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New York - Around Town : The Outer Boroughs (part 1)

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Manhattan is just one of New York’s five boroughs, each of which has its own unique attractions. Brooklyn alone, with its fine brownstone neighborhoods and numerous top-class sights, would be one of the largest cities in the U.S. The Bronx, to the north, boasts one of New York’s finest zoos, plus the New York Botanical Garden and Yankee Stadium, while Queens, a veritable melting pot of nationalities, is famous for its museums, ethnic dining, and numerous sports events. The ferry to Staten Island leads to New York’s only restored historic village.

The No. 7 Train to Queens

This subway route, dubbed the International Express, serves New York’s most varied ethnic communities. Take 61st Street, Woodside for Irish pubs, 46th Street for the Middle East, 69th Street for the Philippines. A $1 guide is available from

Queens Council on the Arts, 79-01 Park Lane South, Woodhaven, NY 11421

Sights
  1. Bronx Zoo

    Well past its 100th birthday, this sprawling zoo on 265 acres gets better all the time. The newest exhibit is Madagascar!, while Tiger Mountain and the 6.5-acre Congo Gorilla Forest, an African rainforest habitat, bring visitors nose to nose with the inhabitants. The unusual World of Darkness shows nocturnal animals like bats in action.

    • Bronx River Parkway & Boston Rd, Bronx

    • Subway (2, 5) West Farms Sq/East Tremont Ave

    • Open Apr–Oct: 10am–5pm Mon–Fri, 10am–5:30pm Sat, Sun, & hols; Nov–Mar: 10am–4:30pm daily

    • Admission charge

    • www.bronxzoo.com

    Bronx Zoo

    Bronx Zoo
  2. New York Botanical Garden

    One of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the world, this National Historic Landmark covers 250 acres and includes 50 gardens and plant collections and 50 acres of forest, the only remains of woods that once covered New York. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a restored Victorian glass house, is home to tropical rain forest and arid desert plants. A tram makes it easy to see the highlights, and guided tours are offered. The Leon Levy Visitor Center has a shop, a visitor orientation area, a shop, and a café.

    • Bronx River Parkway & Kazimiroff Blvd, Bronx

    • Subway Bedford Park Blvd

    • Open 10am–6pm Tue–Sun

    • Admission charge

    • www.nybg.org

    New York Botanical Garden
  3. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    This 52-acre garden designed by the Olmsted brothers in 1910 is home to more than 12,000 plantings. It is best known for the Cranford Rose Gardens where thousands of roses cascade down arches and climb lattices, and the authentic Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, planted in 1915. It is also known for its Cherry Esplanade and Cherry Walk, one of the foremost cherry-blossom sites outside Japan. The Steinhardt Conservatory houses tropical and desert plants and one of America’s largest bonsai collections.

    • 900 Washington Ave, Brooklyn

    • Subway (2, 3) Eastern Pkwy

    • Open Mar–Oct: 8am–6pm Tue–Fri, 10am–6pm Sat, Sun, & hols; Nov–Feb: 8am–4:30pm Tue–Fri, 10am–4:30pm Sat, Sun, & hols

    • Admission charge (free Tue & Sat am)

    • www.bbg.org

    Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  4. Brooklyn Heights Historic District

    Overlooking the East River and lower Manhattan skyline, this district is an enclave of old-world charm. Along its quaint streets are preserved, Federal, wooden and brick townhouses of the 1820s and even grander Greek Revival homes of the following decades.

    • Court St to Furman St between Fulton & State Sts

    • Subway (2, 3) Clark St

  5. Prospect Park

    Frederic Olmsted and Calvert Vaux considered this park, opened in 1867, to be their masterpiece. The 90-acre Long Meadow is the longest unbroken green space in the city. The pools and weeping willows of the Vale of Cashmere are particularly fine, along with Vaux’s Oriental Pavilion and Concert Grove.

    • Between Eastern Pkwy & Parkside Ave, Brooklyn

    • Subway Grand Army Plaza

    Carousel horse, Prospect Park
  6. Park Slope Historic District

    These blocks on the western edge of Prospect Park became desirable places to live after the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883. The Victorian brownstones from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are outstanding U.S. Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne residences.

    • Prospect Park West to 8th Ave, between 14th St & St. John’s Pl, Brooklyn

    • Subway (F) 7th Ave

    Brooklyn Bridge
  7. Flushing Meadow-Corona Park

    The site of two World Fairs, this is now a spacious park with picnic areas, fields for cricket and soccer, paths for bikers and skaters, boating lakes, and many other attractions. The New York Mets’ Citi Field, the U.S. Tennis Center, the New York Hall of Science, and the Queens Museum of Art are also here. The Unisphere, the symbol of the 1964 World Fair, still stands.

    • Queens

    • Subway (7) 111th St, Willets Pt–Shea Stadium

    World’s Fair Unisphere, Flushing Meadow-Corona Park
  8. Yankee Stadium

    A sports shrine, completed in 1923 and known as “The House that Ruth Built” for the legions of fans who came to see superhero Babe Ruth, was retired in 2008. Other legendary heroes of America’s most winning baseball team include Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. The new Yankee stadium incorporates Monument Park, consisting of retired number plaques and statues of the greatest players.

    • East 161st St and River Ave, Bronx

    • Subway (B, D, 4) 161st St Yankee Stadium

    • Opening times vary

    • Admission charge

  9. Historic Richmond Town

    This restored village has 29 buildings from the town of Richmond, Staten Island’s seat of government from 1729. Other historic buildings were moved here from other sites. The Dutch-style Voorlezer’s House (1695) is the island’s oldest home on its original site.

    • 441 Clarke Ave, Staten Island

    • Bus S74 from ferry

    • Open Sep–Jun: 1–5pm Wed–Sun; Jul–Aug: 11am–5pm Wed–Sat, 1–5pm Sun

    • Admission charge

    • www.historicrichmondtown.org

    Historic Richmond Town
  10. Williamsburg

    This was mostly a community of Hasidic Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Italians until the 1990s when artists from Manhattan began to move here. The heart of Williamsburg is Bedford Avenue, which is only a short journey from Manhattan on the L subway line. Here you’ll find stores promoting local designers, as well as bars and restaurants, where prices are often lower than in Manhattan.

    • Bedford Ave, Brooklyn

    • Subway L to Bedford Ave; Bus B39 or B61

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