No other city has such a diversity of people and cultures as New York City. Within the boundaries of its five boroughs lies a microcosm of the whole world. Visitors can move along the bustling sidewalks of Chinatown, visit the Greek tavernas of Astoria, the Old World Russian restaurants and clubs of Brighton Beach, the Italian communities of Little Italy and Arthur Avenue, the sari shops of Little India in Jackson Heights, and so much more. This city of contrasts also contains the SoHo section, with its stylish art galleries, boutiques, and bistros housed in historic cast iron buildings among cobblestone streets.
With 18,000 restaurants,150 world-class museums; more than 10,000 stores, numerous talented musicians, actors, and dancers; hundreds of family friendly activities; a profusion of parks and gardens, and an exciting nightlife, New York is at the top of the charts in every area!
Its incredible architecture, includes the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. There are the thrilling performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway and off Broadway theaters. Overall, the City provides unlimited cultural and esthetic possibilities.
A double-decker bus tour of Manhattan is a good way to get a quick orientation. The bus line tours allow visitors to get off the bus at areas of interest and reboard a later bus to continue their exploration.
New York is home to the World Series champions, the New York Yankees, and from April to October you can cheer with and for them at Yankee Stadium. New York has many other great sports teams such as the Knicks, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, MetroStars, and New York Liberty.
Horseracing is a spectator sport that can be viewed outdoors or comfortably from the clubhouse. Follow the Thoroughbreds at Belmont Park for most of the summer, and repeat the experience in the winter at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Statue of Liberty can be visited and climbed or simply viewed from the water on a tour boat cruise or from the Staten Island ferry (which is free). Seeing the city skyline from the water is unforgettable! Ellis Island Immigration Museum, near the Statue of Liberty, conveys the experiences of our forebears as they came to the end of their perilous journey and embraced the promise of a better life in the New World.
Among the 150 museums in New York City is one of the world’s greatest: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere displaying more than 100,000 works from artists such as Picasso, Monet, Matisse, and Warhol Nearby is Times Square, the brightest symbol of New York’s revitalization. It is possible to devote a whole day to the visual arts in just one trip to Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue, between 70th and 105th Streets, with its many cultural treasure troves.
New York City has many attractions that both entertain and educate children. In planning how to get from place to place, remember that children love to ride on subway trains. However, getting on and off the train also involves a flight or two of stairs to and from the underground. It is wise to consider overall travel time and energy when planning the day. Be sure to allow for leisurely movement from place to place, and for rest stops in between. Consider the weather too. The adage “getting there is half the fun” is a good one to remember in order to keep the day enjoyable, while avoiding exhaustion and frayed tempers. Make a list of the must -see places, and then cut it in half for best results. One trip to New York is never enough. Each one can be a pleasant memory if the pace is right…
There are 15 miles of beaches within the city limits, 13 golf courses, and four zoos. There are botanical gardens in each of the five boroughs, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The boroughs also have wonderful parks such as Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.
New York is on the north-south flyway for migrating birds, and in the Spring and Fall they are present in colorful abundance. Bird watching is popular in Central Park and at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.
First time visitors to New York can’t possibly see and do everything, but they can get a wonderful introduction to the sights, visit famous attractions, and make notes for a return trip. In fact, there is no such thing as a last visit to New York. There are always plans being made for “the next time we’re here …”
Manhattan is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. Its streets run east and west and its avenues run north and south. The east side covers everything east of Fifth Avenue; the West side everything to the west. Most of New York’s best known tourist attractions are concentrated in Manhattan.
Brooklyn was a separate city until 1898. It has its own civic centers, cultural institutions, shopping district and residential neighborhoods. Its major attractions include: Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Aquarium for Wildlife Conservation and Coney Island.
Queens is a largely residential borough and one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the city. Neighborhoods include Greek Astoria, Latino Jackson Heights, Asian Flushing. Flushing Meadow-Corona Park and Shea Stadium are major attractions.
The Bronx is the only borough connected to the mainland. It contains some of the city’s largest parks, including: the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, VanCortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park and a place called Yankee Stadium.
Staten Island (also known as Richmond) is the most rural of the boroughs. Its major visitor attractions are historic Richmond town, The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Staten Island Botanical Garden, the Alice Austen House Museum, and the Staten Island ferry.
Things to do
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA QNS)
45-20 33rd Street at Queens Blvd. Long Island City, NY
Sat – Tues, Thur, 10- 5; Fri., 10-7:45
MoMA QNS is the temporary home of the Museum of Modern Art collections while the main facility in midtown is being rebuilt. The 100,000 pieces of art include household objects, photography, graphic design, conceptual art, and industrial design, primarily from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Works of art feature postimpressionists through “Graffiti” artists.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave (At 82d St.)
New York NY (212) 535-7710
Tues.-Thur. and Sun, 9:30am-5:15pm; Fri-Sat, 9:30am-9pm
“The Met” has been described as a vast city of art. The limestone beaux-arts facade with its impressive steps opens onto whole buildings within. Among these are the Temple of Dendur, the Astor Court, a replica Ming dynasty scholar’s courtyard, an American wing containing over 20 period style rooms and courtyards, as well as the entire facade of the United States Bank from Wall Street. In addition, there are about 15 discrete collections from ancient art upward through the ages. An Orientation Theater points the way. On Friday and Saturday evenings, a string quartet entertains
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Ave (At 75th St.)
New York NY
Tues, Wed, Fri-Sun, 11am-6pm; Thurs. 1-8pm
The museum has an excellent permanent collection of 20th-century art. Recent acquisitions can be seen in several new galleries which opened in April 1998.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave. (Between 88th and 89th Sts.)
New York NY
Fri-Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun-Wed, 10am-6pm
While many art museums strive to make an architectural statement, few have succeeded as well as the Guggenheim Museum. This is the only building in New York City that was designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright. The Guggenheim’s initial focus was on abstract painting. The museum’s scope has since expanded with acquisitions such as an excellent collection of art from the late-19th and early-20th centuries and a contemporary art center, the Guggenheim Museum SoHo, on lower Broadway. A spectacular new Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, is being planned for Piers 9,11,13, and 14 on the East River in Lower Manhattan.
Upper East Side 1109 5th Ave (At 92d St.)
New York NY
Sun-Mon, Wed-Thur, 11am-5:45pm; Tues, 11am-8pm
Located on Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum is dedicated to showing work that addresses issues related to Jewish identity and art by Jewish artists.
American Museum of Natural History
79th St. and Central Park West
New York NY
The Museum’s exhibition halls house a stunning array of artifacts and specimens from all corners of the world and all historical periods. These illuminate the natural history of our planet and its myriad species, and bring the world’s cultures to life. A major ($45 million) renovation has restored and enhanced each building and exhibit. Highlights are the Hayden Planetarium (Rose Center) which now features a thrill ride through the universe; partially interactive gigantic dinosaurs; a 94 foot blue whale in the two story Hall of Ocean Life; the Hall of Meteorites, Minerals, and Gems; and Nature Max theater featuring a four story high screen and Friday night jazz and tapas. There is far too much of significance than can be seen in one day!
Directions: To get to the bridge, take the 4,5 or 6 subway to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station, the N or R subway to City Hall or the 2 or 3 subway to Park Place.
A monument to man’s ingenuity and creativity, the world’s first steel suspension bridge was designed by architect John Roebling between 1867 and 1883, with oversight of the massive project started by his son after Roebling’s sudden death, and completed by the son’s wife following his untimely death. On the Manhattan side, you can get some great views of this majestic bridge from the top of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. From Brooklyn, Pier 1 at the Fulton Ferry landing provides a beautiful sunset view of the bridge and downtown Manhattan.
Phone: (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250 / group # (212) 239-6262
TicketMaster: (212) 307-4100 / group # (212) 889-4300
Going to the theater is one of the most popular events for visitors to New York City. Tickets should be purchased in advance of any show. While many Broadway shows are presented with adult audiences in mind, there are dozens of shows that teens and even younger children can enjoy and appreciate.
253 W. 125th St.
Many well-known performers got their start at the theater’s lively amateur nights, which still take place every Wednesday night.
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave.
Midtown West, NY
The tallest building in New York City, was completed in 1931 during the great depression, and stood almost empty for some time. Today, it’s host to millions of visitors a year, most of whom ride to the fenced-in Observation Deck just a short distance from the building’s top. The popular New York Skyride is launched from the mezzanine with Star Trek’s Scottie (James Doohan) as the guide. The Skyride simulates a rooftop flight over the city.
Staten Island Ferry
Whitehall and South Sts.
The city’s most celebrated means of transportation offers unsurpassed views of the Manhattan skyline, and it’s free.
The Statue of Liberty
The trip to Liberty Island where Lady Liberty stands takes 15 minutes. Round trip fare and admission charged. Ferries operate 7 days a week. Ferry information: 212-269-5755.