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Still home to the office of the Mayor and the Chambers of New York City, New York City Hall is the oldest functioning city hall in the United States. Located in Lower Manhattan in City Hall Park (Civic Center), the city hall was finished in 1812 and is registered as a National Historic Landmark. Today, the building is still one of the most visited structures in the city due to its French Renaissance architecture and its Georgian-style construction on the interior of the building. The city hall is surrounded by beautiful gardens and adjacent government buildings and you can always find politicians and government workers milling around during lunch hour. The building is also a popular landmark often seen in movies and television shows filmed in New York City like Ghostbusters and Spin City.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a stunning memorial that was created to honor the people who lost their lives during the dreaded September 11, 2001 attacks.The memorial consists of two pools set in the original site as well as a beautiful plaza. The names of the victims are engraved on paneling along with the pools. Visitors can also explore the 9/11 Memorial Museum that features artifacts and stories about the event. The various exhibits on display at this underground museum educates the visitors.
An unflagging symbol of fortitude, the One World Trade Center rises from a sea of buildings in Lower Manhattan, its beautiful steel ascent a reminder of a dark day in American history. This brilliant icon soars to 104 floors, and when it was completed in 2012, it superseded the Empire State Building as the tallest structure in New York City. At an astonishing height of 1,776 feet (541.33 meters), it is also the tallest building in America and the Western Hemisphere. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum flanks the southern end of the center, while rumbling fountains spill over granite walls and collect into twin pools north of the tower. The parapet of the pools is inscribed with almost 3000 names of the lives lost during the 9/11 attacks, allowing visitors for a moment of quiet reflection. When viewed from the lowest point from the ground, the top of the tower appears to converge and resemble a pyramidal apex. Another interesting feature about the One World Trade Center is that the height of the structure is a cleverly planned allusion to the year in which in the American Declaration of Independence was signed. A marvel of modern design, the One World Trade Center is a significant landmark that links the past and the future of this great American city.
New York's Chinatown is a cultural haven full of ancient and exotic traditions, and a huge amount of restaurants. This bustling and crowded neighborhood is home to over half of the city's Chinese population. In the grocery stores and fruit stands, you will find many food items available nowhere else in the city - from exotic fruit and vegetables to live snails and dried shrimp. Excellent Thai, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants have also joined the mix in more recent times. Every lunar new year, the street are filled with the hubbub of the Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade.
The heart of this well-known Italian neighborhood is Mulberry Street. Years ago, the vast majority of people who lived here were Italian, but expansion of Chinatown and Italian migration to the suburbs has changed the make-up of the neighborhood. Still, cafes, restaurants and bakeries line the street. Take a walk and smell the fresh baked bread, garlic and sauces. Stop for a glass of wine or tiramisu at a sidewalk cafe, or gorge on the salamis hanging from store windows.
Stretching across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is an architectural wonder. Connecting the island of Manhattan to Brooklyn, the suspension bridge with its Gothic towers and steel cables adds a unique silhouette to the city's iconic skyline. Completed in 1883, the bridge was the longest of its kind, measuring almost 1600 feet (487.68 meters). One of the city's most enduringly popular attractions, Brooklyn Bridge offers visitors some of the best views of the cityscape above the river's shimmering waters.
The zigzagging streets and charming brownstones of Greenwich Village have a far more laid back atmosphere than most neighborhoods in the city. The center of New York's gay and student communities lies here, with a variety of funky shopping and nightlife including jazz, rock and dance clubs, restaurants, bars and cafés. By the early 1900s, the Village had fully established itself as the center of radical thinking in the United States. Famous reformers, artists and intellectuals all gathered here and many still do. Do not miss a visit to Washington Square Park, where you will experience the nexus of it all!
This cozy Greenwich Village park is always filled with students, residents and tourists alike. It is one of the few green spots in the area and has undergone many incarnations since it was the site of Minetta Creek in the 1600's. In that century it was farmland, then a burial ground in the next one, thereafter the city acquired the land and created the park in 1826. At the northern end stands the famous arch, built in 1889 to commemorate the centennial of Washington's inauguration when New York was the nation's first capital under the constitution. The arch was designed by the iconic Stanford White and throughout the park you can find many interesting historical features and facets, some are hidden and others are in plain sight. The area was also the neighborhood for many famous artists and writers, including Henry James, Edith Wharton and Edward Hopper; many lived in the Greek Revival style row houses at the northern end of the park. Today, most of the buildings in the neighborhood are owned by New York University.
Unlike many other squares of its kind in the U.S., this Union Square does not take it name for the labor movement or the integration of the Federal states, it was named for the unification of two major streets in 1815. The square underwent several refurbishments and renovations throughout the 19th Century, with the addition of the fountain in 1842 and Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead (landscape architects of Central Park fame) replanted the park in 1872. It is also known as a place for rallies, demonstrations and other events, with too many to count since its inception. Moreover, Union Square hosts street chess, open-air markets and there are plenty of retail stores around the entire area which makes it a perfect place to shop.
Built in 1902 and designed by Daniel H. Burnham, the Flatiron Building is considered the oldest and possibly, one of the most famous skyscrapers in New York City. Instantly recognizable, the building includes a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles and has a peculiar wedge shape (like that of an old-fashioned flat iron) that has made it a New York favorite. The area's Flatiron District is named after this enduring New York symbol.
A shining beacon of freedom, Lady Liberty dominates the eponymous Liberty Island in New York, her copper-wrought form towering over the city's harbor in all its glory. French activist Édouard René de Laboulaye expressed solidarity with the United States on behalf of his nation, if and when the US decided to build a monument that would be emblematic of their independence. The Statue of Liberty thus was the creative culmination of French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel and came to be an honorable offering from the nation of France to the United States. Designed to represent Libertas, a Roman goddess, Lady Liberty gazes proudly into the distance, her right torch-bearing arm outstretched toward the skies, while her left-hand holds a tablet inscribed with the date of United States' Declaration of independence. Over the years, the statue has not only instilled a sense of pride among hordes of Americans but has also been an uplifting sight for tens of thousands of immigrants who charted foreign seas in a bid to start life anew.
Soaring to a height of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters), this 102-story skyscraper held the title of the world's tallest for close to four decades after its completion in 1931. Despite being surpassed in height, the Empire State Building remains one of the United States' best-known and most iconic modern wonders. The building's Art Deco design is the work of the architect William F. Lamb, who drew up the plans over a mere two weeks using the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem as a template. Replete with stunning architectural details best showcased by the lavish lobby, the Empire State Building is a splendid jewel of the Art Deco variety. The highlights of the Empire State Building are its two observation decks, perched on the 86th and 102nd floors of the building. From here, awe-inspiring views of New York City await, the vista transforming from a sun-dappled, urban landscape by day to a glittering sea of lights by night. Often, the tower's lofty pinnacle is lit up in myriad colors to celebrate various special occasions and anniversaries throughout the year, accompanied by spectacular light shows that are visible for miles around.