The Statue of Liberty
The ultimate symbol of the American Dream, Lady Liberty, standing majestically over New YorkHarbour, is probably the most famous landmark in America. The people of France donated the statue to the United States in 1886, to commemorate the alliance of the two countries during the American Revolution. It was the first sight of the New World to be seen by the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, the country’s principal immigration centre in the early and mid 20th century. Visitors can climb the statue or take the lift.
**IMPORTANT NOTICE** The Statue of Liberty is scheduled to re-open sometime in Summer of 2004, however an exact date has not been decided.
Liberty Island, New York Harbour
Tel: (212) 363 3200.
Transport: Circle Line Statue of Liberty Ferry (tel: (212) 269 5755) from South Ferry at Battery Park to Liberty and Ellis islands; free 24-hour Staten Island Ferry (tel: (718) 815 2628) from Battery Park.
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 0930–1700, Sat and Sun 0900–1730.
Admission: Free; US$10 (return ferry trip).
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
The relatives of over 40% of families living in the United States of America passed through this historical immigration station, which operated from 1892 to 1954. Now a national monument and museum, the Ellis IslandImmigrationMuseum has over 30 galleries related to the American immigrant experience. Tours are also on offer, during which visitors will learn how ‘undesirables’ were weeded out and separated from their families in the Registry Room, after month-long ordeals on often over-crowded boats. For a US$5 fee, visitors can search the Ellis Island archives by computer in the popular AmericanFamilyImmigrationCenter for information on their ancestors.
Ellis Island, New York Harbor
Tel: (212) 363 3206.
Transport: Circle Line Statue of Liberty Ferry (tel: (212) 269 5755) from South Ferry at Battery Park to Liberty and Ellis islands (costing US$10 for a round trip).
Opening hours: Daily 0930–1700.
WorldTradeCenter – Ground Zero
In early 2003, the city selected Memory Foundations as an architectural design, by Studio Daniel Libeskind, to replace the 110-storey towers and surrounding buildings at the site of the former WorldTradeCenter. The new structure will integrate portions of a remaining slurry wall (strong enough to hold back the Hudson River). A slightly recessed public space, known as the bathtub, will provide the setting for a memorial and a museum. North of this area, a 541-metre (1776ft) spire, the ‘Gardens of the World’, will grace the skyline. Although the complex’s very existence will memorialise the tragedy that occurred here in 2001, each year on 11 September, the sun will shine without a shadow on the Wedge of Light piazza. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation – LMDC (see below) can provide more information on the decision and design.
The viewing platforms that once allowed visitors to pay tribute at the former WorldTradeCenter site, dubbed Ground Zero, are no longer in place. A simple viewing area at Liberty Street and Broadway allows for observation of ongoing work.
Lower Manhattan (on the west side)
Tel: (212) 962 2300. Fax: (212) 962 2431/33 (LMDC).
Transport: Subway 1 or 9 to Chambers Street or subway E to WTC/Chambers.
Opening hours: Daily 1100–1800.
Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, when it was completed after 30-years of construction in 1883, John Augustus Roebling’s design remains a masterful feat of engineering. One of the world’s first steel wire suspension bridges – and at one time one of the world’s longest – links Manhattan to Brooklyn, over the East River. The bridge’s mile-long wooden promenade is open to pedestrians and cyclists and offers stunning views of the city.
Transport: Subway 4, 5 or 6 to BrooklynBridge or City Hall.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours.
Empire State Building
Immortalised by Hollywood cinema – from King Kong and Fay Wray to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan – this stunning skyscraper is now once again the city’s tallest building. Completed in 1931, the 102-storey EmpireStateBuilding is a wonderful example of Art Deco period architecture and the observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors offer magical and spectacular views of the city; the 86th floor deck is open air. Each night, the top 31 storeys are illuminated with a color that reflects the season or holiday. Buy tickets in advance from there web site.
350 Fifth Avenue at East 34th Street
Tel: (212) 736 3100. Fax: (212) 947 1360.
Transport: Subway B, D, F, N, R, Q or W to 34th Street.
Opening hours: Daily 0930–2400.
Admission: US$10 (concessions available).
Built in 1932–40, the RockefellerCenter is a masterpiece of urban design. The best approach is from the ChannelGardens, opposite Saks on Fifth Avenue – a popular lunchtime haunt flanked with shops and services – to arrive at the focal point of the complex, the sunken plaza, used as an ice-skating rink in winter and an open-air restaurant in summer. Behind this, the sumptuous GE building dominates the scene with its Art Deco ambience both inside and out. The RockefellerCenter is home to NBC, RadioCityMusic Hall and Christie’s Auction House. NBC tours, lasting one and a half hours, are available and points of interest include the Today Show studio, the skating rink, the Prometheus and Atlas statues and the ChannelGardens.
Fifth Avenue, 47th Street to 52nd Street
Tel: (212) 332 6868 or 632 3975.
Transport: Subway B, D, F, N, Q, R, 1 and 9 to RockefellerCenter.
Opening hours: Daily 0930–1630 (tours run every half an hour). Admission: Adults US$10.
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 11 West 53rd Street, between Fifth Streetand Sixth Street, houses the most important modern art collection in the USA, covering a variety of media from the late 19th and 20th centuries, with impressive touring exhibitions. The museum is currently undergoing a massive regeneration project that will add much needed extra exhibition space by 2005. Its interim outpost, MoMA QNS, in Long IslandCity, Queens – an industrial district just over the East River – displays permanent collection pieces as well as visiting exhibitions, such as the Matisse Picasso show in a refurbished warehouse space. The subway trip is 10–15 minutes from Midtown.
33rd Street at Queens Boulevard, Long IslandCity
Tel: (212) 708 9400.
Transport: Subway 7 to 33rd Street, Queens.
Opening hours: Sat–Mon and Thurs 1000–1700, Fri 1000–1745 (extended during some shows).
Admission: US$12–20 (concessions available).
Soloman R Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum – a seven-storey conical building designed by US master architect Frank Lloyd Wright – is worth visiting if only for the building alone. Inside, it features an acclaimed collection of late 19th- and 20th-century art works, as well as touring exhibitions.
1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street
Tel: (212) 423 3500.
Transport: Subway 4, 5 or 6 to 86th Street.
Opening hours: Sun–Wed 1000–1745, Fri and Sat 1000–2000.
Admission: US$15; concessions available; patrons may pay what they wish Fri 1600–1800.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Home to more than two million works of art spanning five millennia, ‘the Met’ is a cherished New York institution. It is the largest art museum in the western hemisphere and its collections are outstanding.
1000 Fifth Avenue, at 82nd Street
Tel: (212) 535 7710.
Transport: Subway 4, 5 or 6 to 86th Street.
Opening hours: Tues–Sun 0930–1730, Fri and Sat 0930–2100.
Admission: US$12 is suggested.
New York’s famous green lung, Central Park, is a magnificent city sanctuary situated in the centre of Manhattan. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, it opened in 1876 and now offers numerous recreational and cultural outlets. The BelvedereCastle – a stone castle built on Vista Rock in the middle of the park at the 79th Street Transverse – offers excellent views from its lookout, while the ShakespeareGarden, just west of the castle, contains flowers and herbs mentioned in the Bard’s plays. The Central Park Conservancy offers various free walking tours of the park. There is also a theatre and sports facilities, including tennis courts, ice rinks and lakes, in addition to the celebrated Central ParkWildlifeCenter. Considered to be one of the world’s most appealing small zoos, it has exhibits for each of the world’s major environments and houses smaller animals, such as monkeys and penguins. The Tisch Children’s Zoo, across East 65th Street, is a hands-on animal garden where petting domestic animals, such as goats and pigs, is permitted. The beautifully landscaped CentralGarden and Sea Lion Pool is flanked on three sides by a glass-roofed colonnade, making it accessible even in wet weather. It is considered unwise to visit Central Park after dark, except for events such as ice skating, carriage rides or Summerstage (see Special Events)..Buy some nuts and feed the squarrils.
From 59th Street to 110th Street
Tel: (212) 310 6600 or 360 2726 (walking tours hot line).
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport: Subway N or R to Fifth Avenue; or bus 4, 5 or 6 to 59th Street.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours (park); daily 1000–1630 (visitor centre).
Mid-Park at 79th Street.
Tel: (212) 772 0210.
Opening hours: Tues–Sun 1000–1700.
Central Park Wildlife Centre
830 Fifth Avenue and East 64th Street
Tel: (212) 439 6500 or (212) 861 6031.
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 1000–1700, Sat and Sun 1000–1730 (5 Apr–26 Oct); daily 1000–1630 (27 Oct–4 Apr).
Admission: US$6 (concessions available).