|Its all about ships
New York has become one of the busiest cruise ports in North
America. In the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century, it
handled a great amount of passenger traffic as the primary western
terminus for Atlantic crossings. After the ocean liner era passed,
there was a period when relatively few passenger ships visited the
city. However, as the cruise lines expanded out of the Caribbean
and developed the strategy of basing ships closer to where
passengers live, the number of ships has grown. Today, there are
cruise ships sailing year round from New York as well as ships that
are based in New York for several months each year. In addition,
New York is a port of call for yet more cruise ships.
New York City is the most populous city in the United States with
a population of 8 million people. However, that is only part of the
story as the adjoining densely populated areas of New Jersey, Long
Island and the New York State mainland are economically and
culturally intertwined with New York City.
Politically, the city consists of five boroughs - - Manhattan,
Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. This guide focuses
primarily on Manhattan because that is where most of the attractions
that visitors think of when they think of New York are located.
There are attractions in the other four boroughs and in the adjoining
suburbs but because they are not as concentrated as in Manhattan,
they are not as easy for cruise passengers to visit during a port call
or during a short visit before or after a cruise.
Visitors sometimes find the pace of life in New York to be
intimidating. Every one moves quite quickly, whether a foot or in a
vehicle. This is just part of the culture. Its part of the excitement of
life in New York.
New York has been and still is the home of many
socio-economic groups. Above: Some of the remaining
mansions of the 19th Century millionaires who lived
along Fifth Avenue. They have now been converted to
other uses. Below: A monument honoring the
immigrants who worked in the city's Garment District.
OVERVIEW AND HISTORY..........................................................Page One
CRUISE PORT..................................................................................Page Two
SHOPPING; GETTING AROUND, AND HOTELS.........................Page Three
PLACES OF INTEREST (Midtown).................................................Page Four
PLACES OF INTEREST (Downtown)..............................................Page Five
PLACES OF INTEREST (Museums) AND LINKS...........................Page Six
SAILING FROM MANHATTAN......................................................Pictorial
TCM Classic Film Tour (NY).............................................................Review
The first ship to visit New York Harbor was the French ship La
Dauphine commanded by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano in
1524. He found the area inhabited by members of the Algonquin
nation of Native Americans who used the waterways for hunting and
fishing and who engaged in farming.
In 1609, Englishman Henry Hudson, sailing in the ship Half Moon
on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, arrived in the harbor.
He hoped that the river that now bears his name would lead him to
China. After finding out that it does not go there, he left but noted
that the area was rich in beavers.
Since beaver pelts were highly valued in Europe, the Dutch
established a trading post on Manhattan in 1613 followed by a
settlement in 1625, which came to be called Nieuw Amsterdam.
The story goes that the Dutch bought Manhattan from the Native
Americans for $24 worth of beads and trinkets in what has been
termed the greatest real estate deal in history. Some historians,
however, argue that the tribe that sold it to the Dutch was probably
not the tribe that owned it.
In 1664, the British Royal Navy arrived in the harbor and took
possession of the Nieuw Amsterdam colony, which they renamed
New York after the Duke of York (later James II) who was then
Lord High Admiral.
The colony grew and prospered largely because of the fine
harbor. However, tension grew between the colonists and the
British government following the end of the French and Indian War.
The colonists, who were unrepresented in Parliament, resented the
government’s imposition of taxes as an imposition on their freedom.
The Stamp Act Congress, the first organized resistance, was held in
New York in 1765.
Recognizing that the British would probably attempt to capture
New York City after their defeat in Boston, George Washington
brought the Continental Army south to defend New York. The
British arrived with the largest armada yet seen and defeated
Washington in a series of engagements, most notably the Battle of
Long Island. New York remained occupied throughout the rest of
the Revolutionary War.
After the war, the national congress met in New York in 1785
under the Articles of Confederation. When the United States
Constitution was adopted, New York became the first capital of the
United States. It remained the capital until 1790.
In 1806, Robert Fulton inaugurated the first commercially
successful steamboat, which carried passengers between New York
City and Albany, New York.
New York continued to prosper, especially after the opening of
the Erie Canal, which connected the city to the Great Lakes and the
interior of the country. Agricultural products arrived from the west
for transshipment and immigrants traveling to the west landed in the
The Irish Potato Famine of 1848 led to a great wave of Irish
immigrants, many of whom settled in New York.
New York was torn by the American Civil War. Merchants had
commercial ties to the South and the poorer classes were concerned
that once freed, the former slaves would take all the low-paying
jobs. These feelings erupted in the bloody Draft Riots of 1863. At
the same time, many New Yorkers strongly supported the Union and
New York City regiments fought in some of the war's most grueling
During the second half of the 19th Century, the city continued to
grow as more waves of immigrants arrived. At the same time, city
politics became notoriously corrupt under Tammany Hall. Among
those who got their start campaigning against this corruption was
future President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a native New
The city's appearance began to change in these years. Early
skyscrapers such as the Flat Iron Building and the later Woolworth
Building were constructed. Saint Patrick's Cathedral and the
Brooklyn Bridge arrived on the scene. Central Park was sculpted.
Until the last years of the 19th Century, New York City had been
limited to Manhattan. Areas of the mainland north of Manhattan
Island were annexed by New York in 1974 and 1895. In 1898, a
large area of western Long Island became the Borough of Queens,
and Brooklyn, which had been a large independent city, became part
of New York City. Similarly, the existing towns and
municipalities on Staten Island were abolished and that island was
consolidated into New York City.
During World War I, New York was an important transshipment
point for soldiers and supplies going to Europe. German agents
attempted to disrupt these shipments by setting off a mammoth
explosion in the harbor which completely obliterated Black Tom
Following the war, New York took part in the frenzy of the jazz
age as chronicled in the writings of authors such as F. Scott
Fitzgerald. George Gershwin was composing Rhapsody in Blue,
Broadway was in its heyday and uptown, the Harlem Renaissance
was taking place. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 ended the frenzy.
Despite the Great Depression that followed, the 1930s saw the
creation of some of the city's greatest buildings including the Empire
State Building. Meanwhile, the great ocean liners such as the
Normandie and the Queen Mary were sailing regularly from New
New York again played an important role in World War II.
Many of America's aircraft carriers and its last great battleships
were built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
In the years following the war, the city once again saw an
economic boom. It also became the site of the headquarters of the
United Nations and the homeport for the world's fastest passenger
ship, the SS United States.
By the 1970s, the situation began to change for the worse. The
crime rate had risen and businesses were fleeing the city. A
financial crisis led to cutbacks in police and city services, which
caused more to leave. The city became widely-regarded as un-
In the late 1980s, the economic climate began to improve.
Subsequently, Rudolph Giuliani was elected mayor, pressing quality
of life issues and engaging in a tough anti-crime campaign. Although
these measures were controversial at the time, the character of the
City changed radically.
The revival of New York sustained a blow on September 11,
2001, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, killing some
New York has shown its resilience, however, and the city is
again on the upswing. It is visited by millions each year, many of
whom come via cruise ship.
Above: Sunrise on a summer's day over the still quiet
Below: The sky erupts into color during a winter time
The "Canyons of Manhattan" are created by the tall buildings that line areas of Midtown and Downtown. From left to right: The
towers of Sixth Avenue at Rockefeller Center; the SONY Building; the Trump Tower; the Lever Building (one of the first international
style skyscrapers) and the Citicorp Building.
However, New York is not just about corporations and finance. It is a center for art (e.g. Urs Fischer's giant teddy bear, temporarily
installed on Park Avenue and Jean Dubuffet's "Four Trees" a fixture at Chase Plaza, below left); for sports (e.g. Madison Square
Garden below middle); education (e.g., Parsons School of Design); and fashion and retailing (e.g. Versace on Fifth Avenue).
Cruise destination guide - - photo tour - - New York, New York (USA) - - page 1
New York has been historically and still is a major
seaport. Most of the cargo traffic, however, has moved to
the New Jersey side of the harbor. The vestiges of
Manhattan's maritime past have for the most part either
been converted to other uses or have been neglected.
Above: The Chelsea Piers (above) where the Carpathia
brought the survivors of the Titanic sinking has been
converted into an amusement area with restaurants and
sports facilities. Below: The remains of a pier once used
New York has played a significant role in the nation's
wars, up to and including acting as a battleground. Its
greatest contribution, however, has been its men and
women who fought in those wars. There are statues
around the city paying tribute to generals (e.g., William
Tecumseh Sherman by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, above.
At the end of his life, Sherman lived in New York City
and died there in 1891) and to common soldiers (e.g.,
the 107th Regiment Memorial, below, which was
designed by Karl Illava, a former sergeant in the
107th, a New York National Guard regiment).
* This photo tour and the accompanying commentary should only be viewed as a general guide that is based upon one writer's research
and experiences. Accordingly, readers should do their own research prior to their journey. Beyondships is not affiliated with any of the
entities depicted or mentioned herein and assumes no responsibility for their actions and for the products and/or services they provide.
Nor is inclusion in this photo tour a recommendation of the entity shown, its products, services or facilities.