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Thread: Top 10 things to do in New York City

  1. #31

    Default my top ten

    this tourist's fave:

    1) staten island ferry - great views no matter what the weather and as stated: it's free! how can you resist? good mix of tourists and huddled masses. buy a cup of crappy coffee on these old boats to complete that nostalgic new york feel.

    2) brooklyn bridge - more great views and everyone does it! there's always a freindly vibe here, maybe because tourists are forever asking to have their photos taken. one of the few places in the city where you can safely walk at a slow pace, as long as you stay off the bike lane. you have been warned.

    3) sightseeing buses - yes, i recommend a ride on those cheesy double decker buses. expensive, but if you're an archictecture buff, it's well worth it. get on the open-air second deck. there's absolutely no other way to see new york like this. mad traffic below, buildings towering above. you almost can reach out and touch the passing skyline, all while comfortably sitting on one's arse. awesome.

    4) ground zero - no no no, not to lament the tragic past, but just to experience the great temporary 16 acre space left behind, walled in by a good collection of massive early and mid 20th century buildings which are finally receiving sunlight since...well, you know.

    5) times square - of course! roam it anytime, but weekend nights are awesome, when it busts at the seams with visitors from far away as the other side of the world and from close as the city limits. i swear, sometimes it seems you can lift your tired feet up and body surf broadway. warning: there's so many lights, sounds and people to watch, you might succumb to sensory overload. need a bench to catch your breath? too bad.

    6) financial district - i recommend it late late night, the area is totally deserted, the only signs of life are security cameras. you can actually hear your whispers and footsteps echo off the massive buildings crowding the narrow empty streets. great stuff.
    7) grand central station - rush hour. the halls and connecting corridors are the ultimate urban experience during this time. it's more harrowing than any roller coaster. if you hail from anywhere that moves at a slower pace than NY, please stay close to the walls, otherwise you'll be trampled to death. next time i decide to brave this, i'm taking a xanax.

    8) brooklyn botanical gardens - if you are staying in NY for a week or more, try this destination on a weekday for your mid-vacation urban break. the zen-like peacefulness will recharge your batteries in no time. also a great place to steal seeds for living souveniers. if it's cold out, head to the toasty palm house. sweet.

    9) chinatown/little italy/village/soho - it's all good. you should schedule at least a half a day for each of these unique neighborhoods to soak in the atmoshere and all the adorable stereotypes. and of course the food. yum.

    10) sunday morning manhattan - by far, these have been my most memorable experiences. if you can force your tired touristy body to roam the streets shorty before sunrise to wait and watch the first yellow rays of light pierce the grid of the deserted streets, creating sharp architectual shadows, it may haunt you for a long time. it's best on a cold, clear morning, when the only animation is the warm air steaming from the city's orfices. if you time it right, you'll be one of those rare souls who discovers that, yes indeed, sometimes the city does sleep.

  2. #32

    Default Recommendation

    I would really like to recommend a great book which a friend of mine bought me for my last birthday. It's called City Walks New York: 50 Adventures on Foot
    by Christina Henry De Tessan
    , and I found it to be very useful when I visited
    New York last year. One can find it on: http://www.fetchbook.info/city_walk_to_newyork.html.
    I believe the best way to see New York is on foot, so have a look, and I hope you will all be inspired, just as I was.

  3. #33

    Default

    Run the NYC Marathon.

    That has to be one of the top 10 things to do...

    Aaron

  4. #34

    Default

    Thats something I want to do.

  5. #35

    Default

    Thats one of my dreams, run the NYC marathon.

    Anyone knows the time difference between the winner and the last one?

    I dont want to set a new record.

  6. #36

    Default When I'm in New York

    I can walk around 5th avenue again and again, and if I'm finished with that, I can always go down to the village. I always find these cute little stores, and cute coffee shops, I can walk there all day.

    When I really want to relax - there are two places:

    1. RockefellerCenter - there's nothing more relaxing than watching people skate.

    It's great.

    2. Bryant park behind the public library - gorgeous place, benches, trees, grass. What else do you need? (And in the middle of the city as well...)

  7. #37

    Default

    take a tour of Governors Island. I was down in Battery Park and watched all the tourists lined up for hours to see the Statue of Liberty. 20 minutes later we were on Governors Island enjoying the beautiful, historic landscape. i thought, jeez, those tourists are wasting a lot of time, while GI is empty.

    details on getting there (only on Saturdays in the Summer) are in another thread on this site.

  8. #38

    Default Audubon Ecotourists Harbor Heron Islands Tour - NYC Bird Club

    Audubon Ecotourists Harbor Heron Islands TourSaturday, July 30th
    7 pm
    North & South Brother Islands, LI Sound

    Dinner at the Bridge Cafe in South Street Seaport
    5 pm

    Members Only

    New York City, the Audubon, and egrets have a common history going back more than a hundred years. At the end of the Nineteenth Century, a New York City resident, George Bird Grinnell, started the first Audubon. He brought together like-minded people who hoped to stop the slaughter of egrets, which were being killed by the hundreds of thousands so that their plumes could be shipped to New York and used to decorate hats.

    Fortunately, egrets and herons are now prospering in the harbor, and New York Water Taxi's partnership with NYC Audubon will allow you to see them up close with the guidance of professional naturalists.

    www.nywatertaxi.com

    Departs from South Street Seaport, Pier 17
    Cost: $20; seniors/child. $10
    info: nybirdclub@yahoo.com
    www.manhattanbirdclub.com

  9. #39

    Default

    I'm a latino who wants to move to Manhattan form London, Ontario. What's a good latino neighborhood that's fairly safe and not too far uptown? At first i wanted to live in Spanish Harlem but I realized that it's dangeirous there and too far uptown, I'm thinking anywhere below midtown or a little above midtown?... As long as its latino

  10. #40

    Default

    If you're looking to live somewhere below 96th Street in Manhattan, you're not going to have much luck finding a Latino enclave. You might want to expand your horizons.

    Also, this would get more of a response if it was posted on the "Moving to New York" thread over on the New York City for New Yorkers board.

  11. #41

    Default

    Spanish Harlem is not that dangerous anymore. Limit yourself to 116th and you're fine.

    Since the last post is right in saying you won't fine specifically Latino neighborhoods south of 96th, you are better off going into queens, which has great neighborhoods like sunnyside and jackson heights with big latino populations and lower crime rates than upper manhattan.

  12. #42

    Default

    Heres some of the things i take tourists to..

    1) Empire State Building
    2) Broadway Play
    3) Walk Around Time Square (2 n 3 usually are a day)
    4) Village for the great quick eats
    5) Avas penthouse, lounge with a great view of NYC
    6) One of the many musems
    7) A trip through the Subway, thats always an experience, hey i do it every day and it never gets old


    As for the latino moving to NY, no need to move to a Latino community there are alot of Latinos around NYC and you will find em any where, going into a community i feel limits yourself too much. Hey a big part about NYC is its diversity

  13. #43

    Default

    hmm why did i write that in this thread? i meant to put this in the "moving to new york" thread

  14. #44
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    Default

    I did a cuple of NYC Tourist things over the last 2 weekends:

    1) Hamilton Grange - Alexander Hamilton's home in Harlem. Great park Ranger there who spoke passionately about the vision for moving the house to St. Nicholas Park, The legislation was passed. Now, they only need the $11M to relocate and restore the home.

    2) Grant's Tomb - Normally a kind of somber and slightly boring visit, but I decided to engage the Park Ranger, who was incredibly interesting and provided great detail about Grant, the Structure and Grant's life in NYC and his funeral. Apparently, April 27, there are huge festivies every year with a 21 gun salute and miltary honor guard on Grant's birthday.

    3) Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace - A fathful reconstruction of the home TR was born and grew up in. The house is a fine museum of mid-19th century high class living. But, the best part of it was the museum and memorabilia rooms. A very interesting and satisfying surprise.

    4) Lower East Side Tenement Museum - I took two tours
    a) Getting By - in which a group of visitors (pretending to be new immigrants) go into an apartment and speak with an immigrant living there to learn about what to expect and what they should do. It was a little tenuous at first, but, as our group got into it, it was an excellent learning experience. It was very interesting to be in one of the tenement apartments as a "house guest" as opposed to a museum tour vistor. The "actress/tour guide" was dead-on perfect.
    b) Piecing it together - This was an overview of the garment industry at the time of the creation of sweathshops. It covered a little more of the history of the tenement building and toured more apartments.

    The combination of the two tour made is a really wonderful and even moving event. (I'm not sure any one tour could capture all of the info). Whereas Ellis Island talks about immigration in the shaping of the country and tells the story of coming emigrating, the Tenement Museum hits the visitor with the living conditions, challenges, prejudices, and squalor made famile faced. It was a wonderful view of NYC 1865 - 1930 and covered the period we all know from "Gangs o New York" in an even more sobering light.

    Reserve in advance for Tenement Museum. I went on a Saturday and tours were selling out.

  15. #45

    Default

    Some great bookshops here - especially a great selection of Badminton tomes,

    and the Coffee Shop at Union Square Park.

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