New York City can be daunting for visitors. It’s chaotic, packed with people and never sleeps, but with these tips, exploring the area will be a little easier.
Wear comfortable shoes. New York is a walking town, and using your legs as transportation is one of the best ways to see the city.
Dress in layers. Unless it’s the dead of winter, you will find the city comes in varying degrees of temperatures. The subway can be freezing cold, while the subway station is sweltering. The same can be said for some stores and restaurants, in the summer, they tend to blast the AC while the outside air is hot and muggy.
Navigate the subway. There is no reason not to take the subway. It’s safe, cheap and often the quickest way to get around in the car-choked city. Get a week pass. It costs around $30 and lets you take the subways and buses as much as you would like.
Just beware: you can’t swipe the card more than once every 20 minutes at the same station. Also, if there is a glitch in the card — for example, you swipe it and it says “just used” — take it to an agent. Oftentimes, he or she will understand.
Directions. On this note, a helpful trick is to remember, if you are going up in numbers, you are going uptown, and if you are going down in numbers or from Manhattan to Brooklyn, you are going downtown. And don’t forget, the subway map is your friend, and most people are happy to point you in the right direction if you just ask.
Don’t block traffic. It’s hard not to stop and stare; there are some amazing things to see in NYC. But if you don’t want to get elbowed or yelled at, try to pull over to the edge of the sidewalk to take pictures. That way, busy New Yorkers can bustle by.
Street food can be good. All over the city there are halal carts serving up gyros, kebabs, and falafel. A lot of these are good, but a tip to pick out the best is to look at the crowd. If there are two near each other and one has people waiting, that one is a safe bet.
As for hot dog carts, those are fine, though there are plenty of really good hotdogs to be found, like at Crif Dogs in Brooklyn. But stay away from the pretzels at those stands. We have yet to have one that wasn’t stale and bland.