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New York City - Manhattan Midtown

What to see

Empire State Building

It took 60,000 tons of steel, 10 million bricks, 2.5 million feet of electrical wire, 120 miles of pipe, and 7 million man-hours to build. King Kong climbed it in 1933. A plane slammed into it in 1945. The World Trade Center superseded it in 1972 as the island’s tallest building. On that horrific day of September 11, 2001, it once again regained its status as New York City’s tallest building, after 31 years of taking second place. And through it all, the Empire State Building has remained one of the city’s favorite landmarks, and its signature high-rise. Completed in 1931, the limestone-and-stainless steel streamline deco dazzler climbs 102 stories (1,454 ft.) and now harbors the offices of fashion firms, and, in its upper reaches, a jumble of high-tech broadcast equipment.
Always a conversation piece, the Empire State Building glows every night, bathed in colored floodlights to commemorate events of significance (you can find a complete lighting schedule online). The familiar silver spire can be seen from all over the city. But the views that keep nearly three million visitors coming every year are the ones from the 86th- and 102nd-floor observatories. The lower one is best—you can walk out on a windy deck and look through coinoperated viewers (bring quarters!) over what, on a clear day, can be as much as an 80-mile visible radius. The citywide panorama is magnificent. Starry nights are pure magic.
350 Fifth Ave. (at 34th St.).
phone 212/736-3100.
Observatory admission $10 adults, $9 seniors and children 12–17, $4 children 6–11, free for children under 5
Mon–Fri 10am–midnight; Sat–Sun 9:30am–midnight;
tickets sold until 11:25pm.
Subway: B, D, F, N, R, V, Q, W to 34th St.; 6 to 33rd St.

New York office of tourism tourist board New York manhattan empire state building

United Nations Headquarters

In 1946, the United Nations were looking for a location for their new headquarters in New York. The original plan was to use the grounds of the 1939 World Fair in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens. But when a project known as X-City on Manhattan's eastern border failed to materialize, John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought the 18 acre plot and donated it to United Nations. This site was then used to build the UN's headquarters. The whole area was converted into international territory and officially does not belong to the United States.
The design for the United Nations complex was drawn by an international committee of architects, the United Nations Board of Design. The most notable of the architects were Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier and Wallace K. Harrison, who headed the board. Some renowned architects including Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius were excluded due to their historic links with Germany, the enemy during the war.
The international style was chosen by the board members as it symbolized a new start after the second World War. A plan by Le Corbusier, known as project 23A, was taken as the basis for the complex. After many months of heated discussions, mainly between Le Curbusier and the other architects, Secretariat Buildingthe final plan 23W, drawn up by Oscar Niemeyer was adopted by all members of the board. It consists of a complex with 4 buildings: the Secretariat building, the General Assembly building, the Conference building and the Dag Hammarskjold Library.
The largest of the four buildings is the Secretariat of the building, home of the UN's administration. The large, 39 story, 544 ft tall slab has become a worldwide symbol of the United Nations. The green glass-curtain tower, the first of its kind in New York, contrasts starkly with the 1920s buildings of Tudor city nearby.
Construction of the Secretariat started in september 1949 and was completed in 1950. The complex as a whole was only finished two years later.
The Secretariat building dwarfs the adjacent 5 story General Assembly building, actually the most important part of the complex. In the General assembly hall, which has a seating capacity of 1,800, meetings with representatives of all UN members take place.
The conference building behind the Secretariat and General assembly buildings houses the security Council and the Economic and Social Council.
Adjacent to the United Nations complex is a small public park bordering the East River. It is littered with artwork donated by many countries, including the 'Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares' by Evgeniy Vuchetich, donated by the Soviet Union in 1959. Recently a piece of the Berlin Wall was added to the park.
Along First Avenue in front of the United Nations Headquarters is a display of flags from each member of the UN. It starts with Afghanistan at 48th street and ends with Zimbabwe at 42nd street.

Museum Of Modern Art

One of the best museums in Manhattan, the Museum of Modern Art houses the works of Warhol, Picasso, Pollock, Van Gogh, O’Keefe, and many of the most innovative modern artists from the late 19th century to the present in its. You can browse the museum shop or have a bite to eat in the award winning café, The Modern . If you stop in to visit on a Friday or Saturday evening in July or August, you can attend a free concert in the MoMA’s spectacular outdoor sculpture garden. The MoMa offers special programs for families and children of various age groups on Saturdays (such as family art workshops, special tours, a family film program, gallery talks, etc.). Call to pre-register for a Saturday workshop or check out their website before you go so that you can plan accordingly. Saturdays are one of the best days for families to visit the MoMa, but the museum offers fun for everyone on Saturday through Tuesday, and on Thursdays from 10:30 am- 5:45 pm. The museum is closed on Wednesdays, but is open from 10:30am-8:15 pm on Fridays. Children under 16 accompanied by an adult are free. Students and senior citizens are charged $6.50 for admission, and adults are charged $10. If you go on a Friday after 4:30, admission is granted by a small donation of your choosing. The costs of workshops and special programs vary.
11 West 53rd St. (betw. 5th and 6th Aves)
General information: 212-708-9400
Family programs: 212-708-9805

Rockfeller Center

Situated between 46th and 50th streets from Sixth Avenue east to Fifth, this Art Deco complex contains some of the city’s great architectural gems, which house hundreds of offices and a number of NBC studios.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in Rockefeller Center.
Designed by Edward Durrell Stone, the interior of the theater, by Donald Deskey, incorporates glass, aluminum, chrome, and geometric ornamentation. Deskey rejected the Rococo embellishment generally used for theaters at that time in favor of a contemporary Art Deco style. Radio City has 5,933 seats for spectators; it became the largest indoor theater in the world at the time of its opening.
Reopened after an extensive restoration on October 4, 1999, the Music Hall now reflects its original grandeur of opening night, 1932, sporting behind-the-scenes upgrades and refurbishment. Following the lead of Radio City's experienced tour guides, guests explore: the Great Stage, one of the largest indoor performance stages in the world; the stage's hydraulic system, still in operation since the '30s; the renowned private suite, with 12-feet high gold leaf ceilings and onetime home to Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel. And as an exciting climax to the Stage Door Tour, guests will meet one of the world-famous Radio City Rockettes!
Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
$17 regular; $14 for senior citizens;
$10 for children under 12

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG, known colloquially simply as The Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena, is located in Manhattan on Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets.
The Garden derives its name from the park where the first two gardens were located (Madison Square) on Madison Avenue at 26th Street. As the venue moved to new locations the name still stuck.
The present Garden hosts 320 events a year but it is best known as the home of the New York Knicks of the NBA and New York Rangers of the NHL. The aforementioned professional sports teams play their home matches in the arena and are owned by the Garden itself. It also hosts New York Liberty (WNBA) home games (also owned by the Garden), the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus when it comes to New York City (although Continental Airlines Arena and Nassau Coliseum also host the circus each year), selected home games for the St. John's men's Red Storm (college basketball), the annual pre and postseason NIT tournaments, the NBA Draft, the Millrose Games athletics meet, and almost any other kind of indoor activity that draws large audiences.

Gramercy Flatiron

Serene and upscale, the Gramercy Park neighborhood was named for the elegant one-square-block park of the same name created by Samuel B. Ruggles in 1831. Its clean streets stretch from 20th Street until the start of Murray Hill at 34th Street, and are bordered by the East River and Park Avenue to the west. The townhouses around the park, built before the Civil War, are among the oldest and most outstanding in the city, and many tend to be handed down through the generations. Highly desirable for its classic architecture and close proximity to fine dining and shopping, Gramercy Park.
The Flatiron District is bounded on the north by the triangular Flatiron building (known as the Fuller Building, which was built in 1902, at the corner of 23rd Street), goes south to 15th Street, extends as far east as Park Avenue South and west to Sixth Avenue. Union Square sits on the southern boundary of the Flatiron neighborhood. At the time it was built, the Flatiron building was New York City's first skyscraper, and thought not only to be the tallest building in the world, but also the first skyscraper ever created. Today the neighborhood is booming with abundant restaurants, shopping, and convenience.

Chrysler Building

Built as Chrysler Corporation headquarters in 1930 (they moved out decades ago), this is perhaps the 20th century’s most romantic architectural achievement, especially at night, when the lights in its triangular openings play off its steely crown.
As you admire its facade, be sure to note the gargoyles reaching out from the upper floors, looking for all the world like streamline–Gothic hood ornaments. The observation deck closed long ago, but you can visit its lavish ground-floor interior, which is Art Deco to the max. The ceiling mural depicting airplanes and other early marvels of the first decades of the 20th century evince the bright promise of technology.
The elevators are works of art, masterfully covered in exotic woods (especially note the lotus-shaped marquetry on the doors).
405 Lexington Ave. (at 42nd St.)
Subway: S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St./Grand Central.

Central Park

Central Park is a large public, urban park (843 acres or 3.41 km², 6% of Manhattan; a rectangle 2.5 statute miles by one-half statute mile, or 4 km × 800 m) in the borough of Manhattan. With about twenty-five million visitors annually, it is the most visited city park in the United States, and its appearance in many movies and television shows has made it among the most famous city parks in the world. It is run by the Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization that manages the park under a contract with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Park stretches from Central Park South (59th St.) to 110th St. at the northern end and from 5th Ave. on the East Side to Central Park West (8th Ave.) on the West Side.
The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who later created Brooklyn's Prospect Park. While much of the park looks natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped and contains several artificial lakes, extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, and grassy areas used for various sporting pursuits, as well as playgrounds for children. The park is a popular oasis for migrating birds, and thus is popular with bird watchers. The 6-mile (10 km) road circling the park is popular with joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, especially on weekends and in the evenings after 7:00 p.m., when automobile traffic is banned.
Although often regarded as a kind of oasis of tranquility inside a "city that never sleeps," Central Park was once a very dangerous place — especially after dark — as measured by crime statistics. The park, like most of New York City, is quite safer today, though during prior periods it was the site of numerous muggings and rapes.
As crime has declined in the Park and in the rest of New York City, many negative perceptions have waned, and the use of common sense is enough to protect visitors from harm. The park has its own New York City Police Department precinct (Central Park Precinct), which employs both regular police and volunteer citizens. In 2005, such safety measures held the number of crimes in the park—which has more than 25 million visitors annually—to less than one hundred; this very low crime rate has made Central Park one of the safest urban parks in the world.

Times Square

New York City’s most famous ethnic enclave is bursting past its traditional boundaries and has seriously encroached on Little Italy. This booming neighborhood is now a conglomeration of Asian populations.
It offers tasty cheap eats in cuisines from Szechuan to Hunan to Cantonese to Vietnamese to Thai. Exotic shops offer unique foods, herbs, and souvenirs; bargains on clothing and leather are plentiful.
The Canal Street (J, M, Z, N, R, 6, Q, W) station will get you to the heart of the action. The streets are crowded during the day and empty out after around 9pm; they remain quite safe, but the neighborhood is more enjoyable during the bustle.

Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street. Built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1890, it is one of the most famous and significant venues for classical as well as popular music in the United States, known not just for its beauty and history but also for its acoustics.
Isaac Stern Auditorium /
Ronald O. Perelman Family Stage
The largest hall at Carnegie Hall has been the premier classical music performance space in the United States since its opening in 1891, showcasing the world's greatest soloists, conductors, and ensembles. The hall was dedicated the Isaac Stern Auditorium in 1996, and the stage was dedicated the Ronald O. Perelman Family Stage in 2006. Throughout its century-plus history, the space has been the forum for important jazz events, historic lectures, noted educational forums, and much more. Designed by architect and cellist William Burnett Tuthill and renovated in 1986, the auditorium's striking curvilinear design allows the stage to become a focal point embraced by five levels of seating, which accommodates up to 2,804. The auditorium's renowned acoustics have made it a favorite of audiences and performers alike. "It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument," said the late Isaac Stern. "It takes what you do and makes it larger than life."
Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall
Located on the third floor of Carnegie Hall, the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall is an intimate auditorium ideal for recitals, chamber music concerts, symposia, discussions, master classes, and more. Seating 268 people, the elegant auditorium evokes a Belle Epoque salon and is "remarkable for the symmetry of its proportions and the beauty of its decorations," according to a review from 1891, when the hall was known as the Chamber Music Hall. In 1986, the Chamber Music Hall was renamed in recognition of the generosity of the Chairman of the Board of Carnegie Hall, Sanford I. Weill, and his wife, Joan.
Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall
The new Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall opened in September 2003 as the site of a broad spectrum of performing and educational events. When it first opened its doors In 1891, Carnegie Hall comprised three auditoriums: the Main Hall, the Chamber Music Hall, and the Recital Hall, located underneath the Main Hall. The Recital Hall was leased to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1895 and was used as a theater by various groups until the early 1960s, when it was converted to a cinema. In 1997, a process began to reclaim the space for its original purpose, and construction began to create a versatile auditorium generally seating 599, with alternate stage configurations of different capacities. Zankel Hall is named in honor of the generosity of Carnegie Hall Vice Chairman Arthur Zankel and his wife, Judy.

Chelsea Garment District

Boldly stationed between West Midtown and the West Village is Chelsea, a neighborhood that has maintained a dynamic personality much like its London Thames-area namesake. Due to increasing popularity, property prices are also catching up to London's high-end real estate, with ongoing townhouse renovations taking place on many streets. Large retail tenants, which have revitalized historic cast-iron buildings along 6th Avenue, have helped fuel the area's great popularity, and 7th , 8th and 9th Avenue also feature one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants that have contributed to making Chelsea so desirable.
Here you'll find a mix of buildings and styles. The well-planned rows of charming pre-war townhouses share residency with the more recently built high-rise rental apartment buildings and condominiums with the highest level of amenities and luxury finishes. Old warehouses are being converted into gallery spaces, nightclubs and residential lofts. With the newly planted Hudson River Park and the mammoth Chelsea Piers Sports and Recreation complex, Chelsea is a truly dynamic neighborhood offering something for everyone.
Most New Yorkers know the noisy, busy Garment district, a loosely-defined area between Madison and Eighth Avenues in the west 30s, as a purely commercial area. While that's mostly what it is, the lack of affordable space has driven demand to the lofts in the area, especially where renters looking to both live and work there are concerned. The Garment District took shape during the late 19th century, when new laws drove clothing manufacturers out of Lower Manhattan tenements and into manufacturing lofts. Originally, the garment industry was clustered around Madison Square, but when that area became fashionable the trade was forced to expand westward.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Located on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, the Cathedral - the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States - is the seat of the Archbishop of New York.
The Cathedral was begun in 1858 by Archbishop John Hughes to replace the original St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is used today as a parish church in New York. The cornerstone was laid on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1858, and, after a suspension of work during the years of Civil War, John Cardinal McCloskey, the first American Cardinal, resumed work in 1865, opening the doors in May, 1879. Archbishop Michael Corrigan added the towers on the West Front in 1888 and began work on the east addition, including the Lady Chapel in 1901. His successor, Cardinal Farley, completed work on the Lady Chapel addition. Cardinal Hayes completed an extensive renovation of the interior between 1927 and 1931 when the great organ was installed and the sanctuary was enlarged.
The exterior was restored during the episcopate of Cardinal Spellman who saw to the completion of the stained glass windows as well as a new main altar and baldachin. Both interior and exterior were completely restored to their original beauty during the years when Cardinal Cooke was Archbishop. New shrines in honor of the American saints were brought to the Cathedral during the same years. During the years of John Cardinal O'Connor's episcopate, extensive renovations have been made to maintain the structural integrity of the building, including replacement of much of the roof, exterior steps, replastering of the walls in the transepts, repair of stained glass and refinishing the transept doors. A liturgical altar has been placed in the sanctuary and the baptistry has been relocated. A new amplification system and modern lighting were installed in 1988 and 1989. The Kilgen organs were restored between 1995 and 1998 and the lighting systems in 1999. The Lady Chapel and the Chapels of Sts. Anthony, Louis, Michael and Elizabeth were restored in 2003.