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Old 08-12-2005, 11:04 PM   #1
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hello all!

well im a 21yo male from Australia and i'll be visiting new york city. well here in OZ we get allot of american tv and new york always seem to get the bad rap when it comes to general public safety. on the other hand ive read that it has been vastly cleaned up in recent years. i live in sydney(4.5mil) and am used to big city living nut new york is more than DOUBLE this so im abit worried! whats the best and safest way to get around the city? where should i go at night for clubs/bars etc? whats the difference between the east and west side......as all i keep reading is upper east, upper this, lower that etc etc.........and how far from the city centre is JFK airport?

sorry about asking all these stupid questions but new york is a whole different ball game! as it is so HUGE....on the same token i love big cities and new york has always been a place to go since i was a kid (thanks to ghostbusters!)

thanks in advance for any advice! cheers!
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:22 AM   #2
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Well, I know there are some NY residents on here who can be of more help, but here's what I can tell you:

1. You'll be safe pretty much anywhere you go, as long as you keep your wits about you. NYC indeed has been cleaned up quite a bit in the last 10 years, and while it still has its rough spots, it's no worse than any other major city. The rules of safe travel always apply: know your surroundings, if someone seems shifty avoid 'em, and don't flaunt your stuff to be robbed.

2. Subway. Cabs. Walking. They're all safe, and reasonably priced. Don't know how long you're staying there, but you'll most lilkely end up buying a subway card that'll debit money each time you take a ride. Cabs are reasonably priced, but study a map, because so many things are easily walkable.

3. The nightlife changes with the wind. It really depends what you're looking for. I wasn't too impressed with the hipster hangs like the Meatpacking District or Hiro at the Maritime Hall, but they do have their charms. Personally, I like the more laid-back vibe of the East Village for general hanging out.

4. You'll figure out the lay of the land pretty easily. Manhattan is a vertically oriented island, with Times Square being in "Midtown" around the middle. To the south, it's "Downtown," basically the Wall Street and Tribeca area. Most of the area's names are directionally oriented based on where they are on the island. Upper West, Lower East - you get the picture. Just look at your subway map. To the east of the island, it's Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island... To the west, there's New Jersey.

5. JFK is east of the city, near the Queens/Jamaica area. You can take the subway from the stop at the airport all the way into Manhattan, but it can be a long initial wait, followed by a long ride. I think the trip took me a total of 1.5 hours last time I went. You can do it in 25-45 min. via taxi, but I believe that's around $30.

Here's a decent map to get a quick orientation:

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Old 08-13-2005, 04:05 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by franky84@Aug 12 2005, 11:03 PM
hello all!

well im a 21yo male from Australia and i'll be visiting new york city. well here in OZ we get allot of american tv and new york always seem to get the bad rap when it comes to general public safety.
OK, first I gotta say that I see this as no different than say the stereotypes that some Americans have about Canadians....but ANYWAY...having said that...

You will have a BLAST in NYC. It's as safe as a city of 8-9 million can be my friend...
Really, you have nothing to worry about if you are just smart about things (in a big city, as you would in any other big city that you were a "tourist" in)

Quote:
whats the best and safest way to get around the city?
I've always been a subway person...I was born on Long Island and anytime I've ever spent in the city (Manhattan, really), I've used to subway to get around (after taking the LIRR into the city of course). I haven't spent much time in Brooklyn or the Bronx, so that's a different animal...but no matter what, NYC has a pretty good public transit system going.

Quote:
where should i go at night for clubs/bars etc?
Hmm...well that's really a matter of preference. Since I haven't partied in the city in a little while, nor do I live there, I wouldn't be able to make any recommendations to you. On the other hand, I'm sure you'll meet folks with similar tastes to you, and you'll naturally find the best places for you - or at least, that's what we all hope for in a new place

Quote:
whats the difference between the east and west side......as all i keep reading is upper east, upper this, lower that etc etc.........and how far from the city centre is JFK airport?
UES and UWS is just that...as Omi said, it has to do with describing locations on the island of Manhattan. Other than Upper West Side or Lower East Side, you'll find descriptions of neighborhoods. They won't be that difficult to figure out. Enjoy yourself! As for JFK, it's on Long Island. From a website:
The New York City subways and buses run from JFK for $1.50. If you have large quantities of luggage, you may find it difficult to manage this long trip.
Tip to reach the subway system (from george.rasko@octel.com ):
Take the free JFK parking shuttle to the long term parking lot. This drops you off right at the "JFK" subway station, which takes you through Brooklyn and connects to all major subway routes.


Good luck my friend...enjoy the major city of my birthplace, New York (state)!
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:31 AM   #4
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Ditto. The public transport in NYC is the best in the US. I know that doesn't really mean anything since most US cities have virtually no public transport, but NY's is really great.
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:51 PM   #5
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I just wrote three long paragraphs and my computer froze.

I used to live near NYC and although I may not be as helpful as locals I can try. I got around mostly on the subways and only took the buses once (when a line was closed for repairs, taffic personnel directed all the travelers to a waiting area for a shuttle bus - so it's organized). Just make sure you get on the right platforms before paying fare (i.e. northbound or southbond - waste of $$).

NYC is touristy whereever you go, so it can suck or be a good thing (things are better easy to navigate and figure out). During midday on weekdays is the best time to do any of the tourist things (Empire State Building - costs 15 USD just so you know, HardRock Cafe - in Times Sq but as always its pricey - staffs cool though, blah blah blah). Pick up a cpy of the Village Voice at the little newspaper boxes (their free) and in there is a listing of nightclubs, free event, cafes etc.

I stick to the East Village, around Washington Sq and NYU campus. Very laid back and always something happening. I've been to this bar called the Lion's Den a few times and I liked it, depending on the music the crowd changes (in one visit I saw WallSt guys, Homosexual crowd, then Hippies). Also NYU has lots of stuff going on, party wise - and American chicks can't resist an Aussie.

As for safety NYC is better darn good. I've been alone there a lot, never had a problem. But in crowded areas watch your wallet, it happens. I was solo in Philadelphia once and that scared the shit out of me, but I've never been scared in NY - with this coming for a girl who's like 3 years younger than you...I don't think you'd have a problem.
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Old 08-14-2005, 12:35 AM   #6
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Lovely! thankyou all for your input and suggestions its been very helpful and i feel pretty chilled out about it now. and gee i know how much it sucks when these stupid computers that are running our world freeze and only work when they want to! so a HUGE thankyou for still posting your message i really appreciate it!!

as for us aussie men, none of us still dont know why women love the accent so much. i just cant make any sense of it!, not that id be complaining!

as for being touristy, well during the days i will be a tragically lost tourist trying to take in all the wonderful sights and architecture NYC has to offer...and little italy is number one on my happy sad case tourist list. but as for nightlife and doing what us aussies do best - drinking, i prefer local joints (yes even the green types) sorry i'll be serious now.... well yeah if anyone has any suggestions of good places in NYC, main strips, particlur bars/clubs that LOCALS hang out in it would be much appreciated!, id rather spend time getting to know the locals and emersing myself into their culture and learning how they have fun, rather than being stuck with a bunch of tourists like myself........my view on travel is avoid the tourists, if i wanna see ppl from UK canada or anywhere else i'll go to their country, as for the states im all yours!!!
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Old 08-14-2005, 05:45 PM   #7
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During the evening the tourists tend to stay near Times Sq, I don't know why but yeah. As for green unless you want to search I say either make buddies at whatever hostel or hotel you're at. The part time staff can be helpful. If all else fails walk around Central Park or Washington Sq for a while and you'll have someone ask....but make sure you don't get crap (which happens...alot).

When are you planning to head over? It gets a lot busier the closer it gets to the holidays.
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:38 PM   #8
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Subway fan here.

Just some advice for you regarding walking:

If you do decide to hoof it around, especially Midtown, keep your eyeballs peeled for cabs. The cabbies mostly drive like yahoos. I've nearly been run over a couple times on my visits to The City even though I had a Walk light.

But then again, cabbies tend to drive like yahoos in most major American cities, so...
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:58 PM   #9
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Well I lived there for four years, but I think everyone pretty much covered your questions....As far as safety goes, I personally always felt safe walking around. And I'm a girl. The people are generally friendly and willing to help you out if you are lost. I mean, the obvious stuff applies, don't take your wad of cash out and start fanning yourself with it or anything (although you will be tempted since it is hot as a bitch this time of year!)

Best way to get around is no doubt the subway. The 1 and the 9 subway line is pretty straight forward and will take you all the way from the top of manhattan to the bottom of it, along 7th avenue/Broadway (which kinda the main avenue in manhattan) This is also where you will find Times Square (the cross streets for times square is around 44th-50th or so) Cabs can take you places too, but I found that most of the times it was a lot quicker and cheaper to take the subway because you don't have to deal with traffic.

East side and West side....pretty simple. 5th Avenue is what separates these. For example if you need to go to 255 West 26th street, that means the part on the street you need to go is West of fifth. I hope I am explaining that ok....it is a LOT simpler than it sounds. Promise. The good thing too is that most of the streets in Manhattan are numbered. The streets go one way and the avenues go another. So if you are on a numbered street and need to get to another one, it is pretty easy to find where you need to go.

There is some shuttle busses that will take you from the JFK airport and drop you off at Port Authority (the main bus station in NYC) for about 10 bucks I think. I always took the shuttles instead of cabs...You can find the shuttles just by asking anyone at the airport and they will direct you on where to catch it and what times they leave and all that stuff.

As far as things to do...I am one of those people that likes little pubs instead of big night clubs. There is one in Times Square called the "Pig and Whistle" and it's a little Irish Pub. It's nice to go in there for a drink, the bartenders are great and the atmosphere is cool.
If you want to go check out Ground Zero, there isn't a whole lot to see obviously but it is something to say that you saw. You can take the Staten Island Ferry (this is free) and it will take you right past the Statue of Liberty. Or there is another ferry you can take right there and it will stop and let you off and walk around the Statue. I always just was content in going past it and taking pictures that way. If you can get out to see a Broadway show, do it. Just to say you did it. "RENT" is great....Although I am biased because I used to date a guy that was in it. But it is a great show.

The best way to get around though is walking. You see so much and get really aquainted with the city. It really is a wonderful place (even though it does have a bit of a reputation)

Anyway this is long and I am rambling so I will stop now. But if you have any questions, PM me and I will be glad to help you out if I can. And yes us girls can't resist an Aussie. Don't know why either. But we can't resist you blokes!!
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:49 PM   #10
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Don't worry about New York City. I live about 40 mins outside of it and have been going in my whole life. As long as you don't put yourself into situations you are uncomfortable with you will be fine. There is an enormous police presence and there are millions every year who visit so there is plenty of information on how to get around safely. Just use good judgement and you won't have a problem.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:53 PM   #11
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Well...
I'm from the Heart of it

"NYC"

***NEW YORK CITY***

It's one of the greatest place in the world.

There is alot of Culture here, almost every culture I should say.
NYC is beautiful in many ways;
there is so, so, so much to see!!
People are alot nicer then they use to be.
The violence is WAY WAY down since back in the 80's when shit was really bad.
Now you can pretty much talk to anyone you want to.
The east Village is nice, check out St. Marks Street.
The Bronx is just a bunch of projects and some buissnesses,
Queens is ALL HOUSING!!! Nothing there to see or do!
Brooklyn is a cool place, Check out Williams Burge
STAY AWAY FROM "STATEN ISLAND" It's just a BIG garbage dump!!! THE WHOLE THING!
....And the people there are all inbread dick farts.
Pretty much Stick with Brooklyn and Manhattan you'll have alot of fun.
If you want some one to show you around a bit drop me a line, I like meeting new people.

If you want to know where something is or where you can find something to do or what ever just ask me.. I'll help ya out.

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Old 01-09-2006, 05:00 AM   #12
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I was warped drunk wandering around New York at 5 in the morning with a local who kept calling everyone he saw on the street a crackaddict, nothing happened.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:05 AM   #13
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You have nothing to worry about, NYC is amazing. Been there many times. You'll love it if you're a city sorta person. There is much to do and see. I recommend checking out the wax muesum down there. Its amazing! And as always, take a camera. Ha. Hope you enjoy the trip! ~ DeAnna
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