One Police Plaza

The New York Police Department (NYPD) forms the largest law-in-order organization in the city.  The organization has over 35,000 officers working to keep the city safe—and residents can rest easy knowing that these officers can boast their territory as one of the safest large cities in the country. Their department works from an imposing structure … Continue reading “One Police Plaza”

Atlas Statue

New York City is the home of some of the greatest statues in the world.  Among these are the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and Civic Fame atop the Manhattan Municipal Building.  One of the most famous ones in the city is near Rockefeller Center and literally has the world on his shoulders.  … Continue reading “Atlas Statue”

Your City and New York: Newport, Rhode Island

Although there are probably more people living in some neighborhoods in New York than in Newport, Rhode Island, the cities share many commonalities that might not immediately meet the eye.  While Newport is mostly a colonial-inspired city, it has many interesting similarities with New York. For starters, an obvious similarity is that Newport was for … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Newport, Rhode Island”

Subway Shuttles of New York City

New York, like London and Hong Kong, has subway shuttle lines.  These lines, unlike the others in the system, shuttle between only two (or sometimes up to five) points on the system.  While many of the regular numbered and letter trains of the NYC subway system function as shuttle trains after hours, there are three … Continue reading “Subway Shuttles of New York City”

Your City and New York: Sydney

Occupying a place in similar stature to New York in the Land Down Under, Sydney is very similar to NYC in many ways.  Beyond the superficial point that they are the largest cities in their respective states and countries and were also major cities within the British Empire at a time, New York and Sydney … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Sydney”

Lights on the Empire State Building

As mentioned in one of our first blog posts, the Empire State Building is one of the most famous landmarks of the city.  Aside from its observation deck, its place in the popular mind due to movies and television, and its handsome Indiana limestone exterior, the Empire State Building is also famous for its lights … Continue reading “Lights on the Empire State Building”

Hudson Yards

New York is indisputably the largest city in the United States.  As with most large cities, there are several centers for jobs.  Already, the city contains three of the largest business districts in the city (Lower Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, and Downtown Brooklyn).  In addition to these commercial areas, there are several other developments classed as … Continue reading “Hudson Yards”

Flushing

Near the borders of New York City lies one of its fastest-growing neighborhoods.  Flushing, long a famous but sleepy area of Queensboro, has now become one of the most famous and popular parts of the city.  With the district becoming the largest of New York’s three Chinatowns, it is rising up as the center of … Continue reading “Flushing”

Radio City Music Hall

Midtown Manhattan is known for its theaters—especially those showing Broadway productions.  While theater on the whole is one of the main economic generators for the city, one of the most famous hosts not Broadway shows nor classical music shows, but song and dance spectaculars.  This is the famous Radio City Music Hall. The 6,000-plus seat … Continue reading “Radio City Music Hall”

Freight in New York

New York is one of the largest ports in the United States and a point for cargo coming into and leaving the country.  As an island and at the entrance of the Hudson River, the position of the city forms a natural choke point for passengers and especially freight heading to Upstate New York, New … Continue reading “Freight in New York”

Electric New York

Aside from Las Vegas and Tokyo, New York is probably the most famous city that is flooded with electric lighting.  The lighting comes in many colors, illuminates homes and businesses at affordable prices, and gives the city its “city that never sleeps” reputation.  Electric lighting has had one of the most profound effects on the … Continue reading “Electric New York”

Haunted New York

As the largest city in the country, New York is the home of millions of residents.  While the city is known for having the most living souls in the USA, there are many lost souls and undead residents that are supposedly left in the city.  New York is littered with locations that have been the … Continue reading “Haunted New York”

Public Art

In addition to having some of the greatest museums in the country and the world, New York is blessed with an abundance of public art. Many artists are drawn to the city (and arts are funded by both private donors as well as the local government). This leads to many great public art displays (sanctioned … Continue reading “Public Art”

LaGuardia Airport

Visitors to New York come into the city in several different ways. For visitors coming from Denver and cities east of the Rockies, many will arrive at LaGuardia Airport. While many believe that the airport does not provide the best introduction to the city (some people say, “the only good thing about it is whom … Continue reading “LaGuardia Airport”

Sunset Park

New York is a city full of great parks. Every borough contains such treasures, but one of the best can be found in Brooklyn. Although Prospect Park is the most famous of the parks in the Borough of Champions, Sunset Park sits on a beautiful, nearly-25-acre plot that provides commanding views of the surrounding neighborhood … Continue reading “Sunset Park”

Red Hook

On the western edge of Brooklyn lies Red Hook, a former shipping area. Known for its starring role in movies and for its industrial appearance, this neighborhood is now on the rise after decades of neglect. The neighborhood is now sporting many new businesses between older industrial facilities that once served the main port of … Continue reading “Red Hook”

Queens Museum

Queens is the largest borough in terms of area and the second largest in population. The borough is one of the most diverse with regard to its inhabitants, and it contains such varied sites as wetlands, pro sports teams, and even beaches. One of the most interesting places in a borough of interesting places is … Continue reading “Queens Museum”

DUMBO

Brooklyn is the most populous of the five boroughs of the city. For most of its storied history, the borough was known for its industry. Facilities such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard and several factories producing items that included sugar, brillo pads, and pencils (to name but a few of the many commodities) dotted the … Continue reading “DUMBO”

Washington Heights

As mentioned in the previous post, the George Washington Bridge Bus Station forms a crucial lynchpin in the city’s transportation network. In addition to this building and bridge being named after our first president, the adjoining neighborhood of Washington Heights is one of the most historic and fascinating in the city. As it was a … Continue reading “Washington Heights”

George Washington Bridge Bus Station

As previously mentioned in a Sights by Sam blog entry, the George Washington Bridge forms an important conduit between New England and the Mid-Atlantic States. In conjunction with the Great Gray Bridge, there exists another unsung hero of New York’s transportation system in the immediate area. Built in 1963, the George Washington Bridge Bus Station … Continue reading “George Washington Bridge Bus Station”

Pizza in NYC

It is not surprising that since New York has people from all over the country and world, our food would match the uniqueness and variety of the city. The cuisine of the city consists of dishes and snacks like hot dogs, General Tso’s chicken, bagels, and coffee—among many others. Perhaps the quintessential New York dish … Continue reading “Pizza in NYC”

601 Lexington Avenue

Known for its former name as the Citigroup Center, 601 Lexington Avenue, a 915’ tower, is most famous for its bright white color and angled roof. Initially meant for a solar panel, this feature makes the building distinct in the Midtown Manhattan skyline. The building was designed by Hugh Stubbins and Emery Roth and Sons … Continue reading “601 Lexington Avenue”

Farley Post Office

On Eighth Avenue sits the general post office building for New York. Designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White and completed from 1912 to 1914, this structure was named after the 53rd Postmaster General of the United States, James A. Farley. The post office covers eight acres. It is most famous for its … Continue reading “Farley Post Office”

Commuter Rail– A Primer

New York is a major magnet for people coming in to work and visit. As I have mentioned before, Manhattan has a daytime population of over 4 million people. While the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s bus and subway services carry millions of people around the city, thousands come into the city by train from New York, … Continue reading “Commuter Rail– A Primer”

Hudson River

Meandering from New York to the Adirondack Mountains for 315 miles, the Hudson River has formed a pivotal role in the history of New York City and New York State. The river is prominently featured on the state flag and seal and named after the first European to travel it—Henry Hudson. The river has formed … Continue reading “Hudson River”

The Cloisters

Far up the coast on the west side of Manhattan (some would say, “cloistered away”) is the dramatic Cloisters. This extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the full description of this facility is in another entry), is in Fort Tryon Park with dramatic views of the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge. In its … Continue reading “The Cloisters”

New Amsterdam: A Primer

At the end of the 1600s, the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam—the forerunner of what is now New York City—was largely similar to what we see today in that it was built on commerce and that it hosted a religiously- and ethnically-diverse population. Because New Amsterdam (part of the larger colony of New Netherlands) was … Continue reading “New Amsterdam: A Primer”

Fire Towers and Call Boxes

In a crowded urban area, fire is one of the greatest threats to New York—or any city for that matter. After three great fires in the Colonial and Antebellum Eras, New York has worked to defend itself against fire through volunteer and professional fire companies. In addition to these fire companies and local citizens reporting … Continue reading “Fire Towers and Call Boxes”

TriBeCa

In the shadow of the Financial District to the north is the Triangle Below Canal Street, more commonly known as TriBeCa. While famous for high end shopping and residences, the area bounded by the Hudson River, Canal Street, and Chambers Street was originally an industrial area for much of the city’s history. Once the landholdings … Continue reading “TriBeCa”

One World Trade Center

Towering above Lower Manhattan (and the entire city), One World Trade Center symbolizes the resilience and rebuilding of New York after the September 11th attacks. Designed by the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, the building was constructed between 2006 and 2014. The structure has deep symbolism for the city and the country as a … Continue reading “One World Trade Center”

Environment in New York

Being one of the largest cities in the U.S. since it was established, New York City owes its popularity to its large port. The city also benefits from the fact that it is not in an area of climate extremes (barring the occasional hurricane). However, throughout most of the city’s history, pollution and sanitation were … Continue reading “Environment in New York”

City Government, A Primer

New York City is by far the largest city in the United States. Overseeing hundreds of square miles of territory and providing for the safety of over eight million people is no small task. The city has a budget of well over $70 billion and an army of over 300,000 municipal workers (including but not … Continue reading “City Government, A Primer”

The Brill Building

New York is the undisputed media capital of the United States. With four American terrestrial broadcasters, many cable networks, and other media companies headquartered within the city, New York is the nexus of American media. This is in addition to New York being the capital of the country’s theater industry and a major center for … Continue reading “The Brill Building”

Lincoln Tunnel

Linking Midtown Manhattan with Weehawken,NJ, the Lincoln Tunnel transports over 120,000 vehicles in one of the most important transportation links in the region and the country. Constructed between 1937 and 1957, the tunnel is actually made up of three separate tubes—all over 7,000 feet long. It gained its presidential name to put in on par … Continue reading “Lincoln Tunnel”

Jane Jacobs

Although never a politician or a bureaucrat, Jane Jacobs’ life shaped New York in many ways. She was instrumental in the preservation of many New York neighborhoods. A native of Scranton, PA, Jacobs moved to New York with her sister during the Great Depression. She subsequently found work as a writer. After her arrival to … Continue reading “Jane Jacobs”

Gramercy Park

At the foot of Lexington Avenue is Gramercy Park, formerly the site of a marsh (Gramercy is the anglicized version of a Dutch word meaning “Crooked Swamp”). Gramercy and the adjoining park has been the center of a high-end residential area since its creation in 1833. The park is notable because it is the only … Continue reading “Gramercy Park”

Chelsea

Between 14th and 34th Streets to the south and north and from Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River from east to west is Chelsea. Named by a British Royal Army officer after the UK’s military hospital in London, Chelsea was originally a residential area, later becoming industrial, and is now a mixed commercial and residential … Continue reading “Chelsea”

St. Paul’s Chapel

The oldest church in Manhattan, St. Paul’s Chapel functioned originally as a “chapel of ease” for Episcopal parishioners who were not able to get to the main church at Trinity Church—a 0.3 mile (or 7 block) walk away. The chapel was built in 1766 and is among one of the oldest surviving buildings in the … Continue reading “St. Paul’s Chapel”

Union Square

One of the most important intersections in the city, Union Square—located at the confluence of Chelsea, the East Village, and the Flatiron District—is a witness to the history of the city. Although mistakenly assumed to be named for the Union Army or for trade union activism, Union Square is so named because it sits where … Continue reading “Union Square”

Brooklyn Heights

Billed as America’s first suburb, Brooklyn Heights is right across the East River from Manhattan. The area is steeped in important moments in American History and is a charming area to visit today. Although there were scattered settlers in the area since the arrival of Europeans to what is now New York City, the area … Continue reading “Brooklyn Heights”

Little Britain

New York is home to many ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown and Little Italy. While these two are arguably the most famous, there are many others such as Brighton Beach in Brooklyn (Russian), Woodlawn in the Bronx (Irish), and Koreatown in Manhattan. There are many smaller enclaves such as Rego Park (Uzbeks) and Petit Senegal … Continue reading “Little Britain”

Brownstones

When most people think of housing in New York, they think of gleaming apartment buildings or walk-up tenements populating some of the historic neighborhoods of Manhattan. One of the most famous and most popular styles of dwelling in New York is the brownstone. Functioning as one-family residences or apartment buildings, the brownstone is an instantly … Continue reading “Brownstones”

70 Pine Street

Although never the tallest building in the city, the skyscraper at 70 Pine Street is one of the most striking on the Lower Manhattan skyline. For many years (between 1932 and 1972), it was the third tallest building in Manhattan and the tallest in Lower Manhattan. Rising to a height of 952 feet tall, 70 … Continue reading “70 Pine Street”

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

In Midtown opposite Rockefeller Center and near the flagship location of Saks Fifth Avenue sits Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, the main seat of Catholic worship in New York City. The immense cathedral is nearly 397 feet long and is almost 330 feet tall. Although dwarfed by nearby skyscrapers, the cathedral and its neo-gothic exterior and Tiffany-designed … Continue reading “Saint Patrick’s Cathedral”

One Bryant Park

At the northwest corner of Bryant Park is one of the more recent additions to the New York City skyline. Built by the Bank of America, the Bank of America Tower (One Bryant Park) has a distinctive profile. It is also known for many ecologically-friendly features. Built by the architectural firm of COOKFOX, One Bryant … Continue reading “One Bryant Park”

Citi Field

In the aftermath of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants leaving New York for sunny California in the 1950s, New York sought to regain a team in both leagues. After an abortive attempt to gain a team through forming a new major league, the National League awarded New York with a new franchise, … Continue reading “Citi Field”

Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees, one of the original franchises of the American League, have played in Yankee Stadium since 1923. Since moving into the “House that Ruth Built,” that year, they have won nearly three dozen World Series while at this temple of baseball. Over the years, the original Yankee Stadium was remodeled and renovated. … Continue reading “Yankee Stadium”

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument of Manhattan

Manhattan contains three of the most important Civil War monuments in the city, as well as the country. Two are famous: the statue of William T. Sherman in Central Park and Grant’s Tomb in Morningside Heights. Another important, but lesser known one is located on the Upper West Side near Riverside Park—the Manhattan Soldiers’ and … Continue reading “Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument of Manhattan”

Triborough Bridge

Connecting Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, the Triborough Bridge links these three boroughs and forms an important transportation link between Long Island, New England, New Jersey, and the city. The bridge was a marvel of engineering and led to the rise and fall of Robert Moses. The three bridges come together on Wards and Randalls … Continue reading “Triborough Bridge”

Basketball Scandal and New York

In addition to the end of winter, March also marks the annual start of college basketball’s “March Madness,” where college basketball teams from every state compete to be the NCAA’s champion. Many rivalries exist among various teams, but New York was the center of one of the most infamous moments in the sport’s history. In … Continue reading “Basketball Scandal and New York”

Meatpacking District

On the West Side of Manhattan exists a neighborhood between Greenwich Village and 14th Street that has gone through several transitions throughout its history. The Meatpacking District, long the preserve of food processing and less than savory activities, is now one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Manhattan. The Meatpacking District was formerly a part … Continue reading “Meatpacking District”

Metropolitan Life North Building

At Madison Square Park is the 700 foot Metropolitan Life Tower, that is topped by the “Light that Never Fails” (to symbolize that the company would always protect its customers). To the north of this landmark is the stub of what was to be the world’s tallest tower. In the late 1920s, Metropolitan Life sought … Continue reading “Metropolitan Life North Building”

Astor Place

At the confluence of Eighth Street, Lafayette Street and Fourth Avenue in the East Village is Astor Place.  The plaza forms the divide between Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan (specifically between the East Village, Chelsea, and Union Square).  This plaza is also the site of one of the most recognizable pieces of artwork in the … Continue reading “Astor Place”

Your City and New York: New Orleans

The Big Easy and the Big Apple are both important cities and vacation destinations.  Aside from their similar nicknames and that they have “new” in their names, there are other similarities between these two great cities. New Orleans and New York are both the result of European powers (the French in Louisiana and the Dutch … Continue reading “Your City and New York: New Orleans”

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of the most famous art museums in the country and the world.  The permanent collection of the museum has several notable artworks by artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Seurat, Matisse, and Dali, among many, many others.  The museum also has several temporary exhibitions that bring subjects … Continue reading “The Museum of Modern Art”

Bryant Park

Tucked into Midtown between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, book-ended to the east by the NY Public Library is Bryant Park. This 9.6 acre park was built next to the former Croton Reservoir in 1847. In 1853, an industrial exposition was held at the site, where an observation tower was built and the first safety elevator … Continue reading “Bryant Park”

Industry in New York

In today’s society where many manufactured goods are made in the South and West of the U.S. or come into the country in containers on great ships, manufacturing in New York City seems to be a foreign concept. On the contrary, the city has a long and industrious (no pun intended) history. Being at the … Continue reading “Industry in New York”

Disappeared Shopping Districts

New York is in a constant state of change. As a constantly evolving metropolis, neighborhoods change and businesses come and go. Due to the free market society that we all enjoy, there are specialty retail districts in the city that no longer exist. While there are still vestiges of some shopping districts such as garments … Continue reading “Disappeared Shopping Districts”

Coffee in the City

Every neighborhood in New York from Tottenville to Riverdale has at least one place that will be serving the quintessential beverage of New York—coffee. Although not a native product of the state (milk is the official New York State beverage), coffee not only fuels hundreds of thousands of commuters per day, but has a big … Continue reading “Coffee in the City”

New York Botanical Garden

In the Bronx covering 250 acres is the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). This living museum contains one million living plants. Although not on the immediate itinerary of most visitors, its holiday train show and beauty in spring and fall should be seen by visitors to the city. The NYBG was founded in 1891. It … Continue reading “New York Botanical Garden”

The High Line

Since 2009, the High Line in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan has delighted visitors and natives alike, helped to revitalize a formerly derelict area of the borough, and become one of the most innovative parks in the city. This linear park has a colorful history. Before the arrival of the High Line, the Meatpacking District … Continue reading “The High Line”

New Years in New York

The turn of the new year is not only a national holiday, but a great day of celebration in New York. In addition to famous displays to mark the new year all over the world, New York differs from many in that there are no fireworks. Due to local ordinance in the city, no fireworks … Continue reading “New Years in New York”

Port Authority Bus Terminal

On the west side of Midtown is one of the most important transportation centers in the city. The very aptly-named Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) is managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Its construction was meant to consolidate the various smaller bus terminals around the city into one unit, of … Continue reading “Port Authority Bus Terminal”

Your City and New York: Baltimore

Less than 200 miles from New York lies the industrial city of Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1729, there are similarities between the Empire City and the Charm City. Like New York, Baltimore owes its growth to its port. The Port of Baltimore is the 16th largest port in the U.S. (the Port of New York-New … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Baltimore”

Jefferson Market Courthouse

In addition to the NYPD and the great collection of civic buildings at Foley Square, there are many symbols of law and order in the city. One of the prettiest is the ornate Jefferson Market Courthouse in Greenwich Village. Built in 1877 by Calvert Vaux, who designed the structures in Central Park and Prospect Park, … Continue reading “Jefferson Market Courthouse”

Essex Street Market

Even though Americans live in an age with massive supermarkets and even online delivery of groceries, markets provide character and are part of the identity of a city or a neighborhood. This is true of the Italian Market in Philadelphia or Findlay Market in Cincinnati to give two examples. The same is true of the … Continue reading “Essex Street Market”

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

New York is full of Christmas and holiday traditions. From holiday villages that pop up in all boroughs to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, there are many traditions that make a winter in New York magical. One of the most breathtaking traditions is in a corner of the southern Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights and … Continue reading “Dyker Heights Christmas Lights”

Triumph in War: Two Soldier’s Memorials at Grand Army Plaza

The Civil War was the most destructive war in American History. The conflict was commemorated in somber battlefield memorials throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as in several major cities throughout the country. Several large Civil War memorials exist in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and in Washington, DC, among several other locales. New York contains memorials … Continue reading “Triumph in War: Two Soldier’s Memorials at Grand Army Plaza”

Your City and New York: Philadelphia

Since the first federal census in 1790 showed that New York was a larger city than Philadelphia, some people of the City of Brotherly Love have felt like they are in the shadow of their neighbors 90 miles to the north. Philadelphians have many reasons to be proud of their city. Founded in 1682 by … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Philadelphia”

Studio Museum in Harlem

On 125th Street is the Studio Museum in Harlem, an art museum dedicated to displaying artwork completed by African Americans and people of African descent from all over the world. It sees thousands of visitors annually and anchors a stretch of 125th Street that is close to the Apollo Theater and the Hotel Theresa. Founded … Continue reading “Studio Museum in Harlem”

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Connecting the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge spans 13,700 total feet (with a main span of 4260 feet) and is one of the longest suspension bridges in the United States and in the world. The bridge is instrumental in connecting the two boroughs, forming a major transportation corridor between the mainland … Continue reading “Verrazano-Narrows Bridge”

Holiday Shopping in New York

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, New York is a premier destination for many shoppers—some who plan trips just to come into the city at this time of the year to shop at many department stores and specialty shops.  New York has been at the forefront of American shopping since the 1800s.  As a … Continue reading “Holiday Shopping in New York”

Queensboro Bridge

Built in 1909, the Queensboro Bridge (also called the 59th Street Bridge or the Ed Koch Bridge) spans the East River and connects Queens with Manhattan. The bridge was the third across the East River and designed by Gustav Lindenthal, with collaboration by Henry Hornbostel and Leffert Buck, who designed the Williamsburg Bridge. The Manhattan … Continue reading “Queensboro Bridge”

The Little Red Lighthouse

New York is full of landmarks. There are many famous ones such as the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Unisphere, to name but a few of the most well known ones. There are also smaller landmarks that are important to many, such as the Little Red Lighthouse in Upper Manhattan. Located in … Continue reading “The Little Red Lighthouse”

Your City and New York: Pittsburgh

Between 1735 and 1768, the First Earl of Chatham, William Pitt the Elder, was a prominent member of the British Parliament. He was known in his later years for arguing for leniency on behalf of the British American colonists after the French and Indian War. For his legacy, New Yorkers named Chatham Square, now in … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Pittsburgh”

Harlem Hellfighters

New York City has a storied history in the history of our country’s wars. In addition to being a major manufacturing center for armaments and uniforms in past conflicts and the flashpoint for many important Revolutionary War battles, the men and women serving from the city have been pivotal to the courses of war. One … Continue reading “Harlem Hellfighters”

New York Stock Exchange

New York is synonymous with the financial industry. Most major American and international banks and financial institutions have a presence in the city. Along with London and Tokyo, New York forms one of the three major financial centers of the world. A lot of the reason for this is that the city is the location … Continue reading “New York Stock Exchange”

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL) system contains over 53 million items in its collection, making it second to only the Library of Congress in the U.S. and the largest city library system in the world. The NYPL covers the boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island (both Brooklyn and Queens have independent library systems). … Continue reading “New York Public Library”

Madison Square Garden

The home of the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, and the site of countless events, Madison Square Garden (MSG) was opened in 1968 and is the oldest and busiest event center in the region. The arena, which can seat between 18,000 and 20,000, is the fourth to bear that name. The first two incarnations of MSG sit … Continue reading “Madison Square Garden”

Williamsburg

One of the most famous neighborhoods in the city in recent years is the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg. Connected to the Lower East Side of Manhattan by the Williamsburg Bridge and by several subway lines to the rest of the city such as the G, J, L, and Z, the neighborhood has become one of … Continue reading “Williamsburg”

Christmas and Holidays in New York

With the beginning of November, the focus of many becomes the holiday season. Christmas lights go up, ads with fashion models in holiday colors appear on billboards and on public transportation, and store windows along Fifth Avenue go to war with each other over which is the most over-the-top display of Season’s Greetings. As New … Continue reading “Christmas and Holidays in New York”

Halloween and NYC

Halloween is one of the biggest unofficial holidays in the United States, with ghouls and goblins adding a certain sense of joy and millions of dollars to the economy. New York, like most other places, celebrates this unofficial holiday. Halloween is believed to have originated with Celtic tribes in what is now France and the … Continue reading “Halloween and NYC”

Presidential History in New York

While Washington has been the capital of the U.S. since 1800, New York (which was the former capital of the country) has been the unofficial capital of sorts as the country’s center of media, culture, and has people from every corner of the planet. Despite the fact that the city is no longer the capital … Continue reading “Presidential History in New York”

African Burial Ground

In the Civic Center of Manhattan near the Ted Weiss Federal Building is an important monument that commemorates 15,000 people of African descent—both slave and free, who were buried in a graveyard that was on the then outskirts of the city. The African Burial Ground National Monument commemorates these individuals and their contribution to the … Continue reading “African Burial Ground”

Sylvan Terrace

Located near the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights, there are many important residential areas that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The rash of building occurred when the heirs of the Jumel Family sold off their vast landholdings. In addition to stately apartment buildings and cultural institutions that were constructed at nearby … Continue reading “Sylvan Terrace”

New York City Marathon

Every year in November, one of the most important athletic events on the calendar in New York is the New York City Marathon. With around 50,000 runners per year, the New York City Marathon is the largest in the world, with professionals and amateurs alike competing. Because of the popularity of the race, spots are … Continue reading “New York City Marathon”

Morris-Jumel Mansion

For all of the towering skyscrapers and massive edifices in the city, New York is home to a few historic houses. In addition to the Dyckman Farm House in Inwood and the Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, one of the oldest and most famous houses in the city is the Morris-Jamel Mansion. Built in 1766, the … Continue reading “Morris-Jumel Mansion”

Brooklyn Bridge Park

As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the sights that many visitors to New York have on their list. The bridge, with its famous architecture, incredible history, and beautiful vistas make it one of the best photo opportunities anywhere in town. On the Brooklyn side of the bridge is … Continue reading “Brooklyn Bridge Park”

Williamsburg Bridge

One of the three “BMW” bridges, the Williamsburg Bridge connects Delancey Street in Manhattan with Grand Street in Williamsburg. The bridge over the east river forms a sort of anchor between two historically important and up-and-coming neighborhoods in the city. The Williamsburg Bridge was completed in 1903. It was designed by Henry Hombostel and constructed … Continue reading “Williamsburg Bridge”

Robert Moses

Nowadays, the name Robert Moses conjures up displaced families, highway construction, the departure of he Brooklyn Dodgers, and even accusations of racism for some. Despite the negative associations that Moses brings up, Moses is also responsible for the Lincoln Center, World’s Fairs in Queens, and a number of bridges that help to connect the city. … Continue reading “Robert Moses”

Skyscraper Museum

Perhaps no other invention typifies New York more than the skyscraper. This invention was the result of the dual inventions of steel and the safety elevator. Before these inventions, people could only tolerate walking up six flights of stairs to live and work (think about older buildings in the Lower East Side and Chinatown). Only … Continue reading “Skyscraper Museum”

The Javits Center

New York is a year-round destination for not only tourists, but also conventioneers. With a storied history and landmarks in every corner, the city and region are also home to a large number of headquarters and home offices of companies and other organizations. To accommodate the high volume of conventioneers who want to come to … Continue reading “The Javits Center”

Morgan Library and Museum

Most people collect at least one thing. Many important collections exist within the city limits of New York. These include everything from some of the world’s most important art collections to interesting items that DSNY workers have recovered from being dumped on the street over the years. One of the most important collections assembled within … Continue reading “Morgan Library and Museum”

The Grid of Manhattan

It is hard to believe sometimes that the average speed of a vehicle has not changed in over 100 years in Manhattan—around 12 miles. The very same streets on the island that are packed most of the day today were the same way back then. Yet, there is a rigid order that has helped to … Continue reading “The Grid of Manhattan”

The Frick Collection

Nestled in the Upper East Side among several of the museums on the world-famous Museum Mile is the Frick Collection. A small art museum that bears similarity to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia or the Taft Museum in Cincinnati, and the collection of Frick’s artworks in Pittsburgh at the Frick Art and Historical Center, the … Continue reading “The Frick Collection”

Staten Island Ferry

Every day, 60,000 people from Staten Island descend upon Manhattan for work and play on one of New York’s most picturesque and cost efficient forms of transportation, the Staten Island Ferry. The eight orange-and-blue ferry boats ply the five mile route in about a half hour between the two ferry terminals. The Staten Island Ferry … Continue reading “Staten Island Ferry”

The Flatiron Building

Although it was never the tallest in the city, the Flatiron Building (built in 1902) is one of the most beloved skyscrapers in the city.  The building, with its triangular shape, has many admirers throughout the world. The Flatiron Building is the only New York skyscraper designed by noted architect Daniel Burnham, who gained fame … Continue reading “The Flatiron Building”

Adolph Weinman

Born in Germany, Weinman immigrated to the U.S. when he was a teenager and was educated at the famous Cooper Union in New York City.  He became a gifted sculptor and is perhaps best known for sculpting coins.  His most famous design was the Walking Liberty Half-Dollar and the Mercury Dime designs of the late … Continue reading “Adolph Weinman”

Your City and New York: Washington, D.C.

New York and Washington are locked in a perpetual battle to be the dominant city in the U.S.  While New York has tall buildings and a population that may be more cosmopolitan, Washington styles itself as the most powerful city in the free world given that the federal government is headquartered there.  Despite this rivalry … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Washington, D.C.”

Airports of the City

Airports have today replaced train stations as the gateways into the city.  Each year, millions of people stream into New York’s two airports: LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK), both located in Queens.  Additional travelers make their way into the city from Newark-Liberty International (EWR), close by in New Jersey.  All three make … Continue reading “Airports of the City”

City Reliquary 

When I was in high school history, teachers were moving gradually away from teaching names, dates, and important events as the only things going on in history.  The new emphasis was on social history, which depicted how normal people lived during historical times and how events affected them.  I was relieved that I no longer … Continue reading “City Reliquary “

Museum of the City of New York

New York City has not one but two historical museums about the city.  With the New-York Historical Society on the Upper West Side, the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) guards the Upper East Side. The MCNY was founded in 1923 to preserve the history of the city.  It has moved around several … Continue reading “Museum of the City of New York”

Little Italy

Since the arrival of many Italian immigrants in the 1800s, Italian-Americans have been one of the most important groups in the city—with many famous people in the city—such as mayors and athletes among them.  Although today most Italian Americans in the city live in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, the center of the Italian … Continue reading “Little Italy”

Upper East Side

Long associated as a fashionable residential area, the Upper East Side of New York conjures up images of doorman apartments and residents walking little dogs. The neighborhood, stretching from 59th Street to 96th Street between 5th Avenue and the East River is among one of the wealthiest areas of the United States—and its electoral districts … Continue reading “Upper East Side”

Rockefeller Center

The first “city-within-a-city” designed in the world, site of New York’s Christmastime fun (where the tree and the ice rink live), and the headquarters for NBC Universal (and site of the Today Show), Rockefeller Center forms an important part of Midtown and is a tourist destination all year long. The Rockefeller Center complex contains 19 … Continue reading “Rockefeller Center”

Fashion and the City

As the preeminent city in the U.S., New York has always been a trendsetter of sorts for fashion and the clothing industry in the U.S.  As a major port and population center, and with people hailing from all over the world, it is only natural that New York would be on the leading edge of … Continue reading “Fashion and the City”

Roosevelt Island Tramway

Between the East Side of Manhattan and Queens lies Roosevelt Island.  A mostly residential community, this island is mainly famous for its unique tramway and as the location of the ruins of hospitals and other facilities. Roosevelt Island is connected to Manhattan by the unique aerial tramway that looks like it was built more for … Continue reading “Roosevelt Island Tramway”

New York Hall of Science

Located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the New York Hall of Science (Hall of Science).  This structure dates back from the 1964 World’s Fair.  Along with the Queens Museum, the Hall of Science is on the top of the radar for many visitors to this part of New York and residents of the Borough of … Continue reading “New York Hall of Science”

St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

In SoHo, there sits St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.  The building was deconsecrated as a cathedral when the new St. Patrick’s Cathedral was completed on Fifth Avenue in 1879.  Now a basilica, a site of pilgrimage in the Roman Catholic Church, the old cathedral is a distinct presence in the neighborhood.  The basilica has come into … Continue reading “St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral”

Costume Institute

One of the major collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is its collection of costumes held in the Costume Institute.  Officially named the Anna Wintour Costume Center (after the longtime editor of Vogue magazine), the Costume Institute concentrates on changing exhibits of costumes and gowns that help to preserve these unique objects and show … Continue reading “Costume Institute”

Full Steam Under the City

Any visitor or native to the city recognizes the plume of steam trails (often spouting out of orange-white smokestacks in Midtown) escaping from under the city and above the island.  This is the result of a vast steam power and pipe system that crisscrosses Manhattan. The steam system is operated by Consolidated Edison, the local … Continue reading “Full Steam Under the City”

The George Washington Bridge

The busiest toll crossing in the U.S., the George Washington Bridge sees over 300,000 vehicles and takes in over $1 million in tolls every day.  The bridge forms an important link between New England and the Mid-Atlantic States.   Like our first president, this bridge is stately, unique, and has a firm place in the … Continue reading “The George Washington Bridge”

The Brooklyn Museum

The Borough of Champions houses one of the largest museums in the U.S. that sadly does not feature on the itinerary of most visitors.  The Brooklyn Museum is one of the greatest overlooked museums in the city. The museum’s current structure dates from 1897 and was designed by the firm of McKim,Mead, and White, with … Continue reading “The Brooklyn Museum”

The Race to the Top

In large clusters in Lower and Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Long Island City in Queens, there are skyscrapers.  The quintessential New York architectural form rises up all over the city.  A casual observer can tell the era a skyscraper was built in by its height and ornamentation.  This entry will give a basic history … Continue reading “The Race to the Top”

American Museum of Natural History

I was once among people who believed that all natural history museums were more or less the same.  The Natural History Museum in D.C. and the Cincinnati Museum Center are two of the finest in the country, but their collections of natural artifacts and specimens are similar.  I was hesitant to go to the American … Continue reading “American Museum of Natural History”

The Second Avenue Subway

One of the most commonly-talked about subjects among residents of a certain part of Manhattan is the Second Avenue Subway line.  First postulated in the late 1910s-early 1920s, the first section of this long-awaited line is scheduled to open by 2017.  This will not arrive a moment too soon for residents of East Harlem and … Continue reading “The Second Avenue Subway”

Your City and New York: Cincinnati

Being my hometown, Cincinnati will always have a special place in my heart.  It shares many things with New York.  Some of the landmarks that make New York recognizable had their dry run in Cincinnati. Although it may seem hard to believe now, Cincinnati was once the fifth largest city in the U.S.  The city … Continue reading “Your City and New York: Cincinnati”

South Street Seaport

One of the great sources of wealth of New York has always been its harbor.  Allowing protection from the sea and connecting the city to a vast hinterland spread across multiple regions of the country, New York’s harbor has allowed for people and products to both enter and leave through its vast port.  Although the … Continue reading “South Street Seaport”

The U.S. Open

Every year in late summer, one of the signs of the season is the playing of the U.S. Open.  Held starting on the last Monday in August and going through early September, the U.S. Open is the last in the “Grand Slam” tennis tournaments, with the others held in Melbourne, Australia, Paris, and in London.  Contestants play … Continue reading “The U.S. Open”

The High Bridge

As I mentioned in my post about the Brooklyn Bridge, many cities are defined by their bridges.  Structures such as the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong, the Roebling Bridge in Cincinnati, and the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia, are instantly recognizable symbols of the city.  Like San Francisco or Pittsburgh, New York is a … Continue reading “The High Bridge”

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Located in Central Park, with over two million square feet of exhibition space at its Central Park flagship, collections encompassing every period of history, and now spanning three locations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), is the largest museum in the U.S.  The collection of the museum has artifacts in it such as a … Continue reading “Metropolitan Museum of Art”

The Yiddish Rialto

Today the beginning of Second Avenue in the East Village is a commercial strip and an up and coming residential area.  In the early part of the 20th Century, this area, then in the center of the Jewish Lower East Side, was the location of a thriving live theater district.  Colloquially, this area was called the … Continue reading “The Yiddish Rialto”

Manhattan Civic Center

New York has been the largest city in our country since the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.  The city covers over 300 miles and has over eight million people within its borders.  Governing this city is no easy task. In addition to an elected mayor, comptroller, and public advocate (who acts as a watchdog/ombudsman for … Continue reading “Manhattan Civic Center”

Upper West Side

Extending on the west side of Manhattan and bounded by 59th Street to the south, the Hudson River to the west, 110th Street to the north, and Eighth Avenue/Central Park West to the east, the Upper West Side is one of the largest neighborhoods on Manhattan in terms of real estate and with a population … Continue reading “Upper West Side”

Cherry Lane Theater

Along with London, New York is one of the centers of English-speaking theater in the world.  The most well-known part of this industry in New York are Broadway theaters, which produce original and revival productions of musicals and other shows.  Broadway theaters are  also a significant economic generator for the city.  Often, the incubators for … Continue reading “Cherry Lane Theater”

Real Estate in the City

One of the great foundation myths/stories of New York is that Dutch governor Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island, a narrow, rocky island at the edge of the known world in 1625, for the equivalent of $26 of glass beads and clocks given to the Leni-Lenape tribe.  Some say the Native Americans won out on the … Continue reading “Real Estate in the City”

Law and Order in the City

The New York Police Department (NYPD) works to uphold the law in all 300+ square miles of the city.  The NYPD has 49,500 officers (additionally there are 120 equine officers and 34 canine officers) working out of 77 precincts, 12 transit divisions, and 9 public housing division districts.  The NYPD has been portrayed in countless … Continue reading “Law and Order in the City”

Federal Hall

Ninety miles down the New Jersey Turnpike from New York lies Philadelphia, the former capital of the United States and the site of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated upon and agreed.  Many visitors to Philadelphia may not realize that the first government of the United States (after the … Continue reading “Federal Hall”

Keeping the City Clean

With over eight million people in New York, keeping the city clean is a herculean task.  Every day, 10,500 tons of trash and 1760 tons of recyclables are collected for disposal or reprocessing by the city.   An additional 13,000 tons is collected from businesses or commercial buildings by private waste haulers.  The refuse is … Continue reading “Keeping the City Clean”

National Museum of the American Indian

While I am very biased that New York is the perfect vacation destination for all—as it has buildings from all eras of American history and so many cultures that you can travel around the world without ever leaving the five boroughs, it can sometimes be difficult to find free destinations.  Although there are many museums … Continue reading “National Museum of the American Indian”

Lower East Side

Long considered by many “where America begins,” the Lower East Side has seen successive waves of immigrants live in its teeming buildings.  Irish, German, Italian, Jewish, Puerto Rican, African-American, and Chinese arrivals have contributed to what the Lower East Side is today. In the early 1800s, New York expanded northward and the land was settled.  … Continue reading “Lower East Side”

Coney Island

Synonymous with summer and sun worship, Coney Island in Brooklyn is an integral part of the culture and history of the city.  The area is actually no longer an island (due to public works projects after World War II), but it still feels like a getaway from the bustle of Manhattan. The etymology of Coney … Continue reading “Coney Island”

Woolworth Building

With its green top peaking through the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, the 792 foot-tall Woolworth Building stands out.  Between 1913 and 1930, it was the tallest building in New York and in the world.  Originally designed to honor the F.W. Woolworth Company, the building is now being converted into apartments. Completed in 1913, the Woolworth … Continue reading “Woolworth Building”

The Apollo Theater—A Harlem Legend

Sitting near the intersection of 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard is the world-famous Apollo Theater.  Known for its Amateur Nights every Wednesday and being the destination of emerging acts and some of the most famous of all time alike, the Apollo Theater is one of the cornerstones of Harlem and of African American culture … Continue reading “The Apollo Theater—A Harlem Legend”

An Olympic Performance for New York

The Olympic games occur every four years and are not surprisingly a symbol of great prestige for the host city.  In recent years, the cost of hosting the game has attracted great scrutiny due to corruption scandals in international athletic federations and the willingness of authoritarian regimes to spend money on sporting mega events with … Continue reading “An Olympic Performance for New York”

Busing Around New York–A Short Guide

Every day, millions of people in New York take to the streets to get from point A to point B to work, play, or sightsee.  Among the well known symbols of the city are its subways that operate every day at all hours and the fleet of over 13,000 yellow taxis that ply the streets … Continue reading “Busing Around New York–A Short Guide”

How the City Gets the News—a Capsule History

Today, most people get their news from the Internet or television.  In most places, newspapers seem like an afterthought.  Beset by declining revenues and a population that wants the news now instead of tomorrow morning, many newspapers are folding (no pun intended) or scaling back significantly.  New York is no exception to this trend, with … Continue reading “How the City Gets the News—a Capsule History”

Graffiti in NY: Art or Vandalism?

Graffiti and street art in New York is a controversial subject among many.  Graffiti is unsanctioned by a government or property owner.  Some graffiti is associated with gang and criminal culture, creating law and order issues.  While some see it as expressing their freedom of speech, others see it as willful vandalism of private (and … Continue reading “Graffiti in NY: Art or Vandalism?”

Brooklyn Bridge

Bridges are a part of every city.  Even inland cities such as Atlanta, GA, or Phoenix, AZ, have highway bridges, train trestles, or flyovers.  With only the Bronx on the mainland of the U.S., New York is defined by its bridges.  Thousands of viaducts, trestles, and bridges exist all over the city.  Because New York … Continue reading “Brooklyn Bridge”

Professional Baseball in the City

The American Pastime has always been well represented in New York City.  The game was invented by Alexander Cartwright in the 1840s.  Cartwright’s team, the New York Knickerbockers, were even believed to be the first team to wear uniforms.  Teams from the city have been represented in the National League (1876), the American League (1901), … Continue reading “Professional Baseball in the City”

New York City Fire Museum

The FDNY was formally organized in 1865 and has 13,000 firefighters and paramedics.  Every year, the FDNY responds to hundreds of thousands of calls for assistance.  Some sources place the FDNY as the busiest fire department in the world.  The average emergency response time for a fire emergency is about five minutes. Given the important … Continue reading “New York City Fire Museum”

Sabotage and Sinking: The Leadup to World War I in New York

History affects all of us today–what happened in the past has shaped our present. From 1914 to 1918, World War I raged across Europe, leaving millions dead and maimed. The bad peace that ensued would lead to an even more destructive war less than 25 years later. New York and the immediate area had an … Continue reading “Sabotage and Sinking: The Leadup to World War I in New York”

The United Nations

It seems only fitting that the world’s largest international organization would have its headquarters in one of the world’s most international cities.  The United Nations (U.N.) occupies a swath of real estate bordering Turtle Bay on Manhattan’s east side.  The row of nearly 200 flags welcomes people into the “international zone” of the U.N.’s headquarters … Continue reading “The United Nations”

The Chrysler Building

Built to be the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation, the Chrysler Building is the world’s tallest brick building and the defining masterpiece of the Art Deco architecture style.  It has spawned numerous imitators—most notably One Liberty in Philadelphia.  Although it was the tallest in the world for less than one year, it is routinely voted … Continue reading “The Chrysler Building”

Guggenheim Museum

Officially named the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, this modern art museum’s building is just as controversial as the art contained inside.  The building has been likened to an alien spacecraft, a toilet, and many other things. Solomon R. Guggenheim was a mining magnate from Pennsylvania who turned to collecting art.  Later in life, he started … Continue reading “Guggenheim Museum”

Greenwich Village

One of the most charming areas of the city, Greenwich Village has an amazing history and figures prominently on the itinerary of most tourists to New York.  Originally an independent city, Greenwich Village is best known for its past as a center for artists and nonconformists. The area that forms Greenwich Village was originally its … Continue reading “Greenwich Village”

Water Water Everywhere

On a hot day, it becomes apparent that water, needed to sustain all life, is essential for any city to function.  New York is no different.  Every day, the city consumes 1.1 billion gallons of water.  For the great city to survive, water is needed.  It should be noted that most of the water is … Continue reading “Water Water Everywhere”

Fiorello LaGuardia: Mayor for the Ages

Fiorello H. LaGuardia stood at only 5’2”, but still casts a shadow over New York today.  His nonstop boosterism for his hometown and his unyielding tenacity helped the city weather the Great Depression better than most.  LaGuardia will be long remembered as one of the greatest, if not the most colorful mayor the city has … Continue reading “Fiorello LaGuardia: Mayor for the Ages”

PATH: NYC’s Other Subway System

As I mention on most of my tours, the population of Manhattan goes up to over 4 million during the average weekday.  Of this number, over 250,000 arrive into Manhattan from nearby New Jersey aboard the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) railroad.  Using two lines, commuters from Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken cross the Hudson into … Continue reading “PATH: NYC’s Other Subway System”

The Defense of New York

As the nation’s largest city, New York has been a primary target of America’s enemies in war.  This entry is a (very) short history of the defense of the city. From its foundations, New York was a fortified settlement.  Worried about incursions from Native Americans and other European powers, the Dutch built a fort at … Continue reading “The Defense of New York”

Manhattan Neighborhood Gazetteer

Manhattan is the unofficial center of the world.  It is made up of many distinct neighborhoods that each have their own history.  While I intend to have more in-depth articles about each locale, this gazetteer will give you a little more insight into each district.  This is by no means an authoritative list as there … Continue reading “Manhattan Neighborhood Gazetteer”

Grand Central Terminal

Only in New York would mere commuters arrive in the most stately of train stations.  Grand Central Terminal has welcomed travelers into the city since 1913.  Although Penn Station has the title for the busiest train station in the country (and even that is far from the busiest in the world),  it has 44 platforms … Continue reading “Grand Central Terminal”

Act of Consolidation

Although there are larger cities in terms of area in the U.S. than New York (Jacksonville, Florida, covers more area), and there are other cities around the world that have more inhabitants, New York remains the largest city in population in the U.S. and still covers a large area (at over 300 square miles).  The … Continue reading “Act of Consolidation”

What’s in a Name: A Brief History of the Borough Names

Traversing through New York City, named after King Charles II’s brother, the Duke of York, many new arrivals and some long time residents have wondered why the boroughs have their names.  This short guide should explain why the boroughs are called what they are: Manhattan The origins of the name are not agreed upon.  The … Continue reading “What’s in a Name: A Brief History of the Borough Names”

The Unisphere

The Census Bureau has reported that Queens County is the most linguistically and ethnically diverse county in the U.S., with over 130 languages spoken and nearly half of the population born outside of the U.S. or born to parents from abroad.  Queens has replaced the Lower East Side of Manhattan as the place where America … Continue reading “The Unisphere”

The Yellow Cab

One of the more ubiquitous symbols of a city are its taxicabs.  London is known the world over for its black cabs.  Hong Kong is known for its color-coded fleet of Toyota Crowns, and Indian cities have 1950s-vintage Hindustan Ambassador cabs plying their lanes.  New York is well represented by the yellow cab.  These conveyances … Continue reading “The Yellow Cab”

Manhattan Chinatown

Situated between the Civic Center and the Lower East Side is Chinatown, one of the defining neighborhoods of Manhattan.  Up to 100,000 people, including recent immigrants and families that have lived in this part of Manhattan for over a century, all crowd into this area.  Chinatown remains one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in terms … Continue reading “Manhattan Chinatown”

Holland Tunnel

Every workday, the population of Manhattan doubles as an army of 1.5 million commuters storm the island.  Commuters come by land and sea (with what I imagine are quite a few by air as well).  Many commuters and visitors come into Lower Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel, one of the notable crossings of the city. … Continue reading “Holland Tunnel”

Grant’s Tomb

Given that New York City is the home of only one president (Theodore Roosevelt), it would seem odd at first glance that a president who was born in Ohio and lived much of his adult life in Illinois would be buried there.  With that said, Ulysses S. Grant is the only president interred within the … Continue reading “Grant’s Tomb”

Staten Island: Forgotten New York?

As you learned in a previous entry, Staten Island was named for the parliament of the Netherlands.  The population of the borough stands at under 500,000 and is about 60 square miles.  Despite being part of the city, the island can sometimes seem like a world apart from the rest of the hustle-and-bustle of the … Continue reading “Staten Island: Forgotten New York?”

The Whitney Museum

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was born into the wealthy Vanderbilt family–the ones that owned the New York Central Railroad. She married Harry P. Whitney, becoming even richer as the Whitney family owned substantial oil interests. Whitney turned toward art as a hobby and became an impressive sculptor in her own right. Starting in 1914, Whitney began … Continue reading “The Whitney Museum”

Bowling Green: First in New York

New York has hundreds of public parks ranging from the massive Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx to small “parklets” that are scarcely larger than a parking space. At the foot of Manhattan sits Bowling Green, the oldest public park in the city—established in 1733. The area where Bowling Green is located was used as … Continue reading “Bowling Green: First in New York”

The Empire State Building

Rising 1454 feet tall and the tallest building in the world for nearly forty years between 1931 and 1970, the Empire State Building has featured in the imaginations of tourists, immigrants, and New York natives since it punched through the clouds. It has made numerous appearances in movies, tacky souvenirs, and even New York license … Continue reading “The Empire State Building”

Under the Streets

Under the very streets of New York is one of the most important sights to behold, yet important for ferrying over three million people through the metropolis daily.  The New York City Subway, with 469 stations and enough track to go from Manhattan to Chicago, is essential to the functioning of the city as we know … Continue reading “Under the Streets”

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