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 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.
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.
Home to the legendary dance company The Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most spectacular and famous performance venues in the United States. Its locale in the heart of the Big Apple has made it a cultural center, particularly during the Christmas season. Originally opened in 1932 and nicknamed "The Palace for the People," Radio City was renovated in 1980. Anybody who is anybody has performed here - New York legends Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis, Jr. are just a few that spring to mind, and to this day, the stage remains a showcase for entertainment royalty.
This massive cathedral, situated across from Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue is regarded as the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. With its two soaring 330-foot spires, St. Patrick's Cathedral is also one of the city's most spectacular architectural sights. Construction on the neo-gothic structure had started in 1850 and completed in 1878. Inside, it boasts of numerous altars and stained glass windows, and a giant organ with over 7,300 pipes. Services are held throughout the day, and many New Yorkers stop in for a moment of serenity in their otherwise hectic lives.
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.
Standing at the southwest corner of Central Park at Merchant's Gate, the park's main entrance, is the massive Maine Monument. Standing at over 44 feet (13.4 meters) tall, the monument honors the 260 American sailors who died in the explosion of the battleship Maine. The bronze figure atop the towering limestone pylon depicts Columbia Triumphant riding a chariot of three hippocampi (mythological Greek sea-horses). At the bottom of the pylon is the prow of a ship surrounded by four figures representing Fortitude & Justice, Victory, Peace, and Courage.
6 1/2 Avenue is a pedestrian-only street that is located between West 51st and West 57st Streets. The Avenue is located in the big corporate buildings starting from the AXA Equitable Building and ends at the Metropolitan Tower. The street is well designed with a visible pathway and overhead roofs. This is a faster route for pedestrians as they do not have to face the city's harsh traffic.
Situated in the southwest of Central Park, Pinebank Arch is a beautiful bridge. Made using cast iron, this bridge was built by J.B. and W.W. Cornell Ironworks in 1861. This old bridge connects West Drive to Heckscher Playground. Surrounded by lush green trees and manicured lawns, this bridge exudes an old world charm.
This New York landmark has been instrumental in the spread of the teachings of bible and allows the worship of God through Jesus Christ for the people of Big Apple. The church was founded in 1887 as a Catholic Apostolic Church and after more than a century it was handed over to the Lutheran Church in 1995. A fine example of Gothic Revival style of architecture, the striking red-bricked structure is decorated with terra-cotta motifs and dressings, which makes it worth a visit. The church hosts weekly prayer service every Sunday at 11a which attracts the worshipers of Manhattan in large numbers. The church is also host to a concert series known as The Stoop, which allows them stage performances of local and upcoming bands. Call ahead or visit their website to know more.
This church in a modern city is very reminiscent of the old historical basilicas in 4th- and 5th-century Italy. It was constructed at the end of the 1800s, and it continues to stand today. The Church's organ also serves as a popular attraction. The organ has nearly 5000 pipes and frequently draws professionals seeking to experience this grand instrument. The church also has special mass for certain events, refer to website for more details.