The City • Copyright Lucy Ra © 2012
Which city in America has:
And that's where my May travels have taken me.
La Bottega outdoor seating • Copyright Lucy Ra © 2012
The food in NYC is yummy. If you are a restaurant and you want to make it in NYC your food has to be good!
There are SO MANY places to eat at in New York City and it will probably take a lifetime to try them all, but I think Chelsea and Meatpacking District have a lot of good food.
Here are the places I've eaten at and liked:
City view • Copyright Lucy Ra © 2012
Manhattan has lots of neighborhoods. Each is unique and has something to offer. I've been to these:
> TriBeCa is quiet and Paris-like (celebrities tend to live here). I would love to live there.
> funky East Village - lots of bars and tattoo shops and people till 4 am or later....
> quiet Upper East Side close to the Museum Mile and Central park. New Yorkers told me this area is boring because it's quiet and there are a lot of old people living there, but I liked it. Less hype.
> Gramercy area - you will see lots of New Yorkers jogging here
> Chelsea and Meatpacking District with good food and designer stores (think Alexander McQueen and Diane Von Furstenberg)
> The Garment District is basically in Times Square. Lots of tourists, H&M stores, and New Yorkers who are forced to be there due to work.
> The Financial $$$ District with The Bull and Wall street. This is where you will see a ton of men and women, but mostly men in suits. They could care less about you but some are nice and will strike a conversation with you while you wait in line for your sandwich. Some will ask you to watch their iPad while they get their lunch. On a side note, Starbucks stores do not have restrooms in this area for some reason...
> SoHo and NoLiTa are nice little neighborhoods right next to each other.
> Bowery is not really a neigborhood but it is close to NYU and has lots of young people.
I've probably been to others too but didn't realize it. I didn't get to explore Upper West side, Harlem, Little Italy, China town, Brooklyn, and much more. There's always that next trip. :)
Things to do | Places to see
Click through the slide show below for some ideas.
Blocked intersection • Copyright Lucy Ra © 2012
Visiting Manhattan for the 1st or 4th time? Either way be ready.
A rental car in New York City is generally a bad idea. Trust me, I've been there.
Finding parking can be extremely hard and expensive. During week days almost all spots are marked No Parking between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm. Paid parking is something like $10 FOR HALF AN HOUR. And you can only imagine how much parking is per day. Don't forget - New Yorkers pay about $300 a month to park their own cars in residential lots. Restaurants and other venues do not have parking.
Oh, did I mention driving in Manhattan is crazy? If you think Dallas or LA traffic is bad, think again. Avoid driving on your own at all costs (although it can be rather fun :) If you must, drive like an ass hole. Seriously! You have to be assertive and quick and pay attention. Don't honk your horn everywhere you go. There are signs with $350 fee for honking.
You could taxi everywhere, but during rush hours taxis can be sparse and the cost will add up very quickly. Save this option for special occasions.
Most of the time you will be riding the public transportation which is cheaper than other options above and available everywhere and almost around the clock. Your best bet is to buy an unlimited ride (1, 5, 7 ... days) MTA Metro Card that works on busses and the subway system in NY (it won't work on busses and trains to/from New Jersey - use NJ Transit instead). Take care of your card and keep it for yourself only because it is valuable and some people may try to steal it from you if you decide to let someone else hold it or use it. Also sharing your card with friends won't work out well. And if you mess up and go to the wrong side of the track your MTA card will lock out for 18 minutes. This prevents you from swiping your card twice in a very short period of time (like if you were to share). If you did that by accident talk to the customer service person at the station. They may be nice and let you pass. Usually they are not very nice though.
Get a map. Streetwise Manhattan is a wonderful map I've used for years. Train routes, stops, streets, parks, buss routes and more are marked on it. It can be bought in the city too. I think I got mine at a MoMA design store.
There are also good apps for your iPhone or other smart phone. I have NYCWAY and Fodor's NYC Travel Guide iPhone apps. They are free and have much more then just maps. Maps on iPhone works great. Just remember - no network on subway trains. This is where a paper map like the one I mentioned above comes in very handy. People were asking me for help and directions. I felt good for a few minutes :)
You may want to bring something to read or your headphones. The train/bus ride might be long. Make sure you don't get carried away though and miss your stop. I almost did that. Not all trains announce the stops.
So PAY ATTENTION!
And if there's a crazy/drunk person next to you yelling at the top of their lungs change train cars on the next stop or go sit on the other side. You don't have to take it.
Comfy in Central park • Copyright Lucy Ra © 2012
What to wear
Shoes: A lot of New Yorkers wear flat shoes. Sandals or flip flops. You will be walking A LOT so make sure you have comfortable shoes. You won't be seeing a lot of high heels and you shouldn't wear them. Bring them with you so you can change into them after you walked 5 miles to your event :) Flip flops are light and easy to store in a bag. Watch out for dirty feet - the result of flip flop wear. Moist toilettes are your friend.
Clothes: New Yorkers don't wear fancy stuff. NY girls wear comfy dresses or skinny pants/yoga pants. NY work force will be in suits, all black or almost all black and they will be concentrated mostly near Wall Street. Occasionally you will see girls in super high heels and hot shorts (the type you wear to bed). They will most likely be very tipsy or pretty drunk. YOU, however, should wear comfortable clothes and layers. A shirt and pants. Jeans are great. If it rains be ready to roll up your pants.
Accessories: Leave your bling and flashy Coach purse at home. New York is pretty toned down. Coming from flashy Dallas I had to take off my watch one evening or cover it with a sweater sleeve the rest of the time and left some jewelry in the hotel because I was getting looks. Aside from looking like you are not from there you may turn into a target for a robbery.
Totes work great and store a lot. Guys, sling bags or man bags can work for you. Check the weather and bring your umbrella on days with potential rain. A nice umbrella, not the cheap one that will break down in 5 minutes from wind and rain. Automatically opening/closing umbrellas are great.
Restrooms: Got to go? Starbucks is your friend. Don't forget to re-hydrate afterwards. Generally going to the restroom in New York, just like in Paris, is a bad idea. Speaking of Paris.....