Fifteenth International Congress
of the New Chaucer Society

July 27-31, 2006, in New York City

Guide to Other Activities in NYC

  Major Tourist Attractions    ·   Performing Arts    ·   Museums    ·   Art and Galleries
Libraries    ·   Universities    ·   Sports    ·   Houses of Worship    ·   Tours    ·   Film
Outdoor Summer Concerts    ·   Shopping    ·   NYC Region    ·   Further Afield

The Local Arrangements Committee of the NCS 2006 Congress looks forward to welcoming all Congress participants and their families to New York City.

Although the wide range of cultural attractions and great number of entertainment options available to New York City's visitors precludes an exhaustive listing on this website, the following list of attractions and excursions is designed to be of maximum assistance in planning activities outside, and after, the Congress. 

Each listing includes a link to an external website (or, in a few instances, to a telephone number) where you can obtain more precise or current information, make reservations, and/or buy tickets. Every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the listings given here, but changes may occur closer to the time of the Congress, so re-checking the linked sites will be important. You will find comprehensive lists of events, performances, and exhibits in New York at the time of the Congress in the Friday edition of The New York Times, which includes the showing times as well as the location of all movies, and in the The Village Voice, New York Magazine, Time Out New York (TONY), and the New Yorker, all available at news stands.

For a wide variety of information about New York City, with links to many activities and the opportunity to purchase tickets of various kinds, explore http://gonyc.about.com/.


Some major tourist attractions

The River to River Festival is a free festival put on by the city and the American Express Corporation every summer, featuring a variety of arts and entertainment.  Check the web site often to see what's happening, free, downtown.

The Bronx Zoo , Boston Road and Bronx River Parkway in the Bronx (Bronx Park East station on the #2 and #5 subway lines), with more than 4,000 animals, covers 265 acres.

The New York Aquarium in Brooklyn is New York's aquarium.

New York has two superb botanical gardens: the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx.  The former is served by the #2 and #3 subway lines (stops at Broadway and 72nd Street or 42nd St Times Square ), to the Eastern Parkway Station in Brooklyn; for the latter, take Metro-North commuter train from Grand Central Station to the Botanical Garden station.  There are also wonderful gardens, greenhouses, and views of the Hudson River from Wave Hill, a city-owned estate in Riverdale (the Bronx) dating from the Revolutionary War and once the home of Arturo Toscanini. (Reached by taxi or private car.)  

Central Park, in the center of Manhattan from 59th to 110th Sts. perpetually plays host to a wide variety of special events, especially during the summer months, including concerts, opera, and “Shakespeare in the Park.”  Click the link that says "Events in the Park" on the Central Park web page for updated information.

Coney Island, home to New York's largest amusement park, a circus sideshow (the last one in the United States, according to the web site), and Nathan's, America's most famous hot dog stand. Take the D train at 59th St. (approximately forty-five minutes ), or the B (same station) to Brighton Beach, now the center of New York's expatriate Russian population and culture.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, both in New York Harbor, are easily reached via a ferry service that is operated by the Circle Line from Castle Clinton in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan (take the southbound  #1 train at 59th St. to its “South Ferry” terminus). One ticket entitles its bearer to visit both national monuments, which are free once reached. 

Note that it is no longer permissible for visitors to climb to Lady Liberty's crown (or torch).  Tickets that enable visitors to climb to the top of the statue's pedestal are distributed on a first-come first-served basis at the ticket counter at Battery Park.

Ellis Island is now a national immigration museum, offering fascinating exhibits illustrating the hopes and travails of the European immigrants who arrived in the US via Ellis Island from 1892-1954.  Computer screens allow visitors to search ship manifests for information about ancestors who immigrated during this period.

South Street Seaport is New York's tribute to its maritime past. Home to various old whalers, schooners, and yachts, South Street Seaport is a taste of the nineteenth century just steps from Wall Street.  The South Street Seaport Museum is of particular interest to those whose interests include maritime history.  There are many good restaurants located in old houses near the East River

Rockefeller Center in Midtown is home to the famous Christmas tree and ice rink, and a treasure trove of Art Deco architecture, including the Radio City Music Hall Top of the Rock, the center's observation deck in the RCA Building, has now been re-opened. 

The Empire State Building, 34th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues, has an observation deck with views across many miles on clear days.

Washington Square, at the foot of 5th Ave. (N or R line to W. 8th St.; ABCDF lines to W. 4th St.; #1 line to Christopher St./Sheridan Sq. (10 minute walk east). The buildings of New York University (www.nyu.edu) surround Washington Square Park with its triumphal arch. To the south in Greenwich Village; two blocks east is the site of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 (NW corner, Washington and Greene Sts.).  Macdougal St., going south from the park, holds many coffee shops; Bleecker St., to the south, offers many Italian restaurants and bakeries, some over 100 years old.

Fraunces Tavern on Pearl and Broad streets is a twentieth-century reconstruction of the tavern in which General Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the colonial army in 1783.  A limited amount of presidential memorabilia lines the walls.
 

Performing Arts 

A wide variety of events is produced at Lincoln Center, Broadway 63-66 Sts., during the summer months, including the “Mostly Mozart” concerts, ballet performances, and a “Summer Festival.” Please consult the website or the periodical listings mentioned above for specifics. Performance spaces include the Metropolitan Opera (there is no summer opera season), Avery Fisher Hall (home of the New York Philharmonic), the New York State Theater, Alice Tully Hall of the Juilliard School of Music, and the Vivian Beaumont and Mitzi Newhouse Theaters. The New York Public Library of Performing Arts is housed at Lincoln Center.

Carnegie Hall, 7th Ave. and 57th St., contains two halls in addition to its main auditorium.   Please check the website for orchestral and chamber music concerts as well as individual recitals scheduled around the time of the Congress. 

There may also be musical events as well as theatrical or dance performances at The New York City Center, 55th St. between 6th and 7th Avenues, or The Town Hall, 43rd St. between 6th and 7th Avenues.


Theater


For full reviews of current shows, additional listings, and show times and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.nytimes.com/theater; an excellent site for information about theater, dance, and concerts is that of the Theater Development Fund.   Another such site is http://www.braodway.com.

Tickets can also be purchased for many Broadway and off-Broadway shows from the following sites:

http://www.applause-tickets.com/
http://www.ticketmaster.com/broadway
http://www.ticketmaster.com/offbroadway
http://www.telecharge.com

and for off-Broadway shows  from

http://www.ticketcentral.com
http://www.webtickets.com/theater/Off_Broadway/

Reduced price tickets for shows that are not sold out can be purchased on the day of the performance at TKTS, Broadway and 47th St.

NB: “Broadway” theaters are located between and 42nd and 50th Sts., and between 6th and 8th Avenues. “Off-Broadway” and “Off-Off Broadway” theaters are located all over Manhattan; the respective titles refer to the relative size of the theater, cost of the production, and/or established status of the playwright and actors, not to the distance from the thoroughfare.

The Apollo Theater , W. 125th St. between Manhattan Ave. and Frederick Douglass  Blvd., historic venue for African-American performances and entertainers. 

Movies, plays, concerts, and operas are also presented at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, located at  Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place, Brooklyn. For schedule and tickets, consult the website; for directions to BAM by public transportation and special buses, click on “Visitor Info” on the Home Page.


Jazz  


Among the many jazz clubs (listed in full each week in The New Yorker) are Birdland , 315 W. 44th St., between 8th and 9th Aves. (212-581-3080); Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St., near 6th Ave. (212-475-8592) Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South, at 11th St. (212-255-4037), and Jazz Gallery (for “up and coming performers”), 290 Hudson St., near Spring St. (Greenwich [or West] Village; 212-242-1063). 

 

Museums 

The Museum of the City of New York, 5th Ave. at E. 103 St 

The American Museum of Natural History, and Planetarium, Central Park West and 79th St.,  .

The Folk Art Museum, 45 W. 53rd St.,  

The Lower East SideTenement Museum, 97 Orchard St.: in a mid-nineteenth-century tenement building, the museum has precisely recreated apartments as lived in by their actual occupants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Guided tours of the apartments (book in advance by telephone, 1-800-965-4827, or at www.ticketweb.com); plays and art exhibits presented frequently. 

The Museum of Television and Radio, 2 W. 52nd St. , features a variety of public programs and ready access to a vast collection of radio and television shows. 

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is home to the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the Concorde, as well as several other ships and aircraft.  The Intrepid is docked in the Hudson River at W. 45th St. 

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum  , 5th Ave. and 91st St., a division of the Smithsonian Institution, devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. 

Morris-Jumel Mansion  , 60 Jumel Terrace at W. 160th St. and Edgecombe Ave. (#1 subway line to 157th St.), is the oldest house (1765) in Manhattan, and served as Washington's headquarters during one period of the American Revolution; 11 rooms decorated with period furniture and artifacts. Nearby is picturesque Sylvan Terrace. 

The George Gustave Heye Center, a division of the Smithsonian Institution Museum of the American Indian in the former U.S. Custom House, an historical building at Bowling Green, at the southern end of Manhattan (Bowling Green Station of the #4 or #5 subway lines), has a research center and a large collection of Native American artifacts; there are frequent exhibits and performances.

New-York Historical Society, 77th St. and Central Park West, houses an extensive collection of documents, paintings, and  artifacts illustrative of New York City history; a research library; and frequent exhibits.

The Jewish Museum, 5th Ave. at 92nd St. 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City (#1 subway to South Ferry Station; #4 or #5 to Bowling Geen Station): “a living memorial to the Holocaust,” with a variety of programs and exhibits. 

The American Museum of the Moving Image , 35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria, Queens (nearest subway station: 36th Ave., Queens, on the N or W line.  The nation's largest archive.  Exhibits, lectures, screenings illustrating and interpreting the history and technology of film. 

Brooklyn Museum , 200 Eastern Parkway at Washington Ave., Brooklyn (Eastern Parkway station on the #2 or #3 subway line).
 

Art  

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5th Avenue at 82nd St.,.  Of particular interest to NCS members is The Cloisters, the Metropolitan's division of  medieval art, sculpture, and architecture, with medieval cloister gardens and magnificent views over the Hudson River.  The Cloisters is located in Fort Tryon Park,  in  northern Manhattan (A or C  subway line to 190 St., then walk through Park (10 minutes) or transfer to #4 Bus, which terminates at the front entrance of the Cloisters. 

The newly refurbished Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.,  

The Studio Museum in Harlem, W. 125th St.  between Malcolm X Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., exhibits nineteenth- and twentieth-century African-American, Caribbean, and African art. 

The Frick Collection, 70th St. and 5th Ave.,  the former mansion of the industrialist Henry Clay Frick, contains an art collection of uniformly high quality, including many world-famous paintings. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, 5th Ave. at 88th St. , Frank Lloyd Wright's New York masterwork. 

The Whitney Museum of American Art is at Madison Ave. and E. 75th St. 

El Museo del Barrio, 5th Ave. at W. 104th St. Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin American art, photography, film, and video, plus a collection of artifacts from pre-Columbian times to the present. 


Galleries


A comprehensive list of galleries and their shows is published each week in The New Yorker.

The Art Dealers Association of America web site contains listings of numerous art galleries, many of which are in New York and have pieces for sale. 

Auction Houses (many art items on exhibit)

Christie's , 20 Rockefeller Plaza, Rockefeller Center (between 5th and 6th Aves, 48-50th Sts.).

Sotheby's, York Ave. (East side of Manhattan) at 72nd St. 


Libraries 

The main branch of the New York Public LIbrary is at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.  Behind the Library to the west is Bryant Park  with several restaurants and cafes, and frequent lunchtime performances.  

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture , Malcolm X Blvd. at W. 135 St (#2 or #3 subway line): over 5 million items testifying to the extent , trials, and achievements of African-Americans and the African diaspora.  

The Morgan Library, Madison Ave. at 36th St; Its renovation is to be completed in 2006. 


Universities 

The City College of the City University of New York, Convent Ave. and W. 138 St.(137th St. station on #1 subway line);  founded in 1847 to offer free education to all New Yorkers; now senior member of the City University of New York (CUNY). 

Columbia University in the City of New York , Broadway and W. 116 St. (#1 subway line)  

Fordham University, Bronx Campus, East Fordham Road and Webster Ave., The Bronx. (Metro North commuter rail to Fordham station; Fordham Road station, B and D subway lines.)

New York University, see above, Washington Square Park. 


Sports (tickets at websites) 

Baseball:

The New York Mets, Shea Stadium, Flushing, Queens; #7 subway line to Shea Stadium station (about 40 minutes from midtown Manhattan) 

The New York Yankees, Yankees Stadium, 161st St. and River Ave., The Bronx. B, D, or #4 subway lines to 161st St. Station. 

The Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor-league team, Coney Island, Brooklyn.


Women's basketball:

The New York Liberty play in Madison Square Garden, 7th Ave. and 33rd St.

Recreational sports:

Chelsea Piers along the Hudson River at W. 23rd St.; bowling, roller skating, basketball courts, golf driving range.  


Houses of worship 

The Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, of the  Episcopal Diocese of New York, Amsterdam Avenue and W. 112 St. (#1 subway line to 110th St./ Cathedral  Parkway station).  Many cultural performances as well as religious  services. 

St Patrick's Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, 5th Ave, at 50th St. (across from Rockefeller Center) 

Riverside Church, non-denominational Protestant church with a long tradition of  social activism. Riverside Drive at W. 120 St. #5 bus, which stops on Broadway and  63rd St., near the Fordham Lincoln Center campus.

Temple Emanu-el, one of New York's leading Reform Jewish congregations, 5th Ave. at 65th St.  

The Eldridge Street Synagogue, 12 Eldridge St., between Canal and Division Sts. on the Lower East Side. Founded in 1887, it became the largest and most influential Jewish congregation in the Lower East Side, the center of Eastern European Jewish immigrant life. Now being restored; tours available.   Take or B or D train to Grand Street station.

Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 Odell Clark Place, formerly West 138th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Malcolm X Boulevards, also known as 7th and Lenox Avenues (#2 or #3 subway to 135th St. station).  One of the largest and oldest, historically African-American, congregations in Harlem.  

Trinity Church Broadway and Wall St., historic Episcopal Church ,founded 1697, with famous churchyard where Alexander Hamilton is buried; also St. Paul's Chapel, Broadway at Fulton St. 
 

Tours

Bus:

Gray Line Tours, sightseeing tours in multiple languages; a Gray Line ticket entitles its bearer to board various buses, which run on regular routes, for the better part of a whole day. 

Boat:

The Circle Line, round-Manhattan cruises, depart from a dock near West 42 Street on the Hudson River. 

Helicopter:

Liberty Helicopter Tours , from VIP Heliport, W. 30th St. and 12th Ave.

Walking tours: GoNYC offers links to a variety of walking tours. 


Film

The Friday edition of The New York Times includes the showing times as well as the location of all movies. 

Some independent movie theaters:
The Film Forum, Houston St. between Varick St. (southern continuation of 7th Ave.) and 6th Ave. (#1 subway, Houston St. station);
the Angelika , W. Houston St. between Broadway and Mercer St. (B or D subway line to Broadway/Lafayette station)
The Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. at 2nd St. (F or V subway line to Lower East Side/2nd Ave. station) 

In Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Rose Cinemas offers many independent films. 

Tickets for most movies can be purchased in line, at Fandango or www.movietickets.com  



Outdoor Summer Concerts  
Most outdoor summer concerts around New York City are free, but some require donations. For dates and details see the following links:

Celebrate Brooklyn

Central Park Summerstage

Cityparks Concerts

East River Music Project

McCarren Park Pool (Brooklyn)

River Rocks, Pier 54, Hudson River at 13th St.

River to River Festival

South Street Seaport, Pier 17, Fulton and South Streets, Lower Manhattan

Warm Up, PS 1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City

 

Shopping

Check exchange rates at http://www.x-rates.com.

To search for stores by type, products, and location, see one of these websites:

http://www.ny.com/shopping/
http://www.gonyc.about.com/od/shopping/
http://www.newyorkmetro.com/shopping/
http://www.nyctourist.com/shopping_menu.htm

For descriptions of shopping districts and internet guides to shopping in NYC, see:

http://www.citidex.com/840.htm 

For lists of bookstores by location and type, see:

bookstore listings
Citidex
Remanski Books 

Around New York City 

Long Island  extends eastward from Manhattan; at its western end, the New York CIty boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

MTA's Long Island Rail Road runs from New York City's Penn Station all the way to the end of Long Island (Montauk Point), a distance of over 100 miles. Take its trains for :

      *Beaches: Jones Beach , Fire Island, Sag Harbor, and the Hamptons, famous for grand homes.

      *Vineyards: (http://www.liwines.com/).  

The Hudson River Valley is served by  MTA's Metro North Rail Road as far as north as Poughkeepsie; Amtrak continues north to Albany.    For complete listing of attractions (towns, museums, historic estates, etc.) and train schedules, go to http://www.hudsonriver.com/index.html .  Most are within a train journey of between ½ and 2 hours, and the scenery (not least the 'mighty' river itself) “vaut le voyage.” Many of the towns date back to 17th-century Dutch settlements; many estates are of historic interest.

Also see http://www.hudsonrivervalley.com, the website of the Hudson River Valley Heritage area, with links to attractions listed in order of importance and proximity to New York City. 

Rhinebeck, less than an hour by MetroNorth (station: Rhinecliff, a 15 minute walk to town center), is a charming town of 18th - and 19th-century houses built around the original crossroads of two Native American trails. The town Inn, The Beekman Arms (award-winning restaurant), dates to 1766.  Nearby (but more easily accessible by car) are the campus of Bard College, overlooking the Hudson;  Montgomery Place, a Revolutionary-era mansion; and the Rhinebeck Aerodrome, featuring antique airplane flights on some weekends

Springwood, the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is located in scenic Hyde Park, New York.  So too is the Culinary Institute of America.  The Vanderbilt Mansion is also located in Hyde Park. 

Attractions reachable by car include: 

Storm King Art Center, about an hour north of Manhattan, an outdoor art exhibition space.   

Bear Mountain State Park a bucolic state park along the Hudson River, reachable via the Palisades Interstate Parkway .

West Point, the US Miilitary Academy, also along the Hudson.


New Jersey


New Jersey Transit runs trains out of New York's Penn Station to various points in New Jersey, including:

Princeton University . Change to shuttle at Princeton Junction. 

Atlantic City, located on the Jersey Shore about two hours south of New York City, offers casinos and the Boardwalk, Park Place, Ventnor Avenue, and other streets whose place-names became spaces on Monopoly boards! 

Historic Cold Spring Village, in New Jersey's southernmost point, Cape May, features more than twenty restored historic buildings. 


Connecticut:  go to http://www.tourism.state.ct.us  for full tourist information. 


Take MTA's Metro North Rail Road as far as New Haven and via Amtrak for points beyond (both depart from Penn Station); among accessible points:.

Yale University, New Haven.   

Mystic Seaport, on the Connecticut coast, with a  museum of America and the sea. 


Rhode Island: go to http://www.visitrhodeisland.com for comprehensive tourist information. 


Newport is home to numerous opulent mansions, a beautiful coastline, and a few museums. 

In Providence: Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design
 

Further Afield 

The Adirondack Mountains are one of New York State's most famous holiday destinations, of which Lake Placid is probably the best-known.  Nearby Lake Champlain, a beautiful, slender lake between New York and Vermont, is traversed by several ferries Burlington , Vermont's largest city, lies on the eastern shore of the lake. ;

Boston can be reached by Amtrak for nearly $155 round-trip or by Chinatown buses, such as the Fung-Wah Bus for $30 return. 
Across the Charles River, in Cambridge : Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Philadelphia is reachable by Amtrak, both conventional trains and the faster, but more expensive, Acela Express or Metroliner (about 1 ½ hours). The website offers a full range of attractions.  

In Maryland, Baltimore, on Amtrak's “Northeast corridor” main line,   has a spectacular waterfront that's centered around the Inner Harbor, which is home to the National Aquarium, the Walters Art Gallery, and The Johns Hopkins UniversityAnnapolis , the state capital, has much 18th-century domestic architecture, and is home to the US Naval Academy and St. John's College, one of America's oldest.

Washington, DC  is the southern terminus of Amtrak's Metroliner/Acela Express (3 hours from New York City). The Washington Deluxe Bus provides a bus service for $35 return.

      *The Folger Shakespeare Library,

      *The Smithsonian Institution includes the Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.

       *The Library of Congress

       * The National Gallery of Art  


Last edited May 9, 2006 by Kate Lansky
Fordham University


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