New York is a must see for any traveler. It is sure to be a place you will never forget. Before your trip, I thought I might give you some tips from a native New Yorker’s perspective.
1. The Subway
If you can navigate the London tube system you will have no problem figuring out the New York subway. Don’t be afraid to give it a try, you can get where you’re going quicker and cheaper. Although the subway is the most efficient, catching a ride in an iconic yellow NYC taxi and taking some long walks are necessities to get the full New York experience.
Despite what you may believe or have heard, New Yorkers are some of the most friendly city-goers I have ever met. Walk up to anyone on the street and they will be happy to give you directions, their favourite place to eat or local spot. Don’t be shy, get to know some locals.
3. Lower Manhattan
Yes, visiting all the tourist spots is important. But you should also explore the little neighbourhoods. These are my favourite places and why I love New York so much. Take a trip to lower Manhattan without any plans. Get a little lost, find an outdoor market on a Sunday, and eat at a family owned Italian restaurant. If the idea of going somewhere with no plans is not appealing, I suggest Chelsea Market and walking the High Line.
4. Little Italy & China Town
I have spent evenings in Little Italy and China Town with my mum, aunts, and cousins since before I can remember. Some of my fondest memories are from these small culturally rich areas. We walk through China Town, take in all the smells, the good and bad, and enjoy the hectic energy. We then eat at the same Italian restaurant, Casa Bella, and get dessert at the same bakery, Ferrara’s, every time. I would advise any tourist to spend an evening in these lively neighbourhoods.
5. Times Square
So many people are drawn to Times Square. The lights, the stores, the infamous New Year’s Eve ball. It’s a great place to get some shopping in and to take in the energy. As Times Square can get overwhelming pretty fast, some touristy alternatives are buying tickets to the Empire State Building or the Freedom Tower. The tickets may be a bit pricey but you will get stunning views of the city.
6. TKTS TKTS
TKTS TKTS is a booth in the heart of Times Square that offers half priced same day Broadway tickets. What could be more perfect for a student on a budget? They also have booths at South Street Seaport, Lincoln Center, and in Brooklyn. If you have the time, go see a Broadway show. My personal favourites that are still showing are Wicked, and The Book of Mormon.
As a New Yorker living in London, I would just like to express the importance of looking in the correct direction when crossing the street. Cars do drive on the right side of the street. This may take some time to get use to. New Yorker’s are aggressive drivers, to say the least.
New York Pizza is everything in your wildest pizza dreams. Once you have a slice you will forever turn your nose up at any pizza chain. It is the perfect combination of cheese, sauce, and crust. The bottom is crispy, the cheese is melty, and the crust is fluffy.
There is no doubt something glamorous about strolling down fifth avenue with some big shopping bags in tow. However, if you want a unique shopping experience go out and explore some thrift stores. You will find some cool vintage clothing at reasonable prices. If you’re interested I would check out L Train Vintage, The Thrifty Hog, and Buffalo Exchange.
Here are some UK to US translations that you may find helpful.
Jumper = Sweater
Trainer = Sneaker
Pants = Underwear
Flannel = Towel
Chips = French Fries
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