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USA: Eastern Sierra, Los Angeles, New York City, Niagara Falls, Orange County, San Francisco
New York City: The Big Apple
by Bonnie, Florida, USA
New York City consists of five boroughs: Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. I was born and raised in the borough of Brooklyn which is just across the East River, from the Island of Manhattan. Manhattan is referred to as New York City, to separate it from the rest of New York. New York City is located in the Northeastern United States on a natural harbor on the Atlantic Coast. New York boasts a moderate climate. Summer temperatures on average range from 75 to 90 degrees, and in the winter the average temperature is between 25 to 45 degrees.
New York City is the most densely populated city in the United States. It is home to the United Nations and has a strong influence on worldwide commerce, finance, culture, fashion and entertainment. Of course, tourism is very important and there are many reasons why. In my heart, New York City will always be my home, and there is no other place like it.
New York is referred to as a "Melting Pot" because of its history of immigrants migrating from many countries of the world, and is referred to as "The Big Apple" and "The City that Never Sleeps". The city has 24 hour, 7 days a week, public transportation. This makes it easy for travelers from all over the world, to easily visit and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Major airports include JFK, Newark and La Guardia, which are all within an hour of Manhattan.
I will begin with some of my favorite sites to see when visiting New York City or NYC. I divide the area of NYC into three distinct areas, Downtown, Midtown and Uptown. I will begin in the downtown area of NYC. A most welcoming site is the Statue of Liberty, which was the site that greeted millions of immigrants that came from other countries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Take a ride on The Staten Island Ferry and see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the New York Harbor. NYC is also known for its skyscrapers or high rise buildings and has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world. Also downtown, is the memorial site of the World Trade Center. A place where one can reflect and see the tragedy and the hope of a new beginning. Downtown is also the main financial center, which include Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. Due to the large amounts of immigrants that migrated to NYC, there are many authentic places to eat. I suggest visiting Chinatown and Little Italy for some fabulously prepared food and great shopping. Also pay a visit to the South Street Seaport, on the East River, with fabulous views of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. The South Street Seaport is an area that has restored historical buildings, sailing ships and is home of the Fulton Fish Market. There are cobblestone streets, great shopping and this area is very reflective of how the city looked a few hundred years ago. Hop on the subway for a few stops and check out Greenwich Village and Soho, both great places to eat and shop. There are also fabulous pubs for great music and drinks.
The Midtown area of NYC is an exciting area of the city. Times Square is home to "Broadway" and is the theatre district. Times Square is an area of neon lights, Broadway shows, restaurants, street vendors, and an amazing mixture of people gathering in a place that never sleeps. The streets are full of vendors, selling all sorts of clothing, along with quick food such as hot pretzels, hot dogs, falafels and kebabs. Bagels, cheesecake, and pizza are foods that are traditional favorites. Times Square is full of skyscrapers, and the home of The Empire State Building. The Empire State Building is 102 stories tall. You can visit the top to see an unbelievable 360 degree view of all of New York. It is simply amazing. There are many types of hotels to stay in the city, from the more economical, to the most luxurious in the world. There are historical and landmark hotels, and hotels that reflect the up and coming boutique styles. There is an accommodation to satisfy the needs and tastes of any traveler. New York boasts professional sport teams in all of the major sports. Hockey and basketball can be enjoyed at Madison Square Garden. If you are coming to NYC in December, don't forget to go to Rockefeller Center to see the beautifully lit Christmas tree and ice skating rink. For music lovers, in addition to all the Broadway shows, Carnegie Hall offers a wide variety of music in its beautiful hall.
Heading into the uptown area of the city, there is the most wonderful park. Central Park, which is over 150 years old and was man-made in an area of the city that was rocky, swampy and muddy. People in the 1850's needed an area to escape to that was green, and Central Park was the answer. The park is over six-miles in perimeter, and its 843 acres include 136 acres of woodlands, 250 acres of lawns, and 150 acres of water. It is the first public park built in the United States. Activities are abundant in the park and include; walking, jogging, ice-skating, picnicking, and rowing. There are park shows, a zoo, botanical gardens, and a carousel. This historical park is breathtaking and a piece of New York City's history. There are also many museums in the uptown area of the city. The American Museum of Natural History, The Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name a few. For those who love the opera and ballet, there are many places to enjoy, such as The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Opera and The New York Philharmonic.
As I stated earlier, I was born in Brooklyn. If you get a few hours to spare, hop on the train, and go to an area of Brooklyn, called Coney Island. Coney Island is the original home of Nathan's Restaurant which is over 100 years old and is the home of the world famous Hot Dog and French Fries. Coney Island is also home to one of the first Amusement Parks, where there are rides, games and activities for all ages. There is also a boardwalk and a beautiful beach as well as historical sites such as the Parachute Jump, which is a National Landmark. This is where it all started for me, and where my journey began.
Come, visit our city, and enjoy a piece of "The Big Apple".
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