Mean new york (city)?
List of countries
Travel in Europe
Travel in Africa
Travel in Asia
Travel in Europe :
Travel in France
Travel in Belgium
Travel in Finland
Travel in Germany
Travel in Asia :
Travel in America :
New York (city)
Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in new york (city)
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in new york (city), Bed and Breakfast!
New York City represents one of the great global centers of international finance, politics, communications, music, fashion, and culture, and is among the world's most important and influential cities, home to a nearly unrivaled collection of world-class museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, corporations, and the hundreds of international consulates associated with the United Nations, the main headquarters of which are hosted by the city.
Within New York City's huge population are immigrants (and their descendants) from over 180 countries, making New York one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Travelers worldwide and elsewhere in the United States are likewise attracted to New York City for its culture, energy and cosmopolitanism.
New York City is divided by its residents into various districts and quarters, as well as into several official governmental divisions. New York City proper (the core area of interest to the traveler and outside observers) consists of five boroughs, which are actually five separate New York state counties -- each borough has both an independent borough government and an independent county government within the city and a unique culture (each could be a large city in its own right!). Within each borough individual neighborhoods - some only a few blocks in size -- have "personalities" lauded in music and film. Where you live, work and play in New York says something to New Yorkers about who you are.
The five New York boroughs are:
When most people think of New York, they think of the island of Manhattan and, in fact, Manhattan is generally referred to as "the city", while the other four boroughs are typically called "the Outer Boroughs". The island of Manhattan is long and narrow, positioned squarely within the harbour of New York and separated from the Outer Boroughs and New Jersey by the Hudson River (to the west), the East River (actually a tidal strait between Manhattan and Long Island), and the Harlem River (actually a tidal strait between Manhattan and the Bronx).
The incredibly diverse population includes some of America's wealthiest celebrities and socialites, as well as hundreds of thousands of immigrants. New York's population has been diverse since the city's founding by the Dutch. Successive waves of immigration-- first Dutch, then British, African-American, Irish, German, Italian, Jewish, Eastern European, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Korean, African, Arab-- make New York a giant social experiment in cross-cultural harmony.
The city's ethnic heritage illuminates different neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. In Manhattan, Little Italy remains an operating (if touristy and increasingly Chinese) Italian enclave, though many New Yorkers consider Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to be the "real" Little Italy. Chinatown remains a vibrant center of New York's Chinese community, though in recent years the much larger Chinese neighborhood of Flushing in Queens has rivaled if not eclipsed it in importance, and another Chinatown has formed in Brooklyn. Traces of the Lower East Side's once-thriving Jewish community still exist amid the newly-gentrified neighborhood's trendy restaurants and bars, but there are Chassidic communities in Borough Park and Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Harlem has been gentrifying and diversifying lately but remains a center of African-American culture in New York. East (Spanish) Harlem still justifies its reputation as a large Hispanic neighborhood. Little known to most tourists are the large Dominican neighborhoods of West Harlem and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. Brooklyn and Queens are known for being home to many of New York's more recent immigrant groups, which since 1990 have included large numbers of Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis, Africans, Mexicans, Haitians, Koreans and Japanese, amongst others.
New York City serves as an enormous engine for the global economy, and is home to more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere else in the country. Its estimated gross metropolitan product of US$488.8 billion in 2003 was the largest of any city in the United States and the sixth largest if compared to any U.S. state. If it were a nation, the city would have the 16th highest gross domestic product in the world, exceeding that of Russia ($433 billion).
New York is the national center for numerous industries. Most famously, it is the home of the three largest American stock exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX) and a wide array of banking and investment firms. Though these companies have traditionally been located in the area around Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, many can also be found in Midtown and other parts of the city. In addition to the financial sector, New York is also the hub of the country's publishing, accounting, advertising, media, and legal industries.
New York City is served by several airports, both international and domestic:
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) 1 (http://www.panynj.gov/aviation/jfkframe.HTM) is located to the east of the city. By far the most convenient route into the city from JFK is a taxi, which runs a standard $45 to any Manhattan destination, not including tolls or tips. Note that the arrivals terminals are filled with drivers hawking illegal livery rides at grossly inflated prices that prey on newly-arrived tourists, so beware.
From the airport, the newly opened JFK AirTrain 2 (http://www.panynj.gov/airtrain/) runs to Howard Beach station to connect with the A subway and to Jamaica station to connect with the E and J/Z subways (Sutphin Blvd station), the Long Island Rail Road and buses. If you are travelling to the downtown area (the financial district), use the A train from Howard Beach. If heading to the midtown area (including the hotels/theatres in Times Square) use the E train. The JFK AirTrain costs $5; the subway costs $2.
If you take the JFK AirTrain to Jamaica station, you may connect to Long Island Rail Road trains to Long Island, or also to Penn Station. You may also get trains to Downtown Brooklyn, or to Hunterspoint Ave in Queens. This last option may be useful if your destination is either in downtown Queens or on the east side of Manhattan. The Hunterspoint and Brooklyn trains will not be as frequent as the Penn Station trains. You may also take trains to Ronkonkoma, where you can get shuttles to Islip airport. This is most useful for catching flights on discount carrier Southwest. Note that the Long Island Railroad is sometimes substantially more expensive than the Subway -- it costs over $6 to travel from Jamaica to the city center during peak periods. On weekends, any travel on any MTA railroad is $3, as long as it's within city borders.
When going toward the airport from the city, it is important to board A trains marked Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park. If you catch a Lefferts Blvd A, you will need to transfer to a Rockaway train. When using the E train to connect to the AirTrain, exit at the penultimate Sutphin Blvd. stop (the stop that the subway map calls Jamaica is not served by the AirTrain). Subways serve both the Jamaica and Howard Beach station 24 hours a day, so you will always be able to take a train, even if you have an early departure, however at nights, the train will run local (every 20 minutes) meaning that it makes every stop. This will take longer than during the day when the A and E run express.
For JFK, if you really want to slum it and avoid the $5 AirTrain ticket, you can take normal $2 buses to Lefferts Boulevard station where you can catch an A, or to New Lots Avenue, in Brooklyn, where you can catch either a 3. If you do not already have a MetroCard, you will not be able to transfer into the subway system for free though.
There are also coach services that run from JFK and La Guardia to Grand Central Station and Penn Station. As of december 2005, the cost is 15$ (27$ roundtrip).
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) 3 (http://www.panynj.gov/aviation/ewrframe.HTM) is located to the west of the city in the state of New Jersey. From Newark Airport, take the AirTrain to the Newark Airport Train Station to connect to a NJ Transit or Amtrak train running along the Northeast Corridor line to Penn Station. One-way fares to Penn Station are $11.55 if you take a NJ Transit train, and between $20 and $30 on Amtrak.
Several bus options are also available from Newark. For the most direct route, Olympia Trails 4 (http://www.coachusa.com/olympia/) ($13 one way, $22 round trip) runs buses every 20-30 minutes to New York Penn Station (with a final stop at Grand Central), or the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd and Eighth Avenue. One-way trip time is about 40 minutes depending on traffic. For the most inexpensive option possible, take NJTransit bus #62 to Newark Penn Station (one-way fare $1.10; be careful not to take bus #37 which also stops at EWR but not Penn Station). From there, you may take a PATH subway train either to World Trade Center station in lower Manhattan, or, by transferring at the Journal Square station to the 33rd St. train (across the platform), to one of several stops along Sixth Avenue (last stop 33rd Street / 6th Avenue). The combined fare for the bus/PATH option ($2.60) is significantly lower than the EWR AirTrain with NJTransit, but will take longer (plan on 1.5 - 2 hours), and of course, involve the transfer. As a word of caution, this is not a well-publicized option; note that you may well find yourself to be the only tourist on the bus. Don't expect much help or companionship in finding your way.
When choosing how to get into the city you should also keep in mind where you are going. If you are staying at the New Yorker, which is right next to New York Penn Station, it would make sense to take the EWR AirTrain and a NJTransit train that will take you right to Penn Station. If you are staying at the Millenium, then it is right across from the WTC station, so it might make sense to take the NJTransit bus and the PATH, instead of slugging from Penn Station to WTC on the subway. If you want to use the PATH to get midtown to 6th Ave stops, you will need to change trains in Journal Square.
There is a difference between NJTransit trains and Amtrak Trains serving the EWR airport station. You may not use tickets for one carrier to board the other. Amtrak trains are much more expensive than the NJTransit trains. Both northbound trains will stop at Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station. The Amtrak trains will be less frequent also, however the upholstery on them will be much more luxurious than the NJTransit trains, however the NJTransit trains are quite serviceable, even if the carriages are not new and updated. The Amtrak services are useful from EWR if you are going more intercity to other parts of the metropolitan area - such as to Philadelphia, Princeton, or Poughkeepsie.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) 5 (http://www.panynj.gov/aviation/lgaframe.HTM) is a smaller, older airport providing many of the domestic services for the city including the shuttles to Boston and Washington DC. US Government regulations limit non-stop flights to and from LGA to 1500 miles. You can fly from LGA to Miami and New Orleans; you can't fly to Los Angeles or Honolulu.
From LGA, the M60 bus connects with Astoria N and W trains, and crosses Manhattan using 125th St. It will connect with the Lexington (4, 5, 6), Central Park West (A, B C, D), Lenox (2, 3) and Broadway lines (1). This is a useful service if you are staying in Harlem, the Columbia University area or Hostelling International New York, as it goes south on Broadway (west side) to 106th St. This is a $2 service. The bus does not accept dollar bills. You will need to use coins if you do not already have a MetroCard. There is a change machine in the airport terminal. The M60 stops in front of all the terminals. Timetable (http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/bus/schedule/manh/m060cur.pdf)
A taxi from LaGuardia can be affordable, especially if travelling in a group. The fare to Midtown will range from $20-$30. Make sure to tell the driver to take the 59th St (officially called Queensboro) Bridge to save the $4.50 toll on the other river crossing. The bridge is also more direct and usually faster coming from LGA.
All airports. It would be wise to allow a minimum of 90 minutes for trips between midtown and the airports. Rush hour traffic in New York is notorious, especially on the congested Van Wyck Expressway to Kennedy airport. Also the lack of elevators will make bringing luggage up and down subway stairs difficult. Taxis and suburban shared ride vans are available. Use the phones provided near baggage claim for shared ride vans, or go to the taxi dispatcher. Do not accept offers of rides from people hanging around in the terminal, sometimes these people will take you to a bad neighborhood and demand more money to get to your desired destination, or lock your luggage in the trunk and demand extra payment to release it. See taxis below.
Bus services are available to the major airports from Midtown and Downtown. Grand Central Station services do not stop right in front of Grand Central Station, but around 41st or 40th St. Prices are competitive with the AirTrain services and there is at least one departure an hour through the day. The driver will help you with your bags. These may be helpful for you if you don´t wish to negotiate stations and transfers.
If leaving for an early flight with a 2-hour check in, you may need to take a taxi. Check the running hours of the buses.
More detail on the airports and travel from the Port Authority. Authority info (http://www.panynj.gov/Port)
In addition to the big three airports, New York City is also served by Teterboro Airport, in Teterboro, NJ, Westchester County Airport, in White Plains, NY, and MacArthur Airport, in Islip, NY.
New York has two major rail terminals, Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, served by four primary passenger services: Amtrak, Metro North Commuter Railroad, Long Island Railroad, and New Jersey Transit. Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, and New Jersey Transit operate from Penn Station and Metro North Commuter Railroad operates from Grand Central. New Jersey Transit is a service of the State of New Jersey. Long Island Railroad and Metro North are both parts of the Metropolitan Transit Authority which also operates city subways and busses. Penn station is located at 32nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues; Grand Central at 42nd and Park Avenue. There are several smaller stations in all other boroughs except Staten Island and additional terminals on the Long Island Railroad in Brooklyn and Queens.
Amtrak (http://www.amtrak.com) operates from New York Penn Station, which is the largest hub in Amtrak's east-coast system, with dozens of arrivals and departures daily. Amtrak's Acela (http://www.acela.com) express train provides regular fast commuter service between major points on the east coast from Washington, DC up to Boston. Other lines provide less frequent service to points as far away as California (a 3-day sleeper trip) and Canada. (Service on the lines other than the lines to Boston and Washington (known as the Northeast corridor) can be a little haphazard, to say the least!) Beware that popular trains leaving near rush hours can fill up quickly: it's a good idea to make reservations online (http://reservations.amtrak.com) and pick up your ticket at one of the electronic kiosks.
Services to California will require a change of trains in Chicago.
If you have any sleeper ticket or a first class Acela ticket, you may use Amtrak´s Metropolitan Lounge. Business First customers on Continental Airlines flights departing from EWR may also use Amtrak´s Metropolitan Lounge, but this may have changed. This does not apply to plain domestic first class flights offered by Continental, only their Business First services transatlantic, to Hawaii and Guam, and to Tokyo and Hong Kong. The Metropolitan Lounge has a much nicer bathroom than the other Penn Station facilities. It also has drinks, newspapers, and seating. It is located on the side of the station with the big security desk. You may not use the Metropolitan Lounge with a coach ticket or an Acela business ticket.
You may walk up to Amtrak QuikTrack machines at Penn Station and purchase your northeast corridor tickets without a cr card and without waiting in line for a ticket agent. You may also book tickets online at their website and pick up the tickets at these machines. Because Acela has lowered prices, demand has increased, and it is always a good idea to try booking ahead if you know when you want to leave. The first class Acela tickets include a meal served at your seat for Washington and Boston services.
MTA Metro North (http://www.mta.info/mnr/index.html) - Provides frequent service between Grand Central and the suburbs of New York City to the north, as far as Poughkeepsie and Brewster, and into Connecticut as far as New Haven, Waterbury and Danbury. At New Haven, passengers may transfer to Amtrak or to the Shore Line East, providing local service between New Haven and New London, Connecticut. The Metro North trains to New Haven and Poughkeepsie share tracks with Amtrak trains that operate from Penn Station.
MTA Long Island Rail Road (http://www.mta.info/lirr/index.html) - Provides commuter rail service connecting Penn Station with Long Island destinations. The Long Island Railroad also operates trains to Long Island destinations to and from terminals in Brooklyn and Hunters Point in Queens. Most Long Island Railroad trains pass through a transfer hub at Jamaica in Queens.
New Jersey Transit (http://www.njtransit.com) - Trains between Penn Station and many New Jersey points. One line on New Jersey Transit operates on the same tracks as Amtrak trains to Philadelphia and Washington, making many local stops where Amtrak does not stop. New Jersey Transit also joins with Amtrak in connecting Penn Station with Newark Liberty International Airport. New Jersey Transit also provides an extensive network of busses all over New Jersey, many of which operate from Port Authority Bus Terminal. You can get to Philadelphia and beyond via commuter rail connecting to Philadelphia SEPTA Public transit in Trenton. Atlantic City can be reached by train by using Amtrak or NJT/SEPTA to Philadelphia, and transferring back to NJT to travel from Philadelphia to Atlantic City.
PATH (http://www.panynj.gov/path/index.html) (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) - A subway type system connecting Newark and various points on the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River with New York City. Two lines pass under the Hudson and enter the city, one terminating at a temporary World Trade Center site station in downtown, the other at 33rd Street in midtown. The 33rd Street Station was once conncted underground to Penn Station, but now, presumably due to security concerns, the underground passage is closed and you must walk a block west on the surface of 33rd.
Greyhound (http://www.greyhound.com) is the largest and oldest private bus company in the US, and operates its east-coast hub out of Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal. (http://www.panynj.gov/tbt/pabframe.HTM) Recently Peter Pan (http://www.peterpanbus.com) Bus Company has come to dominate bus travel from New York to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, coordinating some schedules with Greyhound, while competing vigorously against Greyhound on many routes. The terminal operates on a 24-hour schedule, with regular departures to practically every city in the country. Big cities like Boston, DC, Chicago and LA will have multiple departures daily -- smaller cities may only have one or two, so be sure to check the schedules in advance! Remember that distances in the USA are large and you could be on the bus a long time - a very long time.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal also hosts a dozen or so smaller bus companies, which generally offer service along the Boston-to-DC regional axis. A full list of carriers is available at http://www.panynj.gov/tbt/busline.HTM
Super cheap buses
A cheaper group of bus companies known as the "Chinatown Bus" go to Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and a few other destinations, usually picking up and dropping off passengers in ethnic Chinese neighborhoods. If you are going to Boston, the buses no longer drop you off on the street, but at the Boston South Station bus terminal, which is pretty close to Chinatown anyway, however it is sheltered. Prices have increased and are no longer $10. Some of these bus companies are:
Parking in the city
If you are thinking of coming to New York by car, you may want to consider that traffic in Manhattan is very bad, and parking is quite expensive (up to $40 per day) and extremely difficult to come by. When entering New York from New Jersey , as well as with many bridges and tunnels within New York City, you will incur tolls (up to $6) 6 (http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/bandt/html/btmap.htm) and associated traffic delays. Most New Yorkers don't even own cars, and driving from one attraction to another in Manhattan is all but unheard of. Driving to one of the stations served by the Metro North railroad, New Jersey Transit, or Long Island Railroad (see above) and taking the train in is a better option. There are often secure parking areas in some of these stations.
As a general rule, hotels in New York do not supply parking. The few that do will charge you handsomely for the privilege. It is suggested that you look at the following two websites:
http://www.iconparking.com - you can book your parking time (if you know it) by the block, date, time, and even choose which garage within the iconparking system has space and they MUST honor it. One traveler says, "I've gone into garages that have initially said they're full up and then I said I booked it online and they shrugged and honored it." A hint, when you book online with this company take the printout with you. Most times the attendants/valets will assume you know what you're talking about, but sometimes they want to see the printout. Also, when you pay, they may feign ignorance as to the price you were quoted online. Another reason to print out the reservation. Utilizing this service, it is possible to pay $10 on a weekday for 8 hours of parking on John Street in the Financial district showing up at 10am and leaving at 6pm. If initially the valet says they don't have to honor that rate, be persistent and you should get it.
The other site is http://www.parkfast.com - This site is for Edison Parkfast. The site isn't as feature rich and you can't pick your hours or dates, but at least they have rates and locations.
For shorter distances, there is no better way of getting around New York than hitting the sidewalk. If you use the subway or buses, you will almost certainly need to walk to and from stations or stops. In all areas of New York a traveler is likely to visit, all streets have wide, smoothly paved sidewalks. For long distances, walking is also fine and a great way to see the city.
Most of Manhattan is laid out in a grid. Accounting for Manhattan North, which is the convention stating that the island of Manhattan is oriented exactly north - south (it's actually northeast - southwest), streets run east - west and avenues run north - south. This makes it relatively easy to find your way. Both streets and avenues are numbered. Building numbering on avenues starts generally at Houston St., and their addresses rise as you move north. Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan into east and west; numbering starts at Fifth Avenue on each side (except where Central Park interrupts) and increases in either direction. Addresses west of Fifth are written as, for example, 220 W. 34th Street, while those east of Fifth are written as 220 E. 34 Street. Because of this dual-numbering system, it is always advisable to keep in mind the closest intersection to your destination (6th Avenue and 34th Street, Broadway and 51st, etc.). In downtown Manhattan (generally considered as below Houston (HOW-ston) Street), all bets are off as streets meander, dead-end and intersect themselves. Streets in Greenwich Village are particularly notorious for defying logic. For instance West 4th Street intersects with West 10th Street and West 12th Street, and you can stand on the corner of Waverly Place and Waverly Place. As a convenient guide to distance, there are 20 blocks per mile along the avenues (walking North/South). The average person can walk roughly 1 block per minute. Walking East/West on the streets, the blocks are generally much longer.
Jaywalking is common. If you do not wish to jaywalk, be considerate of New Yorkers by not blocking them from crossing at an intersection while you are waiting for your signal. If you do jaywalk, driving is on the right-hand side of the road on two-way streets so remember to look left to check for on-coming traffic on your side of the road. Be aware that most streets are one way, so you may have to look right. Most New Yorkers who know which streets go which way will only look in the direction traffic is coming from rather than looking in both directions. Be aware of any bicyclists unlawfully going against the proper flow of vehicular traffic.
New York City has a great transit system consisting of subway and bus lines with many (but not all) lines operating 24 hours a day. A single ride on the transit system currently costs $2. Recently, the MTA introduced half-fare discounts on weekends from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and at all times from Christmas to New Years Day. The rules on transfers between different lines are complex, but the good news is that the visitor can avoid these by purchasing a daily, weekly or monthly MetroCard which allows unlimited use of the New York Subway and buses operated within the city by New York City Transit, Long Island Bus and several private bus companies. MetroCards can be purchased from either the machine or manned booth at each Subway station using cash, ATM or cr cards. For more information see http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/news/public/fares/nyct.htm all the stations are served 24 hours a day (at least once every 20 minutes when service is the least in the middle of the night), but not all the lines operate 24 hours a day. Basically, this means at night you might have to transfer, compared with not having to transfer during the day. It might also take longer due to the transfer and the trains running less frequently.
The rules on transfers are not complex. If you purchase a cash fare on a bus, you may request a transfer for another bus, with a 2 hour time limit. This transfer cannot be used to transfer to subway. If you purchase a cash fare for the subway, you may make unlimited subway transfers with no time limit, as transfers are intergrated into the structure. There are a few stations where you can exit the system and re-enter at a near-by station, using a free transfer. If you purchase a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard, you may use it on bus or subway, with time limited transfer (2 hours) between bus and subway. If you purchase Unlimited Ride MetroCards, you may make transfers, with time limit, and have unlimited rides for the period chosen, except that you will not be able to enter the same station twice within about 18 minutes.
If you buy a monthly unlimited with a cr card and your ticket is lost or stolen, you may report it and have a pro-rated refund issued to your cr card. This is a nice layer of protection if you will be in New York for awhile.
The New York Subway has 26 lines, all of which accept MetroCards. Most lines are identified by letter or number, although a few shorter lines, designated with the letter "S", are referred to as "shuttles". A subway map can be found at http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/submap.htm
An interesting facet of the New York subway is the local/express system, where different trains runs on the same track, but with express trains bypassing some stations. Tourists will be most familiar with the Lexington Avenue line (4/5 express, 6 local), the Broadway line (N weekends local/Q express ,R/W local), the cross-town #7 train (which runs between Times Square and Grand Central, as does the S shuttle), the 7th Avenue line (1 local, 2/3 express) and the 6th Avenue/Central Park West B/D train.
Generally, you will be able to get free printed subway and bus maps from station attendants if you ask nicely. In most places the subway runs only just below street level and is entered by stairways from the sidewalks. In some stations, different sidewalk level entrances serve different platforms; the entrances display the lines and directions accessible from that entrance. If you are used to entrance barriers or gates on other subway or underground systems, you may find the turnstiles on the subway rather different.
Unlike other systems you may not just stick it in in any direction and have it returned to you. You must swipe it in a particular way, described later, and you are responsible for the whole swipe. In other words, you need to think more, or have more awareness than in other systems where you just stick it in. Be aware that New Yorkers will become impatient if you are taking too long or have a bad attitude about sticking it in and it not working. You must keep going, and not stop and stand there complaining about it not working.
Instead of inserting your MetroCard into a slot in the gate, you are expected to swipe it across through a vertical swipe reader located on the top of the turnstile; this is something of an art which may take a couple of attempts to get right. You are not required to swipe your MetroCard to exit the system.
Unlike some other systems (for example, Toronto), if you make a mistake and go in the wrong direction, you will not always be able to cross over to the other side at the next station without exiting the system. It depends on the station. You will have to ask someone if you don´t know, or get off and experience it for yourself.
Large portions of the system, particularly in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx run above ground. In fact, New York used to have even more elevated portions and tore most of them down. For these stations, you will have to climb up stairs or escalators. Some stations will have elevators. The entire Staten Island line runs above ground.
Uptown and downtown trains refer to north and south in Manhattan. Crosstown only refers to the L train which runs across 14th St. in Manhattan to Brooklyn, and to the G train which connects Brooklyn and Queens, but does not go to Manhattan. Every other train will go through Manhattan, and will be referred to as Manhattan bound, or Queens bound. In some cases, you might be in Brooklyn and you might take a Queens bound N train, via Manhattan. This info might be out of date if the designations have changed.
Subway cars are air-conditioned, but the rest of the system, including the stations and platforms, is not. As a result, with New York summer temperatures outside and the air conditioned cars adding to the heat load in the stations and tunnels, waiting for a train can become a somewhat unpleasant experience on a hot day.
The subway may look a bit grungy but the much-feared subway crime of the 80s and 90s for the most part no longer exists. It's still good to use common sense though, so avoid using the subway late at night, and try to get in a car where the conductor or operator is in, and when waiting in the station, stay behind the yellow line on the platform.
Navigating the subway can seem like an intimidating task to newcomers, but visitors will find that New Yorkers are generally very helpful with directions, and will sometimes even volunteer information if they see you looking bewildered. Bear in mind that lines on the New York subway are identified by letter or number (the N train, the 6 train, etc.), even though the routes are also color-coded on maps. New Yorkers will likely stare at you strangely if you tell them that you are looking for a stop on the 'Yellow Line,' so be sure to know your route names.
The subway per-se does not operate on Staten Island. However the surface Staten Island Railway is run by New York City Transit and uses subway type cars and accepts MetroCards. A map of the Staten Island Railway can be found at http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/simap.htm
A very useful dynamic map that, among other things, allows you to find the closest subway to any given address in New York City is available at http://www.cmap.nypirg.org/netmaps/Straps/Straphangers.asp complements of the Straphangers Campaign, a New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) that advocates for rider and commuter rights.
Schedules for individual subway lines are available via http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/service/schemain.htm.
Note that the New York Subway is not the only 'subway' or 'underground' style rail system in New York City. The PATH system (operated by the Port Authority of NY & NJ) operates two lines from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, as described in the Getting In section. The line terminating at 33rd Street has several stations in Manhattan's west side (23rd Street, 14th Street, 9th Street, and Christopher Street) and can be used for within city journeys, but is typically a commuter subway system. The PATH is $1.50 per way, but fare reductions are available to those who purchase multi-ride PATH QuickCards. Most PATH stations now accept Pay-Per-Ride but not Unlimited Ride MetroCards.
If you are paying cash fares and need to go for example from the Penn Station area to Christopher St., then it is cheaper to take the PATH instead of the Broadway-7th Ave., 1 train, as it will be $1.50 instead of $2.00. PATH trains will probably not be able to go all the places a typical tourist will want to go in New York, but it is useful to be knowledgeable of their services. More PATH information here: http://www.panynj.gov/path/
There are many different bus lines, which provide good transport away from the subway. Bus lines are identified by letters followed by numbers. The letters indicates the borough in which the line mostly operates (M=Manhattan; Bx=Bronx; B=Brooklyn; Q=Queens; S=Staten Island). Bus maps for each borough can be found at http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/maps.htm
Even in Manhattan, with its dense subway network, buses can often be the best way of making a cross-town (i.e. east to west or vice versa) journey. And outside peak hours, a ride by bus from the tip of Manhattan at Battery Park to the Midtown district is a good and cheap way of taking in the sights.
Buses are particularly useful when going across Central Park (e.g., going from the Metropolitan Museum to the Museum of Natural History). The buses that traverse the park are the M66, M72, M79, M86, and M96. These generally operate on 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets respectively, however the eastbound M66 runs on 65th St, and the M79 uses 81st to go around the Museum of Natural History on the west side.
When boarding a bus with a MetroCard, insert the card into the card slot in the top of the farebox by the driver. The farebox will swallow the card, read it and return it to you. You should see the front of the MetroCard and the magnetic strip will be facing you and on the right side as you stick it in the machine. It will be vertically oriented. This is different from entering the subway where you don´t stick it in as much, but slide it horizontally oriented through the swipe device, with the front toward you and the magnetic strip on the bottom.
The fareboxes also accepts coins but not paper money as the fareboxes are unable to read paper money, and even so would be shredded in the "fare collection vaccum". As a saftey precaution, drivers do not handle money. Change is not given, so exact fares must be paid. The fareboxes accept dollar coins, and will also add up your pennies, even though it says not to use pennies. Rarely used half-dollar coins cannot be used becuase the coin slots on the fareboxes are not big enough.
The Metro North Commuter Rail and Long Island Railroad are primarily services between New York City and suburbs to the north and east, but they do provide some service within the city, especially between Manhattan and Brooklyn on the one hand and Queens and The Bronx on the other. NJ TRANSIT provides commuter service from New Jersey into Penn Station-New York.
Ferries provide an interesting alternative to getting around New York. The most famous ferry is the Staten Island Ferry (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/masstran/ferries/statfery.html), running from the tip of Manhattan at Battery Park to Staten Island. The ferry carries passengers and bicycles only, runs every 15 minutes during the day, and is free. As it gives a really good view of the Statue of Liberty on its way, this is a very popular trip for visitors. Ride on the starboard (right facing forward) side of the ferry from Manhattan and the port side from Staten Island for the best views (to the west).
Most of the other ferries you will see are operated by New York Waterway (http://www.nywaterway.com/), connect the city with the New Jersey Hudson River Waterfront and are not free. Enquire as to fares before boarding.
New York Water Taxi (http://www.nywatertaxi.com/) runs ferries between points within Manhattan, with some connections to Brooklyn and New Jersey. Their boats are painted to look like taxis.
Real NYC taxis are yellow, have a metal seal on the hood ("medallion"), a light with a taxi number on the roof, a meter for billing, stickers on the windshield for various licenses, special taxi license plates, and a divider in the car. Start off rate is $2.50 now (2004), and then $.40 for each 1/5 mile afterwards. "Yellow cabs" cruise in most of Manhattan and are available at dispatcher lines at airports, but not in the other four "boroughs." See "Livery or Black Car" below.
At the airport or any of the bus or train terminals, use the dispatcher line, and don't get into anything else. Airport trips are flat fare and expensive compared to taking mass transit-which is terrible from the airports, even with the AirTrain at JFK. Newark Airport offers direct service into Penn Station for around $10 from the Newark Airport Train Station, schedules are available on www.njt.com . Info on fares, flat fares, group rides and rules is at http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/taxicab_rate.shtml
Any other type of car ("Livery or Black Car") may only be called by phone, for a trip and are flat rate rather than metered (ask for the fare before getting in), and are not allowed to cruise the street or airports for fares.
In some areas, hopping into livery cars is widely practiced. This is useful, especially in outside of Manhattan, where there are few yellow cabs. Negotiate the fare first. They are almost all Lincoln Town Cars, and can be very nice. However, be advised, that if you do get into a livery cab on the street or at an airport, there is a VERY HIGH chance you could be cheated out of upto $10.
Be wary of unlicensed cars (known as 'gypsy cabs') cruising for passengers, especially near the airports. While drivers may claim to offer you a cheaper rate than an actual taxi, your chances of actually getting this rate (not to mention getting to your destination safely and quickly) are slim. If you are in doubt, ask an airport staffer for help finding a cab or cabstand. Major airports have taxi information cards for passengers.
For all cabs, you pay the tolls for bridges, tunnels and highways, even if the cab has an E-ZPass to use the express toll lane. Be careful of being overcharged by cabbies for toll crossings - on some bridges and tunnels (like the Queens-Midtown Tunnel) rates are not posted in plain view. So, a crossing which actually cost the cab driver $4 is easily passed onto the unsuspecting passenger as a $5 charge. Outside the city, other than flat fare destinations, meter rates are doubled (when going to Westchester or Nassau County).
Tipping 15 to 20% of the fare is customary, even though the Taxicab Driver Rule (http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/drivrules.pdf) 2-34 requires a driver to give the correct change to a passenger who has paid the fare but not to ask a passenger for a tip nor indicate that a tip is expected or required. As only very few yellow taxis are equipped to accept cr cards and drivers are very unlikely to accept personal checks, passengers should always carry cash. Always take a receipt when paying the taxi fare.
There are also bizarre van and shuttle services in different parts of the city. You will have to ask where it is going and how much it costs. Usually, you will see people lining up and some mysterious van will appear and they will board. There are services between Chinatown and Queens (you won´t have to make any transfers if it goes where you need to go!), and also there are seprate services in Brooklyn, and Queens. Many of these services are branded as "Dollar Vans", and follow major bus routes. One should use good judgement before using these vans to prevent getting cheated out of money, or something considerbly worse than losing money.
Best advice is that a car is not only unnecessary but also inadvisable; street parking is practically nonexistent near crowded areas and tourist attractions and garage parking ranges from very expensive to prohibitively expensive. Note that a large percentage of city cab drivers are originally from the developing world and have brought their aggressive, take-no-prisoners driving style with them. Traffic can be mind-blowing for the uninitiated, especially in midtown and around rush hours. Manhattan is compact and has excellent public transportation. While this is somewhat less true of the other boroughs (particularly Queens and Staten Island, the only boroughs to be developed with auto and expressway in mind), no visitor to New York will need a car and indeed will be hampered by having one.
The major car rental agencies have offices throughout the city. Smaller agencies are also well represented. Be warned that car rentals in New York are generally more expensive than elsewhere in the United States, and frequently require a deposit of up to US$500. Insurance rates also tend to be higher in New York than in most other cities.
While cheap parking can be found in some parts of New York at some times, it is generally extremely expensive. Paying US$40 a day is not at all uncommon. Street parking can be much cheaper but can be extremely hard to come by. Note also that New York has alternate side-of-the-street parking rules, which may require street parkers to move their cars at different times of the day. Parking enforcement officers are very efficient in New York--trying to leave a car parked illegally for very long will often end with a ticket and a vehicle illegally parked in a overcrowded place is very likely to be towed away.
Also, note that gas stations are few and far between, especially in Manhattan, where only a handful exist on the fringes of the island. Be prepared to pay much higher prices than in the surrounding suburbs.
Words of Warning
Unlike in most other parts of the United States, within New York City limits, turns on red lights, except where there are special turning arrows on traffic lights (in which case the turning arrow must be green) or turning branches of roads, are illegal and punishable by a fine. Given the number of pedestrians on the streets, they are also dangerous, and will be met with a hostile reception and possibly a kick to the side of your beloved vehicle. Talking on hand-held cellphones while driving is also illegal and punishable in New York state, and very dangerous, though this regulation is still fairly new and spottily enforced, and you will see other drivers doing this. But don't even think of driving while under the influence of alcohol! And please, if there is an emergency vehicle trying to get through with its siren blaring, pull over to the right and move forward as necessary. Pedestrians understand the need for emergency vehicles to go through red lights and are usually cooperative.
Also, check all parking signs carefully, especially if you're lucky or persistent enough to score a parking spot in Manhattan. Parking meters demand constant feeding, and are hungry late into the night. It is a good idea to keep a roll of quarters in your glove compartment. Parking is prohibited in bus stops, in front of places of worship and funeral homes, near fire hydrants, and wherever there is a yellow line on the curb. Many motorists simply pay garaging fees to relieve the anxiety of finding and maintaining a parking spot and avoid the risks of parking tickets, which can be expensive and serve as a major source of income for the city treasury!
Buy a map
This advice is even more important for intrepid travelers to the outer boroughs, where the street patterns seem to have been designed by drunks playing pick-up-sticks. There is no north-south or east-west. In Queens, numbers identify not only avenues and streets, but also roads, places, and lanes, all of which might be near each other. Read the entire street sign. Outer borough highways are confusing and often narrowed to one lane; the potholes could trap an elephant; the signs are sometimes misleading; exits which should appear do not; signs directing a highway approach drag you through miles of colorful neighborhood (in the wrong direction) before finally letting you onto the highway with a stop sign and six inches of merge space.
It really depends on where you're from, whether you can handle driving in New York. If you're from Boston, you'll eat it up. If you're bold, you'll have a great time. If you're anxious and stressed-out you'll have a heart attack and you're better off not adding to the traffic while the paramedics come. New York has 8 million over-stressed people as it is. If you're laid-back, kiss your attitude goodbye. By the time you leave you'll have torn chunks from your upholstery in frustration and rage.
That said, there are several points of entry/exit into the city from the New Jersey side: the Lincoln Tunnel (midtown), the Holland Tunnel (downtown), and the George Washington Bridge (way uptown)--all are accessible from the New Jersey Turnpike. The Midtown Tunnel over the East River is convenient for Long Island travelers, as it becomes the Long Island Expressway. The Queensborough bridge (aka The 59th Street Bridge) also crosses the East River into Queens, is toll-free and, lands near the mouth of the Midtown Tunnel but requires some automotive manipulation to get onto the Long Island Expressway. Other routes head north and east out of the Bronx, including Interstates 87 (north to Albany) and 95 (northeast to Boston).
Travelling at off-hours makes sense to avoid rush hour traffic, but some highways and roads are surprisingly packed even so. The Cross Bronx Expressway is almost always choked with traffic. The Long Island Expressway has heavy eastbound traffic between the morning and evening rushes. The Holland and Lincoln tunnels are 10 minute waits on good days. The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) is notorious, and an accident on the Verazzano Bridge can cause a backup all the way through the northern part of Staten Island into New Jersey.
Driving crosstown (east-west) in Manhattan during rush hours is especially troublesome because the street lights are optimized to move traffic along the north-south roads. Your best bet is to avoid driving in Midtown Manhattan (between the 30s and 50s) whenever possible.
A number of multi-attraction schemes give reduced prices and line-skipping privileges.
See also the district pages for detailed information about attractions. Detail is gradually being moved from this page to the district pages.
Museums and galleries
Arts and Culture
Science and Technology
Like all great cities, New York is made up of distinct neighborhoods, each of which has its own flavor. Many of the neighborhoods are popular with visitors, and all are best experienced on foot. The following are the most-visited Manhattan neighborhoods.
Though the image many people have of Manhattan is endless skyscrapers and packed sidewalks, the city also boasts numerous lovely parks, ranging from small squares to the 850-acre Central Park, and there are worthwhile parks in every borough. From the views of the New Jersey Palisades from Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan to the lovely Prospect Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the famous Flushing Meadow Park in Corona, Queens, site of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, there is more than enough to keep any visitor busy. And most any part is a great spot to rest, read, or just relax and watch the people streaming past. To find out more about New York City parks, look at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation website (http://www.nycgovparks.org/) and the WikiTravel pages for each borough.
New York is the entertainment capital of the world, and no other city can match the number, range, and quality of its entertainment options. Be sure to check out Time Out New York (available at newstands all over the city) for the latest listings information.
Theater and Musicals
New York's Broadway is famous for its many shows, especially musicals. You might want to visit TKTS (http://timessquare.nyctourist.com/broadway_tkts.asp) that offers tickets for shows the same night at discounted prices, usually 50% off. TKTS has two offices, one at Times Square with lines often hours long, and a much faster one (sometimes minutes) at South Street Seaport (Corner of John St., just south of Brooklyn Bridge). Note that only cash is accepted at South Street. Show up at opening time for best selection.
New York boasts an enormous amount and variety of theatrical performances. These shows usually fall into one of three categories: Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway. Broadway refers to the shows near Times Square that usually play to theaters of 500 seats or more. These include the major musicals and big-name dramatic works, and are the most popular with visitors. Tickets for Broadway shows can run to US$100 a seat, though discounters like TKTS (above) make cheaper seats available. Off-Broadway indicates performances that are smaller, not located in or near Times Square, and usually of a certain intellectual seriousness. Tickets to Off-Broadway shows tend to range from US$25-50. Off-Off-Broadway refers to those shows that play to very small audiences (less than 100 seats) with actors working without equity. These can be dirt cheap and often very good, but some may be sufficiently avant-garde as to turn off conservative playgoers.
Music and Dance
New York has a wide variety of musical and dance companies, including several that are among the world's most renowned. There are also numerous small companies putting on more idiosyncratic shows every night of the week. The following are just a few of New York's most high-profile music and dance options.
New York is one of the world's greatest film cities, home to a huge number of theaters playing independent and repertory programs. Many major US studio releases open earlier in New York than elsewhere (especially in the autumn) and can be found at the major cineplexes (Loew's, United Artists, etc.) around the city. Be advised that, as with everything else in New York, movies are quite popular, and even relatively obscure films at unappealing times of the day can still be sold out. It's best to get tickets in advance whenever possible.
As many films premiere in New York, you can often catch a moderated discussion with the director or cast after the show. Sometimes even repertory films will have post-screening discussions or parties. Check listings for details.
Some of the more intriguing New York film options include:
New York City hosts many parades, street festivals and outdoor pageants. The following lists these by date.
Just because you're staying in one of the world's great cities, however, doesn't mean you have to pay restaurant bills all the time... If the weather's right, a picnic in Central Park or another of the city's many green spaces is ideal. Similarly, thanks to the fact that Manhattan and other core areas are all still heavily residential, a supermarket (grocery store) or other local option is never too far away.... Just ask the locals!
A few old favorites worthy of note:
Typical price for a bed in a shared room (usually 6-8 other adventurous travellers from all over the world) is $30-40 night in Manhattan.
New York City has a number of retail outlet locations, offering substantial discounts and the opportunity to purchase ends-of-line and factory seconds. See the Manhattan page for descriptions of Century 21 and Filene's, where many New Yorkers get designer clothing for less.
Although not actually located in New York City, Woodbury Common makes for an extremely popular day (just) out-of-town for many visitors to (and residents of) the city...
Special Considerations for Smokers
Smoking is illegal and effectively prohibited in indoor sections of bars, restaurants, and other public places, as well as everywhere inside subway stations and train cars, and in all indoor and outdoor stadiums and sports arenas in the city. If you light up in any of these places, you may be subjected to a summons and fine, ejection, or/and indignant reactions from residents. There do remain a small number of legal cigar bars and bars that allow patrons to light cigarettes illegally, but other than in the case of sidewalk cafes and the like, these are very much the exception. If you need to smoke while eating or drinking, be prepared to take a break and join the rest of the smokers outside in the heat, cold, rain, or snow, if such are the conditions that day. Drinking alcoholic beverages while standing on the street is with few exceptions also illegal, and bars will not let you take your drinks outside.