The Cliché NYC Landmarks That You Really Should See To Believe
Frank Sinatra sang it best in his famous “New York, New York”: Few cities rival New York City for history and excitement. Where else can you see the world’s most recognizable skyline, enjoy food and entertainment second to none, and see where your ancestors likely stepped off a boat and onto American soil? New York City has landmarks as famous as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Rome’s Colosseum, and yes, some are admittedly cliché, but you really should see them anyway.
NYC’s Top 10
In honor of one of the most famous late-night shows filmed in New York City, I’m going to give you my top 10 must-see cliché NYC landmarks. I’ll put them in alphabetical order; it doesn’t matter in what order you visit them.
- Broadway: Let me quote some more song lyrics about NYC: “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air,” and indeed, there is. When visiting NYC, you must visit the city’s famous theater district and wander down its equally famous street. Broadway shows are considered the best of the best in American theater, and for those looking for a cheaper ticket, off-Broadway productions make quite a splash as well.
- Brooklyn Bridge: I’m uncertain how the expression of having a bridge to sell you got its start, but I do know that most of the time, people are referring to the Brooklyn Bridge when they cynically offer the sales transaction. Aside from this reference, the Brooklyn Bridge got its claim to fame from being the longest suspension bridge the world had seen when it opened in 1883. This bridge was groundbreaking not only in its construction but also in its ability to join the NYC boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
- Carnegie Hall: While you are visiting the Big Apple, you should visit its most famous music hall (aside from Radio City Music Hall, where the Rockettes perform). It’s named after steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, and New York had not seen a concert hall of Carnegie Hall’s magnificence until it was opened in 1891. Famous performers have run the gamut from Tchaikovsky, who was the first performer to conduct an orchestra in the hall, to the Beatles’ “invasion” on Feb. 12, 1964.
- Central Park: New York City is an asphalt jungle; there are buildings everywhere you turn. Nestled between Manhattan’s Upper West and East Side is the park to end all parks. Central Park offers tired New Yorkers and throngs of tourists a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of NYC within its 50 blocks of green space. There is a lake, a conservatory, Belvedere Castle, and even a zoo nestled among the greenery and walking paths.
- Chrysler Building: I like to think that the Chrysler Building is NYC’s second most recognizable building; we’ll get to the most recognizable next. This world-famous building takes Art Deco architecture to great heights, and so it should considering that it is currently New York City’s third-tallest building. The Chrysler Building’s shape is the epitome of Art Deco, with the embellished metal lattice and windows giving it its classic arches. The eagles jutting out of the 61st-floor corners are also amazing.
- Empire State Building: The most famous NYC skyscraper award goes to the Empire State Building. Featured in countless films, photos, and other media, this amazing structure was built in 1931. The Empire State Building is also a classic example of the Art Deco architecture style, and it is NYC’s second-tallest skyscraper. The cliché but must-do thing to do when visiting the Empire State Building is to take a ride up to its famous observation deck, where you can see NYC as you’ve never seen it before.
- Grand Central Station: Residents and tourists rely on New York City’s amazing public transit daily, and one of the most famous transit stations in the world is the Grand Central Terminal, more commonly known as Grand Central Station. This landmark has also made it into several Hollywood productions, and you’ve definitely seen it in photographs. When you visit it in person, stand with a friend at opposite ends of the “Whispering Gallery,” where despite the fact that you are far apart and talking toward the walls, you can hear each other.
- Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island: New York City is one of America’s most famous melting pots, and one reason why is because immigrants have historically come to our country by sailing into New York Harbor past the Statue of Liberty and registering at Ellis Island. While visiting New York City, head down to Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park and catch a ferry out to see Lady Liberty herself. While there, visit Ellis Island and track your family history if your relatives immigrated to the U.S. through New York prior to 1954.
- Times Square: You see it every New Year’s Eve while watching the famous ball drop to usher in the new year. Times Square is one of the world’s busiest intersections, with neon signs, restaurants, and shops sure to please everyone visiting NYC with you. “See” the stars at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, check out the ABC and MTV studios, and shop until you drop at many designer stores. The most important thing to do when wandering Times Square? Take a photo of its famous neon billboards.
- National September 11 Memorial & Museum: This New York City landmark is definitely not cliché, but it is a necessary sight to see when you are visiting the Big Apple. Nothing has affected our modern history quite like the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks upon America. We watched in horror as the famous twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed to the ground. Yes, there are tons of cliché NYC landmarks, but you will never regret taking a moment off the “cliché” path to pay your respects to the victims of 9/11 while visiting New York City.