New York City - AttractionGuide

New York

Welcome to MetroGuide Networks' overview of New York-area attractions. The Greater New York area is full of attractions for all ages. New York City – the so-called Big Apple, America's largest city and home of the Statue of Liberty National Monument – reigns as capital of the world, an economic powerhouse with the most diverse selection of entertainment, museums and restaurants imaginable. Destruction of the World Trade Center has altered New York City's skyline, but not its indestructible spirit, and visitors from everywhere continue flocking to the “city that never sleeps" -- even when it's dark. In synch with New York City accommodations, fitting any budget and taste, New York City also boasts a restaurant to fit every palate and pocketbook, from mom and pop delis and pasta places to five-star bastions of exclusivity. Manhattan and Staten Island are islands; Queens and Brooklyn are on the western tip of Long Island. So, of New York City's five boroughs, only the Bronx is part of the mainland. Yet, there is an island that‘s part of the Bronx and yet feels like a New England fishing village: City Island, a marine-related community with fishing, boating, restaurants and snack bars. For the record, Manhattan has no Main Street, although there is a Main Street in each of the other boroughs and on Roosevelt Island. Why is New York City called the Big Apple? In the 1920s, John Fitzgerald, a sportswriter for the Morning Telegraph overheard stable hands in New Orleans refer to NYC's racetracks as "the Big Apple" so he named his column "Around the Big Apple." A decade later, jazz musicians adopted (and adapted) the term in reference to New York City, especially Harlem, as the world's jazz capital. As lore goes, there are many apples on the tree of success, but when you pick New York City, you pick the Big Apple.

Below is a list of some suggested things to do and see in the New York Metropolitan Area, with links to more details when available.

American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, in Midtown Manhattan, offers permanent and changing exhibits covering Asian, American Indian, Pacific islanders, South American, Aztec and Mayan cultures. It also features one of the world's largest fossils displays, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Apatosaurus, plus other exhibits ranging from human body to animals and minerals.
Central Park West at 79th Street. (212) 769-5100
Apollo Theater
A major entertainment landmark, Harlem's Apollo Theater was originally known as Hurtig & Seamon's New (Burlesque) Theater, with vaudeville and burlesque for white audiences. In 1934, Frank Schiffman, a white entrepreneur, started showcasing leading black entertainers for mixed audiences, putting the Apollo forever on the map. Legends such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Dinah Washington played the Apollo, where amateur nights jump-started careers for Pearl Bailey, James Brown, and Gladys Knight. Wednesday is amateur night. Back-stage tours, in groups of up to 20 take place daily, linking past, present and future. Gift shop merchandise includes vintage Apollo items.
253 West 125th Street, near Frederick Douglass Boulevard. (212) 749-5838
Bronx Magnetism
As for the Bronx, some say how Swede it is, since it was settled in 1639 and named for the Swedish settler Jonas Bronck. More than 60 landmarks and historic districts are in the Bronx, including the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage on the Grand Concourse and the Van Cortlandt Mansion and Museum in Van Cortlandt Park. Wave Hill, a former private estate once home to Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt, among others, has spectacular views overlooking the Hudson River and New Jersey's soaring 500-foot cliffs, the Palisades. Its 28-acres, given to the city for use as a public garden, also has wooded paths, herb and flower gardens, and benches for contemplation. The Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park show cases more than 600 species indoor in indoor/outdoor environments.
Bronx Zoo, Fordham Road, off the Bronx River Parkway. (718) 367-1010
Edgar Allen Poe Cottage, Poe Park, 2460 Grand Concourse. (718) 881-8900
Van Cortlandt Mansion and Museum, Broadway at 246th Street, Van Cortlandt Park, Riverdale. (718) 543-3344
Wave Hill, 675 West 252nd Street. (718) 549-3200
Brooklyn Children's Museum
Open since 1899, Brooklyn Children's Museum is the world's first for youngsters, with nearly 27,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens. The Museum's first home was in Adams Building, a Victorian mansion in Brooklyn's Bedford Park, in 1923 renamed Brower Park. Parlor rooms and halls held exhibits, with workshops and a library upstairs. Youngsters were encouraged to participate, not just look. Driving force Anna Billings Gallup becoming curator in 1904, and invented ways for children to use the Museum. During the 1930s Depression, federal WPA workers made improvements, while the Museum expanded its take-home program, now called the Portable Collections. After WWII, the BCM helped children prepare for the "space age." By 1967, the expanded BCM's Adams and Smith mansions were deemed beyond repair. Temporary space, called “The Muse,” in a renovated pool hall and auto showroom opened in 1968, leading to experiments with dance and music classes. In 1977, BCM's Brower Park building opened on the Smith mansion site with other building structures recycled into the architecture. Visitors enter through a trolley kiosk from the 1900's. A "People Tube" -- a huge sewer pipe -- connects four exhibit floors, and a corn oil tank serves as "The Tank" -- an amphitheater.
45 Brooklyn Avenue, at St. Marks Avenue. (718) 735-4400
Bryant Park
A park since 1842, Bryant Park's midtown location – one block from Times Square – is a big lunch hour destination in warm weather, typically hosting more than 5,000 workers on a football field-sized lawn. Amenities include a French-style carousel (mid-park on 40th Street), chess tables, free yoga classes, 25,000 varieties of flowers, and free wireless access. Bryant Park provides multiple venues for year-round events and gatherings. Six flower beds border Bryant Park's lawn to the north and south—three on the shady south side and three on the sunny north. Along the northern and southern sides are twin promenades bordered by London plane trees (Platanus acerifolia), the same species found at the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, and contributing to Bryant Park's European aura.
Behind New York Public Library between 40th and 42nd streets.
Carnegie Hall
Since Walter Damrosch conducted the first "Young People's Concert" in 1891, Carnegie Hall has taught all ages about music. Each season includes concerts for families, workshops for teachers and musicians, programs for students and schools, and free concerts in NYC neighborhoods. One-hour backstage tours, (212) 903-9765, detail the story of Andrew and Louise Carnegie and how the Hall was saved from demolition in 1960. Carnegie's century-long performance tradition showcased artists from Tchaikovsky to Mahler, from Horowitz to Callas to Bernstein, Judy Garland and the Beatles. Gift shop merchandise strikes a chord celebrating the Hall's 111-year-plus history.
Corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue. (212) 247-7800
Central Park
Designed in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, envisioning a wooded urban oasis from treeless, rocky terrain and stagnant swampland, Central Park is New York City's backyard -- a place where people of all social and ethnic backgrounds mingle. The 843-acre Central Park, covering six percent of Manhattan, has more than 26,000 trees, 58 miles of scenic paths, and nearly 9,000 benches on 843 acres. Attracting 25 million people a year, it also houses the Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center, lakes, boathouse, sports facilities and entertainment. Four visitor centers are: Belvedere Castle, a 19th century stone castle and home to the Henry Luce Nature Observatory; The Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop, in a Victorian building with a reference library; Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, with hands-on exhibits; and North Meadow Recreation center, with indoor/outdoor climbing walls, basketball and handball courts. At least eight different free, volunteer-led walking tours are sponsored by the Central Park Conservancy, (212) 360-2726.
Belvedere Castle, mid-park at 79th Street. (212) 772-0210
The Dairy at Central Park, Mid-Park at 65th Street. (212) 794-6567
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, 110th Street and Lenox Avenue. (212) 860-1370
North Meadow Recreation Center, mid-park at 97th Street. (212) 348-4867
Cheapies and Freebies
New York City has hundreds of no-cost or low-cost pleasures from concerts, plays, and museums to TV show tapings, and tours throughout the five boroughs. For a start on cheapies and freebies, drop by NYC's Official Visitor Information Center at 810 Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street, the City Hall Park Visitor Information Kiosk downtown at the southern tip of City Hall Park, or the Harlem Visitor Information Kiosk uptown at the State Office Building plaza at 163 West 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Awaiting are hundreds of brochures and expert, multilingual visitor counselors to advise on all things New York.
Chelsea Piers
Saved from being paved over by a failed highway project, historic Chelsea Piers has emerged into a $120 million privately financed 30-plus acre waterfront sports-entertainment complex housing a golf driving range, ice- and roller-skating, bowling, and a health club. With the Statue of Liberty National Monument as part of the panorama, four once-neglected piers – 59, 60, 61, and 62 – also have shops and restaurants. Luxury liners of yesteryear once departed from the Piers amid hoopla and champagne. In 1910, the Chelsea Piers debuted with speeches noting eight-years of construction after three decades of talk. In 1907, even before the Piers were done, the Lusitania and Mauretania docked there. For the next 50 years, Chelsea Piers was the city's premier passenger ship terminal, an embarkation point for WWI and WWII soldiers, and finally, a cargo terminal. Obsolescence struck with jets and container ships requiring facilities Manhattan could never provide. Redevelopment of the four surviving Chelsea Piers brings to mind the days when the famed White Star and Cunard lines, with as many as 20 stacks in view, prepared to sail. As the high and mighty disembarked, so did immigrants from steerage below, by 1910 arriving daily by the thousands. Most ships came first to Chelsea Piers, before transferring to ferries bound for Ellis Island and freedom.
Golf Club, Pier 59. (212) 336-6400
Sports Center, Pier 60. (212) 336-6000
Sky Rink, Ice Hockey, Pier 61. (212) 336-6100
Roller Rink, Field House, Pier 62. (212) 336-6500, (212) 336-6200
Chinatown and Civic Center
In Lower Manhattan adjacent to the Civic Center, New York City's Chinatown, a packed neighborhood still growing rapidly, is the largest Chinatown in the U.S., with the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere! Both a tourist attraction and the home of the majority of Chinese New Yorkers, Chinatown has hundreds of restaurants (especially on Mott, Pell and Doyers streets), booming fruit and fish markets, and shops for knickknacks and sweets on winding, crowded streets. The Civic Center, anchored by City Hall, is a landmark building which has been the seat of City government for 186 years. The Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MoCa) has exhibits of national scope.
Museum of Chinese in the Americas, 70 Mulberry Street at Bayard. (212) 619-4785
Chrysler Building
Built for auto tycoon Walter Chrysler in “Style Moderne,” the building exemplifies the machine age in architecture, symbolic of 1920s New York. In the summer of 1929, Chrysler was battling Wall Street's Bank of Manhattan Trust Company for the title of world's tallest building. In spring, 1930, just when it looked like the bank would prevail for the coveted title, Chrysler's crew jacked a needle-thin spire through the top of the crown to claim the title of world's tallest at 1,046 feet. Since Chrysler wanted not only the world's tallest structure, but also a bold structure, he decorated his skyscraper with hubcaps, mudguards, and hood ornaments, just like his cars, hoping such a distinctive building would make his car company a household name. The Chrysler Building is now recognized as New York City's greatest display of Art Deco, characterized by sharp angular or zigzag surface forms and ornaments. Four months after completion of the Chrysler Building, the new Empire State Building claimed title of the world's tallest.
405 Lexington Avenue.
The Cloisters
The Cloisters, in upper Manhattan, is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art including parts of five French cloisters, a Romanesque chapel, and gardens.
Fort Tryton Park. (212) 937-3700.
Cooper-Hewitt - National Design Museum
Housed in the Andrew Carnegie mansion and considered the design authority of the United States, Cooper-Hewitt - National Design Museum, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation's only museum devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Holdings encompass diverse, comprehensive collections of design works, tracing history of design through more than 250,000 objects spanning 23 centuries from the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.) to the present. Special strengths of the library include a 6,500-volume rare book collection and a world's fair collection containing more than 1,000 items from guides to ephemera.
Corner of Fifth Avenue and 91st Street. (212) 839-8351.
Ellis Island
Lower Manhattan's Ellis Island, point of entry to millions of immigrants from 1892 to 1924, has exhibits relating the history of the processing station. Among immigrants passing through and going on to illustrious careers are: Irving Berlin, musician, arrived in 1893 from Russia; Marcus Garvey, politician, arrived 1916 from Jamaica; Bob Hope, comedian, arrived in 1908 from England; Knute Rockne, football coach, arrived in 1893 from Norway; and the von Trapp family of "Sound of Music" fame, arrived in 1938 from Austria.
New York Harbor, near Statue of Liberty National Monument. (212) 269-5755.
Empire State Building
Midtown's famed Empire State Building, at 1,454 feet tall, was built in 1931 in Art Deco style with 2 million square feet of office space and an observation tower on the 102nd floor. Construction took one year and 45 days including Sundays and holidays with 7 million man hours. The cost ($24,718,000) was halved by onset of the Depression, with the total cost ending at $40,948,900, including land. The observation area is open 365 days from 9:30 a.m. to midnight, with the last elevator heading up at 11:15 p.m.
350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. (212) 736-3100
Fashion Flair
Informing and inspiring clothes horses, New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) shows off thousands of designer costumes, accessories, fabrics and the work of renowned fashion photographers in the Institute's free museum. Dedicated to documentation of fashion and style for all levels of society, the museum interprets design from magnificent Balenciagas to sturdy denim within social and cultural contexts. For a fashion update, Macy's group tour, at $10 per person, discusses the history of the world's largest department store, from 1857 beginnings to its status today with more than two million square feet of selling space.
Fashion Institute of Technology, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. (212) 217-5800
Macy's, 151 West 34th Street, Visitor Center on 34th Street Balcony. (212) 695-4400
Flatiron Building
The triangular shape of the Flatiron Building (an early skyscraper) produced wind currents that made women's skirts billow, spurring police to create the term “23 skiddoo” when shooing away gawkers assembling for the show. The building apex, just six feet wide, expands into a limestone wedge adorned with Gothic and Renaissance details of Greek faces and terra cotta flowers.
175 Fifth Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd streets.
Grant's Tomb
Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War general and two-term U.S. president, rests beside his wife Julia in the largest mausoleum in the U.S. The two grand sarcophagi are modeled after Napoleon's tomb in Les Invalides in Paris. The white granite mausoleum overlooking the Hudson River and Riverside park was completed in 1897, and also displays Grant memorabilia and Civil War artifacts. More than one million people attended the parade and dedication ceremony of Grant's Tomb, on April 27, 1897. Admission is free.
122nd Street and Riverside Drive. (212) 666-1640
Green-Wood Cemetery
Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, an “outdoor museum” filled with extraordinary works of sculpture and architecture, is home to graves of national figures including musical great Leonard Bernstein, artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, newspaperman Horace Greeley and William “Bill the Butcher” Poole, the 19th-century gang leader depicted in Martin Scorsese's film Gangs of New York. The cemetery conducts regular public tours year-round for $10. Self-guided walking tours are also available.
500 25th Street, Brooklyn. (718) 788-7850
Greenwich Village
Lower Manhattan's Greenwich Villages, east, central, and west, are long the focal point of New York's artistic and literary life, and a popular visitor attraction with lively street activity in and around historic Washington Square.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop
Daily interactive, hands-on tours of the future site of the Ground Zero Museum, located about an 8-minute cab or subway ride from the Ground Zero site, including the Gary Marlon Suson collection of photographs illustrating recovery efforts, and artifacts recovered from the remains of the 9/11 attack, are given every day in English, French, Spanish and Italian, located in Manhattan's Meat Packing District. Tours are 90 minutes in length, and advance purchase of tickets is required.
420 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor (between 9th Avenue and Washington Street), Manhattan. (212) 209-3370
Inside CNN
Tracing the history of journalism and the CNN news gathering process with insight on how control rooms operate, Inside CNN provides guided 45-minute tours departing every 10 minutes, at the Time Warner Center.
10 Columbus Circle, near southwest corner of Central Park, between West 58th and 60th Streets. (866) 4-CNN-NYC.
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Built to resemble a small Himalayan Temple, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art is one of only two Himalayan-style, monastery buildings in the Western world and is the only one in the U.S. An intricate altar within this little known treasure was blessed by H.H. the Dalai Lama in 1991. The museum collection includes Tsong Khapa (1357-1410) in unbaked, painted clay from the 14th century and Shakyamuni Buddha, in gilded metal alloy from 18th century China. Also on grounds are meditation gardens, and a pond for lotus and fish. The museum's gift shop stocks items handmade by Tibetans living in exile, along with fine art reproductions, jewelry, mysterious ritual objects, unusual books, sacred music CDs, incense and many exotic, one-of-a-kind items. Events and programs throughout the year include the annual Tibetan Rug Bazaar, a Walking Meditation Series, and a Tibetan Festival with henna body painting. In a residential neighborhood, museum parking is limited and visitors are asked to guard against blocking driveways. Hours throughout the year are Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for adults, and $3 for seniors/students.
338 Lighthouse Avenue, Staten Island. (718) 987-3500
The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum, in Upper Manhattan, is the largest such museum in the world outside Israel, with exhibitions covering 4,000 years of Jewish art, history and culture.
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street. (212) 423-3200
Little Italy
Little Italy in Lower Manhattan, and the place to buy Italian cheeses, sausages and breads, is an excellent place for immersion into Old World atmosphere. In summer, al fresco dining on Mulberry Street is reminiscent of an evening in Naples or Rome.
Long Island Vineland Tour
Tour the vineyards and taste the wines produced at the east end of Long Island, in limousines and party buses with a variety of packages available. 111 Albany Avenue, Freeport. (718) 946-3868
Madame Tussauds New York
In Times Square, Madame Tussauds provides schmooze opportunity with famed personas, where visitors can stand beside life-like replicas of A-listers, icons, world leaders, and politicians. Interactive action includes Sing for Simon on American Idol and Chamber of Horrors, Madame's scariest exhibit.
234 West 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues. (212) 512-9600, (800) 246-8872
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, on Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets, has long been the venue for things memorable, from the NFL Draft, CBS Television's Fall Premiere, Con Edison's Shareholder Meetings, Product Launches for Intel, presidential birthday fetes including when Marilyn Monroe sang happy birthday to JFK, and religious conferences. The Madison Square Garden Theater is home to the timeless holiday classic, A Christmas Carol.
4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York. (212) 307-7171
Manhattan by Sail
The Shearwater Classic Schooner at North Cove, built in the prohibition era, and the topsail schooner Clipper City at the South Street Seaport tour the Manhattan skyline 7 days a week.
(212) 619-0907
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world's great museums, features Egyptian, Greek and Roman art collections, as well as European and Oriental paintings and sculptures, antiques, plus other art forms from around the globe.
Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. (212) 570-3711
Museum of American Financial History
Tracing growth, opportunity and entrepreneurship, the Museum of Financial History, showcases Wall Street activity, the role of capital markets as engines of progress, and American business achievements. The Museum occupies the site of Alexander Hamilton's law office and the former headquarters of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, directly opposite the famous "Charging Bull" statue. Collection items include ticker tape from the 1929 crash, a working model stock ticker, and the earliest photograph of Wall Street. As the 35th affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum's message is how a democratic free market economy creates growth and opportunity -- the story of the American dream. The Museum serves as a good starting point for visits to the Financial District.
28 Broadway. (212) 908-4609
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan displays 20th century paintings, sculptures, drawings, and more.
11 West 53rd Street. (212) 708-9480
New York Boat Brunch Cruises
On Sundays from noon to 2 p.m., mid-July through October, The 85-foot Festiva, accommodating up to 100, does New Orleans-style Sunday brunch cruises to George Washington Bridge. Brunch, catered by Sylvia's Restaurant of Harlem, includes one complimentary beverage, plus fried chicken, baked ham, collards, macaroni and cheese, and more. Cost: $50 for adults, $25 for under age 7. Other cruise charter options are available.
79th Street Boat Basin, A-dock, New York, New York. (212) 496-8625 or (888) 755-BOAT.
New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is home to the nation's largest Victorian glasshouse, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a New York City landmark that has showcased NYBG's distinguished tropical, Mediterranean, and desert plant collections since 1902. At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, tours, concerts, dance performances, and symposia are always on the roster, as well as special one-time events featuring elements of the Garden at their peak. Each spring, BBG celebrates the flowering of the Japanese cherry trees with our annual Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival), and each fall is spiced up with a multicultural Chile Pepper Fiesta!
New York Botanical Garden, 200th Street and Southern Boulevard. (718) 817-8700
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue. (718) 623-7200
New York City Police Museum
From Colonial beginnings to official establishment in 1845 to the present, the New York City Police Museum, in historic Lower Manhattan, captures the rich history of the New York Police Department (NYPD), providing abundant insider glimpses. Permanent exhibits include turn-of-the-century mug shots, photos of notorious criminals and “tools of the trade,” a display of police vehicles, and a model of a jail cell. The museum also pays tribute to every NYPD officer killed in the line of duty throughout departmental history.
100 Old Slip. (212) 480-3100
The New York Public Library
Origins of the New York Public Library, housing more than six million volumes, date to when one-time governor Samuel J. Tilden (1814-1886) bequeathed most of his fortune -- about $2.4 million -- to establish and maintain a free library and reading room. New York already had the Astor and Lenox libraries, the Astor created through John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), a German immigrant who became the wealthiest man in America and left $400,000 for a reference library. James Lenox left his personal collection of rare books (including the first Gutenberg Bible to come to the New World), but it was intended for bibliophiles and scholars. By 1892, both the Astor and Lenox libraries were in financial straits, and a plan was devised to consolidate Astor, Lenox, and Tilden resources to form The New York Public Library. The system now includes 85 libraries, with collections totaling 6.6 million items, providing free information on a scale unmatched by any other institution. In 1995, The New York Public Library celebrated the centennial of its founding. One-hour building tours of the landmark facility begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m, with groups of 10 or more by appointment..
42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. (212) 930-0800.
New York Skyride
New York Skyride, in Midtown Manhattan, consists of two 40-seat big screen flight simulator theaters, featuring a wild ride over Manhattan's skyline.
Empire State Building, second floor. (212) 279-9777
New York Stock Exchange
Lower Manhattan's New York Stock has a visitor's gallery and self-guided tours. A tree outside symbolizes the buttonwood where traders once gathered to exchange stocks.
20 Broad Street. (212) 656-3000.
On Location Tours
Bus tours led by local actors and actresses visit more than 30 locations from over 50 sites of TV programs and movies, including Friends, Ghostbusters, Spider Man, Sex & the City, Sopranos, Gossip Girl, and more. Take a stroll through Central Park, the world's most filmed location. Advance tickets are required.
(212) 683-2027.
Radio City Music Hall
Upon the 1929 market crash, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. held a $91 million, 24-year lease on a midtown Manhattan tract in the “speakeasy belt" with plans dashed for a new Metropolitan Opera House. Rockefeller boldly decided to build an entire complex targeting commercial tenants, although Manhattan was awash in vacancy and despair. Partnering with fledgling Radio Corporation of America, whose NBC radio and RKO studios boomed despite bad times, Rockefeller also brought in S.L. "Roxy" Rothafel, a theatrical genius using razzle-dazzle décor to revive struggling theaters across America. Resulting was a theater unlike any other within the "Radio City" part of the Rockefeller Center complex. Radio City Music Hall, a palace for the people with quality entertainment at ordinary prices, has since attracted more than 300 million for shows, movies, and special events. It still looms large, and over 75 years its Radio City Rockettes have kicked their way into icon status. The restored Music Hall reflects original grandeur of opening night, 1932, with behind-the-scenes upgrades. Stage Door Tour guests explore the Great Stage and its ‘30s vintage hydraulic system. See Roxy's renowned private suite with 12-feet high gold leaf ceilings, and meet a Rockette. One-hour walking tours depart from the Music Hall lobby.
1260 Avenue of the Americas, Sixth Avenue and 50th Street. (212) 307-7171
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center, with 24 acres of underground shops, changed the form of Midtown Manhattan, becoming one of the most successful urban planning projects in history. The vast project provided thousands of jobs during the Depression and restored the image of New York as the premier American city. Rockefeller Center is an art deco marvel consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 11 acres from 49th to 52nd Streets, Fifth to Seventh Avenues. Thirty Rockefeller Plaza, the RCA headquarters, was the largest and first built, and stands as the centerpiece, and now General Electric's initials brighten the rooftop for the home of NBC. Hour-long studio tours include production areas of various TV shows. The NBC Store also has souvenirs from shows such as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Saturday Night Live."
Bounded by Fifth Avenue, 48th Street, Sevenue Avenue and West 51st Street. (212) 664-4000
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, one of the nation's largest houses of worship, is in Midtown Manhattan with seating for 2,400, and a pipe organ with more than 7,380 pipes. Fifth Avenue at 50th Street. (212) 753-2261
Shea Stadium
Home of the New York Mets, Queen's Shea Stadium was originally to be called Flushing Meadow Park. It ended up named after William Alfred Shea, an attorney instrumental in acquiring a new team after the departure of the Giants and Dodgers. Proximity to LaGuardia Airport makes Shea Stadium the noisiest outdoor ballpark in the Majors. Site selection was done in winter, according to lore, when flight paths were different than during baseball season. When a Met hits a homer at Shea, a red Big Apple rises out of a black top hat, although some say it looks more like a big kettle.
123-01 Roosevelt Avenue. (718) 507-METS
SoHo and TriBeCa
Within a quarter of a square mile, SoHo has roughly 250 art galleries, four museums, nearly 200 restaurants, and 100 stores. Blocks south of Houston (pronounced HOW-ston) and north of Canal streets are home to the city's largest concentration of cast-iron fronted buildings, built as warehouses and manufacturing spaces, but converted to living spaces, called lofts, for artists and sculptors who appreciated the larger spaces. These 19th-century architectural gems (often Victorian Gothic, Italianiate, and neo-Grecian), prized by preservationists, are now home to the better-heeled. When SoHo became too upscale for starving artists, many moved further downtown to another then half-abandoned industrial district, TriBeCa (the Triangle Below Canal), which has since become a hot destination, most notably for dining. One TriBeCa frontrunner, actor Robert De Niro, has lived and worked in the neighborhood for some 20 years.
South Street Seaport
Experience New York's salty maritime history at the South Street Seaport, boasting a museum and numerous shops and restaurants. Browsing is free; museum admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12.
South Street Historic District near Water and Beekman Streets. (212) 748-8600
The Sports Museum of America
With a board of trustees comprised of famous athletes, and interactive exhibits contributed by sports museums across the county, The Sports Museum of America is the home of the Heisman trophy, houses the first hall of fame for women athletes, and is open year around, 7 days a week.
26 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. (212) 747-0900
Staten Island Ferry
For Manhattan skyline spectacle, take the Staten Island Ferry from New York harbor. The ferry runs 24 hours a day and is free at all times. (Vehicle fare is $3.) Big facelifts set for 2004 wrap-up are underway at the St. George and Whitehall Ferry Terminals, to serve more than 65,000 daily riders with enhanced dining and an outdoor promenade easing pedestrian access between Bay Street and the terminal.
St. George Ferry Terminal at Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. (718) 815-BOAT
Whitehall Ferry Terminal at Whitehall and South Streets in Lower Manhattan. (718) 815-BOAT
Statue of Liberty National Monument
The Statue of Liberty National Monument, measuring 151 feet on a 154-foot pedestal (with a 35-foot waist and an 8-foot index finger), is the tallest statue of modern times. France presented the 450,000-pound Lady Liberty to the U.S. in 1884, commemorating the alliance of the two countries during the American Revolution. It features the American Museum of Immigration.
Upper New York Bay on Liberty Island. (212) 363-3200.
Teddy Roosevelt's Birthplace National Historic Site
He remains the only U.S. president born in New York City, yet locals and visitors alike often unknowingly walk past the brownstone where Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the U.S., was born Oct. 27, 1858. His father's success as an importer/exporter meant the house where a frail yet bright Teddy lived until age 14 had gas lighting, sumptuous furnishings, and a backyard stretching all the way to 19th Street. The four-story house is filled with Roosevelt family furniture including T.R.'s child-sized chair by the library fireplace. Roosevelt, growing up to become a strapping colonel of the Rough Riders, declined to buy his birth home when plans were announced to raze it in 1916 for a commercial building. In 1919, the year of Roosevelt's death, the Women's Roosevelt Memorial Association acquired the site, demolished the new building, and reconstructed his home as a memorial. Period rooms of the narrow, dark Victorian house are restored to reflect their 1865-1872 appearance. The National Park Service offers tours.
28 East 20th Street, New York City. (212) 260-1616
Times Square Visitors Center
Times Square draws approximately 37 million visitors spending up to $16.4 billion annually. The Times Square Visitors Center, in the restored landmark Embassy Movie Theatre, is steps from more than 5,000 businesses with 250,000 employees, and from world-renowned landmarks and tourist attractions. Times Square is surrounded by 45 Broadway theaters, drawing 11.6 million people annually and generating tickets sales of more than $588 million. Times Square is also the hub of New York's hospitality industry, surrounded by 28 hotels, accounting for one-fifth of all New York City hotel rooms. Free walking tours depart from the Visitors Center every Friday at noon, rain or shine.
Times Square Visitors Center, 1560 Broadway, between 46th and 47th streets.
Tribute – A Celebration of New York City
Tribute is a performance of the never-ending symphony that is New York life. In the heart of Tribute is the Remember Experience viewed in one of two custom-built high definition projection theaters. Visitors also can walk around the floating multimedia screens and explore artwork from the underground and emerging artists gallery. The Remember Experience itself celebrates the beauty and vitality of a city undeterred by tragedy. Remember, speaking from shadows of two fallen giants, dares telling the New York story as never before told. Featured are a September 11th Memorial Hall, a café overlooking historic Bowling Green Park, and a gift shop.
24 Broadway, New York City. (212) 952-1000
United Nations Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters, in Midtown Manhattan, offers one-hour tours departing from the United Nations Public Lobby daily covering the Secretariat Building, the domed General Assembly Building, Conference Building and the Hammarskjold Library. The name "United Nations," coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" of Jan. 1. 1942, during WW11, when representatives of 26 nations pledged to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. United Nations Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 24.
First Avenue and 46th Street. (212) 963-7700
Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium, known as the house in the Bronx that Babe Ruth built, opened in 1923 for a capacity of 58,000, and was the first ballpark large enough to be called a stadium. Bleachers in right center field are sometimes called Ruthville.
161st Street and River Avenue. (718) 293-6000.
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