The minute we stepped out of the Subway in Manhattan I couldn’t help but think ‘We are in New York City!’ The traffic in New York is crazy much like Asia but with somewhat of an order. It is like an orchestra of car horns and a maze of cars. Cars are bold and will cut you off while you walking on the pedestrian crossing even when it is signalling for pedestrians to go. The pedestrian crossing is a white light when you can cross and red light when you shouldn’t cross. The car drivers use the horns a lot.
Finding your way around New York is easy. Avenues run North-South; starting with 1st Avenue on the East Side, and going westward to 12th Avenue. Streets run East-West, starting with 1st Street in Greenwich Village, and increase in value up to 220th Street at the north tip of Manhattan. It is a very busy place so the trick with getting around is not so much in direction (while that is important) but spacial awareness! The New Yorkers we met tend to be quite helpful but not so much the sales staff. So I’m sure if you got lost you could ask a friendly New Yorker or Google!
Subways and walking are the best way to get around New York. Only catch the bus if you have to. Traffic is busy and as a result busses are a lot slower. We got the 7 day MetroCard which cost only $31 for unlimited rides on the subway and busses, worked out cheaper than purchasing individual tickets. Individual tickets are approximately $2.75 per ride. (Check current prices at the MTA site or station)
NYC has a distinct smell much like most big cities. Can’t really describe it but it does. Having lived in a big city in my childhood, the ‘smell’ of a bigger city no longer bothers me.
Given the fantastic subway system, a good hotel location is anywhere in Manhattan. We stayed at The Marcel at Gramercy in their double bed room. Our room was small but is to be expected in New York. The location of The Marcel was great! It was Midtown so it was central to everything in Manhattan. There are different schools of thought whether to stay in Times Square or not. It is obviously personal preference. My opinion is not to stay in Times Square. It is very busy and packed full of tourists. There’s so much to see and do out of Times Square that you would be better of staying out of Times Square but near a subway station.
At every single attraction we visited there is security which either scans your bag or opens to check it. They all also have metal detectors like the airports. It was reassuring in the sense that they are conscious about breeches in security but worrying to know that these places can be targets.
The weather in New York is quite unpredictable. We were there in early summer (June 2016). One of the days it was sunny and forecast to be clear; suddenly it started raining. It did clear up quite quickly after. This is quite normal according to the hotel concierge. My tip is bring a fold up umbrella and rain jacket in your bag to avoid getting soaked.
These are some of the places we wined and dined at in New York. Click on each link below to read my review on each place as well as see which attractions each of the places are close to. The places with an asterisk next to them are my favourites! We try to pick well rated places to dine at which are also close to places we are sight see at. Definitely have a bagel, New York cheese cake and dine at a Michelin star restaurant in New York!
There are plenty of local supermarkets if you are planning to cook or make food in your hotel or apartment. There’s the usual Trader Joes, Fairway and Whole Foods.
New York City is bustling with liveliness and creativity. From performers to buskers to museums to skyscrapers! The term the city never sleeps is true (not so much from an eating point of view). It also has a charm to it with the museums housing some amazing works of arts, markets showcasing local produce, entertainment galore, glamour in those tall skyscrapers and luxury brands on Fifth Avenue. A truly wonderful place! Click here to read more about the attractions and experiences we had in New York.