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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.
This complex was designated the permanent headquarters for the United Nations in 1952. Many buildings, including the General Assembly Hall, can be viewed on guided tours. When the flags in front of the complex are flying, the Assembly is in session. It is possible to sit in on a council session. Call the information desk for a free ticket. Seats are limited, so make sure you book well in advance. Tours are held every half-hour. Prices and opening times are subject to change.
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.
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.
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.
The Top of the Rock observation deck adds to the many facets of the Rockefeller Center's international appeal, which already include a seasonal ice skating rink, NBC Studios and the famous Christmas tree. The Top of the Rock observation deck sits serenely on the 70th floor of Rockefeller Center. With incredible views of Central Park, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, and northern Manhattan, you'll be offered a more peaceful look at the bustling city below. Wile away the hours soaking in a gorgeous sunset or experiencing the interactive, multimedia exhibits. The innovative ticket reservation system claims to guarantee a comfortable atmosphere that is never overcrowded.
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 stunning memorial was created to honor the people killed on September 11, 2001. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001 when terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers, causing them to collapse. The memorial consists of two pools set in the original site as well as a beautiful plaza. The names of the victims are engraved on paneling along the pools. Visitors can also explore the 9/11 Memorial Museum that features artifacts and stories about the events.
A renowned entertainment venue in the Big Apple, Madison Square Garden has gained iconic importance around the world. Attracting crowds since 1968, the stadium is abuzz with voices of Knicks and Rangers fans. With a capacity of 18,000, it is considered to be Midtown Manhattan's revered and oldest entertainment spot. From glamorous music concerts to award shows, the venue has witnessed some of the biggest events over time. A sought after venue in New York City and sitting right above Penn Station, it is easily accessible for everyone.
Brooklyn's Coney Island became one of the city's leisure hotspots in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, following the introduction of the Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad streetcar line. Since then, the area has been swamped by resorts and attractions. Following the decline of World War II and the years of neglect the park endured after, the area has burst back into life and is home to Luna Park, the Aquarium and of course, the beach. A three-mile-long boardwalk runs the length of Coney Island into Brighton Beach. There is sometimes a circus, but always something strange to see. Also, don't let the non-holiday cooler months deter you from visiting; it is much less crowded, and the stores remain open.
The zigzagging streets and charming brownstones of Greenwich Village have a far more laid back atmosphere than most neighborhoods in the city. The center of New York's gay and student communities lies here, with a variety of funky shopping and nightlife including jazz, rock and dance clubs, restaurants, bars and cafés. By the early 1900s, the Village had fully established itself as the center of radical thinking in the United States. Famous reformers, artists and intellectuals all gathered here and many still do. Do not miss a visit to Washington Square Park, where you will experience the nexus of it all!
A shining beacon of freedom, Lady Liberty dominates the eponymous Liberty Island in New York, her copper-wrought form towering over the city's harbor in all its glory. French activist Édouard René de Laboulaye expressed solidarity with the United States on behalf of his nation, if and when the US decided to build a monument that would be emblematic of their independence. The Statue of Liberty thus was the creative culmination of French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel, and came to be an honorable offering from the nation of France to the United States. Designed to represent Libertas, a Roman goddess, Lady Liberty gazes proudly into the distance, her right torch-bearing arm outstretched toward the skies, while her left hand holds a tablet inscribed with the date of United States' Declaration of independence. Over the years, the statue has not only instilled a sense of pride among hordes of Americans, but has also been an uplifting sight for tens of thousands of immigrants who charted foreign seas in a bid to start life anew.