An emerald expanse in the thriving, concrete jungle that is New York City, Central Park lies in the heartland of the Manhattan borough. It commences its labyrinthine stretch from Midtown, all the way to Harlem. It was created in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned a sprawling green space in the center of the island. The park spans 843 acres (341.15 hectares) and bustles with life throughout the day, even as the layered, multi-hued fold of the city's skyline unfolds at its hem. The park's 21 playgrounds are speckled with ornate fountains, sculptures, myriad bridges and arches, together forming an urbane respite where several come to find peace from the city's chaotic pace. Attractions within the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, and Central Park Zoo.
Built in 1925, St. Lucy's Church was established to serve the city's Italian diaspora. The brick and stone building was constructed in the Romanesque style of architecture, but the real treasures can be found in the church interiors. Studded with awe-inspiring murals, frescoes and sculptural work, the church interiors are a spectacular affair and warrant a visit. Built in 1925, this historic church found its place in the prestigious National Register of Historic Places in the year 1998. St. Lucy's Church is the National Shrine of St. Gerard.
This small but beautiful botanic garden features a Japanese garden, as well as the Cranford Rose Garden, herb garden, the Children's Garden, and the Steinhard Conservatory of indoor flowers and plants. In all, there are 52 acres and 12,000 varieties of botanicals, ranging from the tiny bonsai to the towering oak. Self-guided tours, individual classes and certificate programs are all available. Students come with your valid id cards, if you want to avail of a discount.
Tucked away in Queens is an old-fashioned testament to film and television. The actual studios of the one-time Paramount East Coast production house are closed, but the museum provides tours about film making where you can see makeup, costumes and well-known movie sets. There are several theaters for film screenings and a gift shop for souvenir hunters.
This massive cathedral, situated across from Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue is regarded as the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. With its two soaring 330-foot spires, St. Patrick's Cathedral is also one of the city's most spectacular architectural sights. Construction on the neo-gothic structure had started in 1850 and completed in 1878. Inside, it boasts of numerous altars and stained glass windows, and a giant organ with over 7,300 pipes. Services are held throughout the day, and many New Yorkers stop in for a moment of serenity in their otherwise hectic lives.
The Apollo Theater is a distinguished and legendary landmark in Harlem. Originally it was a burlesque hall for an all-white audience when it opened its doors in 1914, but by the 1930s it became home to legendary jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. The theater has been restored, and every Wednesday at 7:30p the stage is opened to amateurs; when heckling is not just common, but expected. There are also musical performances held on other nights. Admission varies. Call for details.
Calling out to all hard rockers and headbangers, Dingbatz has been serving the rock music community in Clifton, and surrounding areas, since 2004. Macabre and gore meets you as you enter the venue, with the decor made of hanging severed heads and human skulls. However, Dingbatz also boasts a spacious stage and dancefloor, so that fans can mosh or headbang freely. Do see the website or call to know more.
Situated right next to the Yogi Berra Stadium lies the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center which was built in 1998 to celebrate the career of 18-time All-Star New York Yankees baseball catcher Lawrence Peter 'Yogi' Berra. Learn about the ups and downs of his life and draw inspiration from the great man by watching some of the clips in which he overcame adversities to emerge victorious. Exhibits include some of his baseball gear, medals, contracts, trophies, letters, and photographs.