New York - General Information
Visiting New York is like visiting the whole world. Immigrants have come from every corner of the globe and have made it the capital of art, theater, entertainment, architecture, literature, gastronomy, music, night live and so many other things. New York has become a multi-cultural city like no other and the center piece of the action takes place in the island of Manhattan.
If there is one thing that people who have come to New York agree on, is this: New York has a powerful and filling energy, hard to be explained with words, but one that you immediately feel and it doesn’t go away.
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Guided Tours in New York
Broadway, Theater, Concert, Sport and Movie Tickets in New York
Soccer on TV in New York
Tipping in NYC
If you are not familiar with the tipping culture in the United States it is important to know that in restaurants and bars it is expected to leave a 15% tip. Tipping taxi caps when traveling to and from the airports is also standard.
Visitor Information Centers in New York
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Sightseeing & Attractions in New York
- Empire State Building
Located on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street this huge building still stands today as one of the great symbols of the city. When it was inaugurated in 1931 it was declared the tallest building in the world and it currently remains the tallest building in New York. From its observatory located on the 86th floor, the Empire State building, as well as the Rockefeller Center, offers some of the best panoramic views in town. If you go up half an hour before sunset you shall be able to see New York by day, evening, and night all in one go. It's a great experience.
- Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to commemorate the anniversary of the first centennial of the United States Independence in 1776. It arrived to the U.S. in 350 parts and was inaugurated in 1886. It was designed by sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, at the request of French politician Eduard de Laboulaye, who both lead the project and was its conceptual instigator. Laboulaye regarded the French Republic and the United States as blood brothers in their fight for freedom. The statue was the first thing immigrants saw when arriving by boat after a long transatlantic voyage. They came from everywhere with the hope of fighting for a better life. On the statue itself there was a poem written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 that shed a ray of hope over all who read it: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
The Statue can be reached by ferry, leaving from Battery Park.
- Grand Central Terminal
The majestic Grand Central is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. It is considered the largest train station in the world judging by the number of platforms (48) and a total 75 tracks. This grandiose building occupies an overall area of 48 acres (19 hectares) and its construction took place between 1903 and 1913. The main lobby is simply spectacular and depending on how the sunlight impacts on the fabulous windows, the colors in the lobby can attain near mystical color tones. The ceiling, 40 meters high, is decorated with Zodiac motifs, stars and constellations. The famous staircase scene from the film "The Untouchables”, staring Kevin Costner, Sean Connery and Robert De Niro, was filmed here.
Besides being a train and subway station, Grand Central is a great place to go for a drink, lunch or dinner, or to buy at the wonderful Central Market or even just to walk around and lose yourself among some of its corridors and galleries. Don't miss it!
- Chrysler Building
Located at number 405 Lexington Ave. and 42nd Street, this Art Deco architecture building, is believed one of the most beautiful buildings in town. Walter Chrysler had this skyscraper constructed to serve as headquarters and symbol of his automobile company, and included in its design some vehicle inspired elements, such as the famous gargoyles based on the car's radiator caps.
- St. Patrick's Cathedral
On Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Street, in front of the Rockefeller Center, you will find the impressive facade of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Inaugurated in 1879, this cathedral is dedicated to the Irish patron saint, and today is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. This Cathedral replaced the old St. Patrick's Cathedral, inaugurated in 1815 and located on Mulberry Street between Prince and Houston. It was precisely in the old cathedral where the “The Godfather” scene of the baptism of Michael Corleone's son was filmed. The new cathedral is the largest Neogothic cathedral in North America and was designed by James Renwick.
- Top of the Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a 19 building development, planned by billionaire John D. Rockefeller during the 1929 depression in order to provide jobs for large numbers of unemployed and thus reactivate the slow New York economy. It is located between 48th and 51rst street and between Fifth and Sixth Avenue and its three most popular attractions are: the ice rink, the huge Christmas tree that is lit up by thousands of lights every Christmas season and the Top of the Rock.
Top of the Rock is the name of an impressive observatory located on the 70th floor of the tallest building in the Center, the General Electric building (GE Building). It was during its construction that the photographer Charles Ebbets shot the famous and moving photo “Construction Workers lunching on a Crossbeam”.
The panoramic view seen from high up is simply wonderful and it is only matched by the one that can be seen from the Empire State. If you go up half an hour before sunset you will be able to see New York by daylight, the sunset and the night lights all in one go. It is well worth your while.
- Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art or Met is located at 1000 Fifth Ave. and 82nd Street, in an area known as Museum Mile. It opened to the public in 1872, and holds an art collection of over two million works of art and receives five million visitors per year, making it the largest museum in the United States. The permanent collection combines 20th century art with pieces as ancient as 3000 BC. The Metropolitan is part of the select group of museums that can be considered the world's elite art galleries. Its collection is incredibly complete covering everything from Egyptian, Grecian and Roman, Asian, African, Oceanic, Byzantine and Islamic art. It includes from classic to modern art, ranging from European to American paintings, and collections holding from musical instruments to antique weapons and armor. Entrance fee is a donation of whichever amount you like.
- World Trade Center
The Word Trade Center was an office building area in lower Manhattan's financial district. The district started out with the construction of the Twin Towers, Tower 1 (north) was completed in 1972, and Tower 2 (south) in 1973. Thereafter, the district grew constantly with the Towers 3, 4, 5,and 6 until Tower 7 was added in 1987.
Because of the terrorist attacks of that fateful September 11th 2001 morning, Towers 1, 2 and 7 collapsed. The remaining buildings (Towers 3, 4, 5, and 6) were severely damaged so that later, as a precautionary step, it was decided that they should be demolished. The World Trade Center started from scratch.
It took 8 months to clear the area of debris. It was decided to rebuild the district with 6 new buildings and a memorial dedicated to victims of the attack. The first of the new buildings to be erected was number 7 in 2006.
As a consequence of the attack, the train and subway station (PATH) below the World Trade Center was also destroyed. A temporary station was built and up and running starting 2003 while the permanent station, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is being built. Works will hopefully be completed and the station fully operational in 2013.
- Central Park
This popular park isn't just New York's “lungs”, it is also a unique place for walking, jogging, skating, going for a bike ride, rowing a boat in the lake or shooting spectacular photos. It was designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Olmsted in 1857 and took 16 years to build. The park is immense, with a total of 843 acres (341 hectares) and a 6 mile (9.65 km.) perimeter. At one end, 59th Street and at the other 110th Street between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West Ave. Its attractions include the New York Zoo, in the southeastern part of the park. The "Wollman Rink" in the south, another one of the great places that Central Park offers. It's a great spot for photography all year long and in the winter months it's turned into a huge ice rink. If you walk north you will find the Boathouse and Bethesda Fountain, where you will be able to rent a little rowboat and enjoy one of the most charming spots in the park. To the west is "Strawberry Fields", on 72nd Street and Central Park West, where you will find the famous mosaic that honors the legendary John Lennon song: Imagine.
- Times Square
Times Square is one of the most important symbols of the city and has achieved an almost universal icon status. It's located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Thanks to its many neon light signs, it's a quite a show, with lights and colors that will call your attention whether day or night. Times Square surroundings are full of theaters showing a multitude of musicals, plays, and productions. So much so that the area is called the Theater District and is recognized as one of the major entertainment capitals of the world. They say that if you want to be a big fish, you must succeed on Broadway. If you would like to check it out, you can buy discounted tickets (50%) on the steps of Times Square.
- New York Public Library
Located on Fifth Avenue and 42nd St., it is the largest public library of the 89 libraries in New York. The public library network was founded in 1895 thanks to the union of two private libraries, the Astor and Lenox collections, and a huge donation from the Tilden Foundation (Tilden Trust). Everything owes to private philanthropy. To date, all together, the 89 libraries, account for more than 50 million books and documents, a volume surpassed only by the Library of Congress and the British Library. One of the literary treasures contained in the Central Library is the first Gutenberg Bible that Christopher Columbus brought with him to America in 1493.
Two large stone lions welcome you at the entrance of this majestic building which opened in 1911. The reading room, done anew in 1998 and located on the third floor is simply dazzling. It measures nearly 300 feet (100 meters) long and 52 feet (16 meters) high.
The libraries constantly offer numerous exhibits and cultural events open to the general public. On the whole, the New York city public library network open to 17 million users each year. Apart from all those users who use its free internet services.