The Arlo Hotel Guide to Exploring the Chrysler Building

The Empire State Building might lay claim to the most recognizable New York City skyscraper, but the Chrysler Building (also known for its cameo in Sex and the City opening credits, is a more than worthy contender for the crown. This masterpiece of Art Deco design was completed in 1930 and enjoyed an 11-month reign as the tallest building in the world. Today, it’s the 11th-tallest building in Manhattan, and the tallest brick building that’s built on a steel frame. Placed on the National Register of Historic places as a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the building is consistently ranked as a favorite by NYC locals and architects for its modernist and timeless design.

There are several notable architectural features of the Chrysler Building, with the most visible being the massive spire. It’s constructed with stainless steel plates arranged in a sunburst pattern and is today one of the most recognizable NYC skyline landmarks. The building was designed by architect William Van Alen for Walter P. Chrysler, during a period of competition to construct the tallest skyscraper in New York City and the world. More than 391,000 thousand rivets and approximately 3.8 million bricks were required to complete the building, and the iconic spire was finished in four different sections that required complex hoisting and riveting procedures. Some notable features of the building’s exterior include stainless steel gargoyles, eagles, and replicas of 1929 Chrysler automobile radiator caps.

There’s no public observation deck in the Chrysler Building, but there is an opportunity for amazing views by booking a dentist appointment. A dentist’s office has long occupied the highest habitable floor of the building, and patients experience some gorgeous views as they get their cavities filled or teeth cleaned. The underappreciated lobby is a stunning example of Art Deco style that uses Italian travertine and slabs of granite from Africa to give the space a striking look and feel that’s finished with the massive mural named “Transport and Human Endeavor.”

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Exploring Belfast with the family

Checking out the zoo is a must when Exploring Belfast with the family

There’s a whole lot for families to do and see around Belfast, whether your kids need to be kept busy or enjoy relaxing and playing a couple games of Eurocup Game. When we traveled to Belfast recently, there was one attraction that really caught our eye – the Belfast Zoo.

Built all the way back in 1934, the zoo houses thousands of animals from around the world in beautiful, safe natural scenery, giving them an environment in which they can really relax. The zoo’s found a fair distance from the city itself (definitely better for the animals), but we didn’t have much of a problem getting there. We’d stayed at the Travelodge Belfast hotel, surprisingly cheap for something right in the city centre, and hopped on a Metro 1 bus from right outside straight to the zoo.

The buses don’t stop right outside the zoo – there’s about a 500 metre walk uphill (make sure you’re aware of this if you’ve got a pram) before you reach the zoo. Entrance to the zoo isn’t too pricey, with a family ticket coming at £23.20 at the moment. Once we actually got inside, we knew we’d made the right choice.

Across around 50 acres of nature, there’s more than a thousand animals, from natural inhabitants to a whole set of different visitors. We started off with a look around a few different types of monkey, from lemurs to gorillas and chimps (the kids recognised the ring-tailed lemurs from the Madagascar series).

Just walking around we saw everything from anteaters and kangaroos to capybaras (actually one of my favourite animals – they just look like they’re having a good time) and tapirs. The zoo’s taken animals from around the world and made sure that they’re all as comfy as possible, keeping them safe and happy.

As you might expect, a few of the animal enclosures get pretty crowded, with lions, elephants and tigers getting pretty packed around lunchtime. All in all, the Belfast Zoo really made for a great time, keeping the kids enthralled with some beautiful and rare animals.

The zoo’s actually part of a larger area, Cave Hill, which includes the famous Belfast Castle as well as a few more sights. With huge mountains and some really impressive natural sights, the park definitely looked impressive, but it’s really not the kind of thing the kids would enjoy. Maybe some other time.

Heading back towards our city centre Belfast hotel in the afternoon, we decided to stop off around something a bit more modern than the Belfast Zoo. Built a few years back, the W5 centre is a huge activity area designed for kids, with a whole lot of active attractions around. A bit more expensive than the Zoo, the W5 was definitely worth it – there’s hundreds of interactive things from a huge climbing frame to sciencey activities, music and way more.

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