New York 2011
Day 1. To New York City   (25 Dec 2011 Sunday Christmas Day)
7am depart Norfolk, MA for New York City in Brooklyn
    Estimated distance of 230 miles and 3 1/2 to 4 hours of driving time.
11am to 2pm Brooklyn Bridge and Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The beginnings of Brooklyn Bridge Park have already become a treasured urban oasis. Offering spectacular views of downtown Manhattan and the New York Harbor, Pier 1, Pier 6, the Main Street Lot, and the Empire-Fulton Ferry section of the park have attracted thousands of visitors. These park sections are the setting for our activities and events but also offer green space for picnics, playground fun, an afternoon siesta, and sports of all kinds.
  • Pier 1 - At 9.5 acres, Pier 1 is the largest of the park piers, complete with two stunning lawns, a playground, waterfront promenade, lush plantings, and delicious concessionaires.
  • Pier 6 - Pier 6 adds approximately 7 acres of new park, including a 1.6 acre destination playground. Pier 6 also features three regulation-size sand volleyball courts, a rooftop concession stand with views of lower Manhattan, and free weekend ferry service to Governors Island.
  • Main Street Lot - This 4.8-acre park features a popular nautically-themed playground and dog run in addition to rolling lawns and spectacular views. Now with access to DUMBO's free wi-fi network!
  • Cove - Between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge lies the Cove Between the Bridges, one of the few places on the New York City waterfront that gives visitors direct access to the water. It is also a rich habitat for fish, crabs, and birds of the New York Harbor Estuary.
    Park website: http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/
    Brooklyn Bridge
    The Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of New York's most popular and well known landmarks. The impressive bridge spans the East river between Brooklyn and Manhattan and stretches for a length of 5989 ft, about 1.8 km. The length between the large towers is 1595.5 ft (486 meter). This made the Brooklyn bridge the world's largest suspension bridge.
    The most noticeable feature of the Brooklyn Bridge are the two masonry towers to which the many cables are attached. The towers with large gothic arches are 276 ft tall (84 meter), at the time making them some of the tallest landmarks in New York. Roebling claimed that the monumental towers would make the bridge a historic monument. He was proven right when the bridge officially became a national monument in 1964.
    An elevated pedestrian path not only gives you the opportunity to cross the river without being bothered by the traffic that rushes past a level below, but it also offers a great view of the bridge's towers as well as downtown Manhattan's skyline. The views alone attract millions of visitors to this bridge each year.
    Source: http://www.aviewoncities.com/nyc/brooklynbridge.htm
  • 2pm to 3pm The Charging Bull Statue
    One of the Financial District's most famous symbols is the 'Charging Bull' Statue (The bull represents a bull market, a constantly rising market).
    Inspired by the stock market crash in 1987, sculptor Arturo Di Modica created the 7,000-pound (3175kg) bull statue as a token of optimism. In 1989 he placed it - without authorisation - in front of the New York Stock Exchange in Wall Street. Police removed the statue but thanks to a public outcry it was reinstalled, but this time on Bowling Green, a small square annex park near Wall Street. The statue has become one of Lower Manhattan's most popular attractions. Source: http://www.aviewoncities.com/nyc/wallstreet.htm
    3pm hotel check-in Travell Inn
    515 West 42nd Street, New York NY 10036
    (between 10th and 11th) Phone (212) 695 7171
    The perfect combination of convenience, comfort & value. Whether you are traveling to New York City for business or pleasure, the Travel Inn is perfectly suited to meet all your needs.
    Website: http://www.thetravelinnhotel.com/index.asp
    7pm til late Times Square
    Times Square, the most bustling square of New York is known for its many Broadway theatres, cinemas and supersigns. It is one of those places that make New York a city that never sleeps.
    At the end of the 19th century, New York City had expanded up to 42nd street and the area was becoming the center of the city's social scene. In 1904, the New York Times built the Times Tower on 43rd street just off Broadway to replace the premises in Downtown. The square facing the building was called the Longacre square, but was soon renamed Times Square. The name is now used for the area between 40th and 53rd street and 6th and 9th avenue.
    The inauguration of the New York Times' new headquarters at 1 Times Square was celebrated with a fireworks display, starting a New Year's eve tradition which still continues today. The first famous ball-lowering from the 1 Times Square's rooftop pole was held on New Year's Eve 1907.
    At the start of the first World War, Times square was the center of the Theater district and attracted a large number of visitors. This made the square an ideal place for billboards. In 1917 the first large electric display billboard was installed. 11 Years later, the first running electric sign was let for the first time, to announce Herbert Hoover's victory in the Presidential elections. The billboards have become such a tourist attraction for the area, that the zoning now requires the buildings to be covered with billboards!
    Source: http://www.aviewoncities.com/nyc/timessquare.htm

    Day 2. Guggenheim and Central Park   (26 Dec 2011 Monday)
    10am to 2pm Guggenheim Museum
    On 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), New York, NY 10128-0173. Open Sun–Wed 10am–5:00pm.
    An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums. Visitors can experience special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, lectures by artists and critics, performances and film screenings, classes for teens and adults, and daily tours of the galleries led by experienced docents. Founded on a collection of early modern masterpieces, the Guggenheim Museum today is an ever-growing institution devoted to the art of the 20th century and beyond.
    Paul Cézanne’s shimmering landscapes, searching portraits, and complex still lifes may be viewed as the culmination of Impressionism’s quest for empirical truth in painting. His work was motivated by a desire to give sculptural weight and volume to the instantaneity of vision achieved by the Impressionists, who painted from nature. Relying on his perception of objects in space as visually interrelated entities—as forms locked into a greater compositional structure—Cézanne developed a style premised on the oscillation of surface and depth. Each tiny dab of color, as demonstrated on the mottled apples in Still Life: Flask, Glass, and Jug, indicates a spatial shift while simultaneously calling attention to the two-dimensional canvas on which it rests. This play of illusion, along with the conceptual fusion of time and space, has led Cézanne to be considered the foremost precursor of Cubism.
    When Kandinsky returned to his native Moscow after the outbreak of World War I, his expressive abstract style underwent changes that reflected the utopian artistic experiments of the Russian avant-garde. The emphasis on geometric forms, promoted by artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Liubov Popova in an effort to establish a universal aesthetic language, inspired Kandinsky to expand his own pictorial vocabulary. Although he adopted some aspects of the geometrizing trends of Suprematism and Constructivism—such as overlapping flat planes and clearly delineated shapes—his belief in the expressive content of abstract forms alienated him from the majority of his Russian colleagues, who championed more rational, systematizing principles. This conflict led him to return to Germany in 1921. In the Black Square, executed two years later, epitomizes Kandinsky’s synthesis of Russian avant-garde art and his own lyrical abstraction: the white trapezoid recalls Malevich’s Suprematist paintings, but the dynamic compositional elements, resembling clouds, mountains, sun, and a rainbow, still refer to the landscape.
    Admission Adults $18 Students $15. Website: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/
    2pm to 4pm Central Park
    Central Park, designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, is home to a ton of attractions spread throughout its 843 acres of landscape. The landmarks nestled in the park are diverse; visitors can find everything from sprawling waters and green meadows to stunning bridges and performance centers, plus educational facilities, gardens and even classical architecture.
    There is a story behind every attraction in the park that is loaded with fascinating history. Belvedere Castle is a fully functional weather station, the Great Lawn hosted a Papal Mass in 1995, the Blockhouse is an old fort from the War of 1812 located at the northern end of the park, and the Continental Army even walked through McGown's Pass on the Upper East Side in 1783 the during the American Revolution. Central Park also boasts numerous statues of iconic figures, including Balto, Alice and Wonderland and even William Shakespeare; fountains and the oldest public monument in North America: The Obelisk.
    Of course, above all things, Central Park is a park, so there are plenty of attractions that focus on physical activities and other fun pastimes. Two skating rinks, a carousel, a public swimming pool, baseball fields, tennis courts and other sport attractions are scattered throughout the park.
    And finally, the main highlight of Central Park is not an "attraction" in the normal sense of the word. It is the picturesque beauty of the natural green landscape and pastoral escape that Central Park provides to one of the busiest cities in the world. There is nothing better than wandering through the paths, exploring the rustic spaces and basking in the nature. Park website: http://www.centralpark.com/
    Day 3. 9/1 Memorial and United Nations   (27 Dec 2011 Tuesday)

    9am hotel check-out 10am to 12noon 9/11 Memorial
    At 90 West Street (Corner of Albany Street), New York, NY 10006.
    The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.
    The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.
    The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.
    Names Arrangement - The 2,983 names of the victims of the 9/11 and 1993 attacks are inscribed in bronze parapets surrounding the twin Memorial pools. The arrangement of names is based on a system of “meaningful adjacencies” that reflect where the victims were on 9/11 and relationships they shared with others who were lost that day. Broadly, names are placed within nine primary groups and within those groups, names are arranged by affiliation, so that the employees of a company or passengers of a flight are together. The arrangement also honors more than 1,200 requests made by victims’ next-of-kin and surviving colleagues for specific names to be next to one another .
    Website: http://www.911memorial.org/
    2pm to 4pm United Nations Headquarters (tour starts 2:45pm)
    The Headquarters of the United Nations is located in New York City, along the East River. When you pass through the gates of the United Nations visitors’ entrance, you enter an international territory. This 18-acre site does not belong to just one country, but to all countries that have joined the Organization; to date the United Nations has 193 Member States.
    The Visitors Centre is located on 1st Avenue at 46th Street and is open to the public from 9am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday. Visitors’ entrance is closed at 4:45 p.m.
    Your visit to the United Nations begins as you enter the visitors’ entrance plaza, north of the General Assembly building, the edifice topped with a dome. On your way to the security screening, take a moment to look at the artwork lining the plaza. Each piece of art on the grounds and inside Headquarters has been donated to the United Nations by individual Member countries. From the soaring grandeur of the Visitors Lobby, you embark on a voyage of discovery.
    Every year, over 1 million visitors from around the world enter the Visitors Centre of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, located on 1st Avenue between 45th and 46th Street.
    Guided and Audio Tours are conducted Monday through Friday from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. The guided tour of the United Nations starts with a brief overview of the Organization whereby you will learn about: its history, its structure, its composition, and who designed the famous buildings located by the East River. You will have the opportunity to view the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a design by Brazilian artist Octavio Roth, followed by an exhibit on disarmament. The General Assembly Hall, the largest meeting room at the United Nations, is next; this is where the 193 members of the Organization convene to discuss global issues. The final part of your visit will include a presentation of the Security Council and the contributions of peacekeepers
    All tours start in the Visitors Lobby. Adults $16 / Students $11. Website: http://visit.un.org/
    4pm to 8pm drive back home to Norfolk Ma
    8pm Home Sweet Home
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