E chiming in. Hi fellow travelers! Nice to meet you. In this post I’m going to tell you a little bit about New York City or NYC, the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, whatever you want to call it. I know with certainty that you would have heard of this place – it is the go-to location for movies and TV shows, think Sex and the City or Gossip Girl. These shows glamorize NYC like there’s no tomorrow, but the thing is, it really is as great as they make it out to be. I first visited NYC in September of 2010 and again in February of this year (2013). I absolutely loved it – I will leave some fun facts and tips for you.
The People: Rude, obnoxious, fast-paced – these are the words most people think of when they think of New Yorkers. When I was there I found the complete opposite. This was except for the fast-paced part, they sure were in a hurry! However, I found New Yorkers to be friendly, interesting and extremely happy to help. There were numerous times when I had my nose in a map looking like a stereotypical tourist and not once did someone not offer to help me. All shop-keepers were enthusiastic and seemed to be running on some sort of happy pill at all times. Everyone called me ma’am and had wonderful manners. So don’t worry about being lost in the middle of Manhattan with no one to help you!
Safety: New York City is sometimes considered as the epicentre of crime in the U.S. Due to the high crime rate in the past the government focused on bringing crime down and these days it is much more safe. For tourists (you!) it is best to stay in Manhattan rather than venture off to the other boroughs such as Brooklyn, Queens etc. On my first visit I ventured north to Harlem (very north of Manhattan) and found it to be very intimidating. There are no taxis that go from Harlem back to lower-Manhattan so the only choice to get home is the subway. I must say catching the subway in the dark with only my mother was not the most safe thing I could have done…. So mostly, just stick to the main streets of Manhattan and don’t go out by yourself at night and you’ll be fine.
To do: I stayed in NYC for 7 days each time I went there, and with the amount of things to do I think I could’ve spent a year there! Some things I highly recommend is going ice-skating at Rockafella centre (only in winter of course), riding on a horse and cart through Central Park, going up to the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History, going to see a play on Broadway (I saw Wicked, amazing!!!) and seeing a comedy show at Comedy Central. I would also say plan a solid two days of your stay for shopping. Oh the shopping!
Love, E X