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Entertainment in New York

Central Park
There is so much to do and see, not only for the music (or poetry or opera...) but also for the outdoors, the excitement and relaxation. Where else can New Yorkers from so many different backgrounds mingle in metropolitan and musical harmony? Visit the park for cycling, skate boarding, roller blading or to have a picnic on the great lawn. Central Park spans 843 Acres! To put that in to perspective, it is 6% of Manhattan's total acreage, including 150 acres in 7 water bodies, 250 acres of lawns and 136 acres of woodlands. It is advised not to remain in the park after dark. If you are planning to travel at night please ensure that someone accompanies you.

Summer Concerts
Now in its 15th year, during the summer there are eight weeks of concerts by major world music, rock and jazz musicians, as well as poetry readings and dance and opera performances.

Shakespeare in the Park
This popular, free outdoor festival, featuring Shakespeare and other theatrical classics in the open-air Delacorte Theater, is now over half a century old. Several years ago, the festival concluded its decade-long project to stage all of Shakespeare's plays.

What's in a Name?
Hollywood's stars come out nightly to tread these prestigious boards in Central Park. Big names dabbling in the Bard over the years have included Meryl Streep, Raul Julia and Gregory Hines, among many others.

Free But Not Easy
Ticket distribution has changed from the days when a night at the Delacorte meant a day in line on the Great Lawn. Nowadays, tickets can be picked up on the day of the performance at the Delacorte Theater starting at 1pm. Tickets are also distributed at The Public Theatre from 1pm-3pm. You can only pick up two tickets and lines are long. Be early! It is located at 81st Street from Central Park West or at 79th Street from Fifth Avenue. Phone: (212) 861-7277

Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry, which was once 50 cents, is now free and is one of the only New York attractions ever to have gone down in price! The 25-minute ride can be a welcome escape from the city, though the side of the boat that offers the best views often tends to be packed with people eager to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. In the late evening, the ferry ride offers spectacular panoramic views of the New York skyline and sunset hues.

The ferry ride cruises past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, speeds along between the shorelines of Brooklyn and New Jersey, before docking at Staten Island's St. George Terminal.

South Street Seaport
A historic trading port that dates back to the 1600s, the "Street of Ships" is now home to over 120 shops, restaurants, eateries and pushcarts filled with the gifts, tastes and styles of New York City. Quaint cobblestone streets and scenic views of the Brooklyn Bridge offer a welcome and peaceful break from the hubbub of urban living. Best of all, it's free.

Since its restoration in the late '60s, the South Street Seaport has gone through a period of intense growth. During the last few decades of the 20th century, the South Street Seaport Museum, the Pier 17 Pavilion, the Fulton Market and numerous high-end shops were built. But if you don't want to go shopping or pay a fee at the museum, it doesn't cost anything to go and just hang out with friends and family--there's always some interesting street performance or music going on.

New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange opened on March 8, 1817, when a group of brokers adopted a formal constitution of regulations and membership rules. In the original market, stocks were called out and bid upon one at a time, bank and insurance stocks dominating the business. The NYSE opened its permanent headquarters in lower Manhattan on Broad and Wall Streets in 1865.

Want to see the action? Visitors can watch the hustle and bustle of the trading floor from a gallery overlooking it. Self-guided tours are available; free tour tickets can be picked up at 20 Broad Street.

5th Avenue (Manhattan)
Fifth Avenue is the New York of the movies, a shopper's paradise usually flooded with camera-happy tourists all too eager to snap shots of themselves in front of Saks after they've toured St. Patrick's Cathedral.

See the selection of always elegant jewelry and other goodies at Tiffany and Co. Old-school department stores--Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, Lord & Taylor--mingle with rich and famous favorites like Fendi and Prada.

SOHO stands for South of Houston (which is pronounced House-ton). Houston Street is a major thoroughfare that signals the end of “col1wich Village” as you walk south towards lower Manhattan.

This is the most concentrated retail area in New York City. Less intimidating than 5th Avenue, but almost as packed with high-end names--Versace and Armani haven't set up shop here yet, but Prada and Louis Vuitton have. Soho also finds room for staples like J. Crew and Club Monaco within its 15-20 block radius. And, when you need a break, there's a generous sprinkling of quality restaurants and bars to choose from.

Back in the '60s, it was a rundown area full of abandoned warehouses. Then artists starting moving in, attracted by the cheap rates and large, industrial loft spaces. By the '80s, the gallery scene followed too, and the neighborhood became the center of the art boom. Stores followed, driving rents up and forcing most galleries out to Chelsea. These days, there's little trace of Soho's artistic past, but the cobbled streets and narrow blocks still make for atmospheric shopping.

ESPN has built its own block-long sports bar and grill. If the thought of eating in a "Sports Night" studio-set environment gives you a thrill, this is your field of dreams. The restaurant boasts two 16-foot video walls featuring continuous live sports coverage, plus a 10,000-square-foot arcade of games and other sports-related attractions. There's even a Sky Boprivate VIP dining room, with the best seats in the house.

The menu features casual American fare that's typical of a suburban Super Bowl party: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches and simple pastas. Other main courses include cedar-planked salmon and grilled filet of beef topped with color2-cheese butter.

American Museum of Natural History
The Natural History Museum is one of the most famous tourist attractions in New York City. For 125 years, the American Museum of Natural History has been one of the world's preeminent science and research institutions, renowned for its collections and exhibitions that illuminate millions of years of the earth's evolution, from the birth of the planet through the present day.

The most important thing to know when planning a visit is that the museum is huge so plan to do a lot of walking and stair climbing. There are four floors of gallery space and the building is spread over an area of several city blocks. Inside there are 42 permanent exhibits and several temporary ones covering everything in creation from the beginning of time to the present, every discipline of human science: biology, ecology, zoology, geology, astronomy, and anthropology. The museum presents its collection of millions of artifacts with detailed information about the cultural, scientific, or historical importance of the pieces. It’s quite possible to spend hours just in the Halls for Asian, African & South American Peoples.
There is no fixed admission price, just a recommended donation, but that doesn’t include the Sky show, IMAX Theater or temporary exhibits. The museum is an extremely popular place to visit, so food and gifts will cost tourist prices. Also, it may get quite crowded sometimes, so getting to look closely at a display can be hard on weekends, but it's definitely still worth a visit.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
There are several large museums in New York but the Metropolitan Museum of Art is truly gigantic. From the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue, the Met, with its tall columns and windows, immense stairways and water fountains, looks like it could be an emperor’s palace. The size and diversity of the artwork on display is even more impressive; the museum’s collection contains works from every part of the world, spanning the Stone Age to the twentieth century.

The museum houses the finest collection of American art in the world and a selection of ancient Egyptian art. It also has an amazing collection of European painting and sculptures. In addition to the American and Egyptian art, the Greco-Roman galleries and European paintings are some of the finest in the world, featuring important works from just about every country, period and style.

Fortunately, the museum has a pay-what-you-wish policy that allows entry for as little as a quarter.

The Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art was founded in New York City in the summer of 1929. This museum was designed to make modern and contemporary art available to the public. The museum opened on November 8, 1929. From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, the collection has grown to encompass more than 100,000 works in a variety of mediums, divided into six
collecting areas: architecture and design, drawings, film and video, painting and sculpture, photography, and prints and illustrated books. The works in the collection date from the 1840s for photography, and from the 1880s to the present day for other media.
(212) 708-9400

Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo, also known as the Wildlife Conservation Park, is home to more than 4,000 animals: seals, ostriches, baboons, butterflies, swans, pelicans, polar bears, elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, gorillas and birds round out a list of animals that includes some of the world's most endangered species. On 265 wooded acres devoted to spacious naturalistic habitats, the Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan wildlife conservation park in the United States and it serves as a refuge and breeding center for endangered species. It was the first of the New York City zoos to place animals in the context of their natural habitat, with residences such as Wild Asia, Jungle World, the Himalayan Highlands, World of Birds, African Plains, the Baboon Reserve, World of Darkness, and World of Reptiles.

Empire State Building
New York's famous Empire State Building, a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, soars more than a quarter of a mile into the atmosphere above the heart of Manhattan.

The building, one of the main tourist attractions when visiting New York City, offers an abundant variety of activities for its visitors. One can tour the Observatory, 365 days per year, day and night, rain or shine, for breathtaking views of Manhattan and beyond. Also, there are two restaurants, a sushi bar, three coffee shops, drug store, Hallmark card shop, a post office and two banks in addition to the plethora of surrounding restaurant and nightlife activity.

Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island
How many stairs would you climb for a glimpse at the Statue of Liberty's riveted innards? Can't make it up the 354 steps to the crowning view? Here's the condensed version of the tour. To see her in person you'll have to wait online for tickets in Battery Park, just outside of Castle Clinton. From there, board the ferry for the cruise to Liberty Island. If the weather is nice, go outside for the best views of downtown Manhattan and the statue. Or, buy souvenirs onboard. Once on Liberty Island, you can climb through the spiral stairway up to the top for a squished view out of the crown. Nevertheless, Lady Liberty offers visitors a unique vantage point from which to admire the buildings rising up in downtown Manhattan. Plus, the original "flame" of Lady Liberty's torch is on display in the basement of the structure.

Ellis Island was the gateway for more than half of the immigrants entering the U.S. between 1892 and 1924. Closed to public tours in 1984, it was reopened in 1990, following a $160 million restoration.

The centerpiece of the restoration project was the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, with 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, restored areas, and educational facilities, including an interactive learning center for children. Two theaters, each accommodating 140 people, feature a documentary film entitled, "Island of Hope, Island of Tears." The Museum is self-guided, though an audio-tour can be rented to help.

Phone: (212) 363-7620

Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden is the “worlds most famous arena”. Illuminating the New York City skyline, Madison Square Garden draws over four million passionate sports and entertainment fans through its doors each year. "The World's Most Famous Arena" and The Theatre at Madison Square Garden occupy nearly 1,000,000 square feet in the heart of New York City and play host to more than 600 events. On February 11, 1968, the current Madison Square Garden opened its doors and has been creating irreplaceable memories ever since. The arena is mostly used for sports but has other events there as well. The New York Knicks (Basketball Team) and the Rangers (Hockey team) both play in MSG. It also holds famous concerts by various entertainers.

Rockefeller Center
A midtown complex of commercial buildings commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1929, Rockefeller Center is a masterpiece of art deco modern design. Rockefeller's 21 acres of gardens, plazas, art, and architecture are most famous for some of its well-known residents: NBC Studios, the Rink at Rockefeller, Radio City Music Hall, the (now closed) Rainbow Room, and even the Fashion Café. The Rockefeller Center Promenade hosts such events as Rodin exhibits or International Flower Shows. The center is also the home of one of the most famous annual Christmas tree lightings in the country. Beneath the complex, there's a large, underground shopping mall, but the prime attraction at Rockefeller is the NBC Studios tour. "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and the "Rosie O'Donnell Show" are both taped on the premises, while the "Today Show" studio allows a glimpse into the inner workings of network television.
What's Christmas without Rockefeller Center? The most popular December destination features one gigantic tree and more than enough tradition and memories to fill your suitcase. A beautiful Ice Skating Rink also surrounds it. The ice skating rink is the scene of movie making, blind dates and little kids learning how to skate. With its huge, gold statue of Prometheus, the ice rink is a favorite of tourists and New Yorkers alike.

For more information about Rockefeller Center, call (212) 632-3975.

FAO Schwarz
FAO Schwarz continues to be a top tourist destination, particularly with families and children - and for good reason. This store is a veritable playroom for kids of all ages. Beginning with a red-cheeked soldier greeting guests at the door, an ensemble cast of mechanized toys pulls you into a world of, well, more toys. From Babe the pig, to bean buddies, plush-stuffed animals, and an amazing assortment of gadgets and geegaws to try out, FAO Schwarz has remained a distinctive toy emporium for over a century. Employees get into the act, demonstrating the newest playthings and pointing visitors toward elaborate monuments to the most popular toys of the season.

Broadway Shows
To get information on when and where the shows are playing as well as to purchase tickets visit the following site – http://www.broadwaytheater.com
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