New York City Things to Do Tips by seamandrew
New York City Things to Do: 5,340 reviews and 8,600 photos
Times Square approaches night!
If there is anything New York is famous for is it's bustling crowds, it's musicals, it's bright lights, and of course, a city that never sleeps! Well Times Square epitomizes this to the fullest. In fact, the only time Times Square is ever quiet is just before morning rush hour. Otherwise, it is one of New York's busiest spots. Pedestrian traffic and automobile traffic for one, musicals, restaurants, hotels, shops, you name it. No trip to New York is complete without a stop at Times Square.
Be sure to visit the Visitors Center at Times Square for more information about the Square and about New York.
Address: 1560 Broadway, between 46th and 47th streets
Directions: 42nd Street, Brodway & 7th avenue
Other Contact: Fax: +(212) 869-5667
Phone: (212) 768-1560
St. Patricks Cathedral
he Cathedral was begun in 1858 by Archbishop John Hughes to replace the original St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is used today as a parish church in New York. The cornerstone was laid in August of that year, and, after a suspension of work during the years of Civil War, John Cardinal McCloskey, the first American Cardinal, resumed work in 1865, opening the doors in May, 1879. Archbishop Michael Corrigan added the towers on the West Front in 1888 and began work on the east addition, including the Lady Chapel in 1901.
His successor, Cardinal Farley, completed work on the Lady Chapel addition. Cardinal Hayes completed an extensive renovation of the interior between 1927 and 1931 when the great organ was installed and the sanctuary was enlarged. The exterior was restored during the episcopate of Cardinal Spellman who saw to the completion of the stained glass windows as well as a new main altar and baldachin.
Both interior and exterior were completely restored to their original beauty during the years when Cardinal Cooke was Archbishop. New shrines in honor of the American saints were brought to the Cathedral during the same years. During the years of John Cardinal O'Connor's episcopate, extensive renovations have been made to maintain the structural integrity of the building, including replacement of much of the roof, exterior steps, replastering of the walls in the transepts, repair of stained glass and refinishing the transept doors.
A liturgical altar has been placed in the sanctuary and the baptistry has been relocated. A new amplification system and modern lighting were installed in 1988 and 1989, and a bas-relief sculpture dedicated to Saint Frances Cabrini was mounted on the Cathedral wall shortly before Christmas in 1989.
Address: 14 East 51st Street, New York NY 10022
Directions: Between 50th and 51st at the intersection with 5th Avenue
Which show should I see...hmmm?
Where else but on Broadway do you have a choice between so many musicals (and plays for that matter)? If you can manage to come by the tickets, the Lion King is spectacular. I would suggest buying your tickets well in advance if you know you're coming to New York. I'm updating this as of Dec 2005 and the best shows to see are Rent, Lion King, Mamma Mia, and the Producers. There are other good shows and so many great plays that are constantly being replaced by newer productions.
Directions: Start on 42nd Street and walk around Times Square.
Bryant park on a cool Spring day.
Bryant Park is a small recluse in the middle of the midtown New York streets. This block-sized park is a great place to escape to on a nice sunny day and enjoy your lunch. During Christmas of 2002 they opened up what resembled a German/Austrian Christkindlmarkt. It was pretty nice!
Don't let this picture deceive you, it was taken at 7:10 am, before most of the morning rush crowd decended on it. It is usually quite full of people! It is the rear of the New York Public Library that is pictured in the background.
Click here for an interesting history of Bryant Park.
Directions: Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +(1) 212-768-4242
The New York Botanical Gardens
The New York Botanical Garden is one of the foremost public gardens in America and also a National Historic Landmark. It has some of the most beautiful natural terrains of any botanical garden in the world, with dramatic rock outcroppings, a river, cascading waterfalls, undulating hills, wetlands, ponds, hiking trails, and 50 acres of historic, uncut forest.
Within this grand 250-acre setting in the north Bronx, many gardens and special plantings offer stunning seasonal displays, ranging from glorious daffodils and azaleas in spring to the rich tapestries of fall foliage. The New York Botanical Garden offers a tranquil retreat from the "hustle and bustle" of New York City and also it's an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the world of botany.
Address: Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458
Directions: The Metro-North Train from Grand Central Station stops right next to the Botanical Gardens.
Phone: (718) 817-8700
The globe of the former World Trade Center
Prior to September 11th, a large bronze globe stood in the center of the World Trade Center. When the buildings collapsed, debris fell on the globe, smashing it, and altering it's shape. It now stands in Battery Park as one of the many reminders of the tragic events of that day. I don't see it as just a sad reminder, but also a symbol of the world's resilience against terrorism. To further commemorate the victims of the tragedy, they have also lighted a small eternal flame next to the globe.
Directions: Take the 4 or 5 to Bowling Green Station or the N/R to South Ferry Station
The New York Public Library main office.
The origins of this remarkable institution date back to the time when New York was emerging as one of the world's most important cities. By the second half of the 19th century, New York had already surpassed Paris in population and was quickly catching up with London, then the world's most populous city.
It was thanks to philanthropists such as Samuel J. Tilden, John Jacob Astor, and James Lenox and with the help of John Bigelow that the New York Public Library was formed. In 1895, it was decided to combine the Astor and Lenox libraries to form one great library. Dr. John Shaw Billings, one of the most brilliant librarians of his day, was named director. Billings knew exactly what he wanted. His design, briefly sketched on a scrap of paper, became the early blueprint for the majestic structure that has become the landmark building, known for its lions.
It was completed on May 23rd, 1911.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie offered $5.2 million to construct a system of branch libraries throughout New York City, provided the City would supply the sites and fund the libraries' maintenance and operations. This was the stepping ground to one of the largest library systems worldwide.
Almost overnight, The New York Public Library became a vital part of the intellectual fabric of American life. Among its earliest beneficiaries were recently arrived immigrants, for whom the Library provided contact with the literature and history of their new country as well as the heritage that these people brought with them.
The branch system has grown to include 85 libraries, with collections totaling 6.6 million items. Its collections have contributed to such innovations as the splitting of the atom to the creation of the Xerox photocopying machine. Its holdings have also played a vital role in the creation of innumerable works in the arts, literature, and history. It is certainly one of New York's most precious gems!
Address: Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
Directions: Take 1,2,3,9 to 42nd Street and Broadway. Walk two blocks east to Fifth Avenue.
Phone: (212) 930-0830
Empire State against a blue sky
The Empire State Building is cemented in both New York and U.S. History. Built during the Depression, the building was the center of a competition between Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corp.) and John Jakob Raskob (creator of General Motors) to see who could build the tallest building.
From the time the construction began on March 17, 1930, the building's steel frame rose at an average rate of four and a half floors per week. To speed construction, the building's posts, beams, windows and window frames were made in factories and put together on the site. 60,000 tons of steel was brought in from the steel mills in Pennsylvania, 310 miles away, by train, barges and trucks.
By October 3, 1930, there were 88 floors finished and only 14 to go. These top floors took the form of a distinctive tower of glass, steel, and aluminum. The tower is about 200 ft. high and topped with a dome.
Here are some interesting facts:
In 1945 at the end of World War II, an Army Air Corps B-25 twin-engine bomber plane crashed into the 79th floor of the building in dense fog.
From 1931 - present, the building acted as an "Ambassador to New York" to many of the world's renowned political and entertainment figures, such as, Fidel Castro, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, The Duchess of York, Nikita Krushchev, King of Siam and others.
The building's dirigible mast (now the base of the TV tower) was originally designed as a mooring mast for Air blimps (unfortunately because of several unsuccessful attempts and the volatile wind conditions at 1,350 feet, the idea was ultimately abandoned).
After the events of September 11th, 2001, the Empire State is now the tallest Building in New York. The observatory on the 86th offers a great view of the city. Great for cityscape pictures. The Empire State Building is so famous that it makes New York's skyline the most easiest recognized skyline in the world.
Address: At the intersection of 34th Street and 5th Avenue
Trinity Church, downton NYC
When the present Trinity Church was consecrated on Ascension Day May 1, 1846, its soaring Neo-Gothic spire, surmounted by a gilded cross, dominated the skyline of lower Manhattan. Trinity was a welcoming beacon for ships sailing into New York Harbor.
Though skyscrapers have risen all around it, Trinity Church still stands as a significant statement of spiritual values in the heart of downtown Manhattan and serves as a center for contemplation, worship, and Christian community.
There have been three Trinity Church buildings at Broadway and Wall Street. The present Trinity Church, designed by Richard Upjohn and consecrated on Ascension Day in 1846, is considered a classic example of Gothic Revival architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is located right next to where the World Trade Center used to me. My visit had was a bit eerie.
Address: Broadway at Wall Street
Directions: Downtown near the WTC site.
Start here (47th St) and head downtown!
Park Avenue is famous because it stands out from most other New York Avenues due to the landscaping and number of world reknown companies that line it's streets. One very famous resident on Park Avenue is the Waldorf-Astoria. Definitely a good choice if you wish to from downtown to uptown (or vice-versa).
Directions: Parallel to Lexington and Madison Avenues (between them).
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