02 August 2010

On Visiting New York

Tourists walk three abreast, really slowly, clogging up the sidewalks.

New Yorkers walk really fast.

Tourists wear shorts and fanny packs and white sneakers, and carry maps.

New Yorkers don’t.

Tourists swipe their Metrocards slowly and deliberately.

New Yorkers know you need to swipe them fast, so you don’t break stride going through the turnstile.

Tourists call it Avenue of the Americas.

New Yorkers know that it’s just Sixth Avenue.

If you’re coming to NY for BlogHer, remember that 20 north-south blocks is about a mile, in other words, a distance you can walk. Taxis take credit cards and you hail them on the street, but they’re expensive. The Hilton is located in midtown, which is boring boring boring. Go down to the Union Square area for the Greenmarket on Saturday morning, or wander around Madison Square Park to see the naked bronze sculptures, poised on the edges of buildings as if to jump. Or head way west, to 20th Street and Tenth Avenue and walk south down the High Line. If you want to see the City from the water, do a round trip on the Staten Island Ferry – it’s free, in both directions, though you do have to get off one ferry and back onto the next. And don’t forget about Central Park – it’s walking distance from the Hilton and there are snow leopards at the zoo there.

I am going to be at BlogHer, but because I waffled about where to sleep - at the Hilton? at a friend's Chelsea apartment? at home more than an hour away? - I'm not staying at the Hilton, but at another fine hotel more or less nearby. So, if you'll be there, and want to find me, DM me on Twitter, or email me for my cell phone number. See you later this week?

Edited to add two things:
1) Read the comments - there are some good tips and suggestions.
2) I have a blue streak in my hair. Cobalt blue. In case you're looking for me.


Vodka Mom said...

i love this.

Life As I Know It said...

I wish I was going to be there. Coincidentally, we'll by in the city the following weekend.
Have fun at Blogher!

Kyla said...

When I was NYC, I bumped into a lady at the coffee shop or she bumped into me, I don't know which. Anyway, I apologized and my friend (who is a New Yorker) said, "Oh, you can totally tell you aren't from here. No one apologizes." Ha!

Wish I'd be at BlogHer, but not this year!

InTheFastLane said...

One of these years i will get to blogher. But this reminded me of myself, in DC a few months ago. I was so obviously a tourist - buy minus the fanny pack and wearing flip flops instead.

the queen said...

Friday night: BNL concert at Radio City Music hall. That's where you should be.

Harriet M. Welsch said...

Have fun!

mayberry said...

"Avenue of the Americas"! Heavens, no. Can't wait to see you.

Taking the Madison Ave. bus up to the Cloisters is a great way to see lots of the city for next to nothing (even if it takes ages).

RuthWells said...

I wish I were coming! Have fun.

Also, Chelsea Food Market (15th Street and 9th Ave) is worth a visit....

Dora said...

Are you coming to the ALI meetup Sunday morning?

Unknown said...

As a proud New Yorker, I will always apologize when I bump into you and give good directions.

That being said, please don't text and walk; or stop suddenly in the middle of the sidewalk; or stop at the top of the stairs at the subway exit.

many many thanks;)

Julia said...

To which I'd add:
- bring comfortable walking shoes and your re-usable water bottle. NYC water is excellent, while bottled water will run you $2 in midtown

- New Yorkers cross streets against the light. Don't do this unless you REALLY know what you're doing.

- New Yorkers do NOT sling a purse over the back of the chair in a restaurant; you should not, either.

- New Yorkers eat bagels. You should, too, especially if you've only ever eaten those frozen round thingies.

The Library Lady said...

Hey,Icarry a fanny pack!
(But I carry it as a purse, on my shoulder tucked under my arm. Which is how you should carry an purse in the city. AND with the closures turned in towards your body).

If you do stick to midtown you can sit with the crowds on the steps of the New York Public Library and watch the passing masses. And head into Grand Central Station, even if you can't go up behind those windows like lucky Maggie did!

If you ventures as far as Union Square walk two blocks south and you can go to Strand Book Store, one of my spouse and elder daughter's favorite places of used book worship :/ Hop on the subway there (#4) and the next few exits lead you to SoHo still weird and wonderful (if overpriced) stores and to Canal Street, where you can walk into the chaos that is Chinatown.

Gads, I'm homesick.......

Colleen @AMadisonMom said...

Great list!!!

I'm going... taking the train in from Madison. Excited does not begin to describe how I'm feeling.

Florinda said...

Oh, glad someone mentioned the Strand. I'm rooming with another book blogger this year, and these two out-of-towners are planning a pilgrimage there.

I'll be looking for you! And I promise to make every effort not to act TOO much like a tourist :-).

jodifur said...

Where are you staying? I'm not at the Hilton either.

painted maypole said...

Golly. I'm so out of touch with blogland that I didn't realize I was going to be in NYC right up until blogger, and then leave. Regardless, this tourist is looking forward to seeing you in a few short hours. I walk quickly, but the suitcase I'll be pulling will give me away as an outsider. ;)

Pocklock said...

Love this. SO SO true! I kind of want to play tourist this weekend, but I'm going to have a really hard time saying, "Avenue of the America's". Blah.

flutter said...

have fun!