New York City

Although New York City started at the southern tip of Manhattan Island it long ago spread beyond the confines of the island, absorbing neighbouring cities, towns and villages as it spread. In 1898 New York became a city of 5 boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. On our many trips to New York City we have visited three of the five boroughs but we have yet to visit The Bronx and our only experience so far of Queens is the taxi journey between JFK and Manhattan.

 

 

Borough Hall, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

Brooklyn sits on the western tip of Long Island, linked to Manhattan by a series of bridges and tunnels. Borough Hall dates back to the days when Brooklyn was a city in its own right. Incorporated in 1834, the new city started in 1836 to build a Greek Revival style City Hall. Money ran out when little more than the foundations had been completed.  Construction restarted in  1845 to a simplified design by architect Gamaliel King. The City Hall opened in 1848 although it was another 3 years before construction was completed. In 1898 when Brooklyn became part of New York City, the City Hall became Borough Hall.

Statue of Liberty

The most familiar symbol not just of New York but of the USA as a whole stands on an island in Upper New York Bay. France had supported the American Revolution and with the 1876 centenary of the Declaration of Independence approaching France and the USA agreed on a joint monument to be erected on Bedloe's Island (now Liberty Island) in New York. The pedestal would be built on the site of Fort Wood by the USA while the copper sheet statue of Liberty Enlightening the World would be made in France. Designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi with engineering support from Alexandre Gustave Eiffel the statue was shipped to the USA in pieces in 1885. The project was running late due to delays in raising funds, but the 93 metre (305 foot) high  Statue of Liberty was finally dedicated on October 28th 1886, just 10 years late for the centenary.  

Registry Room, Ellis Island

Ellis Island is where from 1892 to 1954 over 12 million immigrants were processed  before settling in the USA. The island’s split personality between New York and New Jersey is covered on the New Jersey page. The island was purchased by the US Government in 1808 to build one of a chain of  forts to protect the harbour. By the late 19th century, ever increasing levels of immigration were swamping existing facilities so a new immigration station opened on Ellis Island in 1892. In 1897 the timber building burned down and was replaced in 1900 by a new, more solidly built building. The Registry Room, restored to its 1918 appearance, was the place where new arrivals waited to be inspected and registered by Immigration officers.

 Statue of Liberty, New York, NY, USA
 Registry Room, Ellis Island, New York, NY, USA

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 Borough Hall (1849), Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York, NY, USA

 

 

 

Midtown Manhattan from top of World Trade Center

The dreadful events of September 2001 robbed the world of one of its most awesome city views at least until the new building at One World Trade Center is completed. The World Trade Center was located near the southern tip of Manhattan, and its Observation Deck gave views of the island, Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and Ellis Island. This picture shows the view  up Manhattan with the low rise area around Greenwich Village in the foreground and the high rise  Midtown District in the distance.

 

 USS Intrepid Museum, Pier 86, New York, NY, USA

USS Intrepid Museum, Pier 86, Manhattan

Second World War aircraft carrier the USS Intrepid forms the centrepiece of this Sea, Air & Space museum at the western end of 46th street. Although many of the exhibits are of a military nature, the museum includes some non military exhibits. Pride of place is given to a British Airways Concorde supersonic airliner. If you missed your chance to cross the Atlantic in Concorde, at least you can see what you missed here.

Walkway across Brooklyn Bridge

An island was a good place to build a city in the days when the fastest mode of transport was by sea. In the 17th century rowing boat ferries were all that was needed to connect Manhattan to the mainland and other islands. As New York and adjacent towns such as Brooklyn began to grow so did the demand for ferries, and by the mid 19th century the East River was criss-crossed by ferries. With land transportation becoming ever faster, a more efficient mode of transport was needed. In 1866 the New York State Legislature passed a bill for the construction of a bridge linking Manhattan with Brooklyn. The bridge opened on May 24, 1883 after a troubled construction period which included the accidental death of the Designer and Chief Engineer John A. Roebling. The bridge has a span of 486 metres (1595 feet).  The walkway runs along the centre of the bridge above the traffic and provides some great views of Lower Manhattan and out to the Statue of Liberty.

 Walkway across Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY, USA

 

 Midtown Manhattan from top of World Trade Center, New York City, NY, USA
- New York’s answer to the London Underground, the subway. Without it, sightseeing would be a pain
- The classic sights and bustle of Manhattan
- The elegant architecture of Brooklyn
- The rural parts of Staten island
- Getting into and out of New York City, the traffic can be horrendous.
- The journey through Queens from JFK Airport to Manhattan. Busy and boring.
- Taxi drivers who don’t know where they are going or drive while talking on handheld cellphones.
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