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42nd Street

Aprile 2012
È una delle vie più importanti di Manhattan. Qui si trovano numerosi edifici famosi per la loro storia o... per la loro apparizione al cinema! Il palazzo del Daily News ha ispirato il quartier generale del Daily Planet di Superman, la NY Public Library appare in Ghostbusters e la Grand Central Terminal in molti film tra cui Intrigo internazionale di Hitchcock.

di John Rigg

File audio:

The Chrysler Building seen from 42nd Street
The Chrysler Building seen from 42nd Street
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

42nd Street is one of Manhattan’s most important roads. It cuts a line through the centre of the island (“Midtown”) from east to west. It captures the spirit of New York, a mixture of excitement and controversy. It is also famous for the 1933 musical film 42nd Street, directed by Lloyd Bacon with choreography by Busby Berkeley.


The corner of 42nd Street and Broadway in Times Square is a historic location. It is the start of the Lincoln Highway, the first highway to cross the USA. The highway followed the path of today’s 42nd Street. Then it crossed the Hudson River into New Jersey, and continued 3,389 miles (5,454 km) across the country to San Francisco, California!


Vast numbers of tourists visit 42nd Street every year. They come to see Times Square. They see a show at one of 42nd Street’s theatres. And they get their shoes cleaned on a street corner by one of New York’s many shoeshine men.
Visitors can take a tour not only of 42nd Street, but also separate tours of its iconic buildings. There is the United Nations, a massive 18-acre site, the Daily News Building, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal and theatres like Walt Disney’s New Amsterdam Theater.


Until the 1980s 42nd Street was famous for crime and prostitution. Its theatres showed exploitation movies. It was a dangerous place. A comedian once said, “They call it 42nd Street because you’re not safe there for more than 40 seconds!” The area has, however, been transformed with new shopping centres and the artistic revival of its theatres. One building here represents this more than any other: that is the Manhattan Plaza.


Manhattan Plaza is known as “the Miracle of 42nd Street.” It helped transform the notorious area called Hell’s Kitchen. The Plaza was built in the 1970s as part of the city’s affordable housing programme. Manhattan Plaza accommodates over 3,500 people, a wonderful community of artists and locals. Famous residents include Broadway composer Alan Menken, singer Alicia Keys, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson actually worked there as a security guard.


Let’s start at the United Nations. Guides will explain the work of the UN, and you can visit the Security Council Chamber and the famous General Assembly Hall. Next there’s the Daily News Building. Enter the lobby and see the giant, blue, spinning globe. Further down 42nd Street there is the Chrysler Building, an incredible Art Deco tower. In the lobby there is the world’s largest mural. Grand Central Terminal is probably the world’s most famous railway station. You will recognise it from classic films like Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest and Superman. Finally, the New York Public Library is guarded by two lions named Patience and Fortitude. Do you remember Ghostbusters? The film begins on the steps outside this library.

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Jackson actually worked there as a security guard.  Actually è un classico false friend. Vuol dire in realtà e non attualmente, come si potrebbe pensare. Jackson ha, in realtà, lavorato lì come guardia di sicurezza. Attualmente si traduce con currently, o at present.