New York City
New York City is made up of the 5 boroughs of The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, though Manhattan is probably the most visited especially by first time visitors. Using the subway it is easy to get about Manhattan and to take in the major sights within a few days. So relax and enjoy NYC whatever you like it's there for you.
Explore Central Park, Broadway, Times Square and the Empire State Building
Empire State Building Midtown Manhattan
The Empire State Building reclaimed its status as NYC tallest building after 9/11
The Empire State building was completed in 1931. It remained NYC's tallest building until the Twin Towers were constructed. After- 911 , it once more became the city's tallest building.
It attracts over 4 million visitors a year.- During the peak tourist times , the- queue can be rather long as it winds and twists around 1st floor.- Early Sunday mornings seem like a relatively quiet time for visiting.
As the building dates back to the 1930s it is no surprise that the lobby is a fine example of Art Deco.
The express lift takes passengers to the observation level- 86 in less than a minute. The 102nd floor is also an observation deck and costs slightly more to access.
On LineBeat the queue and buy a ticket in advance on line
SunsetFrom the observation decks- at sunset the city can be seen in a haze of golden orange as the sun fades across the city into the western sky.
Empire State Building
Take a stroll around Times Square in the city that never sleeps
Times Square the heart of Manhattan, the home of Broadway theatre and a mecca for tourists.
With its focus on security, the area is safe for tourists and locals alike.- Chat with the friendly police if lost or simply concerned about an issue. You will receive a pleasant and helpful response.
The Square took it's from the New York Times which had its headquarters in the general area.
The area draws over 35 million visitors annually and has in excess of 16,000 hotel bedrooms.
If thinking of going to the theatre, you can queue up during the day time and get discount ticket rates.
The square is close to many of the city's districts which take their names from the former commercial activities such as Diamond District, Garment District.
The square is located on Broadway and 42nd Street.
Relax and unwind in Central Park from the stress of the city.
The Central Park Conservancy was founded in 1980 by a group of dedicated civic and philanthropic leaders. They were determined to end Central Park's dramatic decline in the 1970s and restore it to its former splendour- as America's first and foremost major urban public space, as envisioned by its 19th-century designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
Today, the Conservancy's mission is to restore and manage the park for the peoples of New York City.
Since its founding, the Conservancy has overseen the investment of more than $550 million into Central Park, of which more than $390 million was raised from private sources individuals, corporations and foundations and more than $110 million was contributed by the City.
Conservancy crews care for 250 acres of lawns, 24,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams and 130 acres of woodlands; install hundreds of thousands of plantings annually, including bulbs, shrubs, flowers and trees; maintain 9,000 benches, 26 ball fields and 21 playgrounds; preserve 55 sculptures and monuments, as well as 36 bridges; remove graffiti within 24 hours; collect over 5 million pounds of trash a year; and provide horticultural support to City parks.
Shop till you drop in some of the world's most expensive shops between 49th and 60th. Though 5th Ave is much much longer than the expensive shopping area. It starts at Washington Square Park ( down in Lower Manhattan close to Tribeca and Greenwich villages and runs north crossing Broadway, further north along central park and up to 142 st street where it terminates at the Harlem River.
Along the way it passes the Empire State Building at 34th and at 42nd street, 5th Ave passes close to Grand Central Station (42nd and Madison). Between 49th and 50th it passes the Rockefeller Plazza
Art Deco at it's finest, on the corner of 42nd and Lexington Ave you will find the Chrysler Building though you will see from many vantage points, it peep its gargoyled head above the lower blocks. It's reign of being the world's tallest building lasted only 11 months, when its rival the Empire State Building started to tower over it - though it still holds the record as the tallest brick building - though strengthened by a steel frame.
On the corners of the 61st floor eagles ( not gargoyles ) project from the walls. Thirty floors below (31st ) the corners are decorated with replicas of the 1929 Chrysler Radiator caps. Due to its unique architecture the building was classified as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
Lower End Manhattan
Explore the Financial Districts, the Piers, Courthouse and City Hall.
Financial District Lower End Manhattan
Wander about through the Financial District where fortunes were made and lost.
Formerly the docklands, the Financial District at lower end of Manhattan is now the World's major financial centre. When Wall St wibbles worldwide stocks wobble.
Pearl St at the heart of the FD is the most expensive real estate in the world.
Wall St. takes it's name from the wall that was built between the British and Dutch settlements in 1653. ( The Dutch had control of New Amsterdam )
The FD has numerous sights to visit such as Battery Park at the lower tip of the island has great views of the Hudson, The City and Statue of Liberty.
Also see the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank and US Custom House.
The FRB is so large it takes up an entire block.
Down town Piers
While wandering around the Financial District, dont forget to visit the Ferry Piers, restaurants and shopping area
The financial district including Wall Street run down to- South Street Seaport and the downtown piers
The port is a haven for shopping, dining, helicopter and ferry trips along the Hudson and East Rivers.
The Ferries to Staten Island are within walking distance of Pier 17.
The South Street Seaport Museum was founded in the 1960s; an exacting restoration of Schermerhorn Row took place in the 1970s; Pier 17 was developed in the 1980s.
The historic buildings west of the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Drive have stood for more than a century.
East of the FDR, stands the historic Tin Building. The 1907 structure was once a thriving marketplace where the city's fish was imported and processed.
The historic tall ships set against the rising skyscrapers make an impressive backdrop while dining or mooching around the tourist shops.
Down town Piers
Supreme Court NY county
Explore in and around Foley Square and the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse
Supreme Court NY county
Explore in and around City Hall NYC.
Just north of the FD lies the Civic Centre the centre of government for the city.
The mayor of NYC has offices in the City Hall a neo classical building built in the early 1800s. You may have seen on TV some of the many press conferences and protests that have taken place on its steps.
The park beside City Hall is City Hall Park a former place of execution. Today it is a place of relaxation for the many office workers who toil in lower Manhattan.
The hall is built of marble hence it's white appearance. Though notice the brown north face -- an effort by the city fathers to reduce the escalating costs of the building during construction.
Apparently Abraham Lincoln's coffin lay in repose on the staircase in 1865.
The Governor's room a reception room where the mayor entertains guests is decorated with artefacts from the city's earlier days.
Walking along Duane street, quite close to the Court House, you pass the African Burial Ground National Monument. The burial ground contains the remains of over 400 Africans, many of whom were slaves. The grounds date from the mid 17th to mid 18th century.
While slavery in New York started on a very small scale around the 1620s, it grew at a pace. The first slave auction was held in 1655 along the East River. By the early 1700s almost half the city's households had slaves and by the time of the American Revolution, they accounted for over 25% of the population of the city.
Enjoy a cruise around Upper Bay, pass the Statue of Liberty, visit Staten Island.
Statue of Liberty Upper Bay
A visit to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is a- key activity for visitors to New York City.
In 1886, The Statue of Liberty Monument was a given to the United States from France to celebrate the friendship the two endured during the American Revolution.
The Statue of Liberty over the years has symbolized the freedom and the democracy of the United States.
France designed and built the Statue part and the United States built the pedestal. The designer- Bartholdi needed an engineer to address the structural issues with designing the sculpture so Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) provided assistance with getting the Statue to stand upright.
In order to get the Statue to the United States the Statue was broken down into 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates
After 911 statue was closed to visitors until 2004. Today visitors have access to the Statue's pedestal observation deck, promenade, museum, and the area of Ft. Wood and Ellis Island.
Tickets can be bought on line and pre-booking helps beat the queues.
Today visitors have access to the Statue's pedestal observation deck, promenade, museum, and the area of Ft. Wood and Ellis Island.
Statue of Liberty
Staten Island Ferry
Take the free trip on the Staten Island Ferry, past the Statue of Liberty and enjoy the NYC skyline
The Staten Island Ferry carries over- 20 million people a year or around (60,000 passengers a day not including weekend days) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan.
The ferry is a passenger only ferry.
NYC DOT operates and maintains the nine vessel fleet as well as the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, the City Island and Hart Island Facilities, The Battery Maritime Building and all floating dock building equipment.
The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York for one pragmatic reason: To transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan.
The journey time is about 25 minutes to cover the 5 mile .
On board the ferry one gets a magnificent view of the NYC skyline and a close up view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
You'll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return.
A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five boats to transport approximately 60,000 passengers daily (109 daily trips). During the day, between rush hours, boats are regularly fuelled and maintenance work is performed.
Terminals are cleaned around the clock and routine terminal maintenance is performed on the day shift. On weekends, three boats are used (75 trips each Saturday and 68 trips each Sunday). Over 35,000 trips are made annually.
Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island's Downtown is just beside the Ferry Terminal. The town has a bustling atmosphere, vibrant community, and cultural attractions, the community of St. George is a great place for you to explore.
Enjoy your time on the island and eat in one of the local restaurants.
There are museums to visit and even ball games to watch.
The Staten Island Museum was founded in 1881, the Museum is home to more than two million artefacts and specimens from ancient to contemporary periods.
St George's Ferry Terminal
The Ferry only takes 25 minutes to travel to the Ferry Port on Manhattan the trip is Free.
The Esplanade on the island's north shore, offers picture-perfect views of Manhattan.
A short walk from the Ferry Terminal along the Esplanade brings you to Postcards, a stunning and sombre memorial to the 275 Staten Islanders lost on September 11, 2001.
Dedicated on the third anniversary of the attack in 2004, the memorial features two fiberglass structures resembling postcards, perhaps being sent to lost loved ones.
The memorial honours each victim.
Take the free Ferry and explore the Island's history as it evolved from colonial outpost to regional administrative.
Governors Island is open to the public every Friday-Sunday and all Holiday Mondays through September 25.
The Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan has been released and the public is invited to comment.
Island History The Native Americans of the Manhattan
In 1637, Wouter Van Twiller, representative of Holland, purchased Governors Island from the Native Americans of "Manahatas" for two ax heads, a string of beads, and a handful of nails.
Though he was a representative of the Dutch government, Van Twiller purchased the island for his private use. The island, thereafter known as Noten Eylant or Nutten Island, was confiscated by the Dutch government a year later.
In 1664, the English captured New Amsterdam, renaming it New York, and took Nutten Island, which had been left unfortified by the Dutch.
The island, however, switched hands between the British and the Dutch over the next 10 years until the British regained exclusive control of the island for the "benefit and accommodation of His Majesty's Governors."
Although it was not officially named until 1784, it thus came to be called Governors Island.
East Side and River
Explore the east side along the East River or take one of the many ferries.
Brooklyn Bridge East Side and River
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA. It spans the East River connecting Manahattan and Brooklyn
Brooklyn bridge spans the waterway between lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The bridge was completed in 1883, was the first steel suspension bridge.
A pedestrian walkway across the bridge, gives easy access to the views of the East River and Lower Manhattan.- The walkway is popular with joggers on week end mornings and evenings.
From the walkway at times throughout the year it\'s possible to catch the sun setting over the NYC skyline.
During the construction of the bridge, over 20 workers lost their lives the chief engineer John Roebling died before work commenced his son Washington supervised the construction though for much of the time he was confined to bed after suffering the bends while working on the excavation of the towers.- Emily his wife took over the site construction during Washington\'s illness.
Enjoy a trip on the East River. Take a Ferry from E34th St to Wall St or further out to the beaches.
The East River ebbs and flows past many of New York City's most fascinating neighbourhoods, and always has. But the relationship of those neighbourhoods to the water has changed dramatically along with the economy and the environment.
Along the East River, the earliest colonial settlements, like Flushing- were located on former- Native American villages. The settlers lived off fishing, hunting, and trading.
Later the settlers brought with them cattle and formed farms on the outskirts of the villages.
The early villages were havens for smugglers and pirates both which were a problem for the Dutch and British governors who tried unsuccessfully to move the villages in land away from the water ways.
Overtime the waterside became the centre of industry, Factories, refineries, commercial shipping piers, and power plants mushroomed along the shoreline.
The waterfront became so developed that the wealthy left the riverside for finer pastures in land leaving the poor in their tenements along with the rats and roaches alongside the billowing chimney stacks.
The United Nations Plaza now stands on the land of the former slaughter houses and tanneries.
The East River Ferry Port
59th Street Bridge
The 59th Street bridge also called Queensboro bridge or the Ed Koch Bridge spans the East River. The cantilever bridge was opened in 1909, connecting Queens Borough with Long Island. The bridge has a double cantilever spans. The bridge crosses Roosevelt Island.
The bridge has two levels, the upper level has 4 lanes of vehicular traffic, while the lower level has 5 lanes. The original railway was converted in 2004 to a pedestrian way.
This is the bridge immortalised in the Simon and Garfunkel song 59th Street Bridge song (Feeling Grovey)
59th Street Bridge
Visit the UN headquarters and see where heads of state meet to decide on world issues
Every year, over 1 million visitors from around the world enter the Visitors Centre of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, located on 1st Avenue between 45th and 46th Street.
When visiting the UN Headquarters you- can take either a guided or audio tour; both offer an engaging way to explore the United Nations Headquarters:
During the tour you can listen to the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, as he welcomes you in a recorded message at the start of the tour.
Visit the General Assembly Hall.
Explore a variety of exhibits grouped under the theme "The United Nations: From War to Development".
Hear original archival audio clips that bring to life historical United Nations moments.
Due to high level meetings of Heads of State and Government, United Nations Headquarters may sometimes close to the public on very short notice. We regret any inconvenience and wish to assure you that we will do everything possible to reschedule reservations resulting from such closures
Between the Mid and Lower Manhattan the area is divided into villages - such as Greewhich Village and Trbeca
Hudson Waterfront Villages
The Hudson River which is over 315 miles long, originating in Newcom, New York Stae, and empties in New York Bay was called after Henry Hudson who explored it in 1609. The river forms the boundary between Manhattan and New Jersey.
The lower course of the river around Manhattan is tidal ( actually as far as Troy - 134 miles up river ) and strong tidal currents can make navigating the Harbour area difficult. In winter it is not unusual to see ice floes travelling with the tide.
The lower Hudson is actually a tidal estuary, with tidal influence extending as far as the Federal Dam at Troy. Strong tides make parts of New York Harbor difficult and dangerous to navigate. During the winter, ice floes drift south or north, depending upon the tides.
Visit the Tribeca area below Canal St. Catch a glimpse of the evening sun as it sets over New Jersey
For many, Tribeca is the best place to live in the city, with its minuscule crime levels, great schools, excellent local transport, easy- waterfront access, and many light-filled loft-type apartments in reconstructed- industrial buildings.
It's cobblestone streets, chic boutiques, and fine restaurants make it a place of interest for both resident and tourist alike.
Though it's popularity has made it one of the most expensive areas of the city.
TriBeCa is well known for the annual Tribeca Film Festival.
Closest Subway Canal Street.
The area below 14th Street and west of Broadway has been a Mecca to the creative, rebellious and Bohemian for more than 100 years.
Artists came together in the small squares, pubs and cafes bringing the area alive with their spontaneity and creativity.
Now only the most successful artists could afford to live there, as property prices have soared. Though the area hasn't lost its charm and vibe.
While there visit Washington Square Park, the Arch commemorate
Further along you can still visit the coffee houses such as Caffe Reggio and Cafe Figaro which inspired writers such as Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
By day it's a quiet place at night it comes alive with cafes, bars and music. The street is a must on any late nighters visit to the city.
In the village the streets run in all directions without any seemingly formality The village has many beautiful townhouses, second hand stores- and multitudes of cafιs and restaurants, and numerous tiny parks.