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New York (city)

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New York City (also simply referred to as "New York" or "the Big Apple") is an urban metropolis located at the bottom of the Hudson Valley within the Mid-Atlantic region on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of America. The New York Metropolitan Area extends across parts of four American states - primarily lower New York (including parts of Long Island), northeastern New Jersey as well as parts of southwestern Connecticut and northeastern Pennsylvania. The focus of interest for most travelers and observers, however, are the areas located immediately in and around the island of Manhattan (see below, Districts). New York is the USA's largest city, sprawling across a vast metropolitan area that has a population of 22 million (as of 2002, ranked 5th in the world, after Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Seoul). Some 8 million people live within the city proper.

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) Travel Guide :

New York (city)

Districts

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:

  • Manhattan (New York County) -- located on the famous island between the Hudson and East Rivers; includes many diverse and unique neighborhoods and is the most-visited area of New York City.
  • Brooklyn (Kings County) -- the most populous borough, located south and east of Manhattan across the East River
  • Queens (Queens County) -- U-shaped, located to the east of Manhattan, across the East River, and north, east, and south of Brooklyn
  • The Bronx (Bronx County) -- located immediately north of Manhattan Island. This is the only part of New York City that is physically connected to the continental U.S.
  • Staten Island (Richmond County) -- a large island situated within New York harbor, south of Manhattan and just across the narrow Kill Van Kull from New Jersey.
New York (city)

Understand


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).

New York (city)

People

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)

Economy

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)

Get in

New York (city)

By air

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 (city)

By train

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.

New York (city)

By bus

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

New York (city)

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:

New York (city)

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.

New York (city)

Get around

New York (city)

By foot

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)

MetroCard

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.

New York (city)

Subway

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/

New York (city)

Buses

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.

New York (city)

Commuter Rail

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.

New York (city)

Ferries

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.

New York (city)

Taxi

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.

New York (city)

Car

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.

New York (city)

See


Like most of the great world cities, New York has an abundance of great attractions.

A number of multi-attraction schemes give reduced prices and line-skipping privileges.

  • CityPass, 7 (http://citypass.com/city/ny.html). Gets you into 6 top New York attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate. The attractions are American Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and Empire State Building Observatory. $53 adult, $41 youth aged 6-17 (reduced from combined regular admission of $105.50 and $82.50 respectively)
  • New York Pass, 8 (http://www.newyorkpass.com/index2.asp). Admission to over 40 attractions. Passes for 1 day $49 (child 2-12 $39), 2 days $89 (child $59), 3 days $109 (child $84), 7 days $139 (child $99).
  • the Historic House Trust of New York 9 (http://www.historichousetrust.org/home.html) - a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1989 to preserve and promote the historic houses located in New York City parks.

See also the district pages for detailed information about attractions. Detail is gradually being moved from this page to the district pages.

New York (city)

Landmarks


  • Statue of Liberty. 10 (http://www.nps.gov/stli/) The ferry ($10) leaves every 25 minutes from Battery Park and stops at Liberty Island and Ellis Island 11 (http://www.nps.gov/elis/) 12 (http://www.ellisisland.com/). You must (in advance) reserve a time slot to enter the museum at the base of the statue, and then undergo cumbersome security procedures to actually enter the museum in the statue's pedestal (visitors are no longer allowed in the crown, much less the torch). The Immigration Museum at Ellis Island is worth a visit, and it is free. Both Liberty Island and Ellis Island are open every day of the year except December 25 from 9:30am until 5:00pm (with extended hours in the summer).
  • Brooklyn Bridge, 13 (http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/brooklyn/). You may walk across this historic bridge in either direction (takes about 30 minutes each way), or bike across it, for no toll. The view is quite nice going into Manhattan. On the Brooklyn side, you can get pizza, or dine by the waterfront in the DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge) area, which is gentrifying with lofts and cool dining places. You can also take the F train to York St, hang out in the DUMBO area and then walk across the bridge back into Manhattan.
  • Central Park with its lawns, trees and lakes is popular for recreation and concerts and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Zoo.
  • Times Square, centered on 42nd Street and Broadway - a place filled with video screens and LED signs. A world wonder or a tourist nightmare depending on your perspective, the "New" Times Square is a family-friendly theme park of themed restaurants, theaters and hotels, as well as a developing business district. Those looking for the seedy Times Square of old will find it around the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and around Broadway several blocks to the south.
  • Cathedral St. John The Divine, 14 (http://www.stjohndivine.org/), Amsterdam Avenue between 110-112th Streets - the world's largest Gothic cathedral...a work in progress for over a century!
  • Columbia University Broadway at 116th Street; http://www.columbia.edu/ One of the most selective, rigorous, and prestigious institutions of higher education in the world, Columbia is also worth a visit for architecture fans, who will be impressed by the beautiful McKim, Mead, and White campus. Subway: 1 to 116th Street-Columbia University
  • Lincoln Center Broadway at 64th Street; http://www.lincolncenter.org/ The world's largest cultural complex. See theater, symphonies, ballet, opera, movies, art exhibits or just wander the architecturally beautiful buildings. Subway: 1 to 66th St. or walkable from A, C, and E trains at 59th St. The buildings are modern, and even have modern chandeliers. There are two opera companies, and the famous Julliard School of Music is also here. Across the street are a large Tower Records, a large Barnes and Noble Bookstore and a Loews movie theater.
  • The Cloisters http://www.ny.com/museums/cloisters.html Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters--quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade--and from other monastic sites in southern France. Its gardens are a great way to spend a nice afternoon. Pay for the Cloisters or the Metropolitan Museum, and see both for one price.
  • Rockefeller Plaza 630 5th Avenue; The Christmas Tree, the Skating Rink, the shops and hubbub - you can't miss it. The Christmas Tree and the Skating Rink are not year round. You may take skating lessons. There are several dining establishments overlooking this area. The art deco buildings of Rockefeller Center are quite cool. Saks Fifth Avenue is across the street, and there are many other stores throughout the complex. Subway: B, D, F, V to 47-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center.
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral Fifth Ave between 50/51st Streets. The largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. A big, grand Episcopal church is in this area as well. These churches are close to the reopened MOMA, now expanded and renovated after several years of being closed.
  • The United Nations 1st Avenue at 46th Street http://www.un.org/tours/ offers a park overlooking the East River and tours of the general assembly and secretariat.
  • SONY Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Avenue (212) 833- 8100. An interactive hands-on experience of cutting edge technology, sponsored by Sony.
  • Radio City Music Hall 1260 Avenue of the Americas (212) 632- 3975 http://www.radiocity.com/ See the Rockettes, another show or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.
  • Flatiron Building Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street. Reportedly the most photographed building in the world, the Flatiron perches over the intersection of Fifth, Broadway, and 23rd, necessitating its unusual shape. Stop in nearby Madison Square Park for a lovely rest.
  • Washington Square Park and the famous arch is located in the heart of the Village. Though located in the middle of an affluent neighborhood, the Park attracts a hodgepodge of people.
  • World Trade Center Site Trinity Place and Fulton Street. For better or worse, the site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has become popular with visitors. Various plaques are on display documenting the history of the WTC.
  • Chelsea Market http://www.chelseamarket.com/ The original Oreo cookie factory now a block-sized market selling gourmet foods, flowers, knick-knacks and offering restaurants, bars, art space and special shows. Has free wireless Internet access throughout and smells like a slice of heaven.
  • AOL Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle has the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for dining, drinks, and Chihuly chandeliers. It also has a small, ultra-high end mall with a big Borders Bookstore and Botero sculptures. In the basement is a large Whole Foods Market, and there is seating for eating their salad bar and prepared food items (cheaper than eating in a restaurant). Subway: A, C, 1, B, D trains to Columbus Circle. This is also at one corner of Central Park if you want to explore that.
  • New York Stock Exchange 20 Broad Sreet (at Wall Street). The most important stock exchange in the world, the NYSE is the most watched indicator of economic performance in the global economy. The activity on the trading floor is astonishing. Visitors should beware, however, that security is tight, and sudden closures are a possibility. Subway: 4, 5 to Wall Street; J, M, Z to Broad Street (weekdays only)
  • James Farley Post Office 421 8th Avenue (at 34th Street). This enormous post office is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Designed by McKim, Mead, and White, it is a great example of Beaux Arts architecture.
  • New York Public Library Corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. After the Library of Congress, this is the largest non-academic library in the United States. It is housed in a beautiful building by Carrer and Hastings, which is seen as the greatest example of Beaux Arts architecture. The main reading room is magnificent, and the library contains numerous important rare items, like Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Chrysler Building 405 Lexington Avenue (at 42nd Street). One of the most beautiful and beloved buildings in the world, the Chrysler Building is the epitome of Art Deco architecture. Though you can't go up inside it unless you have business there, you can visit the gorgeous lobby.
  • Grand Central Terminal 42nd Street and Park Avenue. One of the busiest train stations in the world, Grand Central is also a must for architecture lovers. Its vaulted ceiling, covered with a medieval zodiac design, is staggering.
New York (city)

Museums and galleries


New York has some of the finest museums in the world. All the public museums (notably including the Metropolitan Museum), which are run by the city, accept donations for an entrance fee, but private museums (especially the Museum of Modern Art) can be very expensive, so beware. In addition to the major museums, hundreds of small galleries are spread throughout the city. Many galleries and museums in New York close on Mondays, so be sure to check hours before visiting.

New York (city)

Arts and Culture

  • the Metropolitan Museum of Art 15 (http://www.metmuseum.org/), 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street ("Museum Mile") in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There is also a separate branch, the Cloisters, in Upper Manhattan (take the northbound 4 train up Madison to the last stop or take the A train to 190 St. and walk through Fort Tryon Park). The Metropolitan Museum is a public museum.
  • the Guggenheim Museum 17 (http://www.guggenheim.org/), 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan
  • Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Subway: E or V to Fifth Ave/53 St; B, D, or F to 47­-50 Streets/Rockefeller Center), (212) 708-9400, 18 (http://www.moma.org/). Sa-M, W-Th 10:30am?5:30pm, F 10:30am?8pm, closed every Tu and Thanksgiving Day and 25 Dec. In Nov 2004 the museum reopened after expansion and renovation. $20 adult, $12 student, free for under 17s; free for all Fr 4-8pm. Quite lengthy queue to get one's baggage checked. Moreover, all expensive items must be carried on person (laptops, phones, cameras) as the staff refuse to check such items. This is the most comprehensive collection of modern art in the world, and, like the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is so large as to require multiple visits to see all of the works on display. If you are in a hurry and want to see only the crowd-pleasers, head to the fifth floor, where you'll find works like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d?Avignon.
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, on Eastern Parkway (Eastern Parkway stop on the 2, 3 or 4 train) is a large museum which contains excellent collections of Egyptian art, Assyrian reliefs, 19th-century American art, and art from Africa and Oceania, among other things. Right past the museum are the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (separate admission charge), so you can easily visit both in one pleasant afternoon.
  • Museum of Television & Radio 19 (http://www.mtr.org), 25 West 52nd Street. Founded in 1976 to preserve and collect television programs as a service to the public. The museum has expanded, and consists of two museum branches in Los Angeles and New York City. The two museums hold over 100,000 television programs that are available to the public. Its programs provide a historical, artistic, and cultural perspective to television and radio. You may use their library here for the price of admission. They have lots of old shows and a database so you can see if they have what you want. (212) 621-6800
  • Whitney Museum of American Art 20 (http://www.whitney.org/), 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St. (800) 944-8639. Open Wed & Thur 11am-6pm; Fri 1-9pm; Sat-Sun 11am-6pm A collection of American art that would be the highlight of most cities, the Whitney is often overlooked for its more high-profile neighbors like the Met and the Guggenheim. It's definitely worth a visit, however, especially for fans of Edward Hopper, whose work has its own gallery here. The Whitney is also the home of the prestigious Whitney Biennial.
  • Morris-Jumel Mansion 65 Jumel Ter. 212-923-8008. Built in 1765, this is the oldest house on Manhattan Island. It served as George Washington's headquarters in 1776. Currently a museum set on a 1.5-acre park, it features a decorative-arts collection representing the colonial and Revolutionary War periods. Washington's office is among the 12 restored rooms. The mansion is accessible by the C subway line (163rd Street stop) and by the M2, M3, M100, and M101 buses. Morris-Jumel Mansion (http://www.harlemlive.org/community/orgs/MJmansion/)
  • PS1 Contemporary Art Center 22-25 Jackson Avenue (Queens). (718) 784-2084. http://www.ps1.org/ Open noon-6pm Thursday through Monday.
  • The Frick Collection 1 E. 70th Street (at 5th Avenue) http://www.frick.org/ Open T-R, Sa 10am-6pm, F 10am-9pm, Su 1pm-6pm. The former home of steel baron Henry Clay Frick, this sprawling mansion is filled with Frick's enormous personal art collection, displayed as he left it. It's worth a visit for the house alone, which is explained nicely in the audio tour. The collection is impressive, including works by Whistler, Corot, El Greco, Turner, Renoir, and Rembrandt.
  • The Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue (at 86th Street) ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - this recent addition to the Museum Mile houses exclusively German and Austrian art
  • El Museo del Barrio 21 (http://www.elmuseo.org/), 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street) ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - the only US museum devoted to Puerto Rican culture
  • International Center for Photography 1133 Sixth Avenue (at 43rd Street) - devoted solely to photography, this museum a block from Times Square always has interesting exhibits running
  • The Jewish Museum 22 (http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/) 1109 Fifth Avenue (at 92nd Street) ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - the largest collection of Judaica in the United States includes a wide variety of artifacts from all periods of Jewish history
New York (city)

Science and Technology

  • the American Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side of Manhattan 23 (http://www.amnh.org/). Visits to the museum are by donation, but the Hayden Planetarium, immediately to its north on 81st St., charges a separate admission fee.
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 12th Ave & 46th St, (212) 245-0072, 24 (http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/). Apr-Sep M-F 10am-5pm, Sa-Su 10am-6pm; Oct-Mar Tu-Su 10am-5pm. $16.50 adult.
  • Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (Museum at FIT), 7th Avenue at 27th St, (212) 217-5970, 25 (http://www.fitnyc.suny.edu/aspx/Content.aspx?menu=FutureGlobal:Museum). Open Tu-F noon-8pm; Sa 10am-5pm. Free.
New York (city)

Neighborhoods

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.

  • Financial District Lower Manhattan below Chambers Street. Long the center of the American economy, the Financial District is full of impressive turn-of-the-century buildings and is a hive of activity during the day. At night it clears out considerably, though it is becoming an increasingly residential area, giving it more flavor than it has had in the past.
  • Tribeca South of Canal, East of West Street, West of Broadway. Tribeca (which stands for the 'TRiangle BElow CAnal') is a former industrial area that has been turned into a fabulously expensive and celebrity-laden neighborhood, replete with fantastic restaurants. Unlike SoHo to the north, Tribeca is not over-filled with shoppers on weekends, and Greenwich Street could be mistaken for the main street of a beautifully preserved small town.
  • Chinatown Centered around Mott Street. This is the largest immigrant enclave in the United States, and it is still growing. The name 'Chinatown' is a bit misleading as immigrants from a variety of Asian countries populate the area. There is food galore, and most of it costs less than the tax you would pay in other parts of the city. It's also a bargain center for shoppers, and haggling is de rigueur, especially on Canal Street. English is not the primary language here, so unless you speak Cantonese, be prepared to be confused.
  • Little Italy Mulberry Street in Chinatown. Little Italy exerts a powerful tug on the American imagination, partly because of the Godfather movies, but most of the Italian immigrants have long since left for other areas. The strip on Mulberry Street is crowded with Italian restaurants and groceries, many of which cater to tourists rather than locals. The Feast of San Gennaro in the second week of September is definitely worth a visit.
  • Lower East Side South of Houston, East of Bowery, North of Canal. Formerly the center for Jewish life in New York, the Lower East Side fell into disrepair in the middle of the 20th century, only to be rejuvenated by the Hispanic community (visitors may hear the neighborhood referred to as 'Loisaida'). It is increasingly becoming a trendy nightspot, with hipsters living cheek-by-jowl with aging Puerto Rican immigrants. Unlikely though it may seem during the day time, at night the LSE is filled with gourmands and partygoers.
  • SoHo South of Houston, West of Centre, East of West Street. The ultimate urban gentrification story, SoHo was a rundown industrial area until the 1960s, when artists began inhabiting its spacious and then-cheap lofts. After the artists came the galleries, then the celebrities, then the shoppers, and now the visitors. Filled with gorgeous cast-iron architecture (Greene Street especially), SoHo is a great shopping and dining destination, even if many of the artists have moved on.
  • Greenwich Village South of 14th, West of Broadway, North of Houston. Probably the most famous neighborhood in the United States, Greenwich Village (also known as the West Village or just the Village) has maintained its charming bohemian character despite becoming incredibly expensive. Home to New York University and countless twenty-somethings, the Village is also popular with families. Its crooked and narrow streets are full of beautiful brownstones, great stores, and fabulous restaurants. The Meatpacking District in the far northwest of the Village has become the neighborhood people love to hate, as it is full of trendy restaurants, upscale shopping, and suburbanites in for a good time.
  • East Village South of 14th, East of Broadway, North of Houston. The edgier version of Greenwich Village, the East Village is popular with college students and suburban teenagers in the city for a weekend. Despite those strikes against it, it's a great neighborhood, with many delicious restaurants. St. Marks Place is the most visited stretch. Tompkins Square Park, formerly a homeless shantytown, is charming.
  • Gramercy/Flatiron/Union Square North of 14th, South of 34th, East of Broadway. Centered around three parks--Union Square, Gramercy, and Madison Square--this area is full of lovely little pockets. Park Avenue South has become a restaurant hotspot, while Irving Place maintains its quiet and charming atmosphere. Third Avenue is popular with the bar crowds.
  • Chelsea North of 14th, South of 34th, West of Broadway. The city's gallery scene has left SoHo for Chelsea and is now centered around 10th Avenue in the 20s. While Chelsea has gone upscale in recent years, it retains its vibrant gay scene, and boasts many great restaurants.
  • Murray Hill North of 34th, South of 42nd, East of Madison. Probably the quietest neighborhood in all of Manhattan, Murray Hill has many lovely townhouses inhabited by Midtown office types and UN diplomats. Not a whole lot happens in Murray Hill, which is just how its residents want it.
  • Midtown North of 34, East of 8th, West of Madison, South of 59th. Midtown is probably the only area of Manhattan that cannot be said to be residential. It is full of offices, theaters (Times Square is here, after all), and shopping, and the real estate is so expensive that only corporations or people with pied-a-terres can live here. That said, an increasing number of condos are popping up in the area, though it's too soon to tell how that will impact its character.
  • Hell's Kitchen North of 34th, South of 59th, West of 8th. Though real estate brokers tried to change the name of the neighborhood to 'Clinton,' New Yorkers have wisely stuck with the more appealing Hell's Kitchen. A fairly derelict area until recently, Hell's Kitchen is undergoing major gentrification, and has numerous restaurants and nightspots on 8th and 9th Avenues.
  • Upper West Side North of 59th, South of 96th, West of Central Park. Home to countless registered Democrats and baby strollers, the Upper West Side is packed with gorgeous brownstones and magnificent apartment houses. If you are a regular reader of the New York Times or have ever made a reference to Visconti in casual conversation, the Upper West Side is for you.
  • Upper East Side North of 59th, South of 96th, East of Central Park. This is the ritziest neighborhood in New York, where all of blue-blooded high society (as well as wealthy upstarts--P.Diddy lives here) calls home. The buildings are beautiful, the stores are expensive, and kids are away at Choate and Andover.
  • Morningside Heights North of 96th, South of 125th, West of Morningside Park. Home to Columbia University and several other schools, Morningside Heights has a distinctly shabby genteel intellectual atmosphere. The stretch between 96th and 106th had been fairly quiet until recently, when real estate brokers began pouncing on it.
  • East Harlem/El Barrio North of 96th, South of 125th, East of 5th Avenue. A jarring contrast from the patrician Upper East Side to the south, East Harlem is a major center of Hispanic culture in New York, and is full of great Latin American restaurants. Like Harlem proper, it is increasingly becoming populated by wealther types on the lookout for the next big real estate deal.
  • Harlem North of Central Park, East of Morningside Park, West of Fifth, South of 145th. The center of black cultural life for most of the twentieth century, Harlem is a vibrant and energetic neighborhood that has become popular with West African immigrants in recent years, resulting in a variety of good and inexpensive restaurants. The beautiful brownstones of Harlem have become popular with real estate investors.
New York (city)

Parks

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 (city)

Factories

  • Steinway & Sons Pianos 1 Steinway Place, Long Island City, Queens, 11105. Tours only available online (Not open to the public) (718) 721-2600 Actually, they've started to offer free guided tours during Fall and Spring to see the skilled crafts men at work. Phone ahead, a month in advance is recommended, to reserve a place on these popular tours, and to check the days and times. Steinway Hall 109 West 57th Street, Manhattan, 10019. Open to the public every day with no appointment or admission fee. For hours, call (212) 246-1100. This is the showroom of Steinway & Sons, with sprawling showrooms containing new and reconditioned pianos representing designs from all eras of its manufacture history, including "Art Case" pianos, specially-commissioned limited ion pianos designed by world artists. It was built in 1925 and recently added to the Registery of Historic Buildings. It features a magnificent rotunda, hand painted by Paul Arndt, and works of art by Rockwell Kent, N.C. Wyeth and Charles Chambers displayed throughout. Some of the many recitals taking place each evening are open to the public; inquire within or call the number above.
New York (city)

Do

New York (city)

Tours

  • Gray Line offers double-decker bus tours. The traffic congestion makes this tour a bit slow at times. But you may want to take the tour to get the lay of the land and discover what you want to visit later.
  • HI Hostel offers some unique tours to people staying there (see Hostels section), such as an interesting Harlem Gospel walking tour - a Sunday morning tour of south Harlem ending with a church experience in a Harlem church. Cost is $7 and the guide is quite knowledgeable. They also often have discount coupons for various activities such as Broadway shows - check at the front desk.
  • Big Onion Walking Tours 26 (http://www.bigonion.com/) - an inexpensive and engaging way to gain historical perspectives on several neighborhoods
New York (city)

Entertainment

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.

  • Carnegie Hall 881 Seventh Avenue. The premier venue for classical music in the United States, Carnegie Hall is famous around the world for its dazzling performances. Playing at Carnegie Hall is, for many classical musicians, the epitome of success. Carnegie Hall houses three different auditoriums, with the Isaac Stern auditorium being the largest venue.
  • New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). One of the premier orchestras in the United States, playing a wide variety of concerts (more than 100) every year to sold-out crowds, the Philharmonic is well-known for its standard-setting performances of the classical canon. The season runs from September to June, and in the summer they play in parks around the city.
  • Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The Met (as it is known) is one of the greatest opera companies in the world. The company performs seven days a week during the season (September to April) and always lands the greatest singers from around the globe. Though you can pay a small fortune to see the Met, you can also land upper-tier seats for as little as $25.
  • New York City Opera at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The slightly more accessible and energetic younger sister of the Met, the NYCO is a world-class company that puts on a dynamic range of performances. Plus, tickets can go for as little as $16.
  • New York City Ballet at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). Founded by George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet is among the world's best dance companies. Their performances of the The Nutcracker are enormously popular.
  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The Chamber Music Society is the most prestigious chamber music ensemble in the United States, playing in the acoustically impeccable Alice Tully Hall.
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. Home to the impressive Brooklyn Philharmonic, BAM is one of the best places in the country to attend cutting-edge new musical and dance performances. The Next Wave Festival every autumn is a much-anticipated event of the New York performance scene.

Film

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:

  • Film Forum 209 West Houston Street. A stylish theater in Greenwich Village that runs two programs--contemporary independent releases and classic repertory films. While the current releases are almost always interesting and worth seeing, it's the repertory programming schedule that filmlovers anticipate eagerly.
  • Angelika Film Center 18 West Houston Street at Broadway, 212 995-2000, 27 (http://www.angelikafilmcenter.com/newyork). Just down the street from Film Forum, the Angelika plays new independent and foreign films, many of which are only screened in New York. The cafe upstairs is something of a hotspot as well.
  • Film Society at Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). Though you'll pay more money to see movies here than elsewhere in New York, it's worth it. The Film Society always puts on a terrific repertory program and shows a wide variety of experimental and foreign films. In addition, numerous talks and panels are held here, many featuring bold-named directors, screenwriters, and actors.
  • MoMA 11 West 53rd Street. In addition to being the crown jewel of modern art museums, MoMa puts on a terrific repertory program in a nicely renovated theater below the museum. And compared to other New York movie theaters, tickets to films at MoMa are a steal.
  • American Museum of the Moving Image 35th Ave and 36th Street, Queens. AMMI contains a museum devoted to, literally, moving images, so visitors will find exhibits on zoetropes and video games in addition to film and television. They also put on a terrific screening program, with films showing continuously throughout the day.
  • Anthology Film Archives (http://www.anthologyfilmarchives.org/) 32 Second Avenue (at East 2nd Street) has a varied program of unique films, both repertory and new, most playing for only one or two screenings. Many of the films shown here can't be seen anywhere else (for better or worse). It also plays host to several film festivals yearly.
  • New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Running in October, the New York Film Festival is one of the country's best, with great films from around the world accompanied by interesting discussions, lectures, and panels. Be advised that tickets usually sell out at least a month in advance.
  • Tribeca Film Festival Throughout May the movie theaters of Lower Manhattan are taken over by the Tribeca Film Festival, which puts on a truly enormous amount of screenings and talks. Just a few years old, the Tribeca Film Festival has already secured a prominent place in New York's film calendar

Parades

New York City hosts many parades, street festivals and outdoor pageants. The following lists these by date.

  • New York's Village Halloween Parade Each Halloween (October 31) at 7 PM, this parade and street pageant attracts 2 million spectators and 50,000 costumed participants along Sixth Avenue between Spring Street and 21st Street. Anyone in a costume is welcome to march; those wishing to should show up between 6 PM and 9 PM at Spring Street and 6th Avenue.
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade The morning of each Thanksgiving on Central Park West, this parade attracts many spectators and is broadcast on nationwide television.
New York (city)

Eat


New York has, as you might expect of the Big Apple, all the eating options covered. New York City's restaurant scene is truly world-class, in a league with Paris, Tokyo, London and Rome. There are literally tens of thousands of restaurants, ranging from dingy $2-a-slice pizza joints to the $500-a-plate prix fixe sushi at Masa (http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/39400194).

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!

Markets

  • Whole Foods Market 28 (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list_NY.html) with their 3 Manhattan outlets makes for a great eating option - all your groceries are available, of course, but each store has great hot bars and salad / sandwich counters for do-it-yourself service... Hand-washing facilities and comfortable seating is also available at the Columbus Circle store (where you can even see business meetings going on....!) Hot bars change for each meal of the day and day of the week.... Prices are $6.99 a pound for whatever you want to dish into your box, then weigh up at the register.
  • 10 Columbus Circle (under the Time Warner building) 29 (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/columbuscircle/index.html), tel 212.823.9600, fax 212.823.9610 fax, open daily 8am-10pm
  • 250 7th Avenue at 24th Street 30 (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/chelsea/index.html), tel 212.924.5969, fax 212.924.9923, open daily 8am-10pm
  • 4 Union Square South 31 (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/unionsquare/index.html), tel 212.673.5388, fax 212.673.5393 fax, open daily 8am-10pm
  • Greenmarkets New York boasts an impressive array of greenmarkets. Local farmers bring their produce, meats, cheeses, jellies, and baked goods into the city several times a week, selling at various locations around town. Though the prices are higher than you would pay at a cheap supermarket, the quality is unmistakably better. Far and away the most popular greenmarket is the one in Union Square, which happens on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Avenue (at 16th Street). A former Nabisco factory, Chelsea Market is a one-stop eating hotspot, with a wide array of small shops selling food to take away or eat in. The building is lovely on the inside, especially on hot, muggy days.
  • Citarella 2135 Broadway (at 75) (other locations as well). This high-end fish market is also a great spot for fine cheeses, foie gras, and the like. If you don't want to leave the hotel, they deliver for $5.
  • Dean and Deluca 560 Broadway (at Prince Street). Dean and Deluca is like Zabar's for the SoHo set. Great food, fabulous espresso, high prices.
  • Foodworks Flatiron (http://www.foodworksnyc.com) 10 West 19Th NY, NY 10011 (23rd and 6th avenue). Excellent gourmet and health food with reasonable prices and a nice variety of high quality foods.

Restaurants


As noted above, New York has literally thousands of restaurants to choose from (more than 25,000, in fact), encompassing nearly every cuisine in the world. There are numerous guidebooks to New York restaurants, including the New York Times Guide, which has short reviews of the best 1,000 restaurants in the city. In addition to the big names you're likely to find there, check out some of these lesser-known gems.

  • 35 (http://www.35restaurant.com), 35 Lispenard Street right by Pearl Paint. (212) 226-8123. A charming bistro and bar in the heart of a bustling city. Known for their mouthwatering babyback ribs and sandwiches. Reasonable prices.
  • Bluesmoke (http://www.bluesmoke.com/), East 27th between Park and Lexington. Great authentic BBQ yet more stylish than typical. Also has a jazz club underneath to serve up great music. Restaurant has very large beer and whiskey selection. Fun and tasty.
  • Live Bait, 23rd Street where Madison ends, near 5th & Broadway. Great and cheap oysters, clams and other seafood, raw and cooked as well as southern fare like jambalaya. Not afraid of the tabasco here. One of the few places that serves Abita Springs beer from Louisiana.
  • Scopa, 79 Madison Ave @ 28th Street. Modern Italian. Large restaurant, good for groups. Nice lounge/bar area that always has the game on.
  • Penelope, Lexington at East 30th Street. Cafe/restaurant/bakery with a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Homestyle food and casual but friendly service. Inexpensive. Wine and beer served. Long lines for weekend brunch.
  • Minado (http://www.minado.com/) 6 E. 32nd Street between Madison and Fifth Aves. (212) 725-1333. If you like sushi and Japanese food in the slightest, you will love Minado. It has over 100 feet of all-you-can-eat very fresh and tasty sushi and other items like crab legs, udon, salads of all varieties and a big dessert bar as well.
  • Ocha 250 West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. (212) 581 3198. Japanese restaurant with good sushi.
  • Tao (http://www.taorestaurant.com/) E. 58th between Park and Madison Aves. Trendy Asian cuisine; Reservations, proper attire required. Beautiful decor, people.
  • T Salon (http://www.tsalon.com/) 11 East 20th Street at Broadway/Fifth Ave just south of the Flatiron Building. Tea house and cafe; excellent teas and tasty nibbles. A quiet oasis in a hectic city.
  • Red Bamboo (http://redbamboo-nyc.com/) 140 W. 4th St. - 1 block SW of Washington Square Park. Excellent vegetarian soul food, organic wines.
  • Lemongrass Grill (http://www.lemongrassgrill.com) 74-76 7th Ave South. Good Thai food at good prices. Fast service.
  • Babbo (http://www.babbonyc.com/) 110 Waverly Place. (212) 777 0303. The best Italian food in the city. Pricey, and it's tough to get a reservation, but it's worth it for a splurge.
  • Veniero's (http://www.venierospastry.com/) 342 E. 11th Street between 1st and 2nd Aves. (212) 674-7070. A fun little Italian pasty shop.
  • Casa Mono 52 Irving Place. A delightful Spanish wine bar and restaurant by Mario Batali. The food is smashing.
  • Vatan 409 Third Avenue (at 29th Street). A prix-fixe vegetarian Indian restaurant with wonderful food. The decor is a little hokey, but the food makes it worthwhile.
  • Turkuaz 2637 Broadway (at 100th Street). Great Turkish food (try the house special, Turkuaz Begendi), complete with belly dancing on some nights.
New York (city)

Drink


The only thing about New York City that changes faster than the subway map or the restaurants is the bar scene. While some established watering holes have been around for decades or centuries, the hot spot of the moment may well have opened last week and could likely close just as quickly. The best way to find a decent bar is to ask the advice of a native dweller with trustworthy taste, but barring that a copy of Time Out New York (http://www.timeoutny.com/), the Voice (http://villagevoice.com/), or some other nightlife guide will help you find a den of iniquity tailored to your personal needs.

A few old favorites worthy of note:

  • McSorleys Old Ale House (http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/7087703) 15 East 7th St. Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Manhattan's oldest continuously operating bar, McSorleys is famous for three things: sawdust-strewn floors, surly service, and serving only two varieties of beer (McSorleys and McSorleys Dark). Long ago the hub of the East Village's Irish community, now a local landmark where the staff and old regulars rub shoulders (sometimes grudgingly) with the local hipster population.
  • Revival East 15th Street between Irving Pl and 3rd Ave just east of Union Square. Hidden two-story bar with an outdoor patio you can smoke at. Popular with film students from nearby NY Film Academy and Burningman adventurers. You'll always meet interesting people here.
  • Push Cafe 294 3rd Ave just south of 23rd Street on the west side of the street. Good booze with frequent specials, good coffee, good eats and live jazz on Monday nights. A good place to meet and greet for a first date.
  • KGB (http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/11273372) In a space that was once the New York headquarters of the Communist Party USA, and is still decorated with Soviet-era agitprop memorabilia, KGB alternates between being a quiet, atmosphere-drenched local hangout bar, a site for regular poetry readings and other performances, and on some Saturday nights a boisterous boho pickup scene.
  • White Horse Tavern (http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/7117620) On November 3rd, 1953, the poet Dylan Thomas stopped in here for a drink... and stayed for seventeen more drinks, precipitating his death the next day. Although made famous by its posthumous customer, the White Horse has been serving up non-fatal portions of beer and pub food since 1880.
  • Nassau Bar 118 Nassau St. For those with a good imagination in search of thinly clad barmaids and decent priced happy hour drink specials in the Financial District.
New York (city)

Sleep


New York (city)

Hostels

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.

  • Chelsea International Hostel, 251 West 20th Street between 7th/8th Avenues, (212) 647-0010, 32 (http://www.chelseahostel.com). Small, clean, centrally-located. Internet access, 24-hour reception. Subway: 1 or 9 to 23rd St or 18th St., A, C, E trains to 23rd St. You may also walk from 6th Ave. trains at 23rd St.
  • Hostelling International New York, 891 Amsterdam Avenue @ 103rd Street. (212) 932-2300, 33 (http://www.hinewyork.org). One of the largest hostels in NYC. Close to the subway. Internet. 24-hour reception. Subway: 1 or 9 trains to 103 St. You may also walk further from C trains at 103 St.
  • Vanderbilt YMCA, 224 E. 47th Street, 34 (http://www.ymcanyc.org/sub.php?p=about&sp=vanderbilt/vanderbiltinfo). Walking distance from Grand Central Terminal and near the United Nations. Twin private room: $35.. Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7 trains to 42 St, B, D, Q trains to 47-50 Sts, and I think there are other trains also.
  • Bowery's Whitehouse Hotel of New York, 340 Bowery Between Great Jones (3rd Street) and 2nd Street(on the Western Side of Bowery), (212) 477-5623, 35 (http://www.whitehousehotelofny.com/). Private room. Room are very small (not much larger than the bed!), but they are clean, hostel is centrally located. Internet access, 24-hour reception, cash machine, grocery store located next door.
New York (city)

Budget


  • Comfort Inn Manhattan New York City Hotel, 42 West 35th Street, (212) 947-0200, 36 (http://ci-manhattan.chidirect.com). In the heart of the Big Apple, close to Fashion District, Macy's, the Fifth Avenue shopping area, and standing tall amidst the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Pennsylvania Station, the Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Times Square and the Theatre District, Radio City Music Hall and Javits Convention Center.
  • Madison Hotel, 21 East 27th at Madison Ave, (212) 532-7373, 37 (http://www.madison-hotel.com). Super budget hotel.
  • Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th Street at 5th Avenue, (212) 545-8000, 38 (http://www.gershwinhotel.com). Cheap fun place to rest. Rates start at $99/night. Internet kiosks available. Between Times Square and Union Square - great location near Madison Square Park.
  • Super 8 Times Square, 59 West 46th Street, (212) 719-2300, 39 (http://www.the.super8.com/newyork14143). Cheap, clean, plain. This isn't the regular Super 8, it's an older hotel that was recently renovated. The location is excellent, just a short walk from Times Square. The price is low by Manhattan standards. $100 (or less).
  • Grand Union Hotel, 34 East 32 Street, 40 (http://grandunionhotelnewyork.com). Rates from $90; Midtown south location; European style, family operated.
  • Hotel Pennsylvania, 7th Avenue between 32nd/33rd, (800) 223-8585 or (212) 736-5000, 41 (http://www.hotelpenn.com). Large hotel, landmark, near all the action - Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Macy's, Times Square. As low as $99/nite. There is a $4 charge for each piece of luggage stored and be warned, cleanliness is not a high point.
  • Hotel 17 E 17th Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues, (212) 475-2845, 42 (http://www.hotel17ny.com). East Village favorite with hipsters, europeans, bargain-hunters. $60-$80 for shared bath rooms, $90-$100 for private bath rooms.
  • Larchmont Hotel in the West Village - 27 W. 11th Street, (212) 989-9333, 43 (http://www.larchmonthotel.com). Weekday singles starting at $70 up to $125 for weekend Queen (winter rates). Continental breakfast included.
  • East Village Bed & Coffee, 110 Avenue C between 7th & 8th Streets, (212) 533-4175, 44 (http://www.bedandcoffee.com). Single: $45 - Double: $90 tax included. Small, eclectic rooms in a hip neighborhood with plenty of vibrant young nightlife nearby. Small garden out back for nice weather.
  • Carlton Arms, 160 East 25th at 3rd Ave, (212) 679-0860, 45 (http://www.carltonarms.com). A bit run down but reasonably clean and air conditioned, each room (as well as the common areas) is flamboyantly decorated by a different artist. Rates start at $70/night (tax included) with 10% off if you pay for a week or more up front.
  • Habitat Hotel, 46 (http://www.habitatny.com/) E. 57th Street and Park Ave, near Central park, on the east side. Caters to a younger crowd of international travelers. $75-95 if you share a bath; $125+ for private bath rooms.
  • Check across the river, You can save money by staying across the river at a New Jersey, Queens, Brooklyn, or Bronx Hotel. In Jersey if you are close to a PATH (http://www.pathrail.com) station the fare is cheap ($1.50 one way) and the trip is short. The PATH train takes you to lower or middle Manhattan with good connections to the NY Subway. In any case make sure you are close to a subway stop.
  • Try a short-term sublet, 47 (http://newyork.craigslist.org/sub/) Craigslist New York contains many listings by New Yorkers that will sublet a spare room, or their entire apartment while they are away. $40-$100+
New York (city)

Mid range


  • 70 Park Avenue Hotel, 70 Park Avenue, (212) 973-2400, 48 (http://70parkave.com).
  • Hotel Thirty Thirty, 30 East 30th Street between Madison and Park Ave., 49 (http://www.thirtythirty-nyc.com). Rates $110+ Stylish but affordable in Murray Hill/Flatiron on a quiet street.
  • Hotel Chelsea, 222 West 23rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, (212) 243-3700, 50 (http://www.hotelchelsea.com). Where rockstars go to die ;-). $150-350 per night. Free wi-fi internet in lobby.
  • Ramada Inn East Side, 161 Lexington at 30th Street, (212) 545-1800 . Off the tourist beaten track (quieter) but still convenient to everything. Located near Gramercy Park, Union Square, 5th Ave Shops, the Flatiron district. Shuttles to/from airports.
  • Carlton Hotel, on Madison at East 29th Street, (800) 542-1502, 51 (http://www.carltonhotelny.com). Rates start at $150/night; currently undergoing renovation to be completed July 2005. Beautiful old building, excellent service.
  • Milford Plaza Hotel, 270 W. 45th Street, (888) 288 5700 or (212) 869 3600, 52 (http://www.milfordplaza.com). Located in the heart of New York City's Broadway Theater District, around the corner from 14 Broadway theaters, and just a short walk from Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue shopping, Herald Square, Times Square and the Javits Center.
  • La Quinta Koreatown, 17 W. 32nd Street near 5th Ave. Heart of Korea Town. Near Empire State Building (800) 567-7720 or (212) 736-1600.
  • Ameritania Hotel, Broadway @ 54th Street (near Times Square).
  • Millennium Broadway, 145 W. 44th Street (in the heart of the Theater District between Broadway and 6th Ave), 53 (http://www.millenniumbroadway.com). Rates start at about $160 +
  • Chelsea Grand Hotel, W. 25th Street between 7th & 6th Aves., (866) 837-4258, 54 (http://www.chelseagrandhotel.com). New hotel as of December 2003, features high speed internet in rooms and complimentary fitness center on-site. Great location - close to everything! Introductory rates start at $118.
  • Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Hotel, 160 West 25th Street, (212) 627-1888, 55 (http://fourpoints-manhattan.interstatehotelsresorts.com). Central to all major attractions in the Manhattan area, as well as major corporations, schools and hospitals. Its great location makes this 158-room hotel an ideal place for both the business and leisure traveller.
New York (city)

Splurge


  • InterContinental The Barclay New York (http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ic/1/en/hd/nycha). 111 EAST 48TH ST, New York. This legendary hotel, located on East 48th Street just steps from Park Avenue, celebrated its 75th anniversary last fall by reclaiming its original Barclay name, following a spectacular multimillion dollar rejuvenation program.
  • Omni Berkshire Place , 56 (http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/default.asp?h_id=23). 21 East 52nd Street at Madison Avenue, New York. Phone: (888) 444-OMNI (6664). Luxury 4-diamond hotel in midtown Manhattan. Located on 52nd Street, the hotel is near Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Central Park. The hotel offers 368 guest rooms, all with marble baths, fully stocked refreshment center, and complimentary high speed internet access. Also available to guests are 24 hour concierge service and a complimentary fitness center.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel, 57 (http://www.fourseasons.com/newyorkfs/index.html) 57 East 57th Street. Impeccable. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei. Tel: +1 (212) 758-5700
  • The Palace
  • Roger Williams Hotel, 131 Madison Avenue at 31st Street, (888) 448-7788, 58 (http://www.rogerwilliamshotel.com). More upscale, Well decorated but lacking quality in the details.
  • Hudson Hotel (http://www.hudsonhotel.com), 356 West 58th Street New York, New York 10019, Toll Free (800) 697 1791 or (212) 554 6000, Hudson is the next generation of Cheap Chic ? stylish, hip and trendy. They even have a hotel soundtrack available to everyone: Hudson Itunes Soundtrack (http://www.hudsonhotel.com/hudson_hotel_soundtrack.html).
  • Radisson Lexington Hotel NY, 511 Lexington Avenue at 48th Street, Toll-Free (800) 448-4471 or (212) 755-4400, 59 (http://www.lexingtonhotelnyc.com). A first-class hotel in Manhattan's fashionable Midtown East at the heart of New York City - close to several of New York City's Fortune 500 company offices, as well as many New York City attractions including Times Square and the theater district.
  • Library Hotel, On 41st Street just East of Madison Ave., 60 (http://www.libraryhotel.com). Luxury boutique hotel one block from Grand Central Terminal & Main Public Library. Heart of midtown business district. T1 to rooms, afternoon tea, wine/cheese hour, $295-770/nite, complimentary health club usage, continental breakfast included, poetry garden, reading den/business lounge
  • Royalton Hotel (http://www.royaltonhotel.com), 44 West 44th Street New York, New York 10036. Royalton's uniquely beautiful Lobby, with its stage-set elegance that runs an entire city block, instantly became the place to see and be seen in New York. Also available, a hotel soundtrack: Royalton Itunes Soundtrack (http://www.royaltonhotel.com/royalton_hotel_soundtrack.html).
  • Le Marquis New York, 12 East 31st Street, (212) 889-6363, 61 (http://www.lemarquisny.com). Deluxe rooms on the edge of Koreatown; Rates $250-500 though ask for deals; In-room high-speed internet; Health club, sauna and day spa.
  • Bryant Park Hotel, W. 40th Street between 5th & 6th Aves, on Bryant Park, 62 (http://www.bryantparkhotel.com). Nifty online registration. $245+ Distinctive black brick and gold trim building. Amenities include deep soaking tubs, cashmere blankets, Pipino toiletries, and Tibetan rugs in the rooms.
  • Helmsley Park Lane, 36 Central Park South, (212) 371-4000, 63 (http://www.helmsleyparklane.com). $250+ This is a fantastic hotel, with excellent views of Central Park. The staff is extremely efficient and treat you like royalty. The rooms are decorated in a very expensive fashion that verges on gaudiness, perfect for achieving that "pampered but you deserve it" feeling. If you intend to actually do work at the table in the hotel room, you'll be disappointed. The apron of the table extends down nearly to the seat of the chair, making it impossible to sit with your legs under the table.
  • Morgans Hotel (http://www.morganshotel.com), 237 Madison Ave New York, New York 10016. With its ultra-comfortable Guestrooms, cozy Living Room, the exciting new Morgans Bar, and the wildly popular Asia de Cuba restaurant, Morgans has earned its reputation as a New York classic. Also available, a hotel soundtrack:Morgan Itunes Soundtrack (http://www.morganshotel.com/morgans_hotel_soundtrack.html).
  • Le Marquis New York, 12 East 31st Street, (212) 889-6363, 64 (http://www.lemarquisny.com). Deluxe rooms on the edge of Koreatown; Rates $250-500 though ask for deals; In-room high-speed internet; Health club, sauna and day spa.
  • The Peninsula Hotel New York, 65 (http://newyork.peninsula.com). The Peninsula New York Hotel is ideally located on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, in the heart of New York City's most prestigious shopping, cultural, and business neighborhood, in Mid-town Manhattan.
New York (city)

Buy

New York (city)

Shopping


New York is the fashion capital of the United States, and is a major shopping destination for people around the world. The city boasts an unmatched range of department stores, boutiques, and specialty shops. Some neighborhoods boast more shopping options than most other American cities and have become famous in their own right as consumer destinations. Anything you could possibly want to buy is found in New York, including clothing, cameras, computers and accessories, music, musical instruments, electronic equipment, art supplies, sporting goods, and all kinds of foodstuffs and kitchen appliances. See the borough pages and district sub-pages for listings of some of the more important stores and major business districts (of which there are several).

New York (city)

Outlets

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...

  • Woodbury Common 66 (http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=7), 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, New York state (located approximately 1 hour from Manhattan), tel (845) 928-4000, open daily 10am-9pm; by car: take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to Exit 16; by bus: take the Gray Line bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, buses leave daily at 8.30am, 9.45am, 11.15am, 12noon (round trip $34) - over 220 outlet stores (!) with virtually all the great brand and fashion names offering discounts between 25%-65%... Clothing, shoes, homewares, sports goods - you name it, they probably got it!
New York (city)

Contact

Find free wireless hotspots across the city at NYC Wireless (http://www.nycwireless.net/) and WiFi Free Spot (http://www.wififreespot.com/)

New York (city)

Cope

New York (city)

Information

  • Citizen Service Centre, tel 311 (lines open 24/7) - New York City's official non-emergency help line, available in 171 languages - for questions (parade hours and routes, parking restrictions, transport problems) and complaints (litter, noise pollution, access)
New York (city)

Babysitting

  • the Baby Sitters' Guild 67 (http://www.babysittersguild.com), tel +1 212 682 0227, bookings daily 9am-9pm, cash payments only - for stressed and busy parents visiting New York, round-the-clock baby-sitting is available short- or long-term from $20 per hour (4 hr minimum) and cab fare (approx. $10). Multilingual sitters are also available.
New York (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.

New York (city)

Get out

Visit the neighbouring areas of New York state outside the city limits such as Long Island and the Hudson Valley or the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut....

  • Long Island, Long Beach - when you travel to NYC in the summer, a great idea is to check out Long Island. With its beautiful long white sanded beaches you can have it all: the big city and the summer holiday. Many New Yorkers do that every Friday, Saturday and Sunday if it is hot. Take the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Long Beach (it's not expensive) and from there go south to the beach itself.
  • Fire Island


New York (city)

External links

  • NYC & Company (http://www.nycvisit.com/home/index.cfm) -- New York City's official tourism website for tourists, journalists, travel professionals, and meeting planners
  • The Village Voice (http://www.villagevoice.com/) -- America's oldest "alternative" newsweekly, also New York's default source for music/art/dance event listing and other nightlife information.



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