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Why is Grand Central Station Worth a Visit?

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Grand Central Station is one of New York City’s most iconic fixtures, right up there with Times Square and the Empire State Building. Only a couple of blocks away from the Westgate NYC Hotel, it’s also close to some of the Big Apple’s most popular attractions like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Bryant Park.

Located in midtown Manhattan, the terminal is a certified National Historic Landmark that deserves a spot on any tourist’s itinerary. Find out why it’s worth seeing below:

It’s an architectural marvel.

Calling Grand Central a “train station” is the same as calling the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican a “church”. It is the world’s largest railway station, at 44 platforms and 67 tracks, including a rail yard and sidings. The terminal covers 48 acres of prime real estate in Park Avenue and serves an average of 750,000 commuters daily.

In addition to its sheer size, Grand Central can be classified as a work of art on itself. It was designed in the distinctive Beaux-Arts style that has defined turn-of-the-century American Renaissance architecture. The façade and structure of the terminal are made primarily of granite, and the sumptuous interiors use imitation Caen stone, Botticino marble, and pink Tennessee marble.

There’s artwork all around.

The terminal incorporates numerous public artworks into its design, making it a worthy addition to any art lover’s itinerary. Grand Central’s south façade alone features several works of art, including the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass; a 13-foot-wide clock worth 20 million US dollars; the 48-foot-wide Glory of Commerce sculptural group by French sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan; and a 4-ton, 8.5-foot bronze statue of American railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, the man responsible for the station’s existence.

Inside, you’ll find the Main Concourse ceiling mural, which was designed in 1912 by French artist Paul César Helleu. Themed after celestial bodies, the artwork contains over 2,500 hand-painted stars and golden bands amidst a turquoise backdrop. Another notable mural is the Graybar Passage mural that was painted by muralist Edward Trumbull in 1927. It is a depiction of American transportation.

Contemporary works of art have been added to the terminal over the years. These include a mixed-media mural called A Field of Wild Flowers made by American visual artist Roberto Juarez, a mosaic made with glass and bronze called As Above, So Below by Brooklyn-based artist Ellen Driscoll, and Sirshasana, a hanging sculpture made with aluminum, polyester resin, and crystals made by Donald Lipski, an American sculptor.

It’s a shopping and dining destination

Since its inception, Grand Central was built with the commuter’s comfort and convenience in mind. When it first opened, it contained several amenities including a ladies’ waiting room, a shoeshine room, a beauty salon, and a barbershop. Today, it houses numerous shops, restaurants, cocktail bars, and other services. The 65 retail establishments include an Apple Store, L’Occitane, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and diptyque.

On the lower dining concourse, you’ll find fast-casual New York institutions such as Shake Shack and Magnolia Bakery, as well as the 107-year-old fine dining restaurant Grand Central Oyster Bar. Grand Central Market occupies its own area, where local vendors sell high-quality gourmet products and fresh produce in a European-style market setting. There’s even a tennis club on the premises called the Vanderbilt Tennis Club which is open to the public from 6 A.M. to 1 A.M.

Grand Central Station is New York in a nutshell: vibrant, exciting and diverse. A full calendar of events means that there’s always something going on, so check it out next time you’re in the city!

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Time To Start Travelling Again – Soon!

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Fellow travelers, most of you must be feeling that old wanderlust very strongly right now! I’m pretty sure most of us are ready to go out and explore like we did before. The good news is that it looks like we are nearing that point.

Most major airlines and destinations are at the very least starting to open up and book non-humanitarian flights (check sites like SkyScanner & CheapOAir), with departure dates ranging from two weeks to three months’ time, depending on, depending on the destination.

So the question remains: where should you go first? Here are some of Four Jandals’ thoughts on the subject:

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

We’ve already been to Montreal many times before, as that link can surely show you. We really want to go back and enjoy the life in that vibrant city. Here’s a few reasons why:

-International flights will be available in a few weeks.

-Everything except for combat sports, amusement parks (La Ronde closed, too bad), and major events is now open.

-Cuisine, cuisine, and more cuisine. Bagels, smoked meat, poutine, mmmmmmm.

-Montreal for all it’s panache is surprisingly cheap if you know how to avoid the tourist traps.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Why Punta Cana? Great all-inclusives. This option is really good for people who just want to kick back and relax and not necessarily even move that much, which is something maybe we all want at one time or another.

Several days of beaches, buffets, luxury accomodations and absolutely no schedule. And nobody else does it quite like they do it in Punta Cana!

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City gets a lot of tourism, but for some reason it’s always been greatly overlooked as tourist destination, all the same. This is a shame, because this city has a whole lot to offer.

First off, it’s a world-class culinary destination. You can get food from all over Mexico and all over the world here, from chapulines on the street corner to tacos to seafood Veracruz style to asados to Michelin star restaurants, Mexico City will never fail to disappoint a foodie!

Besides this, together with NYC and London, Mexico City features some of the world’s best and most prestigious museums. One could literally spend months on end here and still not see everything the museums have to offer.

Add to this great live music and nightlife in general, and a generally great climate (it’s rarely below 10 degrees or above 30 degrees centigrade over there), and most importantly, seriously awesome people. Everybody should check this city out at least once.

 

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Travel Tips

G​ive yourself a Florida writer’s retreat

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While folks are still trying to social distance, many freelancers could use a getaway. The same gig in the same house with no coffee shops available to go to? It gets old after awhile.

A​ writer’s retreat might be in order for you. While holed away in a resort, you can get your freelancing organized on Top Content, order from hidden gem local restaurants, relax, enjoy, and get those creative juices flowing.

Florida may not be your top destination this summer. But if you’re looking for a new place to write all alone? Then severalFlorida destinations are a good bet, especially the less obvious ones.

S​tuart

North of Palm Beach County you’ll find calm, peaceful Martin County. Stuart is the largest city in Martin County. The small city boasts both great beaches and diminishing numbers of corona cases, and so it’s an ideal place to get away from it all right now. Because it’s on the water, Stuart is best known for its fresh seafood. Some restaurants are open for dining. Better yet, you can get fresh, local seafood delivered directly to your resort door.

I​slamorada

I​f you’re up for an oceanside drive to inspire your thoughts, make Islamorada the end of your journey. The Florida Keys are a writer’s paradise, even during the hot summer months. Less crowded than Key West and a lot closer, Islamorada Is everything you’re looking for in the Keys, only you can have it all to yourself. Almost every resort in town is directly on the beach, and yours for relatively cheap. Fresh seafood is plentiful, as is beautiful scenery. On your way down, stop at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center.

A​popka

Immediately northwest of Orlando, Apopka features a ton of natural beauty and wifi enabled campgrounds. There are many RV and resort parks nearby, including Lost Lake RV Park and Magnolia Park, a campground featuring butterflies & peacocks. While trying to gain inspiration, you can stroll around hugeLake Apopka. Because it isso close to Orlando, Apopka has the shopping and amenities of a larger city. Once you’re there, though, you’ll feel like you’re way out in the country.

M​icanopy

Just outside of Gainesville and close to Cross Creek, the famed home of Florida writing legend Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, you’ll find Micanopy. Named after a title given to Alachua Seminole leaders, this town is a well-preserved slice of old Florida. One great place to stay is the Herlong Mansion, currently running a reopening deal.

S​ebastian

W​ith wifi-enabled camping grounds, coastal views, and quiet summers, Sebastian is a prime place to visit. The town motto is “Friendly People and Six Old Grouches,” but the six old grouches probably went back up north for the summer. Hotel rates are low, and between Sebastian and neighbor Vero Beach, you can fulfill whatever food or shopping needs you might have. One optionis the Sportsman’s Lodge, a weekly and extended stay property that boasts especially low rates between May & December. Call ahead if you’re looking to book a stay.

A​ change of pace can be great for the writer’s imagination. Hopefully, you can find it in Florida this summer.

 

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Travel Tips

The Best Cities for New Opportunities

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Even in this time, one service that will still remain essential is moving. While relocating to a whole new area might not be at the forefront of many people’s minds right now, there are lots of wonderful places ready to welcome you to a whole new lifestyle. Although lots of people are staying put this summer, moving is one of the safest adventures right now.

If you’re looking to start a new business in your new location, be sure to check out the New American Bancard company at https://www.northamericanbancard.com/ for help getting off the ground. The post-pandemic economy will be a place that a lot of people are looking to start over, so get moving now.

Sarasota, FL

With calm beaches, great culture, and a slower pace of life, Sarasota is a destination for more than just vacationing. Outstanding restaurants and the picturesque gulf waters are anchored by low cost of living and lots of available housing. Schools are great and performing arts thrive in Sarasota, and living close to The Ringling Museum is pretty great, too. If you need great local movers when you arrive, be sure to call Great Local Movers, who will be happy to welcome you to the jewel of west Florida.

Franklin, TN

Want Music City Magic without the Music City cost of rent? 30 minutes south of Nashville, you’ll find your answer. While costs in Tennessee are rising, Franklin remains an affordable option for many singles & families. Close to the Smokey Mountains for nature lovers, Franklin also boasts the historic Mockingbird Theater, a local gem.

Provo, UT

A booming tech sector and growing cultural scene helps boost Provo’s reputation as “the Austin of the Mountain West.” With low cost of living, an exciting music scene, and enormous job growth, you might want to get in on the goods of Provo now, while costs are still low. Proximity to the benefits of Salt Lake City and the stunning beauty of Zion National Park are also terrific reasons to head west.

Lancaster, PA

Close to Amish Country, Philadelphia, and dubbed the new Brooklyn, Lancaster is a great place to move to. It has outstanding restaurants, incredible shopping, and is a rising star on the East Coast. Lancaster offers a lower cost of living with reasonable access to the biggest cities on the Eastern Seaboard. It is a great place to relocate for both young professionals and for families.

Boise, ID

If you’re looking to leave behind urban life without leaving behind culture and opportunities, Boise is for you. Idaho’s largest city experienced growth three times that of the national average in the last decade. Boise is only looking up from there. The natural beauty of the city is boosted by a nearby central Idaho dark sky preserve.

Think of a big move like a very big vacation. Take the plunge, and you might thank yourself once the world has returned to normal.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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