USA New York 

A Guide to New York

Capital of the world’s financial, consumer and entertainment fields, cosmopolitan New York is a city of towering skyscrapers, bright neon lights and world-class museums. It is one of the most dynamic cities on earth. It pulsates with life and has something to suit every taste. It comprises the five districts of Manhattan, home to most sights, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. It has over 6 000 miles of streets, so walking isn’t really an option! Use the buses, subways and unique yellow cabs.

Manhattan lies between the East and Hudson rivers. The most famous landmark is the 305-ft Statue of Liberty on a small island at the entrance to New York harbour, symbol of freedom designed by French sculptor Bartholdi. The broken shackles at her feet can only be seen from the air. The rays of her crown represent the seven seas and seven continents.

Chinatown and Little Italy on Lower East Side are colourful neighbourhoods adding to the cosmopolitan flavour of The Big Apple.

Wall Street, the centre of the financial district, is home to the 17-storey New York Stock Exchange. When the NYSE crashes, so does the universal financial world. Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, is a stark reminder of the shocking terror attack on 11 September 2001 (9/11) which brought the Western world to a shuddering halt.

Interesting buildings include 50 cast-iron buildings in SoHo District; the Jefferson Market Courthouse in Greenwich Village voted the fifth most beautiful building in the US; the Flatiron Building, New York’s first skyscraper; the 102-storey Empire State Building, the tallest and most striking skyscraper. Climb the 1 576 steps from the lobby to the observation deck on the 86th floor; the New York Public Library, a Beaux Arts building, its majestic Main Reading Room covering two city blocks; Morgan Library, a palazzo-style building containing rare manuscripts, prints and books; Grand Central Terminal, another Beaux Arts building, with a Grand Staircase based on that of the Paris Opera House; the United Nations headquarters, an international zone with its own post office and stamps; the Rockefeller Center, a National Historic Landmark, consisting of 19 buildings, a city within a city; the Chrysler Building with its gleaming stainless-steel spire; the Gothic Revival-style St Patrick’s Cathedral seating over 2 500 people.

New York’s famed museums include the Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a Gothic Revival building overlooking Central Park, one of the world’s finest galleries with over two million incredible exhibits.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s wondrous Solomon R Guggenheim Museum is a work of art in itself and a New York landmark. It houses Abstract art, works by Chagall, Miró, Mondrian and Picasso among others. See it just for the building!

The America Museum of Natural History features exciting exhibits like dinosaurs, ocean life, meteors and has a planetarium.

For retail therapy, head for Fifth Avenue where jewellers Cartier and Tiffany’s reside as do fashionable Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman amongst other designer boutiques. Madison Square Garden, neither on Madison Square nor a garden, is a 5-level sports arena on top of Pennsylvania Station. Catch your breath in Central Park, 843 acres of lush greenery, ponds, lakes and a reservoir. Streams run through the densely-wooded Ramble, home to 250 species of birds - in the middle of this vast city! There is a skating rink and a Wildlife Conservation Center. The terraces of lovely Belvedere Castle offer spectacular views of the city and park which is lined with really expensive apartment blocks and many of New York’s museums. This truly is an amazing city.
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