The Time Of My Life

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting around NYC

I grew up near Los Angeles, so big cities are exciting to me. I looked forward to going to NYC for several months. Yes, the main reason for the trip was to see one of my best friends and her family, but this was going to be a biggie too.
NYC is vastly different from LA and yet they are very similar.
I love that there is a variety of people, food and experiences in both. I love that there is something for everyone in both places.
But in NYC, people walk or take the subway everywhere. In LA, people drive. Maybe because things aren't really close together and there are mountains?
Anyway, I digress.
I LOVE NYC- LOVE. LOVE. LOVE! And surprisingly, my husband who left Atlanta one summer to be a cowboy in Montana because he was tired of the craziness of the city, loved it too!
Day 1 discovery:
Rainy and foggy. We decided to go on a tour bus that you can get on and off to get around the city and get our bearings. We've done this in several other cities and it's a great plan. But the bus tours offered in NYC really didn't cover what I had hoped. They didn't point out movie and TV locations. And they didn't offer as many stops or choices that I had hoped. We would get off at one point and walk around the area, then have to hoof it back to another point to get on the bus. We did A LOT of walking. And the tour that we used didn't mark it's locations well. You had to have the map that they give you and try to figure out the street address.
If you have a hard time getting around or are easily overwhelmed, do the tour. And stay on the tour for the whole loop. They offer one that doesn't stop. They say it takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. I think it would take longer because of the traffic.
We did part of the tour over the course of two days, but ended up figuring out the subway system and just did that instead. It's faster and pretty cheap to get around.
A few times, Gerald and I were completely lost. We had several New Yorkers come up to us and offer to help give us directions or help us learn the subways. We never did come across the "rude" New Yorker. 

One of the best deals in NYC is the Staten Island Ferry located at the South end of Manhattan. It's free! Yes, that's right. It's like one of the only free things in NYC. It goes past Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. You can ride over, get off and get on another ferry to ride back. I think it took about 20 minutes to cross. And it takes some time to wait for the ferry to show up. But it is a really neat experience. 
If you do the ferry, try to do it during the day and then return for a night ride. Both are amazingly beautiful. 
And finally, since it is a place where you do a lot of walking (visitors often remark that they never see overweight New Yorkers), head over to the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a pretty bridge. There are nice views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. And I liked hearing the musicians and watching the artists along the way. If you do walk, stay on your side and watch out for bicycles. 

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