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New York - The Big Apple

The great metropolis of the USA, New York, is not just a global financial capital. The urban island of Manhattan is the epicentre of New York life and one of the world's great cultural centres.

The Dutch first settled in Manhattan during the 1620s naming the city New Amsterdam. In 1664, the British took over and renamed it New York.

New York always seems to be in a rush with everything happening at twice the normal pace. Despite this, residents from some 170-odd foreign countries, speaking over 130 languages, are happy to call it home.

Young children and families can enjoy the excitement and experience of Times Square and Broadway shows during the day while adults can indulge themselves at famous jazz clubs, venerated restaurants and chic nightspots after the watershed.

With so many iconic locations, New York has so much to offer and is an excellent place to visit at any time of year, although it is particularly pleasant during the spring and autumn, when temperatures hover around 21ºC (70ºF).

www.nyc.gov

Top 10 things to do in New York

Statue of Liberty

Presented by the people of France to the USA in 1886 to celebrate its centennial, the Statue of Liberty welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship from it's home on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.

It commemorates the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States.

The copper-clad statue of a robed woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and in her left a tablet inscribed with "July IV MDCCLXXVI", stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star.

There are 25 windows in the crown which symbolise the 25 gemstones found on the earth and the seven rays of the Statue's crown represent the seven seas and continents of the world.

The Statue's crown is no longer accessible to the public, and the torch has been officially closed since July 1916.

www.nps.gov/STLI/

Empire State Building

The 102-story landmark Empire State Building stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931.

Sadly, following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building has once again regained its title as the tallest building in New York.

There are two observation desks open to the public on the 86th and 102nd-floors, offering impressive 360-degree views of the city.

As a complement to the observation deck, the New York Skyride is a simulated aerial tour over the city located on the 2nd floor of the building. The theatrical presentation lasts approximately 25 minutes.

www.esbnyc.com/

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Along what is known as "Museum Mile", The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on the eastern edge of Central Park.

Its permanent collection of more than two million works of art are divided into nineteen curatorial departments including classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt but to name only two.

Founded in 1870 and often referred to simply as "the Met", it's main building is one of the world's largest art galleries. Its much smaller location called "The Cloisters" houses the medieval art collection.

The Roof Garden is a popular museum spot during the mild-weathered months with food and drinks available from kiosks.

www.metmuseum.org

Central Park

In the heart of New York City, Central Park is host to approximately twenty-five million visitors each year who escape the sprawling and thriving metropolis for some quiet relaxation.

Almost entirely landscaped and in the shape of a rectangle 2.5 miles by one-half mile, or 4km × 0.8 km, it is situated centrally in Manhattan between 59th and 110th street and between Fifth and Eighth Avenues.

The park contains several lakes and ponds, extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks (one of which is a swimming pool in July and August), the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a wildlife sanctuary, a large area of natural woods, a reservoir with an encircling running track, and the outdoor Delacorte Theater which hosts the "Shakespeare in the Park" summer festivals.

www.centralpark.com

Brooklyn Bridge

Since its opening in 1883 as the then worlds longest and first steel-wire suspension bridge, it has become an iconic part of the New York skyline.

Anchored across the lower East River by two neo Gothic towers, the bridge is thought to be one of New York City’s most celebrated architectural wonders.

A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on a clear day affords outstanding views of the East River and the city skyline.

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www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bridges/bridges.shtml#brooklyn

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the largest museums in the world, comprised of 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its renowned library.

The collections contain over 150 million specimens, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time.

The Library of the American Museum of Natural History has grown into one of the world's great natural history collections containing over 450,000 volumes of which rare book collections, fine art, film and photographic archives and manuscripts are but a few.

Also within the building is the Rose Center and Planetarium and the millennium New York Time Capsule.

www.amnh.org

Times Square

Previously known as Longacre Square, in 1904 Times Square was renamed after the one-time headquarters of The New York Times and is now the centre of the Theatre district.

Centred on 42nd Street and Broadway, Times Square is renowned for its electronic billboards that cover the facades of almost every building in the square. Such is the iconic value of the electronic billboards that zoning law now requires buildings to be covered with them.

Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, the eyes of the world turn to the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Times Square as the famous New Year's Eve Ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square.

www.timessquarenyc.org

Carnegie Hall

Concert venue Carnegie Hall is located in Midtown Manhattan, two blocks south of Central Park.

Renowned for its beauty, history and acoustics it is one of the most famous venues in the USA for classical and popular music. It contains three distinct, separate performance spaces; The Main Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium), Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall.

The building also contains the Carnegie Hall Archives and the Rose Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Carnegie Hall.

www.carnegiehall.org

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms (44).

Since it's rebuilding and renaming to "Grand Central Terminal" in 1913, many people continue to refer to it incorrectly as "Grand Central Station".

Besides train platforms, Grand Central contains restaurants (the most famous of which is the Oyster Bar) and fast food outlets, delis, bakeries, newsstands, a gourmet and fresh food market, an annex of the New York Transit Museum, and more than forty retail stores.

grandcentralterminal.com

Rockefeller Center

Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, the Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 art deco commercial buildings. Many artistic features are on display in its halls and gardens and on its facades.

It is home to the General Electric company, the Radio City Music Hall and the NBC television studios.

The many buildings that comprise the centre are inter-connected by underground corridors. Officially know as the Underground Concourse and referred to by locals as the Catacombs, the tunnels are home to fast food shops, small diners and a whole hoard of other shops large and small.

www.rockefellercenter.com/

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