Being a Tourist in New York City


One of my favorite cities in the world is New York City. I’m sure it is because it is so easy to find your way around the city, but I really feel as though I must have lived there in another life. New York is both ever changing and never changing.

Statue of Liberty : Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t remember a lot about my first visit to New York. I was about 10 years old and traveling with my uncle and his family. He had driven us north from the state of Georgia so that my aunt could board an ocean liner with my two cousins for a return visit to her home in Germany. I guess the main impression I had was how big it was.

Years later a friend and I flew into La Guardia to see the sights and spend time in Greenwich Village. At the time, the village was the home of the folk/rock music that we loved.  We hit all the “hot” spots like the Bitter End and Folk City.  We were thrilled to see a number of music acts that were either big or about to be big!

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One of the things that I like about New York is how walkable it is. However, I do not recommend doing what my friend and I did on this trip. We walked from West 57th Street to Washington Square in Greenwich Village. We decided that we would venture on the subway system for our trip back to our hotel.

All in all in was a great trip. I think this was the time I really fell in love with the city itself. Not just the idea of it being New York City.

Later on my wife and I were able to take several weekend trips to New York. At the time, Eastern Airlines had a weekend programs that made the flights into New York very reasonable. We had a deal with our Amoco/Diners Club card where we were able to take a limousine from the airport into our hotel for less than the cost of a taxi. Those were indeed the days, my friend.

by Yusuke Shinyama via wikimedia commons

As we have gotten older we still love to visit New York City. We take advantage of the TKTS ticket booths in Times Square for 50% off tickets for Broadway plays. Most of the theaters are small and there are no bad seats in the house.

Another thing that we highly recommend is taking a sightseeing tour on one of the many bus lines set up with this service. It is a good way to see and learn about a lot of famous sights. You learn where things are and you can get on and off at various stops if you want to visit something. Most of the tours have a two day ticket, so you are able to take in most of the stops that you will want to see.

An interesting thing about these tours is the different slant the tour guide may take on your trip. One of our last visits included a tour. We traveled around Central Park up to Harlem. Along the way our guide pointed out the apartments where celebrities like Woody Allen and John Lennon had lived. We took the same part of the tour with another guide and the emphasis was on the Apollo Theater, the Duke Ellington statue and Bill Clinton’s office.

We took advantage of being able to leave the tour to visit Central Park. There we had a nice lakeside lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant before walking across the park to catch another bus. We saw a sight in the park that we will never forget. One of New York’s famous Peregrine Falcons decided that a pigeon would make a great lunch. He swooped down grabbed the pigeon and glared at those of us who stood around gaping at the sight. After making sure none of us was foolish enough to try to take his prey, he scooped up his prize and took it to a limb in a nearby tree where he proceeded to have his lunch.

There is so much to see and do in New York City. Museums, plays, music, restaurants and so many other things are just a beginning of your list of activities.  The Garment District, the South Street Seaport, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Radio City Music Hall are just a few of the names that stand out on your NYC bucket list.

If you have never been or if you are a frequent visitor, it is always a good time to visit New York City.

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