New York City is known for its world-class performing arts and art scene. The array of choices is dizzying, from the Broadway shows, the museums, the symphony, the ballet, the opera, jazz and chamber music performances, the galleries, the fashion, the choices are unlimited. You could spend weeks visiting the island and never experience it all. If you plan to spend the weekend visiting Manhattan (specifically to enjoy the arts) select a few “must do” items and choose a hotel in a nearby neighborhood, (for example: The Upper West Side) this way you can focus on what there is to see and do in the area near your hotel as well.
The Upper West Side of New York City is home to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Eleven organizations reside on the 16.3-acre campus that houses the most exceptional art experiences in the world. A small selection includes: The New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera Association, The New York City Ballet, The Lincoln Center Theater and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center is located on 66th street and Broadway and is easily accessible by subway from where ever you choose to stay. If you visit their website: www.lincolncenter.org you can find information about all the performances for each discipline, performance times and ticket prices.
The history behind the scenes of this fantastic arts Mecca is fascinating, and if the timing is right, you can even enjoy a rehearsal in progress. Tours are $25.00 and last about ninety minutes. Expert guides lead the tours that provide an insider’s view of the world’s leading performing arts center. It is a terrific way to learn about the campus, the offerings, and the tour gives you access to the spectacular facilities like the Metropolitan Opera house with its red velvet seats, dazzling scenery, and crystal chandeliers. If you are inclined to take a tour, you can purchase tickets on the Lincoln Center website or in person at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center located at 61West 62nd St. www.atrium.lincolncenter.org
The Theater Development Fund opened a TKTS discount ticket booth for Broadway musicals, plays, and Off-Broadway shows at the David Rubenstein Atrium. At this location, you can purchase same-day theater tickets from 25% to 50 % off. The Theater Development Fund operates four ticket booths in New York City, with the most famous being the location on Times Square. When you purchase tickets at TKTS booths, you help to support a nonprofit organization that helps to share the arts with various groups. The box office is not as crowded at the Lincoln Center location, and it is inside. If you arrive about an hour to a half-hour before it opens, you can check the offerings and buy same-day tickets for performances or matinee tickets for performances the next day. There is a free app that you can download to check on the performances featured at the TKTS booths as well. The box office is open from Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 pm -7:00 pm. There are also kiosks in the Atrium to buy full price tickets to any Lincoln Center performance: www.atrium.lincolncenter.org
Listen to Jazz and visit the mall that houses world-class shopping and dining. If you walk a few blocks south to 60th Street to 10 Columbus Circle, you will find The Shops at Columbus Circle at the
Time Warner Center
This beautiful mall houses Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, as well as gourmet markets, cafes, high –end restaurants, bars and retail stores bearing the top names in fashion. Enter the mall at 60th street and take the Jazz elevators to the 5th floor where you will find The Rose Theater, The Appel Room, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the Irene Diamond Education Center. For more information and tickets visit: www.jazz.org
No visit to New York City is complete without a stroll in Central Park. If you have time between shows, enter the park on the West Side to enjoy nature. Right off Columbus Circle is an entrance to Central Park and an information kiosk where you can get a map and get suggestions for must-see Central Park stops. Depending on the season you can rent bicycles, visit the Loeb Boathouse to rent a boat, visit the Wollman Rink for ice skating, ride the carousel or visit The Central Park Zoo. Walking is a great way to see the park. If you walk over to the East Side, you can visit the Loeb Boathouse. In winter, the café and the restaurant are open for snacks or a full meal. It is the only restaurant in the city that offers stunning views of the lake and is one of the most romantic spots in the city. You can rent a boat at the boathouse for $15.00 per hour with a $20.00 cash deposit. For more information, you can visit their website: www.thecentalparkboathouse.com
Museum mile refers to the nine museums along a stretch of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 110th street on the East side of Manhattan, where you can discover an enormous collection of culture from around the globe. Here you can visit the largest art museum in the United States, The Metropolitan Museum of Art or “The Met.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 5th Avenue and is a short walk from the Loeb Boathouse. The museum’s current location in Central Park was opened in 1880 and covers over two million square feet. The site houses more than 5,000 years of art from around the world and has permanent and rotating exhibits in its galleries. The best way to discover the museum is to visit their website: www.metmuseum.org.The Met is open seven days a week: Sunday –Thursday: 10 am- 5:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am – 9 pm.
The arts are synonymous with New York. You can enjoy so much in a short time, whether you visit the websites beforehand or let spontaneous choices lead you to create your own enriching itinerary. The iconic establishments in the city will always offer exciting opportunities to enjoy the most exceptional experiences in the world.