A Guide to New York City
Spend an hour in New York City, and you’ll understand why it’s called “The Big Apple.” Nothing is out of reach in this exciting metropolis, and the problem most people run into is finding enough time to see and do everything that interests them. New York City is made up of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The more than 8 million citizens of New York City live, work, and play in all of the boroughs, but almost all of the tourist attractions, hot restaurant and nightlife destinations, and fabulous shops are located in Manhattan—which is further divided into dozens of distinct neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village, Harlem, Soho, and Tribeca.
The Usual Suspects
When you come to New York City, there are some absolute musts—the sites and venues that make New York…well, New York. Start with the Statue of Liberty, presiding over New York Harbor as a worldwide symbol of freedom. The Empire State Building, well-known for its astounding height and central role in King Kong, offers amazing views of the city from the 86th floor Observatory. Central Park is an anomaly: a huge swath of green space—not to mention an illustrious zoo—right in the middle of a concrete jungle. Famous for being the most celebrated spot to count down the New Year, Times Square is a hub of electric light and sound all 365 days of the year.
Architectural landmarks also draw huge crowds of visitors to New York City. Grand Central Station, which opened in 1913, is one of the most famous train stations in the world. The astounding complex boasts five fine dining and 20 casual restaurants and countless boutiques. The Chrysler Building, an ode to the eponymous automaker’s desire to construct the biggest skyscraper in the world, ranks as the best example of Art Deco architecture in the city almost 70 years after it was built.
New York City is the top destination for artists of all kinds, creating a cultural smorgasbord for visitors. You can take in a production at famed locales such as Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, or the Metropolitan Opera House (the Met). But you absolutely can’t miss the opportunity to see a Broadway show while in town. “The Great White Way” comprises an 11-block radius in Manhattan and is home to more than 40 theatres offering comedy, drama, and musicals—often starring some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment.
There are hundreds of museums in New York City, but the ones that are most famous got that way for a reason: they offer world-class exhibits. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a leading cultural institution, featuring 2 million pieces from antiquity through the modern era; the Guggenheim building is a work of art in itself, but inside you’ll find an impressive collection of modern art by names such as Chagall and Picasso; the Museum of Natural History is among the grandest and most comprehensive of its kind; and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) offers an extensive collection of modern pieces, from paintings and sculptures to film stills and design objects.
NYC at Night
Just like everything else about the city, a staggering number of nightclub choices are available—whether you fancy dance clubs, jazz clubs, comedy clubs, pubs, or lounges. Jazz is America’s music, and New York City offers the ultimate jazz experience at top clubs such as the celebrated Blue Note in Lower Manhattan, the Lenox Lounge in Harlem, and Cleopatra’s Needle on the West Side.
When a cocktail is on your agenda, find the latest and greatest mixologists at Tailor and Little Branch, while upscale sipping can be done at the World Bar in the United Nations Plaza and the Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel. If you want to dance the night away, try Happy Ending or Pacha.
Only in New York
Some things are uniquely New York and worth a trip while you’re here. Greenwich Village is an iconic NYC neighborhood, famous for its Bohemian vibe, eclectic shops, and creative dining.
To get a feel for one of the globe’s unquestionable power hubs, visit the World Financial Center in Manhattan’s Financial District. In addition to being the global headquarters for giants such as Dow Jones and American Express, it also offers art, dining, and unique shops.
Rockefeller Center completes any trip to the city. It’s the spot to go ice skating in the winter, check out the plaza’s numerous shops and restaurants, and try to catch a glimpse of stars entering and exiting NBC Studios.