Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of. New York USA 

Visiting New York is exciting. At any time of the year. I’m in this city for a conference. Acer is launching its newest range of tech devices and I’ve flown all the way out here to be a part of this exciting event, happening at the Alice Tully Hall at Carnegie Hall.  

Post event, I’m on my own to explore this city that never sleeps. It’s been a hectic week but here are some of my favourite memories from New York. 

I pass this Art Deco landmark of NYC, the Rockefeller Centre, daily and each time it looks better! Built in 1939, the Rockefeller Center was the vision of famous NY businessman and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller. It spans 22 acres and features 19 commercial buildings including the legendary NBC Studios and Saturday Night Live. This iconic NYC landmark has been featured in dozens of films and TV shows over the past century.  

At night the statues and beautiful art nouveau murals take on an ethereal glow. 

A visit to New York is incomplete without a ride on the subway. And of course, that would mean a stopover at the iconic Grand Central Station. Entering this historic world-famous landmark with its magnificent roof is like entering some beautiful chapel. Apart from the usual buzz of travelers crisscrossing their way across the polished marble floors, it is the mural on the ceiling that makes me stop and stare.  

This historic world-famous landmark in Midtown Manhattan is not simply a transportation hub—it’s also a shopping, dining, and cultural destination with 60 shops, restaurants, and the famous opal-faced Main Concourse Information Booth Clock.  

This clock is the unofficial “Meet me At the Clock” meeting place for anyone wanting to catch up with friends at the Station.  

Opened to the public in February 1913, the Grand Central Terminal is a story of great engineering, survival, and rebirth. In 1978, architect Philip Johnson and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis campaigned to secure landmark status for the Terminal, ensuring the building would serve New Yorkers for generations to come. 

The High Line, New York City’s first elevated park, was built on old railroad tracks that hover 30 feet above the traffic on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. As a revitalized piece of New York City’s past, this unique walking track is a must-do part of any New York experience. On a beautiful morning like today, the High Line is pretty busy with walkers, joggers, families, friends and their pets taking in the sun and sublimity of the day. After almost three hours, I end the walk with a delicious extra large latte at one of the local coffee shops.  

Central Park is, without a doubt, one of New York City’s greatest treasures. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this 840-acre park is expected to attract more than 40 million people this year alone! I was just a number!  

Some of the famous landmarks at the park are the Bethesda Fountain, or Strawberry Fields, or the Great Lawn.

The oldest known building in Central Park is this modest fortress, the Block House, built as a fortification against the British during the War of 1812. Though it’s currently unoccupied, the structure has stood for more than two centuries. 

Huddlestone Arch

The Huddlestone Arch, built in 1866 and designed by Calvert Vaux, is held together by little more than gravity’s pull; the stones, which weigh many tons, exert pressure and keep the structure in place.

There are 20 named gates at various entrances to Central Park, all of them dedicated to, according to the Central Park Conservancy, “the vocations and groups who made New York City the great metropolis that it had become.” Many of these are simple entrances, dedicated to groups like pioneers, women, artisans, and scholars.  

But one of the more ornate ones is found adjacent to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. It is unimaginable that something so scenic and stunning can be found in the middle of a concrete jungle. 

The American Museum of Natural History

Having heard so much about The American Museum of Natural History, this was one place that I had to see.  Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition. 

Renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, which serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world’s cultures, the Dark Universe was top of my list. It is created by the American Museum of Natural History, the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space, and the Hayden Planetarium. 

Here is a perfect description of what it entails: Featuring exquisite renderings of enigmatic cosmic phenomena, seminal scientific instruments, and spectacular scenes in deep space, the Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe celebrates the pivotal discoveries that have led us to greater knowledge of the structure and history of the universe and our place in it—and to new frontiers for exploration. 

Produced by an innovative team that includes astrophysicists and science visualization experts, Dark Universe starts 100 million light years away from Earth. After flying to our own Milky Way Galaxy, visualized using the latest scientific data, and to our own planet, viewers arrive at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory, where Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding gave the first hint of the Big Bang. That initial discovery, and ever more sensitive instruments on the ground and in space, led to other breakthroughs that give astronomers an increasingly detailed and precise picture of how our universe formed and evolved. 

But these revelations have also uncovered intriguing new mysteries. What is the mysterious dark energy accelerating cosmic expansion? What is the invisible dark matter underlying galaxies that, together with dark energy, account for at least 95 percent of the universe’s total energy and mass? What lies beyond our cosmic horizon? 

In stunningly detailed scenes based on authentic scientific data—including a NASA probe’s breathtaking plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere and novel visualizations of unobservable dark matter—Dark Universe explores this new age of cosmic discovery and reveals the mysteries that have been brought to light so far. 

The 30 minutes that I just witnessed was mind blowing. Wow! 

I spend an entire morning at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world boasts of a collection of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media. 

Last but not least, I am standing in line outside the Ambassador Theatre on West 49th Street to watch Chicago, America’s longest running musical in Broadway history. Winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, two Olivier Awards, and a Grammy, it is a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing I’ve ever seen. I bet this standing ovation was just one of the thousands others! 

Leaving New York is not easy. As the song goes…”These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you…”

 

 

 

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