Whether you are visiting from out of town or live in New York City or vicinity, there are many “must see” places to help you enjoy the history and overall environment of this, the greatest city in the world.
We would venture to guess that most of those who reside in or near the city have never visited the Intrepid Museum, the Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial Museum or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most think, “Why rush? It will be there.”
Some relatives visiting us from Texas shamed us into doing a tour of the Statue of Liberty some years ago. They commented that they had been there twice and asked why we had not. We always wanted to go there, but never made the time. Unfortunately, we had missed a lot. The history, the views of the city from the Hudson River and the opportunity to take a boat ride right in New York City were definitely memorable for everyone. It made us reevaluate our perspectives of New York.
There isn’t a day that goes by when there isn’t something exciting, if not eventful to do in New York. Many experiences are either no-cost or low-cost, too. In addition, there are various discount opportunities to take advantage of, if you know where to look. Newspapers, theaters and coupon booklets offer residents and tourists an affordable way to take the family to many top-notch venues.
One company, City Pass, sells booklets of discount coupons for all to enjoy. Whether you are single, a couple or a family, affordability is a necessary consideration. Each booklet saves the buyer up to $82 from the usual admission fees and the buyer has a choice of six attractions to visit. New York City Pass costs $114 per adult and $89 per youth, age 6-17. Most attractions permit the visitor to skip ticket lines and head to the front, and the pass can be used for nine consecutive days from first use. For questions and further information, contact www.citypass.com/ny.
Among the attractive things to see and do with City Pass discounts are:
- The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, not located in a standard building, but appropriately on the Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York Harbor. This 839.5 foot long carrier houses numerous planes as well as the Space Shuttle, a movie theater, a model of the Hubble telescope, a Russian space capsule and many artifacts that help tell the story of flight and space travel. If possible, join a group with a tour guide who can tell you about the carrier, its contents and history. It will surely enhance your experience.
- The Top of the Rock is the observation deck at the top of Rockefeller Center. It is on the 70th floor of this historic building, part of a 14-building complex, which includes world famous Radio City Music Hall, the skating rink and the world’s tallest Christmas tree, lit with 30,000 lights in early December every year. The observation deck gives the viewer a 360° view of New York City and New Jersey for as far as the eye can see. And, don’t forget to explore the exhibits on the floors leading to the observation deck as well as the very beautiful Swarovski crystal chandelier that ascends and descends the floors above and below the main lobby.
- Not too tired yet? Make your last stop of the day the Empire State Building. Perhaps, dinner and a drink or a coffee will invigorate you for a ride to the 86th floor for another 360° view of New York. You can visit earlier in the day and return later at night for a city view with everything down below lit up. Remember, there is no additional charge for your same-day return visit. And, be sure to take a good look the very outstanding Art Deco lobby.
Although New York is very busy with visitors, workers, autos and trucks, it is fairly easy to get around. Public transportation (trains and buses) as well as taxis and private vehicles, will help you reach your destinations fairly easily. Driving your own vehicle? Watch for on-street parking zones and, of course, private and municipal garages.
A word of warning…park where it is not authorized and you will become victim to New York’s notorious and unforgiving traffic enforcement officers. Sometimes it seems as though they receive a commission for every parking summons they hand out. More often than not, in addition to the very expensive ticket, unwary motorists may have to cope with the even more very expensive fee to retrieve their car from the tow pound where it was taken for illegal parking.
Full of energy? Put on comfortable footwear and walk. It’s as inexpensive as you can get, and it’s fun to watch all the sights along the way.
Bob and Sandy Nesoff are members of the American Society of Authors and Journalists.