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article imageOp-Ed: Walking around Washington, D.C. and New York City Special

By Matt Harding     Jun 30, 2011 in Travel
At midnight on Monday, June 27, I began my journey onto Washington, D.C. and New York City on the Megabus. My trip had finally arrived.
I had planned this trip for weeks. I even had to postpone it due to a conflict in my schedule. Needless to say, I was beyond ready when it arrived. I'd be leaving Detroit for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a Megabus hub which sends buses to many major cities on the east coast, including D.C. and New York.
We left just after midnight and arrived in Pittsburgh just after 5:15 a.m. I had a little over an hour to walk around. A few days before, I explored the city with my friend A.J., so, I knew the city pretty well already. (Aside: I'm not rich, Megabus offers $1 seats to a few places; Detroit to Pittsburgh is one route that can cost only $1). I walked across the 9th Street Bridge, otherwise known as the Rachel Carson Bridge. It's a simple five minute walk from where the Megabus stops. I took a few pictures and proceeded to walk across the other two bridges, mere streets away. For those not familiar with Pittsburgh, it's surrounded by the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers (which join to become the Ohio River); Pittsburgh also has more than ten bridges within a few mile radius, though, not all of them for pedestrians.
Pittsburgh skyline
Pittsburgh skyline
Sunrise in Pittsburgh
Sunrise in Pittsburgh
After I walked across the Andy Warhol Bridge (7th Street) and the Roberto Clemente Bridge (6th Street), I headed back to catch the Megabus to Washington, D.C. The bus was only a single decker (Megabus oftentimes has double deckers to and from larger hubs) and it was packed to the brim with not a single seat unoccupied.
However, I endured the five hour trip to D.C. and enjoyed looking out the window at the beauty of Pennsylvania. The bus arrived in Washington ahead of schedule and I was off, embarking on a journey that would have me walk well over ten miles.
I started walking around and wouldn't leave my feet the entire day, until around 9 p.m. when I stopped at a Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. Instead of rambling on about my experience, I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
U.S. Capitol
U.S. Capitol
The Jefferson Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background
The Jefferson Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background
The Jefferson Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument
Waterfalls at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Waterfalls at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
The Washington Mall
The Washington Mall
The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial
The fist of America! Lincoln Memorial  Washington  D.C.
The fist of America! Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The White House
The White House
The White House
The White House
The White House
The White House
 Manhattan  by Georgia O Keeffe featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
"Manhattan" by Georgia O'Keeffe featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
U.S. Capitol at night
U.S. Capitol at night
The bus for New York would leave at midnight and arrive in New York at five in the morning. I slept nearly the entire way, but awoke before most others to put in my contacts. It was a short sleep for a long day ahead. However, my excitement wouldn't let me sleep more if I tried.
We were dropped off at 7th Avenue and 28th Street; I began walking toward upper Manhattan. I had originally planned to stop at a diner nearby and wait for The High Line (read here) to open up at 7 a.m. Instead, I walked nearly 30 blocks uptown, seeing TImes Square, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall, among other famous sites. I turned back at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on 54th Street, home of The Late Show with David Letterman. I went back via 6th and 5th Avenue, zig-zagging my way through the city headed toward 30th Street and 10th Avenue.
New Yorkers showed their support of the recent gay marriage law
New Yorkers showed their support of the recent gay marriage law
I learned of the High Line in National Geographic. Instead of explaining it to you myself, I highly suggest this article and these pictures. Walking the High Line was one of the many highlights of the trip.
New York s  High Line  city park
New York's "High Line" city park
New York s  High Line  city park
New York's "High Line" city park
New York s  High Line  city park
New York's "High Line" city park
New York s  High Line  city park
New York's "High Line" city park
New York s  High Line  city park
New York's "High Line" city park
New York s  High Line  city park
New York's "High Line" city park
I proceeded to walk to lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers once stood. I was amazed to see the construction of One World Trade Center; not that I didn't know that they were building a new trade center, just at how incredible it was. I imagined the Twin Towers as I snapped shots of what will soon be the tallest building in the Americas.
One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center
I then decided I'd head to Liberty Island to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. The ferry ride over to the island was completely spontaneous. I thought I wouldn't be able to go there originally because of time constraints. However, it was only 9 a.m. when I set sail and I didn't have to catch the bus until 4:45 p.m. After I returned, I began my trek to the Brooklyn Bridge. Finding the bridge's mouth proved to be a pain as I wandered in and out of New York construction. I finally found it and walked across; then, I trekked the Manhattan Bridge, which was incredibly less traveled. After making it back to Manhattan, I walked through Chinatown. It was truly amazing to see the neighborhood, which felt like a city all on its own.
I began walking back uptown. By this time, it was probably around 1 p.m. I headed to the old residence of my music idol, Lady Gaga. She resided where I went, 176 Stanton Street, after she dropped out of New York University to pursue her music career.
From there, I headed back to the High Line where I enjoyed sitting and watching New Yorkers and tourists alike walk, run, and sit around me. The trip was the experience of a lifetime; my first time on the nation's east coast. Looking at it now, I realize, that sure was a long walk.
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
New York City
New York City
New York City
New York City
New York City
New York City
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Bridge
Chinatown from the Manhattan Bridge
Chinatown from the Manhattan Bridge
176 Stanton Street  former residence of Lady Gaga
176 Stanton Street, former residence of Lady Gaga
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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