A Very Brief Engineer's Tourist Guide to New York
New York is one of the world's most well-known cities. It is loved by locals and tourists alike and is home to some of the world's most iconic buildings and landmarks.
If you fancy a city break sometime in the future, look no further than "The Big Apple" for your next holiday.
The following is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to New York and is only meant to highlight some of its major attractions.
When should I visit New York?
According to sites like santorinidave.com, there are better times to visit New York than others.
"The best time to visit New York City is from April to June and September to early November when the weather is warm and pleasant but the tourist crowds are not overwhelming. The cheapest time to visit New York is on weekends from mid-January to the end of February"
What should you visit in New York?
The Statue of Liberty.
The Rockefeller Center & Top of the Rock Observation Deck.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Broadway and the Theater District.
The Empire State Building.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
What is the best way to see the attractions in New York?
Many locals and veteran New York tourists will tell you that the best way is to simply get out an walk around. This way you will be able to explore the city in all its glory and find some places of interest with ease.
But you could also consider some of the following methods of seeing New York (courtesy of travelaway.me): -
- Make use of sightseeing tours - especially by boat and bus.
- Explore the city from above. Get up some of the highest buildings in the city and be rewarded with a great view.
- Take a movie tour - With the vast amount of films made about New York, this is one of the best ways to tour the city.
- Get on your bike!
- Use the subway (but be careful).
- Get a New York Explorer Pass - This will help save some money on entrance fees to sights around New York.
What are some interesting pieces of engineering to see in New York?
Here are 5 of New York's most iconic and impressive feats of engineering. The following list is not exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. The Statue of Liberty (and Ellis Island) are a must-see
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. When in New York you really should make an effort to visit her at some point.
Historically she was one of the first things immigrants saw as they passed through Ellis Island and has inspired millions of overs the world over. But "Lady Lib" also has an interesting story of her own.
Designed and built-in part by the same chap who was responsible for the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to one of their closest allies at the time - the United States. She was built from copper in 1875 and exported to the U.S. in the mid-1880s.
Her current distinct green color is a product of the oxidation of this copper and the original statue would have been a reddish-brown color.
2. Pay your respects at the One World Trade and the September 11 Memorial (and Museum)
When in New York you should really visit the site of one of America's most tragic historical events. Many locals regularly visit the site to honor those who were lost and commemorate a time when the city came together.
The memorial serves as a powerful reminder of the victims of September 11th and is open between 7:30 am and 9 pm every single day.
To visit the 9/11 museum you will need tickets to get in but the memorial is open to everyone without one. From an engineering perspective, the newly constructed One World Trade is an engineering marvel.
This 104-story skyscraper that is one of the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. It offers unparalleled views of the city too.
3. The Empire State Building is another icon of New York
The Empire State Building is another iconic building in New York's skyline. It also offers some great views of the city from its top deck.
The building itself was designed and constructed in the Art Deco architectural style and was completed in 1931. It stands at around 443 meters including its antenna.
As of 2019, it was the 6th tallest completed skyscraper in the United States and is one of its most famous.
But a word of warning. This building's fame is also its curse.
It is usually very-popular day and night, and it is not cheap to reach the top. If you do plan to go make sure you get there early - between sunrise and 11 am.
Otherwise, you'll be waiting at least a couple of hours in the queue.
4. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!
The Brooklyn Bridge is, without doubt, one of the most widely recognized bridges in the world. It is also one of New York's most impressive engineering marvels.
It took around 14 years to construct the hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge, and it was built to relieve the strain on Manhattan to Brooklyn ferries. At the time of construction, it was the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere.
It has a span of around 486 meters and a height of 40.5 meters. The bridge is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the U.S. and was one of the world's first-ever steel-wire suspension bridges.
Construction began in 1869 and was completed in 1883. The Brooklyn Bridge is popular amongst tourists and locals alike and really worth checking out.
5. Ride the New York Subway!
Last, but by no means least, is the equally famous New York subway. It originally opened in 1904 and is a technological marvel in its own right.
It is one of, if not the, largest rapid transit system in the world by the number of stations with a total of around 472 in operation. The subway system also happens to be one of the world's longest with 394 km of routes that are used commercially.
In total the network has around 1,370 km of track when non-revenue generating trackage is included.
The subway system is a cornerstone of commuting within the city and can get pretty packed during peak times. You will likely make good use of it to get around New York but do keep your wits about you.