Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Highlights for First-Time Visitors


[A poem made almost entirely from quotes from an old Fodor's Travel Guide about NYC.]
A panning shot of Rockefeller Center
clearly says “New York”.
A capital of the communications industry.
Atlas
supporting the world
Six pools surrounding
flowerbeds filled.
Great gold-leaf statue
Prometheus! fire-stealing hero
sprawled on his ledge.
December
an enormous live Christmas tree.
            And ice skating for the family
            an idyllic perspective on the city.

Often called
Crossroads of the World.
Times Square
actually triangle.
December 31, 1908
200 pound ball lowered by hand
starting a tradition
mobbed with revelers
crowds of people
pandemonium ensues.
Huge electric signs
bigger and brighter
distinctive nighttime glitter.
            Large shops and billboards
            with all the entertainment you can see.

United Nations Headquarters occupies
lushly landscaped riverside tract.
Line of flagpoles
especially pleasant rose garden
imaginatively diverse artwork.
Picnicking is strictly forbidden.
Jacket required for men.
Children under 5
not permitted.
            The flags are a symbol of countries coming together
            after they manage to get through the security

New York’s number one
tourist attraction
The Met.
Botticelli Vermeer Rembrandt
Vast and impressive.
Tiffany stained glass windows
Sullivan cast iron staircases
Federal marble fa├žade.
Classical paintings
statues
Roman wall paintings extracted from lava
of Mount Vesuvius
Egyptian treasures
Asian galleries
arms and armor.
Only a portion exhibited
more than can be seen in one visit.
            Children experiencing culture and history
            imagining sleeping in old royal beds.

Most valuable real estate
set aside as a park
Central Park.
Large enough to get lost in
escape from rumble of traffic
watch an earthworm
tumble through the soil.
Swampy neighborhood to
this playground of lush lawns
Carousel
Strawberry Fields
Bethesda Fountain
Belvedere Castle
Zoo.
Only tourists ride in the horse-drawn carriages.
            Forget the bustling city just outside
            and imagine a fairytale world.

American Museum of Natural History
collection of more than 36 million artifacts.
Blue whale
Star of India sapphire.
Wondrously detailed dioramas
of animal habitat groups
dinosaur skeletons
films on a giant screen
rock-music Laser Shows.
Barosaurus
protecting its fossilized baby
from a fossil.
            A world of animals unimaginable
            stuffed and shown so they can be imagined now.

Enduring symbol of America
Statue of Liberty.
Liberty Island
great silvery harbor.
225 tons
151 feet
from feet to torch.
Elevator to the top of the pedestal
exhibits of history.
Strong of heart and limb
Can climb to the crown.
            The crown’s closed now.
            Fire safety hazard.

New York’s two tallest buildings
World Trade Center.
Observation deck
a quarter of a mile into the sky
view extends miles
Seven building complex
stores
services
restaurants
adjacent hotel
50,000 people.
A million cubic yards
of rock and soil excavated.
            One of the biggest landmarks
Taken from us in less than a minute.


the best trips start with fodor’s

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