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New York City

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(Mod note: I've merged various threads asking about New York City - softwareNerd)

Hello everyone.

In a few days I will visit NYC, and in fact the US, for the first time.

Except some of the more obvious places to visit (Empire States Building, Statue of Liberty, the Met, Central Park, etc.) - have you any specific recommendations for me?

I'm going to be there for 2 weeks, then come back to Israel to finish my papers, and then back to the US for a longer time. Hopefully much longer.

Will be glad to hear your thoughts/recommendation... :D

Edited by softwareNerd

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What's the hurry, you going to be leaving for the airport in a couple of minutes? (They've got tight security there, don't they?)

Do not visit the Cross Bronx Expressway during rush hour or any other hour, if you value your sanity - conversely, you will die of old age. How's that for advice?

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I enjoyed the museum of natural history, but then again I didn't get to see a whole lot besides the major tourist attractions, so I don't have a whole lot of interesting things to compare it to...

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Museum of Natural Science is pretty cool. If they're in season, catch a NY symphony performance. If you like jazz, hit up Birdland or Blue Note. You can also try to catch a yankees or mets game. If I think of anything else I'll post again.

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Some cool places:

Restaurants:

PomAire (Chilean)

Churrascaria Platforma (Brazillian)

Street venders rule.

I like the halal vendors the best actually.

As for other cool places?

Some obvious ones:

-The Met

-The Gugenheim

-Carnegie Hall

-Federal Hall (where President Washington took the oath of office)

- Ground Zero

-Central Park

One thing you HAVE to do is see Times Sqare.

Yes...it is touristy as all hell. However.....it is such a symbol of the capitalism that I love...it nearly makes me euphoric. It is so *ALIVE* and bustling. Definitely go there at night and it will be worth your while. There are also lots of notable places in Times Square that are touristy. Examples would be Radio City Music Hall, Rockefelller Center (with Atlas in front), MTV Studios, etc.

Also check out the Staten Island fairy if you get your chance.

Hmmmm. What else?

If you are into concerts, see if there is anything going on. One notable place in NYC are The Hammerstein Ballroom.

Hope this helped a little....

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Some stuff you might not otherwise do/hear about:

There's a little place on the Lower East Side called The Sweet Life that sells the best and widest variety of sweets you will ever find anywhere. The Staten Island Ferry is incredible for a first visit. Try to do it at dusk, so you leave when there's some light and come back when there's none (you see the whole skyline). Similarly, walking the Brooklyn Bridge for the view is awesome. If you go to Central Park, be sure to see Bethesda Fountain (it sounds silly to recommend specific things in a park, but it's huge so you won't be able to see most of it). The area to east and the north of it, on the way to the Met, has lots of happy children running around and playing during on a nice day, which I personally enjoy.

If you head out to Brooklyn, the oft-neglected-by-Manhattaners Prospect Park is beautiful. The Brooklyn Museum of Art, fairly nearby to Prospect Park, has some great American paintings (18th and 19th century) that you can't see at the Met. Also, I like Brighton Beach--it's great to visit a beach in NYC.

(edited because I thought of a couple more things)

Edited by mattbateman

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I used to live in NYC, but that was 25 years ago.

Here are some of the things I loved doing that you might enjoy too:

Walk down Fifth Avenue from Central Park South until your feet hurt and stop in every store, shop, or restaurant that looks interesting. Also try Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

Take the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan.

If it's still there, dine at the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center. It has incredible Art Deco elegance and one of the best views of Manhattan at night.

Go shopping on Canal Street and dine at nearby Little Italy (Mulberry Street) and/or Chinatown.

Visit Wall Street at lunch time during the week when it is a bustling sea of humanity or on a Sunday morning when it is desolate and eerily quiet.

Make the Saturday Night scene at the jazz clubs in Greenwich Village.

Shop in New York's incredible book stores like Barnes and Nobles for new closeout books and The Strand Bookstore for used books.

Visit as many of the wonderful Objectivists who live in the area as you can.

Enjoy!

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There's also a series of musical and theater (Shakespeare) events in Central Park. All the info is on their website. I haven't been to any of the events there, though I might on Friday, so I can't attest to their quality... but I've heard good things about it.

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Cool!

Can anyone tell me where I can find the biggest/best bookstores in the city?

I'm a freak of bookstores. In London I spent half a day roaming one huge bookstore near Piccadilly Circus.

My current plans are to meet just one wonderful Objectivist: my girlfriend. I want to meet the rest, but I doubt if I can spare the time on a two week trip. The next time around I will have more time for it.

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If you need any camera gear while your there, B&H Photo Video is awesome! Their mail order system is good, but it's a treat to visit their actual store. (420 Ninth Ave., about a 2 mile round trip from Times Square which I felt comfortable walking)

In the Times Square District, mainly on 5th and 7th Aves., you'll see a cop on every corner, almost literally. I was initially worried concerned going up there and carrying around a few thousand dollars in camera gear, but once there it seemed much safer than I had envisioned NYC.

When I went in April, I stayed in Times Square at the Sheraton. There were a number of delis in the area that had good food. The busiest of the bunch was the Carnegie Deli. I was there only a few days and I never wanted to wait in the line, but it was highly recommended to me.

VES

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If you're looking for a big bookstore, you'll love Barnes and Noble north of Union Square. Just walk right across the 17th street, north edge of the park, can't miss it. It's like 4 floors of books, and half a floor of CDs.

Also, don't forget to watch a movie in one of Times Square movie theaters, it's a great experience. My favorite ones are the ones on 42nd st and 5th ave, the two big ones, Loews and AMC. AMC is simply gigantic, it has like 30 movie theaters inside, spread across 7 or 8 floors.

And yeah, I second the rest, like museums (the Metropolitan rocks, as well as Natural History). Also check out the outstanding NYC libraries, most notably the giant one on 42nd and 5th ave. If you get there before this week ends, you can catch an exposition inside of the actual Declaration of Independence, written in Thomas Jefferson's handwriting. That place is almost a museum unto itself.

Also, for an unforgettable hotel experience, walk into the Hilton in Times Square (or is it Sheraton, like RC said above?). It's an unforgettable experience to just walk in and ride on those elevators.

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Ah, too bad. I will not be there in time to see the Declaration of Independence.

Nevermind. It sounds like two weeks will be too short a time anyway to see all these wonderful places. Actually, a lifetime sounds just about right. :)

This thread is becoming more and more interesting - don't quit writing!

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Oh, I am so excited for you! New York is the best place in the world. :)

For a truly delicious meal in a casual but refined atmosphere, go to Union Square Cafe, which is on Union Square West and 16th Street. It's on the pricey side, but it would be well worth it for a special meal with your girlfriend. Union Square itself is a fun place to explore--there's the huge Barnes & Noble that Free Capitalist mentioned, a Virgin Megastore (mostly music, I can't remember if they carry books at that location), and a pretty park in the center, with lots of restaurants and other things all around. On Saturdays and Sundays the famous Green Market takes place there--tons of regional vendors with fresh, fresh produce, delicious cheeses--all the culinary delights you could ask for!

The great thing about NY (well, Manhattan, but that's pretty much the only place you'll want to go) is that is fairly small, so you can cover a lot of ground just walking.

The Statue of Liberty won't be open until August 3 (has been closed since 9/11), so I suppose that you'll just miss it.

The best thing about Times Square is that at night, it is literally as bright as daylight. You really *must* go there! The Virgin Megastore there is open 24 hours a day.

If you're interested in military history, go to the USS Intrepid, on 12th Ave. and 46th Street. You can't miss it. It's an aircraft carrier that was in operation from the 40s to the 70s, then was docked in the Hudson River and turned into a museum in the 80s. On the flight (top) deck, they have tons of military planes--fighter jets and spy planes--and some helicopters, spanning the decades. Inside there are lots of exhibits, flight simulators, you get the idea. Also on the same pier is a military submarine. When you're on the flight deck, you get an awesome view of the river and of the city. Oh, here's the website: http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it--one New York specialty that you must try is a real New York bagel! Get it with scallion cream cheese and lox (smoked salmon). H&H is a great one to try (a small chain)--there's one on 46th street, just across 12th ave from the Intrepid.

Consider taking a horse and carriage ride--you can find them all around Central Park--or a gondola ride on the lake in Central Park, or rent a boat on that lake (Loeb boathouse, on the east side between 74th and 75th; website: http://www.centralparknyc.org/virtualpark/.../loebboathouse). Picnic in Central Park, especially on the weekend.

Especially in Greenwich Village, you'll find restaurants with small but beautiful gardens, really nice to eat in on a summer evening. For a really good guide to restaurants in NY (yes, I love food!) get the Zagat guide, a narrow, dark-red book you can find in any bookstore there. It's also online at www.zagat.com, but you need a subscription to see the reviews.

Enjoy!

EDITED to fix two minor errors.

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Must have been the Hilton. Nothing special about the elevators at the Sheraton. It was even less special with 3 LARGE High School Bands there at the same time, all finishing up with their tour package events at the same time, and showing up in the lobby to go up the four elevators at the same time. :) About 300 kids and 4 elevators, you can see by the math how fun that was.

That said, I wouldn't have missed it for the world!!!

VES

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75 kids / elevator.

Wasn't there some kind of weight limit?

That was the problem, they only went in groups of 8 to 10. That meant many, many trips and waiting in line for a while just to go to your room. On the 18th floor, the stairs weren't an enticing option either.

VES

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Last October I went to a convention there ( AES ). This Brazilian/Japanese restaraunt called Sushi Samba sticks out as being fantastic. Big bill but worth every penny. True art in food and great service. Its near Union Square and Grammercy Park area so you can go to the big B&N and go there for dinner. Its a big city and I find cool new stuff every time I go there. Make sure when you get back to let us know any good places WE should check out. Have fun.

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make sure to see the empire state building at night. at the top, the view of the city is amazing. i believe it's open until midnight, and i think tickets are ~$12 (haven't been there in a while).

virgil's bbq is a big nyc restaurant that everyone goes to if you're into roasted meats (43rd or 44th near the subway station). take a trip to chinatown and grab a box of the $1 mei fun that is sold in carts along canal street. restaurants like harmony palace and the big wong are notable, but i think the food is pretty good everywhere in chinatown. also, you can get nice roast pork or curry chicken buns at the bakeries there. and bubble tea. if you like indian food, 1st avenue and 7th street has a lot of colorfully-lit cheap eats. i'm particular for "rupali". people will try to usher you into other restaurants in that cluster so look for the rupali sign or there's no escape!

soho's a nice place to run around if your cash is burning a hole in your pocket. or nice to see designer clothing. but if clothing's not your game...

wall street is cool. the new york stock exchange doesn't allow visitors anymore, but other sights like federal hall and the south street seaport are worth a trip for some great photos. the seaport also has nice places to get a drink and relax, and i believe it's the summer time festival down there so there will probably be acts and live music and such. a really nice place.

i'm content to see sights on foot. walking around the upper east and west sides near central park is fun and the numerous embassies and other fabulous housing establishments provide plenty of eye candy. i also enjoy the east and west villages. east village has cool punk rock and japanese kids, and you can fill your need for latex on st. marks. :D also cheap sushi and fun free clubs/hang-outs like lit (2nd ave and 7th st.?) on saturdays and rafifis (1st ave and 13th street) on fridays where 80's, pop, rock etc. is played. the pyramid is a legendary club in the area. and if you want to check out a venue legend, cbgb's on bowery has some acts that are worth the few bucks for the enjoyment and the beer. west village is full of nice cafes and... latex (a village thing?). no really, it's really a beautiful place.

see rockefeller center too.

oh and if you're in ny, see the yankees play!

geez can't think of anything else right now b/c my headaches. hope you have a great time!

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Not so fast, I'm taking notes! ;)

Latex?! ;)

I'm certainly going to see NYSE, and the village (though I'm not much into punk rock - I'm more of a jazz man), I like curry chicken, so I guess I'll have to go to 1st avenue and 7th street. :D

Rockefeller Center is on my list.

Thanks!

More tips anyone? I enjoy reading these posts even if I can't really do everything suggested here.

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