The famous Lincoln Center is undisputedly the cultural hotspot of New York. Even if you don’t have tickets for an upcoming event, you have to stop by when visiting this city that never sleeps! There is always something going on. The Lincoln Center consists of several theaters and concert halls; this is where the world-famous Metropolitan Opera is located. Eleven famous New York cultural and music organizations have their address in Lincoln Center.
The Lincoln Center is located in the west of Manhattan on the Upper West Side and is 61,000 square meters. The subway line 7 stops right in front of it. It was created at the end of the 1950s and, according to then-President Dwight Eisenhower, was supposed to “influence peace and understanding throughout the world”. In 2009 a conversion and extension with new theater rooms were inaugurated.
In the middle of the center, the famous Lincoln Center water fountain shines in the sun during the day and in artificial light at night. Chairs and benches invite visitors to linger and dream on mild summer nights.
The Lincoln Center consists of several event buildings, which include the Metropolitan Opera, the Center Theater with its ballet program, an art school, and several other concert halls and theater rooms. Each tour begins in the David Rubenstein Atrium with its advance ticket sales and its changing art exhibitions. Very often there are also free performances for families in the atrium. Sometimes as early as 9 a.m. in winter!
There are guided tours through the numerous parts of the center, but you can also go on your own. Important hotspots in the center are the Vivian Beaumont Theater and Alice Tully Hall, where the New York Film Festival takes place. It was only inaugurated in 2009 and is one of the most modern areas of the complex. Damrosch Park at the end of the David Koch Theater is also exciting.
In summer an open-air stage is set up here, in autumn the Big Apple circus takes place in the park! By the way, you don’t need tickets for performances in Damrosch Park. A visit to the in-house library is also exciting. There you will find old programs, interesting books and biographies about famous musicians.
In the lobby of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, there is also a shop that is very well known in New York. If you want to bring that special souvenir from New York, you will find it here. Because here there are famous old posters and copies of old programs that contain the names of immortal artists.
Music can be heard throughout the building, from classical opera to jazz. Of course, a visit to the center is most worthwhile if you have tickets for one of the numerous events. But there is always rehearsal in some halls, and open rehearsals take place almost every day. You can watch a rehearsal for $ 20. There is a lot of jazz to be heard during the day. For stressed New Yorkers, a spontaneous afternoon visit to Lincoln Center is a must if relaxation is on the agenda.
Part of the Lincoln Center is also dedicated to the art of film. Performances take place here every day. A few weeks are often devoted to specific topics. If you are interested in special or demanding films, you will find the right program at the Lincoln Center.
Gastronomy is also a top priority at Lincoln Center. Both near the fountain and inside are several restaurants that are some of the best in town. Everything is offered, from lunch sandwiches near the fountain to Italian and Indian cuisine to sophisticated multi-course menus. Some restaurants specialize in larger events such as weddings, while others offer private rooms where families and smaller groups can dine together.
By the way: Children are very welcome at Lincoln Center. Many of the performances are designed for families, and the restaurants are also fully prepared for small guests.
You might just want to have a bite to eat before the performance. There are a few ways to do this near Lincoln Center. You can start your cultural evening with a nice glass of wine and a bite to eat on the roof terrace of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel or Empire Hotel. Alternatively, we can recommend a typical American diner, for example, the Olympic Flame Diner on West 60th Street.
Boston Market is located on 10th Avenue and has some really tasty chicken – it’s real home-cooked food! Or maybe you fancy something crazy and adventurous like sweet potatoes with marshmallows? Both in the diner and in the market you can eat within half an hour. Just make sure you have enough time to return to Lincoln Center and get to your seat before the performance begins.
If you have a little more time and want to have a really good dinner, try the Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. It’s not cheap, but the sushi is really delicious and the restaurant is open every day. It is located near Columbus Circle and you have to go through the Columbus Hotel to get to the entrance. If you’d prefer something a little simpler, you can get takeaway from Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. It’s not a restaurant, of course, but there is a large selection of freshly prepared meals so you can take them with you for a picnic in Central Park.
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