Signs of the City: New York

Take a look at the signs from the Big Apple, including the billboards and signs in Times Square, Coney Island and NYC subway system.

Photos

20 Photos
20: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)

20: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)

This museum has a great collection of art spanning the Middles Ages to the present day, including American, Indian, European, Inuit and Canadian works. It offers a unique, near-complete overview of Canadian art -- from early Quebec religious work, through Inuit work from the 1950s, to avant-garde contemporaries, via the well-represented Group Of Seven, whose passion in the early 20th century was to create an art that derived exclusively from Canada and its sublime landscapes. The successful fruits of their labor captured the spirit of a country, and are now displayed on these walls. 960 1280

Charlie Harding / Getty Images  

19: The Shrine of the Book (Israel)

19: The Shrine of the Book (Israel)

The Shrine of the Book's collection contains some of the most important cultural artifacts and documents in existence pertaining to the history of Christianity. Although the manuscripts are never on display in their entirety, there is always some part to see. The exhibition "A Day at Qumran" tells the story of the Essenes, the people behind the scrolls and something of their day-to-day existence 2,000 years ago. The Shrine of the Book also holds the earliest known full text of the Bible. 960 1280

Hanan Isachar / Getty Images  

18: Museo Nacional de Antropologa (Mexico)

18: Museo Nacional de Antropologa (Mexico)

The vast building is one of the most accomplished museum environments in the world; its inventive 20-acre plot in Chapultepec Park is full of foliage, waterfalls, pools and statues. Downstairs is an incomparable display of pre-Columbian art, upstairs an excellent collection of Mexican folk art and throughout you'll find the work of recent Mexican artists and sculptors. 960 1280

©fitopardo.com / Getty Images  

17: Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

17: Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

The Mauritshuis may not have the encyclopedic scope of many of the other museums in this list, nor are its holdings as extensive. However, what it does exceptionally well is play to its strengths -- in this case, pictures from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. Three pieces in particular have ripened in this palace on the pond. Vermeer's "View of Delft" miraculously handles real light and atmosphere in paint and conveys an overwhelming sense of rest; at a quick glance it also appears to describe the museum and its immediate environs. 960 1280

Michael Zegers / Getty Images  

16: Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

16: Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

The Tokugawa family reigned over Japan from 1600 to 1868. Under them, the country enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history. This time span is also known as the Edo period, during which the arts flowered in Japan. Artists of this period directly influenced Western masters such as Manet, Gauguin and Whistler and have since gone on to become household names. Other exhibits effectively present and contextualize, through accurately reproduced environments, aspects of Japanese life at the time. They include exquisite samurai swords and armor, pottery and clothing. 960 1280

De Agostini Picture Library / Getty Images  

15: Kimbell Art Museum (Texas)

15: Kimbell Art Museum (Texas)

Designed by one of the world's greatest architects -- Louis I. Kahn -- the Kimball Art Museum is one of the few buildings in the world that actually enhances your experience of the art it holds inside. The secret lies in the silver metal reflectors that relay the light from the sky outside, across the ceilings and down the walls. Such an abundance of natural light, the airy, spacious exhibition halls and the sunken Zen-like sculpture garden outside (by Japanese-American landscape architect Isamu Noguchi) make for a most relaxing visit. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Getty Images  

14: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

14: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

Highlights of this mueum's collection include a grand rotunda lined with Sargent's expert portraiture, an intense, fervent 4th-century Christian marble bust of St. Paul at prayer, and a sumptuous painting that questions life and our very existence, Gauguin's "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" However, the jewel in the MFA's crown is without doubt its Asian galleries. 960 1280

Education Images / UIG / Getty Images  

13: Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain)

13: Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain)

You can't blame the Prado for beaming with national pride. It contains the world's greatest collection of Spanish paintings (from the 12th to 19th centuries), though only a third of its artwork is ever on display. The masters Velasquez and Goya are especially well represented, yet the Prado's collection of foreign works is strong too, attesting to the historical strength of Spain. 960 1280

ullstein bild / Getty Images  

12: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

12: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

Founded by 3 wealthy women in 1929 as the first museum to ever be dedicated solely to modern art, MoMA was, from the get-go, something different. It has become the greatest and most complete collection on Earth of late 19th- and early 20th-century art, and often wows with its more recent acquisitions and temporary exhibitions. Its home, thanks to Japanese architect Yoshio Tanaguchi, is as much a work of clean, spacious art as its collection. 960 1280

Diana Mayfield / Getty Images  

11: The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

11: The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

As well as gathering together some of the finest archaeological finds from all Egypt, this museum also provides a rare opportunity to simply pop in and within minutes be standing face-to-face with one of the greatest works of mankind, Tutankhamun's golden mask. A portrait of unbelievable quality, craftsmanship and beauty, the highly polished gold face -- at once a god, a king and a teenager -- glistens like water: delicate, magnetic yet untouchable all at the same time. 960 1280

Krzysztof Dydynski / Getty Images   

10: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria)

10: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria)

Like the Medici in Florence, the Hapsburgs of Vienna were wealthy, enthusiastic patrons and collectors of art. Their legacy is one that sits Vienna on top of the pile of the richest art cities in Europe. Today their mighty collections of royal carriages, decorative arts and sculpture, coins, a castle, books, armor, musical instruments, European paintings, as well as Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near Eastern antiquities, are spread throughout 8 buildings across the city. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images  

9: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

9: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

A block of New York's Upper East Side, sandwiched between the Museum Mile of Fifth Ave. and Central Park, contains works plucked from 50,000 years of human creativity, belief and power. The Met, as it's more commonly known, is a powerhouse. Its collection spans the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as the ancient, classical and Islamic worlds. The works include painting, photography, sculpture, glass, costume, interior design, musical instruments, antiquities, armor, statuary and the entire first-century Egyptian Temple of Dendur. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images  

8: The National Archaeological Museum (Greece)

8: The National Archaeological Museum (Greece)

This museum holds the greatest collection of ancient Greek art on Earth. It is in these remnants of a bygone age that we see the birth of the concept of the importance of man as an individual amongst all the other beings of creation. These ideas are evident in the museum's 5th-century B.C. bronze Zeus, perfectly poised to throw a lightening bolt; modeled so as to be freestanding, he is the result of close observation, the study appears to be of a god, but in truth it is the study of man. 960 1280

ARIS MESSINIS / Getty Images  

7: The National Palace Museum (Taiwan)

7: The National Palace Museum (Taiwan)

The pieces in the collection are the result of more than a thousand years of personal, imperial collecting. The most turbulent period of the collection's upheaval was between 1924 and 1965. Between these years the Chinese emperors, their courts and treasures were taken out of the Forbidden City (or Palace Museum) and put on the move constantly to dodge a warlord's troops, the Japanese and finally the Communist army. 960 1280

SAM YEH / Getty Images  

6: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

6: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

Spending just a second in front of each piece in the Hermitage's collection would take up over 3 weeks of your time. Its 2 million items are spread throughout 5 palaces built over 5 centuries. As with the Prado and Uffizi, it's best to stick with what's uniquely local (despite excellent Picassos, Matisses and Italian High Renaissance paintings). Focus on the artwork and artifacts of the 6th- to 4th-century B.C. tribes who populated this part of the world and buried their leaders and gentry deep underground. 960 1280

Getty Images  

5: Vatican City (Italy)

5: Vatican City (Italy)

It contains some of the finest works of Italian art from the Renaissance and High Renaissance, aka the finest works ever produced. The dome was designed by Michelangelo, the portico created by Bernini, and St. Peter was martyred here. Fact and legend coalesce on this spot, making it one of the most overwhelming and intoxicating places on Earth. Of the tens of thousands of works on display (spread throughout around 1,400 rooms), a few stand out from the others: The "Belvedere Torso" and marble "Laocoon" are both staple models, called upon by artists throughout art history. 960 1280

ullstein bild / Getty Images  

4: Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)

4: Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)

What the Prado is to Spanish art, the Uffizi is to Italian. But more so. It too has a small, but strong collection of foreign works, and some of its native creations are split between other institutions, like the National Gallery in London and the Louvre in Paris. The collection was born and cultivated by the enormously philanthropic Medici family over a number of centuries. The fruits of their generous patronage are beguiling. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Getty Images  

3: The Natural History Museum (London)

3: The Natural History Museum (London)

In the late 19th century, the British national collection was split 2 ways: one half became the British Museum (the museum of all mankind); the other became the Natural History Museum (the museum of all creation). Here, in the Natural History's 70 million or so specimens, lies the evidence of what man has learned of all facets of creation over the last 250 years. So important is this collection, that parts of it have been presented over the centuries as evidence used to debate and argue the age of the planet and the evolution of life. 960 1280

Johnnie Pakington / Getty Images  

2: The Louvre (Paris)

2: The Louvre (Paris)

The Louvre is France's finest cultural institution, and one that bares its history on its sleeve. You can enter via a contemporary glass pyramid, walk around its 12th-century fortress perimeter underground, follow the ornate stairways of the 16th-century kings between galleries and, thanks to the 18th-century French Revolution, walk through nearly every room in the building. After viewing the "Venus de Milo," notice the ceiling of the small room beyond; it will tell you more about the Venus' influence on art history than the sculpture's explanatory plaque. 960 1280

kwanchai_k photograph / Getty Images  

1: The British Museum (London)

1: The British Museum (London)

A quick glance at what the British Museum has lost will tell you much about the importance of what remains; its natural history and library collections alone formed separate institutions, each taking their place amongst the greatest of their kind in the world. A (free-of-charge) visit to this museum is vital if you want to learn where not only our culture, but others too have come from, and where it is we each look to be going. In the words of its current director, in the British Museum "you can locate your culture in the context of the whole world." What a rare blessing that is, indeed. 960 1280

VisitBritain / Britain on View / Getty Images  

Grateful Dead Poster

Grateful Dead Poster

This poster for a 1966 concert at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco was the first appearance of the iconic "skeleton and roses" imagery used by the Dead throughout their career. 960 1280

GAB Archive, Getty Images  

Grateful Dead House at 10 Ashbury Street

Grateful Dead House at 10 Ashbury Street

The Grateful Dead lived at this communal home on 710 Ashbury Street from 1966 to 1968. Their neighbors included Janis Joplin, Country Joe McDonald and Charles Manson. 960 1280

Baron Wolman, FotoWare fotostation, Getty Images  

Woodstock Would Shock

Woodstock Would Shock

The Dead were renowned for amazing live performances. Strangely, the biggest musical festival of the 1960s 'Woodstock' was not one of them. The Dead played under harrowing weather conditions and were literally shocked by their own instruments. 960 1280

Laura Kalcheff, Getty Images  

Concert at Altamont Speedway

Concert at Altamont Speedway

The concert hastily organized by the Rolling Stones in December 1969 at Altamont Speedway (now closed) proved to be another disaster for the Dead. The band was scheduled to perform, but declined to play due to the increasing violence spawned by the Hell's Angels who were hired to provide "security" at the venue. 960 1280

Bettmann, Getty Images  

Fillmore East

Fillmore East

The Grateful Dead made many appearances the famous Fillmore East club in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Several live albums were subsequently released of their performances there. The club is now closed, and a bank branch occupies the space. However, a sign and plaque mark the club's location. 960 1280

Bobby Bank, Getty Images  

Cow Palace

Cow Palace

In 1974, the Dead embarked on a tour that featured a revolutionary sound system made up of hundreds of stacked speakers called the 'Wall of Sound.' The tour kicked off on March 23, 1974, at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. 960 1280

Kevin Fleming/Corbis/VCG, Getty Images  

Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado

Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado

The Grateful Dead performed several times at Colorado's unique Red Rocks open-air amphitheater that appears as if it were carved out of a mountain. 960 1280

Christie Goodwin, Getty Images  

Jerry Garcia Memorial

Jerry Garcia Memorial

Thousands of Grateful Dead fans gather at a memorial erected to the memory of deceased Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on August 13, 1995. 960 1280

Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images  

The Other Ones

The Other Ones

A concert at Wisconsin's Alpine Valley Music Center featured the 4 surviving members of the Grateful Dead performing as "The Other Ones." It was the first time they had performed together since the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia in 1995. 960 1280

Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images  

Wife-Carrying Competition

Wife-Carrying Competition

First introduced in Sonkajärvi, Finland, wife carrying is a sport in which male competitors race through obstacles while each carrying a female teammate -- not necessarily their wife. Different types of carrying are included in the competition: piggyback, fireman's carry, or Estonian-style (pictured here). Major wife-carrying competitions are held in Sonkajärvi (where the prize is the woman’s weight in beer), Hong Kong, Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Swamp Soccer

Swamp Soccer

Swamp soccer is exactly what it sounds like: soccer played in a swamp or bog. It began as an exercise routine for soldiers since the squishy ground makes the sport more demanding, but it has since grown with the Swamp Soccer World Championship played annually on Vuorisuo Bog in Hyrynsalmi, Finland. 960 1280

Visit Finland  

Tar Barrels Festival

Tar Barrels Festival

The town of Ottery St Mary, England, holds annual events around Guy Fawkes Night. The festivities include a 17th-century tradition of carrying barrels soaked in tar and set on fire while racing through the town. The barrels can only be carried by those born in Ottery St Mary or those who have lived there for most of their lives, with generations of the same family often competing through the years. 960 1280

Hans Zinsli, flickr  

Extreme Ironing

Extreme Ironing

Extreme ironing is part extreme sport and part performance art. The competition involves taking an ironing board to a remote location and ironing clothing. It all started in 1997 in Leicester, England, by resident Phil Shaw when he wanted to go rocking climbing instead of doing house chores … so he decided to combine them. It has grown into a worldwide phenomenon with participants vying for the most extreme locale -- ironing on mountainsides, in streets and even underwater. 960 1280

b1lue5ky, flickr   

ClauWau Championship

ClauWau Championship

From November 25-26, more than 100 Santa Clauses gather in Samnaun, Switzerland, to compete in ClauWau, the Santa Claus World Championship. Competitors sled, sculpt, deliver presents and climb chimneys, like those pictured here. 960 1280

Andy Mettler  

Mobile Phone Throwing

Mobile Phone Throwing

Mobile phone throwing is yet another sport that originated in Finland. It began in 2000 and has since grown internationally. Competitors throw mobile phones and are judged on distance or technique. The phones used vary, but they must be heavier than 7 oz. The Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships are held annually in Savonlinna, Finland. 960 1280

Visit Finland  

Air Guitar Championships

Air Guitar Championships

The first air guitar competitions were held in the 1980s in Sweden and the US and have since continued to grow internationally. The Air Guitar World Championships Network, made up of 20 countries including Finland, the USA, New Zealand, Canada, Romania and Brazil, among others, organizes the competitions -- which follow a sophisticated scoring system. On a 6-point scale, competitors play for 2 1-minute rounds and are judged on technical merit, mimesmanship, stage presence and artistry. 960 1280

Pasi Lehtinen   

Empire State Building Race

Empire State Building Race

Held annually since 1978, the Empire State Building Run-Up is a foot race where participants run from the building’s ground floor to the 86th-floor observation deck, covering a vertical distance of 1,050 feet in 1,576 steps. The racers like to think of themselves as both runners and climbers. The current record time is 9 minutes and 33 seconds, achieved by Australian professional cyclist Paul Crake in 2003. 960 1280

Getty Images   

International Cherry Pit Spitting Contest

International Cherry Pit Spitting Contest

Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, MI, holds the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship every year. At this year’s annual championship, the winner claimed the title with a spit of 69 feet. 960 1280

  

Egg-Throwing Championship

Egg-Throwing Championship

Held annually in Swaton, England, since 2006, the Egg-Throwing Championship is presented by the World Egg Throwing Federation and is followed up by a beer festival of 12 types of ale from Swaton, Heckington and Sleaford microbreweries. 960 1280

World Egg Throwing Federation  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.