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New York City

Pre-reading Discussion

1.Have you been to New York City before? If yes, name the differences between NYC and Taipei.
2.Name the landmarks NYC and Taipei has.


Reading Text

Overview

Dynamic, crazy and
mesmerising, New York City is
the ultimate in urban cool.
Considered by many to be the
most exciting city on the planet,
the gregarious metropolis that
is New York exudes a unique
brand of magic and a bold
confidence - here everything is
possible and anything can
happen1. No other American city
even comes close to it in terms
of population, diversity of culture, entertainment, business and commerce.

It is a living organism, pulsating with the energy of over seven million
inhabitants. Even the streets and buildings, in all their variety, seem to be alive
and the sheer pace of life can be both inspiring and overpowering in equal
measure proving something of a culture shock even for visitors from the West.
Yet within a day's drive, visitors can find fine beaches and seascapes, quiet, forested
mountains, quaint, small towns, and plenty of historical sightseeing.

Located in the southeastern corner of New York State, New York City comprises
five distinct boroughs: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Its location at the confluence of the Hudson River, Long Island Sound and the
Atlantic Ocean reflects the city's importance as a port, and as the disembarkation
point for millions of immigrants to the USA.
The first European settlement on Manhattan was by the Dutch in the 1620s, who
named the city New Amsterdam. In 1664, the British took over and renamed it New
York, and the settlement rapidly flourishedexpanding from south to north along the
island. With great foresight, 340 hectares (840 acres) were set aside to create
Central Park, which opened in 1876 and ten years later New York's most famous
landmark, the Statue of Liberty, was erected on Ellis Island - a proud and
triumphant symbol of freedom marking the gateway to the New World2. The Ellis Island
Immigration Station officially opened its doors to the world on 1 January 1892, and, in
1898, the five boroughs were incorporated into a single entity, known as Greater New
York. However, mass immigration saw the emergence of distinct ethnic quarters with the
island of Manhattan rapidly developing into a unique cultural melting pot, housing an entire
world within its 58 sq km (22.7 square miles). For many Manhattan is New York.
Wedged in the canyons created by the skyscrapers a diverse population has carved
out its corner, such as the bustling sidewalks of Chinatown, the Greek tavernas of
Astoria, the Old World Russian restaurants and clubs of Brighton Beach, the Italian
communities of Little Italy and Arthur Avenue, and the sari shops and vindaloos of
Little India in Jackson Heights 3. In fact, the city's billing for the twenty-first century --
'New York City ... Come Visit the World' - couldn't be more apt.
New York is an excellent place to visit at any time of year although it is
particularly pleasant during the spring and fall when temperatures hover around 70?F.
New York winters tend to be unpredictable, sometimes wild, sometimes severe and
stormy and summers are hot and muggy often lasting until September.
"New York Overview." World City Guide. Columbus Publishing Group
(May 29, 2001)

Key Attractions


The Statue of Liberty

The ultimate symbol of the American Dream, Lady Liberty, who stands
majestically over New York Harbour, is probably the most famous landmark in
America. The Statue was donated to the United States by the people of France
in 1886 to commemorate the alliance of the two countries during the American
Revolution, and was the first sight of the new world to be seen by the 12 million
immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. Visitors can climb the statue or take the
lift and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, located at the base of the statue
documents the history of the immigration station that operated from 1892 to 1954.

Tel: (212) 363 3200.
Transport: Circle Line Statue of Liberty Ferry (tel: (212) 269 5755), 15-minute
ferry ride from South Ferry at Battery Park to Liberty and Ellis islands, costing US$7.
The 24-hour Staten Island Ferry (tel: (718) 815 2628), from Battery Park, offers
passengers views of the statue as well as the Manhattan skyline for free.
Opening hours: 0930-1700 daily.
Admission: Free.

Brooklyn Bridge

Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world when it was completed in 1883, Brooklyn
Bridge remains a masterful feat of engineering. The world's first steel wire suspension
bridge links Manhattan to Brooklyn over the East River and the mile-long wooden
promenade offers stunning views of the city.

Park Row
Transport: Subway 4, 5 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge or City Hall.

Empire State Building

Immortalised in celluloid by Hollywood (from King Kong and Fay Wray to Tom Hanks
and Meg Ryan), the world's once highest building really is an experience to remember.
Completed in 1931, the 102-storey Empire State Building is a wonderful example of
period architecture, and the observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors offer magical
and spectacular views of the city.

Fifth Avenue at 34th Street
Tel: (212) 736 3100. Fax: (212) 947 1360.
Web site: www.esbnyc.com
Transport: Subway B, D or F to 34th Street.
Opening hours: 0930-2400 daily.
Admission: US$7 (concessions available).

Rockefeller Center

Built in 1932-40, the Rockefeller Center is a masterpiece of urban design. Approach
from the Channel Gardens, opposite Saks on Fifth Avenue, a popular lunchtime haunt
flanked with shops and services, and arrive at the focal point of the complex - the
sunken plaza, used as an ice rink in winter and an open-air restaurant in summer.
Behind, the sumptuous GE building dominates the scene with its Art Deco ambience
inside and out.

Fifth Avenue, 47th to 52nd Streets
Transport: Subway B, D, F or Q to Rockefeller Center.

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) houses the most important modern art collection in
the USA and covers a variety of media from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
with impressive touring exhibitions.

11 West 53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Street
Tel: (212) 708 9400.
Web site: www.moma.org
Transport: Subway E or F to Fifth Avenue or 53rd Street.
Opening hours: 1030-1745 daily (until 2030 Fri); closed Wed.
Admission: US$10 (concessions available); Fri 1630-2015 pay what you wish.

Soloman R Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum, a seven-storey conical building designed by US master
architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is worth visiting if only for the building alone. Inside, it
features an acclaimed collection of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century art works, as
well as touring exhibitions.

1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street
Tel: (212) 423 3500.
Web site: www.guggenheim.org
Transport: Subway 4, 5 or 6 to 86th Street.
Opening hours: 0900-1800 Sun to Wed; 0900-2000 Fri and Sat.
Admission: US$12 (concessions available).

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Home to more than two million works of art spanning five millennia, 'the Met' is a
cherished New York institution. It is the largest art museum in the western hemisphere
and its collections are outstanding.

1000 Fifth Avenue, at 82nd Street
Tel: (212) 535 7710.
Web site: www.metmuseum.org
Transport: Subway 4, 5 or 6 to 86th Street.
Opening hours: 0930-1715 Tues-Sun (until 2045 Fri and Sat).
Admission: US$10 is suggested.

Central Park

New York's famous playground, Central Park (web site: www.centralparknyc.org), which
stretches from 59th to 110th Street in the centre of Manhattan is a magnificent garden
and a sanctuary from the city. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, it
opened in 1876 and now offers numerous recreational and cultural outlets. The
Belvedere Castle, a stone castle built on Vista Rock in the middle of the park offers
excellent views from its lookout and the Shakespeare Garden, located behind the castle,
contains flowers and herbs mentioned in the Bard's plays.

The Central Park Conservancy Tour (tel: (212) 360 2727) offers various free walking
tours of the park. The park also has a theatre and sports facilities, including tennis
courts, ice rinks and lakes, in addition to the celebrated Central Park Zoo/Wildlife
Conservation Center (tel: (212) 861 6030). Considered to be one of the world's most
appealing small zoos it features a 2.2-hectare (5.5-acre) animal garden and the
beautifully landscaped Central Garden and Sea Lion Pool is flanked on three sides by a
glass-roofed colonnade making it accessible even in wet weather.

Transport: Subway N or R to Fifth Avenue; or 4, 5 or 6 to 59th Street.
Opening hours: 1000-1630 daily.
Admission: US$3.50 (concessions available).


After reading discussion

1.After reading about New York Citys attractions, name the one you liked the best and explain why you liked it.
2.Do you know any other New York City attraction? Name and describe.