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New York City

Welcome to the Big Apple

Verrazano was the seafarer who first moored in the bay of New York where the Algonquins-a Indian tribe, had settled down. We can imagine he was far from thinking that this marshland would entice visitors from every corner of the planet. Beginning of the 17th century the Dutch East India Company established a trading post on the spot. Later on, the harbor went to the hands of the English. New Yorkers usually call their town Big Apple, why is that? It refers to a publicity campaign that boasted the charms of the hectic supercity back in the 1970s.

Verrazano was the seafarer who first moored in the bay of New York where the Algonquins-a Indian tribe, had settled down.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The MET stands out among other the museums because it hosts a collection of 2 million objects. If you are travelling with little ones, here is my short list. Spot the painting depicting President Washington crossing the Delaware River during the Independence war (1776) or the replica of the Egyptian Dendur temple under a futuristic glass roof. To make your visit memorable, climb on top of the museum Cantor Roof Garden you will enjoy a jaw-dropping view over the skyline and Central Park.

The Guggenheim museum

While visiting the Guggenheim Museum note that its architect, Wright imagined a “spiraling rotunda”. As a consequence, you will stroll along curved walls featuring avant-garde modern and contemporary art: Kandinsky, Mondrian … It seems all the celebrated painters have been gathered in this establishment: Dubuffet, Soulages … The personality of Peggy Guggenheim, a gallerist and art collector who saved many artists from deportation and imposed her taste for “non-objective painting” is to be explored too.

Central Park

Don’t just go past Central Park as there are lots of attractions from the Bethesday Fountain, the Bow Bridge orthe Strawberry Fields to the memorial to John Lennon. You will spot on the ground the letters made in mosaics of his smash hit Imagine. Children will inevitably recognize the statue of Alice in Wonderland and make a stop at the Belvedere Castle. Why not lay down on the Sheep Meadow or visit the zoo? 

The Moma and Neue Galerie

To learn more about modern and contemporary art, head to the Moma. You will stroll among iconic pop art such from the Campbell soup cans or the portraits of Marylin Monroe by Andy Warhol. Appreciate Lichtenstein’s artwork inspired by American comics of the 50’s or Pollock’s action painting. You can also visit Calder’s exhibit taking place in April 2021. The museum turns out to be a fun and chill way to spend an afternoon on a rainy day.

If you are not fed up with museums, I suggest visiting the Neue Galerie. You are not familiar with the Austrian Secession, maybe Klimt will ring a bell. This artistic movement which some link to Art Nouveau or Jugendstil arose at the turn of the 20th century in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. You loved the movie called the Woman in Gold (2015), then look for the portrait of Adele Bloch which was bought by the Lauder group and belongs to the Gold Phase.

Enjoy great food

How about sampling some delicatessen? I recommend the Katz’s which celebrated its 125th anniversary. Tucked away in lower East side the eateries were founded by the Jews who had brought with them some tasty recipes from Central Europa. Thus, you may treat yourself to a pastrami, corned-beef sandwich unless you prefer some smoked salmon. These restaurants may seem a little expensive however they offer some quality food and portions are generous.  

Rockfeller Center and Times Square

One of the most popular highlights is undoubtedly Rockfeller Center. Apart from the incredible Lego store, the ice rink that is turned into a bar in summer, or the statues depicting Atlas and Prometheus you may choose to go up the observatory. Top of the rocks you will offer you a 360° view on Manhattan. Moreover, Rockfeller Center is home to Radio City. Did you know that the musical the Rockettes performed by female dancers had been playing for over 50 years?

Welcome to the city that never sleeps. This advertising slogan could prove right at Times Square due to itsgiant animated screens displaying some commercials. The square was named after the celebrated New York Times when the latter had its head office here. Some 365 000 personsa day come to this place where they will bump into entertainers and street artists. On New Year’s Eve the ball drops at midnight giving the square a magic touch.

Little Italy and China Town

What do you prefer acannolo at the Caffé Palermo or a cheesecake at Ferrara’s? Back in the years1880 a flood of immigrantsfrom Naples and Sicily settled down in the area sandwiched between Mulberry and Green Street. Although it has shrunk in the recent years, this an ideal district for food connoisseurs. Canal Street is like a permanent flea market ruled by the Chinese. Some gangs, the Ghost shadows or the Flying dragons made the headlines in the 90’s!

One World Trade Center

One world trade center (1WTC) to get a unique perspective of the city. The tour which already starts in the elevator uses both the latest technology and American showmanship. The construction that was thought to make up for the Twin Towers was completed in 2014 and hosts Vanity Fair or Vogue offices. From the 104th floor you will contemplate the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge.

NB: One alternative option is to climb on top of the Empire State Building and relive some iconic scenes of Sleepless in Seattle, Percy Jackson, Independence Day…

Grand Central Terminal

This transportation hub in midtown Manhattan is mostly used by commuters. Once there look up at the hall ceiling and contemplate the constellations. You may wonder how the staff gets to their office located below the clock as there is apparently no access door … If you are exhausted, then treat yourself to a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery.

The Highline. This former railway of the 1930s has been converted in a walking path. Going through Chelsea and Meatpacking, it spans over 2,3km. On top of the highline, you will catch a glimpse of the Empire State Building. In this evening you may enjoy the awesome beauty of the setting sun over the Hudson River.  

Brooklyn bridge

No other bridge maybe except the Golden Gate was as photographed as this construction over the East River. In order to snap the best shots, depart from Brooklyn. Walker Evans immortalized this elegant construction and it inspired poets such as Henry Miller or Kerouac. It is on this bridge where Godzilla entangled in cables passes away and the bridge appears on the backdrop picture of the series Castle as well.

The statue of Liberty

You may opt for a combined ticket. In that case you will captivated by the visit to the Statue of Liberty. Make sure you hire a free self-guided audio to tour the island at your own pace. Showcased at the 1878 World’s fair, it was a gift from France to celebrate the 100 year-anniversary of the independence. By the way, did you know it served as a lighthouse till 1902 and it had a lighthouse keeper?

One American out of 3 has an ancestor who went through Ellis Island customs.

Your next stop will be Ellis Island on which immigrants debarked until the 1950s. One American out of 3 has an ancestor who went through Ellis Island customs. Only the second- and third-class candidates were brought on the island where they underwent an inspection, and 2% were waylaid. Don’t miss the “Registry room” and transport yourself in the past…

Now you are unbeatable about New York, do you know what Nolita stand for? North of Little Italy, as does Soho for south of Houston street or Tribeca for Triangle below Canal street.

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