I have lived within 35 miles of New York City all my life. I worked in the City for six years and I have known many people who have visited New York as travelers and tourists. Based on these three experiences, I will offer the following suggestions for you to consider;
1) This is New York and even with its diversity it is essential to remember that there are so many different kinds of people that it is best not to talk to anyone you don’t know. Do you want to get killed, raped or knifed? This is particularly difficult to swallow for people from the Midwest or the South who are accustomed to a friendly environment. Here, it is wise to be safe than sorry by zipping the lip.
2) Don’t rent a car as driving in New York is a tough on the nerves. In addition, the signs for parking are so confusing that you will invariably park where it is not allowed. If so, you car can end up getting towed or getting a ticket. If it is towed, it is an incredibly horrible and painful experience. Towed five years ago at 3AM, I did not get my car until the next day at 11AM paying a very costly penalty. The last time I went to to the City several months I got a parking ticket. Imagine a parking ticket for $165. If you get a ticket,pay for it because if you don’t you get get a warning every two weeks with a costly penalty that just keeps adding up. Within a year, expect the ticket to now cost $400.
3) Bring a lot of money as New York is so so expensive . The cab fares are sky high, the subway system is expensive, restaurant prices are off the map and the bell hops expect to become millionaires from the tips they receive. Forget about the standard 15 percent tip. The waiters and other service people know you are tourists and unfairly expect a 25 percent tip regardless of the quality of service you are provided.
4) Rush hour in New York is minimized as it should be called Rush Day. There is never a time in New York when the streets are empty and there is never a time when people have time. What does this reality mean to a tourist? Well, when people feel rushed and stressed and the level of rudeness and cruel behavior greatly increases to a point beyond the imagination. Rude behavior is not the exception but more the rule in New York. Respect for the right of others do not exist.
5) You have probably heard the expression… its a rat race. There is no greater rat race than in New York and if you are inclined to partake in the rat race please remember that there is always a faster rat.
6) The place for some tranquility and peace is Central Park between 59th and 110th in Manhattan. On the outskirts on 59th Street consider a break form the hustle and bustle by taking a tour by horse and carriage. The experience will balance a city that never sleeps and is never quiet.
Did I motivate you to want to visit? Please know that with its challenges there is no greater place for cultural diversity than New York City. The experiences are limitless to partially include the theatre, opera, ballet, Greenwich Village, Soho, Chelsea, Empire State Building, Central Park, numerous museums, food for cultures throughout the world. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy. New York is an experience of a lifetime!