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.
Soaring to a height of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters), this 102-storey skyscraper held the title of the world's tallest for close to four decades after its completion in 1931. Although since 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 a myriad colors to celebrate various special occasions and anniversaries throughout the year, accompanied by spectacular light shows that are visible for miles around.
A national historic landmark, Rockefeller Center spans a massive 22 acres (8.90 hectares) in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The center's namesake, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was the sole financier of the ambitious project, making this one of the world's largest private building ventures in modern times. The complex is composed of 14 Art Deco buildings built in the 1930s alongside five others - one that was completed in 1947 and another four built in the International Style. The splendid design of these historic buildings is matched by a spectacular array of attractions including the Top of the Rock Observation Deck that grants a show-stopping view of the city, Radio City Music Hall, the NBC Studios, several shops, and restaurants. A sprawling complex resplendently embellished with Art Deco details, the Rockefeller Center is a historic treasure with a modern twist.
New York's Grand Central Terminal, often inaccurately referred to as the Grand Central Station, is one of Midtown Manhattan's most resplendent architectural jewels and one of the busiest terminals in the world. Completed in 1913, the majestic Beaux-Arts beauty is richly embellished, its interiors a love affair with marble, while the ornamented facade is topped by The Glory of Commerce - a riveting sculpture that depicts Mercury, Hercules and Minerva overlooking the riotous city from a lofty perch, the world's largest Tiffany stained glass clock at their feet. Painted constellations arch above the iconic main hall, featured in any number of movies, its vaulted ceilings an awe-inspiring sight. Today, the building also houses chic shops and a dining concourse, alongside 44 platforms that cater to commuter, intercity and rapid transport trains, attracting commuters and tourists in equal measure.
The Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the United States. It houses thousands of animals, ranging from lions and monkeys to sea lions and sloths. The Congo exhibit features lowland gorillas, pythons and other central African animals. A modern zoo, it places animals into re-creations of their own ecosystems. Also, a plethora of activities held at the zoo provide an educating and entertaining experience for adults as well as children. Admission prices vary according to season, so check the website for details.
Covering 250 acres (101 hectares), the New York Botanical Garden is a blend of rocks, waterfalls, hills, rivers, woods, ponds, plants, and of course, flowers. The property is beautiful and a National Landmark and includes an interactive area for children. The restored Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is a Victorian-era greenhouse. Don't forget to visit the Shop in the Garden - a store which offers a wide range of goods, from books and garden products to jewelry and body products. Admission prices are higher during peak season, so check the website for details. For those interested in fresh fruits and vegetables, the garden hosts a farmer's market from June through November each year.
The library houses a tremendous collection of historic recordings, videotapes, autographed manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs and theatrical posters. If you are interested in the performing arts, this is one place that can't be missed. Find all types of interesting people and learn from all the artifacts and collection available here at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
The stellar zoo located within the sprawling Central Park is one of the most recognized wildlife attractions in the city. Part of a network of four zoos within the city, Central Park Zoo adheres strictly to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices apart from boasting great facilities for the animals. Animal cages have been removed, in favor of open-air habitats. In the Polar Circle, glass walls allow you to see penguins and polar bears swimming just inches from your face.
Visit the USS Growler (SSG-557), a Grayback class cruise missile submarine used in the mid 20th Century on a number of missions. The submarine has been anchored in Hudson River and is located in the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Inside the submarine, you will see the cabins of the officers and crew, engine room, operations station and the mess room. Entry to the submarine is a part of the entry fee of the museum.
The Harry F. Sinclair House, completed in 1898 was designed by ace architect C.P.H Gilbert on Mr. Isaac Fletcher's behest. The oil baron Harry Sinclair came upon the mansion's ownership in 1918, where he lived until 1930. The structure, done up in beautiful French Gothic style, is located in the most popular neighbourhood of the Big Apple. As of today it serves as a venue for many exhibitions, performances and screenings, thanks to the Ukrainian Institute of America who found a home here after 1948.