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Friday, April 28, 2017

New York City • Intergalactic Epicenter

Written by  David Placher

Escaping to New York City from Baltimore for the weekend is easy. Although Amtrak tickets can be pricey, advance ticket purchase and travel during odd times can lead to cheap deals. A one-way train ticket for a 5 a.m. trip can cost as little as $40. A bus to New York can be even cheaper, with deals as low as $10. Although traveling to New York is great for seeing the beautiful green lands and waterways, once you get there, the adventure begins. New York, with its population of over 8 million, can be overwhelming if you are not used to a lot of people concentrated in a small area. New York plays a powerful role in shaping media, art, entrainment, technology, fashion, research, and education. It has the largest LGBT population in the world and that includes the largest transgender population that is estimated to be over 25,000. It’s the place where the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil happened – in 2001, when the World Trade Center was destroyed.

New York is the location for many films, books, TV shows – including news broadcasts, radio shows, and other media. Some of its famous shows include “Law & Order” and “Sex in the City.” The film industry produces over 200 films each year and has been growing. New York is a hotspot for the music, digital media, fashion magazines, and other publishing areas. It is the largest media market in North America. There are several companies that provide awesome media tours: On Location Tour, The Tour at NBC Studios, Movie Tour A Grande Maca, Gossip Girl Tour, TCM Classic Film Tour, the Celebrity Planet Tour, and A Grande Maca Movie Tour. With all the filming in New York, you can’t get bored if you just spend timing visiting filming locations and tours.

N.Y.C. is perfect for the LGBT visitor because there is lots to do. There are a number of clubs and bars, a few include:

Therapy, a bi-level lounge with a dance floor on the second level and a lounge on the first

Posh, a casual bar filled with locals

Boxers N.Y.C., a sports bar with drink specials, pool tables, and famous pizzas, and

Evolve, a lady bar and lounge with an outdoor garden, patio, pool tables, and popular happy hour. During the day, a walk in Central Park, a visit to the top of the Empire State Building, or a boat ride past the Statue of Liberty can be both refreshing and memorable.

NYC also has a strong LGBT history. Gay Americans in the 50s and 60s faced a discriminating legal system and were often not welcome in many bars. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous protests against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn on June 28th, 1969. Although police raids on gay bars were common in the 60s, officers quickly lost control of the Stonewall Inn raid. The police attracted crowds that erupted into riots. The tensions between the police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the following evening and days thereafter. The protests are considered to be the most important event leading to the gay rights movement and the fight for LGBT rights in the U.S. Today there is a Stonewall National Monument that marks the birth place of the LGBT movement.

When walking through the city, there is one monument that is a must see. The National September 11th Memorial and Museum are a reminder of the terrorist attacks. They commemorate attacks, which killed 2,977 victims, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The National September 11th Memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers. On September 11th, 2011, a dedication ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the attacks was held at the memorial. It opened to the public the next day and the museum was dedicated on May 15th, 2014 and openetd a few days thereafter.

With New York being such a short distance from Baltimore, and so much culture compacted there, a summer visit is necessary. For cheap hotels and travel, book in advance.

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