This post is part of the series USA Road Trip
Other posts in this series:
If you are curious which places we already managed to visit in the early morning of our first day in New York City, go and check it here:
I’ll continue the story of our NYC trip with the next (and one of my favourite) city highlights, namely the Rockefeller Center. I have seen it so many times in the movies (like “Home Alone II”) that I already had some vast memories, even though it was my very first time here.
“Conceived over 100 years ago by John D. Rockefeller Jr. as a “city within a city”, Rockefeller Center has long been a hub of remarkable art, style, and entertainment. His inspiring vision continues to this day.” www.rockefellercenter.com
This place feels like a five-star boutique shop – everything is so exquisite and luxurious! Rockefeller Center offers some of the best shops I’ve EVER-EVER seen by now and it reminded me that I should get some way better-paid job if I want to “spread my wings of shopping spirit” here …
Again, I’ll share with some (hopefully new for you) interesting facts about this place:
- Rockefeller Center is located in Manhattan, between 48th and 51st Street.
- The Center got his start in the year of 1930 and it took 3 years to be completed.
- Its name came from its investor John D. Rockefeller, Jr. which was the son of the famous oil magnate John D. Rockefeller.
- In the years between 1930 and 1933, Rockefeller Center was the largest private project of all times.
- The size of the whole complex is more than 89.000 m² which is more than enough for all 19 buildings, home to GE Building, the Radio Music Hall, One Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, NBC television maintains studios, etc.
- The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is the most famous and spectacular Christmas Tree in New York City since 1931. The tree must be 22 and 27 meters tall and the type of tree is always a Norway spruce (very wind resistible), which also has to be dense enough so that you are not able “to see the sky through it”.
Each winter you can find “The Rink” at Rockefeller Center, a perfect romantic place for skating:
“I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.” John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
When it comes to absolutely positive astonishment, Central Park was definitely the best one in New York City for me! Maybe just because I was expecting to experience some insecure and feculent area with strange people sleeping everywhere … Contrariwise to my conception, Central Park surprises with its cleanness, stunning nature, family friendly plain, children’s playgrounds and chill out places for adults, several lakes, etc.
Central Park is located in the middle of Manhattan Island and it covers more than 9.000 m2 and back in the days it was America’s first public landscaped park! Anyway, the park is not natural but landscaped. Nowadays, there are more than 25.000 trees, 36 bridges and more than 90 km of walking alleys to be “studied” here.
- Central Park is larger than countries – Monaco (six times larger) and the Vatican!
- Central Park is favourite movie location as you can see it in more than 350 films (e.g. “Romeo & Juliet” 1908, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961, “The Avengers” 2012, etc.) and this makes him the most filmed public park for all times!
- There is a mobile app which uses 40 celebrity voices which ensure that you won’t get lost in the park!
- Central Park host more than 50 different species of butterflies and 25 of dragonflies.
- Based on U.S. 2010 census statistics, Central Park is considered a real home by 25 people.
- Central Park is the largest concert outdoor venue for all times – in the year of 1997, the park accommodated ca 980.000 attendees during Garth Brooks’ concert!
After more than 8 hours of walking we decided to invest in 72h “Hop-on, Hop-off” ticket for the evening and next day. It costs definitely less if you by the tickets on the street, than online – there are enough “Hop-on, Hop-off” vendors, which always will make some “special offer”. We spent e.g. ca $ 30, instead of $ 45 p.p.
I would definitely recommend “Hop-on, Hop-off” services, especially if you have some limited time in New York City! It is a good way to see more of NYC and it takes less effort than walking the whole time (although walking was sometimes much faster than driving through Manhattan).
On our second evening, thanks to “Hop-on, Hop-off” we were able to see parts of Lower Manhattan, New York University, Little Italy, Chinatown, Manhattans Bridge and of course Brooklyn by night.
Manhattan Bridge opened on 31 December 1909, even though it was still not 100% completed. The Bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff and it took 11 years to be built. With its total lengths of 2.089m, Manhattan Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn by tiding over the East River. The daily traffic is (for me) quite scary – 450.000 commuters, 85.400 vehicles, 4.500 bicycles, 350.000 transit riders and over 900 subway trains!
Well, we saw Brooklyn by night! And it was not that scary than expected … Haha, after all these Brooklyn stories and crime thrillers I’ve seen … Probably, when it’s not dark outside it would be different, who knows!
Some cool facts about Brooklyn:
- Brooklyn was settled by Dutch people during the 16th century and it was first called “Breuckelen”, which means “Broken Land” in Dutch.
- Brooklyn’s official motto is “Een Draght Mackt Maght”, translated “In unity, there is strength” (Old Dutch).
- Till the year of 1898, Brooklyn was a separate city and not part of New York City. This happening, the merge of Brooklyn with New York, was called by many residents “The Great Mistake of 1898”.
- Brooklyn is located on Long Island but is not registered as a part of it.
- Brooklyn is larger (land and population) than Manhattan. Its population is more than 2,6 Million of people, its size is about 186 km2 and if it still was its own city, Brooklyn would become the 4th most populous U.S. city.
- 38 % of current Brooklyn residents are foreign-born.
- Brooklyn has about 50 km of waterfront.
- In the year 1884, 21 elephants walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, in order to prove that the bridge was stable.
- Some Brooklyn’s invitations are the Twizzlers Candy, Deep-Fried Twinkie, Sweet & Low Sweetener, Teddy bears, the first Bank Credit Card (Flatbush National Ban), as well as the first roller coaster in America.
- Some of the Brooklyn’s nicknames are the “Kings County” and “Borough of Homes and Churches.”
- Brooklyn has a lot of beautiful beaches in and around the municipality.
I hope you could learn something new about NYC! In the next post, we are heading to the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge. Stay with me!
Enjoy the day!
Continue reading this series:
Lower Manhattan ~ NYC