THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS, M. Timur Sever | 25.04.2014

New York City is commonly known as “the concrete jungle” due to the way its skyscrapers tower over its streets as trees do in a forest. This is where dreams come true and the city represents a hive for those with ambitions of fame and fortune. With its multitude of fantastic places to shop, a stroll down 5th Avenue can make one look brand new. It truly is a city of dreams! You hear Jay-Z’s The Empire State of Mind as you walk through the bright lights of the city, all of which is enough to make tourists’ heads spin! New York City is, amongst many other things, known as the land of opportunity. Viewing the skyline of Manhattan form the old ports of Brooklyn or hearing the busy Brooklyn-Queens Expressway at your back all makes you feel the promise of the city and the extent to which it’s a place where dreams come true…  

From fashion to lounges, restaurants to theaters, musical shows to nightlife to summer concerts at Central Park… entertainment has always been a part of New York City. New York City is a dream destination for many tourists. With so much photographic scenery, historical landmarks and an endless number of city tours, there are many things to do in the city. Whether you are a first time visitor or a seasoned professional, here are some ideas of things to look forward to in New York.  


Nightlife – MeatPacking District

Representing the stylish side of the city, the Meatpacking District is more or less comprised of the region between Gansevoort Street and West 16th Street and from the Hudson River to Hudson Street. The District got its name from companies who used to handle the slaughtering, processing, packaging and distribution of meat in the area. While there are no longer any actual meatpacking houses left, nowadays you are more likely to find well-off young people engaging in excess at the Bermuda Triangle of night clubs, rooftops and fancy restaurants. As you walk down Gansevoort Ave, you'll see the remnants of the old rundown raised-railway, which has been turned into America's first overhead park called the High Line. Keep in mind one of the most pleasant times to visit the district is during morning hours.

Broadway & Off-Broadway

The bright lights of Broadway draw millions of people to New York’s theater district every year. This region is not just the heart of musical theater, but also center of creativity, Broadway has amazed patrons for years. This is the most famous theater district in the world, and you can choose from timeless classic productions like “Phantom of the Opera” at the Majestic Theatre or the slightly newer “Wicked” at the Gershwin Theatre. Either way, no trip to New York is complete without some singing and dancing.

For those who have visited New York, and already taken advantage of the chance to see a Broadway musical, here is another idea: interactive off-Broadway shows. Producers have transformed disused hotels and warehouses in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood into interactive theater space. Audiences move freely through the epic world of the story at their own pace, choosing where to go and what to see, ensuring that everyone's journey is different and unique.

To make tickets more affordable to students and other theatregoers on a budget, many Broadway shows have implemented rush, lottery, and standing-room-only (SRO) policies. Before you head to a show, make sure you find out what deals are available. On the day of the show, the TKTS booth in Times Square sells day-of-performance Broadway musicals at up to 50% off the original price.

Culture – Museums

The extraordinary mixture of different cultures in New York brings out its uniqueness: as much as it is a city built by business magnets and high rollers, it is just as much a city quite literally built by immigrants. It is not possible to pinpoint one overarching culture over others, but a shared one by all of its citizens. While the New Yorker accent is quite distinctive and easily recognizable, a walk amongst the city’s diverse population will provide opportunity to hear a wide variety of accents and speech patterns.

Carnegie Hall

A full day of your trip to New York can be dedicated to Carnegie Hall and its educational museum, collection of delicious restaurants and its alluring gift shop. (Though if you want to bring back the least expensive souvenirs, you should visit China Town and remember, bargaining is a must!) As one of the premiere concert halls in America, Carnegie Hall is a national institution and it has one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical and popular music.                            

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Another place for you to dedicate a full day is to the museum which has foremost collection of fine art in the world: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. From early 20th century sculptures and portraits to steel mastery, the museum carries art collections of all types. The museum holds the title of being the largest art museum in the country and one of the ten largest in the world. Yup, this is why I said you would need to devote at least a full day to this museum: it deserves it. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.

Central Park

At the heart of the city, Central Park is America’s most famous park for all to enjoy, and on top of that it’s free. Opened in 1857, the park stretches from 59th street to 110th and from 5th to 8th Avenue. There is a lot to do from recreational activities to visiting the Central Park Zoo. Central Park would take more than one full day for visitors to cover. When tired of walking in the park, you can relax at the Great Lawn, which once housed Hooverville: a group of shanty homes built by the homeless people affected by the great depression. Central Park has attractions all year-round. During the summer it houses the SummerStage Festival which features performances spanning World and American music, modern dance, spoken word, electronic music, and family programming. And when winter comes around, holiday themed light shows and unique Shakespearian Theater take place for everyone’s leisure as well ice skating with the city skyline in the background. 

Business as Usual in New York

The Financial District of New York City: Wall Street   

Occupied during the fall of 2011 by protestors who raised issues of social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the perceived undue influence of corruptions on government, New York City’s Wall Street financial district drew the attention of the world. Though the financial district has been in the news with many controversies, these aren’t the only events it is famous for. The biggest attribute of the district, of course, is that it is the home of several major stock exchanges. The most famous and major influence of earning the district to be the world’s principal financial center: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). By market capitalization of its listed companies, NYSE is the world’s largest stock exchange.   

As with the famous Broadway, Wall Street apparently got its name from the Dutch “de Waal Straat.” However, the general version of its name is that it was derived from an earthen wall on the north side used for military barricade. Some historical facts to know when visiting the district:

  • The New York City Common Council made Wall Street the city’s first official slave market for the sale and rental of enslaved Africans and Indians.  
  • Wall Street was the scene of the United States first presidential inauguration.
  • Alexander Hamilton, the architect of the early United States Financial system, lays buried in the cemetery of the Trinity Church.  

Silicon Alley

The stock exchange is not the only thing holding a spotlight on the business world of New York. While Silicon Valley is in the South Bay area of California, the back-alley is in New York City. Silicon Alley, originally used to point out the cluster of the dot-com businesses flourishing from the Flatiron District down to SoHo, is now a general term used for businesses concentrating in the internet and new media industries. It is more of a name than a place. It was intended to imitate Silicon Valley in California. And in the past decade, it has done just that. NYC is taking the spotlight away from Silicon Valley, as it holds the New York Tech Meetup in Greenwich Village, which is the biggest monthly meeting for entrepreneurs, engineers, techies and start-up companies. 

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