If Times Square looks familiar, it should be—it’s where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, and is very likely what inspired the saying “Bright lights, big city”. Luminous digital billboards rise into the sky and surround Times Square, the heart of New York City, a location from where visitors can explore Midtown easily on foot, especially since the City closed Broadway to traffic from West 42nd through to West 47th Streets.
In a city as big and bustling as Manhattan, the residents appreciate that city planners spared 843 acres for the wonder that is Central Park. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux to be reminiscent of the English countryside, and became one of the city’s most massive public works projects, which opened for general use in 1859.
Since its inception, the Statue of Liberty has stood at our country’s gateway, welcoming immigrants coming to this country in search of the American dream. It is recognized across the world as a symbol of America, and a landmark that is a must-see during a visit to New York City.
This New York hub is a place to stop and watch the world go by—from the ground floor or up at the Top of the Rock’s three indoor/outdoor observation decks. The Center is home to an art gallery, the famous statues of Prometheus and Atlas, plenty of retail therapy and some of the City’s most celebrated events.
After the stock market crash in 1929, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., RCA and theatrical genius S. L. “Roxy” Rothfael made their dream come true: Radio City Music Hall, a place of beauty offering quality entertainment at prices everyone could afford.
In 1999, a 1.34-mile-long historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side was under threat of demolition. Community residents founded the non-profit Friends of the High Line and fought for its preservation and transformation in to an impressive public space for all visitors to enjoy. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. There are four elevators for visitor access, guided walking tours in every season but winter, and the 23rd Street Lawn, an open green space for picnics, sunbathing and relaxing.
It’s almost impossible to visit New York and not think of the events of September 11, 2001, where nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, near Shanksville, PA., and at the Pentagon.
Built in 1931, the Empire State Building continues to be an iconic part of the Manhattan skyline and a reigning symbol of its identity. A beautiful representation of Art Deco architecture, the Empire State Building is one of the tallest structures in New York City, second only to One World Trade Center that tops it by two stories. The top of the Empire State Building offers an incredible and breathtaking view over the city day and night, via its observation deck 1,050 feet above the city streets. The deck is open to the public, accessed via an exhilarating elevator ride up to the building’s 86th floor.
In a city with as many skyscrapers as New York, there’s more than one place to view it from above. Top of the Rock resides on the top floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC studios and the subject of the popular show, 30 Rock.
Take advantage of a true New Yorker’s secret: the Staten Island Ferry is not just free, it’s the best way to see the Statue of Liberty from the water. The City has run the ferry service since 1905, and it carries approximately 21 million passengers each year. Watch the Manhattan skyline fade out of view as you approach the St. George Ferry Terminal, where you can visit the Staten Island Museum, the St. George Theatre and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. The ferry service runs 24 hours a day, and has a concession stand that provides snacks for the 25-minute voyage.
SEE ALSO: NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NEW YORK 2015