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.
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.
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 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.
PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown is the perfect example of classic decor meeting metropolitan. This rooftop bar is what most city folks would love to head to in the evening to unwind with friends. Treat your taste buds with creative cocktails like Wet Dream, Blackberry Smash, Sparkling Dream Girl or local brew or one can even make a selection of wine from their collection of red and white. Complement your drinks with bar food such as kale artichoke dip, shrimp cocktail or mini pretzel bites. Add elegance to your celebration by hosting your guests at this venue as they offer rental services.
Built around the theme of covering the lesser-known field of spycraft, the Spyscape is a one-of-a-kind museum. Visitors to the Spyscape can now enjoy sitting in interactive interrogation rooms, walking through laser tunnels and even receiving an analysis of the kind of spy work they are meant to do based on their profile. Other activities that one can indulge in the museum include browsing through spy artifacts and learning about historical stories like how the Enigma Code was cracked and about the security breach at the CIA website by a teenage hacker. If you are in the mood to experience something different, then a visit to the immersive Spyscape will certainly not let you down.
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.
The Alwyn Court is an iconic landmark on Manhattan's streetscape. Built in 1907, this architectural marvel is an example of the French Renaissance style. Its exterior facade displays splendid terra-cotta work and intricate decor. The interiors, however, underwent several refurbishments over the decades. This apartment building features on the National Register of Historic Places.
Studio 54, previously known as the famous Gallo Opera House has now reinvented itself as one of the prominent Broadway theaters in the Theater District. The theater is now home to the Roundabout Theatre Company which staged an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' A Street Car Named Desire in 2005. A nightclub operates on the second floor and has been graced with performances by notable singers like Gloria Estefan.