Conquering urban horizons: unique landmarks of New York City

The five boroughs of New York City offer a few of the globes most intriguing sights.From a historic seaport situated in the Bronx to the authentic streets of Jackson Heights, students have the opportunity to expand their urban horizons into the outer boroughs, beyond the tourist norms of this unrivaled metropolis.

Queens, the most diverse county in the nation, has become the home to students of St. John’s, comprised of a vast majority of cultures all working, living and learning together. Often forgotten in comparison to the other esteemed boroughs, Queens offers a realistic, authentic view of New Yorkers as hardworking and ambitious people.

“I have learned so much about cultures outside of my own, from Korean cuisine to West Indie music,” said junior, Nicole Parenti.  “The people of Queens come from multiple countries around the world but work hand in hand to create better lives for themselves.”

Many would agree with Nicole, as families are seen striving for the lifestyle they value so highly.

“I came here because I wanted a better life for my family, and I was welcomed with open arms,” said mother of four, Indira.

She came from Guyana 10 years ago to a small community outside of Jamaica where West Indie people flock to open businesses and attend vocational schools. “These are my people; we work together and are thankful for such a place,” said Indira.

While many mistakenly see Queens as the scrap of the city, students of St. John’s understand the diverse beauty and genuine communities that this underdog borough offers. From the rustic streets of Jackson Heights to the fan favorite Citi Field, home to the New York Mets, Queens is a key piece to New York City.

Manhattan, the financial capital and cultural center of the country is a place that holds many beautiful sights. From the foliage of Central Park to the bright lights of Times Square, this city has something for everyone. Hop on the subway and pick a stop. Anywhere will grant you the incomparable experience of this eccentric city.

Five must-see spots in Manhattan include Central Park, Times Square, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Rockefeller Center, and the obvious culinary conquests of a good bagel and slice of pizza.

Less evident must-try treats include city-wide famous chains such as Ben’s Kosher Deli, with pastrami on rye and crunchy kosher pickles. Grey’s Papaya is another New York specialty, bringing the “New York hotdog” to a whole new level.

Make sure to grab a glance of the Empire State Building and window shop on Park Avenue, admiring the fashion icons of the last decade. Get lost in the most distinct city in the world, discovering your own must-see destination.

Often mistaken as risky and crowded, the Bronx will never seem the same after a trip to City Island, a serene seaport community nestled within the urban walls of this swarming borough. With the atmosphere of a “New England village” it’s almost impossible to believe this quaint town is located in the Bronx. Take a trip to the City Island Museum or spend the day enjoying the nautical bliss offered so genuinely to visitors. Finally, make sure to stop by The Original Crab Shanty Restaurant, a culinary icon for City Island, known for their fresh seafood and addictive garlic bread.

Make time to visit Yankee Stadium located in the hustle and bustle of the Bronx, painted in navy and white. Tickets are available on Stubhub and can be purchased for under $20 early in the season. Another must-see is the Bronx Zoo, the largest urban zoo in the United States. With spring time favorites such as the Butterfly Garden and sea lion shows, visit on a Wednesday which is “Suggested Donation Day,” cutting costs for students yet still supporting the welfare of the animals.

The art and culinary gem of the five boroughs is Brooklyn, perhaps the most underrated of the five. With an array of fine arts, some of the best pizza in the country, and a surplus of history – Brooklyn is an experience worth the time. Be sure to take a walk through Prospect Park and stop in one of the museums situated in this highly populated community.

The Brooklyn Bridge is the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon, followed by a trip to Di Fara Pizza, worth the extremely long line and hustling crowd. Known for their thin crust and perfect combination of sauce and fresh spices, it is often referred to as the “best pizza in New York.”

Last but not least is Staten Island, providing an unexpected surplus of sights. Beginning with the Staten Island Ferry, visitors are provided with the most pristine view of the Statue of Liberty. Once you reach this historic haven, take a trip to Conference House Park offering a waterfront view loaded with nostalgic beauty. Don’t forget to stop by the Staten Island Yankee Stadium and take a leisurely rowboat ride in Cloves Lakes Park.

Crowned the culinary paragon of Staten Island is Lee’s Tavern, where New Yorkers travel miles for the “most amazing calamari you’ll ever have.” White Clam Pizza, described by the locals

as “heart-stopping.”

This hole-in-the-wall treasure only accepts cash, and appears as nothing special upon first glance. Never judge a book by its cover as this underdog establishment keeps New Yorkers coming

back for more.

Grab a friend, hop on the subway and venture into the diverse metropolis situated so conveniently in your reach.

Whether you conquer the six mile walk around central park or indulge in the fried calamari at Lee’s Tavern in Staten Island, take advantage of all five pieces to the proportioned puzzle known as New York City, one of the most stauesque cities in the world.