Visiting NYC

starl

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I'm planning a trip to New York City..
I am *not* a city girl - i gotta admit it makes me nervous as heck.

We're looking at the Inter-Cont Barclay - it's a few blocks from Times Square...my question is - what kind of area is that? How safe would it be to walk there - day or night?
 

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Oaktree

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My wife and I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria (~ a block from there) over New Year's (my first time to NYC, her 3rd) and had a great time (we were in Times Square for about 2 minutes, around 10:00 before we remembered that we weren't crazy... and that people who were/are crazy had been standing in line to see the ball drop since 8:00AM). If you choose to stay at the Inter-Cont Barclay, you'll be close enough to walk to most of the main stops (museums, Central Park, the Broadway theaters, Rockefeller Center, many of the famous buildings and restaurants... basically everything except the Statue of Liberty/Wall Street/Ellis Island/World Trade Center memorial, which are at the southern tip of the island... a short subway ride away), but far enough away from Times Square so it can get dark enough in your room to sleep. I wouldn't go walking around *any* city by yourself at night; but, the amount of tourists in the area should make it pretty tough to walk around by yourself anyway. And, if you ever have doubts about walking somewhere, you can always hop in one of a gazillion taxi cabs that will be in the area. Everywhere in Manhattan is crowded and the hotel rooms are small... but, if you can't find something fun to do, especially staying in that side of the city, you haven't tried very hard :p
 

Smitty

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Why?

If you insist, then when are you planning on going?

If it's in the next few months you probably won't care where you stay as it'll just be hot n' humid (West Texas in August is nice by comparison...)

Smitty

(I don't hate NYC, I just went to grade school in Harlem...) ;)
 

starl

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What's the subway like? all I've ever been on is the Metro in Paris...


(My dad's from Harlem, tho no plans to go there.)
 

Smitty

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I never had a problem with the subway, and they've supposedly cleaned it up a whole lot too. I can't tell you how it'll compare to the Metro, but anything's got to be an improvement to how it was when I was a kid. Guiliani did a good job cleaning the place up.

It's probably the easiest way to get around, unless you really like sitting in smelly taxis.

Smitty
 

Gates Is Antichrist

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I lived there a while and sometimes visit and have my opinion on advising new visitors. They *have* improved the subway from the lowest point in the 1980s when the city virtually went bankrupt and non-funding meant that nightmare smells/non-Air conditioned/non-patrolled subway cars were the great majority. But while much fewer are that bad now, subways are not by definition a smell-friendly paradise - it's still a matter of luck what you get. Or who you get squeezed against, if you have to ride them during commuter rush hours. Ah, memories of Mystery Subway Smells during Summer Heat... :rolleyes:

As to safety, I have two controversial chief suggestions for first-timers, which kept me alive there day and way,way into the night. The overridingly more important factor is "safety in numbers." I found that even more important to whether it was day or night was the amount of surrounding foot traffic. (As smitty may recall, even in scary Harlem, inside of the 125th subway station is just fine at midnight when there are tons of people there.) There's a scale of what numbers make it safe to enter/remain on a block, with 99.99% confidence if there's an unoccupied policeman there or a crowd surrounding you, down to 0.01% when it's dark, cold, snowy, and you're not in constant eyesight of other people.

Failing that or as an adjunct is "no eye contact." It really only matters with certain types of scuzzes in certain scenarios, but unless you know when-and-when-not to apply this, the easy thing to do is never make eye contact ever (and if you slip, don't hold it on them) - just stare ahead and downward. You may have heard that New Yorkers are impersonal :unsure: - this is *their* default behavior. Hey I'm not saying that the New York insanity is "right" - this is just the strongest strategy to avoid trouble if you don't have a feel for it yet.

I'm with what Oaktree said. I'll take the subway if I'm confident, and I'll walk onto a block if I'm confident, and when not, that's the time to grab a cab.

Finally, it's not necessary, but having a native New Yorker (or experienced visitor with savvy) with you makes things far more relaxed. You don't have to always have your guard up when you have a guide. The bad guys seem to smell when one's guard is down. :devilish:
 

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