however, we have to save a bit of money. If the math works out, it's cheaper to buy a car for a longer trip to the US and sell it at the end than to rent it. You just need the start-up capital, and that can make a family account sweat.

On this Thursday, 28 July 2022, our flight back to Vienna left, but not before 9.00 am, so we had almost a whole day left for some last New York adventures. In such a case, we recommend always asking at the reception if you can leave your suitcases at the hotel after checking out. In this case, we were even allowed to use the pool at the Margaritaville until we left for the airport. Very nice of the staff!

To make the most of the last few hours, we vacated our room as soon as we got up and had our luggage locked away by the hotel staff. We immediately set off, because we planned to really tire ourselves out. We really wanted to spend the night on the plane sleeping. We crossed to 6th Avenue, went to Le Pain Quotidien near Bryant Park for a rather overpriced breakfast and got some doughnuts for the children from a food cart (they didn't find anything in the restaurant that met their low expectations).

Strengthened and dusted with icing sugar, we finally made our way to One World Trade Center. This time we wanted to visit our third and tallest skyscraper. The impressive tower is 541.3 metres high, the tallest building in the United States since the topping-out ceremony on 10 May 2013 and currently the seventh tallest building in the world. The building was completed at the beginning of November 2014. The way there was about six kilometres long and we wanted to walk at least the way there.

On the way from the hotel to One World Trade Center. It's a long walk.

The way there showed us New York from another side. If you walk along 6th Ave, you pass some interesting corners, side streets and restaurants. Since it was very warm that day, we took a break after about an hour at a Five Guys restaurant. There are already two branches of this fast food chain in Vienna, but we hadn't been to one of them yet, so we went in. We weren't very hungry, so we stocked up on drinks and ordered fries. At Five Guys, the fries are made with the peel, which we liked. Here, too, we took advantage of the offer to refill our cups - which made the high prices a little more bearable.

After this break, we marched on. The way felt longer than it actually was, but it was not far to our intermediate destination. Even before our flight to the USA, it was clear to me that I had to go there. On the very last day, the time had finally come and I could finally have my picture taken in front of the Ghostbusters headquarters. For me as a film nerd, it was a great experience to stand in front of the old fire station, even though I knew that the interior scenes were actually shot in the film studios in Los Angeles.

I confess: I was as happy as a little child (I am still very childish).

A quarter of an hour later, we entered the One World Trade Center. At the hotel reception, we had received a voucher for 10 or 15 per cent off a visit to the observation deck. Our tip: In the States, always ask for vouchers in all hotels, you can often save a lot of money. With the exchange rate in the summer of 2022, this was not the worst idea, as one dollar was worth pretty much one euro. Our voucher was only valid online, so we booked on the spot via mobile phone. After a security check, we were off.

Even the way to the lifts is impressive. You walk through a dark corridor and get all kinds of impressive information about the history of the World Trade Center. The lift itself is absolutely amazing. The back three walls of the lift are screens and you start with a view below ground. When the lift finally starts shooting up the 102 floors, you see a film you won't forget. Fortunately, we recorded it with our mobile phones.

At the beginning, you see the area of New York as it looked a few thousand years ago, then the development runs in fast motion and you can observe how nature has changed, how the first people came, the first buildings and finally how the skyscrapers grow towards the sky. On the last upper floors, you see from the inside perspective how the One World Trade Center is built around you. It was great!

One should also see the One World Trade Center and its mall.

At the top, you get some information and, if necessary, a tablet for a digital tour, then a wall opens and you look out over the city from the 100th floor. I have to admit, I felt a little sick for a moment, but I really wanted to go on. The all-round view is fantastic, but unfortunately the windows inside have a poor anti-reflective coating and the photos are only partially successful. In this respect, the other two viewing platforms at Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center and One Summit Vanderbilt were better. But: From One World Trade Center, you can see further towards the Bay and also have a view of the Statue of Liberty, as small as a Lego figure. It was definitely worth it.

On our way back, we strolled through the colossal underground shopping mall Westfield World Trade Center. At short notice, we decided to walk the long way back to the hotel as well. After half an hour of forced walking, however, we decided to change our minds and took the metro. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the hotel pool until a nice Uber driver took us to JFK International Airport.

The flight back was a bit delayed, but it still turned out to be the best flight of my life: I got on, ate my dinner and fell asleep. When I was woken up by two good-looking women (the woman of my life and a stewardess) we were already about to land and breakfast was waiting for me. This great trip could not have had a better ending. One thing I know for sure: USA, we'll be back!

Our last picture of the Big Apple from the plane. It was not an easy farewell.

We look forward to your feedback and are open to a lively exchange. You also want to travel and like to travel often and have a question, just write us and comment.

Kind regards,

Steffi, Max and the kids

(Author of this blog: Max)

Shopping tips for New York fans

You like bathing and always want to be reminded of New York? That's no problem at all with Nick the friendly rubber duck.

Nick has dressed up as the Statue of Liberty and swims through the bath with you - buy it, he's great!


A locals' treasure map to the secret spots favored by true New Yorkers.

The "must-visit, must-see" travel list given to you by the New Yorker friend you wish you had. Vibrantly illustrated throughout, this practical guide transports readers to discover an insider's view of the Big Apple. The vivid watercolors illustrate destinations of the architectural marvels, cultural hubs, food and drink spots, and music venues that make New York so exciting. Cultural musings, accessible histories, anecdotes, and informative details accompany the illustrations throughout, making this volume as practical as it is beautiful.

The book features eleven curated neighborhood destination walks--guiding the reader through the energetic New York streets, passing restaurants and coffee shops, historical sights, museums and galleries, parks, and the kind of authentic and timeless sites that one hopes to find when imagining the city. Interwoven throughout are insider guides on how to eat like a New Yorker; explore the city's most beautiful parks and gardens; navigate transit via ferry, subway, and bike; visit some of NYC's most iconic TV and film locations.


Most of the links are affiliate links (advertising). When a booking or purchase is made via one of the links, the blog owner receives a small commission. However, the costs for the buyers do not increase. This way, the costs for hosting and website can be financed at least partially. Thank you for your understanding.

Small advertising agency, fair prices


bottom of page