New York, New York - a place that most people love to visit because of its high rises, fast pace, the neverending things you can do, and of course, the multitude of gastronomic pleasures that you can experience. One of the most underrated areas of New York is the area around the world famous Columbia University in Upper Manhattan.
The university stretches to nearly 300 acres, and is home to many historic buildings and statues, but within its complex lies many other tourist sites that most people don’t get to see much. If you wish to see more than just Times Square and Broadway in Manhattan, here is an overview of the best places to see and restaurants to visit:
When you first walk up to this church from the outside, perhaps the architectural style will remind you of another world-famous church, Barcelona’s magnificent Sagrada Familia. Both churches tower sharply into the sky in a neo-Gothic style, and contain tremendous details on the doorway arches. The church is actually the largest church in the United States, nearly 400 feet tall (120 meters). There is a beautiful 74-bronze bell carillon inside the main tower.
While the church is a stunning structure, its real power lies in its status as a place of social and religious discussion. Many historic speeches have been given in the church, including speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Clinton, and Nelson Mandela.
A great bakery to visit near the park is a French place called Mille-Feuille Bakery & Cafe, which has various types of fresh pastries and breads, but its best items are fresh macaroons and almond croissants, which make you feel as if you’re eating in a Paris cafe.
A beautiful park with over 2 acres of greenery, Sakura Park blossomed after more than 2,000 cherry trees were gifted by Japanese New Yorkers to the city of New York, and caused its name to change from Claremont Park to Sakura Park because sakura in Japanese means cherry blossom.
The park is near the Riverside church, and contains a bronze statue of a Civil War Union General Daniel Butterfield. The main attraction in the park is the vast number of cherry trees which, when they bloom, are visited by many people hoping to enjoy some quiet time around the beautiful trees. To get to see the sakuras in bloom, you’ll need to be quite lucky. They only bloom for a week until they fall off from the trees itself. This event usually happens in spring, and the dates changes every year.
Be sure to visit a nice little Italian place near the park, called Bettolona, which has a good selection of traditional Italian dishes and pizzas. Try the Norcina Pizza, which contains sausage, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.
General Grant National Memorial
The Civil War’s most famous general, and later President, was Ulysses S. Grant. He helped the Union Army of the Potomac defeat the great Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia when it looked as if the Confederates had the upper hand in the war.
General Grant died in New York in 1885, and the decision was to keep his body in the state of New York at the Riverside Park. The place is today known as Grant’s Tomb, and is built in the Neo-Classical style. It is regarded as the largest mausoleum in North America.
Don’t beat it till you try it! Explore the space around Columbia University campus
While New York City has many famous attractions and historic buildings, there are several pockets in the city that don’t enjoy nearly the same acclaim as the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Plaza. One of these pockets is the space around the Columbia University campus in Upper Manhattan. There are numerous parks to visit, including Morningside, Sakura, and Riverside parks, and the area is near the Hudson River, which makes for a brilliant stroll at any time during the day. Combine these attractions with a wide array of interesting places to eat, and your understanding of New York City will only deepen as you explore this area.
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