New York Travel Guide

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Central Park in Spring

Central Park in Spring

Joseph Hollick

The Big Apple needs no introduction. New York is everything you've ever dreamed of and a whole lot more. There are so many activities to engage in on any given day that the city may seem overwhelming at first. When you walk between the towering skyscrapers and the many world famous New York Hotels you feel small, and let's face it -- you are. New York City is like a small universe with literally thousands of restaurants to choose from. You will find every type of person on earth represented here, not only at the United Nations, but also on the busiest of streets and in the many boroughs located throughout New York City. Flip through just about any New York travel guide and you will find that some of the major highlights of New York City are the many museums, the architecture, and the endless shopping possibilities, especially along Madison Avenue. 

One visit is not enough to cover one or two New York activities -- one week is not enough to discover a good number of New York restaurants and sights. New York has the magic to keep bringing you back often and for longer stays. Broadway theaters, The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Staten Island Ferry (free), Canal Street vendors, and hundreds of other attractions and activities will make you a regular visitor.

Top New York Neighborhoods

Greenwich Village: If the winding streets of this historic neighborhood could talk, they would speak of poverty and prosperity, free love and socialism, gay rights and reform.  In Washington Square Park, you may catch a jam session in which anyone can participate.

Chinatown: This old New York neighborhood is one of the largest Chinatowns in the United States. Founded in the late 1870's by Chinese immigrants, Chinatown offers a unique historical and cultural experience not found anywhere else in the world. Recently, some non-Asian hotspots have opened and created quite a stir.

Little Italy: Just walk across Canal Street from Chinatown and you will think you are in Italy.  Little Italy is bustling with Italian markets, Italian restaurants and Italian shops.  If you like Italian food, this is the place to find genuine Italian cuisine.

Chelsea: Known for its many nightspots and art galleries; club-goers party at Cheetah, Twilo and Rebar and Pastis.

Upper West Side: Solid (often neo-gothic or Victorian) architecture. Yuppies, successful artists and apartment-sharing twenty-somethings flock here. Today, the buildings along Central Park West house some of the citys most notoriously picky co-op boards (Jerry Seinfeld, approved; Madonna, denied).  Also, adding much color is the world's premiere Jewish Orthodox singles scene.  One cannot venture north of 90th Street on Amsterdam or Columbus Avenues without noticing.

The Bronx:  Home to the New York Yankees, the Bronx offers much to visitors and citizens alike.

Top Ten Things to Do in New York

Central Park:  The green lung of Manhattan. Surprisingly, you can drive through Central Park, as Sixth Ave. ends there, and if you drive through the center of the Park, you will end up in Harlem. www.centralparknyc.org

Bronx Zoo: The largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, the Bronx Zoo comprises 265 acres of parklands and naturalistic habitats -- home to over 4,000 animals, many of which are endangered or threatened species. The Zoo contains a number of unique habitats -- areas designed to replicate the homes of their inhabitants as closely as possible. Jungle World, for instance, is an indoor rain forest where Asian gibbons, hornbills, tapirs, and many other rare species live among equally rare and beautiful plants and trees.  Himalayan Highland Habitat is the home of the red panda, snow leopard and white-naped crane. www.bronxzoo.com

Empire State Building: At 102 stories, the Empire State Building is one of the world’s most recognizable skyscrapers. The 1,454-foot tall building features an observatory on the 86th floor that’s open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m-2:00 a.m. The last elevators go up at 1:15 a.m. www.esbnyc.com

Times Square: You’ve seen it in hundreds of movies and it is the most famous square on planet earth – no trip to New York would be complete without a visit to spectacular Times Square. Ad you may very well know, Times Square is packed with popular New York restaurants such as Frankie and Johnnie’s and Zanzibar as well as Broadway theaters, hundreds of places to shop, concert venues, festivals, street performers, and more. Plan to spend the entire day exploring New York’s Time Square. Times Square is located at 42nd Street where 7th Avenue and Broadway cross. www.timessquare.com

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: Take a fun ferry ride to Ellis Island to explore the Ellis Island Museum. Then take a 15-minute ferry ride to Liberty Island to visit the world’s most famous landmark – the Statue of Liberty. www.statueoflibertyferry.com

Metropolitan Museum of Art: This 2 million square feet museum covering roughly four blocks, is the largest art museum in the western hemisphere. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection consist of close to 3 million paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from around the world. The museum is open every day except Monday. www.metmuseum.org

New York Botanical Garden: The New York Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in America – it is also one of the largest. The New York Botanical Garden features 50 gardens and collections, horticultural displays in several pavilions, Haupt Conservatory, and dozens of walking trails. The sight covers 250 acres, including approximately 50 acres of New York’s original Forest. www.nybg.org

American Museum of Natural History: The American Museum of Natural History is the world’s largest museum of natural history. The facility houses 32 million artifacts and specimens throughout 45 exhibition halls. The museum is located a Central Park West at West 79th Street. www.amnh.org

Chinatown: Chinatown New York City, the largest Chinatown in the United States, is located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Manhattan.  The largest Chinatown outside of Asia is in San Francisco.  Founded in the late 1870's by Chinese immigrants, Chinatown offers a unique historical and cultural experience not found anywhere else in the world. Recently, some non-Asian hotspots have opened and created quite a stir.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a 52-acre living museum and garden featuring a Japanese Garden with a pond and traditional Japanese gate called a torii gate. Other highlights include the Fragrance Garden, the Shakespeare Garden and the Cranford Rose Garden, which houses 5,000 bushes of 1,200 varieties. www.bbg.org

 

Contributors

December 08, 2006 change by waterfalls (2 points)

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