• Menu
  • Menu

The Big Apple’s Culture And Entertainment

There are absolutely a lot of things to do in New York! Whether you are in the Big Apple just for the weekend or the whole week, its attractions and sites are not the only things to fill your itinerary!

With the many fascinating structures in the city, architecture in New York will put in awe even those who don’t even have the slightest bit of architectural knowledge. Aside from the famous architectural sites like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and Woolworth Building, there is still way more to see in the city.

New York is also best experienced with kids; many of the facilities and sights in the city are designed with the fun and enjoyment of children in mind. The city is also a haven for food lovers. With a wide range of restaurants offering a varied menu, inspired from all over the world, there’s just so much to get a taste of in the Big Apple.

Nightlife in the city is vigorous offering you endless options. It is after all not called the “City that Never Sleeps” for anything.

Fashionista or not, New York shopping will give you an experience as you’ve never had in your life. With many known and contemporary fashion brands, it’s hard not to enjoy shopping in the city. On the other hand, sports fanatics will also have a great time in the city having a close encounter with some of the biggest names and teams playing for the city.

Figure-conscious tourists will also be delighted to know that New York boasts of plenty of fitness gyms offering different programs to keep you fit and healthy while in the city.

For something you’ll never be able to witness anywhere in the world, theaters in New York will offer you productions that are not only grand but breathtaking as well; the city’s cinemas also feature top-of-the-class facilities to make your movie experience truly one-of-a-kind.

Music in New York is also something to fill your to-do list. With many music institutions based in the city, this aspect of the Big Apple will give you a better understanding and appreciation of its mixed culture.

Who does not love things that are offered for free? With New York for free, you will learn that despite being the US’ most expensive city, New York still values the sweet joys of freebies.

Architecture

New York is not only known for its world-class landmarks and attractions. Architecture buffs will also see that the Big Apple is also home for magnificent architectural structures. Below are just some of the city’s architectural highlights:

The Lever House
Between 53rd and 54th Sts

Designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s Architect Gordon Bunshaft, The Lever House in New York’s first curtain wall skyscraper.

It is a seminal glass box following Ludwig Mies van Rohe’s principles of form-follows-function. It stands at 92 meters and features an innovative public space and courtyard.

Seagram Building
375 Park Ave.

The 1958-built skyscraper features a steel frame construction with a curtain wall. It has bronze exterior columns which makes it an interesting structure in the meticulous eyes of architecture enthusiasts. Its façade is known to have an eloquent structural expression which is considered to be more ornamental rather than literal. The Seagram Building is one fine example of corporate modernism and functionalist aesthetic.

Sony Building
550 Madison Ave.

Towering at 37 stories, the Sony Building was formerly called the AT&T Building. Completed in 1984, the Philip Johnson-designed structure boasts of a rose-granite façade and a top that has a Chippendale style – making it distinct among its neighboring buildings. Tagged by many critics as among the prime examples of architecture in the postmodern age, the Sony Building has challenged the demand of modernism for purely efficient design and stark functionalism.

The Dakota
72nd Street

The angular apartment house built in 1884 was said to have its name after its developer, Edward Clark was teased by his pals for building a structure so far of the city’s north that he might be building one in the Dakotas. Be amazed by the building’s dormers, oriel windows, and gables accents that give it a brooding aura.

New York architecture adds up to the multi-faceted character of the city. It is something that will fascinate not just those keen to architecture but even those who have no architectural background.

Parks and Gardens

Think about the best attractions in the Big Apple stops with its landmarks and museums? Well, think again. New York City has just got so much for tourists to enjoy and experience. For a laidback and relaxing day in the city, its parks and gardens are just a not-to-miss stop.

Central Park
Btwn 5th & 8th Aves. & 59th & 106th Sts.

With its great views and varied activities, nobody in New York would recommend visiting this 843-acre park recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1963 to the tourists.   Opened in 1857, Central Park has an annual budget of $25 million to make sure it maintains its beauty that many people from over the world come to visit.

There’s so much to do in the park – from boating to birding, riding carriage horses, rock climbing, and ice skating among others – that makes it perfect even for an everyday stroll!

Battery Park
State St. to New York Harbor

Although often overshadowed by the grandeur of the Central Park, there are still a number of parks in New York that’s worth your time. One of these is the Battery Park in Manhattan. Located on the borough’s southernmost tip, the 21-acre park got its name in dedication to the cannons built in the area to defend the city’s residents during the American Revolution. Thus, it is expected to see a number of memorials and monuments around the park.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
900 Washington Ave

Explore this famous botanic garden in the city located just down the street of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. This 52-acre sanctuary is best visited in May when the place turns almost pink from the cherry trees bloom during this time. Be sure to check out the fascinating Cranford Rose Garden, which is among New York’s finest and largest rose garden. The Shakespeare Garden will interest visitors, particularly those who are a fan of the English writer, for its showcase of plants mentioned in the writings of Shakespeare.

Union Square Park
Between Park Ave South and Broadway

Probably next to Central Park in fame, Union Square Park is now of the best assets of New York. Home of the famous greenmarket, the park is a delightful place to spend an afternoon in the city. George Washington’s grand equestrian statue and the Bartholdi, a bronze statue, are among the park’s highlights.  When you get hungry, you can stop by the café located at the park’s north end.

There are still more parks and gardens in New York for you to discover, which means you will definitely have endless options of where to be in the city!

Shopping

New York will not disappoint not only with its landmarks and attractions, architecture, food, and nightlife. The city’s wide array of shops will be paradise to the shopaholics!

Below is information to give you an idea of the shopping experience that awaits you in New York:

Fashion

The Big Apple is a haven for fashionistas and wanna-be fashionistas. From high-end to low-key style, New York has just got all the important brands in the fashion industry. From Adidas to Allan & Suzi, Brooks Brothers, Eileen Fisher, Frank Stella, H&M, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Prada, Vera Wang, Zara, name it, New York’s got it!

Shoes

People with a fetish for shoes will find delight with the many shoe stores found in New York. As the home of some of the top shoe brands in the world, the city guarantees to give you the latest and most stylish shoes you can dream of.

For sexy stilettos and other sophisticated shoes, Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik should be a no-miss in your visit; Harry’s Shoes offers you a wide range of children’s brands including Bruno Magli to Keds; Dr. Martens is the place to go shopping for heavy-leather boots.

Perfume and cosmetics

Often appreciated more by women, New York is also where you can see shops selling some of the world’s top perfume and cosmetic brands.

The 170-year-old C.O. Bigelow, for instance, carries some of New York’s most enjoyable and eclectic collection of personal care and healthy skin products, while the three-story drugstore Zitomer’s offers you with a good line of cosmetics, called the Z New York.

A-list personalities, as well as stockbrokers and foreign visitors, never fail to drop by Kiehl’s for wonderfully formulated perfumes both for men and women. Mario Badescu will give beauty-conscious tourists with a wide array of skincare and anti-aging products.

Souvenirs

Shopping in New York isn’t complete without going to some of its souvenir shops. Don’t miss Firestore for merchandise dedicated to honoring the city’s finest and bravest men. For baseball fans, Mets Clubhouse Shop should not miss your itinerary, while basketball enthusiasts would definitely be ecstatic with the many souvenir items sold in the NBA Store. MTV fanatics should check out MTV Store for its colorful gears teenagers will surely appreciate.

Shopping is one exciting part of every visit – much more when you are in New York. With top of the class stores and shops in the city, who wouldn’t be tempted to shop ‘tilt they drop?

Theaters

No other city in the world has a theater scene with much breadth and depth like New York. Here you will find some of the world’s biggest stage productions and crowd-getters like the Jersey Boys and the Lion King. With Hollywood big stars, such as Daniel Radcliffe, Liam Neeson, Kevin Bacon, Brook Shields, Antonio Banderas, and Susan Sarandon among others on stage, it is but impossible to miss theaters in New York.

Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-off-Broadway

When thinking of catching a theater play in New York, you might encounter the terms, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. Do not confuse yourself with these words as they merely refer to the theater size, location, pay scales, and other details that might be quite arcane if you are not much of a theater buff.

Broadway theaters are mostly located in Times Square. They are the most prominent theater types with the most prominent productions and most prominent stars. Being so, theater-goers are expected to pay higher than those located outside Times Square.

Off-Broadway, on the other hand, does not talk much about the location. Rather, it refers to the contract between the production and the actors’ union. Off-Broadway productions are usually staged for an eight-shows-a-week performance in theaters all over the town, including mini-Theater districts in Midtown.

Off-Off-Broadway shows that are mostly avant-garde if not nomadic and/or experimental. Most of these shows are staged on theaters with less than a hundred seats and with fewer performances.

Schedules

Theaters in New York usually have a regular schedule – often eight performances every week. There are evening shows from Tuesdays through Saturdays, along with matinees on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Evening shows start at 8 pm; matinees begin at 2 pm on Wednesday and Saturday, then 3 pm on Sunday. Schedules for Off and Off-Off-Broadway can vary though.

Tickets

Ticket prices vary for most Broadway shows. If you want to get the good seats, then expect to pay as much as $100 – or sometimes more for big productions. On average, ticket prices can go about $20 (the cheapest) to $50. Tickets for matinee show are lesser priced than for evening shows; weekday evening shows are cheaper than for weekend evening performances.

Ticket outlets

There are several ticket outlets in New York for Broadway performances – you can even get them online! Times Square Booth sells tickets on the day of the performance only. South Street Seaport Booth and Downtown Brooklyn Booth sell evening performance tickets on the day of show and matinee performance tickets a day before the show.

Broadway is something tourists should not miss in New York. There’s nowhere in the world you can catch theater performances as extravagant and as big as those in Broadway.

Cinemas

New York is the place to be for all the latest movies in Hollywood. Tourists with a particular interest in films should make a point to allow a few hours to catch a movie in some of the premium New York cinemas.

Landmark Sunshine Cinema
Houston St. betw. 1st & 2nd Aves.,
(212)330-8182

Build-in 1898, the Landmark Sunshine cinema is the prime spot for independent movies. It has five auditoriums, three of which have stadium-style seating and state-of-the-art sound technology. To complete its features, the cinema has the Gourmet Concessions which showcases a full Espresso bar along with locally baked cookies and pastries.

A vaudeville house for five decades, the newly-restored theater also has a Japanese rock garden and viewing bridge offering a unique view of the city.

Ticket prices go about $12.5 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $9 for children under 12 years old.

IMAX Theatre- American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
(212)769-5200

One of the best cinemas in New York, the IMAX Theater in the American Museum of Natural History boasts of a state-the-art facility, showcasing 40ft-high and 60ft-widescreen and premium-quality digital sound system. Its film showings take place every half an hour, starting from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Ticket price for adults is $16, for seniors, it’s $12 and children under 12 for $9.

AMC Empire 25
42nd Street Between 7th and 8th Avenues
(888)AMC-4FUN

With 25 screens on its 11 floors, the AMC Empire 25 is probably one of the biggest theaters in the city. It has a large food court to dine in for those who plan to spend the whole day at the movies. And for those who want some total convenience, you can also reserve tickets online for a line-free movie experience.

Ticket prices range from $9.5 to $13.

Angelika Film Center New York
18 West Houston at Mercer Street
(800)FANDANGO

Situated at the heart of SoHo, Angelika is also the heart of independent film exhibition in New York. Showing only the finest independent films on its six screens for over a decade, Angelika Film Center has already become a cultural institution in the city. Its lobby, through the Angelika Café, served as a constant rendezvous for many film lovers.

Tickets are priced at $13 and $9 for adults, seniors and children under 12, respectively.

New York cinemas will give you a movie experience like no other. Whether you’re a film buff or not, catching a good flick in the city is worth every cent.

Restaurants

While doing your own New York City itinerary, you might consider including a list of restaurants to visit in the Big Apple. Not only is the city known for its world-class landmarks and attractions, but it is also famous for its numerous restaurants offering sumptuous delicacies.

Italian

Italian restaurants in New York City are plenty and with a varied menu. You can also pick one according to your budget. For economical Italian options, you can try Frankie’s Spuntino (457 Court St) for its informal Italian meals and snacks which usually range at $9-$18; Osteria Morini (218 Lafayette St) for northern Italy cuisines with prices ranging from $17-$29; and SD26 (19 E. 26th St) for delicious homemade kinds of pasta priced at $15-$36.

High-end Italian restaurants in New York include ‘Cesca (164 W. 75th St) with its Italian Country cuisines with price ranging from $31-$50 for each main course and A Voce Columbus Circle (10 Columbus Circle) offering a menu that changes periodically to give a taste of the different delicacies in different Italian regions, the price range at $22-$38.

Mediterranean

There are several restaurants in New York too that serve Greek and Mediterranean cuisines. For cheaper options, there’s Uncle Nick’s (747 Ninth Ave), Kefi (505 Columbus Ave), and Barbounia (250 Park Avenue South). For a fine Mediterranean dining experience, you can try Thalassa (179 Franklin Street), Mia Dona (206 E. 58th St), Molyvos (871 Seventh Ave), and Landmarc (179 W. Broadway). Most of these restaurants allow you to mix and match cuisines so you get a more varied taste of Mediterranean dishes.

Asian

Tourists craving to get a taste of Asian delicacies in New York will have a lot of options. For great-tasting noodles, congees and other Chinese dishes, there’s Big Wong King (67 Mott St) and Great New York Noodletown (28 ½ Bowery). There’s also a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Viet Huong (73 Mulberry St) which serves a vast menu of Vietnam delicacies, including soups and appetizers. Japanese restaurants and sushi bars include Tanuki Tavern (18 Ninth Ave), Morimoto (88 Tenth Ave), Hakubai (66 Park), and En Japanese Brasserie (435 Hudson St).

American

When in the US, do not miss to get a taste of American food – especially when you are in New York! Try the contemporary American dishes served at BLT Market (1430 Avenue of the Americas), the great-tasting steaks at Prime Meats (465 Court St), and the great breakfasts at Good Enough to Eat (483 Amsterdam Ave).

With the seemingly endless options of New York restaurants, tourists will have better flexibility and more varied food experience in the city.

Music

New York would probably be one of the most important places in the music world. For a long time now, the Big Apple has been a thriving home for rock, jazz, and the blues. It is also where hip hop, punk rock, house music, Latin freestyle, and disco were born. Being a melting pot of nations, the city’s diverse culture has also paved the way for the production of important folk music such as Jewish klezmer and Irish-American music.

Even music author, Richie Unterberg attested New York’s importance in the music scene, describing it as a “never-ending race for artistic and cosmopolitan supremacy”.

Institutions

Since the early phase of the 20th century, New York has already been the heart of the country’s music industry. Several music companies and organizations have set up headquarters in the Big Apple since then from the independent hip hop and rock labels to nonprofit music organizations. Several music magazines are also based in the city, like Punk Magazine, Spin, Rolling Stone, and Blender Magazine.

The Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most important music venues, is also based in New York. Noted for its excellent acoustics, particularly classical music, the venue was named after Andrew Carnegie, a famous philanthropist.

The Radio City Music Hall on the other hand, which was opened in 1932, is a major music venue as well as an important architectural attraction being a fine example of Art Deco style.

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which the world’s largest center for the performing arts, houses 12 important music organizations, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Chamber Music Society, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center Theater, and The Juilliard School.

Music in New York just shows the city’s great influence in the American culture. For live music, there’s even a wide range of concert venues, clubs, and bars to satisfy your curiosity and desire to experience the city’s music.

Nightlife

New York City is not called the “City that Never Sleeps” for nothing. With its vibrant and endless nightlife options, tourists will have to agree on why New York deserves the title.

Below are some ways to enjoy the night in the Big Apple:

Bars and pubs

Bars and pubs in New York are wide and varied. Depending on your taste and personality, these bars and pubs are perfect for a great drink in the city. Many also come to these establishments to chat with pals or simply meet friendly New Yorkers.

Among the famous bars and pubs in New York are 67 Orange Street (2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd) which is the city’s first black-owned bar, the Russian Samovar (256 W. 52nd St.) which is known for its vodka, the Bowlmor Carnival (110 University Place) which attracts patrons for its alcoholic cotton-candy martinis and snow cones, and Bier International (2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd) which is famous for being Harlem’s beer garden center.

Dance clubs

Tourists who are up for some dancing experience in New York should not miss the city’s many dance clubs. Some of the best dance spots in the Big Apple include (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St) which if flocked for its late-night parties every Friday from 11 pm to 4 am and Bar 13 935 E. 13th St.) which is also famous for its nightly parties with music from the 80s wave to reggae and trance. The eccentric club of Don Hill’s (9511 Greenwich St.) draws younger crowds of party-goers, while Pacha (618 W. 46th St) has been attracting yuppies ready to mingle.

Wine Bars

Wine lovers in New York will not be disappointed with the many offerings in the city. Its many wine bars will give you a wide range of confectionery to be in awed with. Some of New York’s top wine bars are Bubble Lounge (228 W. Broadway), Morrell Wine Bar & Café (1 Rockefeller Plaza), Sweet & Lowdown (123 Allen St), and Wine and Roses (286 Columbus Ave).

Performing Arts

There are tourists who would rather stay in a place to be entertained with performers than be in the noisy and crowded atmosphere of bars and dance clubs. If this is your nightlife preference, then be sure to be in the performing arts scene in New York, such as 92 Y Tribeca (200 Hudson St), 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave), Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St), and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (70 Lincoln Center Plaza).

Nighttime in New York would never be dull and lifeless. In fact, many tourists consider night time in the city to be just the start of a long party and entertainment.

Fitness

With the busy life, New Yorkers have, you will be surprised to know how these people still manage to get fit and buff. When in New York, don’t be left behind and learn how to stay in shape while enjoying the sights and places in the Big Apple. But although fitness gyms in the city are plenty, tourists must take note that not all of them are perfect for one’s needs and requirements.

Here are some factors to consider before enrolling to a fitness gym in New York:

Fees

Fitness in New York can be quite pricey if you are planning to do it in a gym, thus, before signing up for a fitness program, inquire about the fees first. By fees, this should include the initial membership fee, service charge, and tax. Some gyms also charge for laundry service, lockers, initiation, and personal training. It would also help if you ask for discounts and packages.

Facilities

Although most fitness gyms in the city offer complete and top-of-the-class fitness facilities, it still would not be bad to ask about these specific facilities and/or equipment. This would not just help you get a picture of what awaits you in the establishment but also help you gauge what kind of exercises you can do in the gym.

Programs

Each gym has its set of fitness programs designed to cater to the many interests and preferences of gym-goers. Among the most enrolled fitness programs in New York are yoga and Pilates.

Trainers

There are many fitness trainers in New York – and if you may wonder, are good looking, too! When considering a gym to enroll in, also ask about their trainers. If you are non-English speakers, it will help to find out if these trainers speak other languages. Aside from the language, it would be wise to know their trainers’ specialty.

Tourists will have many choices for gyms to enroll in for fitness in New York. So while enjoying the best offerings in the city, find time to stay fit and healthy.

Sports

There are five major sports in New York: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. If you happen to be in the Big Apple, try not to miss a game of your favorite team in their home courts.

Baseball

Although many perceive baseball to have already been overtaken by football in terms of popularity in the country, the sport remains to be one of the most attended sports events in the U.S., and of course in New York. There are two professional baseball teams in the city, the New York Mets and the New York Yankees.

For baseball fans, the most intense and exciting match goes between the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees, and between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Mets. However, the two teams of the city also get to match each other on a “Subway Series” which is an annual regular season.

Minor league baseball teams in New York include the Brooklyn Cyclones which is affiliated with the Mets and the Yankee-affiliated Staten Island Yankees.

Basketball

Two professional basketball teams bring the name of New York, the New York Knicks which plays in the NBA and the New York Liberty which plays in the WNBA.  Catch the first play at the Madison Square Garden.

The celebrated court in Harlem called the Rucker Park is where many NBA athletes go to play in the summer league.

Football

The New York Giants and the New York Jets are the two professional football teams representing the Big Apple. Due to its long history and greater on-field success, the Giants are considered to be the more popular team compared to the Jets. Both teams play in New Jersey’s New Meadowland Stadium despite bringing the city’s name.

Along with the two NFL teams of New York is the New York Sharks which is a professional women’s team in tackle football.

Hockey

Hockey is one of New York’s popular sports. Representing it in the National Hockey League is the New York Rangers which play in the city’s Madison Square Garden. The team is also among the Original Six – the term given to the six teams in the NHL which existed before it doubled its size in the 1960s.

Soccer

Soccer’s popularity in New York is rapidly growing. Aside from Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, the city is also home to the New York Cosmos. The Red Bulls is owned by the Austrian beverage company, Red Bull. Its stadium called the Red Bull Arena is located in Harrison, New Jersey.

For Women’s Professional Soccer, the Sky Blue FC represents the city.

Sports in New York will add some spice and thrill to your visit to the city. Whether you are a sports fanatic or not, this is something that should not be missed in your itinerary.

New York for Kids

There are a number of sights and attractions in New York City that were specifically designed for kids. When traveling with your little ones, make sure not to miss visiting the following places:

Museums

Most museums in the Big Apple have the enjoyment and learning of kids in mind. The American Museum of Natural History in 79th Street, for instance, showcases dinosaur displays that are sure going to amaze not just the kids but the adults as well. The New York City Fire Museum (278 Spring Street) and the American Museum of Moving Image (3601 35th Ave, Astoria) will wow you with the real firehouse and the vintage video games, respectively. Additionally, the American Museum of Moving Images will thrill kids with exhibits and information about how films are actually made!

For school-age kids, the living-history program of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (97 Orchard Street) every weekend will be an intriguing, fun place to be, while the New York Transit Museum (130 Livington Street) will fascinate the youngsters with their vintage subway cars.

Shopping

It’s not just the adults who’ll love shopping in New York. Even the kids will be ecstatic with the many offerings in the city! Take your bookworms to the Books of Wonder and let them be enthralled with some of the world’s finest children’s literature; NIKETOWN will put those little ones with a fetish for sneakers jumping with glee. For those with a sweet tooth, Dylan’s Candy Bar would be a paradise – especially for those seeking a real Willy Wonka experience.

Special Occasions

Kids will love many of the special events in New York. Their eyes will surely grow wide when they catch some of the colorful parades in the city, particularly Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The circuses, like the Barnum & Bailey and the Big Apple and Ringling Bros., will thrill both kids and kids at heart!

Kids will definitely be busy with their visit to the Big Apple. They won’t only be tagging along with you checking out some sights and attractions in the city, they will also be able to experience New York in their own way.

New York for Free

New York is known to be the United States’ most expensive metropolis; it is also one of the world’s most expensive cities. However, this does not mean that getting something for free in the city is next to impossible. In fact, with just a little research, tourists will find several things in New York that can be enjoyed free of charge. Here are some of them:

Staten Island Ferry Ride

Thousands of commuters use the Staten Island Ferry every day to get a closer view of the Statue of Liberty as well as of the Ellis Island, the Lower Manhattan skyline, and the New York Harbor. And because it’s for free, you do not have to worry about spending a single cent to enjoy these attractions.

Gospel Service

Sunday gospel services in New York are free. Although they can be found all throughout the city, Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn are perfect for those who want some soul-stirring.

Free Museums

Although most museums in the city charge for admission fees, there is still a number that admits everyone for free. Two of these museums are the Federal Hall National Memorial and the National Museum of the American Indian.

West 4th Street Basketball Courts

For basketball buffs, the basketball courts in West 4th Street and Sixth Avenue are free for everybody. You can either catch a game or take part in the games.

New York may prove to be expensive each day of your stay in the city but knowing what things are for free and where to get them in the Big Apple will give you so many savings.

Sandy

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *