New York Sights to See - Rockefeller Center
Welcome to the city of New
York, and welcome to the "city
within a city" - Rockefeller Center. Begun in the 1930s,
partially as an antidote to the effects of the Great Depression,
the 19 building complex sits on 11 acres between 48th and 52nd Streets
and between 5th and 6th Avenues.
But those mundane facts give no hint of the excitement to be found
within those boundaries. Built atop a set of underground corridors,
known as "the catacombs",
the area is home to restaurants, shops, NBC Studios, a skating rink and much more.
When the weather is cold enough, take a stroll around the plaza and watch the ice skaters, or join in!
From the plaza level (the rink is sunken), above the skaters you can
see the giant, prone Prometheus sculpture.
Above the gilded statue of Prometheus,
bringing fire to mankind, is the massive 70-story RCA (now General
Electric) tower, housing the Rainbow Room and the observation deck. The
Room is on the 65th floor and makes for a memorable meal to
accompany unforgettable Art Deco décor.
The observation deck, Top
of the Rock, has re-opened after a 20-year closure and the
view is spectacular. The spires of the steel-gargoyled Chrysler Tower and
the Art Deco
State Building are clearly visible, as is much of the rest of
The deck sits atop the famous RCA
Building, designed by Raymond
Hood. Home to the well-known, and still going strong, Radio Corporation of America,
the tower is an architectural landmark.
And, if you visit during the Christmas
holiday period, you can watch the lighting of the 50 foot (or more)
Christmas tree here. Don't forget to walk around and spend some time
taking in the sights, including the huge Atlas statue,
bearing a ringed world on his shoulders.
The Channel Gardens
make for a peaceful retreat from the beehive below. Sited between La Maison Francaise
and the British Empire
Building, they're an oasis on a concrete island.
Several days could be spent taking tours alone. NBC offers a tour of
the studio, and the glass-walled area outside makes for interesting
viewing. Radio City Music Hall,
the famous theater that still "lines 'em up around the block" has one
as well. Home to The
Rockettes, the theater offers musical
performances in the evenings.
Shops line several of the ground level buildings, including the popular
which attracts photographers from all over the world. All around are
ample opportunities to find things and people worth snapping, as well.
This part of the complex is heavily traveled.
Note: Since this was written, the Nikon House is no more!
But the shops and restaurants don't stop at ground level. In the Underground Concourse
fast food and other dining, clothing boutiques, card stores and a
blizzard of other stores can be found. For those who missed it uptown,
the Metropolitan Museum
has a store in the complex as well.
The "catacombs" connect 14 of the complex's main buildings, so take a
little walking tour under Sixth Avenue. With nearby subway entrances
running through the concourse, travel to and from Rockefeller Center
is easy from any part of the city.
Cities of the World
How to Start a Home Based Travel Business in New York or Anywhere