As you walk up Broadway Avenue heading for the Columbia University campus it is impossible not to recognize Tom's Restaurant, which was featured in the TV show "Seinfeld" as the main characters' favourite diner, Monk's Cafe. The interior scenes were filmed at a studio in California, but it's still worth taking a quick peak inside or even better, stopping for lunch or dinner. You don't have to worry about stepping into a tourist trap - Tom's Restaurant has long been a popular spot with Columbia University students and although they do sell t-shirts and postcards, we took a look at the menu and the restaurant offers typical diner food at a very reasonable price. I guess this one is a must for any Seinfeld fan!
Tom's Restaurant is located at 2880 Broadway, at the corner of W 112th Street in Morningside Heights.
this past Sunday I went to a free concert at a totally off the beaten pass tiny museum: Nicholas Roerich Museum on New York's Upper West Side. Tiny museum with lots of charisma and no admission fee. The museum itself is not worth a special trip, but if you're up there visiting St. John the Divine or Columbia U. campus - it sure worth stopping by especially if they are having a concert on that day. I found it on www.clubfreetime.com, which gives info about free things to do in New York; worth checking out if you are interested in off the beaten pass cultural events
If you've made the commitment in time to visit St John the Divine, taking in Columbia University, Riverside Church and Grant's Tomb should follow as a matter of course. The largest mausoleum in North America houses the remains of one of America's least praiseworthy presidents and his wife. Like Napoleon (whose tomb this was modeled after), Gen. Ulysses S. Grant commanded the armies of a nation, but unlike Corporal Violet our general was no great tactician. He was a fighter however, a standout at the time among Union generals, which helped catapult him to two consecutive terms of corruption as the Commander in Chief/Chief Executive. It is likely however not this last detail but rather the tomb's out-of-the-way location that make it one of the least-visited monuments in our national park system. Admission is free, but to my mind the mausoleum and the "forested" Grant Centennial Plaza (adjacent to the south, meant to commemorate Grant's establishing Yellowstone as our first national park) merit the visitor's full respect and admiration.
Columbia is one of America's oldest and best-known colleges. Originally created by charter as early as King George II's time, the first institution met far downtown near Trinity Church. Over time the university migrated to midtown and finally to its present site in lower Harlem between 114th and 120th streets. Today the campus hosts a number of interesting buildings, both modern and classical, of which perhaps the most recognizable is Low Library (built 1890s). Campus today is almost like an island amid the neighborhood, but penned in amid such medieval institutions as the Union Theological Seminary and the Riverside Church, this area of New York City is unique on the island.
Between Claremont Avenue and Riverside Drive.
Off 122nd Street. Across the street from Grants Tomb,
This park is essentially a tribute to General Daniel Butterfield. His claim to fame is composing the mournful bugle call, TAPS.
John Gutzon Borglum who made the sculptures of four U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore also made this bronze statue of Butterfield. SInce 1918 this statute has graced Sakura Park.
This is nothing special, but if you choose to go for a walk uptown, specifically in Morningside Heights, you should take a brief tour of the campus of Columbia University. One of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States, it has a nice campus populated by overexcited undergrads (except during exam periods, then nobody seems happy).
We’re filing this under Off the Beaten Track because it takes a little more effort to make it up here, and also because there were so few visitors there compared to New York’s other attractions. The Tomb is officially known as the General Ulysses S. Grant National Memorial and both Grant, the Civil War’s most heroic figure (at least if you’re from the North) and later President, and his wife were laid to rest here.
The building was completed in 1897 – Grant died in 1885 – and huge crowds took to the streets of the Upper West Side for the official opening, but as the twentieth century wound on, the Tomb was allowed to languish, and became quite a mess before the National Parks Service finally stepped in to clean it up again a few years ago. The structure itself is very impressive: it’s the biggest mausoleum in the US, with a huge dome, in leafy surrounds (outside, there are amusing mosaic-style walls with cars and other oddities built in).
There are very interesting displays about Grant’s pre-Civil War life, and his military career, which was fairly undistinguished before the War, as well as detailed information about the various battles in which he played a major role. The displays don’t seek to hide some of his flaws, so it’s not just hagiography, and some of the artifacts are fascinating. It’s well worth making time to walk up here after you wander relatively nearby Columbia University, or if you’re on your way into the heart of Harlem.
Just up the road from St. John the Divine is Columbia university. It was originall called King's College in 1754. And was originally located in the area where the Rockefeller centre is, the land had been given to them by Trinity Church. After the revolution it changed its name to Columbia. In 1891 with expansion needed it moved to its present site which was bought from the Bloomingdale Asylum, who in turn moved to Welfare/Blackwell/Roosevelt Island.
Sorry I dont have a pic of the university so have used an interior photo of St. John the Divine.
Here we are visiting COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.
It is one of the oldest and best Universities and also extremely expensive!
With the name KING'S COLLEGE it was opened in 1754 not far from the WORLD TRADE CENTER.
There are guided tours of the Columbia Campus throughout the year and no reservations are necessary.
This tour will last about one hour and is a pleasant intruduction to one of the most impressive urban spaces in MANHATTAN.
MAIN ENTRACE: in W 116th street
Most people don't visit the Morningside Heights area - which is where I lived. However, the students from Columbia University make this a very lively neighborhood. There are many nice restaurants and bars along Broadway there and the sights are great. Aside from the campus grounds, have a look at the still unfinished Cathedral of St John the Divine - it's huge! Also, see Riverside Church (pic), Grant's Tomb and while you're there, go shopping on Harlem's 125th Street.
This delightful and historic neighborhood, just north of the Upper West Side (between 110th and 125th streets, west of Morningside Park) is definitely worth a visit during your trip to New York City. Less tourested than other NYC areas, this is a safe and diverse residential area where you will meet a lot of "real" New Yorkers. The neighborhood is easily accessible (just minutes from midtown by subway--take the 1/9 line to 110th, 116th, or 125th) and offers several major sites, plus lots of lovely streets to stroll along, shops to peruse, and restaurants to relax in.
--Cathedral of St. John the Divine on 110th and Amsterdam): Tis is the largest cathedral in the US and a stunningly beautiful space, with a regular program of services, concerts, and performances.
--Riverside Church (entrances at 122nd and Claremont Avenue or Riverside): This is a beautiful neo-gothic church built by the Rockefeller family. The nave features beautiful stained glass and ornate design. The views over the city from the carillon are not to be missed! There are also many services, concerts, and performances.
--Grant's Tomb (122nd and Riverside): Houses the tombs of General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, plus a small collection of civil war artifacts and murals depicting major battle sites. Great for history buffs!
--Riverside Park (just keep walking west and you'll hit it): In this area, the park is much quieter, more rustic, and more serene than it is further south. You are unlikely to see any tourists with cameras but you will see families with children, people riding bikes and walking dogs, and New Yorkers enjoy a bit of greenery and space in the city. There is a bird sanctuary between 116th and 122nd (and a lovely, rustic trail running through).
--Columbia University (main entrance at 116th and Broadway): One of the most prestigious and oldest universities in the United States, with a lovely traditional campus you can walk around. Lots of student-centered cafes, bars, and bookstores around here to enjoy.
This was one of the best sights we visited in our trip, partly because I love academic books (law, business) and the campus atmosphere no matter where I am.
The campus buildings (mainly called libraries?) are big and old and intresting. We visited university while all students were on holiday but I bet the place is even more intresting when bursting enthusiastic students.
If you like academic books or want to buy some Columbia t-shirts, umbrellas etc, visit their bookstore which is in the campus area. Check their website: http://columbia.bkstore.com/
The address is 2960 Broadway, but the easiest way is to use taxi to get there as we did.