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New York maps & Attractions - Things to do in New York


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New York Attractions - Things to do

1. The Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island, New York Harbor
What is it? The universal symbol of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty was the first sight to be seen by the 12 million immigrants who passed through the Ellis Island Immigration Centre. Sculpted by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and modelled on the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue was donated by the people of France in 1886 to commemorate the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution. Visitors can climb the 354 steps to the statue's crown for a view over New York Harbour - the equivalent of a 22-storey building. Access to the monument is via ranger-guided tour only and a time pass is required for visiting the inside of the Monument; advanced reservations are possible by calling (866) 782 8834 or online at The ferry calls at both Liberty and Ellis Islands. Hours of Operation: Daily 9.30am to 5pm (except Christmas Day). The park service occasionally closes the line to the crown as early as 2pm Phone:(212) 363 3200; (212) 269 5755 (ferry information)
2. World Trade Center - Ground Zero
Lower Manhattan, viewing area at Liberty Street and Broadway
What is it? The six-hectare (16-acre) work site that has emerged from the rubble of the twin towers has come to symbolise the dreadful events of September 11, 2001 when almost 3,000 people lost their lives. The 1,350ft (411m) World Trade Centre towers were the tallest buildings in New York and symbols of the city's skyline. Millions now come to pay tribute at the site and witness the devastation from one of the viewing sites. In April 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation launched a worldwide competition to design a memorial at the World Trade Center site to honour the victims of September 11. The LMDC received 5,201 memorial design submissions from 63 nations and 49 states making this the largest design competition in history. In January 2004 Reflecting Absence by Michael Arad and Peter Walker was unveiled as the design for the World Trade Center Memorial, and will feature a landscaped civic plaza with two massive voids aligned with the footprints where the twin towers once stood. Currently the perimeter of Ground Zero is accessible to the public. The Tribute Center, across from Ground Zero, offers tours around the perimeter, and provides visitors with an accurate account of what the community endured during the attacks ( The Memorial itself is scheduled to open 11 September 2009. Hours of Operation: Tours of the perimeter: Monday to Friday 1pm and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm starting from 120 Liberty Street Phone:(212) 732 7678 (ticket information)
3. Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets, Manhattan
What is it? One of the enduring symbols of New York, and once again the city's tallest structure, the Empire State Building stands 436ft (145m) high. Completed in 1931, this Art Deco behemoth remains one of the most impressive engineering feats of all time; it was built in just 410 days and remains the fastest rising major skyscraper ever built. The building has been immortalised in many films - most famously the classic King Kong. The observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors offer magnificent views of the city. Hours of Operation: Observatory: daily 8am to midnight. The last elevator goes up at 11.15pm Phone:(212) 736 3100
4. Central Park
What is it? With great foresight, the founders of New York set aside 340 hectares (840 acres) of central Manhattan as a public space. Central Park was officially opened in 1873 and today provides an essential 'green lung' within the concrete jungle that is New York. Originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the park contains themed gardens, tennis courts, lakes and even a small zoo. Much of the park is infused by the city's bustle and on nice days swarms with joggers, skaters, buskers and tourists, but there are areas beyond the range of baseballs and frisbees where tranquillity can be found in this beautifully landscaped park. During winter, two ice-skating rinks open up in Central Park, the Wollman Rink (mid-Park at 62nd St) is one of the most picturesque in the world, set among the trees and rolling hills and against the backdrop of Manhattan's skyscrapers. Hours of Operation: Phone:
5. Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street, Manhattan
What is it? The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, owns the most important collection of modern art in the USA including works by Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Max Beckman, Ansel Adams, and Kiki Smith. What started as a gift of eight prints and one drawing has developed to a vast and varied collection of 150 000 paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and other media, and the Musuem's Library and Archives boast an impressive collection of books, historical documents and photographs. Priding itself as an educational institution, the Musuem of Modern Art offers various activities and programs for the general public, as well as special segments thereof, in order to broaden the community's knowledge of, and approach to, the exciting and puzzling world of modern art. Hours of Operation: Daily 10.30am to 5.30pm (until 8pm on Friday); closed Tuesdays Phone:(212) 708 9400
6. The Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street
What is it? The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum was designed by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was completed shortly after his death in 1959. It is well worth a visit just to see this icon of Modernist architecture, which was designed specifically to showcase the modern art within. Inside, it features a highly commended collection of late 19th- and 20th-century art works, as well as touring exhibitions. From beneath the huge glass dome, a quarter-of-a-mile-long ramp spirals down the inside of the building, past the collection of art, including works by Camille Pissarro, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Robert Mapplethorpe and Robert Gober. Hours of Operation: Daily 10am to 5.45pm (until 8pm on Fridays); closed Thursdays and Christmas Day Phone:(212) 423 3500
7. Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue, at 82nd Street
What is it? The Metropolitan Museum possesses one of the greatest, and largest, collections of art in the world; it is a cherished New York institution and a must see for any visitor. Banners above the Met's Fifth Avenue entrance herald the current attractions - there are always a few exhibitions on-the-go displaying masterpieces from around the world alongside the Metropolitan's own collection. The highlights of the permanent collection are numerous - American collectors having had the foresight, and cash, to buy up a large number of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces from Europeans at the end of the 19th century. The Metropolitan Museum's collection now contains more than two million works of art from all points of the compass, from ancient through modern times, including great works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Cézanne to rival any gallery in the world. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday 9.30am to 5.30pm, Friday and Saturday 9.30am to 9pm. Closed Mondays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Phone:(212) 535 7710
8. American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West, at West 79th Street
What is it? Possibly with the exception of its counterpart in London, the American Museum of Natural History is the largest and most important museum of its kind in the world. More than 30 million artefacts are packed into 42 exhibition halls - quite enough to keep anyone busy over a rainy afternoon. The most popular exhibit is a 50ft tall skeleton of a barosaurus in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda. There are three more spectacular dinosaur halls on the fourth floor. Other halls include the Hall of Biodiversity, the Hall of Ocean Life, the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution and the fabulous Hayden Planetarium - a 90-ft wide aluminium sphere that seems to float inside a massive glass cube, which in turn is home to the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Those tired of walking can check out the Museum of Television and Radio. Hours of Operation: Daily 10am to 5.45pm, except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Phone:(212) 769 5100; 769 5200 (tickets and programs)

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