New York City
Only in New York City will you find all of Americaâ€™s attributes â€“ the diversity, the culture, the style!
Among the world's most important global cities, New York City is home to a virtually unrivaled collection of world-class museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations, and stock exchanges.
If you're a first-time visitor, come see for yourself! If you've been here before, there's always another neighborhood to explore, another restaurant to try, another Broadway show, another don't-miss cultural performance or sporting event.
Explore New York City with Big Country Tours...itâ€™s like no other place on earth!
Statue of Liberty
â€śGive me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!â€ť
The Statue of Liberty was a gift to America from the French. Edouard Laboulaye, a French scholar, envisioned a monument that would keep alive the republican ideals of France and strengthen the friendship between the two countries. French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue, and Gustave Eiffel, the engineer of Franceâ€™s Eiffel Tower, designed the statueâ€™s steel skeleton. The pedestal upon which the Statue rests was designed by an American, Richard Hunt.
The Statue of Liberty represents a crowned woman trampling beneath her feet the broken shackles of tyranny; the seven points in her crown signify liberty radiating to the seven continents and the seven seas; her left hand holds a tablet representing the Declaration of Independence and bearing the date of its proclamation; her right hand raises the torch, symbolizing a beacon of hope; the torch and the crown are lit in the evening.
The Ellis Island Immigration Museum stands as a constant reminder of our nationâ€™s immigration history â€“ the largest human migration in modern history. Between 1892 and 1954, 12-million immigrants were processed here. Follow their footsteps and journey from the Baggage Room where immigrants dropped off all their worldly possessions, to the Registry Room where they underwent medical and legal examinations, then on to the Staircase of Separation which led to the ferryboats that transported immigrants granted admittance to either Manhattan or New Jersey.Â
Today more than 40% (or over 100 million) of all living Americans can trace their roots to an ancestor who came through Ellis Island.Â 98% of those processed at Ellis Island were granted admittance to America. The remaining 2% were sent back to their home countries.
Empire State Building
Only a few weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929 construction on the Empire State Building began.Â It took only 19 months to complete. During the Depression, it was known as the â€śEmpty State Building,â€ť and the owners relied on admissions from the Observation Deck to pay their taxes.
Today, the building is the fourth tallest building in the world, standing 102 stories and 1,250-feet high, or 1,454-feet high at the top of the antenna on the roof. On a clear day, you can see over 50 miles from either observation deck (86th and 102nd floors) and portions of four different states.Â
At night, the top 30 floors are illuminated with colored lights that change colors with the seasons and special events. The lights are turned off On foggy nights during the spring and fall the lights are turned off so migratory birds arenâ€™t confused by the soft light and crash into the building.
Although Broadway runs the entire length of Manhattan, it is best known for its entertainment district, which extends from 40th to 53rd Streets, and between Avenue of the Americas and Eighth Avenue.
Many of the 40+ theaters in the area were built between 1910 and 1930. Over the years, vaudeville, melodramas, comic operas, and dance were popular on Broadway. Today, most of the theaters present musicals, many of which run for several years.
Times Square, which is referred to as the â€śCrossroads of the World,â€ť marks the center of this concentration of well-known theaters, cinemas, and great shopping.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is 23 interconnected buildings located across the street from Central Park on the Upper West Side Manhattan. The museum houses more than 30 million artifacts, only a small part of which are on view on its four floors and 40 exhibit halls.
Some of the exhibits include: The Hall of Planet Earth - tells the most significant stories of Earth, from its early evolution to the earthquakes and storms we encounter today; Hall of Biodiversity - reveals the variety of Earthâ€™s living things; Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs and Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs â€“ see the largest and most scientifically important collection of dinosaur fossils in the world.
Radio City Music Hall
Located in historic Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall is one of the largest indoor theaters in the world.
Since it opened in 1932, the Music Hall has welcomed more than 300,000,000 people to enjoy the many events and shows available - thatâ€™s more than the population of the entire country. For nearly five decades, the Music Hall entertained the public with a movie-stage format.
When the movie business became unprofitable, plans were made to tear the building down. After a great public outcry and signed petitions from all around the country, the building was renovated and re-opened in 1979. Today, it houses stage shows, concerts from top performers, special television events, etc.
The United Nations is an international organization whose goal is to â€śpreserve international peace and security, promote self-determination and equal rights, and encourage economic and social well-being.â€ť
UN Headquarters is comprised of four buildings: The General Assembly Building - the heart of the UN with an assembly hall that seats 1,800 people; The Conference Building - where the various councils (i.e. the Security Council and Economic and Social Council) meet; The Secretariat Building - houses the 7,400 international civil servants and other employees that work at the UN; The Hammarskjold Library - dedicated in memory of the second Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, who was killed in a 1961 plane crash.
Wall Street is both the oldest and newest part of Manhattan: the oldest because this is the part of the island where Dutch settlers made their home in 1625, and the newest because 30% of the area was created by landfill.
The power center of Wall Street is the N.Y. Stock Exchange, the largest securities exchange in the world. The NYSE welcomes over 700,000 visitors annually.During the financial panic of 1929, over nine million savings accounts were depleted, and the national income was cut in half.
Known in the early 19th century as the â€śStreet of Ships,â€ť South Street Seaport is where New York and the nation meet the sea. Ships of every description lined the East River piers, and seamen, immigrants, and merchants crowded the buildings and streets.
Use of the port declined after the 1860s as activity moved to Brooklyn and New Jersey. However, in the 1960s, an ambitious restoration program to preserve the portâ€™s historic buildings, piers, streets, and vessels led to the establishment of the South Street Seaport Historic District and the South Street Seaport Museum.
Today, there are many historic ships to see at the port: The W.O. Decker (a 1935 wooden tugboat), the Ambrose (the first lightship to serve as a guide to vessels approaching the channel), the Wavetree (built in 1885), and the Peking (built in 1911).
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