See this article Seven Strategies for Surviving in NYC This Summer and tell us if you have any more tips to add!
See this article Seven Strategies for Surviving in NYC This Summer and tell us if you have any more tips to add!
Last edited by GenevieveS; 05-31-2005 at 06:46 PM.
The Independent Traveler
Link has been broken for the last few hours. It's now 16:15 EST (in what time zone is the original post listed as 6:47PM?)
All posts are in GMT.
Sorry -- fixed now. Thanks!
The Independent Traveler
Flying into La Guardia and taking the MTA bus M60 is cool if you are not in a rush to get into Manhattan and if you don't have too much luggage (although I've seen folks pile in with huge loads - the driver can't say much because the M60 is the advertised La Guardia service...). Take the M60 bus to Harlem, you'll have quite a view along the way, of waterways and the skyline. Along 124th Street you can get off to pick up the downtown subway of your choice. When you get off, push the yellow strip on the rear door and the door opens real easy.
Before you leave the airport, though -
1) ask the lady at the ground transport desk for the free brown MTA subway map (for the entire system) so you can figure out which downtown line you'll want in Harlem, and
2) make sure you either have a Metro card (I don't know where you buy it at the airport) or have at least 8 quarters - the bus costs two bucks and no paper money is accepted - only coins or the card! You're supposed to be able to transfer with the two bucks to the subway, but I haven't figured that one out, I usually have to swipe the card again at the subway entrance. Does anyone know about that?
Now you're all set - the ride might take 30 to 40 minutes, then the subway to wherever - not as fast as a 20-40 minute taxi for anywhere from $25 to $???, but the price is certainly right!
From Newark take the free air train that now extends past the last parking area to the "real" train station. be careful, the New Jersey trains into Manhattan (Penn Station) cost much less than the Amtrak trains, for the same stretch! And don't get off at the New Jersey Penn Station, wait the 20 minutes or so until you're in Manhattan...
Also, when you use a Metrocard, swipe very quickly! Slow doesn't work. Learned that the hard way after a Yankee's game.
Yes.. follow these rules exactly and remember when you get to the top of the stairs of the subway, move quickly away from them, do not stand there amazed at the part of town you are in. These are our on and off ramps like in motorways.Originally Posted by GenevieveS
Just a little information: The Mayor has granted all NYer's the right to knock any tourist down that blocks the sidewalks, subway entrances. If you need to stop MOVE ASIDE next to a building. (kidding about knocking you down, but we all think about it, seriously we do).
Oh and New York is nothing like outside The Today Show.
And remember to visit our bars, shops, restuarants (and I don't mean the big chain restuarants you can actually get a better steak and cheaper than at Outback).
You won't be looked at as a tourist, if you step aside to read your map, figure out what is next. Oh and Houston St is pronounced HOW STON not hueston.
When you get in the cab at LGA the cabbie will ask you "tunnel or bridge?" It really doesn't make much difference (money or time-wise), but choose one quickly or you're made as an out-of-town rube. Just say, "I always like the view from the bridge" or "the tunnel's usually good this time of day." Oh, and the cab will charge you the toll above the meter rate (this is legal, but be prepared with the extra bucks).
this goes any time you get in a cab. Know where you're going. AND know the cross street! Makes life a lot easier.
Really enjoy your article of "Tips for your New York City summer trip". Personally, I believe the NYC should hand everyone coming into the city a copy of the tips.
As a NYC street hiker (not a street walker which could mean something else) for a couple of years, I'd like to share my three tips of going around:
1. Go the direction you're looking and look the direction you're going. Far too many people, not necessarily tourists, try to catch a glimpse of everything along the street when moving around on foot. That should be okay in most suburb/subdivision streets but definitely a no-no in the Big Apple.
2. A corollary from above is: Not to do walking and looking around at the same time. If something is interesting, stay on the side to check it out before taking up the steps again.
3. Walk on your right side of the way for an oncoming pedestrian.
Basically, walking around NYC streets is almost - if not exactly - like driving on a highway.
I'm from originally from Mexico, But I've been living in Las Vegas for the past few years... I'm going to NYC next week, and I am terrified, I guess because I've heard all this horror stories about the city and how aggressive people there can be. I loved Genevieve's article, it made me feel better. But I have a question, I'm arriving to the JFK airport, and i'm staying at the carter Hotel in Manhattan, what is the best way to get there from the airport, and how expensive are cabs in NY.
I also would like to go to Niagara falls, any advise on that?
Thank you for your help... I will appreciate it.
Hi -- glad you enjoyed the article, please don't be nervous you will have a wonderful time in NYC. You can take a taxi from JFK to the Carter Hotel (that is in Times Square right?) and it will cost you roughly $40. The much cheaper and faster option though, is to take the JFK AirTrain to the Jamacia stop then jump on the Long Island Rail Road to Penn Station or the E subway to 42nd St where you will be very close to Times Square. It will cost about $11 and takes only 35 minutes. Have a nice trip.
The Independent Traveler
yes, the Air Train is quicker but if you don't know where you're going and have the money, take the taxi! It's worth it! It's now $45 (raise in prices because of gasoline) plus tolls. Don't be afraid of New Yorkers at all! They mind their own business but, I found, if you need help, they are more than willing to do that. There are lots of information booths around (Port Authority, e.g.) but if in doubt, stop and ask any porter at a hotel. Doormen, also. They know the best places to eat!
Niagara Falls is gorgeous. If you can, go to the Candadian side. Much prettier. If you can afford to stay on the main drag, do that. It's just beautiful. If you can't do that, go into the hotels and see the view! They'll let you do that. Definitely do the Maid of the Mist or the Walk behind the falls. Skip the Butterfly Park (I didn't think it was worth it). Try Niagara-on-the-Lake for a bit of culture and small town atmosphere. About 15 miles up the highway.
You've been given good advice - use commonsense and you'll have a great time in New York. Just don't stand in people's way, look about you and get out of the way if you want to stop and look at something, there are a lot of busy people in that great big city, and sidewalks are getting crowded at times.
About getting into Manhattan - if there's a few of you and/or if you have quite a bit of luggage, take a cab, it's a hassle to take the subway etc. with luggage, you have to heave it over the turnstiles and up and down too many stairs. If you're travelling light, take the Airtrain and a subway, it doesn't take much longer than the cab and it costs way less.
We found the Airtrain connection confusing, and the website
is trying hard but not really getting to the point. Log onto the website and I'll show you what we found out:
Click on the link Around JFK Airport and look at the map. You can hop onto the airtrain at any terminal in JFK, without paying - the trains circle around all the numbered terminals.
When you get to Station C make sure you are, or you get, on the right train to leave the circle and head for New York.
To station A / Howard Beach to catch the A train (subway) to Manhattan, or
To station D / Jamaica Station to catch subway trains E/J/Z or the Long Island Rail Road to Manhattan.
Which should you take? It's your decision. Check the Manhattan map and the subway map
to figure out which is best for you.
One note: Uptown means North, Downtown means South. Remember that.
If you go to Station A / Howard Beach, you change to the A train - take an Express or you'll be stopping at dozens of stops. In Manhattan the A train comes up (goes north) along Eighth Ave, all trains stop at 42nd St./Port authority Bus Terminal; for the Times Square area, you get off. You can stay inside the system and, without paying again, transfer to the Times Square shuttle, or you can exit the system and walk along 42nd Street, you're in the Theater District, maybe ten minutes walking from Times Square.
About the money: Before you can get out of the Air Train system at stations A and D, you have to pay $5.- for the airtrain that brought you beyond Station C (the airtrain is only free if you keep circling around the numbered terminals).
At the same time you have to pay to get onto the subway, that's another $2.-. If you go to station D, I'm not sure how much the LIRR is at that point.
Buy a Metro Card - if there's a manned ticket window, ask for a card that gets you out of the Air Train system and into the subway for one ride. Please double check with the attendant, I don't swear that it's $7.-, it's been two months and things change.
If you plan on more trips with the subway, load up the card with more money - they punch in whatever you pay for. After ten bucks you get a free ride - if you pay $10.- they load it up with 6 rides. But in your case you'll be left with a single dollar, so ask for an odd amount and explain why, they'll help you.
If you have to use a machine, just follow the instructions. As long as you realize that you're paying to get out of the Air Train *and* paying to get into the subway.
At any New York subway station, ask for the brown system map, it's called "The Map" and it's free. With a bit of practice you'll even figure out the buses from that map. Get a good street map (I like the stiff, laminated "Streetwise Manhattan") - buy one from your neighborhood Borders before you leave and get an idea of the layout, it's great fun to figure out things as you go. New Yorkers are helpful - they may be a bit more brisk and direct than people in other places, but in a busy town with so many kinds of English (and other languages) it pays to be clear and direct.
Even with the subway and all, you'll walk a lot, that's just the way it is in New York, so when you need a rest, go take one of the guided circle cruises around the island of Manhattan; they leave from the Piers at the Western end of 38th/40th Streets; a good place to book one is inside the Empire State Building (34th Street/Fifth Ave.) - tell the doorman you want to buy Circle Cruise tickets and he'll direct you - there are a few other attractions you can book right there.
To go up on the Empire State Building ( www.esbnyc.com ) itself is a different matter - read the rules on the website and be ready for stringent security, and a long line snaking around the basement (take a bathroom break before you line up...). Once you get up there, on a clear day it's a great experience.
Get ready to love New York, there's a lot to like there, and very little unpleasantness for a city of that size.
Here's tip: It's often tricky to figure out where you are after you come up out of a subway or underpass, you may not see the sun among the skyscrapers or because it's cloudy. It's not enough to know that Streets run East-West and Avenues run North-South. You can get so turned around, it's embarrassing. Before you leave on your trip, go to K-Mart or Target and find a cheap little compass. either in the toys or in the sporting goods. It helps you no end to know which way is north (uptown).
www.JetBlue.com flies from JFK to Buffalo where you can get all kinds of tour arrangements to go see Niagara Falls, it's about an hour's drive if memory serves. JetBlue fares very greatly depending on the time of day - if you don't mind the inconvenience of very early or late flights, it can be as little as $49.- each way (plus taxes etc.). But you might find all-in-one packages from NY if you research it ahead of time, possibly with great savings on transportation and overnight stay. It's still a major destination and a great thing to see on a good day, especially from the Canadian side.
Amtrak takes almost 9 hours from Penn Station to Buffalo, but if you have the time and money, I can recommend it, it's a scenic run along the river for a long stretch, and overall a relaxing experience if you take a book, a nap, some music on headphones, and if you bring your own food.
I hope you'll have a great trip.
Last edited by ongmont; 06-11-2005 at 09:35 PM.
Taking the subway shouldn't be an awful experience -- being that millions of people rely on it every day. Here are my simple rules that should allow everyone a more pleasant ride.
If you want to hug a pole, go be a dancer. Short people who
can't reach the high poles rely on that pole. If your slimy smelly bod is hugging it, I can't.
If you are wearing a backpack or rucksack, take it off. You are taking up standing space for 2. It allows for people to stand somewhere you are taking up. And you don't realize that you are probably knocking into someone with that added space.
Do not blast your music so loud that I can hear them through your headphones. If I wanted to listen I'd have one.
Do not talk any louder than for the person next to you to hear
Do not dance, rap or shout through the car looking to earn a living
Do not ask me for money. If I donate it is to a respectable charity.
I don't want to buy your chocolate. Please do not ask me.
I am not insulted if you curse at me because I don't give you my spare change.
If you are homeless, go to a shelter. Don't use the subway as your refuge.
Do not hold the door. If you can't fit, get off the train. There will be another one coming as soon as the train you are delaying leaves the station
Enjoy your trip!
I live in Miami Beach, FL and go to New York for same-day museum-hopping trips. I subscribe to every budget air travel e mail service in existence. My next trip willbe in September and my total ticket price will be $64.l That's roundtrip and it's not a typo.
Here are some suggestions.
(1) Fly into LaGuardia. If you're coming from the south or southwest, get a window seat on the left side that's not over the wing. You'll get an incredible panoramic view of Manhattan. have your camera ready.
(2) As of April '07, the only airport shop that sold Metrocards was on the ground floor of the USAirways terminal.
(3) The M60 bus will get you into Manhattan as fast as any taxi or car service. It goes over the Triborough Bridge, goes all the way down 125th street and then south on Broadway to 107th street, then turns around. For some reason, getting into Manhattan on it during morning rush hour is much faster than getting back to LaGuardia during evening rush hour. You can connect with every north-south bus and subway line from 125th street.
(4) Each to his/her own, but I always start with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I transfer to a 5th Avenue bus southbound and get off at the museum. By the way, you can still pay what you wish there, even though the signs no longer say so, and the cashier will not give you a "look" if you give her less than the suggested donation.
(5) Remember the worldwide rule: Museums all close on Monday.
(6) In NYC, never pass up a chance to go to the bathroom. Museums almost always have decent ones.
Since that post, I've made two more same-day trips into NYC/LaGuardia.
There are now several Hudson News stores in the airport that sell MetroCards. But not all of them do. Ask.
The outbound traffic back to LaGuardia on the M60 in the late afternoon/early evening seems to have eased up a lot.
Most but not all of the museums close on Monday. Some close on a different weekday.
If you go directly to the Metropolitan Museum in the morning, have your coffee at the airport or somewhere else. None of the food wagons or carts around the Met sell coffee. The Met has a cafeteria which is good, but not cheap. The NY Historical Society also has a small downstairs restaurant.
The Dutch Masters and the incredible baroque tapestries exhibits at the Met are well worth a visit. They close Jan. 6. The 9/11 exhibit of artifacts and thousands of photographs at the NY Historical Society (Central Park West and 77th) will leave you shaken, but is well worth seeing. There are also new exhibits there about General Lafayette's year-long triumphal return and reunion visit to all 24 states in 1824-25, and about the New York turn-of-the-century "Ashcan" school of painting.
The American Museum of Natural History and its adjacent Rose Planetarium also has a pay-what-you-wish policy (but not the NY Historical Society!) The dinosaurs are still there, and there are semi-precious stones - rocks, really - that are so big you can sit on them - and may do so - and you can pose with an iron meteorite taller and wider than you are.
I haven't used the subways in several years. Very few of them have elevators or escalators, and lots and lots of stairs. How they get away with violating the Americans With Disabilities Act so blatantly, I have no idea. But if you want to go to the southern or northern tips of Manhattan, or visit another borough, you don't have much choice. Stand well back when a train isn't in the station - you don't want to be the next victim of some nut who likes to push people onto the tracks.
There's NO place like the Big Apple!
be streetsmart. do not leave your wallet, cellular phone in plain view. make sure you hold on to your bag firmly. nothing attracts a pickpocket more than a person who seems lost and disoriented
I'm taking another of my Manattan day trips on April 9. My two "musts"are the exhibit of Renaissance (including Michelangelo) drawings at the Morgan Library and the Bienniale atthe Whitney Museum. You can go to the Morgan at 36th and Madison, get on a northbound Madison Ave. bus right there and get off at 75th and Madison for the Whitney.
The critics have been raving about Patrick Stewart's performance as MacBeth at the Lyceum theater at 149 W. 45th Street. Stewart was a well regarded Shakespearian actor long before he played Captain Picard in a re-invented "Star Trek." Unfortunately, there won't be a Wednesday matinee there so I'll miss it, but those of you who can go in the evening should do so. There are two ways to score discount theater tickets in New York. One is to go to the TKTS booth on Broadway just north of Times Square. If you're lucky, you'll get them there for half price. Another is to go to the theater about two hours before the performance and just hang out, waiting for someone to show up who had to cancel and wants to sell their ticket(s). Getting a single ticket this way at a big discount is usually possible; getting two together less likely, but it could still happen.
Thank you everyone for such wonderful tips. I have printed them all out and will study them! I am so looking forward to the Big Apple and meeting all the nice people there.
While there is a lot of frustration and some truth in Travlgirl's "Tips" re. NYC and the subway, there is also a good deal of arrogance and callousness. Personally, I avoid the subway in NYC and use the buses whenever feasible. I don't like the dirt, the crowding, the endless stairs, the lack of working elevators and/or escalators, and the occasional presence of some doofus-faced maniac waiting to push someone in front of an incoming train. Having said that, here are some of my thoughts about the aforementioned "Tips."
If you want to hug a pole, go be a dancer. Short people who can't reach the high poles rely on that pole. If your slimy smelly bod is hugging it, I can't. It's not always possible even for tall people to reach those high poles or straps; it's also an open invitation to pickpockets. And why do you think the average subway rider would smell badly and emit slime?
If you are wearing a backpack or rucksack, take it off. You are taking up standing space for 2. It allows for people to stand somewhere you are taking up. And you don't realize that you are probably knocking into someone with that added space. If you take it off in a crowded subway car, where are you going to put it? On the floor, of course, where it will also take up space. And maybe be stepped on or snatched.
Do not blast your music so loud that I can hear them through your headphones. If I wanted to listen I'd have one. I have yet to hear music blasting from anyone's headphones. Reminds me of a news item I read years ago. A man was arrested for assaulting another man on the subway. When the police asked him why he did it, he said it was because the other man had been reading a newspaper, and he thought it was rude to read newspapers on the subway.
Do not talk any louder than for the person next to you to hear. Um ... in case you haven't noticed, NYC subways run on steel rails and make a LOT of noise.
Do not dance, rap or shout through the car looking to earn a living. Well, I can't argue with that one.
Do not ask me for money. If I donate it is to a respectable charity. And that's two points.
I don't want to buy your chocolate. Please do not ask me. Don't ask me either. I'm on NutriSystem. But, honestly, no one has ever offered to sell me chocolate, or any other edibles, in a NYC subway car.
I am not insulted if you curse at me because I don't give you my spare change. I am. But OK, 4 points so far for her.
If you are homeless, go to a shelter. Don't use the subway as your refuge. How much do you know about the NYC homeless shelters? They are so crowded and disgusting and dangerous that most of the city's homeless prefer to avoid them, even in the winter. And what if the nearest one is miles away? Or if you don't know where it is? Subway stations are often the only place where a homeless person can find warm shelter in winter without having to pay for it.
Do not hold the door. If you can't fit, get off the train. There will be another one coming as soon as the train you are delaying leaves the station Not necessarily. Depends on the route and time of day. I've never held the door to get ON a train, and I don't like it when others do. But you better believe I'll hold it to get OFF, if there's no alternative! 4 1/2 points!
There are many firms which rents the private jets.
OK, I'll try it.
SHOW ME THEMONEY!!!!
How about a cheap Italian dinner in NYC? Go uptown to Patsy's in East Harlem. A Spanish neighborhood with this old world Italian gem by the slice at 1st Avenue at 117th Street. Tell them the native new yorker tour guide from
http://www.walkingtoursmanhattan.com send you