New York City Holidays
Bright lights bigger city
Bright lights bigger city
New York. Night and day. 24 hours. Upbeat. Pulsing. Bright lights and sirens. Dry wit. A city with arguably the planet’s most iconic skyline.
A name weighted with countless associations, from sophisticated glamour to street-life grittiness. We’ve all been to New York in our day-dreams. We’ve been there a thousand times or more in the movies. Now it’s time for your feet to pad that famous grid system, step into those mile high elevators and mosey across Central Park. Time to dive into the subway, ‘be’ in one of those yellow taxis and take the ferry to Staten Island. Time in fact to get the T shirt: ‘I love NY’ or ‘Big Apple’. We defy anyone to go and not get bitten. New York has an absolute sense of its own identity. As do New Yorkers.
Located in middle-upper Manhattan, Central Park is the single most visited urban park in all of the United States, drawing in approximately 40 million visitors each and every year. With 843 acres of greenery and activities to explore, it’s easy to see why so many people are so eager to pay it a visit.
Central Park contains numerous iconic monuments which are well worth checking out. Arguably the most interesting, and controversial, of these is Cleopatra’s Needle, a granite obelisk which stands close to 70 feet tall and weighs approximately 180 tons. Originally constructed in 1450 BC by the Ancient Egyptians, the Needle has a chequered history. Having once been used by Pharaoh Rameses II as a means of commemorating his many military victories, it was later moved to Alexandria by Julius Caesar when the Romans took control of Egypt. How exactly it ended up in America in 1880 remains something of a mystery to this very day. Depending on whom you ask, it was either gifted to the American people by the Khedive of Egypt or stolen by notorious business man / philanthropist William H. Vanderbilt.
Central Park even has its very own zoo, which features some very rare animals including adorable red pandas, mighty polar bears and elusive snow leopards. Kids can get a hands on experience with all sorts of animals (although not the dangerous kinds!) at the petting zoo which is set up to be as child-friendly as possible, while the sea lion and penguin deeding time shows will enthral the young and old alike!
New York City is renowned for its diverse menagerie of interesting museums which cover a wide variety of topics and interests. Art lovers will be absolutely spoiled for choice, as the Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art are all world class collections which feature awe-inspiring artworks from around the world, encompassing all genres of artistic merit, from the ultra-modern to the ancient.
Speaking of ancient, the American Museum of Natural History is a must see for dinosaur lovers, featuring an entire museum wing which is dedicated to these mighty beasts which once ruled the world. Among them are classic creatures such as the fabulously ornamented Stegosaurus and Triceratops as well as the biggest dinosaur of them all, the utterly enormous titanosaur, which is so big that it doesn’t fully fit into its display hall. At 122 feet long, this behemoth, which must be seen to be believed, has to stick its long neck out of the hall’s entrance, as if playing peek-a-boo with the museum’s visitors.
The American Museum of Natural History is not the only place in New York where you can see dinosaurs. The massive Toys ‘R Us on Times Square is like a toy store, museum and theme park rolled into one. Among its attractions are a life-sized animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex which roars at passersby, a 600 foot tall Ferris wheel and a super-sized recreation of a Barbie doll house. What a wonderful place to be a kid!
First time visitors to New York City often find themselves feeling strangely at home as they’ve seen most of the locales in their favorite TV shows and movies. From The Warriors to the Wolf of Wall Street, King Kong to Midnight Cowboy, so many iconic films are set here. Indeed, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first American movie appearance, Hercules In New York, took place here – he fights a bear in Central Park at one point and it is amazing!
Not do be outdone, many of TV’s top shows are also set in NYC; including Friends, Sex and the City, The Newsroom (which hilariously lampooned the SATC Hotspots Tour) and the Marvel Universe’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.