Destination: New York City

Destination: New York City
Lots To Do And See In The Big Apple

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New York, New York, it’s a heckuva town.

Paris and London are two great walking cities. Rome and Tokyo are also two fabulous cities. But, ahh, New York City is a walking, gawking, sightseeing experience like none other. You can’t help but fall in love with the Big Apple.

If you want to be entertained, there are three dozen major Broadway stage shows, most of them musicals, waiting for you. Want to go Off-Broadway? About another ten shows await. At the moment there’s Grease, Chicago, Gypsy, Mary Poppins, Wicked, Mama Mia, Phantom of the Opera, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Legally Blonde, Sunday in the Park, The Color Purple, A Chorus Line, ad infinitum. For bargain hunters, the famous cut-rate ticket booth in Times Square offers discounted ducats for performances that afternoon or night.

Times Square and 42nd Street have become the center of the universe for most visitors. Most of the theaters are within a few blocks of those areas. But be adventurous, try something new.

Have you been to Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockettes? It’s the largest movie house in the U.S. with 6,000 seats. Afterwards, walk over to Rockefeller Plaza, where the Today Show is shot. Try and get tickets to Saturday Night Live, or other TV tapings. Or take a tour of the “30 Rock” complex. There’s the NBC Experience Store that has a treasure trove of merchandise featuring your favorite shows, and sells tour tickets. Go to www.nbcuniversalstore.com and click on NBC Guided Tours for more information.

The Rockefeller Center Tour has historians guiding visitors through the buildings, gardens and spaces that make up the fascinating “city within a city.” You’ll hear lots of stories about the creation of the iconic site, and the classic shows and stars who performed in the NBC studios.

Another experience offered is the Art & Observation Tour, a new tour that is a collaboration of the Rockefeller Center Tour with an added final stop at Top of The Rock Observation Deck, the summit of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 70 stories above New York City. An awesome “must-see” sight.

How about a visit to Madison Square Garden for a sporting event or concert there? If you’re really a sports fan, you’ll want to see the famed Yankee Stadium and/or Shea Stadium (home to the Mets). Take the train from Grand Central Station for a memorable journey to the ballparks.

Getting around is easy. NYC has one of the finest transit systems in the world. Subways run frequently, and all night. Ditto for the busses, which criss-cross north and south, or east and west. And Yellow cabs outnumber passenger vehicles, just flag them down.

Getting hungry? Restaurants abound– from the non-expensive, to the haute cuisine. Go to Lower Manhattan to Canal Street to experience Chinatown, the second largest in the U.S.  Or visit Little Italy on Mulberry Street for the finest in Italian food. It has a great neighborhood atmosphere with the most wonderful smells coming from the restaurants that line the block. In my opinion, it is the best people watching place, which is always the best game in town.

Now here’s the best deal in town– the Staten Island ferry. It’s a FREE ride from downtown Manhattan (Battery Place) to Staten Island. It’s like taking a cruise of the harbor, only FREE. You can take separate tours of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, but you’ll also get a great view of those landmarks from the ferry, and it’s FREE.

Just another reason to love New York.


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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