This is a city with numerous galleries and museums. Always do some pre-trip research and compile your own top ten listing of 'must do' activities.  For helpful links, click on the name of the museum or attraction.

American Folk Art Museum, new location: One Broadway. Devoted to folk art in America over the ages, in the past, the collection included early American paintings, weather vanes, boxes, tools, samplers, advertising, handpainted furniture, and the work of many newer folk artists.  Quaint, amusing, ingenious, beautiful. 

In transition, now, they are not charging an entrance fee and the gift shop sells miscellaneous trinkets and has very little to see. Maybe some quilts on the wall for decorations.

Many of the things on display at the former location are on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art who also had purchased some of the things. They also had things on loan to other Museum for display.

American Museum of the Moving Image (in Astoria, Queens), 36th St. and 35th Ave.  Movie/film lovers' paradise.

American Museum of Natural History , Central Park West @ 79th St.  Dinosaurs, rocks and gems, lizards, frogs, bears, whales, stars and so much more.  A favorite of children from 2 to 102.

Asia Society and Museum , 725 Park Ave. @ 70th St.  Directions:  #6 train to 68th St.  If you think you're not too interested in Asian art, literature, film or performing arts, check it out.   http://www.asiasociety.org/.  Even if you don't have enough time to enjoy one of the exhibits, try to check out the Museum store, one of the best in the City. 

Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture  18 West 86th Street.  After you've taken in the dinosaurs and gems at the Am. Museum of Natural History, you may want a "snack" of great design.  The recent exhibition of Castellani jewels at this 3-floor townhouse was a baby blockbuster.  Current exhibitions details on the website.

Battery Park   It is located at the bottom of Manhattan Island. This is the place that you must go through to embark on the ferries for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The # 1 Subway will get you there just fine. Also if you are on the tour buses that let you get off and on they stop at the edge of the park to pick you up again.

Bloomingdale's Department Store -  1000 Third Avenue ( 59th Street & Lexington Avenue ). Phone: 212-705-2000.

Broadway - Walk as much as possible along this famous street, one of the very oldest thoroughfares in the United States.  Great synopsis of its history to be found on the website.  

Bronx Zoo, Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd.  A children's magical land of all the wonderful animals they've never met. 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden , 900 Washington Ave., Bklyn.  Take the 2 or 3 subway to Eastern Parkway stop.  Next door to the Bklyn Museum of Art, its grounds are the site of many a New York wedding.  Doesn't get more lovely than this in NYC. 

Brooklyn Bridge  - Take the time to walk across the bridge.  It doesn't take too long and provides excellent views of the city, especially at sunset.  After sunset, no view of the City's lights is better.   Subway 4, 5, 6 or J, M, Z  trains to Chambers and Centre Sts.  You can also get there on the #15 bus to get there and you will get to view of many different neighboorhoods like Chinatown. Also when you walk, make sure you stay on the walking path as the bikers get very upset when they almost hit you as the whiz by on their bikes going to and fro to work. Make sure you take water with you specially on sunny summer days when there is a heat wave. N.B.  Very interesting web site with loads of facts and figures. 

Brooklyn Museum of Art , 200 Eastern Parkway, Bklyn.  (Subway same as for Brooklyn Botanic Garden) Housing one of the most extensive collections of Egyptian art in the world, outside Egypt, the BMA is quieter than most Manhattan museums, serves a delicious lunch, and is right next door to the romantic Bklyn Botanic Garden. 

Carnegie Hall  -  57th Street & 7th Avenue . Visit this website and take a virtual tour of this famous building.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave @ 112th St.  Take 1 or 9 train to 110th St..  Couple your visit with Columbia University (4 blocks North at 116th St.).  World's largest cathedral (St. Peter's Basilica is technically not a cathedral) -- awesome.

Central Park.  Bounded on the South by 59th St. (SouthWest corner -- Columbus Circle and Central Park West; SouthEast corner -- 5th Ave.), running an astounding 50 blocks North to 110th St. (both East and West). 

Chrysler Building - It is located at 405 Lexington Ave. Subway 4, 5, 6  to 42nd Grand Central.

Circle Line Cruises / Ferry   -  This site has lots of information about fares and schedules.

City Hall    -  It faces south to the City Hall Park. It is located in Lower Manhattan on Murray Street between Broadway and Park Row.

The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art  - located in Fort Tryon Park.  A separate site of the Metropolitan devoted exclusively to European medieval art.  Directions.  A subway to 190th St., then change for M4 bus.  At the Cloisters you will feel like you're back in time.  Undisturbed peace, quiet, spirit.   

Columbia University in the City of New York  - 116th St. and Broadway in Morningside Heights.  Directions:  #1 or #9 subway to 116 St.  Founded in 1754, the former King's College is one of the United States' oldest universities. 

Coney Island

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institutions , 2 East 91st St. (corner of  5th Ave.)

Dahesh Museum of Art 212.759.0606, or info@daheshmuseum.org.  The Dahesh has closed its doors at 580 Madison Ave. (bet. 56th and 57th St.).  Please call for information on current exhibitions and where they are showing.  The Dahesh is a small museum devoted to 19th century academic art/Orientalism.   

East River

Ellis Island Immigration Museum.   Ellis Island, in New York Harbor.  Take the Statue of Liberty Ferry, statuecruises.com.  Search for family history at  www.Ellisisland.Org . This is one of the National Parks of the USA, more information at http://www.nps.gov

Empire State Building - Observation Deck on the 86th Floor - If you don't mind paying a couple bucks, purchase your tickets online.  It allows to to bypass the initial long lines to get to the observation deck. Congestion alert: The ESB is probably one of New York's top attractions and the crowds at peak times can be overwhelming. The lines you see on the ground floor are actually only the beginning, as there are subsequent lines at intermediate location before you arrive at the observation deck on the 86th Floor. Try to go early or late, but if you must go midday, be prepared to spend upwards of two hours on line for a 15-30 minute circuit around the observation deck. 

You can purchase tickets on line, take them and show them to the guards and you may not have to stand in line;  show the tickets when you get to the 102nd floor and you will be moved to the express walk through.

The Empire State Building stays open until 2 a.m. in the morning and it is a sight to see because all the building are lit up in there own special way. Have your supper late and then go to see this.

FDR's Hyde Park  Historic Home   -  

FDR's Presidential Library   -  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Flatiron Building   -    New York's first and most famous skyscraper. It has a very unusual shape.

Forbes Galleries , 62 Fifth Ave. were so sad to see the Faberge eggs go.  But now there is more time to view toy boats, toy soldiers, trophies, and special exhibits like Masterpieces of French Jewelry of the 20th century, and First Ladies' correspondence.  Thank you, Messrs. Forbes!! 

Fraunces Tavern Museum and Restaurant, 54 Pearl St.  Dine where the first U.S. President did, where the Sons of Liberty cast plans for the Revolution, and where the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, and War were housed when New York was our nation's capitol.  For dinner at this "oldest surviving building" in New York City, you can even make a reservation on line.    

French Institute/Alliance Francaise  - 22 East 60th St. (near Madison Ave.). Alliance Fran çaise is a cultural home for Francophiles in New York.  Art, films, talks, lectures, language lessons in French are here.  Admission to the gallery is free and it is open to the public. Hrs: Tu-Fri.,11a-6p; Sat., 11a-5p; closed Sun. & Mon.   http://www.fiaf.org/.  212.355.6100.  

The Frick Collection on 5th Avenue is worth seeing for a two reasons. The first being that it has some great art in it and the second because it gives you an idea of  living a private house on 5th Ave would have felt like.  From their site:  "Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), [was] one of America’s most successful coke and steel industrialists.... [He] enjoyed the art he loved before he bequeathed it to the public."  (No infants, strollers, children under 10)   

Grand Central Terminal (Train Station)   -  42nd St. between Vanderbilt and Lexington Aves.  Directions:  Subways 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central. Or, the Metro-North Railroad. Or, MTA buses (many stop at Madison and 42nd St.):  M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M42, M98, M101, M102, M104, Q32.    Self-guided audio tours are available.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - 1071 Fifth Ave. @ 89th St.  From their site:  "'The Guggenheim is arguably [Frank Lloyd] Wright's most eloquent presentation and certainly the most important building of his late career.' -- Matthew Drutt"  Unfortunately, the outside is obscured because of restoration at this time; but its exhibitions go on. Pay-what-you-wish admission on Friday night. No photos inside allowed after ground floor.

Hudson River - a.k.a. the one forming the boundary of the West side of Manhattan, across from which you can see New Jersey.

International Center of Photography  -1133 Ave. of the Americas [a.k.a. 6th Ave.] at 43rd Street.  For shutterbugs of all ages, styles, tastes.

Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum  - West 46th St. & 12th Ave. (Pier 86).  Will close on October 1, 2006 for renovations.  Go now!

The Jewish Museum  - 1109 Fifth Ave. @ 92nd St.  One of New York's loveliest smaller museums, 3 blocks from the Guggenheim and 9 blocks from the Metropolitan, the Jewish Museum promotes the work of artists of Jewish heritage, and they are open on Mondays, when most other museums are closed.  (Note:  Check their website for closures for Jewish holidays, e.g., Yom Kippur, which falls this year on Monday, Oct. 2.)

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Inc  -  70 Lincoln Center Plaza ( Broadway, between  West 62nd and West 65th Streets ).   Plenty of Music, Film and Arts. NY Philharmonic, NY Opera, Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Buses M5, M7, M10, M11, M66, M104 all stop within one block of the Lincoln Center. Take #1 local train to the 66th Street station (Subway).   Lincoln Center Theatre is part of the Lincoln Center complex.

Macy's Department Store - "The Largest Store in the World" is located on 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, and takes up an entire NYC block.  There really is no other store like it.  Although the elevators are probably the slowest in New York, check out the escalators, which are near-antiques. The wooden escalators are really great to see and ride and they clack and clack as you ride them.

Go to the visitors services and they will give you a 10% discount just for being a visitor.

Madison Square Garden -  7th Avenue and West 31st Street, at Penn Station.

Metropolitan Museum of Art , 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd St. (along Central Park).  General Information: 212-535-7710. The grand dame of New York City museums (some would say the U.S.), it would take literally weeks to view the Met's collections in their entirety.  The Met is simply the best; there is no other like it.  If you don't go to any other art museum, please don't miss out on this one.  Knights' and kings' armor, antique musical instruments, modern/vintage/antique fashion, Chippendale chests; Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Buddhist, and Hindu icons and sculpture; ancient, byzantine, medieval wonders; Old Masters, photography old and new; Impressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Impressionism and all manner of works from everywhere in the world in between; marble sculptures so lifelike they may follow you like Mona Lisa's eyes.  Stained glass masters, including windows of Tiffany;  silver, jade, gold, pearls, iron, copper and steel; Calder and Miro, John Singer Sargent, Vuillard, Bonnard, Monet and Picasso.   African and Asian spiritual and ritual objects; porcelain, glass, tapestries, and a rooftop sculpture garden.  Breathtaking ancient Greek jewels, Egyptian papyri, and a tiny room of 15th century, Italian inlaid wooden paneling replicated in the "Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio."  Tours and audio-tours in many foreign languages; several restaurants; hands-on children's programs; wheelchair accessible.  Utterly the finest gift shop in New York, no matter the size of your budget.  If you have not yet fallen in love, go to the Met.  It will sweep you off of your feet. Suggested admission: $20, admission is mandatory for everyone, but you pay what you want. Price is only a suggestion. 

Metropolitan Opera   -

Municipal Art Society-Urban Center , 457 Madison Ave. near E. 51st St. (enter through gates, head left).  If architecture and/or urban planning are the love of your life, MAS welcomes you home.  One of the premier societies in NYC responsible for the preservation and promulgation of great architecture, MAS offers exhibits, tours, classes, and a wonderful bookstore/gift shop. 

The Museum of Modern Art or MoMA as it better known has to be one of the best museums in the world. It is possible to spend hours and hours in this museum. If you only plan to see one or two museums in New York MoMA should be on your list.  Impressive collections included Picasso, Warhol, Renoir, Van Gogh, Miro, Rembrandt and others. Free admission on Friday night (4-8pm) as audio tour. 

National Museum of the American Indian , The George Gustav Heye Center, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, One Bowling Green.

National Parks - New York City ( Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty etc )

New York City ( NYC )   -   Welcome to the official New York City website.

New York City Ballet    -    

New York City Opera   -

New York Philharmonic Orchestra    -

Onassis Cultural Center museum , in Olympic Tower (Fifth Avenue/enter on 51st or 52nd Street).  A delightful, intimate museum founded by Mr. Aristotle Onassis to honor his son, Alexander, who died in a plane crash.  This gem is devoted to Greek historical and cultural objects of all kinds, with a very interesting gift shop (reproduction ancient Greek jewels, reliefs, small sculptures, books, native Greek music CDs) to match; shop at www.hellenicmuseumsshop.com

Pennsylvania (Penn) Station -  West 34th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.  Destination for NJ Transit and LIRR trains, and accessible via 1, 2, 3, A, C and E subway lines.  An attraction in itself.

Public Library ( NYPL ) Famous Building & Historic Reading Room    Check  website for exhibits and events.  Neighborhing  Bryant Park is built atop the library's underground archives.  

St  Patrick's Cathedral, 14 East 51st St. at Fifth Ave. (catercorner from Rockefeller Center).

Beautiful architecture and colored windows. It is being renovated outside but it is still open. You'll find familiar saints like Saint Anthony's statue, and you'll probably see many saint statues that you have never heard of before, so it could feel like you're getting a new Catholic history lesson. It takes about an hour to go through it. If you are Catholic or religious don't forget to light a candle and put in a donation for it. There's no air conditioning but it is very cool inside.

School of American Ballet   -

The Skyscraper Museum , 39 Battery Place. Located in New York City, the world's first and foremost vertical metropolis,The Skyscraper Museum celebrates the City's rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs and publications, the Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology,sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence.   

SoHo     (a.k.a. "South of Houston"), one of NYC's oldest neighborhoods, vibrant with energy, art, fashion, great food.  Perfect for a Sunday stroll.  

South Street Seaport   - 

Staten Island Ferry .   Best & cheapest ferry ride in the whole USA.  Free. Gives breathtaking views of Statue of Liberty and NY skyline.

Statue of Liberty Bring  your tired, your poor...She's beautiful.  Merci beau coup, France!   Part of the National Park Service and a World Heritage site; for ferry schedule and fares go to http://statuecruises.com/.

Stock Exchange ( NYSE - New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street )  

Semi-Circle Cruise of Manhattan Island    follows the Hudson, cruises around the Battery and continues up the East River, past the South Street Seaport and under the Brooklyn Bridge. This is a good way to orient yourself in Manhattan.

Temple Emanu-El    ( 1 East 65th St.). The largest Jewish house of worship in the world.  

Times Square .  Visit the local Visitor's Centre to get discounted tickets, maps and every sort of information for free. The Center also offers free WiFi!  For up to the minute information about what's happening, visit the website.

Travel Information Bureau   -  is a 24hour a day telephone service available on 718-330-1234

Tribeca  (a.k.a. "Triangle Beneath Canal"), formerly industrial, currently HOT! with great restaurants, shops, people to watch.    

Trinity Church - St Paul's Chapel - Wall Street

United Nations Headquarters   ( First Avenue with 46th St ). Subway: number 4,5,6 or 7 trains to Grand Central Station; walk on 42nd Street to First Avenue. Buses: M15, M27, M42, or M104. Guided tours provided. For detailed directions, times and prices, visit the  UN Tours   site or telephone  +1 212 963 7713.

Wall Street Financial Centre . At the end of Broadway Ave, you can check the Bowling Green, where a very popular "Charging Bull "  sculpture awaits tourists.  This site will provide some historical information.

West Point Military Academy - About a 60-90 minute drive from NYC, set in the scenic Hudson River valley.

Whitney Museum of American Art The Whitney Museum in New York houses one of the world's foremost collections of modern and contemporary American art.

Woolworth Building  - 233 Broadway between Park Place and Barclay St.  The Woolworth building, commissioned by the founder of the famous five-and dime store, is one of NYC's designated historical landmarks.  Built by architect Gilbert Cass, the building was for 17 years, between 1913 and 1930, the tallest building in the world.  Its splendid lobby, in ornate neo-Gothic style, is still breathtaking today.    

World Trade Center   This website provides historical information about these famous buildings. 

9/11 Memorial   (excerpt from the website) "A national tribute to the men, women and children killed in the terrorist attacks of 2001 and 1993... Please be reminded that the 9/11 Memorial is a place of remembrance and quiet reflection. We ask that all visitors respect this place made sacred through tragic loss."  

Follow the link above to reserve visitor passes and for updated information on the 9/11 Memorial Museum opening date (scheduled for May, 2014)