Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the world's greatest museums, the Met is also the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere. The Met's Permanent Collection includes American Decorative Arts, American Paintings and Sculptures, Ancient Near Eastern Art, Asian Art, European Paintings and Decorative Arts and Egyptian Art, including the spectacular Temple of Dendur. When canvas and marble overwhelm you, turn to the temples, courtyard gardens, and silky dresses that also make up the collections.
COST: $15 suggested donation.
OPEN: Tues.-Thurs. and Sun. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 9:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Times Square is a whirling chaos of flashing lights, honking horns, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, and the most frenetic part of New York City. With huge billboards of underwear models, superfast digital displays of world news and stock quotes, on-location broadcasts at television studios, and countless other technologically sophisticated allurements, you'll be mesmerized by its usual high-wattage thunder.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building, a New York City landmark and a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1931 and at the time, was the tallest building in the world (it’s still ranked seventh). Atop the 86th-floor observatory (1,050 feet high), you can see up to 80 mi on a clear day. But at night the city's lights are dazzling. The French architect Le Corbusier said, "It is a Milky Way come down to earth." The building is equally stunning from afar. Its pencil-slim silhouette is an art deco monument to progress, a symbol for New York City, and a star in some great romantic scenes, on- and off-screen. The Empire State Building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets, in midtown Manhattan.
Museum of Modern Art
A "modernist dream world" is how critics described the museum after its $425 million face-lift. Yoshio Taniguchi, the Japanese architect responsible for the six-story structure, said he wanted to "create an environment rather than simply making a building." Indeed, soaring galleries suffused with natural light hold such masterpieces as Monet's Water Lilies, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Van Gogh's Starry Night. But it's the museum itself that is the attraction.
"A drive-through cathedral" is how the critic James Wolcott describes one of New York's noblest and most recognized landmarks. Spanning the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan island to the once-independent city of Brooklyn. A walk across the bridge's promenade -- a boardwalk elevated above the roadway and shared by pedestrians, in-line skaters, and bicyclists -- takes about 40 minutes, from Manhattan's civic center to the heart of Brooklyn Heights. It's well worth the walk for the astounding views.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Presented to the United States in 1886 as a gift from France, Lady Liberty has become a near-universal symbol of freedom and democracy, standing a proud 152 feet high, on top of an 89-foot pedestal (executed by Richard Morris Hunt), on Liberty Island. You get a taste of the thrill millions of immigrants must have experienced as you approach Liberty Island on the ferry from Battery Park.
Opened on January 1, 1892, Ellis Island became the nation's premier federal immigration station. In operation until 1954, the station processed over 12 million immigrant steamship passengers. The main building was restored after 30 years of abandonment and opened as a museum on September 10, 1990.
Today, over 40 percent of America's population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island. For reservations please go to: www.statuereservations.com.
American Museum of Natural History
As seen in the movie ”Night at the Museum”, the American Museum of Natural History, with 45 exhibition halls and more than 32 million artifacts and specimens, the world's largest and most important museum of natural history can easily occupy you for half a day The spectacular dinosaur halls alone make for a thrilling visit. Add the Rose Center for Earth and Space, a 94-foot blue whale, and the Hall of Mammals, and you've only scratched the surface of the millions of artifacts and specimens housed at the museum.
Amid its 843 acres of meandering paths, tranquil lakes, ponds, and open meadows, Central Park plays host to equestrians, softball players, ice-skaters, roller skaters, rock climbers, bird-watchers, boaters, chess and checkers aficionados, theater- and concert-goers, skateboarders, and more. But nearly everyone occasionally takes the time to escape the rumble of traffic, walk through the trees, and feel, at least for a moment, far from the urban frenzy.
When it opened its gates in 1899, 843 animals were exhibited in small cages and enclosures. Today, this 265-acre zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States. It has more than 4,500 animals, representing more than 600 species, many of which live in outdoor settings designed to re-create their habitats. You're often separated from them by no more than a moat or wall of glass. Some of the Zoo’s best habitats include Congo Forest, where one can come up close and personal with lowland gorillas, Tiger Mountain, with its six Siberian Tigers, and the Africa Plains, home to lions, giraffes, zebras and cheetahs.
Today the name of SoHo is synonymous with a certain style—an amalgam of black-clad artists, hotshot investors, and media moguls darting between expansive loft apartments, chic boutiques, and packed-to-the-gills restaurants. It's all very urban, very cool, very now. Before the 1970s, though, these two areas were virtual wastelands. SoHo (so named because it is the district South of Houston Street, roughly bounded by Lafayette, Canal Street, and 6th Avenue) was regularly referred to as "Hell's Hundred Acres" because of the many fires that raged through the untended warehouses crowding the area. It was saved by two factors: first, preservationists discovered the world's greatest concentration of cast-iron architecture and fought to prevent demolition; and second, artists discovered the large, cheap, well-lighted spaces that these cavernous structures provide.
By 1980 SoHo's trendy galleries, shops, and cafés, together with its marvelous cast-iron buildings and vintage Belgian-block pavements (the 19th-century successor to traditional cobblestones), had made SoHo such a desirable area that only the most successful artists can afford it. However, the arrival of large chain stores such as Pottery Barn and J. Crew has given some blocks the feeling of an outdoor shopping mall.
More NYC Information
These attractions and sites just scratch the surface of all there is to do and see in New York City. More information about New York City can be found at these websites: www.nycvisit.com, newyork.citysearch.com, www.nyc.com.
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