Going to NYC? Do this first... (Long)

Old Aug 25th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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QC
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Going to NYC? Do this first... (Long)

Lately it seems like there has been an epidemic of extraordinarily vague, strange questions about visits to New York City.

Could I make a special request to Fodorites to do and think about the following if you are planning a trip to New York?

1. Look Inward

-Do you like to shop? Great! FOR WHAT?
-Do you like restaurants? Great! What kind of food and how much do you want to spend?
-Do you like museums? Great! Art, History, Science, or Other?

Unless you live in a cave, your town likely has more than one store, more than one place to eat, and more than one recreational opportunity. We do too. Stop asking "what's there to do in New York" and start asking "what's there to do in New York for someone with MY INTERESTS". People who post "Shopping" without specifying for what will be directed to the Artifical Limb District.

2. Read

Barnes and Noble, Borders, et al let you browse travel books for free. Your local library has many travel books for free. If you are reading this RIGHT NOW, you have access to a computer and Google.

Good. Now read the part of the travel book called "Introducing New York City". Then, you can post here. Otherwise, I will continue to get the impression that people have never heard of weird, offbeat attractions like the Empire State Building or the United Nations.

3. Investigate

After you put down the travel book, get on your computer and go to www.mta.info . Click on "Maps" and then "Subway". Look at the map. Then, and only then, post here asking how to get from "Point A" to "Point B". Advanced learners can find Yankee Stadium on the map and eliminate 50% of next month's posts right then and there. Remember, people come to New York who speak no English and who lived in a Third-World country the very previous day and THEY RIDE THE SUBWAY IMMEDIATELY. Please stop panicking.

4. Use Common Sense

Is it too dangerous to wander around outside in your town at Eight P.M.? Why would you ask if that was the case here? Toddlers aren't even in bed at that hour.

Three million people ride the subway safely and without incident each day. Statistically, how does that compare to the population of your home city or state?

Is everything you see in the Movies or on T.V. true and real? It's not?

Followup question: How realistic do you think the portrayals of NYC in movies are compared to the real thing?

Do you think a Police force with 18,000 members is adequate to keep you safe? If not, do you leave your bunker often?

If you were a Billionaire, would you live in a "bad neighborhood"? Do you think a "bad element" can afford $3500/month for rent? Why do you all keep asking if Park Avenue in the 60's is a "safe neighborhood"?

5. Go on Vacation

It is your choice if you want to pay $300 for plane tickets, $100 on cabs, $300 on Broadway tickets, and thousands on hotels so you can......eat at the Olive Garden.

May I make a modest suggestion that you not do that? I like Olive Garden, but I am unlikely to fly to Hawaii to eat it.

P.S. The Times Square Olive Garden has a TWO HOUR wait on weekends.

P.P.S. "My kids don't like weird food" is B.S., we have children here too.

6. Use your People Skills

Here's a crazy idea- before you get on that six hour plane ride for that vacation you planned a year before, try CALLING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY TO SEE IF IT IS OPEN.

(212) 363-3200.

You're welcome.

7. Air and Space

It doesn't, in the grand scheme of things, matter which airport you travel into unless you have very, very specific needs. Stop asking.

8. Money Matters

NEWS FLASH: New York City is very expensive (unless you live in Tokyo)......but it is possible to live and vacation here very cheaply. Yes, yes, you got charged $3 for a Coca Cola. Let me get my violin. Next time, post "How can I save money in NYC".



















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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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To the top, LOL QC!
 
Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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QC: Blunt but perfect! Kudos! \/
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Visitors to NYC should also realize that you can eat well, at a reasonable cost. Breakfast could be picked up at any of the delis that seem to exist almost on every manhattan block for just a few dollars. Lunch can be a deli sandwich, slice or 2 of pizza or a hotdog at grey's papaya (or any other decent hotdog place). There are many inexpensive restaurants as well, they just happen to mostly be in neighborhoods that may not be super-touristy but none the less great (like the E. VIllage), definitely not Times Sq. But even the theater district has some great pre-theater specials which have been discussed here time and time again.

Another low cost expense is transportation within the city. An unlimited metro card for buses and subways can get you just about anywhere, anytime and easily and safely. Other than the off hours, taxis aren't necessary.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Bravo! Bravo!

It is NYC - not Mars - just relax and enjoy everything!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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ROFL! May I add one more?

CLOTHING:

We, the New Yorkers, do not give a hoot how you dress. Really. We don't even notice you. Sorry. When I am lugging 4 bags of groceries 3 blocks to my apartment the last thing I do is scan the upper deck of the Greyline Bus tour to see who is wearing tennis shoes. And chances are if you are really dressed slovenly, you won't be anywhere I will be on the weekend anyway. You are not at my neighborhood Duane Reade, Borders, Angelika, Bubby's, gym, dry cleaner, or biking up the west side. You are amongst other, equally innapropriately dressed tourists. Get over it. Just dress how you normally dress to go sight seeing--comfortably. And get over trying to not look like a tourist. We know who you are. : - )
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Oh QC, Will you marry me?
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Bravo, QC! Now who will do a similar post on the Europe board for London, Paris, and Rome?
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:33 PM
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. . . and Washington, D.C.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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QC,

Topping becuase this one can't be topped enough.

Thanks for posting what a million of us have been too modest to say ourselves. A great dose of much needed "tough love". BTW, most of your tips apply to most of the major world cities as well.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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BRAVO !! QC~
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:55 PM
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QC, Well said!! Loved every word!!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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I think this is Brilliant !
This is really good information for anyone posting about any city.

Everyone should lighten up and stop taking things so personally..

QC, the Yankee is not as fond of reading Fodors posts as I am. But he does love it when I read some of the more "interesting" ones...in regards to yours, our Born and Bred in NYC boy says, That's what I say!!

Thanks for taking the time to put this so well..you are quite talented!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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wow.
I thought you'd be grateful people are coming to your city, spending their hard earned cash, even if it is at the Olive Garden.
Most people in the US don't live in cities with mass transit, $3 Cokes, and the incredible diversity NYC has. Give em a break, at least they're coming.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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halperp-you are right. we should not assume people from any place other than a large city should know what anything actually costs in a city. although, it probably would help if they checked a guide book for admission prices and stuff to ease the sticker shock. There is also a very helpful website for those who need to sidestep the $3 coke (although I don't think anybody should be drinking those chemical laden things anyway). go to menupages.com before you make your dining reservation. then you can figure a proper budget. this is for nyc restaurants only.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:32 PM
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I'll take the stupid questions (and yes, they often are stupid) in exchange for people visiting my city. It really isn't that hard to click past/skip vague questions. When I visit a city where a friend of mine lives, I rely on them for the most part to give me suggestions of where to eat/what things I should visit rather than a guidebook, and this board is sort of having a bunch of friends all over the world to give you more personalized suggestions. Although I will agree I am amazed that anyone goes to Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc. when they come here - there are many reasonably priced places to eat that are so much better than that chain junk.

And for the record, there are about 40,000 (highly underpaid) NYC cops, and according to NY Magazine recently, if the NYC left the union and turned the police force into an army, it would have the 20th largest budget of any army in world, slightly behind Greece and ahead of North Korea.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Bravo! I LOVE it!

PS If anyone out there wants to go to an Olive Garden and doesn't want the 2-hour wait at Times Square, take the subway to 23rd and 6th. The Olive Garden here is huge and always empty. The Outback too. The high prices/blah food in these restaurants keep all of us office workers away. I predict this location will be shut down in the next year or two.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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I think the best part of QC's message is the first section: "Look Inward"

We (Fodorites), even the New Yorkers, are a pretty helpful bunch.
The questions that are a real pleasure to answer are those that give us clues.

If you think $25 per person for a meal is more than you want to spend--please tell us!
If you're coming here as a break from "real life" and would like the convenience of spending all of your time in the hotel's neighborhood rather than "where the locals are"--Tell us!

If you just don't like art museums--tell us!
Don't apologize for your choices , but why would you want to wade through descriptions of restaurants you can't go to, or days filled with museum after museum?

If you ASK for opinions, you will get them. Sometimes you'll get them even if you don't ask . Tavern on the Green, anyone?

But New York is a big place.
Fodor's is a big "place"

There will almost always be someone here who can give you a really helpful, on-target answer. There are plenty of us who dress like you, spend like you, etc.You just have to ask the right, specific questions
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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QC Your suggestions are great, good for planning trips to anywhere. I will accept them with the "spirit" for which I am sure, they were intended. Seems like there are a few Fordorites who don't like "stupid questions", how can you tell if a question is stupid? If those "stupid questions" bothered me that much I would not frequent where they tend to appear.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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I have used this site several times to get advice re my much anticipated trip to NYC and have received some invaluable suggestions from Fodorites who actually know the city.The way I look at the trip now is different from my original expectations for which I am extremely grateful.I am basically responding here though to say I screamed laughing at bugswife's comments re scanning the Greyline tours to see who is wearing tennis shoes Hilarious! I guess it is a great example of New Yorker humour. Good comments QC...hope my questions haven't been too naive and thanks again for everyone's help.
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