To Do

  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, between W 62nd and 66th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Aves (Subway 1 to 66th St or walkable from A, C, B, and D trains at 59th St, NB: Rose Hall venues are in the Time Warner Center, Broadway at 60th St). The world's largest cultural complex, where you can see theater, symphonies, ballet, opera, movies, art exhibits or just wander the architecturally beautiful buildings. The buildings are modern, and even have modern chandeliers. There are two opera companies, and the famous Juilliard School of Music is also here. Also part of the complex is the New York Public Library's Library for the Performing Arts, containing circulating and non-circulating collections in music, drama, and dance, as well as special collections of priceless documents that scholars from around the world come to look at.
  • Metropolitan Opera. Confusingly referred to simply as "the Met" (together with the Metropolitan Museum of Art), the premier opera company in New York has been housed at Lincoln Center since 1966, behind five soaring glass arches in the east facade, and within a vast white travertine-clad building. Two Marc Chagall murals grace the foyer. The hall has wonderful acoustics, and its ceiling is lined with gold leaf and chandeliers.
  • David H. Koch Theater. The home of the New York City Ballet. The Nutcracker staged by the Ballet every December is a holiday classic, popular with New Yorkers and tourists alike.
  • Riverside Park, west of Riverside Dr. While nearby Central Park is justly famous and finds its way onto a "must see" list for most visitors to New York, Riverside Park also has its charms, as its riverfront location provides pleasant views of New Jersey and sometimes breezes off the river. Summer brings al fresco movies and music to Riverside Park. Morningside Heights Walking Tour. Morningside Heights remained relatively bucolic till the turn of the 20th Century because of its relative inaccessibility, and most of the existing apartment buildings were constructed between about 1900 and 1910. The buildings survive because elevators were being introduced then and consequently most of the buildings are ten to twelve story apartment blocks rather than smaller townhouses or single family homes. Juliet balconies, details on the facades, and grand lobbies make this neighborhood a great place to explore the local architecture. Lincoln Square 13 Cinema, 1998 Broadway (Subway 1 to 66th St), ☎ +1-212-336-5020. First showings begin around noon, last showings begin around 11PM. A multiplex two blocks from Lincoln Center, showing major, first-run films on 13 screens. It also contains an IMAX cinema showing mainstream feature films. $12-16.
  • Walter Reade Theater. The home of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the premier film society in the United States. The theater itself is a good place to catch the latest trends in cinema from all over the world with annual showcases from Africa, Spain, France, Italy, Israel, and Asia. The film society organizes the annual New York Film Festival at nearby Alice Tully Hall (at the Time Warner Center in 2007 because of construction at Alice Tully) in late Sep-early Oct.

Buying Books

The neighborhood, especially the Morningside Heights area, is home to several excellent bookstores.

  • Bank Street Bookstore, Broadway at 112th St. Associated with the Bank Street College, a leading teacher education school, this is one of the best places to buy books, educational toys, and other educational material in the world. The helpful staff will patiently produce the perfect gift for any kid.
  • Book Culture, 112th St (between Broadway and Amsterdam). Formerly known as Labyrinth Books, Book Culture is a scholarly bookstore, worth browsing for the books on science and the liberal arts. The sale tables on the second floor are full of bargains that will delight any book lover. They also have a branch at Broadway at 114th Street.
  • Columbia University Bookstore, Broadway at 115th St. Run by Barnes and Noble, this is the best place in the neighborhood to pick up travel guides for anywhere as well as Columbia University branded gifts.
  • Barnes and Noble, 82nd/Broadway. A large Barnes and Noble bookstore in the neighborhood.
  • Westsider Rare and Used Books, Broadway between 80th and 81st Streets. Specializing in used books.

Museums

  • American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Ave at 66th St; Subway 1 to 66 St-Lincoln Center), ☎ +1-212-595-9533(info@folkartmuseum.org, fax: +1-212-595-6759). Tu-Sa, noon-7:30PM, Su noon-6:30PM, closed M. Free.
  • American Museum of Natural History, 79th St and Central Park W (Subway B (weekdays only) or C to 81st St. Museum of Natural History), ☎ +1-212-313-7278. 10AM-5:45PM daily. Holding a remarkably large collection, each of the 5 floors of this massive building has expansive and well-designed exhibits devoted to astronomy, biology, geology, anthropology, climatology, and paleontology. You will want to allow a full day if you hope to see the entirety of the museum. Some of the highlights are the Rose Center for Earth and Space on the northeast corner of the building, which contains a seven-story glass cube holding the Hayden Planetarium, a huge sphere suspended above the exhibit halls below and holding a "cosmic pathway" exhibit; the numerous habitat diorama halls on the first, second and third floors, with recreations of African, Asian, North American, and ocean plants and animals, including a full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended above the Ocean Life Hall; a Hall of Minerals and Gems, which contains many rare and beautiful specimens, including the largest star sapphire in the world and a chunk of a massive meteorite; extensive anthropology halls on the first, second, and third floors, with exhibits devoted to people of Asia, Africa, Central America, the Pacific, and Native Americans; and the natural history halls on the fourth floor, with one of the largest collections of dinosaur skeletons in the world. New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W (at 77th St)
  • Nicholas Roerich Museum, 319 W 107th St, ☎ +1-212-864-7704

Churches and cathedrals

  • Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave (at 112th St) 7:30AM-6PM daily. The world's largest neo-Gothic cathedral, the place has been a work in progress for over a century! The campus also attracts many songbirds in season.
  • Riverside Church, Riverside Ave and 122 St (just S of Grant's Tomb). A large and historically important Protestant church and center of progressive social activism.

Institutions of learning

  • Columbia University, centered on Broadway and 116 St, is a famous Ivy League college of very long standing in New York.
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice at Lincoln Center, on 59th St and 10th Avenue.
  • Barnard College, across Broadway to the west, is one of the Seven Sisters colleges, and is affiliated with Columbia University.
  • Teacher's College on 120th St between Broadway and Amsterdam. Columbia University's School of Education, Teacher's College is an architectural gem with its block length Beaux Arts and neo-Gothic facade buildings.
  • Juilliard School of Dance, Drama, and Music, on 65th St between Amsterdam and Columbus, is one of the foremost conservatories of those disciplines in the U.S.
  • The Mannes College of Music, on 85th St between Amsterdam and Columbus, is the New School's classical conservatory of music.
  • Manhattan School of Music, on 122nd St and Broadway, is another conservatory of music.
  • Fordham College at Lincoln Center, on 60th St between Columbus and Amsterdam, is a branch of Fordham University.

Monuments

  • Grant's Tomb, (Subway 1 to 125th St), ☎ +1-212-666-1640. Th-M 10AM-11AM, noon-1PM, 2PM-3PM, 4PM-5PM. General Grant National Memorial. Former U.S. President and General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife are buried in this imposing mausoleum, the largest tomb in North America.
  • Shinran Shonin, 331-332 Riverside Drive (between 105th and 106th Streets). Staring pensively across Riverside Drive at the children playing in the park is the statue of Shinran Shonin, a 13th century Buddhist reformer. In another life, the statue stood in Hiroshima and witnessed the devastation caused by the bomb. His New York home is between two Riverside Drive buildings right next to the New York Buddhist Center
  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Riverside Drive at 89th St. A memorial to the Civil War dead (though, in typical New York fashion, it wasn't constructed till 1902, almost 40 years after the Civil War ended!).