Grand Central Terminal
The restoration of this beautiful Beaux-Arts behemoth in the late 1990's has created the perfect place to enjoy a drink or dinner while watching commuters race for their trains. Constructed by railroad pasha Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1913, the terminal was almost leveled in the 1960's to become a brutal office tower. (Thank Jackie O, among others, for saving the structure.) Now a National Historic Landmark and a desired gathering place, Grand Central is worth visiting just to see the central information booth, with its treasured, opal-faced clock, and the glittering ceiling, painted with 2,500 illuminated stars in a winter sky configuration.
Tip: Join one of the 90-minute gratis tours each Friday—meet at the Whitney-Altria museum outside the terminal on the southwest corner of 42nd Street and Park Avenue at 12:30 p.m.