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Attractions—Places of Interest

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The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo (www.bronxzoo.com). The largest metropolitan animal park in the United States and one of the city’s best attractions. Try to visit on a weekday to beat the crowds. May and October are also good times to visit, as the Children’s Zoo and Express Monorail are still open and hopefully the weather will not be too warm. Expect to spend an entire day at this world-famous zoo. Subway: Take the number 2 train to Pelham Parkway and then walk west to the Bronxdale entrance.

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Brooklyn Bridge

You may walk across this historic bridge in either direction (takes about 30 minutes each way), or bike across it, for no toll. The view is beautiful going into Manhattan. On the Brooklyn side, you can get pizza, or dine by the waterfront in the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area. You can also take the F train to York Street, hang out in the DUMBO area and then walk across the bridge back into Manhattan.

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Central Park

Central Park with its lawns, trees, bridges and lakes is popular for recreation and concerts and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Zoo.

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Coney Island

Coney Island and the New York Aquarium. An old-fashioned amusement park on the beach (www.coneyisland.com), plus a nearby aquarium (www.nyaquarium.com) and historic Nathan’s Hot Dogs for your dining pleasure. Coney Island attracts more than its share of odd and funky individuals. Best time to visit is between Memorial Day and mid-September. About an hour’s subway ride from Midtown Manhattan.

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Empire State Building

Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue at 34th Street (www.esbnyc.com). The Empire State Building is open until 12 midnight (2am on the weekends during the summer). Strongly consider going to the Empire State Building at night. During the day, lines can be between 1 and 4 hours long. At night, the lines are significantly shorter. If you can get to the observation deck at dusk, you will be treated to the magic of the city’s lights just starting to come on. You can call in advance to get an estimate of the wait in line, plus the visibility from the observatory, by calling 877-692-8439.

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Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, 42nd Street and Park Avenue. One of the busiest train stations in the world. Grand Central is a must for architecture lovers with its vaulted ceiling covered with a medieval zodiac design.

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Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center, Broadway at 64th Street (www.lincolncenter.org). The world's largest cultural complex. See theater, symphonies, ballet, opera, movies, art exhibits or just wander around the beautiful architecture. Subway access: 1 to 66th St. or walkable from A, B, C and D trains at 59th St. or the 2 and 3 trains to 72nd St. The famous Julliard School of Music is also here. Within a few blocks are a large Barnes and Noble Bookstore, three "art-house" movie theatres and an AMC movie theater which includes New York's only commercial IMAX screen.

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New York Public Library

New York Public Library, Corner of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. After the Library of Congress, this is the largest non-academic library in the United States. It is housed in a beautiful building by Carrer and Hastings, which is seen as the greatest example of Beaux Arts architecture. The main reading room is glorious, and the library contains numerous important rare items such as Thomas Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence (Super Cool !!).

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New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street (at Wall Street). The most important stock exchange in the world, the NYSE is the most watched indicator of economic performance in the global economy. The activity on the trading floor is mind-boggling. Beware, however, that security is tight, and sudden closures are a possibility. Visitor admittance to the interior has been suspended indefinitely. Subway: 4, 5 to Wall Street; J, M, Z to Broad Street (weekdays only)

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Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Plaza, 630 5th Avenue. The Christmas Tree, the Skating Rink, the shops - you can't miss it. The Christmas Tree and the Skating Rink are not year round. You may also take skating lessons. The art deco buildings of Rockefeller Center are cool. Saks Fifth Avenue is across the street, and there are many other stores throughout the complex. Subway: B, D, F, V to 47–50th Streets-Rockefeller Center.

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Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty National Monument
Liberty Island
New York,NY 10004
 (map it)

Phone: (212) 363-3200

(www.nps.gov/stli/). The ferry ($19) leaves every 25 minutes from Battery Park and stops at Liberty Island and Ellis Island (www.nps.gov/elis/). You must (in advance) reserve a time to enter the museum at the base of the statue, and then undergo cumbersome security procedures to enter the museum in the statue's pedestal. The Immigration Museum at Ellis Island is worth a visit, and it is FREE.

Tour Tips: Ferries leave daily every 30 to 45 minutes from 9am to 3:30pm, with more frequent departures in the morning and extended hours in the summer. Try to go early on a weekday to avoid the crowds that come in the afternoon, on weekends, and on holidays. A stop at Ellis Island is included in the fare, but if you catch the last ferry, you can only visit the Statue or Ellis Island, not both.

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Times Square

Centered on 42nd Street and Broadway. Depending on your perspective, this area is a world of wonder or a tourist’s nightmare. The "New" Times Square is a family-friendly theme park of restaurants, Broadway theaters and hotels, as well as a developing business district. For a pre-theater meal, walk 2 blocks west to Ninth Avenue where you will find a number of relatively inexpensive, good restaurants. This area is packed with New Year’s Eve revelers on December 31.

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Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Plaza. The Top of the Rock is the observation level of the Rockefeller Center. Incredible views of New York City, without the crowds you find at the Empire State Building. Observation deck is open from 8:30am to midnight. Reserved-time tickets are available online at www.topoftherocknyc.com.

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Trinity Church

Trinity Church at 79 Broadway (Trinity Church). In the mid-1800’s it was the tallest building in Manhattan. One can only imagine how tranquil and pastoral Manhattan was when this historic church dominated the landscape. Crumbling headstones from the 17th century hint at the history of this hallowed ground. Only a few blocks from the World Trade Center site (Ground Zero), this church housed and fed many of the rescue workers after the terrorist attack. Trinity Church is also prominently featured at the end of the popular movie “National Treasure”.

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The United Nations

The United Nations, 1st Avenue at 46th Street (www.un.org). Has a park overlooking the East River and interesting tours of the general assembly and secretariat.

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World Trade Center Site

World Trade Center Site, Trinity Place and Fulton Street. The site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has become popular with visitors (and it was popular with visitors even before the attacks). Various plaques are on display documenting the history of the WTC.