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 The Wonders of New York

New York state is the third most populated state in the U.S. and its capital of Albany is far to the north, rather than the city of New York, which is the place most people come to first when arriving; and the center for culture, finance, manufacturing and transportation in the state.  The city and state were so named for the Duke Of York, who was in line to become the next King of England.  When Henry Hudson came in 1609 and declared the territory for the Dutch, Iroquois, Lenape and Algonquin tribes were occupying the state and they started trading furs and other items with the Dutch. The Dutch called it New Netherlands and first started settlements at Albany and Manhattan in 1624. After the second Anglo-Dutch war in 1664, it became a British possession and they began to settle it.  Almost a third of the Revolution War battles occurred in the state; which later became the 11th state to ratify the Constitution in 1788.

Traveling to the western part of the state was difficult, so in 1817 Governor Dewitt Clinton initiated the building of the Erie Canal, which would connect the port of New York with the Great Lakes via the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. When the canal was done in 1825, people rode up and down the canal wondering at this engineering marvel.  Soon the cities of Buffalo and Rochester began to grow with the influx of traffic, people and goods.  The areas of the Midwest and their agricultural bounties were soon heading for New York City and elsewhere in the American colonies.  In turn, the people of the eastern states and immigrants arriving daily now had easy transportation to the west.

Just inside the harbor area of New York City, the island of Ellis became the focal point for entrance into the United States from 1892 to 1954 when it closed; over 12 million people passed through.  In the centennial year, France presented the United States with a humungous gift called the Statue of Liberty; this enormous personification of republican virtues still stands today, with 15,000 visitors coming to view and be inspired by this representation of freedom each day.

The state is home to many wonderful state parks and two main forest preserves. About the size of Vermont and the biggest park in the country, Adirondack Park was created in 1892 and received constitutional protection in 1894.  In 1885, the Catskill Park received protection and became the home for many animals, including minks, bobcats, black bears and fishers.  There are plenty of campgrounds and 300 miles of multi-use trails. Commissioned by George Washington, our first President, Montauk Lighthouse was built and the Montauk Point State Park created, becoming a prominent destination for tourists.  Surfcast fisherman are attracted to the Hither Hills park because of its notoriety and great fishing; near East Hampton. Montauk Point and the Hamptons are in the southern fork of the island of Long Island. This island also includes Nassau County, Suffolk County and the two boroughs of New York; Queens and Brooklyn, also known as Kings.

New York is the third most populated state in the country, with almost 70% of those people living in the metropolitan area of New York City; which in 2006 was over 8 million people.  The city includes 5 boroughs; Richmond or more commonly known as Staten Island, Brooklyn or Kings, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. New York City is still the most populated city in the state and the United States.

The main crops of the state are; apples, nursery stock, vegetables, cattle and other livestock and dairy products. Chemical products, machinery, scientific instruments, printing and publishing, electrical equipment and tourism contribute to the overall economy also.
The state exports many different goods, and imports lumber, rough diamonds, gold, oil, aluminum, natural gas and electricity.  The city is the main center in the United States for communication, finance and banking.  New York City is the home for many of the world's biggest corporations, as well as the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations.

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Tours in New York

 Tours in New York

For the tourist, this state is a paradise of choices.  The city of New York itself would take weeks to tour, and then the state spreads northward with a panorama of scenes, cities, towns and unbelievable country.
There are a few absolutely must see places in NYC that involve tours; the first being the Empire State Building, which will give you a fantastic view of the city and instead of looking up at all the different skyscrapers, you can save some neck pain and look down.  If the weather is good, you can see almost 80 miles from this statuesque monument and is visited by 10-20 thousands of people each day.

The next would be the Statue Of Liberty which is the symbol of our freedom and has drawn millions to our wonderful country.  Arriving in 350 individual pieces, it was four months before she stood tall on our horizon. Closed after 9/11, the island was reopened December 20th the same year.  In 2004, the Observatory and Promenade were reopened for visitors by reserved ticket.

In the center of Manhattan, Rockefeller Center is famous for many different venues across the United States and around the world. The huge Christmas tree that is lit up here each year is a marvel of wonder to folks from everywhere, and the ice skating rink is right next to it. The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is here, as well as the Radio City Music Hall; with a plethora of unique shops, boutiques and eating establishments. Also located on the first floor, is the famous NBC studios and the daily Today show that attracts so many visitors and guests. A great place to visit.

Another marvelous place to see is the Great Hall at Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where you can just imagine the thousands of people standing here in line waiting for the opportunity of their lives to enter into the United States of America, with almost eerie inaudible sounds emanating from all around you. It was restored and made into a museum in 1990, with free Ranger guided tours of 45 minute duration, a 30 minute doc film called "Island of Hope, Island of Tears", and is free also. The audio tour is $8 and is conveniently taped in Japanese, Italian, Spanish, German, French and English, lasting an hour. The Board of Special Inquiry Program is hearings of immigrants reenacted for special insight into what could occur those many years ago. There are activities for the children and many find this trip awesome and informative. Half the fun is getting there by the ferry that takes you across the harbor and gives you some fantastic views of lower Manhattan.

The Staten Island Ferry that runs between lower Manhattan and the island is free and a joy to ride. The scenery of the city and the boats in the harbor is tremendous; plus you can see many of the activities of the ships and docks. Runs everyday and is always free to ride, takes about 30 minutes for each run.

The American Museum of Natural History is one place that you won't want to miss. Since 1869, the museum has been one of the main attractions in this city. Containing a blue whale, fossils of huge dinosaurs, and the Rose Center planetarium, as well as changing venues of exhibits, this museums has been described as "bulging from the seams" with information, artifacts and the natural wonders of this planet.

Perhaps the most well known niche in this marvelous city is Central Park and its 843 acres of serenity within the roaring hustle and bustle of the city itself. Opened in 1859, it was the first of its kind of park. Artificially landscaped and designed, the park is home to the Mall and Literary Walk, the Ramble, lakes and open spaces. With names like Strawberry Fields, the Shakespeare Garden and the Belvedere Castle, the park is a haven like no other manmade spectacle. There is a bike tour for your enjoyment, guided and self guided tours, Big Onion Tours, Joyce Gold History Tours of New York and the best of Central Park private tour with Michell Nevis. Also included is the Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children's Zoo, with famous restaurants Tavern on the Green and Loeb Boathouse; as well as a multitude of street vendors pushing their carts, wagons and stands throughout the park. An awesome place for a picnic to watch everything going on, rent a row boat or take a Gondola ride in the lake. There are many events happening in the park year round for your enjoyment and pleasure. You can rent skates to ride through the park at your own pace, seeing all the different people that frequent this magnificent park. Listen to the free concerts from the Philharmonic, the Met Opera or Central Park Summerstage. The Shakespeare in the Park is a wonderful chance to experience plays by the famous wordsmith.

Containing over two million works of art of history and the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a fabulous way to spend some time. Over 5 million people each year come to be mesmerized by the incredible displays of art and history. Their collections and special exhibits thrill viewers from every walk of life. Paintings by Rembrandt, Tiffany stained glass, Egyptian vases and Roman statues are just some of the venues offered. The Egyptian exhibits claim pieces from over 300,000 years ago. Visit the Met store and acquire replicas of the beautiful pieces that reside here. This is a special museum that would require numerous times to visit and flourish.
The Museum of Modern Art that started in 1929, is an eclectic collection from the late 1800s through and including today's art. Specifically representing the many forms of visual expression, the collection includes works of art through architecture and design, drawings, paintings, illustrations, sculptures and photographs.

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Things to do in New York

Things to do in New York

In the capital city of Albany, you will find many treasures that will excite the tourist in you.  The 1848 Shaker Meeting House, the Albany Institute of History and Art, Cathedral of All Saints, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, Court of Appeals Building, Cherry Hill, Dutch Apple River Cruises, New York State Museum, First Church in Albany, New York State Capitol, and the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza.

Syracuse is a wonderful city to enjoy with the Erie Canal Museum, the Opera, Everson Museum of Art, Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois, Landmark Theater, Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, Onondaga Lake Park, Museum of Automobile History, and the Onondaga Historical Association Museum.

The Niagara Falls are one of the most spectacularly awesome places in this country to visit.  Listening to the thunder of the falls, smelling the freshness of water, and watching those tremendous falls cascading in a roaring rumble is like nothing else in the states.  You can take a tour boat that will bring you close enough to the falls to get soaking wet and take your breath away as you are only yards from these tumbling torrents of water.  Here you can visit the Cave of the Winds Trip, Castellani Art Museum, Wax Museum, Goat Island, the Aquarium, Maid of the Mist and the Aerospace Museum.

Long Island, the piece of land that juts out into the Atlantic, while protecting some of the city' boroughs is another great place to visit.  The Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson is a vision of seasonal beauty that will fill your eyes and nose with something very special.  The Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville is great, with its nautical memorabilia through history.  The East Hampton Town Marine Museum in Amagansett, the Lauder Museum in Amityville, Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, the Stony Brook Grist Mill, the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook which consists of the History Museum, Art Museum, Carriage Museum and historic buildings, Robert Moses State Park in Babylon, Bridgehampton Historical Museum, the Vanderbilt Mansion, Planetarium, Marine Museum and Park in Centerport; the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor and the lists of fantastic sights, museums, magnificent architectural buildings built by some of this country's most wealthy families that still reside there.  The ones that don't have left their immensely valuable holdings to the state and have become some of the most unbelievable museums housing the crème de la crème of paintings, furnishings, furniture and memorabilia that exists in this country.

In the beautiful Catskill Mountains, summer place for the rich and famous of New York City, and home of the hero Rip Van Winkle in Washington Irving's tale; the scenery, trails, rivers and lakes are spectacular. Totaling 260 feet, the Kaaterskill Falls on Spruce Creek are the tallest falls in New York. At one time, logging and farming started to destroy the pristine beauty of this area, and the Catskill Park and Forest Reserve came into being. Ethnic groups of old Eastern Europe came here to escape the hot summers of the streets of New York City, with its dreary decaying sights and smells. There are a variety, as well as many different camps that are in the area. One called the Borscht Belt or the Jewish Alps, over the years the rich have become airborne and left the area to the middle class and their children.

In Cooperstown you can be fascinated with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Hyde Hall National Historic Landmark, Chief Uncas Boat Tours, Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, Farmers' Museum, Fenimore Art Museum and the Glimmerglass Opera. And don't forget the amazing Cooperstown Beverage Trail; that once long ago was the hops growing capital of North America and is now home to 2 breweries, a farm winery and a historic cider mill. Take some time to savor the tantalizing tastes of the various brews and see how these tasteful beverages are created. A delicious place to see and experience.

Another well known and famous area in the state of New York is Lake Placid, site of two winter Olympics in 1932 and 1990. Of course it goes without saying that this is a winter wonderland full of activities that relate to winter and the thrills that belong to the sports. Here you can rent canoes and kayaks to paddle through the pristine creeks and rivers that abound in this area. Or just spend the day on the lake itself searching out the coves and islands that claim space here. Perhaps a little less known historical fact is that this is the home of John Brown and his historic state farm site. This was the same abolitionist that attacked Harper's Ferry and it cost him and many of his compatriots lives.

In another area of splendid simplicity, the Adirondacks rise majestically to the New York skies. There are many, many places to see and visit, to do, to enjoy. The Ausable Chasm is a place of magic with gorgeous views available from hiking trails, or river rafts, canoes, or kayaks; with minerals, mines and geological attractions to fascinate the visitor. At the Blue Mountain Lake, you can spend perusing the Adirondack Museum, go see the High Falls Park at Chateaugay, the American Maple Museum in Croghan, historical Crown Point, with the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse and state historical site. Take a balloon flight over the Adirondacks from Glens Falls, spend some very exciting time at the Fort William Henry Museum or the Lake George Battlefield Park in Lake George. Lounge and drink on the steamboat at Lake George, or gather garnets in North Creek at the Gore Mountain Garnet Mine. Visit Plattsburgh and see all it has to offer, try Ticonderoga and now you start remembering these special names that have appeared in your history classes as a young un learning about the beginning of these United States and you suddenly realize many of these historical cities and towns were a major part of the Revolutionary War. Its a grand state, no doubt. And because you have been a good child and remembered your history lessons; you can go to Santa's workshop in Wilmington and get a gift.