After approximately eight hours of driving we finally arrived at New York, or the Big Apple. Fritiof was driving the last miles past New York. Even though we were completely close to the well-known island of Manhattan, we didn’t stay there. Instaid we moved on towards Amagansett, a small town two hours east of New York. It was pretty quiet in the car, since everyone was so excited about seeing all the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Luckily, we were going to go back to New York the next day!
Fritiof and Alex at the beach in Amagansett.
Fritiofs second cousins live in Amagansett, that’s the reason why we went there! They welcomed us with – believe it or not – Swedish food. After eating dinner, we just wanted to relax and enjoy our holiday for a while. We walked by the beach and played golf with our wealthy innkeepers in the afternoon. Although they are in fact of Swedish origin, they do not speak Swedish at all. They, as many other Europeans, emigrated to the USA in the early 20th century, with the aim of starting a new succesful life. They wanted to be a part of The American Dream! Fritiof’s grand-uncle explained that more than four million American citizens are Americans with Swedish descent! With more than 500 000 Swedes, Minnesota is the home to most of the Swedish Americans in the US.
The next day, it was back to serious business. We drove all the way back to Manhattan to experience what a huge city really is like. And it was crowded! People were all over the streets, cars honking on each other, yellow cabs everywhere. They could barely fit between the seventy-storey buildings squeezed into an island less than half the size of Hisingen. We had never seen a city like this before in our lifes! Our plan was to get to Ground Zero, the site were the Twin Towers used to add a silhouette to the New York skyline.
The second day we decided to visit Ground Zero. On the 11th of September 2001, two hijacked airplanes crashed into the twin towers of World Trade Center, and it shook the entire country. Americans are generally very patriotic and reacted strongly about the terrorist attack. Ground zero is the place were the Twin Towers used to be. Now, a new skyscraper is taking form, called Freedom Tower.What kind of name is that huh? But that’s what USA is all about, freedom.
If a random New Yorker would have asked us about New York, we’d probably say it’s an upperclass city with modern high-rises almost everywhere. But that’s not the truth. Jamila came up with a brilliant idea. She explained that Harlem is a different neighborhood in northern Manhattan. The crime rate there is much higher than in the other parts of New York. In the early 20th century crime increased, especially between different gangs because of drugs. Fortunately it’s much better nowadays. Tourist from all over the world are visiting Harlem as well as Manhattan.
Almost everyone know that New York is a multicultural city. People from all over the world live here. Litteraly. There are most white Europeans who live in this big city. But among them there are tons of other people! For example Asians. Chinatown is the highest concentration of Chinese people in America. The fourth day in the state of New York, we took the subway to discover Chinatown!
Alex and Golnaz at Times Square!
To the Batmobile! Washington awaits!