I really love the big apple. There is a great feeling you get when visiting the city. The architecture, the infrastructure, the people, the places, the nightlife, and the attractions – there isn’t one single thing that stands out among everything else – I suppose because everything is competing for attention as it is.

In new York, one of my favorite things to do it to bike around Central Park. There are countless bike rental places in the outer vicinity of Central park, in many cases, they will come to find you (carrying big signs and soliciting bike rentals indiscriminately). I should mention that I really love to bike – I’m pretty extreme in that often in the summer months I will bike 100+ km per week and sometimes over 100km on a weekend. So biking circles around the perimeter of central park is an experience I really cherish. Throughout central park there are various water fountains which are helpful for hot days of biking laps around the park. Be careful with biking using the standard rented equipment as not all bikes are routinely checked and service – you may find your tire lose air or a problem with the gear shifting.

Of course so many people in New York travel by taxi and the underground (they refer to it locally as the “train”). However, you will enjoy walking most places (if you are fit) and taking in the atmosphere consisting of diverse people, architecture, and commerce. Only take a taxi or train if you are dressed for business and on a timeline. Otherwise, if you are just visiting for fun (and fit), walking wherever you need to go is very enjoyable.

Times square has a great feel to it – however, the excitement and magic is enhanced much more when you visit the area at night. Seeing the lights and interacting with people who are just having a good time feels great is an excellent way to experience New York. There is also so much packed into the times square area. If you have some time, check out the information center to see what things you can do. I took in a comedy show at Carolines once on a night where there were very few people in attendance. In contrast to what you’d expect, a comedy club with few in attendance is a very enjoyable experience. It almost felt like sitting at a table with friends and building excellent jokes off of each other. I would say that it was probably one of my most favorite comedy club experiences of all time. I highly recommend you try to attend a similar event.

The train (subway) system is very extensive in NYC. You can get anywhere very quickly and it can be more comfortable and even faster in some cases than a taxi. If you are fit and love to walk, the train system can be more enjoyable overall.

There is a PATH train system which connects NYC with neighbouring cities. Visiting Hoboken or other locations in Long Island are great ways to experience the rest of the NY area. Hoboken has a lot of touristy areas too and has a pleasant area near the waterfront just north of the train station. Newark is quite far from NYC by train. Newark does have many nice restaurants in the downtown area and it is a pleasant place to visit for business. Going the other direction, further into long island, presents a different atmosphere of communities which are growing in different ways. In the Brentwood area, there was a very well done redevelopment of a commercial center which created a very pleasant feel. While there are fewer attractions further out in Long Island, you will be inspired by experiencing the work ethic of New York outside of the city proper and seeing how things are done a little bit differently.

Escaping from the NYC area, the smaller towns outside of the region also have a nice charm and appeal to them. I visited a friend who lives in Old Bridge NJ. Old Bridge is a far distance away from NYC, and it feels very much like a suburb. Transportation out this far without a car can be troublesome.

Lastly, there is a common stereotype about rude and pushy New Yorkers – while I can’t say that it’s not true, I can say, that so many people in New York are very kind, courteous and polite people. In fact, many are so kind and helpful, that I would like to debunk the aforementioned myth. I’m convinced that most of the rudeness and pushiness comes from tourists who are so eager to take in all that NYC has to offer that they forget their manners. (And its difficult to tell the tourists from the residents sometimes – unless you listen to them speak)

Here’s one to New York City – one of my most favorite urban centers.

Posted Saturday, February 11th, 2012 at 1:08 pm
Filed Under Category: travel
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