New York City
• Getting In
• Getting Around
• Dining & Drink
New York City is divided by its residents into various districts and quarters, as well as into several official governmental divisions. New York City proper consists of five boroughs, which are actually five separate counties. Each borough is administered by both a borough government and a county government and has a unique culture - each could be a large city in its own right! Within each borough individual neighborhoods - some only a few blocks in size -- have "personalities" lauded in music and film. Where you live, work and play in New York says something to New Yorkers about who you are.
The five New York boroughs are:
• Manhattan (New York County) -- located on the famous island between the Hudson and East Rivers; includes many diverse and unique neighborhoods and is the most-visited area of New York City.
• Brooklyn (Kings County) -- the most populous borough, located south and east of Manhattan across the East River
• Queens (Queens County) -- U-shaped, located to the east of Manhattan, across the East River, and north, east, and south of Brooklyn
• The Bronx (Bronx County) -- located immediately north of Manhattan Island. This is the only part of New York City that is physically connected to the continental U.S.
• Staten Island (Richmond County) -- a large island situated within New York harbor, south of Manhattan and just across the narrow Kill Van Kull from New Jersey.
Nightlife in New York
The nightlife in New York is an experience in itself. There’s good reason why it’s called the City that Never Sleeps. New York has it all: cabaret bars like China Club (268 West 47th St) and Don’t Tell Mama (167th Orchard St); dance bars such Blu (161 W, 23rd St) and Cheetah (235 Eldrige St); wine bars like Kush (183 Orchard St) and Oops Lounge (168 Ave B) and pubs and Jazz corners.
Each of these can be a once-in-a-life-time experience. Don’t miss the night life in New York - it would be like going to Egypt and not seeing the Pyramids.
It is USA's largest metro area, with a population of 22 million. As of 2002, it was ranked 5th in the world, after Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Seoul. Some 8 million people live within the city.
New York City has a vast expanse of sky scrapers, which really dwarf visitors and the more than eight million residents with their presence. Along with its humble beginnings as a Dutch fur trading post, New York is the place where the first US President, George Washington, was inaugurated. In 1886, the city received the Statue of Liberty from France. The statue remains the symbol of entry into the New World. New York is a great place to see anytime of the year – especially during Christmas, Hanukah and New Year’s celebrations. However, winter is icy in New York; summer (March to June) and autumn (September to December) are the preferred seasons for visits. Don’t forget that these periods are high on the list of most tourists and prices of hotels and flights are higher as a result.
New York can be quite cold in winter with temperatures ranging between -5 to -25 degrees. Even so, many of the most popular events take place during that period. Summer is very beautiful (and peak tourist season as well) with temperatures ranging between 18-28 degrees. Really, there’s not a bad time to visit New York.
Though the image many people have of Manhattan is endless skyscrapers and packed sidewalks, the city also boasts numerous lovely parks, ranging from small squares to the 850-acre Central Park, and there are worthwhile parks in every borough. From the views of the New Jersey Palisades from Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan to the lovely Prospect Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the famous Flushing Meadow Park in Corona, Queens, site of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, there is more than enough to keep any visitor busy. And most any part is a great spot to rest, read, or just relax and watch the people streaming past.
You can’t visit New York without visiting Central Park. You may not be able to cover it all in one visit, as it covers 59 street areas (from 59th to 110 Street) but you have to try at least a little portion of it to experience its grandeur. The park covers 53 streets, 843 acres and offers horse riding, ice skating, bird watching to golf, and even swimming. Don’t stop there though. The Angel of the Waters fountain, Alice in Wonderland statues, the Central Park Zoo (where you can see polar bears), the Conservatory Garden, and the Delacorte Theater - where in summer Shakespeare plays are run without any charge – are hot spots. You can even fish at the park at the Harlem Meer. But it’s catch and release. Rent a yacht and explore Sailboat Lake or take in Strawberry Fields. The Park is a city in itself.
To find out more about New York City parks, contact the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
New York is the fashion capital of the United States, and is a major shopping destination for people around the world. The city boasts an unmatched range of department stores, boutiques, and specialty shops. Some neighborhoods boast more shopping options than most other American cities and have become famous in their own right as consumer destinations. Anything you could possibly want to buy is found in New York, including clothing, cameras, computers and accessories, music, musical instruments, electronic equipment, art supplies, sporting goods, and all kinds of foodstuffs and kitchen appliances. See the borough pages and district sub-pages for listings of some of the more important stores and major business districts (of which there are several).
New York City has a number of retail outlet locations, offering substantial discounts and the opportunity to purchase ends-of-line and factory seconds. See the Manhattan page for descriptions of Century 21 and Filene's, where many New Yorkers get designer clothing for less.
Although not actually located in New York City, Woodbury Common makes for an extremely popular day (just) out-of-town for many visitors to (and residents of) the city...
• Woodbury Common, 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, New York state (located approximately 1 hour from Manhattan), tel (845) 928-4000, open daily 10am-9pm; by car: take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to Exit 16; by bus: take the Gray Line bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, buses leave daily at 8.30am, 9.45am, 11.15am, 12noon (round trip $34)
• Citizen Service Centre, tel 311 (lines open 24/7) - New York City's official non-emergency help line, available in 171 languages - for questions (parade hours and routes, parking restrictions, transport problems) and complaints (litter, noise pollution, access)
• Baby Sitters' Guild , tel +1 212 682 0227, bookings daily 9am-9pm, cash payments only - for stressed and busy parents visiting New York, round-the-clock baby-sitting is available short- or long-term from $20 per hour (4 hr minimum) and cab fare (approx. $10). Multilingual sitters are also available.
Special Considerations for Smokers
Smoking is illegal and effectively prohibited in indoor sections of bars, restaurants, and other public places, as well as everywhere inside subway stations and train cars, and in all indoor and outdoor stadiums and sports arenas in the city. If you light up in any of these places, you may be subjected to a summons and fine, ejection, or/and indignant reactions from residents. There do remain a small number of legal cigar bars and bars that allow patrons to light cigarettes illegally, but other than in the case of sidewalk cafes and the like, these are very much the exception. If you need to smoke while eating or drinking, be prepared to take a break and join the rest of the smokers outside in the heat, cold, rain, or snow, if such are the conditions that day. Drinking alcoholic beverages while standing on the street is with few exceptions also illegal, and bars will not let you take your drinks outside.
Visit the neighboring areas of New York state outside the city limits such as Long Island and the Hudson Valley or the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut.
• Long Beach, Long Island - when you travel to NYC in the summer, a great idea is to check out Long Island. With its beautiful long white sanded beaches you can have it all: the big city and the summer holiday. Many New Yorkers do that every Friday, Saturday and Sunday if it is hot. Take the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Long Beach (it's not expensive) and from there go south to the beach itself.
• Fire Island
• The cabs in New York are yellow because John Hertz, who set up the Yellow Cab Company in 1970, believed that yellow was the fastest color caught by the eye.
• There is no "Main Road" in Manhattan; the other four boroughs have one though.
• The length of all the roads in New York come to a staggering 6,374.6 miles
• The length of the waterfront of New York is a whooping 578 miles long
• Macy’s is the largest department store in the world with 2.1 million sq ft of floor space and more than 500,000 types of products
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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