|09-16-2007, 09:05 AM||#31 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Northern VA
I lived in Manhattan for 8 years and spent most of my life before that going into the city at least monthly, sometimes daily. It is NOT the danger zone people make it out to be. I live near DC now and I feel a lot less safe in the city here!
This isn't to say you shouldn't take precautions, but if you walk and carry yourself confidently, and be as smart as you'd be in any urban setting, you will almost certainly be fine. In all my time there, I was never assaulted on the street (unless you count the sexual harassment of random guys, which was quickly resolved by screaming at them like a maniac and threatening them colorfully until they ran away).
New Yorkers are actually very nice, helpful people. In working at a show that attracted both locals and tourists, I have to say that 90% of the time the rudest customers were tourists (guess they felt like they had to "fit in" to what they thought NYers were like!) It's the kind of city where you are very likely to strike up interesting conversations with total strangers, plus there are so many colorful and nutty people that the street theater both intentional and unintentional is unparalleled.
Definitely take the subway. It's the best deal around (I especially appreciate that now that I have to deal with the god-awful DC Metro...ugh) and really pretty safe. I used to ride it sometimes at 3 or 4 in the morning and was fine...there were always people riding with me who'd come off of late shifts or whatever, so it wasn't desolate. Taxis can be a godsend if you'd have to walk a distance by taking the subway, but they're pricey and they often try to take the longest possible route. NY is definitely a walking city, of course. Just PLEASE keep up with the speed of foot traffic! =) Be mindful as you walk and you will see the coolest things everywhere you go, little details and hidden treasures galore. Just remember when you're walking, that a city block between avenues is about four times as long as a city block between streets when you're in the grid.
I can't say where the best prices for hotels are, but the Village and the Upper West Side are likely to have the most unique and interesting hotels.
For a meetup in Central Park, there are tons of great locations. Bethesda Fountain is the "heart" of the park and hands down one of the most beautiful locations in the park, but you'd have to move everyone to a nearby spot to sit on grass. Belvedere Castle is just that, a castle, or rather a weather station housed in a castle, with a rocky promontory overlooking Turtle Pond where you can stroll out and observe. It's also right above the Shakespeare Gardens, featuring (I believe) every single plant ever referenced in a Shakespeare play, with plaques with the relevant quotes. BEAUTIFUL. Another lovely and less-overexposed location is to go to Big Hill. You get there by going up to 106th & Central Park West (look across the street from the park, and you'll see a castle-like building that was the first cancer hospital in NYC, and was sort of the decrepit local haunted house when I lived there, which sadly has since been turned into ugly condos...but I digress...) and looking for the staircase there leading up through the rock-- this is Strangers' Gate. Vaux & Olmsted, when building Central Park, were pressured by the city's haute ton to wall it off with tall elaborate gates that could be locked to keep out the riffraff. But the two of them were utopian egalitarians and were offended by the idea, so instead they built ungated openings into the low walls around the park and named them after the different sorts of people who might enter the park-- Artists' Gate, Artisans' Gate, Childrens' Gate, Farmers' Gate, Merchants' Gate. Personally I always found Strangers' Gate to be the loveliest and most mysterious! Anyway, go up the stairs there, and at the top you'll see a gravel running track circling a big empty field, with trees ringing the outside of the track. This is Big Hill, a popular place for gatherings, like the open Beltane festival every May. If you were to cross Big Hill and find the path on the other side, and follow it, you'd be led through the woods with only the occasional lamppost to remind you of civilization, and come out of the path to another woodsy but open area with a huge pond and bridges...there is *great* birdwatching there, herons and such, it's breathtaking and you can't even tell you're in the city anymore.
As for what to see-- midtown and Times Square is something that's worth seeing once, briefly, just to say you did it, like going to Bourbon St. in New Orleans or to the White House in DC. But there's not much interesting there and it's lousy with tourists. No one who lives in Manhattan goes there if they can help it. The exception is that you should definitely take a stroll through the subway station at Times Square. You'll see some of the most amazing performances, totally free, that you'll ever see. Lady Liberty is worth seeing if you read up on her esoteric/Masonic history, and yes, the Met is great, and Rockefeller Center is kinda pretty.
But for the "real" NY...go to Thompkins Square Park in the East Village or Washington Square Park in the Village proper and people-watch. Off of Thompkins Square Park is the Life Cafe, where the "La Vie Boheme" number from "Rent" was filmed-- it's a cool place. Go to Union Square Park and check out the north end-- there's a really lovely labyrinth painted there that you can walk. The Strand is a must-see for any book lover. Go down to the West Village and check out the White Horse Tavern to drink in the Dylan Thomas room, so named because that's where he drank himself to death. =) South of Washington Square Park, you get into a very Russian/Ukrainian area with lots of chess stores where you can go in and rent a table for a few bucks to play chess. Erin might like Morgana's Chamber on West 10th Street-- it's an esoteric store owned by an old friend of mine who's quite a character. Definitely check out the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, especially if they're having an event that week-- I think that would be VERY much up your alley. It's worth checking out the local websites and news to see if anything's going on down at the waterfront; it might be too cold by then, but a lot of different spiritual traditions go down there to perform ceremonies-- the Santarias, the Shintos, etc. Get a copy of the Village Voice and check out the events section-- once you've skipped past all the Broadway stuff, you can see all the truly quirky and original shows that are offered. Past examples are Tiny Ninja MacBeth, a Kate Bush tribute cabaret show, burlesque revivals, and the original Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School (which could actually be happening while you're up there...) If you guys like opera, consider a show at the Amato Opera House on the Bowery, or if Cafe Taci is still around uptown, they have twice weekly opera nights where the Columbia Music School students come and put out a hat and sing to a packed house. Strolling along St. Mark's in the East Village is a most entertaining walk, with great shops and fascinatingly weird people. Go to Gramercy Park to see the Player's Club, a private club for actors and theater patrons that was founded by John Wilkes Booth's older brother Edwin-- you might not be able to go in, but a friendly member might just offer to take you on a tour, which will show you a wonderful piece of theater history.
Not being a vegan, I can't help much with the restaurants, though I believe that both the Bendix Cafe in Chelsea and Stingy Lulu's in the East Village had a lot of at least vegetarian food, and both are such great places they're worth looking up to find out for sure.
Oh, and check out this site: Forgotten NY It is the best site ever for finding New York's many glorious details, big and small, and often the stories behind them.
Have a GREAT time there!! I wish I could join you for your meetup, but I'll be getting ready to officiate my first wedding down here. =)
|09-17-2007, 06:36 AM||#34 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Westchester County, NY
New York City Do's & Don'ts
Hi Steve (and Erin):
Glad you're coming to NYC. I'll see you on the 20th.
I was born and raised in NY so, here's the scoop:
1) The best place to meet is Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. It's centrally located and if anyone gets lost, they can ask anyone and 98% of people know where it is: The Rumsey Playfield In Central Park
Or, the boathouse. You don't have to eat there to meet there - people meet outside all the time: The Central Park Boathouse* ::Welcome to Central Park's hidden jewel:: Loeb Boathouse
2) Vegan/organic restaurants are de rigueur in NY. There's:
Zen Palate: Zen Palate
Bonobo's (raw): Bonobo's New York Vegetarian
Quintessence: Quintessence NYC - What is LifeFood?
Mobe's Teany: https://www.teany.com/
Josie's: Josie's NYC
And, so many more!
3) Ground Zero might be *very* sensitive/painful for Erin. As an intuitive, it took me 2 years to go near the site and it's still is a hot bed for very unsettled energies - especially with the recent death of three more NYC firefighters. Other people may think it's "cool" to visit there, but I find it grossly unsettling.
4) Avoid the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building like the plague -- unless you have loads of time to spend. It might be helpful to devote one day for seeing sights like this and then be done with it. Waiting in line day after day -- and getting searched day after day -- stinks. If you decide to do this be sure to take a trip on the Water Taxi or the Circle Line. If you have time, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and back. Should take about 45 minute to and fro. DO NOT BRING BIG BAGS TO SITE SEEING LOCATIONS.
5) As for the weather, the farmer's almanac calls for rainy snow: 2008 Atlantic Corridor Long-Range Weather Forecast and Prediction - The Old Farmer's Almanac
I *highly* advise meeting at an indoor location like a museum or the lobby of a hotel and having drinks there. Those are always good spots that don't require reservations and will allow you to stay as long as you like with minimal hassle.
Also, ignore what people say about people here giving you a hard time. It's a stereotype and I don't need to tell you that if you come to NYC with that kind of energy, that's exactly what you'll attract. The people here are certainly less community-minded than in other parts of the country but problems with tourists are rare. Just remember to move out of the way of foot traffic while reading your map and you'll be all set. NY'ers only get annoyed with tourists when groups of them spread across a full sidewalk, stop to read their maps and block us natives from getting where we need to go.
See ya when you get here! And, if you have questions about where to stay and what's near what -- or your options, my number is in my sig file below.
Last edited by lenawest; 09-17-2007 at 06:39 AM.
|09-17-2007, 02:31 PM||#35 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Las Vegas, NV
rainy snow? Oh dear. That would not be ideal.
Ground Zero: Yeah, I was telling Steve that it would be interesting to go there and see what I can feel. Not sure it will be pleasant, but on the other hand, perhaps I can relieve some suffering and help someone cross over if they are hovering.
Where is the memorial?
Erin Pavlina, Intuitive Counselor
Connect with me on: Facebook
|09-17-2007, 02:48 PM||#36 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Westchester County, NY
I hope the Farmer's Almanac is wrong - it lists the 22nd as sunny, which is only 2 days after so maybe some of the 22nd will rub off on the 20th. Either way, it's going to be cold. Would you want to do something at The Open Center? Their rates are *surprisingly* low for space rental in NYC: Space Rentals
The Memorial is not really ready yet but, you can visit the site. For more information: World Trade Center Memorial: National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Yes, there are spirits that are hovering and need to cross - a bunch of them. Things you should keep in mind:
1) The people on site might not be open to letting you do the work. So, if you feel like you're going to need time and space (and unless you can do the work pretty unobtrusively) it might cause a scene, which is not good. I can't imagine doing the work that needs to be done with these upset energies without being a bit 'public' about it but then you've got *eons* of experience and talent and I don't. That's probably one of the hallmarks of experience.
2) These energies don't want to go -- even though they need to. They want answers and unfortunately I didn't have many to give them and didn't know how even if I did have answers so I left.
If you go, I'd like to go with you, if you don't mind.
|09-18-2007, 01:40 PM||#37 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
some tips, tours and a map
|09-18-2007, 02:39 PM||#38 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Being a New Yorker by choice I feel strongly about my city and want you to get the most out of your stay here; so I feel the need to comment on some of the suggestions:
Finally, New York is still the safest big city in the US. I feel very safe in Manhattan, no matter what neighborhood or time of the day/night; the subways are also very safe. It's nothing like in the 70s/80s. This is a very different city now from what it was then I hear from New Yorkers (by some with remorse).
You'll have a great time here!
|09-18-2007, 07:41 PM||#39 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Itís great to hear that you and Erin will be visiting New York!
I enjoy Chinatown and the Lower East Side, Iíd also recommend taking the Staten Island ferry or walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Lower Manhattan from a distance is beautiful, especially at sunset.
When Iím downtown near Ground Zero, I always go to the Pakistan Teahouse. Itís a hole-in-the-wall kind of place with just a few tables, but the the food is delicious and very cheap (Iím pretty sure you can do vegan there.)
My other recommendation is the Life Cafe in the East Village, mostly because of its history, which you can read about on their website, lifecafe.com. They have both meat and vegan dishes and good salads.
I wouldnít be concerned about safety or being mugged. Iíve lived here eleven years and have never had a problem at all. The only thing to be aware of is the high stats for cabs hitting pedestrians. Never assume that a cab driver will yield. Theyíre ruthless, as are the city bus drivers and delivery cyclists who wiz around in all directions.
I usually work on Saturdays, so Iím not sure I can participate in the meet-up. (Any chance you might have another one earlier in the week?) I do like the idea of Strawberry Fields in Central Park. Eckhardt Tolle is speaking at nearby Beacon Theater that day, so theyíll be some good enlightened vibes floating around, Iím guessing.
|09-18-2007, 11:22 PM||#40 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
|09-19-2007, 01:59 AM||#41 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cambridge, MA
Hrm, being a relatively inexpensive bus ride away in Cambridge, MA, I would be tempted to go to this meetup. However, it coincides with Boston's annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, which is an awesome event and I missed it last year as well. (I myself am vegan.)
|09-19-2007, 12:28 PM||#42 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pennsylvania ,US America
join me on train from Gladstone/High Bridge, NJ ?
Anyone considering coming by train from somewhere in eastern NJ? I will arrange a meet-up...
As I am in PA: I will originate my train ride from as far north/east on NJ transit as possible. I am near route 78.
|09-19-2007, 11:38 PM||#43 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
When you're in Manhattan, just try to find a single new building that is not a box-shaped luxury condominium; Starbucks and bank branches are on every block in midtown, sprinkled with the ubiquitous Duane Reade drugstore chain.
--- got carried away again; rant stops here ---
Last edited by sammysoul; 09-19-2007 at 11:44 PM.
|09-21-2007, 05:42 AM||#44 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
These resturants are really amazing.
Pure Food and Wine - All organic, live, vegan food. If it's warm enough, try to get a table in the garden!
Quintessence- Also organic, live, vegan food. Small and busy, so maybe avoid peak times. Worth the wait though! They only have the one location in the east village now. (10th street)
Candle 79 - AMAZING vegan, organic food, but not raw.
154 East 79th Street near Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10021 Phone (212) 537-7179
Monday - Saturday Lunch 12:00pm - 3:30pm Dinner 5:30pm - 10:30pm | Sunday Brunch 12:00pm - 4:00pm Dinner 5:00pm - 10:00pm
This book is also really helpful. Although a couple of places in there have shut down, so call before hand.
Oh and definitely go to Central Park. Is is so beautiful there!!
|09-30-2007, 06:02 AM||#46 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
I'd love to attend this meet-up as well. Sounds like it will be a fun exchange.
Steve and Erin: I briefly scanned over the list of potential to-dos, so forgive me if these have already been suggested:
- IFC Theatre in the West Village (IFC Center)
- Washington Square Park, before it gets re-developed next year
- Walking anywhere in the West Village is about as close to the serenity of European design as you'll come across this side of the Atlantic - highly recommended if you need a quiet break during your adventures.
Obviously I'm partial to the Village; blame it on the 9-5: I run an online neighborhood network called VeriWestVillage.com, which is the MySpace/Craigslist/CitySearch of the West Village. It apparently has consumed most of my cerebral functions in making these suggestions, as well as my life in general.
Oh, also, if you guys are into biking (and are a bit dare-devilish), you should totally ride through the city, especially Times Square, Central Park, and over the Brooklyn Bridge. They do have some bike tours (which I think are pretty lame anyway), but the real rush is just biking through the traffic itself - dodging pedestrians, cutting off cabs, and hanging onto buses. It's about as close to an extreme sport that you'll find here, aside from base jumping
Seriously though, if you're into it and want to rent some bikes, I'd be happy to pass along what I know, and of course would be happy to join you guys if you'd like -- you see a lot more of the city too!
Looking forward to (finally) meeting you guys - I'm sure you'll have a blast.
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