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New York tourism
New York City is an enormous city. Each of its five boroughs is the equivalent of a large city in its own right and may itself be divided into districts. These borough and district articles contain sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
New York City (also referred to as "New York", "NYC", "The Big Apple", or just "the City" by locals), is the most populous city in the United States. It lies at the mouth of the Hudson River in the southernmost part of the state, which is part of the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. The city spans a land area of 305 square miles (790 km2).
New York City has a population of approximately 8.2 million people. The New York Metropolitan Area, which spans lower New York, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut, has a population of 18.7 million, making it the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. As of 2007, it was 5th in the world, after Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Seoul.
New York City is a center for media, culture, food, fashion, art, research, finance, and trade. It has one of the largest and most famous skylines on earth, dominated by the iconic Empire State Building.
Central Park is pretty at any time of the year.
New York City is one of the global centers of international finance, politics, communications, film, music, fashion, and culture, and is among the world's most important and influential cities. It is home to many world-class museums, art galleries, and theaters. Many of the world's largest corporations have their headquarters here. The headquarters of the United Nations is in New York and most countries have a consulate here. This city's influence on the globe, and all its inhabitants, is hard to overstate, as decisions made within its boundaries often have impacts and ramifications across the world.
Immigrants (and their descendants) from over 180 countries live here, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Travelers are attracted to New York City for its culture, energy and cosmopolitanism. English is the primary language spoken by most New Yorkers although in many communities it is common to hear other languages that are generally widely understood. In many neighborhoods, there is a large Latino/Hispanic population, and many New Yorkers speak Spanish. There are also many neighborhoods throughout the city that have a high concentration of Chinese immigrants where Mandarin or Cantonese may be useful. In some of these neighborhoods, some locals may not speak very good English, but store owners and those who would deal frequently with tourists or visitors all will speak English.
OrientationAt the center of New York City is the borough of Manhattan, a long, narrow island nestled in a natural harbor. It is separated from The Bronx on the north east by the Harlem River (actually a tidal strait); from Queens and Brooklyn to the east and south by the East River (also a tidal strait); and from the State of New Jersey to the west and north by the Hudson River. Staten Island lies to the south west, across Upper New York Bay.
In Manhattan, the terms “uptown” and “north” mean northeast, while “downtown” and “south” mean to the southwest. To avoid confusion, simply use “uptown” and “downtown.” Street numbers continue from Manhattan into the Bronx, and the street numbers rise as one moves farther north (however, in the Bronx, there is no simple numerical grid, so there may be 7 blocks between 167 St. and 170 St., for example). Avenues run north and south. In Brooklyn the opposite is true, as street numbers rise as one moves south. Queens streets are laid out in a perpendicular grid - street numbers rise as one moves toward the east, and avenues run east and west. Staten Island has no street numbers at all.
The term “the city” may refer either to New York City as a whole, or to the borough of Manhattan alone, depending on the context. The other boroughs, which are Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens, are sometimes referred to as “the outer boroughs.”
New York City has a humid continental climate and experiences all four seasons, with hot and humid summers (Jun-Sept), cool and dry autumns (Sep-Dec), cold winters (Dec-Mar), and wet springs (Mar-Jun). Average highs for January are around 38°F (3°C) and average highs for July are about 84°F (29°C). However, temperatures in the winter can go down to as low as 0°F (-18°C) and in the summer, temperatures can go as high as 100°F (38°C) or slightly higher. The temperature in any season is quite variable and it is not unusual to have a sunny 60°F (16°C) day in January followed by a snowy 25°F (-3°C) day. New York can also be prone to snowstorms and nor'easters (large storms similar to a tropical storm), which can dump as much as 2 feet (60 cm) of snow in 24-48 hours. However snow rarely lies more than a few days. Tropical storms can also hit New York City in the summer and early fall.
PeopleThe diverse population runs the gamut from some of America's wealthiest celebrities and socialites to homeless people. There are hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the city. New York's population has been diverse since the city's founding by the Dutch. Successive waves of immigration from virtually every nation in the world make New York a giant social experiment in cross-cultural harmony.
The city's ethnic heritage illuminates different neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. In Manhattan, Little Italy remains an operating (if touristy and increasingly Chinese) Italian enclave, though many New Yorkers consider Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst to be the "real" Little Italy (Italian is the main foreign language spoken in this section of Brooklyn). Manhattan's Chinatown remains a vibrant center of New York City's Chinese community, though in recent years the very large Chinese community in Flushing, Queens, has rivaled if not eclipsed it in importance, and three other Chinatowns have formed in New York City: the Brooklyn Chinatown in Sunset Park; the Elmhurst Chinatown in Queens; and the Avenue U Chinatown located in the Homecrest section of Brooklyn. Traces of the Lower East Side's once-thriving Jewish community still exist amid the newly-gentrified neighborhood's trendy restaurants and bars, but there are Chassidic communities in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Harlem has been gentrifying and diversifying and remains a center of African-American culture in New York. East (Spanish) Harlem still justifies its reputation as a large Hispanic neighborhood. Little known to most tourists are the large Dominican neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. Brooklyn's Greenpoint is famous for its large and vibrant Polish community. Queens and Brooklyn are known for being home to many of New York's more recent immigrant groups, which since 1990 have included large numbers of Russians, Uzbeks, Chinese, French, Filipinos, Yugoslavians, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Africans, Arabs (from throughout the Middle East and northern Africa), Mexicans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, Colombians and Jamaicans.
EconomyNew York City is home to 46 Fortune 500 companies. Its 2009 gross metropolitan product of $1.265 trillion was the largest of any American city and represented approximately 9% of the American economy. If it were a nation, the city would have the 16th-highest GDP in the world.
New York is the national center for several industries. It is the home of the three largest U.S. stock exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX) and many banking and investment firms. Though these companies have traditionally been located in the area around Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, many have offices in other parts of the city. New York is the hub of the country's publishing, fashion, accounting, advertising, media, and legal industries. The city boasts several top-tier hospitals and medical schools, which train more physicians than those in any other city in the world.
By planeNew York City ( for all airports) is well connected by air with flights from almost every corner of the world. Three large airports, and several small ones, serve the region. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) are large international airports, while LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is a busy domestic airport. All three airports are run by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey [☛].
Teterboro Airport is popular for general aviation and business jet travelers out of New York City. Air taxi and air charter companies such as The Early Air Way [☛] and Jetset Charter [☛] fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstream's down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.
Inter-airport transfers: [☛]
• Bus/Subway - Connections between airports using the bus/subway/PATH trains are the cheapest option, but will require many transfers. Set aside a minimum of 2 hours for travel time.
• New York Airport Shuttle [☛] - runs buses between LGA and JFK. The buses depart JFK every 30 minutes from 6:30AM-8PM and depart LGA every 30 minutes from 7:30AM-8PM. The trip costs $13 each way and takes 60 minutes with normal traffic.
• ETS Air Shuttle [☛] - runs very infrequent shared ride van service between LGA and EWR for $32. The rides cost $10 between LGA and JFK, $32 between EWR and LGA and $29 between JFK and EWR.
• All County Express [☛] - runs very infrequent shared ride van ervice between all LGA and EWR for $32.
• Taxis - the fastest option when changing airports. A taxi between JFK and LGA will cost about $25-29 and should take 30 minutes. A taxi between LGA and EWR will cost about $78 + tolls and should take 60-75 minutes. A taxi between JFK and EWR will cost about $85 + tolls and should take 60-75 minutes.
John F. Kennedy International AirportJohn F. Kennedy International Airport [☛] is in the borough of Queens. There are 8 terminals that are not so close to each other, so it is important to take note which terminal your flight leaves from. The free AirTrain connects the terminals. Many international airlines including Air France and Lufthansa (Terminal 1), British Airways and Iberia (Terminal 7), and Virgin Atlantic (Terminal 4) fly into JFK, and it is a major international hub for Delta Air Lines (Terminals 2 and 3) and American Airlines (Terminal 8). JetBlue, a large low-cost carrier, operates from Terminal 5.
Landing or taking off from JFK is very time consuming, as there is fierce competition for the runways. If possible, do not connect using JFK, especially when switching terminals. If you must connect via JFK, make sure you have sufficient time. For flights from domestic (US and Canada) to JFK to domestic, 2-3 hours. For domestic to JFK to international, 3-4 hours. For international to JFK to domestic, 3-5 hours. For international to JFK to international, 3-6 hours and try to change your flights.
Left luggage services are available in the arrivals areas of Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 and cost $4-16 per bag per day, depending on size. There are plenty of ATMs, but almost all charge a $2-3 fee per withdrawal. Luggage trolleys are available either for a fee of $3 in Terminals 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 or free in Terminals 1 and 4. There are many hotels of all service levels close to the airport and most run shuttle buses to/from the airport.
To travel between the city and JFK:
• MTA NYC Bus - costing $2.25 (with MetroCard, $2.50 single-ride ticket), these are the cheapest methods of transport, although the slowest to Manhattan. The buses depart from Terminal 4. These buses have little room for luggage and go to non-touristy neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn. However, they offer connections to the subway and Long Island Railroad. Note that free transfers between bus and subway are available only with a MetroCard; the single ride ticket does not allow free transfers. Coins are needed to board the buses without a MetroCard. Metrocards are sold at Hudson Newsstands in Terminals 1 and 6. If the newsstands are closed and you would like to spend 30 minutes to save $2.50, take the Airtrain to the Howard Beach Station where you can buy a multiple ride Metrocard from the vending machines without leaving the station (free). Then take the Airtrain back to Terminal 4, where the buses are easiest to catch (on the right side of Terminal 4 when facing). The Q10 and B15 also stop at the Lefferts Boulevard AirTrain station, but are a little more difficult to figure out. Bus to subway/LIRR transfers include:
•• Q10 [☛] to:
••• Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd (20 minutes): "A" Train - the subway connection closest to the airport
••• Jamaica Ave & Lefferts Blvd: "J" & "Z" Trains (walk 3 blocks east to 121st st Jamaica Ave Station)
••• Kew Gardens (30 minutes): Transfer here to the Long Island Railroad (Austin Street Station) with service to Penn Station ($6.50 peak, $4.50 off-peak, $3.75 weekend with CityTicket), Brooklyn, and Long Island. While this option is cheaper than taking the AirTrain to Jamaica and connecting there to the LIRR, LIRR service from here is much less frequent than LIRR service from Jamaica.
••• Kew Gardens-80 Road-Union Turnpike (Last Stop) (35 minutes): "E" & "F" Trains. During rush hours, from this stop, you can take express buses X63, X64, X68, QM18, and QM21 to Manhattan. While these routes are slower and more expensive than taking the subway, they do offer a ride on cloth seats without the crowding. Ask where the bus stops are located. $5.50, but it is $3.25 if you transfer from the Q10 bus and pay for both with a MetroCard.
•• Q3 [☛] to:
••• Jamaica-179th Street (45 minutes): "F" Train
•• B15 [☛] to:
••• Ashford Street & New Lots Avenue (30 minutes): "3" Train
••• Van Sinderen Ave & New Lots Avenue (35 minutes): "L" Train
••• Fulton Street & Kingston-Throop Avenues (60 minutes): "C" Train
••• Flushing Ave.: "J" Train all times except weekdays 7AM-1PM towards Manhattan & 1PM-8PM away from Manhattan, "M" Train weekdays (at Broadway)
• JFK AirTrain [☛] - a people mover system that runs 24h, connecting all airport terminals with nearby rail and metro stations for $5. Runs service to Howard Beach Station to connect with the "A" Train to Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, and Jamaica Station to connect with the "E" Train to Queens and Lower Manhattan, the "J/Z" Train, and the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station ($3.75 weekend with CityTicket, $5.75 weekday off-peak, $8 peak times), Brooklyn, or Long Island. Elevators are available at Jamaica and Penn Stations. Total time to Manhattan using the subway is 60 minutes; using the Long Island Railroad is 45 minutes. This is sometimes faster than taking a taxi. If you do go to Jamaica and want to reach downtown, the J/Z run above ground over a scenic route passing over the Williamsburg Bridge albeit through some rough neighborhoods, are marginally faster than the E and can be much less crowded during peak times than the E. During AM rush towards Manhattan and PM rush away from it, the J and Z do skip-stop service, meaning that some stations are J-only and Z-only. Keep this in mind if you are waiting at one of those stations. If returning to the airport on the "A" train, make sure the destination signs read Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park. Trains to Lefferts Blvd. do not connect to the airport! If you board the wrong train, transfer at any station at or before Rockaway Blvd. If you forget and overshoot, go to the end of the line and either backtrack or take the Q10 bus directly to the airport. As with the "J" and "Z" trains, when taking the "A" train during the overnight hours be alert of your surroundings as the train passes through some rough neighborhoods.
• New York City Airporter Bus [☛] - provides services to/from Grand Central Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal for $15 one-way, $28 round-trip (return ticket). Buses depart every 15-30 minutes and the trip to Grand Central Station can take up to 90 minutes. Note that while the schedule online shows stops at Penn Station, the bus does not go there between noon and 6 p.m.; however, your SuperShuttle offers a free connecting service between Penn Station and Grand Central Station.
• New York Airport Express Bus [☛] - provides services to Grand Central Station, Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal for $15 one-way, $27 round-trip from certain locations. 60-95 minutes.
• SuperShuttle [☛] - blue vans provide door-to-door service to Manhattan hotels for about $25.
• Go Airlink Shuttle [☛] - Shared van service to or from most of Manhattan for $17-20 one way. 10% discount for online booking.
• Taxi [☛] - The most flexible route into the city from JFK is a taxi, although the wait for one can be long when many flights arrive simultaneously. Taxi fare runs a flat $45 to anywhere in Manhattan, not including tolls (up to $5.50) or tips. Taxis to points other than Manhattan and taxis to the airport from anywhere use the meter (see taxis in Getting Around). During peak periods, you may have to wait up to 30 minutes for a taxi. The arrivals terminals are filled with drivers hawking illegal livery rides - if you want to take one of these, be sure to negotiate the fare in advance and make sure that it is cheaper than the taxi fare noted above. This also saves the wait in the taxi line.
• Car Service/Limousines - An alternative to taxis, car services are useful for getting to the airport from the outer boroughs where taxis are harder to find, or if you prefer to have transportation reserved in advance. Typically $60+ between JFK and Manhattan.
Newark Liberty International AirportNewark Liberty International Airport, 1-800-EWR-INFO, [☛] is located to the west of New York City in Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey. The airport has three terminals labeled A, B, C. Terminal C is the home of Continental Airlines which has a major hub at Newark. Most other international airlines use Terminal B while domestic flights are from Terminal A, but there are exceptions so check your terminal before you head for the airport.
To travel between the city and EWR:
• New Jersey Transit Bus #62 [☛] - The most inexpensive option, New Jersey Transit bus #62 runs from in front of the airport terminals to Newark Penn Station (one-way fare $1.50; exact change only; 25 minutes). From there, you may take a PATH subway train ($2) either to World Trade Center station in lower Manhattan (25 minutes), or, to Journal Square, where you can transfer to the Journal Square-33rd Street train across the platform, which runs to the following stops along 6th Avenue: Christopher St in Greenwich Village, 9th St, 14th St, 23rd St, and 33rd St. Plan on 90 minutes including waiting times. As a word of caution, note that this is not a well-publicized option; you may well find yourself to be the only tourist on the bus, so don't expect much help or companionship in finding your way.
• Newark Airport Express Bus [☛] - ($16 one way, $28 round-trip) runs every 15 minutes to 42nd street in Manhattan. The trip takes about 40 minutes depending on traffic.
• AirTrain Newark [☛] - easily accessed from the airport terminals via elevator/escalators and runs 24-hour service to the Newark Airport Rail Station, 10 minutes away, costing $5.50. From here you can take a NJ Transit train ($12.50, 30-minute ride, every 15-30 minutes) to New York Penn Station (34th St & 8th Ave in Manhattan) or Amtrak train to other destinations along the east coast. Amtrak also runs trains to Manhattan, but they cost $20-$30. NJ Transit tickets are not valid on Amtrak trains. NJ Transit trains stop at both Penn Station in Newark and at Penn Station in New York, so if traveling to Manhattan, stay on till the second Penn Station, in New York.
• Supershuttle [☛] - Country-wide, shared van door-to-door service. $19 to Manhattan.
• Go Airlink Shuttle [☛] - Shared van door-to-door service. $18 to Manhattan. 10% discount for online purchase.
• Taxis [☛] - Travelers from EWR to New York City are charged a flat rate based on the destination (the dispatcher will note the fare and destination on the taxi form). The fare to most parts of Manhattan is $50-70. Tips and round trips tolls ($8 to/from Manhattan) are extra. You may also pay a ~$2 toll if the driver uses the New Jersey Turnpike. A $5 surcharge is added for trips to to New York, except Staten Island, during weekday rush hours or weekend afternoons. There is also a 10% discount for people above age 62.
• Private Car Service - An alternative to taxis, car services are useful for getting to the airport from the outer boroughs where taxis are harder to find, or if you prefer to have transportation reserved in advance. Typically $50 between EWR and Manhattan, $70-80 to/from Brooklyn. The 3 most common are:
•• LimoRes Airport Car Service [☛]
•• Dial7 (formerly Tel-Aviv) [☛]
•• Carmel [☛]
LaGuardia AirportLaGuardia Airport [☛] is the smallest of the New York Metropolitan Area's three major airports. Due to regulations, almost all direct flights from LGA are to destinations with 1,500 miles. Most flights are domestic; however, there are international flights from LGA to Canada, Aruba, the Bahamas and Bermuda. The Marine Air Terminal, currently used by Delta Airlines for services to Washington D.C. and Boston, is one of the oldest, still-in-use, airport terminals in the world. In 2009, LGA ranked last among major U.S. airports in both on-time arrivals and customer satisfaction.
To travel between the city and LGA:
• Metrobus - costing $2.25, this is the cheapest method of transport, although the slowest to Manhattan. The buses have little room for luggage. However, they offer connections to the subway and Long Island Railroad. Note that free transfers between bus and subway are available only with a MetroCard; the single ride ticket does not allow free transfers. Coins are needed to board the buses without a MetroCard. There is a change machine in the airport terminal and MetroCards can be bought in the airport at Hudson News. The MetroCard vending machine at the airport does not accept cash. Bus to subway/LIRR transfers include:
•• M60 [☛], particularly useful if you are staying in Harlem, the Upper West Side or Hostelling International New York, to:
••• Astoria Blvd (15-25 minutes): "N" and "Q" Trains ( "Q" trains weekdays only)
••• 125th St & Lexington Ave (30 minutes): "4", "5", "6" Trains & Metro-North Railroad Service
••• 125th St & Lenox Ave./Malcolm X Blvd (30 minutes): "2" & "3" Trains
••• 125th St & 8th Ave./St. Nicholas Ave (35 minutes): "A", "B" (weekdays only), "C", and "D" Trains
••• 116th St & Broadway (40 minutes): "1" Train
•• Q33 [☛] or Metrobus Q47 [☛] to:
••• Roosevelt Ave./Jackson Heights (20 minutes): "E", "F", "M", "R", and "7" Trains
•• Q48 [☛] to:
••• Mets-Willett Point (20 minutes): Long Island Railroad & "7" Trains
• New York Airport Express Bus [☛] - runs buses to Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station for $12. The buses operate every 15 minutes.
• Go Airlink Shuttle [☛] - Shared van door-to-door service. $16 to Manhattan. 10% discount for online purchase.
• New York City Airporter Bus [☛] - provides services to/from Grand Central Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal for $12 one-way, $22 round-trip (return ticket). Buses depart every 15-30 minutes and the trip to Grand Central Station can take up to 65 minutes. Note that while the schedule online shows stops at Penn Station, the bus does not go there between noon and 6 p.m.; however, your SuperShuttle offers a free connecting service between Penn Station and Grand Central Station.
• Taxi [☛] - Taxis cost $21-30 to/from Manhattan plus tips, tolls, a $0.50 tax to NY, and a $1 surcharge during rush hour. You can save on tolls by asking the driver to use Queensboro Bridge for points midtown and on the Upper East Side, the Williamsburg Bridge for the Village and downtown, or Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges for points downtown. If going above 72nd Street, it is better to pay the toll ($5.50) and take the RFK Bridge (formerly called the Triboro) into Manhattan.
• Private Car Service - An alternative to taxis, car services are useful for getting to the airport from the outer boroughs where taxis are harder to find, or if you prefer to have transportation reserved in advance. Typically $40+ between LGA and Manhattan. The 4 most common are:
•• LimoRes Airport Car Service [☛]
•• Dial7 [☛]
•• Carmel [☛]
•• Carroll Transportation [☛].
Other AirportsLong Island MacArthur Airport (Islip Airport) () [☛] is located in Ronkonkoma (Town of Islip) on Long Island. The airport is served by Southwest Airlines, a major discount carrier in the US. US Airways has a minor presence at the airport.
To travel between the city and ISP:
• A shuttle bus (10 minutes, $5) operates between the ISP and the Ronkonkoma Long Island Railroad station. From there, you can take a train to Penn Station in Manhattan. (1.5 hours, $11.75). The Long Island Railroad offers a discount package for MacArthur Airport travelers on its website [☛]
• Hampton Jitney [☛] operates bus services from Ronkonkoma to Manhattan costing $25; the bus stop is a short cab ride away from ISP. .
Westchester County Airport () [☛], near the town of White Plains, is served by 7 airlines.
To travel between the city and HPN:
• Beeline Bus #12 [☛] (fare $2.25; call 914-813-7777 for details) operates service to/from the White Plains Metro-North station. From there, you can take a Metro-North train ($6.25 off-peak and $8.50 peak) to any of various points in the Bronx, or 125th St/Park Ave and Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Trains run roughly every half hour for most of the day and take approximately 40 minutes.
Stewart International Airport () [☛]
To travel between the city and SWF:
• A shuttle bus connects the SWF with the Beacon Metro North Train Staion. From there, you can take a train into Grand Central Station in Manhattan.
Teterboro Airport (), in Teterboro, New Jersey, is used primarily for general aviation and receives no commercial flights.
AmtrakAmtrak, +1 800-USA-RAIL (+1 800-872-7245), [☛], operates from New York Penn Station, directly under Madison Square Garden, on 34th St between 7th & 8th Aves. Popular trains leaving during rush hours can fill up quickly; it is a good idea to make reservations online [☛], or via phone, and pick up your ticket using a credit card or your confirmation number at one of the electronic kiosks located throughout the station. On some of the non-business routes, for example New York to Montreal, Amtrak actually takes more time and costs more money than taking the bus or renting a car. Check and compare schedules and prices before booking.
Amtrak's Acela [☛] express train provides regular fast commuter service between major points along the east coast such as Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Haven, and Providence. Amtrak services are also available to points along the East Coast down to Florida, across the southeast to New Orleans, to points between New York and Chicago, including Pittsburgh and Cleveland, to New York state including Albany, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and to Toronto and Montreal in Canada. Service to California takes 3 days and requires a change of train in Chicago.
Amtrak's ClubAcela [☛], located near the big security desk in Penn Station, offers complimentary drinks, wi-fi access, newspapers and magazines, and clean bathrooms. Access to the club is granted to travelers with sleeper tickets, First Class Acela tickets, Amtrak GuestRewards SelectPlus membership, or Continental Airlines BusinessFirst tickets for same-day travel, and Continental Airlines President's Club members..
Grand Central Terminal at night
New York City is served by three commuter railroads.
•Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) [☛] operates between New York Penn Station and Long Island with New York City stops at Jamaica Station, Long Island City, and Hunters Point in Queens as well as Atlantic Terminal station in Brooklyn. LIRR tickets can be purchased online or inside stations prior to boarding the train. Tickets are also available for purchase on the train but are significantly more expensive. The cost of the ticket varies based on the distance of the ride.
•Metro-North Rail Road (Metro North) [☛] operates between Grand Central Terminal and points north and east of the city all the way to Connecticut. Trains also stop at the Harlem station on 125th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan. The New Haven line serves cities along the coast with branch lines to Danbury and Waterbury. The Hudson Line serves points along the Hudson River to Poughkeepsie. The Harlem Line serves Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties to Pawling and Wassaic. At New Haven, passengers may transfer to Amtrak or to the Shore Line East providing local service between New Haven and New London, Connecticut. Metro North tickets can be purchased online or inside stations prior to boarding the train. Tickets are also available for purchase on the train but are significantly more expensive. The cost of the ticket varies based on the distance of the ride.
•New Jersey Transit [☛] operates between New York Penn Station and points in New Jersey. The Northeast corridor line goes to Princeton and Trenton. Services are also available for points along the Jersey Coast and, with a transfer in Secaucus, to points north of the city (in New Jersey and New York State west of the Hudson). Connecting service is available from Trenton to Philadelphia via SEPTA or to Camden (New Jersey) via RiverLINE. Connecting service to Newark Liberty International Airport is available from some Northeast corridor trains. NJ Transit tickets can be purchased online or inside stations prior to boarding the train. Tickets are also available for purchase on the train but are significantly more expensive. The cost of the ticket varies based on the distance of the ride.
PATH train at WTC terminal
PATH [☛](Port Authority Trans-Hudson) is a subway type system connecting New York City to Hoboken, Newark, and various points on the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River. Two lines pass under the Hudson and enter the city, one terminating near the World Trade Center site downtown, the other at 33rd Street in midtown (see map[☛]). Note the PATH station at 33rd Street is not connected to, nor part of Penn Station.
As of September 19, 2011, PATH train fares are $2.00 per trip. An RFID-type stored value card known as the Smartlink [☛] affords PATH users discounts: $15 for 10 trips; $30 for 20 trips. However, the card itself must be purchased ($5, $20 including 10 trips). Fortunately, the PATH system accepts the Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard (but not Unlimited Ride MetroCard). [☛] For the visitor traveling from New Jersey daily, it is more convenient and possibly cheaper to purchase the MetroCard to travel on both the PATH and the MTA systems. However remember there is no free MetroCard transfer between PATH and MTA subways/buses.
By busSome buses offer wi-fi, outlets and even business-class style luxury. Buses serve New Jersey, New York suburbs west of the Hudson River, and all cities along the east coast of the U.S.
Additionally, be aware that with private buses in New York City "you get what you pay for." Most buses are safe, however, bus companies that are offering very low fares often are riskier in that their drivers are not as cautious on the roads and often speed. Also, the level of service is frequently somewhat less. If you have to transfer between buses using these discount buses for example, their drivers may speak limited English and be less able to assist you in making the transfer. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but it is a consideration of which travelers should be aware when choosing a bus company.
To/from New Jersey• New Jersey Transit [☛] operates service between destinations in New Jersey and Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Ave & 42nd St.
To/from BostonAlso see BoltBus, Greyhound, Megabus, and Peter Pan serving other locations.
The trip between Boston and New York takes about 4.5 hours.
•Boston Deluxe [☛], connects Chinatown to Boston and Hartford. Weekend service. $15.
•Fung Wah Bus [☛] granddaddy of all Chinatown buses, with service to and from Boston at the corner of Canal and Chrystie Streets. $15. At least hourly 7AM-11PM, additional weekend service.
•Limoliner [☛] from Boston with on board attendant, food service, wifi, wide seats.
• Lucky Star [☛] runs from Boston to their Chinatown office at least hourly 6AM-11PM and at 2AM. Wifi on some buses. From $1 online, $15 walk-up.
To/from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DCAlso see BoltBus, Greyhound, and Megabus serving other locations.
•Apex Bus [☛] - service to/from Washington D.C. ($20), Philadelphia ($10), Richmond ($40) and Atlanta ($105) among others.
•DC2NY [☛] service to/from Washington DC. Wifi.
•Eastern Travel [☛] - several buses a day to Chinatown and/or Penn Station. Wifi on some buses. Partner with Megabus on some services.
•Hola Bus [https://www.holabus.com/]
•New Century Travel [☛] - at least seven daily buses from Philadelphia and Washington D.C. ($20).
•MVP Bus [☛] - service to/from Baltimore and Washington D.C.
•Today's Bus [☛]
•The Know It Express [☛] - service between Atlantic Ave-Pacific Street subway station in Brooklyn and Washington DC.
•Tripper Bus [☛] - service to/from Bethesda, MD; Arlington (Rosslyn), VA. Pickup location is at 7th Ave. & 34th st. at Penn Station & Madison Square Garden. From $1 online.
• Vamoose Bus [☛] - service between New York City Penn Station (7th Ave & W 30th St) and Bethesda, MD; Arlington, VA & Lorton, VA. Fares start at $30 each way.
•Washington Deluxe [☛] service to/from Washington DC. Wifi. From Washington D.C. ($21) some to Brooklyn.
To/from other locations• BoltBus [☛] offers service from Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia; fares start at $1 online, closer to the date they typically cost around $20. Wifi, electrical outlets. Buses to D.C. stop at 33rd Street & 7th Avenue as well as Canal Street & 6th Avenue. Buses to Philadelphia stop at Canal Street & 6th Avenue as well as 34th Street & 8th Avenue.
• Greyhound [☛] offer connections across North America and internet-only bargain fares to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue & 42nd Street. Wifi, electrical outlets and the works on some buses.
• Megabus [☛] frequent service from Boston, Buffalo, upstate New York, Toronto, Atlantic City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Most buses arrive on the west side of 7th Avenue just south of 28th Street and depart from the west side of 9th Avenue just north of 31st Street. Atlantic City services arrive and depart at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue & 42nd Street. Wifi-electrical outlets. From $1 online. Cash-less pre-booking only online or by phone.
•NeOn [☛] is a service operated by Greyhound and partners to Toronto, buses run to the New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue and 34th Street from the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and stops across New York state. Wifi, electrical outlets. Fares start at $1 if booked several months in advance, closer to the date they more typically cost around $50.
•Peter Pan Bus Company [☛] operates between cities in the Northeast U.S. and the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue & 42nd Street.
•Today Bus, Everyday Bus, and Tiger Bus All three operate from Chinatown in Manhattan non-stop to Virginia Beach/Norfolk Virginia (approx 6 hours; the first two go to Norfolk, while the third goes to Virginia Beach, the next town over). Price varies, but is generally around $60 round-trip or $35 one way.
By boatNew York City has always been one of the world's most important passenger sea ports, and arriving by ocean liner or cruise ship still remains an extraordinary and stylish method of arrival. In addition to passenger service from the Cunard Line, many cruise ships start or end their voyages in New York City.
•The Cunard Line [☛] operates regularly scheduled passenger service between the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and Southampton, England as well as Hamburg, Germany aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2, the grandest, largest ocean liner ever built. The trip takes 6-7 days and costs $800-$6,000 depending on the cabin and season.
Like most of the great world cities, New York has an abundance of great attractions - so many, that it would be impossible to list them all here. What follows is but a sampling of the most high-profile attractions in New York City; more detailed info can be found in the district pages.
A number of multi-attraction schemes give reduced prices and line-skipping privileges.
•Explorer Pass, [☛]. Allows you to choose 7, 5 or 3 top attractions to visit. Cardholders have 30 days to use the card after visiting the first attraction. Attractions to choose from include Top of the Rock Observation, Rockefeller Center Tour, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NBC Studio Tour, movie tours, cruises, and more. Also included with the card are shopping, dining, and additional attraction discounts.
•New York CityPASS, [☛]. Grants admission to 6 New York attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate. The attractions are Empire State Building; Metropolitan Museum of Art and same-day admission to The Cloisters; American Museum of Natural History; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Option Ticket One with choice of either Top of the Rock™ Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum; Option Ticket Two with choice of either a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise or Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. $89 adult, $64 youth aged 6–17.
•New York Pass, [☛]. Grants access to over 50 top attractions with line skipping privileges. Passes are available for 1 day ($80 adult, $60 child), 2 days ($130 adult, $110 child), 3 days ($140 adult, $120 child) or 7 days ($180 adult, $140 child). Remember, you must obtain a ticket in each attraction. You can visit as many attractions as you want in the time period - the more attractions you visit, the more you save. Also includes a free 140 page guide book, but is much better to organize your visits previously, via internet.
See also the district pages for detailed information about attractions. Detail is gradually being moved from this page to the district pages.
Statue of Liberty Naturally, Manhattan possesses the lion's share of the landmarks that have saturated American popular culture. Starting in Lower Manhattan, perhaps the most famous of these landmarks is easy to spot - the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the nation standing atop a small island in the harbor, and perhaps also the most difficult attraction to access in terms of crowds and the long lines to see it. Nearby Ellis Island preserves the site where millions of immigrants completed their journey to America. Within Lower Manhattan itself, Wall Street acts as the heart of big business being the home of the New York Stock Exchange, although the narrow street also holds some historical attractions, namely Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States. Nearby, the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site commemorates the victims of that fateful day. Connecting Lower Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge offers fantastic views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines.
Moving north to Midtown, Manhattan's other major business district, you'll find some of New York's most famous landmarks. The Empire State Building looms over it all as the second-tallest building in the city, with the nearby Chrysler Building also dominating the landscape. Nearby is the headquarters of United Nations overlooking the East River and Grand Central Terminal, one of the busiest train stations in the world. Also nearby is the main branch of the New York Public Library, a beautiful building famous for its magnificent reading rooms and the lion statues outside the front door; and Rockefeller Plaza, home to NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall, and (during the winter) the famous Christmas Tree and Skating Rink.
Still in the Midtown area but just to the west, in the Theater District, is the tourist center of New York: Times Square, filled with bright, flashing video screens and LED signs running 24 hours a day. Just to the north is Central Park , with its lawns, trees and lakes popular for recreation and concerts.
Museums and galleriesNew York has some of the finest museums in the world. All the public museums (notably including the Metropolitan Museum), which are run by the city, accept donations for an entrance fee, but private museums (especially the Museum of Modern Art) can be very expensive. In addition to the major museums, hundreds of small galleries are spread throughout the city, notably in neighborhoods like Chelsea and Williamsburg. Many galleries and museums in New York close on Mondays, so be sure to check hours before visiting. The following is just a list of highlights; see district pages for more listings.
Arts and cultureNew York City is home to some of the finest art museums in the country, and in Manhattan, you'll find the grandest of them all. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park has vast holdings that represent a series of collections, each of which ranks in its category among the finest in the world. Within this single building you'll find perhaps the world's finest collection of American artwork, period rooms, thousands of European paintings including Rembrandts and Vermeers, the greatest collection of Egyptian art outside Cairo, one of the world's finest Islamic art collections, Asian art, European sculpture, medieval and Renaissance art, antiquities from around the ancient world, and much, much more. As if all that wasn't enough, the Metropolitan also operates The Cloisters, located in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, houses a collection of medieval art and incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters and other monastic sites in southern France in its renowned gardens.
Near the Metropolitan, in the Upper East Side, is the Guggenheim Museum. Although more famed for its architecture than the collection it hosts, the spiraling galleries are ideal for exhibiting art works. Also nearby is the Whitney Museum of American Art, with a collection of contemporary American art. In Midtown, the Museum of Modern Art(MoMA), holds the most comprehensive collection of modern art in the world, and is so large as to require multiple visits to see all of the works on display, which include Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, as well as an extensive industrial design collection. Midtown is also home to the Paley Center for Media, a museum dedicated to television and radio, including a massive database of old shows.
In Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum of Art is the city's second largest art museum with excellent collections of Egyptian art, Assyrian reliefs, 19th-century American art, and art from Africa and Oceania, among other things. Long Island City in Queens is home to a number of art museums, including the PS1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the Moving Image, which showcases movies and the televisual arts.
Science and technologyIn New York City, no museum holds a sway over children like the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan's Upper West Side. Containing the Hayden Planetarium, incredible astronomy exhibits, animal dioramas, many rare and beautiful gems and mineral specimens, anthropology halls, and one of the largest collections of dinosaur skeletons in the world, this place offers plenty of stunning sights.
Near Times Square in the Theater District, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum takes up a pier on the Hudson River, with the aircraft carrier Intrepid docked here and holding some incredible air and space craft.
Over in the Flushing district of Queens, on the grounds of the former World's Fair, is the New York Hall of Science, which incorporates the Great Hall of the fair and now full of hands-on exhibits for kids to enjoy.
Another standout museum is the Transit Museum located in an abandoned station in Downtown Brooklyn. The old subway cars are a real treat and the museum is a must if you're in New York with kids (and well-worth it even if you're not).
NeighborhoodsLike all great cities, New York is made up of distinct neighborhoods, each of which has its own flavor. Many of the neighborhoods are popular with visitors, and all are best experienced on foot. See individual borough pages (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx , and Staten Island) for a comprehensive listing of neighborhoods.
ParksThough 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 grand Pelham Bay Park in The Bronx, 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 almost any park is a great spot to rest, read, or just relax and watch the people streaming past. To find out more about New York City parks, look at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation website and the WikiTravel pages for each borough.
Note that except for special events, all NYC parks are closed 1AM–6AM.
A general word of advice on sightseeing in New York:
Tourists often spend their entire vacation in New York standing in line (or as New Yorkers say, "standing on line"). This is often unnecessary; there are usually alternatives. For example, one can choose to avoid the Empire State Building during the day (it is open, and empty, late, until midnight or 2AM on weekends during summer), skip the Statue of Liberty in favor of the Staten Island Ferry, and stay away from the Guggenheim on Monday (it is one of the only museums open that day). Also, there is no reason to stand in line for a Broadway show if you already have a ticket with an assigned seat. If you prefer, get a drink nearby and come back closer to curtain time, when you can walk right in. The lines for bus tours can be absurd because tourists all seem to have the exact same itinerary - which is get on a bus in the morning in Times Square, get off for the Statue of Liberty, and finish on the East Side in the afternoon. Why not go downtown in the morning, and save Midtown for the afternoon? You will thank yourself for avoiding the crowds. Also, understand that buses are the slowest way to go crosstown in Midtown Manhattan during peak hours, and taxis are not much better. You are often better off on foot.
EntertainmentTheater and Performing Arts
New York's Broadway is famous for its many shows, especially musicals. You might want to visit TKTS online[☛], which offers tickets for shows the same night at discounted prices, usually 50% off or visit BroadwayBox.com,[☛] or NYTix.com,[☛] community sites posting all recent Broadway discounts. TKTS has two offices, one at Times Square with lines often hours long, and a much faster one (sometimes minutes) at South Street Seaport (Corner of John St, just south of Brooklyn Bridge). Note that only cash is accepted at South Street. Show up at opening time for best selection. Tickets to most Broadway shows are also available from the Broadway Concierge and Ticket Center[☛], inside the Times Square Visitor Center. They offer restaurant and hotel recommendations, parking help, and other services in addition to ticket sales, available in several languages.
New York boasts an enormous amount and variety of theatrical performances. These shows usually fall into one of three categories: Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway. Broadway refers to the shows near Times Square that usually play to theaters of 500 seats or more. These include the major musicals and big-name dramatic works, and are the most popular with visitors. Tickets for Broadway shows can run to $130 a seat, though discounters like TKTS (above) make cheaper seats available. Off-Broadway indicates performances that are smaller (less than 500 seats) and usually of a certain intellectual seriousness. Some of these theatres are located around Times Square in addition to different locations throughout Manhattan. Tickets to Off-Broadway shows tend to range from $25–50. Off-Off-Broadway refers to those shows that play to very small audiences (less than 100 seats) with actors working without equity. These can be dirt cheap and often very good, but some may be sufficiently avant-garde as to turn off conservative playgoers. Off-Off-Broadway Theaters worth checking out are Rising Sun Performance Company [☛], Endtimes Productions [☛], and The People's Improv Theater [☛].
For current and upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway info and listings, visit Playbill.com[☛]. This site also has lots of articles on what's going on in the NY commercial theatre scene. Broadway.com [☛] and Newyorkcitytheatre.com [☛] also has plenty of info, as well as some videos and photos. Theatermania [☛] has many discounts to the bigger shows, and also provides listings for the Off-Off scene. If visiting in the summer, brave the huge lines and attempt to get tickets to the Public Theater's [☛] annual "Shakespeare in the Park," which often features big-time stars of stage and screen. Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Natalie Portman, and Liev Schrieber are just a few of the actors to have appeared here in recent years. Oh, and it's free. Just get to one of the box offices ridiculously early, especially the one at the Park.
It's possible to purchase tickets to The Tony Awards, Broadway's biggest award ceremony and the culmination of the theatrical season in the city. These aren't cheap, but if you're into the theatre scene and know something about the various performers being honored, it can be an exciting night. In any case, the performances are always fun, and you can catch moments that aren't in the broadcast. Always the first or second Sunday night in June, visit The Tony Awards website [☛] for the most current details.
New York has a wide variety of musical and dance companies, including several that are among the world's most renowned. There are also numerous small companies putting on more idiosyncratic shows every night of the week. The following are just a few of New York's most high-profile music and dance options.
•Brooklyn Academy of Music(BAM), 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. Home to the impressive Brooklyn Philharmonic, BAM is one of the best places in the country to attend cutting-edge new musical and dance performances. The Next Wave Festival every autumn is a much-anticipated event of the New York performance scene.
•Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue. The premier venue for classical music in the United States, Carnegie Hall is famous around the world for its dazzling performances. Playing at Carnegie Hall is, for many classical musicians, the epitome of success. Carnegie Hall houses three different auditoriums, with the Isaac Stern auditorium being the largest venue.
Subway: N, Q, R, or W to 57th Street-7th Avenue.
•Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The Chamber Music Society is the most prestigious chamber music ensemble in the United States, playing in the acoustically impeccable Alice Tully Hall.
•Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). The Met (as it is known) is one of the greatest opera companies in the world. The company performs six days a week (Monday-Saturday) during the season (September-April), and always lands the greatest singers from around the globe. Expect to pay a small fortune for the most expensive seats, but upper-tier seats can cost as little as $25.
Subway: 1 to 66th Street-Lincoln Center
•New York City Opera at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). (Closed for renovations until Fall 2009.) The slightly more accessible and energetic younger sister of the Met, the NYCO is a world-class company that puts on a dynamic range of performances. Plus, tickets can go for as little as $16.
•New York City Ballet at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). Founded by George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet is among the world's best dance companies. Their performances of the The Nutcracker, during the holiday season, are enormously popular.
•New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway). One of the premier orchestras in the United States, playing a wide variety of concerts (more than 100) every year to sold-out crowds, the Philharmonic is well-known for its standard-setting performances of the classical canon. The season runs from September to June, and in the summer they play free concerts in parks around the city [☛].
•Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, (212) 632-3975, [☛]. See the Rockettes, another show or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.
New York is one of the world's greatest film cities, home to a huge number of theaters playing independent and repertory programs. Many major US studio releases open earlier in New York than elsewhere (especially in the autumn) and can be found at the major cineplexes (AMC, United Artists, etc.) around the city. Be advised that, as with everything else in New York, movies are quite popular, and even relatively obscure films at unappealing times of the day can still be sold out. It's best to get tickets in advance whenever possible.
As many films premiere in New York, you can often catch a moderated discussion with the director or cast after the show. Sometimes even repertory films will have post-screening discussions or parties. Check listings for details.
In addition to the more than 15 commercial multiplexes located throughout the city, some of the more intriguing New York film options include:
•Film Forum 209 West Houston Street. A stylish theater in Greenwich Village that runs two programs—contemporary independent releases and classic repertory films. While the current releases are almost always interesting and worth seeing, it's the repertory programming schedule that filmlovers anticipate eagerly.
•American Museum of the Moving Image 35th Ave and 36th Street, Queens. AMMI contains a museum devoted to, literally, moving images, so visitors will find exhibits on zoetropes and video games in addition to film and television. They also put on a terrific screening program, with films showing continuously throughout the day.
•Angelika Film Center 18 West Houston Street at Broadway, (212) 995-2000, [☛]. Just down the street from Film Forum, the Angelika plays new independent and foreign films, many of which are only screened in New York. The cafe upstairs is something of a hotspot as well.
Subway: N or R to Prince Street.
•Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue (at East 2nd Street), [☛]. A varied program of unique films, both repertory and new, most playing for only one or two screenings. Many of the films shown here can't be seen anywhere else (for better or worse). It also plays host to several film festivals yearly.
Subway: F to 2nd Avenue-Lower East Side
•Cinema Village On 22 East 12th Street between University Place and Fifth Ave (212) 629-5097, [☛] Cinema Village specializes in showing documentaries, independent and foreign films. Often the films there will not be playing anywhere else in the country and Q&As with directors are common at opening weekends.
•Film Society at Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, 155 West 65th Street (at Broadway), [☛]. The Film Society always puts on a terrific repertory program and shows a wide variety of experimental and foreign films. In addition, numerous talks and panels are held here, many featuring bold-named directors, screenwriters, and actors.
•MoMA 11 West 53rd Street. In addition to being the crown jewel of modern art museums, MoMA puts on a terrific repertory program in a nicely renovated theater below the museum. And compared to other New York movie theaters, tickets to films at MoMA are a steal.
•New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Running in October, the New York Film Festival is one of the country's best, with great films from around the world accompanied by interesting discussions, lectures, and panels. Be advised that tickets usually sell out at least a month in advance.
•Tribeca Film Festival. Throughout May the movie theaters of Lower Manhattan are taken over by the Tribeca Film Festival, which puts on a truly enormous amount of screenings and talks. Just a few years old, the Tribeca Film Festival has already secured a prominent place in New York's film calendar.
New York City hosts many parades, street festivals and outdoor pageants. The following are the most famous:
•New York's Village Halloween Parade. Each Halloween (October 31) at 7PM. This parade and street pageant attracts 2 million spectators and 50,000 costumed participants along Sixth Avenue between Spring Street and 21st Street. Anyone in a costume is welcome to march; those wishing to should show up between 6PM-9PM at Spring Street and 6th Avenue.
•Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The morning of each Thanksgiving on Central Park West, this parade attracts many spectators and is broadcast on nationwide television.
•St. Patrick's Day Parade. The largest St. Paddy's parade in the world! Route is up 5th Ave from 44th Street to 86th Street and lasts from 11AM to about 2:30. Celebrations in pubs citywide happen the rest of the day and night until the green beer runs out.
• Labor Day (aka West Indian Day Parade or New York Carribean Carnival). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day_Carnival The Labor Day Carnival, or West Indian Carnival, is an annual celebration held in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. Its main event is the West Indian-American Day Parade, which attracts between one and three million spectators, thus taking in more foot traffic in one day than the entirety of Toronto's Caribana festival. The spectators watch the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway. The large parade is held on American Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
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 as consumer destinations. Anything you could possibly want to buy can be 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.
Buying artAnyone can freely create, display, and sell art, including paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, DVDs, and CDs, based on freedom of speech rights. Thousands of artists earn their livings on NYC streets and in parks. Common places to find street artists selling their work are SoHo in Lower Manhattan and near the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 81st Street.
OutletsNew York City has a number of retail outlet locations, offering substantial discounts and the opportunity to purchase ends-of-line and factory seconds. Century 21 in Manhattan is one of the largest stores where New Yorkers get designer clothing for less.
Convenience storesBasic food, drinks, snacks, medicine, and toiletries can be found at decent prices at the ubiquitous Duane Reade [☛], CVS, and Rite Aid stores. For a more authentically New York experience, stop by one of the thousands of bodegas/delis/groceries. Although sometimes dirty-looking in apparent need of repair, you can purchase groceries, water, inexpensive flowers, coffee, and cooked food -- typically 24/7.
Shopping in airportsMost shops in NYC airports are chain outlets, the same as can be found in most of large airports in the world--so it's pretty difficult to feel the spirit of the fashion capital if you only have 2 hours waiting for a connecting flight. At JFK airport, JetBlue Airways' new terminal 5 is populated with modern, cutting-edge restaurants and shops, but terminals 4 and 8 are also a good place for retail and duty free shopping.
Street VendorsIn New York City it is common for street vendors to set up tables on the sidewalk, close to the curb, and sell items. They are required to obtain a permit to perform this activity, but it is legal. Purchasing from these vendors is generally legitimate, although buying brand name goods from these vendors (particularly expensive clothing and movies) is ill advised as the products being sold may actually be cheap imitation products. It is considered safe to buy less expensive goods from these vendors, but most will not accept payment by credit card, so you will have to bring money. Be particularly wary of any street vendor that does not sell from a table (especially vendors who approach you with their merchandise in a briefcase) as these goods are almost certainly cheap imitation products.
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