First time to New York!

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  • boo 24 Feb 2010 15:05:06 11,892 posts
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    It's been at least 10 mins since we had a thread like this!

    Work have organised a trip to NYC just after Easter, for a good price, so Mrs Boo and I are going. She hasn't been for about 25 years, and I've never been.

    Fortunately it's another branch that's organising it, so we won't know anyone / be obliged to hang around with work people.

    So! What's the short list of must-see's? And will the iPad be out over there before it's released over here?

    /fancies a non-3G for sofa-surfing

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  • Carlo 24 Feb 2010 15:08:25 18,162 posts
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    /sings Streets of New York

    PSN ID: Djini

  • terminalterror 24 Feb 2010 15:13:47 18,937 posts
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    Consider the Top of the Rock over the Empire State building. Much less crowded, much nicer viewing platform, your skyline view includes the Empire State, and you get an awesome elevator ride to boot.
  • otto Moderator 24 Feb 2010 15:15:29 49,323 posts
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    WTC has the best viewing platform, from there you can look uptown and get a great view of the whole of Manhattan.

    Oh, wait...

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  • Jonsend 24 Feb 2010 15:15:41 713 posts
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    Agreed, top of the rock was far better, I personally wouldn't even bother with the empire state.
  • otto Moderator 24 Feb 2010 15:17:02 49,323 posts
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    Empire State is good for views of the Chrysler Building.

    BTW not wanting to be all negative but am I the only person who thinks New York is a bit shit? Slightly shabby version of some big European city.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • Petrarch 24 Feb 2010 15:18:31 3,494 posts
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    I highly recommend Gallagher's Steak House if you're looking for good dinner. It's on West 52nd street.
  • LeoliansBro 24 Feb 2010 15:24:27 44,717 posts
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    To avoid the obvious tourist traps in favour of local flavour (and less obvious tourist traps):

    Revel in the Meatpacking District for a cocktail, far better than the SATC place and right next door.

    Similarly, Bar Blanco on West 10th and 6th, one of the best hidden bars in the Village. Highlands next door is great as well but the cocktails are destructive, and Extra Virgin round the corner if you fancy bumping into Gwyneth Paltrow.

    Katz's Deli on Houston and 1st for a pastrami sandwich - been going 121 years and was the setting for that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

    Slice of pizza from Joe's Pizza on Bleeker and 6th, Peter Parker worked there and it's great pizza for $2.

    Further south, Sanctuary on the corner of West Broadway and Grand, great tea room / bar in the middle of the shopping district.

    And Central Park, Guggenheim, MOMA (Tim Burton exhibition at the mo is ace), Top of the Rock, Brooklyn Bridge (try not to stay too long in Brooklyn, it'll infect you...).

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • malteaserhead 24 Feb 2010 15:25:43 13,444 posts
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    \o/
  • LeoliansBro 24 Feb 2010 15:30:37 44,717 posts
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    otto wrote:
    BTW not wanting to be all negative but am I the only person who thinks New York is a bit shit? Slightly shabby version of some big European city.
    Speaking only of Manhatten, it feels like a compact version of London, but full of people who on the whole love living there and want you to love being there as well. Breath of fresh air after the miserable bastards the surround me back home. Could just be a holiday thing but I'm a huge fan of this city.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • TheSaint 24 Feb 2010 15:38:51 14,696 posts
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    Take the free Staten Island Ferry from near Battery Park for some great views of the city and Statue of Liberty.
  • boo 24 Feb 2010 15:46:55 11,892 posts
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    /takes copious notes

    What's 'The Top Of The Rock'? Is it something to do with the Rockerfeller Building?

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  • tombo 24 Feb 2010 15:47:26 2,100 posts
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    Yah, I agree with LB.

    I like the fact there are several different neighbourhoods which 'feel' different even within Manhattan, be it Greenwich Village, East Village, Upper East and Westsides, lower Bronx etc -each with their own socio-economic groups. You can walk through many of them in an afternoon - I think it tells you a lot about who lives there and possibly their motivations.

    You gotta go downtown to the financial district - even if you just get off at the Wall St subway walk around for 10 minutes. Smell the power (and recently, the fear).
  • tombo 24 Feb 2010 15:47:26 2,100 posts
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    Post deleted
  • Derblington 24 Feb 2010 15:53:22 22,069 posts
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    boo wrote:
    /takes copious notes

    What's 'The Top Of The Rock'? Is it something to do with the Rockerfeller Building?
    Indeed.

    Really, you can find a ton of information when you get there. Talk to the hotel staff, etc, and talk to people that you meet in Central Park, restaurants, diners, etc. Contrary to popular belief, I've never met an unfriendly New Yorker in those situations, they've all been really really friendly.

    Take your time, take a cab, walk around, get a bagel for breakfast in a diner, eat lunch in the park, read a magazine in a square, take in a show on/off Broadway, see a movie in the evening (if only to ensure going through Times Sq. at night), etc, etc. Easter should be nice weather so you'll have a lot of options.

    Personally, I think the worst thing you can do in NYC (and any city break) is to try and cram everything in.

    /been 3 times now
  • otto Moderator 24 Feb 2010 15:59:57 49,323 posts
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    Last time I flew to NY I had to get a train down to Delaware, I managed to get from JFK to Penn Station in time to catch the last train but it was cancelled, so I had to spend the entire night in the waiting area along with a bunch of other people, outside it was sub-zero temperatures, inside the police actually used "police - do not cross" tape to wrap around the little huddle of metal benches where we were sitting and patrolled around it swinging truncheons to keep the muggers at bay while we shivered and waited and waited and waited...

    I dunno, I'm sure I'm being overly negative, been there a few times but never really liked the place much.

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  • LeoliansBro 24 Feb 2010 16:03:38 44,717 posts
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    Doesn't sound like the best experience my man...

    Just back from there, brought my flight forward a day as the snowstorms were threatening and as it turned out my original flight ended up cancelled. Built my first snowman in a decade and went snowball fighting with hyper-accurate ten year olds in Central Park.

    Bastard freezing though, wouldn't have wanted to be out in it after dark. Was there not a coffee shop open or something otto?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • otto Moderator 24 Feb 2010 16:08:21 49,323 posts
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    I couldn't leave my luggage, and I couldn't lug it out with me beyond the police line, and the dunkin donuts in Penn Station itself was closed, so no.

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  • LeoliansBro 24 Feb 2010 16:10:16 44,717 posts
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    :/

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • phAge 24 Feb 2010 16:12:53 24,411 posts
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    otto wrote:
    BTW not wanting to be all negative but am I the only person who thinks New York is a bit shit? Slightly shabby version of some big European city.
    New York is unlike anything I've ever seen - in the best way possible. Can't really imagine anything beating it for sheer "fuck me this is big..."-effect. London and Berlin and the rest of the European capitals are all lovely, but for sheer spectacle New York pisses on them from a great, great height.

    IMO.
  • Pac-man-ate-my-wife 24 Feb 2010 16:14:35 7,014 posts
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    Ignore grumpy otto ;) NY is one of the greatest cities in the world!

    My favourite things to do (after all the great tourist stuff like Top Of The Rock, Staten Island Ferry etc) are:

    The High Line - a wonderful urban park space which converted an old railtrack into a public space with great sympathy for the original usage.

    The Tenement Museum - a brilliant glimpse at what life was like for new arrivals in NY, best to book though.

    The Campbell Apartment - a suave, stylish place for a cocktail that's at Grand Central Station.

    One place we didn't manage to get to but really wanted to was Please Don't Tell a bar which is accessed through a secret door at the back of hotdog stand. You head into the phone booth, pick up the receiver and confirm who you are and they let you in. Reservations are a must apparently.

    EDIT: Ohh, almost forgot - The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. - it's a front for a kids writing workshop run by the author Dave Eggers, but the front of the shop is wonderfully kitted out with all manner of ace superhero products!

    And go to Williamsburg - it's the got loads of great bars, restaurants and shops.
  • otto Moderator 24 Feb 2010 16:15:44 49,323 posts
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    phAge wrote:
    otto wrote:
    BTW not wanting to be all negative but am I the only person who thinks New York is a bit shit? Slightly shabby version of some big European city.
    New York is unlike anything I've ever seen - in the best way possible. Can't really imagine anything beating it for sheer "fuck me this is big..."-effect. London and Berlin and the rest of the European capitals are all lovely, but for sheer spectacle New York pisses on them from a great, great height.

    IMO.
    OK, I can see why you felt that. It has a lot of skyscrapers. Hong Kong had that effect on me, more than New York. Also Sao Paolo. As I think I've mentioned before in another thread, it's just that New York doesn't really feel American and it doesn't really feel European, it feels neither. LA is a more exciting kind of place I thought.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • phAge 24 Feb 2010 16:20:05 24,411 posts
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    otto wrote:
    phAge wrote:
    otto wrote:
    BTW not wanting to be all negative but am I the only person who thinks New York is a bit shit? Slightly shabby version of some big European city.
    New York is unlike anything I've ever seen - in the best way possible. Can't really imagine anything beating it for sheer "fuck me this is big..."-effect. London and Berlin and the rest of the European capitals are all lovely, but for sheer spectacle New York pisses on them from a great, great height.

    IMO.
    OK, I can see why you felt that. It has a lot of skyscrapers. Hong Kong had that effect on me, more than New York. Also Sao Paolo. As I think I've mentioned before in another thread, it's just that New York doesn't really feel American and it doesn't really feel European, it feels neither. LA is a more exciting kind of place I thought.
    I was actually gonna mention Hong Kong or possibly Tokyo as potential NY-beaters in the impressive-states. :)

    Also, I've only been to New York once, for 10 days, so I was still stoked when I got on the plane back. Could possibly wear out after an extended stay.
  • Pac-man-ate-my-wife 24 Feb 2010 16:39:27 7,014 posts
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    LA vs. NYC are incomparable to me.

    New York is a brilliant treasure trove where you can wander for hours, find great bars, funky shops, groovy galleries and brilliant bits of history rubbing up against modernity. The people are as rich and varied as the world itself and the restaurants match that marvelous diversity. It's iconic, it's a world unto itself, it's amazing in every way.

    LA has it's moments but it's more vanilla and lacks the heart and grime of NYC.
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 24 Feb 2010 16:51:42 39,256 posts
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    Get one of these:

    http://www.newyorkpass.com/

    My wife and I got one each when we went last June and it just made things so much easier. Got into everywhere "free" (inc. Empire State, Top Of The Rock, Statue Of Liberty and NBC backstage tour) plus discounts off lots of shops and restaurants. WELL worth the price.

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • terminalterror 24 Feb 2010 16:52:12 18,937 posts
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    LA is rubbish. Anything you'd want to get to is 20 miles away from the place you've just been.

    I like my cities walkable* (with a decent public transport system on top), and all my favourite US cities are nice and walkable: Chicago, San Francisco, D.C., New York


    *not that everything has to be within 5 minutes walk, but you can feasibly see everything you'd want on foot. You can do that in New York if you want, but the subway helps a lot. Try seeing everything on foot in LA and you'd end up walking hundreds of miles just for the key tourist attractions.
  • Khanivor 24 Feb 2010 17:38:42 41,055 posts
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    Make sure you drag the wife to see all the old military planes on the USS Intrepid;most romantic place in all of NYC.

    Then drive to Newark.
  • boo 15 Mar 2010 16:30:01 11,892 posts
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    While I think about it...

    Can anyone recommend a good music shop in NYC?

    As in CD's, rather than instruments.
    I'm interested in both small, specialist shops, and at least one big HMV megastore type thing.

    I always buy at least one CD when I go anywhere on holiday, ideally something indicative of the place, so I'm looking for interesting places to browse.


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  • the_dudefather 15 Mar 2010 16:36:12 9,387 posts
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    Watch out for the pimps and the C.H.U.D.S

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  • terminalterror 15 Mar 2010 16:45:07 18,937 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    Make sure you drag the wife to see all the old military planes on the USS Intrepid;most romantic place in all of NYC.

    Then drive to Newark.

    The USS Intrepid is awesome thanks to the fact that you can look at both a Concorde (fastest civilian plane) and an SR71 Blackbird (fastest military plane). Also a quite sad, as both no longer fly and have no remotely comparable replacements.
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