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  The Big Apple has plenty of them!!! Landmarks[1] in New York go with Broadway and Times Square. New York City is a town that has grown with America, and possesses a rich group of landmarks and great attractions. Landmarks define a city, and New York is no exception. The Big Apple is host to so many world-renowned sights and structures that its residents almost take them for granted sometimes. From the obvious, such as Ellis Island and the World Trade Center, to fixtures such as Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center, to extraordinary places like the Bronx Zoo and Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York is full of landmarks worthy of visiting. From the shopping and theaters in Times Square to the maritime environment of South Street Seaport, New York City offers a huge selection from which to base your travel or weekend plans around.

  When you first encounter New York, whether for the first time or after a time away, it can be overwhelming. It can look fierce, inhuman and hard, intimidating in its enormity and complexity. The sheer magnitude of the built environment gives the impression that the city is a vast machine that has been growing, evolving, adapting over centuries. And it is. But all those buildings and asphalt[2], they're the work of people. It's all made of people -- everyone who lives here, and everyone past who's left a mark, great or small, right on the city itself.

  There's Adolph Ochs, who revitalized the New York Times in the early 20th century and situated it in a building on 43rd Street, off of what would soon be called Times Square. There's Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York during the Great Depression and World War II, who read the funny papers over the radio to the people of New York during a newspaper strike in 1945. His name graces a major international airport, a public high school for the performing arts, and a street running through Greenwich Village.

  So many of New York's streets and corners are named for someone who has contributed to the legend of the city. Edgar Allan Poe Way, part of West 84th Street, marks one of the many places the impoverished[3] poet and author lived in New York. Frank Torre Place, on East Second Street in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, was named for the older brother of Yankees manager Joe Torre. Frank's battle for life in the fall of 1996 after a heart transplant provided great inspiration for the pinstriped Bronx Bombers, who would go on to win the World Series for New York that year.

  The buildings, statues, streets and neighborhoods are the people that make New York -- some "ordinary," and some whom history canonizes. But all have, in deed or in spirit, left their mark on the city.

  And you, in some way, do that too.

  It can be as transient[4] as scratching your name on a subway car window, or saying happy birthday to your son on the scoreboard[5] at Giants Stadium during halftime. You can leave a piece of you with each audience member that sees your one-woman show, comedy troupe or rock band.

  It all adds up to one big crazy city. Head out to Queens, where Indian and Pakistani immigrants have created a subcontinent of their own in Jackson Heights; spices, saris and Bollywood films are as commonplace as a Sabrett hot dog in midtown. Walk down 32nd Street between Herald Square and Fifth Avenue, not a block from the Empire State Building, where you'll read barely a word of English among the Japanese and Korean signs. Spend a day with the Greeks in Astoria, or dine at an authentic Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach.

  New York is as much of these communities as it is of Rockefeller, Chrysler, Stuyvesant, Carnegie and Guggenheim.

  There's plenty to see here, plenty to do. The Twin Towers, the Museum Mile, Little Italy and Chinatown, Broadway, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Lincoln Center, Harlem -- the sights are packed together, they almost trip over one another. Shopping on Fifth Avenue quickly turns to dinner at one of New York's world class restaurants. This is the New York you know, the one you've seen in movies and read about in books.

  Great as it is to be in New York, it is equally thrilling to approach it. I have driven across the Whitestone Bridge from Queens to The Bronx on my way to college in New England, and stolen glimpses of the Manhattan skyline pencil gray against a smoggy day. It is old and strong, and a stoic testament to the will of us.

  I have flown into Jersey's Newark Airport at night. The plane flew south past the skyline as it descended, the dotted lights like clustered stars, constellation upon galaxy upon the universe, and in the heart was a screaming shaft of light bolting up. Times Square.

  I have driven west out of Southampton in a great bloody purple dusk, and as the town gave way to the highway, there on the horizon we were directed at a yellowy light billowing, that, I dream, was Manhattan, 100 miles away, beckoning me home.

  There is nothing like coming up over Queens on the Long Island Expressway as stolen glances of the Twin Towers or Empire State Building widen to expose the entirety of the skyline. From the outside looking in, New York is massive, towering, chaotic. It looks as if all the buildings from every other city have run away to THE big city, arranged in a skyline that rides up and down like notes on a staff. They reach to the sky as kids in a playground. They are here to be mischievous[6], great, regal, titanic. They are the big, older kids who dwarf you in a hallway on the first day of school, tall, solid and broad shouldered. And it's hard to imagine the mundanity[7] of everyday life is set against their majesty. If you're lucky, you'll remember how this feels when you are among them. Even the small buildings, invisible in this forest from the outside, are huge and it is hard and happy to be able to realize this when you are next to them, to see your own part in this epic as you play it.

  And you realize that any mark you leave on New York is matched by the mark it leaves on you. New York absorbs all comers and is changed piece by piece by all of them. The buildings, the veritable brick and mortar[8] of the city, are the people. And the people -- you -- we are New York.

  If it weren't for public transportation, New York City simply would not work. People thinking of bringing a car into Manhattan should expect to spend half their time or money trying to find decent parking. Thus, avail yourself of the subway and taxi cabs.

  New York is full of tourist locations, and thankfully, nearly 100% of them are conveniently walkable from each other, frequented by taxi cabs, or linked up by the nexus of subway lines which enmesh[9] Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

  Subways are body-to-body crowded during rush hour, and are generally safe into the late evening. Later at night, express stations and those near nightlife destinations tend to be more populated and safer than others. Don't take chances, however. A cab ride is cheaper than getting mugged and a lot easier on the nerves. Also, much faster. Subways run less frequently at night, causing some extended, boring waits on station platforms. Make it easy: take cabs after dinner.

  Speaking of cabs, they carry up to four people at a time. They all have meters, so there's no need to negotiate a price. Cabs with their rooftop lights lit are available, those with no lights on up top have a fare already. To hail a cab , simply raise a hand from the sidewalk or from a few steps into the street. If there are available cabs driving by, they'll swarm. If you'd like them to drive faster, smoother, slower, etc, just ask. Cabs are most easily found where there are people working, playing, touristing, etc. They can be sparse elsewhere. Tips are expected. Anything that's not yellow and has no meter is not a sanctioned cab.

  You can pick up a taxi or bus at any of the local airports, or, for a more elegant ride, try calling for a pick up by a car service.

  If you plan to spend significant time outside of Manhattan, you should consider renting a car. Though there are subways in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, the lines essentially run in and out of Manhattan, making traveling within the outer boroughs or among them impractical. Buses make up for this, and can get you where you want to go, but are no replacement for a rental car.

  North and East of the city, commuter train lines such as the Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth, like the subways, are oriented towards moving folks in and out of the city. Between them and local buses, you can eventually get where you need to go, but they are highly inconvenient[10] for tourism; unless you're on a backpacking budget, rent a car.

  And a good road map. The good thing about the New York Metro Area highways is that there are many ways to get from Point A to Point B. The down side is that they're all crowded with traffic. Avoid rush hour and overly complicated routes. Each highway switch is another opportunity to get lost. Most destinations can provide advisable driving directions.


  [1]Landmark n. 地界标 [2] asphalt n. 沥青

  [3] impoverish vt. 使贫穷, 使枯竭 [4] transient adj. 短暂的,瞬时的

  [5]scoreboard n. 记分板 [6]mischievous adj. 有害的, 恶作剧的

  [7]mundanity n.世俗 [8]mortar n. 灰泥

  [9]enmesh vt. 使绊住, 使陷入 [10]inconvenient adj. 不便的