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New York/Manhattan

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Introduction

Central Park

Central Park

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When many people say New York they mean Manhattan. The economic center, style center and cultural center of New York, maybe even the entire USA, Manhattan has an allure that can amaze anyone. From stunning skyscrapers to amazing museums and restaurants no trip is complete to New York with out a few days in Manhattan.

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Sights and Activities

Central Park

Central Park was the first urban landscaped park in the United States. An icon of New York and a great place to settle down from the hustle and bustle. This park is the location of countless movies plays and ideas reflecting New York culture. It is also a great place to escape to for a few hours. In the park there are several lakes, sporting facilities, and a couple of famous buildings including the Metropolitan Museum. The Great Lawn in summer also acts as a field for open air concerts. Another famous part of the park is Strawberry Fields, which was created in honour of John Lennon, who was murdered at the steps of the Dakota building, near to the Central Park. Furthermore you can find Belvedere Castle and a Zoo in the Park. (Location: From 59th Street to 110th Street and from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue.)

Empire State Building

Empire State

Empire State

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The Empire State Building is, at 381 metres (or 448.7 metres if you include the antenna), the tallest building in New York City, located at the junction of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Built in a typical art deco style, that was in fashion before World War II, it was the heighest in the world from the opening in 1932 until it was surpassed by the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1972. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it again became the tallest building in the New York skyline. Visitors primarily come to the tower to have a look at the panorama over New York from the observation deck, which is located on the 86th floor. Most tourists tend to forget that in the building, around a thousand offices are located, employing about 21,000 people.

The building has been a site of many films, most notable is King Kong, and maybe the least know is the film Empire by Andy Warhol, which is 8 hours and 5 minutes long, showing the Empire State building from July 25-26, 1964 from 8:06 p.m. to 2:42 a.m. (the difference in the time, is because of the speed at which the film is projected.)

The High Line

The High Line is a 2,5 kilometre long part of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line. Located along the lower west side of Manhattan, it has been redesigned and planted as a greenway. The original High Line was built in the early 1930's to prevent fatal accidents that occurred along street level and to offer direct warehouse-to-freight car service. It was in use until 1980. The new High Line opened up with the southernmost section as a city park on June 8, 2009. The "Lenape Edible Estate: Manhattan" will officially open to the public on Monday, September 14th and there will also be festivities to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson to the island of Manhattan.

Chrysler Building

The Chrysler building, located at 405 Lexington Ave, and 42nd Street, was built between 1928 and 1930, and with 319 metres (the height of the antenna), it was for one year the heighest building in the world. It was built in the Art-Deco style that was fashionable during the twenties and early thirties. The Chrysler boss at that moment, instructed the architect, William van Alen to make some references to the Chrysler cars. Van Alen did this and on the building you can find gargoyles that are modeled after Chrysler automobiles, and other references to Chrysler cars. The most distinctive part of the skyscraper is the crown that is made out of stainless steel and small triangular windows. When it is dark the illumination of the crown, makes it to one of New York's most recognisable sights.

Museums and Galleries

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is one of the largest art museums in the world with a stunning collection that can take weeks to explore. It houses a collection of paintings and sculptures from old over the world and from the old masters to modern artists. It also has a huge collection of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Egyptian, African, Asiatic, Oceanic and Islamic pieces of art in the collection. There is also a collection of musical instruments on display. In a separate wing of the museum you can find the Robert Lehman Collection, which was a private collection passed on to the museum after his death. It contains several works of famous artists like El Greco, Goya, Botticelli and Rembrandt.
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an amazing modern art museum with leading artists showing their work.
  • Guggenheim Museum is another great art museum feature the collection of Peggy Guggenheim.
  • Ellis Island Immigration Museum is the place to go if you want to learn the history of the people that came to the United States during the late 19th and early 20th century in search of a better life.
  • American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, has great dinosaurs and other exhibits on natural history.
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
  • Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Corner of 91st Street and Fifth Avenue
  • New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street
  • American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue at 36th Street
  • Museum Of Sex, 233 Fifth Avenue at 27th street, is a nice museum completely devoted to every aspect of sex future, past, and present.

Other Sights and Activities

Times Square

Times Square

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  • Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, is the world's largest cathedral.
  • New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, is a stunning structure with great public art.
  • New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street between Wall St. and Exchange Pl., see were all the money is made and lost!
  • Rockefeller Center, Between 5th and 6th Avenues, and between 49th and 50th Streets, is an amazing plaza that has ice skating in the winter and performances in the summer.
  • Theater District is a great place to catch a play and enjoy an evening
  • Times Square, shopping, theatres, restaurants where over 30 million tourists visit each year!
  • Ground Zero go see the where the tragic events of September 11th 2001 took place.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The subway system in New York is one of the best in the world. Although the trains do tend to run north and south making it a little hard to go east and west.

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Drink

West Village

Fat Cat Billiards is a great basement bar with live jazz, pool, table tennis and chess to keep you entertained. Remember that once you get the pool balls from the bar you start paying for them.

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Sleep

Budget

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 7. Last edited at 6:45 on Jul 12, 13 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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