Ha! You’ll find quite a shortage of such frills in New York’s subway, which is old and short on amenities compared with Madrid’s. You’ll be climbing a lot of stairs.Originally Posted by Valtis
Smoking: Most New Yorkers observe smoking laws. There’s no smoking in the subway, and you’re unlikely to find anyone breaking the law. You won’t be bothered by smoking.
New Yorkers were once known for their rudeness. That has pretty substantially changed, and though you’re bound to encounter some rudeness, you’ll find most New Yorkers are helpful and some are even courteous.Originally Posted by Valtis
Your English seems pretty good to me. You’ll be amazed at how many New Yorkers speak Spanish. Now, the Spanish you’ll probably find hard to understand!
Subway is a good way to get around quickly, though you'll probably find it worn and a bit dirty. It’s easier to get lost or take the wrong train than in Madrid, because express and local trains often leave from the same platform, and sometimes diverge to different destinations, and the signage isn’t as good as you’re used to. Consult your map often and carefully (available at ticket booths), and ask someone if you’re unsure (in Spanish if necessary).Originally Posted by Valtis
Don’t restrict yourself to the subway, however; in the evenings taxis can be faster. And the buses are more scenic, though slow. 104 and 5 are long and scenic bus routes. Highly recommended. Get bus maps at subway ticket booths. To cross Central Park you need to take the bus.
Very highly recommended: the expensive but thrilling double-decker, open-topped Gray Line bus tours. You can hop on and off all day, or buy a two-day ticket. You can plan your itinerary for one or two days around this company’s routes. Look up Gray Line on the Internet.
Also: consider buying a day pass on New York Water Taxi (Internet): a great way to see New York from the water, and effective enough to be thought of as transportation.
Malls: Not New York’s long suit, but you’ll find slick malls at the Time Warner Center, Trump Tower and South Street Seaport. Best shopping is on the avenues and in SoHo. Also Greenwich Village for quirky items.Originally Posted by Valtis
You’re right; New York is now much safer than its old reputation. In fact it’s one of America’s safest cities. That said, stay off deserted side streets late at night, and maybe avoid Harlem at night, as well as Spanish Harlem. Also I'd stay out of Central Park late at night.Originally Posted by Valtis
It can be pretty cold in March, and windy. Late April through June is best. May is perfect.Originally Posted by Valtis
New York has superb-tasting and safe tap water, but I wouldn’t drink from a fountain, except a drinking fountain. You can get bottled water anywhere, including from street vendors.Originally Posted by Valtis
Hope you have a great time. New York is truly a fabulous city!