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Author Topic: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person  (Read 4393 times)

KaosPilot

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So I'm going to be in NYC for five days by myself. Two of them I'll be at NYC Comic Con during the day. I'm staying at an apartment in Central Harlem very near transport routes, but bascially I am beginning to get the fear that I think it is reasonable for a 5" tall woman travelling to a city bigger than anything I've ever dealt with by myself.

Does anyone have any general advice, or alternatively any hints on what to do? I want to go to a couple of the galleries namely the Guggenheim and MoMA but aside from that  I'm open to suggestions.

Help?
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #1 on: 03 Oct 2010, 23:21 »

First off, don't get yourself too worked up 'cuz people tend to make goofy decisions when they stress themselves out. It'd probably have been better/safer if you went with a friend, but that's true of anywhere, really. New York isn't my favorite city, but as big cities go it's pretty safe these days (I'd sooner spend a week in a shady area there than say, in Detroit or the surprisingly sketchy city o' Memphis) and I've read plenty of times that Harlem in particular is an awful lot safer than it once was. Beyond that, just about all of the touristy stuff happens in well-lit areas where there's tons of people at all hours. It's a very pedestrian oriented city so it's not like you'll stick out that much as long as you're not just wandering around residential areas at odd hours.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #2 on: 03 Oct 2010, 23:31 »

One of the best, most surprisingly overlooked things you can do for free is simply walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I never get tired of doing that! Likewise, the Staten Island ferry is surprisingly pleasant. Central Park is fairly obvious too. Skip the Empire States Building but if you want the awesome view, go to the top of the Rockefeller Plaza instead. It'll be less busy and although it's really touristy to even suggest this, it doesn't stop it from being breathtaking.

Mondo Kim's is my favourite record store but also good are Academy and Generation. Lots of awesome galleries in Chelsea. Check out the DIA art foundation website here for some more off the beaten track galleries too. Food is good everywhere outside the really touristy places so don't stress too much about that. When I lived in NY, I used to like to eat in Astoria, Queens a lot because there's a few really great Greek restaurants there. A fun thing to do which isn't popular in the UK is to eat dinner in a restaurant and then leave and go somewhere else entirely, maybe even taking the subway to another part of the city, for dessert.

Don't forget to check Oh My Rockness before you go.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #3 on: 03 Oct 2010, 23:40 »

I forgot to mention that if you can find a small map of the subway which you can easily carry on your person, that would be a really shrewd move because they don't display the maps anywhere near enough at the actual stations. Also, the subway itself is a quasi-cubist nightmare to navigate but for some reason they think it's really great. It's not, it's an utterly baffling mess not helped by an utterly illogical map which reuses colours and seemingly random letters. Personally, having been on subway systems across the world, I can tell you it's easily the worst one going but for some reason New Yorkers are really protective of it. Get a weekly pass to save time and money.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #4 on: 04 Oct 2010, 03:12 »

i'm 18 and have hardly travelled and lived in the west end for all my life but I went to new york two weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing. i felt completely safe everywhere. in times square at midnight it's packed but nobody is drunk or being sick or stabbed and there was just a really great, friendly atmosphere everywhere i went.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #5 on: 04 Oct 2010, 03:23 »

also I'm paranoid as fuck
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #6 on: 04 Oct 2010, 05:27 »

A fun thing to do which isn't popular in the UK is to eat dinner in a restaurant and then leave and go somewhere else entirely, maybe even taking the subway to another part of the city, for dessert.

Really, people in the UK don't do that? If it's up to me I never eat dessert in a dinner restaurant; I will if other people want to, but I always prefer an ice cream parlor.

I recommend getting breakfast at Sarabeth's behind the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. Note: not Sarabeth's on Central Park South, there are multiple locations.
« Last Edit: 04 Oct 2010, 05:32 by jhocking »
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #7 on: 04 Oct 2010, 13:24 »

Wait, people leave restaurants just to go find another fuckin' restaurant? What?
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #8 on: 04 Oct 2010, 13:42 »

Well, not necessarily a restaurant but NYC has so many great coffee and ice cream places, might as well go to a place where incredible desserts are their priority. Sure, a restaurant might have great food but do they have great desserts too? Wouldn't you be more glad for something sweet after a bit of a trek?

I prefer Chicago but I still sometimes miss New York. It's broken but that's in many ways part of the appeal.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #9 on: 04 Oct 2010, 14:09 »

I would like to recommend Cake Shop, a little bar/cafe I found on Ludlow St that, apart from anything else, serves PG Tips - was a godsend after two weeks away from home. I also caught a couple of fun shows there, which seemed to happen most nights, and even bought a record.

I'd second Tommy's advice re: the Rockefeller Centre, it has some pretty impressive views! Also, avoid Times Square. I think New York is not nearly as intimidating as it once was - a little over a year ago, I spent a couple of weeks there, mostly on my own, and never felt particularly intimidated. Although, I am a fairly big guy, so that might make a difference I suppose.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #10 on: 04 Oct 2010, 14:17 »

woah people go places for dessert that is not their restaurant?
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #11 on: 04 Oct 2010, 14:22 »

Today I left Pizza Hut after the main course to buy ice creams from Sainsburys - much cheaper.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #12 on: 04 Oct 2010, 15:07 »

My family gets desert at other places all the time.  I'd rather get a dessert from a place known for deserts then a restaurant known for it's ribs
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #13 on: 04 Oct 2010, 15:13 »

Yeah, I usually don't get dessert at a restaurant. Much nicer to leave, walk a bit, and hit up an ice cream place. J.P. Licks is everywhere in Boston now, so it's pretty easy.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #14 on: 04 Oct 2010, 15:47 »

I'd second Tommy's advice re: the Rockefeller Centre, it has some pretty impressive views!

Thirded!  Though I am lucky enough to have gone up the Empire State in the late 1970s, when you could still go to the very top in the third, manually operated, lift.  :-D  The illuminations above the glass top of the Rock lifts are pretty weird

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Also, avoid Times Square. I think New York is not nearly as intimidating as it once was

When I was there in the late '70s (largely in the Times Square area), in January, so lots of dark, the only thing I found intimidating was my host's insistence that it wasn't as intimidating as I might think.  I thought it a wonderful place then, and I think the same after my visit earlier this year.

Pictures taken from the Top of the Rock:

The lift shaft:


South:


North:


St Patrick's:


Financial district and Statue of Liberty:
« Last Edit: 04 Oct 2010, 15:56 by pwhodges »
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #15 on: 04 Oct 2010, 16:46 »

Cheers for all the help/advice guys! The 'fear' has definitely been replaced by a lot of excitement. Updates on the NYC Comic Con site have helped but so has all the advice. The Brooklyn Bridge is now in for either the Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanks for all the recommendations on places to eat as well!
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #16 on: 04 Oct 2010, 19:54 »

Tommy's advice is great.

I live in New York. I'll be away Friday night through Monday night but beyond that I'd be happy to show you around.

PM me your number and we can work something out.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #17 on: 04 Oct 2010, 19:56 »

Well, not necessarily a restaurant but NYC has so many great coffee and ice cream places, might as well go to a place where incredible desserts are their priority. Sure, a restaurant might have great food but do they have great desserts too?

Hopefully, yes. I mean, that's why they're a restaurant! I guess if you're getting stand food it makes more sense.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #18 on: 04 Oct 2010, 20:00 »

Come to think of it though, I virtually never order deserts. I'm not a big fan of sweet things anyway.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #19 on: 04 Oct 2010, 20:12 »

Desserts should always be had after a walk to help digest dinner and make more room for it. Dessert is the most important thing.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #20 on: 05 Oct 2010, 18:54 »

Wait, people leave restaurants just to go find another fuckin' restaurant? What?

woah people go places for dessert that is not their restaurant?

What precisely do you guys think an ice cream parlor is for?


Well, not necessarily a restaurant but NYC has so many great coffee and ice cream places, might as well go to a place where incredible desserts are their priority. Sure, a restaurant might have great food but do they have great desserts too?

Hopefully, yes. I mean, that's why they're a restaurant! I guess if you're getting stand food it makes more sense.

I guess we'll disagree on this one, but I don't expect great desserts from a steakhouse; I'm there for expertise in grilling meat. Or a sushi restaurant. Or a Mexican place. Or a lobster house etc.


Come to think of it though, I virtually never order deserts. I'm not a big fan of sweet things anyway.

hm, this may be part of why I prefer not to get dessert in restaurants. I'm not a big fan of sweet either, with a major exception for ice cream. Restaurants mostly have shit like custard or chocolate eclairs, not ice cream.
« Last Edit: 05 Oct 2010, 19:05 by jhocking »
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #21 on: 05 Oct 2010, 19:48 »

Yeah, nobody in Atlanta goes to Cafe Intermezzo for dinner. We go for the 40 page coffee-and-booze menu, and the desserts, because the place was ranked Best Desserts in Atlanta like 10 years in a row. I mean, they have food, but... it's just not done.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #22 on: 07 Oct 2010, 08:57 »

But Joe! Eclairs are so fabulous
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #23 on: 07 Oct 2010, 20:31 »

I prefer Chicago but I still sometimes miss New York. It's broken but that's in many ways part of the appeal.

New York I love you, but yr bringing me downnnnn
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #24 on: 07 Oct 2010, 21:19 »

as someone who also considers dessert to be The Most Important Thing i second the sentiment that places like ice cream parlours and specialty coffee cafes exist for a reason. often that reason is that they are really, really good at what they do. you can eat dessert at your restaurant but personally i prefer making the trip to a place that actually specializes in it, if not for the obviously higher quality then for the substantially higher range of options which arguably makes the dessert experience much more personal and enjoyable when compared to eating dessert at restaurants that offer you like four or five mediocre choices. that and dessert just always tastes better when accompanied by anticipation.
« Last Edit: 07 Oct 2010, 21:21 by tania »
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #25 on: 07 Oct 2010, 21:32 »

DON'T GET A PIZZACONE, THEY'RE DOGSHIT
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #26 on: 11 Oct 2010, 21:22 »

The best advice I can give:

You're in New York City, don't do/see/eat anything you've done/seen/eaten before, if you can afford/bear it. It's a big ass cool place, you can find more than enough new to try!
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #27 on: 11 Oct 2010, 21:47 »

4 days late on this, but man, do I hate eclairs.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #28 on: 12 Oct 2010, 01:02 »

Fuck tha hataz and go to Times Square, it is ridiculous and corny and full of people and fucking GREAT because of it. It's not like it costs anything and it's right there in the middle of everything. Just walk through and take a deep breath and experience. Also, hit up the Hershey's store or the combination Cold Stone Creamery/Tim Horton's awww yeah.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #29 on: 12 Oct 2010, 05:37 »

If you go to MOMA and have an iPhone or Android phone you'll be able to see an Augmented Reality exhibition setup by a good friend of mine. And he put in a piece we worked on together.

http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/10/augmented-reality-ar-uninvited-at-moma-nyc/
« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2010, 05:40 by jhocking »
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #30 on: 12 Oct 2010, 07:25 »

I have no smartphone.

Apart from the slightly terrifying lightning storm that seemed to take place right the fuck above where I was staying, during which someone rang my buzzer twice (and I didn't even know I had a buzzer because I couldn't see one) - my experience has been great so far. Only two days left though, so today I'm gonna do the Staten Island Ferry, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit the Stand Bookstore and then see where that leaves me. I'd like to see more of Central Park and maybe Times Square. I'm doing the NBC Studio tour tomorrow and top of the Rockefeller Center so I might have time for Times Square tomorrow.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #31 on: 12 Oct 2010, 10:11 »

At least you didn't get thunderstorm'd on when you were literally in the middle of Central Park, in July, like me. (Thunderstorms in July! In 95 weather! Woo!)

That sounds like so much fun KP! I kinda miss NYC now D:
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #32 on: 12 Oct 2010, 14:39 »

 :mrgreen:
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #33 on: 14 Oct 2010, 05:13 »

Ballard - sorry I didn't get in touch. My piece of shit Net10 phone decided to not charge ever so I've been sans telephone device in NYC.

I did have an awesome time in NYC. The NBC tour was a bit of a let down because the SNL studios were closed due to 30 Rock doing rehearsals for the live show tonight. Actually seeing Tina Fey and some of the rest of the cast made up for that though. If I didn't think it was rude to interrupt someone's conversation at a crossing then I would have tried to get a photo, but we brushed shoulders.

I also went to the Museum of Modern Art which was fantastic, oh, and the top of the Rockefeller Center which was also brilliant especially as it was so clear yesterday! I ended up talking to people from Dunoon which is about two hours north of me in Aberdeen and got a bit homesick again but I go home today so yay!

Thanks New York for being more helpful and less scary than I had thought you would be. I will bring a compass next time so I don't get lost as much.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #34 on: 14 Oct 2010, 08:25 »

but bascially I am beginning to get the fear that I think it is reasonable for a 5" tall woman travelling to a city bigger than anything I've ever dealt with by myself.

5" ? You're gonna get eaten by a pigeon or something.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #35 on: 15 Oct 2010, 01:24 »

No problem- if you're ever around again hit me up.

It's really only possible to get lost in the West Village, and then only thanks to fucking Clement Clarke Moore (the guy who brought you the modern Santa Claus) and his soapbox tirade against the city's implementation of a grid system.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #36 on: 15 Oct 2010, 10:20 »

Grids: designed by people who couldn't get around Boston.
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #37 on: 15 Oct 2010, 10:35 »

Start with a grid, end up with Milton Keynes...
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #38 on: 15 Oct 2010, 13:17 »

but bascially I am beginning to get the fear that I think it is reasonable for a 5" tall woman travelling to a city bigger than anything I've ever dealt with by myself.

5" ? You're gonna get eaten by a pigeon or something.

man i am only 5'1 and i eat pigeons for breakfast
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Re: New York City: Advice for a Slightly Terrified Person
« Reply #39 on: 20 Oct 2010, 09:22 »

I am also surprised that people go somewhere else for dessert. It makes sense, but I've never even considered it! There is an AWESOME little cookie/ice cream/coffee place in Little Italy in Baltimore, but I just thought that's where you go when you want to gain 10 lbs over dessert. And, my family being full of fatties, we always just went there.. no dinner beforehand.
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