Visiting New York City for the first time can be an intimidating experience for the average traveler. The height of the buildings, size of the crowds and overall frantic pace of living can be a bit much for even veteran, time-tested travelers. Take a deep breath and realize that by following a few basic tips you can have fun and navigate the city that never sleeps without losing sleep yourself.
If you want to see the real New York City move away from the tourist hot spots and gravitate to the many ethnic neighborhoods present in the boroughs. You can visit Chinatown, or perhaps the Greek neighborhood in Astoria, Queens, to get a true feel for what NYC has to offer you. These places provide you with a wealth of restaurants and shops which ooze culture, supplying you with an experience of what it would feel like to live in a foreign land. Most of these neighborhoods are fairly close to hotels or apartments in Manhattan so you never need to travel far if you choose to shack up in the City, the name most locals use for Manhattan. New York presents a tremendous opportunity to take in a variety of cultures.
NYC can become overwhelming for the new tourist so try timing your trip to avoid any massive crowds. For example, never book a trip to Rockefeller Center 1 to 2 weeks before Christmas unless you thrive in monstrous, elbow to elbow crowds. You might believe that your local city or urban center prepares you for New York City but unless you live in one of the most population dense spots on earth you will tend to be flustered when dealing with NYC for the first time. Also consider avoiding any big chain department stores like Macy’s except for evenings on weekdays to keep your sanity. Tourists and locals tend to swarm big stores on weekends and during weekdays.
First timers to NYC might make the grave mistake of blocking a sidewalk or moving along at a snail’s pace but one shove or elbow to your ribs usually jolts you out of your error. New York City is called the city that never sleeps but it might be better labeled the city that never stops. Most people rush around because everybody else rushes around and this creates a type of mass panic which few New Yorkers can resist. Simply walk in single file or side by side – even if you travel in a large group – unless you want folks brushing against you every 1 to 2 seconds. Consider moving at a quicker pace than normal unless you do not mind pedestrians breathing down your neck all day long. If you can honor sidewalk etiquette and the overall pace of living you will have a more pleasant experience in the big city.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about all things travel; she recommends visiting http://www.avivadirectory.com/Regional/North-America/United-States/States/New-York/ for more information on NYC and surrounding areas.
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