South Street Seaport | Rich in History | Maritime Museum

by NYJ Team

Located at the very southern tip of Manhattan, South Street Seaport lets visitors relive New York City’s maritime past with a fascinating museum, restored 19th century buildings, and a varied collection of authentic sailing ships. The popular site also includes a modern tourist mall along the pier, featuring shopping, a variety of restaurants and popular nightspots.

South Street Seaport & Museum

Click for more details on the South Street Seaport & Museum

History of South Street Seaport

During the 19th century, South Street Seaport was a working pier from which the city’s fishermen would depart each morning and where they would return with the day’s catch each afternoon. At the time, most New Yorkers lived in the lower part of Manhattan and a market grew up around the docks. Eventually, it included a produce and grain market as well as many general merchants. By the end of the century, however, cargo ships had grown too large for the docks at South Street and the fishing fleet — and the market — moved up the Hudson River. The area languished for decades.

The South Street Seaport that we see today was the brainchild of New York philanthropists, Peter and Norma Stanford. The initial idea was to save a block of 19th century Federalist-style warehouses, known as the “Schermerhorn Row.” The plan was to create a living museum where residents and visitors could learn about life in 19th century New York. The area began modestly in 1967, then grew slowly. Pier 17 was added in 1983. The area now includes shopping, nightclubs, and an amusement pier with a variety of carnival rides. During the summer months, street entertainers — clowns, jugglers, mimes, and musicians — gather at the Seaport to perform for the crowd.

The Maritime Museum

The twelve-block South Street Seaport Museum is an open-air restored area, featuring cobblestone streets, authentic 19th century warehouses converted into shops, workshops, and restaurants, and costumed guides to tell the story of life at the Seaport. Adjacent to the warehouses are a host of striking sailing ships, permanently moored at the Seaport. In addition to shopping and dining venues, some of the warehouse buildings feature changing exhibits about the sea and the history of lower Manhattan. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $6 for children between 2 and 17 years of age. Children under 2 are admitted free.

The Ships

Eight authentic 19th century ships grace the harbor at South Street Seaport. They range from the four-mast 377-foot long ”Peking” to the 112-foot lightship ”Ambrose” to the 52-foot 19th century tugboat, the ”W.O. Decker”. Visitors of all ages will delight in exploring these well-preserved relics of New York City’s seafaring past. South Street Seaport has the largest permanent collection (in tonnage) of historic ships of any site in the world.

Visiting South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport is a short walk from New York City’s financial district and is easily reached via taxi, subway, and bus from other parks of the city. South Street Seaport is open all year. Museum hours change during the season, but the facility is open late at least one day each week. In addition to the Tall ships and the Maritime Museum, visitors can tour the cobblestone streets and restored buildings as well as explore the shops and restaurants along Pier 17. Sightseeing cruises depart from the boardwalk at South Street Seaport for tours of New York Harbor and the East River. You can also enjoy a clear view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Seaport’s boardwalk.

Location: near New York City’s Financial District

Click here to visit South Street Seaport official website.

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Chrysler Building | An Elegant & Iconic Symbol of a Bygone Era

by NYJ Team

New York City’s skyline has been anchored by a number of iconic and beautiful skyscrapers over the years, including the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, the new One World Trade Center, and of course, the sleek and elegant Chrysler Building.

The Chrysler Building stands tall on 42nd and Lexington Avenues, towering over midtown Manhattan just to the northeast of its rival Art Deco masterpiece, the Empire State Building. For a brief period of time after its completion in May 1930, the Chrysler Building stood as the tallest in the world. However, that prestigious title lasted less than a year, until it was bypassed by the spire that was installed on the top of the Empire State Building.

Today, the Chrysler Building still helps anchor and define the New York City skyline, alongside its famous contemporaries. Its graceful form has been featured in countless movies, including The Devil Wears Prada, Spiderman and Serendipity.

Chrysler Building

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Classic Art Deco Design
While the taller Empire State Building may draw more attention and more movie roles, many architects widely consider the Chrysler Building to be the more beautiful of the two skyscrapers. It was one of the last of the great Art Deco buildings, designed specifically for the Chrysler car company. It also served as the company’s headquarters well into the 1950’s.

You can see the influence of the automotive inspiration in many of the Art Deco design features, particularly in the famous gargoyles which were modeled after Chrysler hood ornaments. As well, the spire on top of the building was inspired by a radiator grille.

The terraced steel crown of the building is what really sets the Chrysler Building apart. It was designed in a sunburst pattern, and is a classic example of the sleek lines and beauty of the 1920’s Art Deco style.

Visiting the Chrysler Building
One of the most notable differences between the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building is that the Chrysler Building is not open to the public. There was once a public viewing on the 71st floor, but that was closed down in the 1940’s. There was also a private dining club called The Cloud Club inside, but that too closed in the 1970’s.

The building is currently occupied by private business offices, and you will only get as far as the lobby if you stop by. However, it is still well worth a visit, just to admire the lobby’s breathtaking ceiling mural designed by Edward Trumbull, as well as its gleaming marble floors, and the unique wood and inlay on the elevator doors.

So, if you want to admire the beauty of this Art Deco gem, you’re going to be standing outside. The best view from the street is at the corner of 3rd Ave and 44th St. It is a great idea to bring your telephoto lens or even a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the entire building.

If you don’t feel like craning your neck, the other great way to admire the beauty of the Chrysler Building is to stop by its rival. For a few coins, you can use the pay telescopes at the northeast corner of the Observation Deck at the Empire State Building, which will give you a clear and level view of the world famous and awe-inspiring Chrysler Building crown.

Click for more information on the Chrysler Building.

Empire State Building | On Top of the World

by NYJ Team

When it comes to what to see and do in New York City, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming. However, there is one thing that should be at the top of every travel list, and that is a visit to the top of the iconic Empire State Building.

It is simply one of the most famous buildings in the entire world and it has come to symbolize the bold and majestic grandeur of the Big Apple itself. The Empire State Building has been featured in countless movies, television shows and books set in New York, from King Kong to An Affair to Remember to Doctor Who to Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Empire State Building

Click for more details on the Empire State Building

The Great Building
The Empire State Building has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It stands 103 stories high right on 5th Avenue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. It was the tallest building in the world for almost 40 years, until the completion of New York’s World Trade Center in 1970. Aside from its height, it is also famous for its classic Art Deco architecture, which can be seen everywhere from the spectacular cathedral-like three story lobby, to the sleek railings and design of the observation deck.

The Empire State Building also acts as symbol to mark holidays and world events. Floodlights were added to the top of the building in the 1960s, and now the building lights up in different colours depending in the occasion. The building is lit up red, white and blue for the 4th of July, green for St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, and in 1998, it was bathed in a blue light when Frank Sinatra (Old Blue Eyes) passed away.

Tips for the Perfect Visit
Since the Empire State building is at the top of everyone’s must-see list, expect long lines. Tickets do offer an express option which will let you skip the lines, but you can expect to line up long before you get to the ticket counter. Instead, it’s cheaper and more efficient to plan your visit for a time when lines might be a little less long.

The best times to visit are first thing in the morning, around 3 p.m., or at night, when the lines are shortest. Don’t let bad weather keep you away. A little rain or snow does nothing to dampen the incredible view, and it does a lot to speed up your trip to the top. The most romantic time to visit is at night, when the city that never sleeps is sparkling at your feet.

The View
You can see the entire city of New York from the top of the Empire State Building, plus a little more. From the south Observation Deck, and you look out towards Lower Manhattan, the Lower Bay and Staten Island. You can see the famous Flatiron Building below, out towards the resurrected tower at One World Trade Centre, and past to Statue of Liberty.

From the North Observation deck, Broadway winds past right below your feet, leading to the Columbus Circle and the vast green oasis of Central Park, which sits nestled between the Upper East and West with historic Harlem capping it off on the north.

The best view is from the northeast corner, where you look out towards Brooklyn and the sparkling East River at the other of New York’s most iconic Art Deco gems; the shining and breathtaking crown and gargoyles on the Chrysler Building, which can only be properly appreciated at this altitude.

Click to visit Empire State Building official website.