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.
With a permanent collection numbering over two million individual works of art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply the Met, is not only a New York City landmark, it is the United States' largest art museum and the fifth-most visited museum of any kind in the world. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the museum encompasses more than 1.5 million square feet (139,355 square meters) of exhibition space. European paintings on display include those by world-renown masters like Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Titian, and Vermeer. The vast collection has been split between several galleries, arranged by geographic origin and other thematic schemes. The Egyptian art gallery is especially enticing, as are the Met's repositories of Asian, African and Medieval art. Others include Islamic, Roman, and Greek art, the Arms and Armory section, the Costume Institute, and European Decorative arts. When weather permits, contemporary sculptures are displayed at the open-air roof garden. Apart from being a treasure trove for art lovers, The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a fun-filled and educational experience for all ages.
The High Line is an urban oasis filled with beautifully manicured landscapes. It sits above the city on old train tracks that were installed as part of the West Side Improvement Project back in 1929. The line was primarily used to transport goods along the Lower West Side, but with the advent of vehicles in the 1950s and more accessible routes elsewhere, the last train eventually ran in 1980. Thereafter, the elevated tracks fell into disrepair, and the whole structure was nearly demolished. It was instead converted into an innovative public park, delighting locals and visitors alike. Today, the High Line is a cherished sanctuary away from the bustle of city life.
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.
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.
The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is a massive venue when it comes to live entertainment. The Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors has something for everyone: internationally recognized dances, high-level performances, special events and jazz. Watch out for Live From Lincoln Center, a program that has famous orchestras and artistes performing. Lincoln Center holds about 400 live performances a year, ranging from classical to modern productions. And as if that wasn't enough, the Center also hosts many events put on by the Film Society at Lincoln Center. There are guided tours on a daily basis that explore the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, the New York State Theater (home of the New York City Opera) and the Vivian Beaumont Theater. During the tour, your guides will entertain you with fascinating stories and give you a glimpse of a rehearsal in progress.
Located in a historic building since 1892, the Arts Students League has nurtured artists for over a century. Offering classes and studio space, the history of the New York art world is ever present here past students, instructors and lecturers have included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, Childe Hassam and Georgia O'Keefe. The second floor gallery houses their permanent collection, as well as rotating exhibitions. The concourse exhibits works by League students.
This Manhattan museum is housed in a modern building with a resemblance to that of a Tetris game. All aspects of design, and every medium of art, are represented at this impressive museum. Whether it's architecture, interior design, fashion or folk crafts, the collections here encompass much of American object art. The museum also offers a wide range of workshops, programs and tours, giving anyone a chance to join in, whether you're an art student or a casual visitor.
The Huntington-Hartford Building was designed by Edward Durrell in stone and is regarded as a controversial landmark by all because of its looks. Many want it pulled down, many want it redesigned, others are fighting to hold onto the legacy of the Huntington-Hartford's. It lies very close to the Trump Towers. The building also holds a vast collection of the Huntington-Hardford paintings in a museum. The building was erected in 1964 and has a white marble facade, 'lollipop' columns and portholes that make its design very ugly indeed. It is now home to the Museum of Arts and Design.
The Weill Music Institute is located in one of New York's most prized touristy attractions, the world-famous Carnegie Hall. This institute provides enriching music education programs to all those who are interested. World music as diverse as Indian and Turkish rhythms are also part of the offerings here, and the best part is that students of all ages are encouraged to enroll. A number of events, festivals, workshops and concerts are held regularly too so check website for more details on those.
On the opening night of this famous music house, Tchaikovsky conducted and New York's elite waited in line to enter. Carnegie Hall quickly became an international Mecca of classical music, attracting the brightest stars from Bernstein to Toscanini. Today, over 100 years later, top orchestras and modern music share this venue. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa and Frank Sinatra have all headlined here. Many musicians claim it has the best acoustics in the world. Tours are available during the day. Practice, practice, practice isn't the only way to get to Carnegie Hall!
Since the Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage opened its doors in 1891, it has been a sought-after performing arts venue in New York. The elegant and well-planned design, with its characteristic curved plan, was the idea and effort of William Burnett Tuthill, an architect and cellist. Its interiors boast of a palatial grandeur with deep red plush seats against pale pastel walls and no matter where you are seated, an impeccable view of the stage is guaranteed. The five-layered seating can accommodate up to 2,804 patrons, thus making it an ideal venue for major concerts, lectures, seminars and much more.