Medium 9781907099427

Michelin Must Sees New York City

By: Michelin
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This eBook version of Must Sees New York City by Michelin highlights the best of the Big Apple and beyond for a 24-hour visit, a weekend or longer. Stroll through neighborhoods, choose from dozens of world-class museums, visit iconic landmarks, or take excursions to Long Island and the Hudson River Valley. Stay in boutique hotels or opt for a budget room. Take in some shopping, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and ride a skyscraper’s elevator to the top. This pocket-size guide helps you do it all with its detailed maps, recommended hotels and renowned Michelin star-rating system.

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Neighborhoods

ePub

MUST SEE

Financial District

The district occupies the southern tip of Manhattan below Vesey and Fulton Sts. There is a visitor information center at Federal Hall National Memorial, 26 Wall St. 4 or 5 train to Fulton St. See Lower Manhattan map.

Considered by some the financial center of the world, the neighborhood, anchored by Wall Streetaa, teems by day with traders, brokers, office workers and tourists. Imposing banking buildings loom overhead, including the granddaddy of them all, the Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorkaa (33 Liberty St.; 212-720-6130), with its excellent History of Money exhibit. Signs of recovery from the 2001 terrorist attack are apparent everywhere, and rebuilding continues at the World Trade Center Siteaa (see Historic Sites).

Chinatownaa

The heart of the district is bounded by Canal, Worth & Baxter Sts. and the Bowery. A staffed visitor information booth (open year-round daily 10am–6pm, holidays 10am–3pm) is located in the triangle formed by Canal, Walker & Baxter Sts. www.explorechinatown.com. N, Q, R, 6, J or Z train to Canal St. See Chinatown map.

 

Landmarks

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Chrysler Buildingaaa

405 Lexington Ave. at E. 42nd St. 4, 5, 6 or 7 train to Grand Central Terminal. See map opposite.

When you have money, you can do anything; or so Walter P. Chrysler must have thought when he commissioned architect William Van Alen to design the world’s tallest building. One of the first large buildings to use metal extensively on its exterior, the 77-story Art Deco landmark pays sparkling homage to the car. It was briefly the world’s tallest building in 1930, after its architect secretly ordered a 185-foot spire attached to its crown, edging out the Bank of Manhattan, which was two feet taller. Alas, the distinction lasted only a few months; the Empire State Building blew both buildings away when it opened in 1931.

Stylistically the Chrysler Building has stood the test of time: the

six semi-circular arches of its stainless-steel pinnacle, patterned after a 1930 Chrysler radiator cap, glimmer majestically during the day and are dramatically lit at night.

 

Skyscrapers

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Chrysler Buildingaaa

405 Lexington Ave. at E. 42nd St. 4, 5, 6 or 7 train to Grand Central Terminal. See map opposite.

When you have money, you can do anything; or so Walter P. Chrysler must have thought when he commissioned architect William Van Alen to design the world’s tallest building. One of the first large buildings to use metal extensively on its exterior, the 77-story Art Deco landmark pays sparkling homage to the car. It was briefly the world’s tallest building in 1930, after its architect secretly ordered a 185-foot spire attached to its crown, edging out the Bank of Manhattan, which was two feet taller. Alas, the distinction lasted only a few months; the Empire State Building blew both buildings away when it opened in 1931.

Stylistically the Chrysler Building has stood the test of time: the

six semi-circular arches of its stainless-steel pinnacle, patterned after a 1930 Chrysler radiator cap, glimmer majestically during the day and are dramatically lit at night.

 

Icons

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Brooklyn Bridgeaaa

Extending southeast from City Hall Park (see Historic Sites), the bridge connects downtown Manhattan with Brooklyn. 4, 5 or 6 train to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

With its great Gothic towers and its spider’s web of cables, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s best-known landmarks. Building it wasn’t easy. German-born John Augustus Roebling got the commission to design it in 1869, but shortly after the plans were approved, one of his feet was crushed while he was taking measurements for the piers. Despite an amputation, gangrene set in and he died three weeks later. His son Washington Roebling took over the project, but he was injured too, getting the bends in an underwater expedition to build the foundations. Washington oversaw construction from his sickbed from that point on. ­Finally, in 1883 after 14 years of work, the link between Brooklyn and Manhattan was complete: and with what style – New York at last had a world-class monument. The Brooklyn Bridge ranked as the world’s largest until 1903.

 

Museums

ePub

For museums in boroughs outside Manhattan, see Best of the Bor oughs.

American Museum of Natural Historyaaa

Central Park West between 77th & 81st Sts. 212-769-5100. www.amnh.org. Open year-round daily 10am–5.45pm. $16 (includes all exhibits); $24 includes exhibits and space show. Closed Thanksgiving Day & Dec 25. B, C train to 81st St.; 1 train to 79th St.

If you think of natural history museums as places with case after case of beetles pinned onto cork board, this place will make you think again. A famed research facility, the AMNH is working hard to make the natural world as fascinating to today’s young people as it was to those who never experienced television, air travel or the Internet. The cornerstone of the present facility was laid in 1874 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Theodore Roosevelt, an ardent naturalist, contributed a bat, a turtle, four bird eggs, 12 mice and the skull of a red squirrel. Today, only a small portion of the museum’s more than 30 million artifacts and specimens, gathered from more than 1,000 globe-trotting expeditions, are on view at any given time. The following exhibits, several of which were recipients of major renovations in recent years, are by far the most compelling you’ll find here.

 

Historic Sites

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City Hallaa

In City Hall Park, bounded by Broadway, Park Row, Lafayette & Chambers Sts. Visit by guided tour only (see sidebar). R train to City Hall.

New York’s second official city hall, inaugurated in 1812, was designed by Joseph F. Mangin and John McComb Jr., who shared a prize of $350 for their efforts. Atop the graceful cupola is ”Justice” with her scales; out front stands a statue of patriot Nathan Hale, who famously said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before being hanged by the British in 1776. Abraham Lincoln’s body lay in state here in April 1865, when 120,000 New Yorkers paid their respects.

Visiting City Hall

City Hall is only open to the public via the free, one-hour guided tours held Wednesday at noon, departing from the NYC Information Kiosk at the south end of City Hall Park (Broadway at Barclay).

City Hall was half brownstone, not by design but by political penny-pinching, until 1956. Today it hosts welcoming ceremonies for visiting dignitaries and is the end point of ticker-tape parades.

 

Parks

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Central Parkaaa

Bounded by 59th & 125th Sts. and Central Park West & Fifth Ave.

www.centralparknyc.org.

N, Q or R train to Fifth Ave.-59th St. A, B, C, D or 1 train to 59th St.-Columbus Circle.

Manhattan’s playground is justifiably one of the most famous urban parks in the world and a great day out for kids. Not only is it massive – 2.5 miles long and half a mile across – but it is rich and varied, too, offering a multitude of views, lots of recreational activities and plenty of room to stroll, skate, cycle or just explore. Amazingly, it is totally man-made.

In 1844 newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant urged the city government to acquire a “wasteland, ugly and repulsive” north of 42nd Street (the city’s northern border at the time) for use as a park. The city complied, buying what was then a swamp inhabited by squatters who raised pigs and goats. Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted’s naturalistic design was selected, and in 1858 clearing began. Some 3,000 mostly Irish workers and 400 horses moved an estimated billion cubic feet of earth over a period of 19 years to make the blueprint green. In the northern part, rocky crags and dense thickets of trees were made to resemble the landscape of the Adirondack Mountains; in the south are more pastoral sections of rolling meadows, winding paths and delicate bridges.

 

Walking Tours

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Central Parkaaa

Bounded by 59th & 125th Sts. and Central Park West & Fifth Ave.

www.centralparknyc.org.

N, Q or R train to Fifth Ave.-59th St. A, B, C, D or 1 train to 59th St.-Columbus Circle.

Manhattan’s playground is justifiably one of the most famous urban parks in the world and a great day out for kids. Not only is it massive – 2.5 miles long and half a mile across – but it is rich and varied, too, offering a multitude of views, lots of recreational activities and plenty of room to stroll, skate, cycle or just explore. Amazingly, it is totally man-made.

In 1844 newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant urged the city government to acquire a “wasteland, ugly and repulsive” north of 42nd Street (the city’s northern border at the time) for use as a park. The city complied, buying what was then a swamp inhabited by squatters who raised pigs and goats. Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted’s naturalistic design was selected, and in 1858 clearing began. Some 3,000 mostly Irish workers and 400 horses moved an estimated billion cubic feet of earth over a period of 19 years to make the blueprint green. In the northern part, rocky crags and dense thickets of trees were made to resemble the landscape of the Adirondack Mountains; in the south are more pastoral sections of rolling meadows, winding paths and delicate bridges.

 

Best of the Boroughs

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THE BRONX

Bronx Zooaaa

Fordham Rd. at Bronx River Pkwy. 718-367-1010. www.bronxzoo.com. Open Apr–Oct Mon–Fri 10am–5pm, weekends & holidays 10am–5.30pm; rest of the year open daily 10am– 4.30pm. $16. 2 or 5 train to E. Tremont Ave./W. Farm Sq. or take the BXM11 express bus ($5.50 each way; exact change or MetroCard required) from Madison Ave. (limited stops between 27th and 99th Sts) to the zoo's Gate B.

The country’s largest urban zoo is set in a gorgeous 265-acre woodland park. From elegant ibex to goofy gibbons, the animals here enjoy homes that mirror their natural habitats. Founded in 1899, today the zoo showcases more than 4,000 animals and is an important breeding center for endangered species.

Best of the Bronx Zoo

Skyfariaa – Travel about the treetops from the zoo center to Wild Asia on this high-flying gondola. It’s a quick and beautiful way to get across the park.

Tiger Mountainaa – The zoo’s spectacular tiger exhibit puts you just a whisker away from the largest member of the cat family.

 

Excursions from New York

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Staten Island Ferrya

212-639-9675. www.siferry.com. Departs year-round daily from Whitehall Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan about every 30min (hourly midnight–6am). 1 train to South Ferry or R train to Whitehall St.

Who said there were no free rides in life? The Staten Island Ferry, which shuttles commuters back and forth between Manhattan and “the forgotten borough,” is a free tour – and offers some of the best views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty that you’re likely to find at any price.

On the five-mile voyage, which takes 25 minutes each way, the boat skirts the Statue of Liberty. On the return trip, you can zoom in on the lower New York skyline.

Alice Austen House Museuma

2 Hylan Blvd. 718-816-4506. www.aliceausten.org. Open Mar–Dec, Thu–Sun, noon–5pm. Closed Jan, Feb & major holidays. $2 suggested donation. From the ferry terminal, take S51 bus to Hylan Blvd (15min).

Pioneer photographer Alice Austen (1866–1952) captured turn-of-the-century life in New York City, snapping elite society gatherings and immigrant scenes alike. Restored according to her own photographs, this Victorian cottage displays changing exhibits, including prints from her glass-plate negatives.

 

For Fun

ePub

MUST DO

It's All In the Approach

Staten Island Ferrya

From South Ferry

Year-round daily 24hrs/day roughly every 30min (hourly midnight–6am). 212-639-9675 (311 within New York). www.siferry.com. R train to Whitehall St. or 1 train to South Ferry.

For a quick (25 minutes each way) tour with dazzling views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, hop onto the free Staten Island Ferry – the best sightseeing deal in town (see Boroughs).

Brooklyn Bridgeaaa

For the classic approach to Manhattan, take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and back via the pedestrian walkway on the north side (entrance near the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall subway station). The walk takes about a half hour each way.

And the best part? Drinking in the incomparable views of Manhattan's skyline at your own pace.

Roosevelt Island Tram

Departs every 15min from Second Ave. & E. 59th St. year-round Sun–Thu 6am–2am, Fri–Sat 6am–3.30am. 212-832-4555.

 

For Kids

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American Museum of Natural Historyaaa

Upper West Side

Central Park West between 77th & 81st Sts. 212-769-5100. www.amnh.org. Open year-round daily 10am–5.45pm. $16 adults, $9 children. Closed Thanksgiving Day & Dec 25. B or C train to 81st St. or 1 train to 79th St.

There’s plenty of awesome stuff here to keep kids mesmerized for hours. Dinosaurs are a good place to start. Check out the huge barosaurus skeleton in the entrance rotunda, then ogle hundreds of specimens in six dazzling fossil hallsaa on the fourth floor – the museum has the largest collection of vertebrate fossils in the world. Then proceed to the adjoining Rose Center for Earth and Spaceaa. Exhibits on the blue planet and its place in the universe are high-tech marvels, as are the space shows, which take place every half-hour in the Hayden Sphere: tip back in your comfy chair and let Robert Redford be your guide (advance tickets: 212-769-5200). For more kid-friendly activities at the museum, go to www.amnh.org/ology.

 

Performing Arts

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American Museum of Natural Historyaaa

Upper West Side

Central Park West between 77th & 81st Sts. 212-769-5100. www.amnh.org. Open year-round daily 10am–5.45pm. $16 adults, $9 children. Closed Thanksgiving Day & Dec 25. B or C train to 81st St. or 1 train to 79th St.

There’s plenty of awesome stuff here to keep kids mesmerized for hours. Dinosaurs are a good place to start. Check out the huge barosaurus skeleton in the entrance rotunda, then ogle hundreds of specimens in six dazzling fossil hallsaa on the fourth floor – the museum has the largest collection of vertebrate fossils in the world. Then proceed to the adjoining Rose Center for Earth and Spaceaa. Exhibits on the blue planet and its place in the universe are high-tech marvels, as are the space shows, which take place every half-hour in the Hayden Sphere: tip back in your comfy chair and let Robert Redford be your guide (advance tickets: 212-769-5200). For more kid-friendly activities at the museum, go to www.amnh.org/ology.

 

Nightlife

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LISTINGS

To see what's on while you're here, pick up a copy of the latest Time Out New York or New Yorker (both are available at newsstands) or grab a free L Magazine or Village Voice from a corner newspaper box or visitor information center.

Cabaret

Café Carlyle

Upper East Side 35 E. 76th St. at Madison Ave., 212-744-1600. www.thecarlyle.com. 6 train to 77 St.

A timeless institution, the Carlyle was singer Bobby Short’s home base for decades prior to his death in 2005. The mural-bedecked space now hosts world-famous musicians from clarinetist-director Woody Allen to gravelly voiced alto Elaine Stritch.

Don’t Tell Mama

Theater District 343 W. 46th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves., 212-757-0788. www.donttellmamanyc.com. A, C, E train to 42 St.- Times Square.

This Restaurant Row institution offers a rowdy good time as Broadway hopefuls (including the waiters) and intrepid audience members take their turns belting out show tunes in the piano bar; two cabaret theaters have more traditional shows (covers $10–20).

 

Shopping

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Fifth Avenueaaa

Midtown

Upscale boutiques and department stores line world-famous Fifth Avenue between 34th and 59th Streets.

Even if you don’t set foot inside a single one, their elaborate window displays turn a simple stroll into a dazzling adventure.

Fifth Avenue Roll Call

Ο Bergdorf Goodman – Between 57th & 58th Sts. 800-558-1855. www.bergdorfgoodman.com. Understated elegance has long been the key to the store’s lasting appeal among “ladies who lunch” and the men who love them.

Ο Cartier – At 52nd St. 212-753-0111. www.cartier.com. French jewelry, sold at this Renaissance-style palazzo since 1917.

Fifth Avenue

©Vladi Sytnik/New York Image

© Ellen Rooney/Axiom/age fotostock

Ο FAO Schwarz – At 58th St. 212-644-9400. www.fao.com. Children of all ages adore this world-famous toy store, founded by German immigrant Frederick August Otto Schwarz in 1862.

Ο Rockefeller Center – 47th–51st Sts. 212-632-3975. www.rockefellercenter.com. Buy anything from Japanese books to Italian leather in shops lining the plazas and concourses.

 

Spas

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Acqua Beauty Bar

Union Square 7 E. 14th St. 212-620-4329. www.acquabeautybar.com. 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q or R train to 14 St.-Union Sq.

Think you’re already on vacation? Think again! Acqua Beauty Bar offers a range of “journeys” for the face, body and nails. Treatments range from high-tech facials (Medi-Lift, microdermabrasion) to an Indonesian Ritual of Beauty, complete with ground rice body scrubs and herbal masques. There’s even an airbrushed Fantasy Tan for those who want a sun-kissed look.

Treatment Room, Acqua Beauty Bar

©Acqua Beauty Bar

Ajune

Upper East Side 1294 Third Ave., between E. 74th & 75th Sts. 212-628-0044. www.ajune.com. 6 train to 77 St.

Aestheticians at this Uptown oasis offer personalized treatments for the muscle-sore and wrinkle-weary. Low-tech solutions include the facial du jour, which draws on the curative powers of fresh fruits and essential oils; and the ginger massage, which uses moisture and heat to work out all that tension For those wanting eternal youth – or at least, the appearance of it – Botox and collagen injections are available here.

 

Sports and Recreation

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Acqua Beauty Bar

Union Square 7 E. 14th St. 212-620-4329. www.acquabeautybar.com. 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q or R train to 14 St.-Union Sq.

Think you’re already on vacation? Think again! Acqua Beauty Bar offers a range of “journeys” for the face, body and nails. Treatments range from high-tech facials (Medi-Lift, microdermabrasion) to an Indonesian Ritual of Beauty, complete with ground rice body scrubs and herbal masques. There’s even an airbrushed Fantasy Tan for those who want a sun-kissed look.

Treatment Room, Acqua Beauty Bar

©Acqua Beauty Bar

Ajune

Upper East Side 1294 Third Ave., between E. 74th & 75th Sts. 212-628-0044. www.ajune.com. 6 train to 77 St.

Aestheticians at this Uptown oasis offer personalized treatments for the muscle-sore and wrinkle-weary. Low-tech solutions include the facial du jour, which draws on the curative powers of fresh fruits and essential oils; and the ginger massage, which uses moisture and heat to work out all that tension For those wanting eternal youth – or at least, the appearance of it – Botox and collagen injections are available here.

 

Must Eat

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Luxury $$$$ over $75
Moderate $$ $25–$50

Expensive $$$ $50–$75
Inexpensive $ under $25

Café Boulud

© B. Milne/Café Boulud

Luxury

Per Se

Upper West Side

$$$$ American
10 Columbus Cir. at 60th St., Upper West Side. 212-823-9335. www.perseny.com.

Chef Thomas Keller's New York interpretation of his famed French Laundry restaurant in Napa puts a premium on fresh ingredients and a stunning Central Park view.

Sushi Yasuda

$$$$ Japanese

East Midtown

204 E. 43rd St. between Second & Third Aves., East Midtown. 212-972-1001. www.sushiyasuda.com.

Naomichi Yasuda elevates sushi to new heights at his namesake restaurant. The menu changes daily in the bamboo-sheathed dining room.

Expensive

Café Boulud

Upper East Side

$$$ French
20 E. 76th St. between Fifth & Madison Aves., Upper East Side. 212-772-2600.

www.danielnyc.com.

Daniel Boulud offers four different tasting menus: La Tradition, with old-fashioned dishes; La Saison, with seasonal fare; Le Potager, with market-fresh produce; and Le Voyage, inspired by world cuisines.

 

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