Travel | 3 comments
By: Zdenko Kahlina
I love NYC…
First get a good Manhattan map at the airport or any other tourist spots. Spend some time looking at maps and understanding the layout of the city, and getting your bearings before you get there..
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Driving: Do not be afraid to drive a car in NYC, but be aware that parking is very expensive and difficult to find. Warning for Canadians: No right turns (or left turns, as the case may be) on red light. Here is good Web site if you want to learn more about driving in the New York City: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/5342/nydrive.htm or here http://www.ny.com/transportation/automobiles/
Get a seven day Subway (MetroCard) pass for $24.00 per person. It is valid for Subway, Buses and City Ferries. To move quickly use Express trains.More than one person (up to 4) can use a standard Metrocard at once, (not the day/weekly pass). One person holding the card can just swipe 4 times and then four people can pass through.
Public transportation within the city is relatively inexpensive, convenient and efficient, particularly since the implementation of the MetroCard system. The present fare for a subway or bus ride is $2.00. Riders may purchase a MetroCard at subway booths and self-serve kiosks that can be used interchangeably on both subways and buses. Out-of-town visitors should definitely take advantage of the unlimited ride MetroCards – a one-day Fun Pass costs $7.00, while a seven-day one is $24.00. Children under 44 inches tall can ride for free. If you put at least $10 on a Metrocard, you get 20% added = $12, put $20 on and get $4 added.
In the summer, use the City buses to tour the city. They are not crowded and all have air conditioning. If you purchased MetroCard for Subway, you’ll have free rides.
Food: While in the New York we bought food from street vendors and at the corner grocery stores, which had a plenty of prepared food, like Chinese bar, salad bar, grilled chicken etc. all for less than $10 per person. Most restaurants in the upper west side (Broadway and 94 Street), were good and affordable. In the restaurants: be aware that most NYC restaurants charge you 20% for service (gratitude) already included in your bill. Do not tip on top of this. Always check your receipt.
Shopping: New York is a shopping mecca and midtown is full with quality retail stores. While shopping at Macy’s, the world’s largest department store, make sure you go to the Visitor’s Center to get a Visitor card (voucher) and obtain 11% discount on all purchases. Other big shops might offer the same deals, but you have to discover this on your own.
The best value department store in the entire city is downtown on Cortlandt Street (across from the World Trade Center site) “Century 21”. It offers up to 75 percent off the regular retail price on designer fashions and accessories.
You can also do your shopping in China town…Shopping in Chinatown is a joy. Almost all Chinese goods found in China can be found there, including food, clothes, jewelry, souvenirs, etc. On the north side of Canal Street are many jewelry stores while on the south of Canal Street are small gift, handbag, perfume, watch stores and big supermarkets, etc. Mott Street and its surrounding streets are the best places to shop where most of things can be bargained. All designers stuff can be purchased here for a fraction of the real price.
Broadway Theatres: New York is a theatre town and on any day you can see top shows for a discount prices if you’re willing to stand in line. The TKTS booth at Times Square sells half-price tickets the day of a performance. Another less known option is to show up at the gate to play ticket lottery. They reserve first row in front of the orchestra for that (app. 30 tickets). They put your name in the drum, and about 30 minutes later they draw the names. You must be present when they call your name. The charge is $25 per ticket (cash only). Compare this to a regular ticket price of $118.00. Some theatres have also a “Rush hour” ticket sales. They also except Internet printouts with special offers and discounts.
On the Broadway…
Metropolitan museum: One of the most tranquil and astonishing places to visit is the Metropolitan Museum. The $15 per person admission is only a suggested price, and you can pay as much as you want. We paid $1.00 per person and this was acceptable.
There are some free shows in the Central Park; you just have to be there early in the morning to get tickets. Sometimes the lines are very long.
When visiting the Statue of Liberty, don’t go with the tourist boats. They will charge you $15.00 per person. Instead use the Subway all the way to the South Ferry station and than transfer (for free) to the City Ferry. It will take you to the Staten Island, where you can take the same ferry (for free) back to the Manhattan. On the way to Staten Island and back, you will be passing by the Statue of Liberty so close that you can take very good shots with your camera.
Chinatown Bus Lines: Several companies are run out of Chinatown New York that provides reasonably priced, regular service.Express Bus Serviceoffers trips from New York (Mid Town, Manhattan Bridge) to Washington DC for $20 one way and $35 for round trip. We paid $20 per person for one way trip to Baltimore. Greyhound charges $75 per person for the same trip. Amtrak ticket is between $80 and $128 per person. Not a bad deal, traveling with China Bus!?
Some websites that can be of some help…
BROADWAY TICKETS – http://www.broadwaybox.com/
CITY PASS INFO – http://www.citypass.com/city/ny.html
NIGHTLIFE(and smoking restaurants) -
STUFF TO DO –
Bronx zoo – http://www.bronxzoo.com/bz-hours_and_rates
walking tours – http://www.nymag.com/guides/cheap/walkingtours/
free nights at musuems – http://www.ny.com/museums/free.html
I hope this helps!
Hope you have a safe travel!
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