Statue of Liberty | An Iconic Symbol of Freedom

by Denise Marie

Installed on a small island in the New York Harbor in the late 19th century, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States. Accessible only by official ferries, this national monument is one of the most visited tourist attractions in NYC.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour

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After landing on Liberty Island, visitors are encouraged to browse the Statue of Liberty Museum. Open to the public since the spring of 2019, the museum is one of a few major installations on the historic island in decades. Guests can explore up to 26,000 sq feet of galleries that are split into three sections. The exhibits present detailed information on the history of the iconic monument that was designed in France. The main highlight at the all-new museum is an original torch that was installed on the statue in the late 19th century.

After learning about the fascinating history of the Statue of Liberty, visitors should proceed to the famous pedestal, an architectural masterpiece that’s attributed to Richard Morris Hunt. When you reach the top of the pedestal, you’ll be rewarded with great views of the neighboring Ellis Island and New York Harbor. Space is extremely limited inside the pedestal, so all guests should make reservations in advance. Similarly, reservations are highly recommended for access to the crown. The climb to the crown’s observation area is 146 stairs.

After a visit to the top of the monument, you could refresh and recharge at the Statue of Liberty Crown Cafe. This casual restaurant serves sandwiches, hamburgers, French fries and other classic items in American cuisine. Don’t forget to buy some cool souvenirs at the adjacent gift shop inside the new museum. From history books and figures to plush toys and house decor, the store sells fun items that celebrate one of America’s most iconic landmarks.

How to Get There

The Statue of Liberty dominates the landscape of Liberty Island, a 14.7-acre island in the middle of the New York Harbor. You can only reach this small island by riding a ferry from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Both ferry routes also stop at Ellis Island, which is situated less than 2,000 feet away from the world-famous national monument. Public transit is readily available near the Statue Cruises docks in Lower Manhattan. For example, the Bowling Green and South Ferry subway stations are located within walking distance of Battery Park.

Click to visit the Statue of Liberty official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Apollo Theater | Historic & Legendary Music Venue in Harlem, NYC

by Denise Marie

Having enough seats for just more than 1,500 spectators, the Apollo Theater is a historic music venue that’s tied to the Harlem Renaissance. Located in Manhattan, this iconic theater has hosted some of the most successful artists in Jazz, R&B and other genres.

History and Highlights

The Apollo Theater evolved from a performance venue that was known by a different name in the early 20th century. Specializing in burlesque, Hurtig and Seamon’s New was one of the premier theaters of its kind in the 1920’s. Unfortunately, the end of the Roaring Twenties era also marked the rapid decline of this intimate facility in Manhattan.

The Great Depression exacerbated the condition and fate of Hurtig and Seamon’s New. The mayor of New York City ultimately shut down this venue and several other burlesque hubs. Shortly after, the legendary venue reopened with a new mission and vibe.

At the height of the Great Depression, Harlem already had a thriving African American cultural scene. The renovated theater naturally sparked a revival in Jazz and other musical genres that essentially originated from the tight-knit neighborhood. Leo Brecher and Frank Schiffman managed the venue from the middle of the 1930’s until the end of the 1970’s.

A brief closure marked a new era of the Apollo Theater in the 1980’s. Since then, the facility has been a major multimedia hub for various entertainment sectors with a focus on the local African American community. Amateur Night is perhaps the most famous aspect of the Apollo Theater.

Dating back to the club’s early days, this event has allowed countless performers the opportunities to become famous. Some legendary singers who have won the Amateur Night contest include Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick. Today, the iconic music hall still offers amateur singers the chance to impress an audience on the stage.

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Visiting the Apollo Theater

Centrally located in Harlem, the Apollo Theater is easily accessible by the NYC subway. You can take four different lines to the 125th Street station, which is located underneath the busy St. Nicholas Avenue. The subway trains that serve this underground station make multiple stops in Midtown Manhattan. Alternatively, you could ride the subway to the 125th Street Station that’s situated below Malcolm X Boulevard.

Additionally, several MTA buses stop just around the corner of this historic theater. For example, the M2 route runs along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The M10 route makes frequent stops on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Taxis and other vehicles should quickly drop off passengers near the venue’s main entrance on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which merges with W. 125th Street.

Click to visit the Apollo Theater official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Historic Sugar Hill | Take a Walk Through this Distinguished NY Neighborhood

by Denise Marie

This historic Harlem neighborhood inspired the names of the rap record label Sugar Hill Records and the rap group The Sugarhill Gang, famous for their hit “Rapper’s Delight”. The community got its name in the 1920’s when it became a popular place to live for wealthy African Americans who were enjoying “the sweet life.” Sugar Hill was designated a historic district in 2002.

A Sweet Place to Live

Located in the northern part of Harlem’s Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill looks out on the valley of Harlem. Residents enjoy lovely views that stretch past the Harlem River. During the Harlem Renaissance, notable figures made the stately neighborhood their home including Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice and politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the first African American elected to Congress.

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Stately Homes

Visitors taking a walking tour of the neighborhood will experience the grand early 20th century architecture of the Sugar Hill brownstones. Designed in the Classical Revival style by architects such as Henri Fouchaux and George Frederick Pelham, the homes feature detailed facades and large living spaces. While the Sugar Hill residences are distinguished by distinct details they also all have a continuous style that links the neighborhood together.

Visiting Sugar Hill in New York City

Sugar Hill is bordered to the north by 155th Street and to the south by 145th Street. Edgecombe Avenue borders the east and Amsterdam Avenue the west.

Click to visit Sugar Hill official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.