Ten must-see places in New York

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New York is a busy city, cars are mostly stuck in the traffic jam, its skyscrapers are the perfect location for both offices and luxury lofts. It’s the city that never rests and never sleeps, that offers a lot of opportunities, one of the most important centres for global business but also a place full of culture, modern icons and locations that you cannot miss. The ten places you are going to see below are the best selection of reasons that give magic to New York. For virtual or even real trips into the Big Apple


Times Square

Probably one of the most fabulous places to see in NY, especially at midnight, it extends between Broadway and the Seventh Avenue, from the West 42nd Street to the 47th Street. The enormous screens located on the walls of every building surrounding the square make the whole location seem to be always enlightened by daylight. Side streets are full of locals and restaurants -there’s also the Hard Rock Cafe- and tourists are literally everywhere! On the big red scale at the bottom of the square you can take wonderful pictures too.


Empire State Building

Designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and completed in 1931, this Art Deco building has 103 floors, for a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m) and stands a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall, including its antenna. The Empire State Building is is situated on the west side of Fifth Avenue, between West 33rd and 34th Streets and is famous for having been featured in more than 250 TV shows and movies since 1933’s King Kong. It’s not surprising that it has become soon a symbol of New York City: actually the tower has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. If you wish to observe the whole city  from above, than here you can find two observation decks, on the 86th and 102nd floors, which offer an amazing view.


Central Park

What’s more relaxing than a long walk in the middle of Manhattan? In Central Park you can escape for some time the city and relax on the grass, among the trees, feeding the squirrels or -if you prefer do some activity- you can do yoga or go running along the path surrounding the lakes. During the winter season you can also find a nice ice skating rink which offers a great view on the skyscrapers built just at the limit of the park. In Central Park you are never feeling alone, because you can actually always meet someone new.


Rockefeller Center

This wide complex consists of 19 commercial buildings located between 48th and 51st Streets, facing Fifth Avenue. The location is composed by several parts, such as the Lower Plaza, the Western End of the Plaza, where is situated  the famous golden masterwork Prometheus and where is placed every year the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, from November to January. The most attracting thing in Rockefeller Center is the ice rink, the one you probably have seen thousand of times in movies. Skating on that rink is something really romantic and unforgettable. Rockefeller Plaza is surrounded by buildings that have on their roofs gardens and terraces, designed by Ralph Hancock and Raymond Hood. Another curiosity is the fact that many pieces of art are included in the complex: you can admire Atlas –the sculpture commissioned in 1936 by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan and now located in the International Building’s courtyard- and Prometheus –the second statue projected by Paul Manship commissioned in 1934,  now located at the western end of the sunken plaza.


Chrysler Building

Here’s another Art Deco-style skyscraper, located on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan. It was constructed by Walter Chrysler, who was the head of the Chrysler Corporation, and served as the corporation’s headquarters from 1930 until the mid-1950s. The building is famous for its metal details ans its artistic features such as metal eagles at the top corners, contrasting brickwork -which is mostly white, but dark gray bricks are used as a horizontal decoration- and hood ornaments. Anyway, this building doesn’t have any column on the outside.


Brooklyn Bridge


This long suspension bridge is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the US. Its construction started in 1869 and was completed only fourteen years later in 1883, in order to connect the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Bridge consists in two enormous towers made out of limestone, granite, and cement: if you take a walk on the highest path, just above the automobile lanes, you can take some great pics of the NY skyline. Lots of tourists every day cross the bridge by foot or by bicycle.  But… watch out, ’cause if you’re thinking to put your “love lock” on the bridge as a sign of your “everlasting love”, then you should know that this romantic practice has unfortunately caused damage to many bridges and is officially illegal in New York City.


National September 11 Memorial & Museum

How could you miss to visit that place? Once upon a time here the Twin Towers were standing. The construction of a memorial for the victims and those involved in rescue operations was planned immediately after the September 11 of 2001 attacks which caused the destruction of the World Trade Center: for the project was made a competition, which was won by the Israeli architect Michael Arad. The names of 2,983 victims are inscribed on 152 bronze parapets on both the memorial North Pool waterfall and the South Pool. There’s also a pear tree, which has been recovered from the disaster at the World Trade Center site and which has been given the name  of the “Survivor Tree” -it has actually become a symbol of hope and rebirth.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you’re art lovers,  than you cannot miss to visit “The Met”. It is the largest art museum in the United States it is the second most visited art museum in the world, and the fifth most visited museum of any kind. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided in seventeen curatorial departments (European art, Egyptian art, Roman and Greek art, African and Southern American art, Asian art, Islamic art, Medieval art etc.). Here you can find the most famous artists and painters of all time, both in the ancient art and in the contemporary art. With its soft colors, every room perfectly fits the paints and the sculptures placed in it and the spaces are mostly enlightened by wide windows opened on walls and on the roof. The museum is also equipped with benches and cafes where to rest and have a coffee while watching the huge collection of masterpieces.


Statue of Liberty

The Liberty Enlightening the World statue is a colossal neoclassical sculpture located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. This giant copper statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States and it was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. The woman is representing Libertas, an ancient Roman liberty goddess, who is holding a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the US Declaration of Independence, while a broken chain lies at her feet. Just after its construction, a big ceremony of dedication was held on October 28, 1886. It’s easy to imagine how the statue rapidly became a proper landmark during the years: the fact that many immigrants who entered through New York saw it as a welcoming sight contributed to make oral histories of immigrants recording their feelings of wonder on their arrival.


Chinatown

Last but not least, there’s a touch of China also in NYC! The Chinese community has spread during the decades arriving to occupy a big neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. Chinatown originally formed by Cantonese and Chinese immigrants who were facing the increasing racial discrimination and the new laws that prevented participation in many occupations on the US West Coast: a huge part of the Chinese community had to move to the East Coast, in search of employment -mostly were businesses which included hand laundries and restaurants. Nowadays it’s interesting to visit this part of New York to get to know how the immigrant community has developed and how locals had spread. there you can easily find restaurants and typical stores selling Chinese specialties.

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Beatrice Giovine writes stories about music and places on Auralcrave and The Travel Shot. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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