One of the things I noticed is that I felt relatively at home in spite of its huge size. Maybe it's because the city is organised in such a way that it is very easy to find your way, maybe it's just because I walked so much around on my first day that my feet hurt, of maybe simply because of the constant feeling of being in a familiar place.
The AirBnb I stayed at was located on the Upper West Side, near Central Park, so that's where I went first thing in the morning on my first day. I passed Strawberry Fields, dedicated to John Lennon (though where the strawberries are, I couldn't tell), and full of tourists taking pictures with the "Imagine" sign on the ground...
... and continued walking aimlessly until I arrived at a lake from where I had my first glimpse of the New York skyline. A bit less imposing from this vantage point, particularly given the peaceful setting. I think I would spend hours in Central Park if I lived in New York.
I spent the day following some of the tips given to me by a good friend of mine.
"You have to go to the Highline! It's a very interesting place"
"The One World Observatory is not to be missed! The view is amazing" (which it was)
The skyscraper is as impressive seen from the ground as its view is from the top.
The strongest moment for me that day was visiting the 9/11 Memorial, engraved with the names of all the victims of the terrorist attack. I found it was a very moving place. The continuous flow of water gives it a peaceful atmosphere. I hope people find some solace here.