Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder pics: the new New York

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Lonely Planet Pathfinder Abigail King looks beyond the usual icons of this ever-changing city to discover a new New York.

If you think you know New York by its yellow taxis, city skyline and landmarks from when Friends and Frasier first hit the screen, it’s time to think again.

The city that never sleeps puts its insomnia to good use, notching up grand architectural projects here and urban regeneration there. From creative restructuring of worn down parts (hey, it happens to us all) to Ground Zero’s balance between memorial and life-goes-on defiance, New York has enough new projects to keep even a jaded traveller wide awake. It’s even taken another look at those iconic yellow cabs.

Inside the Oculus

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The Oculus – a flamboyant dove, whale or fish skeleton depending upon your mood – stands out for standing small in the heaven-hugging Big Apple. The inside is humble too – it's a shopping centre and train station, celebrating the everyday as thousands commute to work and play on the land that was once Ground Zero.

Single Flower, World Trade Center Memorial

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A single flower. A single name. Simple things can be so powerful. This flower, and this name, sit amid line after line of other names in lower Manhattan. They belong to those who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks, and can be found in the 9/11 Memorial Plaza.

New York High Line

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Meet an urban lesson in cool: the High Line, a former rail track turned open-air art museum and 1.45 mile path above the red-brick grid of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. Look out for benches in front of a giant clear screen – it's like live theatre where you literally watch the city beneath you move.

Brookfield Place

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New York, new places... But some things stay the same. Like my preference for a physical paper book once I'm on the ground. This one stands within the glass grid of the Winter Garden in Brookfield Place, the first structure to be rebuilt following the 9/11 attacks. Look closely to spot the Oculus.

One World Trade Center

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Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Freedom Tower, otherwise known as One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the sixth tallest in the world. Positioned in front of it, resplendent in sunset gold, is the wing of the Oculus.

Iconic taxis hit middle age

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Yes, America has supersized the iconic yellow taxicab. By 2018, all licensed NYC taxis will have to be Nissan NV200s. They may not look as sexy, but they sure are comfier. In other words, the citizens of New York have become middle-aged. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

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