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Sightseeing in New York, a Conversation

Level: Advanced




Chen: What's the name of this sight again?

Tour Guide: It's South Street Seaport.

Chen: This is a spectacular view of the East River. What are those boats over there people riding on?

Tour Guide: They're water taxis for the public to see sights around the East River.

Chen: How would I buy a ticket if I wanted to ride the water taxi?

Tour Guide: You just hop in. You'll get the ticket inside the boat. My company also offers tours on the Hudson River on weekends.

Chen: Great. I'll think about it. There's so much to see here.

Tour Guide: Take a look at South Street Seaport.

Chen thanks the tour guide for the suggestion, write downs the website name, and then goes on to next question.

Chen: Next, we'll see the Statue of Liberty. She looks huge for a female. What's the story behind her?

Tour Guide: Located at New York Harbor, this handsome lady represents democracy and freedom. She's one of the most outstanding monuments of the world.

Chen: I understand that. But, why was she erected on a small island (Ellis Island) on the East River? Is there any reason for it?

Tour Guide: This monument was erected during the immigration influx from Europe to the United States in the 19th Century. European immigrants entered the United States from New York Harbor on the Hudson. In reference to that time period, the Lady hails new comers to the land of freedom and opportunity.

After a half-hour tour on South Street Seaport, Chen, with his group, rides the tour bus for another sightseeing in New York. The next destination is Harlem where the black culture has evolved in New York City.

Tour Guide: In Harlem we'll get off the bus to walk around Harlem streets. This walking tour is conducted by a Harlem resident, the Tour Guide Elisha. She'll take over the group, make a presentation on the Harlem history, and then answer the questions.

Rashid: I heard about many great jazz music artists have lived in Harlem. Who are they?

Elisha: Throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s, Harlem earned its reputation as the Mecca for Jazz and Blues. Entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Michael Jackson and many more are the stars this community produced.

Alexis: This may sound a little awkward to ask, but why does Harlem have a reputation as a dangerous neighborhood?

Elisha: Well, this was a town where the black community have built their lives. The blacks had endured discrimination, were victimized because of racism throughout history.

Alexis: But is it true Harlem has the highest crime rate in New York City?

Elisha: I've lived in this community all my life. I'm a historian writer. Harlem is not a dangerous neighborhood to live in. Its crime rate is exaggerated out of proportions in the past.

Alexis: I see around lots of high rises along with historical buildings. These high rises seem like they have been recently built. Was this neighborhood poor before?

Elisha: Harlem has developed into a cultural attraction of New York City recently. In Harlem you will find upscale entertainment, first rated restaurants and quality housing.

Chen: Are we gonna eat here tonight?

Elisha: I wish we would. But, as far as I know the group chose Union Square Cafe, a four- star restaurant in downtown Manhattan.

Tour Guide. Yap, we'll eat there. Then the last destination is Radio City Music Hall for a Sheryl Crow concert.

Chen: Who's Sheryl Crow?

Tour Guide: An American popular singer and song writer. Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to sign up for the Museum of Modern Art tour for tomorrow, I have the tickets here.



sightseeing: noun. The activity of visiting famous or interesting sights in a place. When it is used before a noun, it becomes an adjective, such as a sightseeing place. " We have seen quite a few sight seeing places today in New York."

South Street Seaport: The South Street Seaport is a historic area in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city.

water taxi: compound noun. A boat that is used for commercial transportation over water for passengers to commute from a destination to another, like a taxi cab, in which each passenger pays a fee to commute in town.

Statute of Liberty: The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924, and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986. It is located at New York Harbor around Ellis Island on the Hudson River. http://www.southstreetseaport.com/

Harlem: Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Since the 1920s Harlem has been a major African-American residential, cultural, and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Harlem in the Netherlands. Harlem was annexed to New York City in 1873.

Union Square Cafe: Union Square Café is an award-winning restaurant in New York City. It features American cuisine with Italian influences. Union Square Cafe has won multiple awards and honors since its inception.

Sheryl Crow: Sheryl Suzanne Crow is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. Her music blends rock, folk, country and pop.

MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It has been exclusively instrumental in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world.The museum offers a collection of a unique overview in modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawings, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist's books, film, and electronic media.

Radio City Music Hall: A well-known concert hall in the Manhattan borough of New York City.





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