United Nations headquarters in New York
As I only had one short week in New York, I knew I had to fit in as much as I possibly could in that time. The most valuable tool I used during the week was Frommers and their three day itineraries [1¦2¦3]. Can I just advise that if you do use the itineraries, go through them before you land in the city and mark of what days the attractions are closed? This is because unlike London, the museums are not open everyday (and they are not free either!). If I remember correctly, the CityPass does tell you opening times and days on the backs of each ticket, so check that out too.
“2.00pm [Tuesday 23 June 2009] Frommers! You're driving me mad! Between Frommers and CityPass, I landed up at the Met on a Monday and MoMA on a Tuesday without realising they are closed on those days. Unsure how to plan days now! Think I’ll go to the UN now which wasn’t on the schedule, then do the rest of day 1 except for MoMA.
Another thing Frommers neglected to mention in its recommendation of the Circle Line Tour is that it only runs at 11.30am and 3.30pm. Considering it takes two hours, that takes a huge chunk out of your morning!
Ha! This bus has a sun roof! How bizarre. And buses and subways trains have air-conditioning here which is pretty cool. More and more I’m impressed by how this city blows England out of the water when it comes to advancement an technology”
It is free to get into the United Nations complex but they have stringent security procedures that put airport procedures in the shade! You can't get into the complex when there are major conferences and councils in session.
Once you get into the UN, there isn't much to do if you don't go on a guided tour. You can visit the coffee shop or the book shops but that is it.
"3.00pm Arrived at United Nations. Decided to spend my dinner money on a $12.50 tour. I am visitor number 1,055,059 on what I believe is the 30th tour of the day. The tour only starts in 45 minutes but UN is closed [to the public] for the rest of the week (in session) and I think it is vitally important for me to go. Now after walking easily 4+ miles yesterday and already at least two today, I’ve decided to just rest until it is time for the tour. It doesn’t sound a lot but I’d like to see my friends walking for over an hour at a time! Plus, I’m not in sensible shoes today.
My, my, my. So I’m at the UN. Perhaps this visit can tell me once and for all if the UN is relevant or just a colossal, expensive bureaucracy?
The tour guides here are scary and there are a lot of power suits around. I still wish I had some sort of relevant skill and could work for the UN”.
The guided tour was really informative and interesting. I won’t bore you with all the details but I have begun to post about everything I learned over at my politics blog. You can read about the United Nations posts here if you want.
If you’re ever in New York and if you have an interest in Human Rights or international relations, then I would absolutely recommend a tour of the United Nations. In fact, I would certainly go again next time I visit.