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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An offshoot of the Longwood Art Project, this gallery at Hostos Community College hosts exhibitions throughout the year. Drop in to check out their varied exhibits and satisfy your artistic appetite. Check their website to find out what grabs your interest. The gallery was set up so as to provide an inherent boost to the work of budding artists from various groups that not represented too well on the basis of race and ethnicity.
This gallery features works of art from various artists in the fields of painting and photography. But that's not all, their focus is also on mixed media and sound installation. Artists who were otherwise ignored are now being recognized and appreciated. These spellbinding creations are sure to lure every eye. So here's calling all you art enthusiasts, do make a trip and enjoy yourselves.
Alternately known as Avenue of the Americas, 6th Avenue is the American equivalent for London's Oxford Street or Paris' Champs Elysee. Controversial in nature, the extension of this avenue in the 1920's sent several Italian immigrants scurrying with nowhere to go however, over the decades it gained tremendous commercial importance. A number of Gothic structures, historic squares, flower markets and art centers dot the nearby surroundings so make sure to come down here while in the Big Apple.
Having the capacity to hold about 180 people, Elebash Recital Hall is located in the City University of New York Graduate Center. An ideal place for holding cultural events like student concerts and other formal presentations, this venue is quiet spacious. Fully equipped with audio and visual equipments, this hall hosts several special events annually. Catering primarily to cultural events, the hall is commonly known as a culture complex.
Located off New York State Thruway, Common Ground Coffeehouse is a popular venue for music concerts. In addition to hosting concerts in this cozy performance venue, they also host concerts in other locations like Irvington Theater in New York. This cozy venue is a great place to visit for music lovers.
Completed in 1939, Walsh Gymnasium is a multi-purpose facility in South Orange, New Jersey. With its capacity of 2600 seats, the arena is an excellent setting for various events and celebrations.