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Thread: O. T. Visiting the Big Apple....Any Tips?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by garagemark View Post
    I'll bet some of these A-rods that trash talk it haven't even been there. Yes it can be noisy, and yes it can have a certain smell here and there, and it's busy as hell everywhere... and it's a pretty fun place to go.

    There is a bus that runs in a huge circle around the perimeter of Manhattan. You can buy an all day ticket and get on anywhere it goes and get right back off anywhere it goes. It runs by about every fifteen minutes or so. Pretty cool if you want to jump off and see this or that, and then get back on to the next destination.

    We took the subway (oh yes folks, and we lived to tell about it) to Battery Park and just started walking north. We basically walked up Broadway and jutted off left and right. After a quick left to One World Trade Center and back to the right to see city hall, we walked up through Chinatown. There is a great little Chinese apothecary somewhere in there. I got a few potions, and then we moved straight up into Little Italy for lunch outside.

    Out of little Italy we kind of slewed left into Soho and dipped into a couple of shops and raided a community garden. The folks in their garden were as nice as could be, and were happy to show us their little slice of earth. From Soho we walked up to Greenwich Village. It, to was very cool, if not a little too "chic".

    After walking that far, we rode up to Hell's Kitchen, ratted around there a bit, and then hit the Intrepid area. After all that we went to Times square for a bit. By then we were about wasted. We hit the hotel (it's name escapes me for now) and crashed like zombies.

    Day two was Central park, Harlem (yes, Harlem is a very cool place) and a Broadway show. We left early on day three.

    We stayed outside most of the time we were there. There is never going to be enough time to see it all. We never even went into a museum or hall. Maybe that's for next time.

    We live 45 minutes from Chicago and go into the city all the time. It is a great place to play too, but New York City is way more compact (dense). They are worlds apart, and both offer unending things to do. Choose your trip wisely, or do like we did; wing it and have an adventure!

    Cheers.
    You sound a little bit like us. We have been to Chicago dozens of times. We usually stay downtown but have stayed in many other places nearby. We love the diversity and sheer size of Chicago and think a trip to the big apple is something we should do while we are still young enough to spend a lot of time on our feet. Thanks for the tips. Just what we are looking for.
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  2. #42
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    do visit the statue of liberty. I did it 50 years ago and still remember it to this day. also I visited birdland, mom was a jazz fan. remember that too.

  3. #43
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    I love visiting NYC and other big, old cities. LA and Houston, not so much. I have visited NYC dozens of times, and it never gets stale. The subways can be dirty, hot (but the cars themselves have AC), and noisy, but I'd rather take in the scene that way than sit in a sterile, artificial environment like a Vegas casino. Yuck.

    In NYC you could eat delicious food in a different kind of restaurant practically every day of your life, and not eat in the same place twice. My preference is to see tourist traps like Times Square, Radio City, or the Umpire State Bldg once, if at all, and stick with the good stuff like the museums, Central Park, High Line, subways, WTC, Broadway shows, a Mets game, and just walk around. The history is amazing.

    I have never had a concern about crime while there, and I have covered the city from east of Prospect Park in Brooklyn to the Hudson, and from Battery Park to Yankee Stadium. I think the reason has to do with a public mindset that they've got a good thing going, economy and tourism-wise, and don't want to mess that up.

    It's pretty clear to me that the folks here who are trashing it either have never been there and have gotten all their info from talk radio, or they only went to the Empire State Bldg on a school trip 47 years ago in a smelly bus via Port Authority Bus Terminal. Billy Joel brags that he "walked through Bedford-Stuy alone." Nowadays, Bedford-Stuy is gentrification-central.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rklopp View Post
    I love visiting NYC and other big, old cities...I have visited NYC dozens of times...I have never had a concern about crime while there, and I have covered the city from east of Prospect Park in Brooklyn to the Hudson, and from Battery Park to Yankee Stadium...It's pretty clear to me that the folks here who are trashing it either have never been there and have gotten all their info from talk radio...
    Pretty loaded statement. I've been to NYC, specifically in the very heart of Manhattan in central park at 3 in the morning. I can assure you, despite being in a gentrified area, you are not "generally safe" there at that time. And NYC is the city that never sleeps, that's part of its allure. It isn't just about where you go, but what time it is when you go there.

    Furthermore, saying "I never had a concern about crime" is a silly thing to say. When you're in the heart of the hive, bad things can happen. Not saying it's not worth going and experiencing the town, but to say you "never have a concern" is to say you never think about the reality of a big American city and the potential for something going sideways despite your best efforts to stay on the tourist trail.

    And for a tourist who may not know (and probably doesn't know) the lay of the land, it isn't that hard to accidentally walk into an area or place where you could be in danger. I used to live in a city. There are invisible social boundaries and territories within each area. As you walk from block to block there are no signs telling you that you've just entered the wrong territory. And you don't always get obvious visual cues either. In fact, you rarely do. You have to be a local and have developed some street smarts to know where the boundaries lie and also know what times are acceptable to pass through (if ever). The potential danger to you as you move through the city is also largely dependent on your race. Being the wrong race in the wrong block is very dangerous. It's also potentially dangerous to simply be an unrecognizable face - to be an outsider. Or to be dressed in a way that suggests you're not poor (i.e. look like you have at least some money). This is true in all large American cities. It's also true in many large European cities like London(istan), Paris and now several areas in Sweden, especially as things have shaped up in recent years. There is a large city I'm not afraid in the least to walk nearly anywhere at any time - Toyko (or just about any Japanese city, for that matter).

    But sure, if you just stick only to touristy and gentrified areas or if you know NYC well enough and are savvy enough to avoid the pitfalls described above? Then NYC can be a blast and a risk worth taking. Especially if you have lots of money and can afford the best accommodations. It's ALL good then.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machine View Post
    Especially if you have lots of money and can afford the best accommodations. It's ALL good then.
    Does anyone actually travel for pleasure without having lots of money and wanting the best accommodations? I don't know of anyone that likes to travel without money and wants to walk around the slum areas.
    Work hard play hard

  6. #46
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    I’m not a city person but go to NYC occasionally. The bubble show was absolutely amazing. Worked in Seattle and heard someone disparaging the subway. Yep gets a little rough transporting the entire population of Seattle every day!

    In the end the difference between agony and adventure is your attitude!

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank K View Post
    Some things to do:

    Go see a Broadway show.
    Visit the Intrepid and the South Street Seaport.
    Unless you really want to, skip the Statue of Liberty and maybe Ellis Island as well. Too touristy.
    Go to Chinatown and Little Italy and eat in smaller restaurants. The big name eateries are typically rip-offs for tourists.
    Ride the Staten Island Ferry.
    Walk the High Line.
    Visit Central Park (in the daytime).
    Check out the Museum of Natural History and the attached Planetarium.

    Yes we have Uber

    Some things NOT to do:

    If you carry a pocket knife (doesn't everyone?) do NOT carry it clipped to your pants pocket. Many police officers will stop you for carrying a "dangerous weapon" or a "gravity knife". The NYC courts have defined a gravity knife as any knife that can be opened with a single motion of one hand and a "dangerous weapon" as pretty much any serrated blade.
    Don't do, have, or say anything that has to do with guns. Police have no sense of humor.
    Don't flash cash. Use credit cards as much as possible.
    If you live in a area where stepping off the curb causes all traffic to come to a halt, not gonna happen here!
    Be smart about where you go at night.

    One final thought - if you're flying into Newark check out the hotels near the airport. They're quite a bit cheaper than those in Manhattan.
    All excellent suggestions! I have one more, if you tend to rise early and do a lot you may be exhausted and ready for a break in the afternoon. My favorite suggestion for visitors is the Circle Line boat tour around Manhattan. It leaves from near the Intrepid on the West side. Pick up a picnic lunch from nearby Manganaro/Hero Boy, and some adult beverages if you can be discreet and decant them into paper cups to drink. Great relaxing way to spend a few hours seeing the scale of the city while the Captain keeps up a running patter of what's onshore.

    Fly into Newark Airport, check prices at the Jersey City Waterfront hotels, zip 07310. They're a short PATH train ride from Manhattan, and Downtown JC is a restaurant destination of its own. I'm not a fan of the High Line, too crowded and trendy.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    I’m not a city person but go to NYC occasionally. The bubble show was absolutely amazing. Worked in Seattle and heard someone disparaging the subway. Yep gets a little rough transporting the entire population of Seattle every day!

    In the end the difference between agony and adventure is your attitude!
    As a kid, I grew up on Mercer Island, WA and loved taking the "Bus" off the island and into down town Seattle with my friends. There was a large arcade down there somewhere that we used to hang out at a lot. I remember planning our adventures so that we didn't miss the last bus running at night. This was back in the 80's. Maybe it was because I was always with a group of friends but never felt any danger. I'm not sure how Seattle is today, but it was a lot of fun and apparently safe enough for a 14 year old and his friends to hang around in.
    Work hard play hard

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
    Does anyone actually travel for pleasure without having lots of money and wanting the best accommodations? I don't know of anyone that likes to travel without money and wants to walk around the slum areas.
    Is this a joke question? I travel on the cheap all the time - and love it. And no, even though I have enough money to splurge at very high end accommodations, I very rarely do so (unless a deal falls into my lap). As far as "not liking" traveling like that? Not at all. Same way I feel about not having a new Porsche 911. I can afford one. I like them. But I'm not buying and owning one. And I don't live in a constant state of dissatisfaction for not indulging myself or bemoan the fact I don't have one. Same way for travel. If some place is above my "reasonable" price tag? I simply don't go. Manhattan can be done semi-reasonably, but getting decent downtown accommodations in non-recessionary times is tough there.

    "Having lots of money" is all relative. It depends on your perspective and where you are. If you travel to Kathmandu (as I have) you'll realize, even as a middle class American - to the locals you are RICH. You have more money than they could ever dream of. And you can live very comfortably there on less than $50 a day. But flip the equation and repeat that exact same analysis, except in downtown Manhattan? Same middle class person, same $50/day available? Totally different scenario.

    As far as "wanting to walk through slums?" Who said anything about wanting to walk through slums? Although, with that said, if you want to understand how most of the world lives - i.e. the 3rd world - and understand what you really have by being born and living in the developed world? Then you must and should walk through slums. Pretty much all of Kathmandu is like that. Visiting places like that and meeting the people is good for your soul and education. Just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machine View Post
    Is this a joke question? I travel on the cheap all the time - and love it. And no, even though I have enough money to splurge at very high end accommodations, I very rarely do so (unless a deal falls into my lap). As far as "not liking" traveling like that? Not at all. Same way I feel about not having a new Porsche 911. I can afford one. I like them. But I'm not buying and owning one. And I don't live in a constant state of dissatisfaction for not indulging myself or bemoan the fact I don't have one. Same way for travel. If some place is above my "reasonable" price tag? I simply don't go. Manhattan can be done semi-reasonably, but getting decent downtown accommodations in non-recessionary times is tough there.

    "Having lots of money" is all relative. It depends on your perspective and where you are. If you travel to Kathmandu (as I have) you'll realize, even as a middle class American - to the locals you are RICH. You have more money than they could ever dream of. And you can live very comfortably there on less than $50 a day. But flip the equation and repeat that exact same analysis, except in downtown Manhattan? Same middle class person, same $50/day available? Totally different scenario.

    As far as "wanting to walk through slums?" Who said anything about wanting to walk through slums? Although, with that said, if you want to understand how most of the world lives - i.e. the 3rd world - and understand what you really have by being born and living in the developed world? Then you must and should walk through slums. Pretty much all of Kathmandu is like that. Visiting places like that and meeting the people is good for your soul and education. Just my opinion, feel free to disagree.
    It seemed like the areas you previously described (the Bronx?, CP at 3AM, etc) wouldn't be on anyone's itinerary.
    Work hard play hard

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