NEW YORK CITY
Whatever you've heard about New York City is true, and more as well. This gigantic city has long, deep roots and has been a focus of entry and activity for the U.S.A. for quite a while. It's surprising how many of the symbols of the United States are in this metropolis: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, U.N. Headquarters, the Metropolitan, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, Carnegie Hall, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, Harlem, Broadway...and the list goes on.
It's usually a mistake to just go to New York. Be prepared and plan on specific places and activities you definitely want to include. Get a map and be familiar with the boroughs, main arteries and public transportation before you get there. First-time visitors would especially do well to rely on public transport. Taxis are a way of life for true New Yorkers, and you may as well consider it part of your own adventure of exploration.
And New York City is an adventure-it can be gaudy and loud, intensely intellectual or artistic, politically exuberant or historically exciting. Perhaps this is where you will see your first Van Gogh, visit an 18th-century African-American graveyard, watch a Baryshnikov ballet, or stand where your grandparents entered the US at Ellis Island. Or, perhaps you will visit Wall Street, 5th Avenue, be a part of the Letterman audience-who knows? Well, you should know. It is worth the effort to write ahead and firm any plans. Most main libraries have phone books from all the major cities in the country, so do some browsing and firm up your plans so you can make the most of your trip. Also, the major New York newspapers are usually available at large newsstands.
Get ready for some excitement! The Big Apple is a trip! (Let's see, Greenwich Village, the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, Staten Island, the New York Stock Exchange, the Bowery, Grand Central Station, Chinatown...)
These addresses and web sites that should help you get started with plotting routes and making reservations.
New York Convention and Visitors Bureau
2 Columbus Circle
New York, New York 10019
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Agency Building 1
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12238
Bed and Breakfast Inns