New York, New York, there’s no other city anywhere in the world that even remotely resembles it. It's truly one of a kind, oh so American and harbors the very embodiment of the concrete jungle spirit. If you can make it here, then you can make it anywhere as the locals say. It's known for the behemoth skyscrapers that make you feel like a tiny insect, the Manhattan district where the financial center of the nation stands. It's also known for its food, with the classic hot dog carts roaming around everywhere you look, the good ‘ol diners that serve American traditional food like barbecue and deli sandwiches.
The big apple as it's aptly named is also known to be the cultural haven of the entire country. Although people may wish to eventually go to Hollywood where they ‘make it’, New York City offers its own prestigious theater culture with the famous Broadway shows. The city of yellow cabs and businessman frantically on their phones talking to Wall Street is broken up by the giant billboards and downtown area full of steaming sewer covers and the nitty gritty mean streets. A tour of the cultural arts encapsulates everything about the city, so how better to spend your time in NYC?
International art of ‘The Met’
Form the outside The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York looks like a blend of neo-classical and Beaux-Arts architecture with a slight hint of the Federal style. Already you can see as you enter 1000 Fifth Avenue, that this building is a staple in the city. It's a place for international art to be admired. The galleries and exhibitions have a little bit of everything from the history of all humanity. There are European knights on horseback, wearing their full armor suits, carrying their banners and lances. The horses themselves are wearing their own armor as protection from soldiers on foot and indeed arrows that were the main weapons to bring knights down. There are sculptures and figures from the ancient period, mainly of Greek and Roman influences. There is a wealth of South American art with many artifacts pertaining back to the ancient civilizations of the tribal communities in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and more. Catholic stained glass art is prevalent in the museum as well, so if you would like a window into the Holy Roman Empire, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Little Italy, big heart
Immigrants that built the buildings, dug the tunnels and grew up to be some of Wall Street’s most influential characters, may have grown up and lived in Little Italy. They came from Naples and Sicily mostly and brought over their cuisine, their sense of tailored style, and the beauty of the Italian language. They situated themselves in lower Manhattan, creating a pooling of Italian culture. The neighborhood became known to the world through Hollywood blockbusters and the unfortunate problems it was riddled with at certain times such as organized crime. However, if you visit Little Italy, you’ll see that although it may not be as large as it once was, it's still a very powerful cultural haven for many Italian Americans. Some of the most famous pizza restaurants in the entire world came into existence right here on these streets. They have a taste that is authentic to the traditions that the first wave of Italian immigrants brought with them. Come and enjoy the cultural events such as Columbus Day, that celebrates the discoverer of America. Come around Christmas time and you’ll see a procession of Catholics and their lord, parading through the streets in traditional Roman style. The city’s community feeling comes alive in this fantastic neighborhood.
Still going strong
The Theater District is in Midtown Manhattan, a place that’s not quite among the poorer neighborhoods of the Bronx and Queens, but not quite uptown enough for the Financial District either. So whether you’re poor or come from a wealthy background, the Theater District is something that gives up to all kinds of young aspiring actors. Of course, it's most famously known for the theaters on Broadway. When you’re in the city you have to at least go and see one of the most popular Broadway shows. And thanks to the last-minute tickets that are always available, you will rarely miss a show that you really want to see. Whether it be a bit of family entertainment with Aladdin, a classic like Phantom of the Opera, or something alternative like The Ryan Case, there are different shows for different tastes. Factor your theater show with a day of shopping around the city, enjoying a great meal and finishing the night with a live performance. This is what New York is all about, being in among the city and trying to live and experience life as a local. Thankfully tickets begin well under $100, so it's not like you’ll be stereotypically overcharged for a show if you know where to look for tickets.
In Time Square, there are lots of street performers. From the stone frozen statues that only move if you don’t blink, to the naked cowboy that sings his country music songs, there are people born and bred in New York that supplement their lifestyles with performances for the public. As they say, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere, so New Yorkers have no problem talking to strangers, trying to earn a living any way they can. They’re a tough and hardy bunch of people that live in this concrete jungle and the variety of street performers with different talents, are part and parcel of this unique culture.
New York, a city of around 8.3 million people is a place that you have to visit at least once in your life. It's irrevocably American to the core, with its traffic jams, commercial skyscrapers, Wall Street commotion, delicious food and cultural icons of performance arts. The museums are some of the best if not the best in the country, and the old neighborhoods are still kicking. New York City is one of a kind, if not for its gritty atmosphere then for its cultural staples