Theater District, New York
New York's Theater District has a concentration of quality live performance venues that is unrivaled to anywhere in the world with the exception of London's West End. This is Broadway and Times Square. This is also the home to the Metropolitan Opera House and TV's Rockefeller Center. It is also the home of 42nd Street, once infamous for its sleaze and danger, but now reborn as a safe tourist zone, symbolized by the opening of a large Disney Store in Times Square.
Taking in a Broadway show is one of the highlights of New York City. Considered the pinnacle of American theater, it has long been world renowned for its performances. This is the place to come to see the latest shows and the long running classics.Broadway usually refers simply to Broadway theater which encompasses a large number of theater venues in the theatre district and along the street of Broadway.For the most popular shows tickets should be purchased well in advance. Many people take trips to New York from surrounding cities, simply to see Broadway shows.
Bryant Park was a seedy area known for crime, and a hangout for undesirables, until 1989 when the city reclaimed it and turned it into an oasis for workers and visitors. The grounds feature monuments and gardens, and "Le Carrousel", a popular carousel. A games area makes available chess boards, checkers, and backgammon boards for a small fee. If you don't want to play it is still interesting to watch others playing on a summer's day.There are a couple of places to eat in the park with restaurants and a cafe.The Reading Room is a re-created version of the original Reading Room which was established during the Great Depression to allow out of work people a place to enjoy reading. There are a selection of books and newspapers available, which do not require a library card or identification to access.
Carnegie Hall opened in 1891 as New York's first great concert hall. Musicians from Tchaikovsky (who conducted on opening night) to Leonard Bernstein and The Beatles have filled the hall, said to have the best acoustics in the world. On the exterior, the hall is adorned in a terra-cotta and brick Italian Renaissance design. A museum adjacent to the first-tier level chronicles the theater.While the best way to enjoy the hall is to take in a performance, one of the best ways to learn about it is on a guided tour. The tour offers a comprehensive look at the hall, insight into the construction, and discusses some of the artists who have taken to the stage. Tours end at the Rose Museum.
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library's main branch was designed by architects, Carrere & Hastings, in the Beaux Arts style. The library, with its impressive rooms, is a prominent city attraction that has been featured in many movies and TV shows over the years. Visitors may even feel a sense of familiarity upon entering.Although colloquially known as the main branch, the proper name is actually the Stephen A Schwartzman building. It opened in 1911 to immediate acclaim. An enormous library, the Main Reading Room alone stretches two city blocks and the Periodicals Room holds 10,000 current magazines. The collection at this location is vast, consisting of over 15 million items.
Formerly Longacre Square, Times Square was named in 1904 after the New York Times tower. The newspaper first posted current headlines along its famous moving sign--the world's first--in 1928. Long the heart of the Theater District, Times Square fell into decay during the Depression when many theaters shut down only to be replaced by sleaze palaces that proliferated until the nineties. The city cleaned up the area by inviting corporations such as Disney to move into the area. Today, Times Square has become a much safer place, day and night, with shopping, theaters and restaurants galore, not to mention its mammoth billboards.
Radio City Music Hall
Lying in the shadow of Rockefeller Center is Radio City Music Hall. This 1932 Art Deco theater offers musical extravaganzas and films, as well as guided tours. The building was built and financed by the Rockefeller's during the 1930's. Radio City Music Hall claims to be the largest indoor theater in the world and its prominent marquee stretches for an entire city block. More than 300 million patrons have passed through its doors over the years and today it remains a popular entertainment venue hosting major events like the Grammy Awards and the Tony Awards.
Address: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, United States
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $18.50, Senior over 65 $15.00, Child 12 & under $10.00
Useful tips: Group discounts available for 25 or more with reservations.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Shubert Alley is home to two notable playhouses, the Shubert on 221 West 44th Street and the Booth at 22 West 45th Street. Shubert Alley was the place where aspiring actors lined up hoping to be cast for a part in a play sponsored by theater baron, Sam S. Shubert. The Shubert was the host of "A Chorus Line" for a record 6,137 shows. Further down, the St. James playhouse debuted the musical, "Oklahoma" in 1941. The legendary Sardi's restaurant is the eatery where actors met and waited for their opening night reviews. Irving Berlin staged "The Music Box Revue" at the Music Box Theater in 1921.
City Center of Music and Drama
The City Center of Music and Drama is an ornate Moorish building, originally designed in 1924 as a Masonic Shriners' Temple. Today it provides a stage for the likes of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Ballet Theater, and the Manhattan Theater Club. Known simply as the New York City Center, this stage has hosted some of the world's best productions.The Fall for Dance Festival, and the Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series are two of the City Center's annual highlights attracting a regularly large audience.
National Museum of Catholic Art & History (closed)
MOVED TO WASHINGTON DC.The National Museum of Catholic Art & History is the only catholic museum in the United States. The Catholic faith is illustrated through visual arts, literature, poetry, music, dance, ritual, and film.
Russian Tea Room
The Russian Tea Room was founded in 1927 by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet. This restaurant is a bit of an icon, with unique decor and fine food. It has been used in movies and seen many famous people come through the doors.
American Standard Building
Map - Theater District
Map of New York City Attractions