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Exclusive | New York City: What to See & Do

Exclusive | New York City: What to See & Do

If there are a million stories in the naked city, there are at least 10 million things to do -- and any guide is, by definition, both subjective and incomplete. But we can let you in on some of our cherished locations. Some you may know well, some you may not have heard of; it's an odd combination of obvious and obscure, leaving unanswerable the question of "how were these places chosen?" Use these suggestions as a starting point, to stimulate your spirit of exploration or to supplement your own list. There are untold delights waiting around every corner, and if you keep your eyes open you'll discover them in likely and unlikely places.

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island (ferries board at Battery Park; info 212-561-4588 or reservations 866-STATUE-4)

Empire State Building (350 Fifth Ave., at 34th St.; 212-736-3100)

Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts., along Broadway & Seventh Aves.)

Tribute World Trade Center 9/11 Visitor Center (120 Liberty St., btwn Greenwich & Church Sts.; 866-737-1184 or 212-393-9160 ext. 138)

Get a great view of downtown Manhattan on the free Staten Island Ferry (Whitehall Terminal, 1 Whitehall St., at South St.), 25 minutes each way.

The Roosevelt Island Tram (59th St. & Second Ave. Station,) offers great Midtown views, takes 4-5 minutes each way, and costs just $2 (MTA cards accepted).

Even better Midtown views are on tap at Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center, enter on 50th St. btwn Fifth & Sixth Aves.), where for $17.50 you can look out from the 70th Floor (advance tickets suggested but not required).

From May to late fall, weather permitting, check out the Metropolitan Museum Rooftop Garden Caf? (1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St.; 212-535-7710), with fabulous park and city views.

Housing the largest art collection in the Western hemisphere, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St.; 212-535-7710; $20; closed Mondays) just opened its stunning new Greek and Roman galleries.

One of Midtown's biggest cultural draws is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (11 W. 53rd St., btwn Fifth & Sixth Aves.; 212-708-9400; $20; closed Tuesdays), where you can trace the development of the movement.

The works of modern and contemporary art and architecture icons are displayed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Ave., at 89th St.; 212-423-3500; $18, includes complimentary audio tour; closed Thursdays), within a gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright structure.

Hopper, Pollock, Warhol and Haring are but a few of the artists with strong collections at Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Ave., at 75th St.; 800-WHITNEY; $15; closed Mondays & Tuesdays), home of the controversial Whitney Biennial.

One of America's most esteemed small art museums, The Frick Collection (1 E. 70th St., btwn Fifth & Madison Aves.; 212-288-0700; $15, closed Mondays) houses an incredible array of old masterworks.

In the northernmost Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, enter the under-visited and peaceful Cloisters (Fort Tryon Park; 212-923-3700; $20; closed Mondays), a branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.

Using a variety of media, the Museum of Sex (MoSex) (233 Fifth Ave., at 27th St.; 212-689-6337; $14.50 plus tax) is dedicated to exploring the history and cultural magnitude of human sexuality.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum (108 Orchard St., btwn Delancey & Broome Sts.; 212-431-0233; $15, guided tour only, advanced tix recommended; closed Mondays,) is housed in an early 1900s tenement and is furnished with period antiques and fixtures.

Recently renovated and reopened, the Stonewall Inn (53 Christopher St;) is, of course, the site of those riots during which Judy Gardland's death in the summer of 1969 sparked our last gay nerve into revolution.

Step even further back in time at Julius (159 W. 10th St., at Waverly Pl.; 212-929-9672), the city's oldest gay bar, and where the Mattachine Society staged a "sip-in" in 1966.

In an area that's just now seeing a tremendous resurgence, if you squint really hard you can take a flying leap into bygone days by imagining the former Columbia Hall (32 Cooper Square, btwn E. 4th St. & Astor Pl.), aka Paresis Hall, 1890s playground of "male degenerates."

The current Po restaurant is on the site where Caffe Cino (31 Cornelia St., btwn Bleecker & W. 4th Sts.), the birthplace of both gay theater and Off-Off-Broadway, stood from 1958 to 1967.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Related Articles:
New York City: Introduction
New York City: Where to Stay
New York City: Where to Eat
New York City: Where to Meet/Play
New York City: Where to Shop
New York City: Neighborhoods
New York City: Resources

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