Step foot in New York City’s busiest terminal!

89 East 42nd Street

A hard to miss building, Grand Central is known as one of New York’s iconic landmarks, and has a sculpture of Minerva, Hercules and Mercury perched atop the large glass clock over the entrance. 

The first Grand Central Terminal was constructed by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1871, but was put out of service when steam engines were banned after a very fatal collision in 1902.

Grand by Design
Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal

The new Grand Central Terminal that it is today opened to the public on 2 February 1913, and cost more than $2 billion in today’s dollars to build. As one of the most visited destinations in New York City, this building receives about 750,000 visitors everyday, including tourists who wander the halls of the building to ogle at the jaw dropping architecture. With a total of 44 platforms, the most of any railroad station in the world, this building occupies a whopping 48 acres of land!

Not only does Grand Central function as a rail terminal, but it also has numerous retail and dining options you can shop and dine at. So be sure to give this terminal a visit, and it will be sure to blow you away. 

Marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral neo-gothic structure

5th Ave 

Completed in 1879, this magnificent building’s neo-gothic aesthetic contrasts sharply with the Art Deco Rockefeller Center, drawing the attention of anyone strolling along fifth avenue. This imposing building attracts more than 5 million visitors each year for prayer, mass, or simply to appreciate the beautiful architecture. 

This cathedral was constructed in order to be able to house the ever increasing population of Catholic immigrants in the city, as the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral in today’s Lower Manhattan had become too small for the population. Although construction of the cathedral began in 1858, it was put on pause due to the Civil War and only started back up in 1865.

Just look at the fine details of the structure!

Declared as a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the cathedral is the focus of attention during midnight mass on Christmas Eve, Easter Parade, and St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the city.  What’s incredibly interesting about this cathedral is that it contains almost 9000 pipes, most of which are above the entrance and can be controlled.

Uncover pieces of history in the city

405 East 42nd Street

After the Berlin Wall was completely dismantled in 1991, most sections of the wall were recycled into building materials, but some pieces were sold, given or auctioned away. Given by Germany to the United Nations in 2002, 3 pieces of the Berlin Wall are currently housed in the United Nations Sculpture Garden. 

Photo courtesy of untappednewyork.

The painting on one side of the wall presents 2 people reaching over the wall to embrace each other. The other side of the wall is a piece of graffiti work done by German-Iranian artist Kani Alavi. In 1980, Alavi had moved to Berlin to escape what he called an “inhumane dictatorship” in Iran. 

The painters of these pieces of wall, Theirry Noir and Kiddy Citny, are credited with painting this piece of the Berlin Wall. Theirry Noir is a French artist who is believed to be the first person to paint the Berlin Wall, an act that was forbidden, yet revolutionary in transforming the wall and making it ridiculous, prompting its fall in 1989. His act of rebellion inspired others to do the same, and gave artists a voice for themselves. 

Make a visit to the United Nations to see this piece of history in person! Don’t forget to visit their website to sign up for a guided tour that happens in the summer in order to see this historic wall. 

Somebody say hand-pulled noodles?

14 East 34th Street

Photo retrieved from their Facebook page – go check them out (@xianfoods)

Hungry and tired after a busy day of work or exploring the city? Head over to this establishment to enjoy a quick but authentic serving of hand-pulled noodles. Try an  order of their spicy cumin lamb burger, or their spicy cumin lamb noodles which skyrocketed this restaurant to fame. With a huge plate of chewy noodles and flavorful pieces of lamb soaked in delicious chilli oil, this quick meal served on a disposable plate will definitely quell your hunger pangs. 

Photo retrieved from their Facebook page – go check them out (@xianfoods)

First established in 2005 as a 200 square foot basement stall in Flushing, this was the first restaurant to introduce the cuisine of Xi’an to the United States. David Shi, and his son, Jason Wang, who co-own  Xi’an Famous Foods began making Xi’an foods in America because they missed the food from Xi’an. Using Wang’s grandpa’s secret recipe, the father-son duo began selling the food they cooked in the small bubble tea store they owned. Since 2005, this restaurant has grown from a small hole in the wall stall in Flushing into the 14 locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Photo retrieved from their Facebook page – go check them out (@xianfoods)

If you’re looking for a quick fix of authentic Xi’an cuisine, Xi’an Famous Foods is definitely the place for you!

If you enjoy variety, head over to Tomiz

18 East 41st Street

Whether you want to take a break from your afternoon stroll, simply grab a quick bite to eat, or satisfy your sweet tooth, Tomiz has a wide array of options for you to select from! From bento boxes to soft serve ice cream, this unassuming cafe is definitely a cute hangout spot. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take your food to Bryant Park to enjoy while doing some people watching, or admiring the greenery. 

Originally opened as a small bakery in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 1990, they have since grown to a total of 3 locations in New York City and 1 location in New Jersey. First known as Parisienne, they pride themselves on producing fresh, handmade goods for you to enjoy at your convenience. Tomiz is constantly creating new and unique products, so you will never get tired of munching on the same items on the menu.

So, go give their incredibly instagrammable and creamy matcha and black sesame swirl soft serve in a cone!

Slurp some hot ramen noodles at Momosan

342 Lexington Avenue

This ramen spot is definitely a favourite, boasting quality ramen at a reasonable price. With whitewashed brick walls and dark wood floors and tables, this place makes for a classic casual ramen spot with a lovely ambience. With a solid selection of both ramen and non-ramen options, you are sure to find something you love!

From their peking duck taco which has a crispy taco shell and juicy and moist meat which almost melts in your mouth, to the unique tan-tan ramen which has a spicy coconut curry and large pieces of ground pork, this ramen spot is a must try!

As Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s brain child, this restaurant lives up to the hype, and allows those of us on a budget to experience his high-calibre cooking. Masaharu Morimoto who moved from Japan to the United States in 1985 utilizes a unique fusion in his cooking that combines Japanese color combinations with Chinese spices and Italian ingredients. While Morimoto owns several restaurants around the globe, this location is his first of Momosan Ramen & Sake, and he plans to open a second location in the city, with 2 already open in Honolulu and Seattle. 

What’s special about this office building?

320 East 43rd Street 

While this 12 storey building might seem like any other office building in New York City, its unique 10,000 square foot garden at the base of the outstanding atrium makes it unlike any other building in the city. Perfect for a photo opportunity, or simply a place to relax and explore, the Ford Foundation’s garden is available to you!

Commissioned by Henry Ford II in the 1960s and designed by architects Kevin Rose and John Dinkeloo, this office building captured the aim of the foundation’s social justice goal.  Although the building was completed in 1968, it went through renovations beginning in 2015 in order to make it more open, inclusive, and environmentally friendly while maintaining its original character. Both the new gallery targeting artists who work with issues of justice and quality as well as the historic atrium garden are open to the public.

Made of glass, granite, and corten steel, this building is completed with giant trees, water pools, magnolias and much more. The incredibly modern look of this building brings a pleasing aesthetic that would make for a great backdrop for your instagram post! So head to this hidden tropical forest in the midst of the urban jungle for a different experience in the city.

Pow! Comics enthusiast, this is the place to be

459 Lexington Ave

If you are a comic geek, you’re in for a treat! Midtown Comics specializes in everything from comic books to graphic novels and houses everything from mainstream comics to indies and manga. In addition to selling a wide array of comics, they also have a great selection of action figures, movies, and books. 

First opened in Times Square in 1997, this store has since expanded to 4 locations in New York City with an e-commerce website. This Grand Central location was opened in 2006, and displays their comics on a well organized wall. Founded by partners Gerry Gladston, Angelo Chantly, Thomas Galitos and Robert Mileta, Midtown Comics is officially the retail sponsor of New York Comic Con, and has held this role since 2006. 

With the large selection of goods Midtown Comics has to offer, you might feel a little overwhelmed. However, do not hesitate to approach any staff in the store for help, and they would be more than happy to assist you in whatever you’re looking for!

Explore unlimited activities at Bryant Park

West 40th – 42nd Street, 5th – 6th Ave

No matter the time of the year, this 9.6 acre large park is always buzzing with a plethora of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Break a sweat and participate in workout classes, or enjoy a puppet show in the summer. Learn to skate, or participate in a scavenger hunt in the fall. Browse the numerous holiday shops, or ride on the carousel in the winter. Learn to juggle or play bingo in the spring. No matter the time of year, Bryant Park always has something for everyone!

Although this piece of land was first declared public property in 1686, it took a number of years before it became a park. From 1823 to 1840, the plot of land was used as a potter’s field, where unidentified people were buried, before the city built a reservoir beside the park which came to be known as Reservoir Square. Reservoir Square was used for leisure, with an exhibition hall, the glass and metal New York Crystal Palace, and a 315 foot tower known as the Latting Observatory which were destroyed in a fire. In 1884, the park came to be known as Bryant Park in honor of William Cullen Bryant. 

So if you’re looking for a place to relax on the weekend, or interesting date activities, head down to Bryant Park to try your hand at some fun activities like chess or ping pong!

Experience the vibrancy of this iconic neighborhood

As the third busiest train station in North America, Grand Central is renowned for its stunning architecture and interior design.

This beautiful train station is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, and is home to numerous retail stores and eateries.  Today, the Grand Central we see standing in place is the third one to be built, after numerous upgrades done to the original building in order to accommodate NYC’s growing population.

Commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1869, the original Grand Central Depot was a game changer for the city.

Grand Central Depot, 1871. | Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal.

The first major upgrade was done in 1900 to include an imposing glass structure and waiting room. The second renovation began in 1903, after an  unfortunate steam locomotive accident in 1902, to transition to electric trains. 

New Grand Central In Progress, 1903. | Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal.

Bustling with numerous tourists and locals alike today, this building is about more than trains. It’s about luxury shopping, entertainment, and numerous dining options. With numerous attractions like the United Nations, Radio City Music Hall, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the vicinity, you will definitely enjoy the neighborhood!