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6 (10) The Empire State Building

Empire State Building New YorkThe Empire State

The world's tallest buildings on completion in 1931 the Empire State still rates quite highly. Best attempted at night for great views and fewer crowds. For the better part of a century, visitors to the New York have headed directly for the Empire State Building to journey aloft to its fabled Observatory nearly a quarter of a mile above Fifth Avenue. Here you are treated to breathtaking panoramas across the rooftops, avenues and byways of the New York Metropolitan areas, to as far away as four neighboring countries...oh ok states of America but almost had you.

The Empire State has had many famous visitors including King Kong and a B52 bomber. In 1945 a B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor. It caused little structural damage other than to the people in the plane.

The Empire State could have been a "balloonport" for blimps but the idea was ultimately felt to full of hot air. Evidence of this scheme can be found on the observatory of the 86th floor but unfortunately not a single balloon. The observation deck on the 102nd story was to be the mooring site. It is now the 102nd Floor Observatory tickets to which are only sold upon arrival in addition to regular admission price

In bad weather, the lights on the top floors are turned off at certain timers of the year to avoid attracting migrating birds like moths to a flame.

Expect long queues for tickets in the concourse level and long lines for the elevators. Go late or early.

Discount Pass To The Empire State Building

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7 (-) Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building - a building to look up to

The Chrysler Building is an important and impressive New York landmark. The tower culminates in a beautiful, tapered stainless steel crown that supports the famous spire at its peak. The Chrysler Building is considered by many to be the world's quintessential skyscraper. Taller than the Eiffel Tower and briefly the tallest building in the world in 1930 (until the Empire State Building beat it into second place) The Chrysler Building remains the tallest brick building in the world and is as gorgeous as ever.

"Art Deco in France found its American equivalent in the design of the New York skyscrapers of the 1920s. The Chrysler Building ... was one of the most accomplished essays in the style."
–John Julius Norwich, in The World Atlas of Architecture. So there!

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8 (-) Grand Central Terminal (Station)

If you intend going to Grand Central Terminal to catch a train I suggest you get there early. Both a good looker, inside and out, the restored Grand Central Terminal has become much more than just a train station. Grand Central has become a midtown destination for fine restaurants, cocktail bars and specialty shops throughout. There is much to catch the eye on the giant main concourse. From the celestial ceiling mural above to the staircase modeled on the staircase at the Paris Opera. At every turn it seems there is something to admire.

Make your way downstairs towards the Oyster Bar and try the seafood. The Whispering Gallery at the either end of the Oyster Bar ramp will leave you talking to a wall quietly. Be careful not to belch if you have had too much seafood as it could be embarrassing. Discover the "secret" elevated passageways for fabulous views of the concourse.

Grand Central also host public events at Vanderbilt Hall ranging from free promotions and entertainment. The annual Holiday Fair brings 72 craftsmen, artisans and international importers to the Terminal selling an outstanding array of merchandise for holiday gifts.

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9 (-) Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum New York

The internationally renown Guggenheim museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece of modern architecture, is bursting at its rounded seams with the world's finest collections of 20th century art. A walk down the grand ramp gets the experience off on the right foot. Exhibits are arranged along the spiral ramp effecting a synergy between the architecture and the art. Be prepared for pieces by such masters as Chagall, Kandinsky, Picasso and van Gogh. Guggenheim courts and attracts exhibitions from all over the world.

Free entry with a New York Pass

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10 (6) Staten Island Ferry

Great value, as at the time of writing this, the ferry ride is FREE. Perfect if you are on a tight budget. More than that your 60 minutes return trip gives you wonderful views of Manhattan.

What you can expect to see in passing / from a distance:

  • Ellis Island
  • Statue of Liberty
  • City Sky Line
  • People

You can walk from Ground Zero to Wall St and then on to Battery Park. The huge ferry runs every 30 minutes from Staten Island Ferry terminal close by. You may get a better view from the top level of the ferry.

You can avoid sharing your ferry with millions (it will seem like it) of commuters by traveling outside of peak hours. New York commuters will also appreciate it.

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Staten Island Children's Museum

Staten Island Childrens MuseumStaten Island Learning is fun Museum

The Staten Island Children's Museum is a place to exercise minds, bodies and imaginations at New York's only indoor-outdoor interactive museum set in an 84-acre park. Families will relish six exciting hands-on exhibitions on topics including bugs, blocks, water, theater, and world exploration. Creative workshops for children and performances are regular occurrences at the museum and the Walk-In Workshop is open most afternoons.

Free Pass to the Staten Island Childrens Museum

 

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