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New York City - Bite Outta Big Apple

So what do you think of when you imagine yourself studying in New York? Walking down Fifth Avenue at night taking in the bright lights hailing a yellow taxi? Having your picture taken in Time Square before step-hop-shuffling yourself off to Broadway? Or is it sipping on a Cosmopolitan in a cool bar downtown Manhattan like the infamous Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex In The city” or meeting for coffee at your local coffeehouse like the cast of “Friends”. Well, of course New York is all of this AND so much more. Study In New York investigates the five main boroughs of the city and takes a bite outtada Big Apple!

MANHATTAN

Located at south-eastern part of New York, sitting at the head of Upper New York Bay, Manhattan is an organised grid of avenues running north-south and its streets east-west. This and the well managed Subway and bus service makes the city particularly easy to get around in. As an island the East River separates Manhattan from Queens and Brooklyn. The Harlem River separates Manhattan from the Bronx which is connected to the mainland. To the west is Hudson River looking across to New Jersey.

When you picture a scene of New York in your head you are more than likely thinking of somewhere in Manhattan. It is the key areas within this borough that have placed New York City firmly on the global map as one of the most exciting cities in the world. The Financial District for example - home to soaring skyscrapers, the New York Stock Exchange and the world famous Wall Street. Fifth Avenue, also known for its fashion and fines museums and then there’s Park Avenue, renowned for it exclusive residence and the bright advertisement lights of Time Square. If you are lucky enough to study in New York you may find yourself celebrating on New Year Eve around Time Square. Each year thousands of New Yorkers congregate around the square and countdown to the New Year in a blaze of colour! Park Avenue is also home to Broadway which holds over 350 theatres including the world famous Met Opera, New York City Ballet and New York Philharmonic. Broadway is the most wonderful and varied theatre districts in the nation and possibly the world. Many actors aspire to one day performing on Broadway. The best way to describe Broadway is WOW and top of the line PIZAZZ!

As well as finance, fashion and culture Manhattans nightlife is an array of restaurants, clubs and bars which caters for all tastes – yes even for those on a budget! For example, if you fancy a cheap night out why not try China Town. This area has over150,000 Chinese people who live within just two square miles. It is a very popular section of the Manhattan borough. Here you can enjoy the shops and the culture and eat some of the best Chinese food in the world! For the ultimate shopping experience however, the Rockefeller Center (named at the world’s first billionaire John D Rockefeller) provides a wide array of indoor and outdoor shopping outlets. At Christmas the Center houses the world’s largest Christmas tree during the holiday season.

If you fancy a cheap day out in-between studies why not take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty. However, if history is more your thing then why not take a ferry to Ellis Island. Here you can discover how in 1892 the first ever immigrants arrived in New York. Today over 80,000,000 people – 1.5 million in the 57 kilometres of Manhattan alone - call New York City their home.

QUEENS

Queens is a large area of New York City that is strongly residential. Its neighborhoods tend to be relatively self-contained areas. Popular with new immigrants in the past half a century, Queens has become a melting pot of different cultures that are largely split up into different ethnic neighborhoods. There are very few inter-racial neighborhoods and the new immigrants that come to live here tend to congregate in their own areas.

In terms of socializing Queens is not Manhattan. It’s not even Brooklyn. However, more and more people are visiting the borough than ever before to discover what a great destination it is. There’s history, culture, views and food without the crowds and prices of Manhattan. For example if you fancy an afternoon of sport why not offer your support to The Mets at Shea Stadium - you will find the seats here less expensive than at the world famous Yankee Stadium based in the Bronx. In between studies if you want to enjoy New York’s great summer over a long cool beer then take a visit to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria. This huge beer garden, with its shady trees, picnic tables, and platters of hearty Czech food and Barb-b-q’s, provides an excellent way to wind down away from the crowds.

If you fancy a more cultural experience in Queens then why not try the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria which celebrates the history, technology and art of movies. Jackson Heights and Indian and South Asian Neighborhood is also a great cultural experience. Here the streets are lined with gold though the many jewelry shops alongside the many delicious curry houses. Nicknamed by locals as “Little India” this is a great place to experience Queens famed diversity.

BROOKLYN (Kings)

Brooklyn (Kings County) is a borough of many neighborhoods each with it’s own identity. Home to the famous suspended Brooklyn Bridge, with its unique view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skyline, Brooklyn is also popular with New Yorkers in the summer. Each year millions of them descend for a day out at Coney Island – America's classic amusement park.. Here you can ride the roller coasters, lay on the beach or take a walk across the boardwalk all the way over to Brighton Beach a true Russian neighborhood complete with Cyrillic signs and English as a second language. For those on a budget the first Saturdays of each month the Brooklyn Museum runs entertainment free of charge. Here you can enjoy world-class music, art and other forms of entertainment for free! Afterwards, if you’re peckish why not stop off for pizza at the world famous Grimaldi’s or a slice of the cheesecake at Juniors – you may have to queue but it is definitely worth the wait! For those of you who want to escape the crowds you can take a stroll along the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden which is part of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens or why not just chill and enjoy the endless activities in Prospect Park. Whatever you want to do Brooklyn has something for everyone.

BRONX

The Bronx is the only borough of New York City that is connected by land to the rest of the United States. It is one of New York’s most vibrant communities. It’s a place of world-famous attractions such as the Yankee Stadium, diverse artistic expression, miles of parks and over 60 landmarks and historic districts. Its here people like Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain lived and break-dancing and salsa music were born. The diverse mix of cultures within the Bronx lends itself to be an area where the arts, music and dance are key. Local plays, dances and hip-hop festivals all readily occur throughout the year and the Bronx Museum Of The Arts - the borough’s key fine art institution - is nationally acclaimed for reflecting the multi-ethnicity of its community and New York city. The South Bronx was once the postage stamp of crime, urban blight and general despair. However, cultural improvement has reigned for the last 11 years and this dramatic revitalization has earned the Bronx the All-American City Award and the Crown Community Award.

If you want to escape from the urban culture of the Bronx why not take a visit to The Bronx Zoo – the USA ‘s largest Metropolitan zoo with over 6,000 animals - or the 250 acres of the New York Botanical Gardens. You can also take a trip out to Orchard Beach – a mile long sandy beach which is the boroughs most popular summertime meeting place. Wherever you go in this borough you will understand the expression ”the Bronx is up!”

STATEN ISLAND

Staten Island is just a 25 minute ferry ride across New York Harbour. It is by far the least populated, most ethnically homogeneousand remote borough of New York City. It is often refferred to as the Richmond County - making it part of the southernmost section of the State of New York. Staten Island is sometimes the object of humour by residents of the other boroughs as being somewhat enigmatic and rustically suburban. Indeed, much of the central and southern sections of the island were once dominated by farms, primarily dairy and poultry farms, some of which are still in existence. However, if you want to escape city life and have a few hours to spare State Island is definetly worth a visit. It is uncrowded, affordable and easy to get to.

Step off the ferry at St George’s Station and catch some jazz at the Side Street Saloon or Cargo Café and don’t miss the latest installations at the Staten Institute of Arts and Sciences. Why not watch the Staten Island Yankees play at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark or go for a swim at South Beach. However, if history interests you why not take a visit to Fort Wandsworth, one of the oldest military sites in the United States or the Sandy Ground Historial Museum, founded in the 19th century by one of the oldest the freed slaves communities in North America. Staten Island may not carry the pace and highlife of the more urban city boroughs of New York City but it is steeped in history and culture and is definitely worth a look in.



 

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