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New York City is an enormous city. Each of its five boroughs is the equivalent of a large city in its own right and may itself be divided into districts. These borough and district articles contain sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings . New York City (also referred to as "New York", "NYC", "The Big Apple", or just "the City" by locals), is the biggest city in the United States. It lies at the mouth of the Hudson River in the southernmost part of the state, which is part of the Mid-Atlantic region of the USA. The New York Metropolitan Area spans parts of three states—lower New York, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut. It is the USA's largest metro area, with a population of 18.7 million. As of 2007, it was 5th in the world, after Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Seoul. New York City is a center for media, culture, food, fashion, art, research, finance, and trade. It has one of the largest and most famous skylines on earth, dominated by the iconic Empire State Building.
Boroughs : New York City consists of five boroughs, which are five separate counties. Each borough has a unique culture—each could be a large city in its own right. Within each borough individual neighborhoods—some only a few blocks in size—have personalities lauded in music and film. The five New York boroughs are:
Manhattan (New York County)
The famous island between the Hudson and East Rivers, with many diverse and unique neighborhoods. Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, Wall Street, Harlem, and the trendy neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo.
Brooklyn (Kings County)
The most populous borough, and formerly a separate city. Located south and east of Manhattan across the East River. Known for artists, music venues, beaches, and Coney Island.
Queens (Queens County)
U-shaped and located to the east of Manhattan, across the East River, and north, east, and south of Brooklyn. Queens is the home of the city's two international airports, the New York Mets professional baseball team, the United States Open Tennis Center, and New York City's second-largest Chinatown (in Flushing). With over 140 languages spoken, Queens is the most ethnically diverse region in the United States, and one of the most diverse in the world.
The Bronx (Bronx County)
Located north of Manhattan Island, the Bronx is home to the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Gardens, and the New York Yankees professional baseball team.
Staten Island (Richmond County)
A large island in New York Harbor, south of Manhattan and just across the narrow Kill Van Kull from New Jersey. Unlike the rest of New York City, Staten Island has a suburban character.
Like most of the great world cities, New York has an abundance of great attractions. A number of multi-attraction schemes give reduced prices and line-skipping privileges. Explorer Pass, Allows you to choose 7, 5 or 3 top attractions to visit. Cardholders have 30 days to use the card after visiting the first attraction. Attractions to choose from include Top of the Rock Observation, Rockefeller Center Tour, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NBC Studio Tour, movie tours, cruises, and more. Also included with the card are shopping, dining, and additional attraction discounts . CityPass, Gets you into 6 New York attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate. The attractions are American Museum of Natural History; Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Modern Art; Empire State Building Observatory; The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters; and the option between a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise OR the ferry to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. $79 adult, $59 youth aged 6–17 (reduced from combined regular admission of $140 adults and $101 youth). New York Pass, Grants access to over 50 top attractions with line skipping privileges. Passes are available for 1 day ($75 adult, $55 child), 2 days ($110 adult, $90 child), 3 days ($140 adult, $120 child) or 7 days ($180 adult, $140 child). Remember, you must obtain a ticket in each attraction. You can visit as many attractions as you want in the time period - the more attractions you visit, the more you save. Also includes a free 140 page guide book, but is much better to organize yours visits previously, via internet.
Statue of Liberty : The ferry ($19) leaves every 25 minutes from Battery Park and stops at Liberty Island and Ellis Island. You must (in advance) reserve a time slot to enter the museum at the base of the statue, and then undergo cumbersome security procedures to actually enter the museum in the statue's pedestal. The Immigration Museum at Ellis Island is worth a visit, and it is free. Both Liberty Island and Ellis Island are open every day of the year except December 25, from 9:30AM until 5PM (with extended hours in the summer). You can also see the Statue of Liberty for free when you take the Staten Island Ferry (on the right side going to Staten Island and on the left side going back to Manhattan.
Brooklyn Bridge : You may walk across this historic bridge in either direction (takes about 30 minutes each way), or bike across it, for no toll. The view is quite nice going into Manhattan. On the Brooklyn side, you can get pizza, or dine by the waterfront in the DUMBO (Down Under [the] Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area, which is gentrifying with lofts and cool dining places. You can also take the F train to York St, hang out in the DUMBO area and then walk across the bridge back into Manhattan. After crossing the bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, why not pause a moment on the Brooklyn Promenade and enjoy the spectacular views of the Manhattan Skyline. Especially beautiful at sunset.
Central Park : with its lawns, trees and lakes is popular for recreation and concerts and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Zoo.
Times Square : centered on 42nd Street and Broadway—a place filled with video screens and LED signs. A world wonder or a tourist nightmare depending on your perspective, the "New" Times Square is a family-friendly theme park of themed restaurants, theaters and hotels, as well as a developing business district.
Lincoln Center : Broadway at 64th Street : The world's largest cultural complex. See theater, symphonies, ballet, opera, movies, art exhibits or just wander the architecturally beautiful buildings. Subway: 1 to 66th St. or walkable from A, B, C and D trains at 59th St. or the 2 and 3 trains to 72nd St. The buildings are modern, and even have modern chandeliers. There are two opera companies, and the famous Julliard School of Music is also here. Within a few blocks are a large Barnes and Noble Bookstore, three "art-house" movie theatres and an AMC movie theater which includes New York's only commercial IMAX screen.
Rockefeller Plaza, : 630 5th Avenue. The Christmas Tree, the Skating Rink, the shops and hubbub—you can't miss it. The Christmas Tree and the Skating Rink are not year round. You may take skating lessons. There are several dining establishments overlooking this area. The art deco buildings of Rockefeller Center are quite cool.
Top of the Rock, : Rockefeller Plaza, As the name suggests, the Top of the Rock is the observation level of the Rockefeller Center. Amazing views of New York City, without the crowds you find at the Empire State Building.
The United Nations : 1st Avenue at 46th Street . Offers a park overlooking the East River and tours of the general assembly and secretariat.
Empire State Building : Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, The Empire State Building is open until 12 midnight, 2AM on the weekends during the summer. Note: Strongly consider going to the Empire State at night. During the day, lines can be between 1 and 4 hours. At night, lines disappear, or at the very least are significantly better.
World Trade Center Site, Trinity Place and Fulton Street. The site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has become popular with visitors (and it was popular with visitors even before the attacks, as a couple of landmark buildings stood there). Various plaques are on display documenting the history of the WTC.
New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street (at Wall Street). The most important stock exchange in the world, the NYSE is the most watched indicator of economic performance in the global economy. The activity on the trading floor is astonishing. V
New York Public Library : Corner of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. After the Library of Congress, this is the largest non-academic library in the United States. It is housed in a beautiful building by Carrer and Hastings, which is seen as the greatest example of Beaux Arts architecture. The main reading room is magnificent, and the library contains numerous important rare items, like Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Grand Central Terminal : 42nd Street and Park Avenue. One of the busiest train stations in the world, Grand Central is also a must for architecture lovers. Its vaulted ceiling, covered with a medieval zodiac design, is staggering.
Museums and galleries : New York has some of the finest museums in the world. All the public museums (notably including the Metropolitan Museum), which are run by the city, accept donations for an entrance fee, but private museums (especially the Museum of Modern Art) can be very expensive. In addition to the major museums, hundreds of small galleries are spread throughout the city, notably in neighborhoods like Chelsea and Williamsburg. Many galleries and museums in New York close on Mondays, so be sure to check hours before visiting. The following is just a list of highlights; see district pages for more listings.
Arts and Culture :
Brooklyn Museum of Art : on Eastern Parkway (Eastern Parkway stop on the 2 or 3 train) is a large museum which contains excellent collections of Egyptian art, Assyrian reliefs, 19th-century American art, and art from Africa and Oceania, among other things. Right past the museum are the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (separate admission charge), so you can easily visit both in one pleasant afternoon.
The Cloisters : Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters—quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade—and from other monastic sites in southern France. Its gardens are a great way to spend a nice afternoon. Pay for the Cloisters or the Metropolitan Museum and see both for the price of one (although note that payment at both places is by donation, in any case).
Guggenheim : The architecture is more interesting than the collection it hosts, although the spiraling galleries are ideal for exhibiting art works. It was designed by the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was built in 1959.
International Center of Photography : Devoted solely to photography, this museum a block from Times Square always has interesting exhibits running.
Museum of Sex : A museum which relates to the evolution of sex. It features images, films, and sex devices being used. They also sell some adult collections.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) : This is the most comprehensive collection of modern art in the world, and is so large as to require multiple visits to see all of the works on display. If you are in a hurry and want to see only the crowd-pleasers, head to the fifth floor, where you'll find works like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Also make sure to take time to visit the extensive (and sometimes whimsical) industrial design collection.
Metropolitan Museum of Art : Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum is in New York City's Central Park along Fifth Avenue. The Museum's two-million-square-foot building has vast holdings that represent a series of collections, each of which ranks in its category among the finest in the world. The American Wing, for example, houses the world's most comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts, presently including 24 period rooms that offer an unparalleled view of American history and domestic life. The Museum's approximately 2,500 European paintings form one of the greatest such collections in the world's Rembrandts and Vermeers alone are among the choicest, not to mention the collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist canvases.
Madame Tussauds : . New York City's branch of the famous London wax museum. Features over 200 detailed life-like wax models of celebrities, politicians, athletes and historical icons in the heart of Times Square.
PS1 Contemporary Art Center : An affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Whitney Museum of American Art Contemporary American art, permanent collection and rotating exhibitions. The Whitney is associated with Fisher-Landau Center in Queens, and the Whitney Museum at Altria, a smaller exhibition space in midtown.
The New Museum of Contemporary Art Contemporary art exhibitions with no permanent collection.
Science and Technology
American Museum of Natural History
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum,
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
New York Hall of Science,
Parks : Though the image many people have of Manhattan is endless skyscrapers and packed sidewalks, the city also boasts numerous lovely parks, ranging from small squares to the 850-acre Central Park, and there are worthwhile parks in every borough. From the views of the New Jersey Palisades from Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, to the grand Pelham Bay Park in The Bronx, and the famous Flushing Meadow Park in Corona, Queens, site of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, there is more than enough to keep any visitor busy. And almost any park is a great spot to rest, read, or just relax and watch the people streaming past.
Theater and Performing Arts : New York's Broadway is famous for its many shows, especially musicals, and boasts an enormous amount and variety of theatrical performances. These shows usually fall into one of three categories: Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway. Broadway refers to the shows near Times Square that usually play to theaters of 500 seats or more. These include the major musicals and big-name dramatic works, and are the most popular with visitors. New York has a wide variety of musical and dance companies, including several that are among the world's most renowned. There are also numerous small companies putting on more idiosyncratic shows every night of the week.
Film :New York is one of the world's greatest film cities, home to a huge number of theaters playing independent and repertory programs. Many major US studio releases open earlier in New York than elsewhere (especially in the autumn) and can be found at the major cineplexes (AMC, United Artists, etc.) around the city. Be advised that, as with everything else in New York, movies are quite popular, and even relatively obscure films at unappealing times of the day can still be sold out. It's best to get tickets in advance whenever possible.
Parades : New York City hosts many parades, street festivals and outdoor pageants. New York's Village Halloween Parade : Each Halloween (October 31) at 7PM. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade : The morning of each Thanksgiving on Central Park West, this parade attracts many spectators and is broadcast on nationwide television. St. Patrick's Day Parade : The largest St. Paddy's parade in the world!
New York Flights & Airports : New York City (INYC is well connected by air with flights from almost every corner of the world. Three large airports (and several small ones) serve the region. John F. Kennedy International Airport ( JFK ) and Newark Liberty International Airport ( EWR ) are large international airports while LaGuardia Airport ( LGA ) is a busy domestic airport. All three airports are run by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.