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New York City Guide - Sights to See
Kennedy/La Guardia Airports: Carey Transportation Buses take you to the East Side Air Terminal at 38th and First Ave. There is also an Express Bus-Subway combination that takes you to 57th and Avenue of the Americas. And shuttle service drops off at several hotels.

Temperature: Jan-Mar... 32-40 °F, Apr-Jun... 51-71, Jul-Sep... 76-68, Oct-Dec 58-35. Summers are hot and humid and are not the best time to visit.

Transportation: Taxis can be hailed on almost any street. A light on top will indicate if it's available. Subways are cheaper and more convenient... except at rush hour (8-9:30 AM and 5-6 PM). There are two subway lines that run through Manhattan... the IRT and the IND (The BMT runs mostly from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens). Pick up a subway map at any change booth. There is also a Culture Loop Bus 1 which runs on Saturday, Sunday and holidays only. Board the bus at any of 22 stops, pay the exact fare, receive a guidebook. You are then entitled to get on and off the bus at will. This special loop bus covers most of the tourist attractions. On any city bus you must have exact fare or a token.

Layout of the city: NYC is divided into 5 Boroughs... Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond (Staten Island). Tourists spend most of their time around Manhattan. The center of things is Midtown... and then there's Uptown and Downtown. Remember that streets run East and West and that the Avenues run North and South... and the Avenues usually bisect each other.

Precautions: Some areas are bad at night... particularly the East Village. Times Square has been "cleaned up". All parks are tabu after sundown. It's safer to take a cab than the subway at night. In general, with precautions, NYC should be no more dangerous than your own city.

The Empire State Building: Daily 9:30 AM-Midnight. 5th Ave and 34th Street. This was once the world's tallest building... 1472 feet above sea level, 102 stories high. It's a sleek, modernistic monument that is so typical of this skyscraper city with its dominance. Do go to the promenade deck for the 360 degree view... especially if the day is clear.

Rockefeller Center: This center is noted as one of the architectural marvels of New York. To really appreciate the intricacies of the Center, one should take a guided tour, which takes you to the private roof gardens and backstage at the Radio City Music Hall. These tours leave frequently from the lounge on the main floor of the RCA Building... from 10 AM - 4:45 PM, daily expect Sunday... 1 hour.

Macy's Department Store: Located 1 block from the Empire State Building at Herald Square... one of the world's great stores.

Radio City Music Hall: Recently restored to its 1930's Art-Deco elegance, this 6000-seat theatre is an architectural wonder. Currently the theatre features concerts, spectacular presentations and special events, and of course, the famous Rockettes. Tickets, priced according to the attraction, are available at the box office or at any Ticketron.

Statue of Liberty: This is one sight in New York that no one should miss. To get to the statue, take the West Side IRT subway to South Ferry, and head for the boats. They leave on the hour from 9 AM - 5 PM. They take you to the island in 20 minutes, and the statue is a short distance away. The statistics of the statue are worth noting - 152 feet high with the pedestal another 150 feet...the arm is 41 feet long, and the head is large enough for a man to stand in. And she looks great after her renovation and re-opening in 1986. There's an elevator to the top for great views of the harbor and the New York skyline. Expect crowds going to the top.

Ellis Island: This is the portal through which more than 12,000,000 immigrants entered the U.S. The Circle Line Ellis Island Ferry makes frequent departures from Battery Park... trip takes 90 minutes. Guided tours on the island are conducted by the National Park Service. Now, the Boats going to Statue of Liberty stop at Ellis Island on the return trip to Manhattan. The museum at Ellis Island is outstanding. If your family came through here it will be possible to find information on them.

United Nations: This international enclave on the East River, bounded by 42nd St on the south and 48th on the north, is headquarters for almost 6000 men and women from all over the world. Expect to see a lively, international crowd here.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Wed-Sat 10-4:45, Sun 11-4:45. Closed Monday. Located at 5th Avenue at 82nd Street. One of the world's greatest museums and a living monument to 5000 years of man and his arts. You'll see great paintings by Raphael, Titian, E1 Greco, Rembrandt, Picasso, and the fantastic Andre Meyer Galleries, which contain some of the world's most famous Impressionist Paintings. You need a minimum of two hours.

Museum of Modern Art: Mon/Tue/Fri/Sat/Sun 11-6. Thur 11-9. Closed Wednesday. Located at 11 West 53rd Street. This is a great, lively, exciting museum, which takes in all of modern art and design. The "Old Masters" here are Picasso, Chagall, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. Lunch in the sculpture garden can be delightful in warm weather.

The Frick Collection: Tue-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-1. Closed Mon and Tue during June, July and August). Located at 1 East 70th Street. This is one of the most beautiful small museums in the world...an oasis with greenery and fountains. The art collection is first rate.

Guggenheim Museum: Daily 11-5, Tue 11-8. Closed Monday. 1071 5th Avenue. This building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's a large, spiral ramp on which paintings by modern masters are displayed. In addition, the Thannhauser Wing permanently displays major works by Picasso and the Impressionists.

Whitney Museum of American Art: Tue 11-8, Wed-Sat 11-6, Sun 12-5. Closed Monday. Located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street. This is considered the best collection of modern American Art. In the permanent collection are classics by Hopper, Jasper Johns, Lichtenstein, Nevelson, O'Keeffe, etc.

The Cloisters: Tue-Sat 10-4:45. Sun 1-4:45. Located at Fort Tryon Park. The Cloisters is a bit of medieval Europe transplanted to this building overlooking the Hudson River. It is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and includes buildings brought intact from Europe... a 12th century Chapter House, parts of 5 Cloisters from Medieval monasteries, and a Romanesque Chapel, etc. The famous Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries are also on display here. This museum is very crowded on weekends. The quickest way to get there is the 8th Ave IND A Train to 190th Street (Overlook Terrace), and then bus #4.

Contemporary Art Galleries: To see the latest "happenings" in the world of art, one should visit a few of the famous galleries. They are mostly located on the East Side, primarily along 57th Street.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts: 140 West 65th Street. Tours are available for this impressive complex of theatres and concert halls. In addition, the grounds contain some excellent sculptures by Calder, Lippold, and Henry Moore. There are Chagall paintings for the Metropolitan Opera House on display inside. The tours are from 10:30-5 daily... 1 hour.

American Museum of Natural History: Daily 10-4:45 Mon-Sat. Wed 10-9. Sun 11-5 PM. Central Park West at 79th Street. This is one of the great scientific museums of the world, bringing together the natural history of man and animals. See the Hall of Minerals and Gems, Hall of Man in Africa, and the rare treasures of two gold leaf Buddha's from Japan and China. Inexpensive cafeteria in the basement.

St. Patrick's Cathedral: Located on 5th Avenue.

Old St. Patrick's Cathedral: Corner of Mott and Prince. Newly restored, this building from 1809 is the predecessor of the Cathedral on 5th Avenue.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine: Amsterdam Avenue and 112th St. This is the world's largest Gothic Cathedral, and the interior is a masterpiece of religious architecture that should be seen. There are daily tours at 11 AM and 2 PM and on Sunday after the 11 Am service. You can walk around by your self. Daily from 7-6 PM.

Greenwich Village: This area is really closer to the left bank in Paris than to the rest of New York City. It has become very commercial but still has a charm about it, if you will ramble around and take your time. The artists one usually associates with this area have now moved to Soho.

Central Park: A magnificent garden in the midst of the concrete canyons. This is New York's great public playground. One does not go to this park after sundown unless there is a cultural event, when it is well lit and with much security.

Federal Hall National Memorial: Mon-Fri 9-4:30 June-August. On this site John Peter Zenger won the trial that established the right of freedom of the press. Here, George Washington took the oath of office as first President in 1789. The American Congress met here and adopted the Bill of Rights. The current museum located here, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in NY.

Brookly Museum Excursion: Wed-Sat 10-5. Sun 12-5. Located on Eastern Parkway. Take the IRT Broadway-7th Ave Express to the Museum (Brooklyn Museum Station). There is a superb collection of Egyptian, Oriental, American, and many very famous European paintings in this top museum. Plus, 25 period rooms.

Downtown and Statue of Liberty Tour: Travel from mid-town to the Battery and back, through Times Square and into the hustle of the garment district. See Herald Square, Greenwich Village, the Bowery, view the Statue of Liberty and New York's magnificent harbor... and then take the Statue of Liberty Ferry for an invigorating ride across the busy Upper Bay to Liberty Island... and have one hour to visit the famous statue. Daily... 4 1/2 hours.

Uptown Tour: Includes points of interest such as Fifth Avenue's great shops, Lincoln Center, Columbia University, Central Park, Grant's Tomb, George Washington Bridge, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. A stop is made at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine... finally, a drive through Harlem. Daily tours... 2 1/2 hours.

Double-Deck Bus Tour: These buses make loops through around the major attractions of Manhattan. One can get on and off as frequently as desired. Can buy ticket on the bus.
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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