Enjoying a trip to New York City

Well, I would really would love to travel to the Big Cities around the world and it seems everyone I know went. Being from a small town, I am a little concern about it
So a few questions:
Travelling alone, advisable?

Should I get someone else who has been to NYC, who their place around, to come with me?

Best time to go to avoid crowds of tourists and good wheather?

Best shopping districts?

Any must see places to go?

I like trying out different foods from different cultures, so I assume there must be thousands of restaurants from many cultures around the world. Is there a guide book that tells which is the best?

I would not spend time in NYC alone. I am young(ish) (30ish) and female–if you are not that may play into your calculations.

Last time I was in NYC, I was with my aunt, and I was the “resident expert”. We took the commuter train into the city, spent the day walking around, touring Central Park, riding the subway, etc.

Neither of us ever felt unsafe, but we did leave NYC before it really got dark. In all seriousness, I recommend a companion less for safety and more because it is often more fun to be a tourist with someone, so you can giggle together over whether the Modern Art is truly museum-worthy, or gaze in wonder together at the Statue of Liberty.

I would use some caution, especially at night, and be careful about buying “valuables” on the street corner.

Most folk are too focused on themselves to worry about you. But if you get lost, you can probably find a helpful person to point you in the right direction.

There are bus tours and boat tours of NYC–for a price. These can be good ways to get guided around a portion of Manhattan–which is really what most folk think of when they say NYC.

No problem, for man or woman (most people don’t know that currently NYC has the same per capita crime rate as Boise, Idaho). I am a small female and never feel unsafe as long as I’m in an area with people walking around (pretty much everywhere in Manhattan these days).

That depends more on whether you enjoy traveling alone… a native guide is not needed. :slight_smile: You can familiarize yourself with the subway map before you arrive and New Yorkers are actually usually helpful with directions.

Spring: May to mid June or Fall: Mid September to October
Times to avoid: August (stiflingly hot & humid), February (rainy, slushy, cold, windy, streets get disgusting). Also December around Christmas season, as its a very popular tourist season

Depends on what you want to buy, really. There’s a “district” for just about everything. For example on 28-33rd Sts between 5th & 7th there are about a million places you can get fashion handbag knockoffs for $5 a pop.

What are you interested in? History, arts/culture, food, etc… and what’s the budget? For cheap (actually, free) thrills I’d have to vote for:

  1. New York Stock Exchange (super strict on security, don’t carry anything you wouldn’t bring on an international flight).
  2. Staten Island Ferry - passes close to Statue of Liberty and offers a neat view of the downtown skyline.
  3. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (towards Manhattan is more dramatic).

Zagat’s Guide, also check out the forums on Chowhound.com. Yearly the local weeklies (such as The Village Voice & New York Press) do a “best of” feature, you can usually check those out online.

Zagats for a restaurant guide.

It’s kind of hard to avoid tourists and have good weather. If you don’t mind cold weather, then come in the winter, (Jan-Feb) for the least tourists.

Any? Must see places?

Well, there are tons so what sort of thing interests you?

US History?

Homes of famous authors?

Cultural? Museums, Opera, Ballet,

Broadway shows?
Little stuff, like the building where Oreo cookies were invented or when the Hotel where Sid Vicious and Nancy died?

Time Out New York is the magazine to get
A Zagat restaurant guide is useful
Citysearch.com has pretty much everything you need.

I’ll plug my friend’s fabulous sushi joint, Ido Sushi, 7th Ave South and Bedford in the West Village Manhattan.

There are tons of good restaurants in every price range. What kind of food do you like? What sort of experience are you seeking?

New York as it is, is very safe in Manhattan. I generally would recommend not crossing 110th street, not because it’s a no man’s land or anything, but because it’s not really a tourist area and you might get lost up that far. The street hustlers will spot you for a tourist.

You’ll probably enjoy it more if you go with someone but don’t think that New York is what it was in the 80s, it’s not even close.

One of my favorite museums that you might not know about is ‘The Frick Collection’, some really beautiful artwork there. There are tons and tons of museums dedicated to specific things, like the Transit Museum, The Jewish Heritage Museum, etc… Currently the Natural History Museum has a Mythical Creatures exhibit that I’d like to see and the Met I believe is doing ‘Art of the Classical World.’