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Traveling to NYC for New Year's, Need travel tips...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by BirraImperial, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. BirraImperial

    BirraImperial Pura Vida!

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    Hello fellow Civfanatics...

    My brother, mother and I are traveling to New York City to end the year and I have never been there...In fact, I've only been a couple of times in the United States, So I would like to know if you can give me any advice about what places or landmarks should we visit, you know, beside the obvious tourist attractions and what should we do for New Years Eve...I know there are lots of activities, but we're on a budget here, so we don't want to go crazy out there...Any advice would be appreciated. We're planning the trip to take place from Dec. 28th to Jan 3rd... Thanks!:goodjob::goodjob:
     
  2. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    What type of stuff are you into?
     
  3. BirraImperial

    BirraImperial Pura Vida!

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    Well, I like sightseeing, maybe walking around and stuff...Not really into museums, but perhaps a couple of interesting ones wouldn't hurt...I think it's probably going to be cold, but not sure if I need some winter clothing?
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    If you live in Costa Rica and are travelling to NYC in December, then you will definitely want to bring adequate winter clothing.
     
  5. BirraImperial

    BirraImperial Pura Vida!

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    Ok, I guess jacket, gloves, and usual winter stuff...I hope it snows, I haven't seen snow in a long time...

    I'm currently planning what to do for New Year's eve...Any advice? I know lots of people gather around Times Square, but I don't really like crowds...Any tips on that matter?
     
  6. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    If you're interested in military stuff and planes and carriers This is the place:

     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Not sure how cold it's going to get, but I always layer up for the winter. If you do that properly, you won't need a bulky winter jacket at all, even when temperatures reach -20C. But it could mean a more expensive solution than just buying a bulky winter jacket.. depends
     
  8. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    No, you need a coat instead of jacket and definitely bring a cap. Ski gear would be perfect and you can usually find decent bargains online. The best way to see Manhattan is to walk a lot, so bring really comfortable walking shoes. But keep in mind it is going to be a lot colder than what you are used to so dress warmly.

    My strong advice would be to avoid Times Square on New Years Eve like the plague. This is particularly true if you don't like crowds.

    Here are some primary suggestions of where to walk:

    5th Avenue from 42nd Street to Central Park South. Be sure to stop in and see Rockefeller Center and the humongous Christmas Tree. Go in the lobby of 30 Rock and check out the murals. Go into Trump Tower and see if you can moon The Donald. Walk into Tiffany's. Your mom might like to check out Bergdorf Goodman. Walk into the lobby at The Plaza.

    Walk into Central Park at least a bit to get a sense of it.

    Times Square area any time but New Years Eve.

    Broadway from Canal Street to Battery Park. Walk down Wall Street when you get there. South Street Seaport is pretty cool too.

    Washington Square Park area, Greenwich Village, and Soho. Be sure to walk up and down the side streets.

    East Village, Union Square, and Gramercy Park.

    Park Avenue from 42nd Street to 59th Street. Start inside Grand Central Station go up the escalators through the Met Life Building. Then Madison Avenue from 59th Street to 72nd Street.

    Lexington Avenue from 42nd Street to 53rd Street. Walk into the lobby of the Chrysler Building and check out the Art Deco elevators. Walk into the Citicorp Building and check out the lobby. Take a side trip to the UN area.

    Go to the top of the Empire State Building for the view.

    Museum of Modern Art (unless you don't like modern art).

    Metropolitan Museum of Art (my favorite section is the Impressionists).

    Bloomingdales for your mom.

    See if something is going on at Madison Square Garden that interests you.

    See at least one play. You can buy cheaper tickets the day of the show at the TKTS booth in Times Square.

    Ride the subways a lot to get around. They are an experience all by themselves. Also take at least one cab ride.

    Just about any bar will be great for New Years Eve. Scout around for some good ones beforehand. 666 6th Avenue has a bar at the top (Top of the Sixes) that has a great view.
     
  9. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Damn, I thought I had to go to Norfolk for that. NYC really does have everything.
     
  10. BirraImperial

    BirraImperial Pura Vida!

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    Thanks for the advice, I'll look into it...I hope temperatures don't go so low...I can handle the cold, my mom perhaps not so much...

    Thanks for the advice!! :) That's quite a lot to cover!! But I do like walking so it should be a fun experience! My mom would certainly love Blommingdales and shopping around town. I like getting to see landmarks and interesting stuff. This list will serve me well...
    As for New Year's Eve, I'll search for nice places...Any other suggestions would be very welcomed!
     
  11. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    The Michelin (green) guide is quite good. I highly recommend it. It is set up as a sequence of different walking tours, including the ones I just mentioned, with prominent landmarks highlighted. It also has a great map of Manhattan including the subways. The red guide is for the top restaurants so don't get that one by mistake.

    Your mom will probably see lots of shopping spots she will be interested in checking out on 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. There are also lots in the Village and Soho.

    Also, Zagat was indispensable for finding good restaurants back when I lived there. Not sure how accurate it is now though. They also give the average price so you can find good ones that don't cost all that much. But the good news is that it is online so you don't even have to buy it anymore:

    https://www.zagat.com/new-york-city

    Perhaps people who live there now can give you some tips. I definitely recommend you hit at least one Jewish deli for a corned beef or pastrami sandwich. You also have to try a slice of NY pizza. Be sure to fold it lengthwise before you eat it like a real New Yorker.
     
  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    The Brooklyn Bridge is worth a visit as are Chinatown and Little Italy. All of Forma's list. You might check to see where there will be fireworks on NYE. Maybe at the Statue of Liberty. The natural History Museum is awesome if you like that kind of stuff.

    You could take the Staten Island Ferry or visit Ellis Island

    How long will you be there?
     
  13. BirraImperial

    BirraImperial Pura Vida!

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    Thank you, Forma! I'll check those guides! I have to say, I'm very excited to take this trip. And of course, NY Pizza will be on the menu!

    I'm staying from Dec 28th to Jan 3rd...Not as long as I wanted to, but I guess it's enough time to check at least the most famous spots around town.
     
  14. Samez

    Samez Emperor

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    On my last day trip to NYC I met several tourist groups, which had problems to see the difference between express subways and normal ones.
    TBH I couldn't figure out myself at which stations the express trains stop and which they pass by just looking at the subway plan.
     
  15. Zamphyr

    Zamphyr Master of the Pan Flute

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    Subways - ask a local, they always know.

    Just mind where you stop to get your bearings/take pictures. You'll be there mid week so you'll get a good feel for NYC. People on their way to work will not slow down for you :)
     
  16. Leonel

    Leonel Breakfast Connoisseur

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    This is good stuff. I'm also visiting NYC with my girlfriend for the first time but in mid-November.
     
  17. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    The express stops are white circles on the subway map. They often coincide with 4-lane two-way roads at the street level, or they are intersections between different subway lines:

    http://web.mta.info/nyct/maps/subwaymap.pdf

    Usually stations with both local and express trains share a platform. The side next to the wall will be the local and the side in the middle will be the express. But some stations have different platforms for the local and express trains and some even have different levels. Just follow the signs.

    Indeed!

    Manhattan rush hour is also an experience in and of itself. You should try to be inside a main subway station during rush hour just to see what it is like to commute during normal working hours. The bigger the station the bigger the rush you get from the controlled mayhem. Grand Central, 34th Street / Madison Square Garden, and Times Square / Port Authority Bus Terminal are really good ones. Just be sure to stand to the side when you see the hundreds of lemmings streaming down the tunnel at you. They've got places to be and they don't care who is in the way.

    Also, be careful where you stand when waiting for a subway train, especially after hours. You will see signs where you should stand. This is where the conductor will be located so he/she can keep an eye on you. When there are a lot of people on the train this is no longer important. But it is downright spooky to be in a subway car with hardly anybody in it. Crowds mean safety. Never stand next to the tracks before the train comes in. That is an invitation to be an accident.

    When the train does enter the station, you want to be standing to the side of where the doors open. The locals will know exactly where this is so you can use them as guides. Don't be standing where the doors will open, and don't try to enter the subway car until everybody has a chance to exit. This is particularly important during rush hour.

    It is also a good idea to be alert and don't wear exposed jewelry. This is particularly important if you are an obvious tourist. You don't have to be paranoid, but you should be aware at all times what is going on around you. Just keep an eye on your surroundings and remember that crowds mean safety. If you don't like the looks of what is in front of you, cross the street.
     
  18. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    I'd recommend against Times Square, its a terrible place with no redeeming value whatsoever.

    Midtown in general (34th-59th Streets) is an unpleasant place to be unless you really must see Grand Central or Rockefeller Center.

    Central Park on the other hand is great. Prospect Park in Brooklyn is like an even better version of Central Park. Also, the Village (East or West or both) is worth exploring. Really depends on one's interests. If I were visiting I'd check out all the cool places/events/meetups that don't exist in my home city. This to me would be more important than any particular landmarks.

    This is a good thing to do on your last day so you'll be glad you don't have to live here. :ack:
     
  19. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    It is still Times Square. You can't very well claim to have visited Manhattan without seeing it. They say if you stand at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street long enough you will meet nearly everybody you have ever known. Not to mention everybody should see at least one Broadway play.

    The same goes for much of Midtown. It is the quintessential New York experience, although other areas should also be visited. But I'm a sucker for skyscrapers. That is the one thing that Manhattan has in abundance compared to anyplace else in the Western Hemisphere. It is the center of the world. It is the best of things and the worst of things.

    I also think rush hour is one of the cooler things about the city from a spectating perspective. I'll always remember the very first time I saw a completely jam packed subway platform, and I had to somehow meet someone in the middle of it.

    But now that I think about it the best experience is likely to be Downtown on the street. Hardly anybody lives there, but hundreds of thousands of people commute there every day. So be at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street at 9 AM. During the Xmas holidays it is going to be considerably less than normal, but it will still give you a very good sense of the dynamism created by so many commuters from other counties streaming in every work day.

    And now that you mention Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights would be a very interesting side trip. You could go over the Brooklyn Bridge in a cab and see the Downtown skyline from that perspective along the promenade.
     
  20. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    If I never had to walk thru Times Square again I'd be the happier for it.

    If one only has a few days I wouldn't put it high on the priority list.

    To each their own. I like real culture rather than a garish mob of low brow tourists & dozens of sketchy characters in Elmo suits.

    Also, its a dead zone for healthy food. Maybe there are good restaurants in/around Times Square but I find the atmosphere so terrible I've never wanted to hang out & try.

    Most NYers steer clear of the area if they can at all help it. In the past because it was so ugly... and now because its so ugly (no longer unsafe but a different kind of ugly).
     

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