In this post we’ll continue with the second part of our fourth day in New York (if you missed the first part click here).
Once we finished the pizza, we walked on the fifth avenue to arrive at the New York Public Library. If you remember, in the post First Day in New York , we already tried to enter in the library, but we arrived after the closing time. This turn we did it, we were able to enter in the New York Public Library.
This is the third biggest library in the North America and without a doubt is one of the most important in the world. The New York Public Library, founded in 1895 from the union of the previous libraries of the city with the Tilden Fondation, is the first public library of New York. The library was inaugurated in 1916 and today contains more than 52 milions of volumes from books, e-book and DVD’s. We went at the headquarter of the library, hosted in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
The palace has four floors, various sections and there are many reading rooms really fascinating, with columns, frescoes and elegant finishes and decorations. Obviously the visit of the reading rooms requires silence, education and respect, after all people are reading and working. A tour in this wonderful library it’s a really pleasure, especially if you have passion for books, film or tv shows in fact, the New York Public Library has been set of many productions, like The Day After Tomorrow or Futurama.
Finished the visit at the New York Library, we returned on the fifth avenue and we walked until the 47th street. Here, close to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, there is the Rockefeller Center. This is a giant shopping center composed by 19 commercial buildings. The complex was built by the banking family of Rockefeller and it’s one of the biggest private complex in the world. The land originally belonged to the Columbia University, which gave it to Rockefeller’s family. The construction started in 1930 and in 1939 the first 14 buildings were completed. Between sixties and seventies were built other five towers.
The main attractions in the Rockefeller Center are:
- the 200 flagpoles that display flags of USA and United Nations member countries;
- the sculptures and statues that decorate the complex (like the Statue of Atlas or the Statue of Prometheus);
- the gardens and the underground concourse where you can find a series of shops and restaurants;
- the ice skating rink;
- the Radio City Music Hall (of which I told you in the First Day in New York);
- the 30 Rockefeller Plaza, often called 30 Rock.
The last one is the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center since this building is at the center of the plaza and it’s 260 meters high with 70 floors. The 30 Rock is an American Art Deco Building that dominates the beautiful Rockefeller Center. At the beginnings the building was known as RCA Building, renamed as GE Building when the General Electric has reacquired the building. Then, after Comcast purchased General Electric’s entertainment assets in 2013, the building was renamed like Comcast Building. In the building there is the famous Rainbow Room, a restaurant located at the 65th floor where you can enjoy of the beautiful view on the skyline of New York. Plus there are the headquarters of NBC, the houses of many network’s New York TV studios (like Late Night with David Letterman) and the offices of the Rockefeller family.
Last but not least, I have to mention the observation deck, the famous Top of the Rock. As the Empire State Building, you can climb up on the observation deck to view from above Manhattan. Top of the Rock is one the main attractions of New York, and we went at the Rockefeller Center primarily to go on the Top of the Rock. Sometimes things don’t always go the way you want, and when we arrived at entrance of the Top of the Rock we discovered that unlike the Empire State Building, the process to convert the City Pass in ticket was harder also because there were more people. We wanted to climb up at sunset, but we couldn’t have done it in time, so we decided to come back the next day.
Certainly at New York there is no shortage of things to do and see, and to enjoy of the sunset we went to the Roosevelt Island Tramway. This tramway, as the name suggests, is a transport to Roosevelt Island, a tight island in the East River of New York.
Originally in 1637 the island was named Insel Varckens (because belonged to the Dutch), then in 1666 the name was Manning’s Island (in honor of the Captain Manning that defeated the Dutch) and after twenty years the name became Blackwell’s Island (when Robert Blackwell, Manning’s son-in-law, was the island’s new owner).
The island housed several hospitals and prison and in 1832, after the City of New York purchased the island, it was built a Penitentiary Hospital to serve the needs of the prison inmates. In 1921 Blackwell’s Island was renamed Welfare Island after the construction of the City Hospital on the island and in 1935 the Welfare Penitentiary was closed because it was built a new penitentiary on Rikers Island. In 1973 the name of the island changes again in Roosevelt Island to honor the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the following years the island was developed as a residential community, and for us, the main reason to go in the Roosevelt Island was the stunning view of the skyline of Manhattan.
In fact, on the island you can walk among the gardens and watch the skyscrapers of New York that are reflected in the East River. Unfortunately in that day the sunset wasn’t great, but we waited the ignition of the countless lights of Manhattan. Needless to say that the view was wonderful, an experience that you should do. I’m sorry for the long story of Roosevelt Island but I think that this Island has a really interesting story and I suggest you to deepen it.
Finished the photo shoot to the skyline of New York, we took the tramway to come back on Manhattan and search a place to eat. We have choosen the Katz’s Delicatessen, a kosher style delicatessen restaurant became popular for its pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs, both of which are widely considered among New York’s best (this is the site of Meg’s Ryan’s famous fake orgasm scene in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, and the table at which the actors sat is marked with a sign that says “where Harry met Sally…hope you have what she had!Enjoy”).
Tasted the delicious pastrami sandwich we came back at the hotel. The next post will be on the penultimate day in New York.
Good light to everyone