When you think of New York, what comes to mind immediately? Times Square? Broadway? Fifth Avenue? If you're in New York for the first time, you have see Times Square, where the famous ball drop on New Year's Eve, while the legendary Dick Clark tour of rock n 'roll, and party until morning million revelers. Yes, you have to do a Broadway show or two or even three if you can afford. And of course, you need to take that walk down Fifth Avenue north from 42nd Street, stopping at the Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Tiffany, Gucci, Chanel and Bendel. Go a little further north, passing the entrance Central Park, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim Museum. Finally, go play in the park, have brunch at Tavern on the Green, and go to the Museum of Natural History made famous by the hit movie "Night at the museum." If this is your first time in New York City, and they are only there for a week, this will keep you busy, and exhausted. But to actually see the history and taste the flavor of New York, you have to leave that "beaten path"!
And the good news is that you do not have to go far or spend much money. First, not a taxi – get off the subway, the way the locals do. If the metro – is cleaner, safer, and more convenient than ever. Just avoid the crowds — 7 to 9:30 am and from 4:30 pm to 7 pm – and most likely get a seat, and plenty of elbow room. subway travel, avoiding congestion and traffic lights, is the fastest way to travel. So equipped with a subway map and unlimited Metrocard passes a week (which is good on buses too) and is on its way to the real city of New York. First, stop going to the West Fourth Street. On reaching the street level, you will be one of the most legendary sections of New York. Call of Greenwich Village, was home of liberalism. In early 1900, the "Village" was the center of free thinking and progressive writing. It was here that the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 gave rise to the movement of workers rights. The centerpiece is the University of New York and Washington Square Park, with its famous arch. Many beatniks, hippies, and radicals made their protest plans or advanced wrote his manuscripts and manifestos here for that arc. Walk east from here, and spend Astor Place, where he delivered a speech Lincoln campaign and the crowds rioted famous mid-1800s because an Englishman replaced an actor on a play at the Teatro Astor Place Continue straight through famous Place de San Marcos to get to Bowery. It was here that the Ramones were started in the now-defunct music punk club CBGB's.
In Canal Street stop and Broadway, is Chinatown. Tea and dim sum (appetizers), turned around in cars. Point your choice and, when finished, the dishes are counted to calculate the bill. The Prince and Spring St., Soho is at once an art district, now a place to buy designer brands like Prada. If you like funky, just go south instead and you'll be on the Lower East Side, near Delancey Street (as in Amy Irving crossed the street in the film). Once the landing place of thousands of Jewish immigrants in early twentieth century, this is now a place for the fashion boutiques and trendy restaurants. West of here, Mott and Mulberry, is Little Italy. Remember the scene in The Godfather, when Michael meets with rival clans in a restaurant in Little Italy, and keeps a gun in the bathroom? Well, look no weapons, but is cannoli, lasagna, ice cream, and in September, the world famous Festival of San Gennaro. SoHo is south of Tribeca Film Festival home a reputation started by Robert DeNiro. Further south from there, take a look at Ground Zero and the former site of the Twin Towers before the construction of the Tower Liberty reminds us that life indeed goes on and on, and on. The world changes, so does New York.
So do not limit yourself to the tourist route. Hop in this step to where you can still see a bit of history. Some of the houses are still there, even if the masses' Hudd "of yesteryear are masses of hipsters. Sip an espresso in Little Italy or smell the fresh fish in Chinatown. Sit under a tree in Washington Square Park, which could have inspired Jack Kerouac and the Beat poets group. Think of the 146 young immigrant girls, one block in 1911, died in the tragic fire, which inspired the formation of garment workers unions. When you exit the beaten path in New York, feels so much history, culture and soul of the people who have lived, died and dreaming there.
Fern Cohen is a freelance writer living in New York City. Diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease in January, 2004, she was forced to retire early from her career of teaching foreign language and ESL in the inner-city. Fern also enjoyed a 20-year career in the travel and tourism industry and holds an MS in Tourism and Travel Management from New York University. She also has a BA in French and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and has studied collage and mixed media at the Parsons School of Design in NYC. She is active in rabbit rescue, and shares an apartment with Chelsea, a gray chinchilla bunny, who is also her muse. She has a blog at http://www.ferncohen.blogspot.com
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