Saturday, December 16, 2006

On Visiting NYC

There are few things I love more than watching people fall in love with the City that has stolen my heart. I know it can be a bit of a strange place and sometimes the locals don't exactly throw out the welcome mat, so please allow me to give you an absentee guided tour, along with a few tips and bits of info that might make your trip more enjoyable.

Note: NYC is made up of 5 smaller cities (aka "boroughs"). They are: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Manhattan is the part of NYC that most people think of and refer to as "the City." Since I never seem to make it to the outer boroughs, I'll only be dealing with things in the City. I've attached a map of Manhattan below.

* Avenues run north to south
* Streets run east to west
* 20 street blocks = 1 mile
* 5 avenue blocks = 1 mile
* BUT! None of those things apply below 14th St ("below the grid") where everything gets crazy!
* When people say cross streets, the order is Street then Avenue (i.e. "10th & 3rd" - 10th is the St / 3rd is the Ave)
* If you drive, no right turns on red
* In NYC, Houston is pronounced "HOW-stun" not "HEW-stun"
* Don't fall asleep on the subway, no matter how tired you are
* Take cabs after midnight
* Subway lines are referred to by number or letter, not color
* People say "uptown and downtown," instead of "north and south"
* Uptown is roughly anything above 59th Street
* Downtown is roughly anything below 34th Street
* Midtown is everything in between
* The east side / west side division occurs at 5th Ave

Note: most of these places are in the Village (btw. 14th St & Houston)
* Spring Street Natural (food, brunch) - 62 Spring St @ Lafayette St
* 7A (great, cheap brunch) - Avenue A at E 7th St.
* SaraBeth ($$$ brunch) - Fave is @ the Whitney / 1295 Madison Ave @ 93rd St.
* Corner Shop (great food) - 643 Broadway @ Bleecker St
* Think Coffee (where to hang out) - 248 Mercer St @ W 3rd St
* MudTruck (coffee) - big orange truck / usually parks at Astor Place (E 8th St @ 4th Ave)
* Doma (coffee, food) - 17 Perry St @ 7th Ave
* Sensa (dinner) - 676 6th Ave @ 21st St
* Highline ($$ Thai) - 835 Washington St @ Little W. 12th St.
* Union Square (people watching) - 14th-17th Sts, Park Ave to University
* SoHo (street shopping) - Broadway, btw. Houston & Broome Sts
* H&M (shopping) - Fave is @ 51st St & 5th Ave
* Cafetasia (Thai, Pan-Asian) - 35 E. 8th St (btw. Greene & Broadway)
* Spice (Thai) - 60 University Pl @ E. 10th St
* Tasti D Lite (frozen yogurt) - they are everywhere!
* Chocolate by the Bald Man (dessert) - 841 Broadway @ 13th St.
* Redeemer (church) - meets 4 times Sunday in different locations / check site for details

* Walk fast.
* Walk faster.
* When stopping to check a map or convene for a discussion, move against a wall. In NYC, the sidewalks are the main routes of transportation. When you stop spontaneously or walk slowly, it's akin to slamming on your brakes or doing 35 mph on the Interstate.
* Don't refer to it as "The Big Apple"
* Many of the best things about NYC aren't in a travel guide. Ask the locals what they recommend.
* If at all possible, avoid eating in Midtown (near Times Square). Prices are ridiculous. Actually, just avoid Midtown altogether.
* Don't wear your "I heart NY" shirt, as it will mark you as a target.
* No fanny packs (this is a LIFE RULE).
* Bodega ("bo-DAY-guh"): quick-stop corner shop (like a gas station, but without the gas)
* Do NOT use street ATMs or the ones in bodegas. That's a quick way to get your identity stolen.

I might add more to this later if I think of other things. If you're coming to town, drop me a comment, because it would be fun to meet up with you for coffee if I'm in town. Hope this has been helpful!



Warwick and Heather said...

so, I guess this means you haven't tried Monsoon yet on 84th and Amsterdam?

lauren said...

i'm seriously lusting after nyc right now...this list has not helped. but i won't hold it against you.

TLC said...

Warwick: I haven't been there yet. I hope to though. I don't get up to the UWS much except for when I go to church... however, I'm hoping to get up there soon! I want to see the tree at Lincoln Center, too.

Lauren: teehee... sorry! ;)

The Boo Guy said...

hey tlc! here's my blog when i went through nyc in october. it also has some other days on it, but the day in nyc is first! check out the pictures!

Lindsay said...

that's right, CBTBM BETTER be on that dang list! Seeing as it is my idea of heaven. well... throw in some really cute waiters who only pay attention to me and a metabolism as high as the chrysler and we're good. (p.s.- stop it! you are making me severely consider hitchhiking...)

jcdc said...

are you sure you're a full-time musician? I've figured you out... an employee of NYC & Company in disguise!

Anonymous said...

So just out of curiosity....since living in NY have you seen alot of celebritys just walking around. I've always wondered if celebritys are just walking around in NYC or Los Angeles. :-)

Warwick and Heather said...

so, funny thing...
I re-posted a section of your blog on my myspace, and everyone seemed to agree... walking around NY is a lot like walking around Target.

jo said...

tlc...i've got to tell you to try Lovely Day in serves up a greate plate of red curry in a cracked wall atmosphere. i know you'd love it. and i highly recommend the blackberry lemonade. :o) miss you and love you girl! jo (formerly known as the RD in Ohio, now sporting new labels like "grad student" and "minneapolis local") come visit me soon!!