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Destination New York City
It's been called the "greatest city in the world" so many times -- usually by its own politicians, its own media figures, its own men and women in the street--that the claim may seem empty. But that slogan takes on new life when inverted: New York is civilization's greatest world within a city. It feels as though everything is here. It's not, of course, but that's a trifling observation. What truly matters is the overpowering impression that New York gives of being both a mirror and a magnet for all of humanity and all that humanity does. Come and see for yourself: New York is the world's beating heart.
City of Immigrants
For many who love New York, this, above all else, is what makes the city special: From the beginning it has opened its doors to those from other lands who would make America their home. For millions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Ellis Island meant landfall. The former immigrant-processing center is now a museum, accessible via the same excursion boat that takes you to the Statue of Liberty. Even if your ancestors didn't come through Ellis Island you will be stirred by the exhibits. Many immigrants traveled no farther into the New World than New York. The French, disembarking on the midtown piers, started restaurants right there, on 52nd Street. Italians stopped in Little Italy, which is now squeezed by New York's increasingly robust Chinatown. Go Chinese for dinner then wrap up your evening with cannolis and espresso. Or step a few blocks uptown to the East Village, or to Little India on Lexington Avenue in the 20s, for an aromatic feast. About the only group that hasn't emigrated to New York yet is extraterrestrials (although some days you wonder).
New York on the Move
Even if some Hollywood renditions of New York cross the line into cliche, there's a lot of truth to the image of the city as elbow-to-elbow and high-voltage, seething with the nervous energy of so many people crowded into so little space. New York is a city of foot traffic, and walking - say, along 5th Avenue - is often the smartest way to get around, despite the crowds on the sidewalks. Except when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Times Square or elsewhere, New Yorkers keep up a relentlessly brisk pace. Could anyone but a Zen master remain mellow at F.A.O. Schwarz, particularly during the Christmas shopping season, or meander languidly through Penn Station, Grand Central, or the subways at rush hour? On a turbulent trading day the floor of the New York Stock Exchange is the scene of bellowing and flailing that suggest an aerobics class in hell. Thank goodness for green spaces like Central Park, Riverside Park, and Brooklyn's Prospect Park, where cars are sometimes banned, and a guy and his dog can own the road if they move fast enough.
New York's museums span interests from modern armaments - at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, aboard a giant aircraft carrier - to photography, film, and 20th-century painting and design at the Museum of Modern Art. If the city housed no other museum than the colossal Metropolitan Museum of Art, you would sense nothing amiss. You could spend whole years happily roaming its labyrinthine corridors and still not see it all. Some museums also distinguish themselves as works of architecture. Marcel Breuer designed the stark, square Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is Manhattan's only building by Frank Lloyd Wright. At the borough's northern tip the Cloisters was cleverly assembled from chunks of European monasteries to look like a monastery itself, a perfect showcase for one of the world's best collections of medieval art. Go on a weekday - preferably a rainy one - and you'll have the tranquil garden walkways a bit more to yourself. Equally unusual is the Frick Collection, in Henry Clay Frick's limestone 5th Avenue mansion. After the Frick there's the Museum of Television and Radio (a treasure), the American Museum of Natural History (an adventure), the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and many more. As a New Yorker might say, "You want museums? We got museums."
The City That Never Sleeps
If night is your element, New York is your playground - and not just on Halloween, when the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade clogs 6th Avenue with some of the campiest, most outrageous street theater on any planet. This event will remind you, in case you'd forgotten, of New York artists' amazing creativity, their talent, and their passion for doing what it takes to make each performance the best. As examples, just watch the Rockettes high-kick at Radio City Music Hall or study the ballerinas fouetteing through performances at City Center, the Joyce Theater, or Lincoln Center's American Ballet Theatre or the New York City Ballet; the latter is famed for its phenomenal yuletide Nutcracker. Afterward, all over the Theater District and around Lincoln Center, restaurants are a clatter with late-night diners and bars are shoulder-to-shoulder and hip-to-hip. You might discuss the marvels you've just seen over expensive martinis and the suavest live piano music at a swank spot like the Carlyle Hotel's Bemelmans Bar. Or go catch a rising star or two at a comedy club. Hit the dance clubs, a rock dive, a cabaret, or a doormanned lounge. Or take in some R&B or salsa. If New York nights have a sound track, though, it's jazz. Settle into a seat at any Manhattan jazz club and you will hear it - the Village Vanguard is only one of the greats. When you start doing the town after dark in New York, you won't want the night to end.
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Book Description Fodor's, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Book&Map. Seller Inventory # DADAX0679003215
Book Description Fodor's, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0679003215