Visual Stops

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New York is filled with visual stimulation. Colors, shapes, textures, and a combination of all three make the Big Apple the sensory place that it is.

Throughout Manhattan are visual stops not to be missed. Here are our picks:

Conservatory Garden In Central Park

If you've never been to the Conservatory Garden in Central Park, now is the time to take a tour of the garden led by a member of the staff. Meet at the Vanderbilt Gate at Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th streets to catch a view of thousands of blooming trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26; free; no reservations required;

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit swings into gear this summer beginning Memorial Day Weekend, May 25, 26, and 27 as well as June 1 and 2, and Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and 2, as well as Sept. 7 and 8. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Fine artists and craft artisans from throughout the world gather for the event that draws art lovers, tourists, faculty and students from the area's schools as well as interior designers. The show takes place on University Place between East 12th Street, extending along the east side of Washington Square Park to West 3rd Street. The southern end of the show includes Schwartz Plaza, also known as Bobkin Lane, between New York University's Shimkin Hall and Bobst Library.

Stargazing On The High Line

Talk about visual. Stargazing on the High Line begins at dusk every Tuesday through Oct. 29 at the 14th Street Passage, The High Line, between West 13th and West 14th Streets. Gaze at the stars, planets, and moon through the high-powered telescopes of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, and talk with the experts about what you see. Hours are 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; contact Friends of the High Line, 212.206.9922.

Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture

There's still time to view "Our Global Kitchen ? Food, Nature, Culture" at the Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, Manhattan, at 81st Street.

Through Aug. 11. The exhibition explores growing, transporting, cooking, eating, and celebrating food. It also examines environmental and human health and feeding the world's population. You'll learn about cultures, cooking, and ingredients; admission is $25 for adults, $19 for students and seniors, and $14.50 for children.

Take in the permanent collections while you are there; hours are 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

The Woolworth Building @ 100

The Woolworth Building @100 exhibition continues through July 14 at The Skyscraper Museum, located in lower Manhattan, 39 Battery Place. When the Woolworth Building opened on April 24, 1913, 80,000 incandescent bulbs illuminated the New York night for the ceremony. Five-and-dime store king Frank W. Woolworth paid for the skyscraper and was involved in its every design decision. At the time, the neo-Gothic tower was the world's tallest office building. Located at 233 Broadway, the building was originally to be a 20-story office building and expanded to be 60 stories on a full-block. The exhibition traces the advanced technology of its engineering and construction, as well as the abundance and variety of its handmade, terra-cotta ornamentation. Construction, detailed in the exhibit, took 29 months from excavation to completion of the cooper-roofed spire with gold leaf accents.

The museum celebrates the City's architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that shapes its skylines. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. General admission is $5; students and seniors, $2.50; 212.968.1961.

Photography And The American Civil War

Photography can chronicle history, the subject of "Photography and the American Civil War," through Sept. 2 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. Invented 20 years before the Civil War, photography turned out to be a critical tool in documenting the war. Each side used photographs to promulgate its cause, and, in the end, it helped to change the course of U.S. history. Hours are Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Recommended admission is $25, adults; $17, seniors 65 and older; $12, students. Members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult, free.

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