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Things to do when visiting New York City

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 05:29 am
In a few days I'm going to the United States on holiday. Never been over the atlantic before, so I am pretty excited about it.

We are going to New York, and so I was hoping to hear from some New Yorkers here. Do's, dont's and other helpful information is greatly appreciated. Also any tips on places worth visiting and where not to go. What's fun?

I am a musician, particularly interested in jazz and blues. Know any good places?
Are there any good jam sessions where everyone is welcome to participate?

Any info is greatly appreciated. I want to get as much as I can out of my holiday, and so I think a little research before I go is a good idea. Smile
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 09:34 am
Hi Cyracuz,

Oh there are so many things to see in NYC, you won't have time to see it all
at once. Definitely try to walk as much as possible, sometimes it's even faster
than taking a taxi. The subway system is also very sufficient.
Central Park is a must - perhaps a bike ride through it.
Ethnic neighborhoods like Little Italy, adjacent China Town, Greenwich Village,
around Wall Street, Empire State Building, and of course some Museums -
the Guggenheim, Natural History Museum etc.

I don't know anything about the night life - I've been away from NYC for
too long to comment on that, but we have several people who live in NYC
and I am sure they'll be here in a while.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 09:35 am
There are the classic places such as Blue Note, Birdland, and Iridium, but my favorite place in the city for jazz right now is Smalls.

The place is great anytime, but specifically, if you're a late night person, they have great late night sets on Fridays and Saturdays. The music starts at about 1:00 AM and goes until 4:00 or so or until everyone leaves, whichever comes first. It's a nice small space, and it has the feel of someone's finished off basement. Someone who really loves jazz, that is.

There are tons of great places, but these links should help a little.

http://www.smallsjazzclub.com/

55bar.com

villagevanguard.com

As for places to sit in and jam, I know a place that might have that kind of thing, but I can't remember the name of it right now. I'll let you know if it comes to me. Enjoy!
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 10:31 am
@Cyracuz,
You're a jazz musician? How did I miss that Norway?

Definitely Birdland and the ferry to Liberty/Ellis Island

The Embers where we heard George Shearing.

Don't know if Le Boheme in the village is still there. We sang with the owners most of the night.

http://www.nycgv.com/about.asp
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 10:48 am
@Cyracuz,
go to www.yelp.com

type live jazz into the search window

type 10001 into the location

later, click on the events tab in the tool bar to get to

http://www.yelp.com/events/nyc


then click on the talk tab - start a new conversation - ask this very question - you might end up with an invite to sit in somewhere
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 10:57 am
@Cyracuz,
Kicky has already mentioned the good jazz clubs. When I lived in NYC, I was always partial to the Village Vanguard (but that might be because I was partial to life in Greenwich Village in general). Greenwich Village is -- and has been for many decades -- the Bohemian, artsy neoighborhood where all the poets, actors and, yes, musicians congreegate.

As for daytime sightseeing, a ride on the State Island Ferry is a must. Best part about this ride, which gives you a great view of Manhattan Island and the Statue of Liberty -- it's FREE!!! How can you go wrong? Do some walking around in that nighborhood before you get on the ferry. It's old New York. The Battery, Tri-Beca, Wall Street. 150 years ago that's all there was of the city, basically. What is Central Park today was a bunch of pig farms back then. Down there, at the southern tip of the island, is also 'GroundZero' where the World Trade Center towers once stood. Worth a visit.

Don't know what else you're into, besides music. Certainly the major museums -- the Metropolitan, the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) are all worth a visit. So is the Museum of Natural History on Central Park West.

Enjoy!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 11:06 am
@Cyracuz,
a fairly recent thread on the same topic

http://able2know.org/topic/128723-1

and another (even more recent)

http://able2know.org/topic/133307-1
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 11:18 am
@Merry Andrew,
It's too late to edit my previous post now, so here's errata:

2nd line -- should read "Bohemian, artsy neighborhood...'

4th line -- that's Staten Island ferry, not State Island
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 05:40 pm
Thank you all for the information.

We are quite a few people traveling together, but I am sure there is something in here for everyone Smile
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 07:31 pm
@ehBeth,
I just caught this thread. Have a wonderful time, Cyracuz and friends...

also - be sure to come back with more questions... a2kers will try to answer. Not me, I'm from the western u.s., but a lot of folks may be able to help.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 02:44 pm
Hey!

I'm back from my trip, and it's safe to say it will take months to process all the impressions.

As it turned out, we were accompanied by a norwegian who lives and works in New Jersey, so in the relative short time we had in NY (only 5 days) we got to experience quite a bit. But all in all there is only one thing to say about it for now: As soon as I can I am going back!

I mean, five days in a city where a simple ride in a cab is an adventure simply isn't enough time.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 03:12 pm
@Cyracuz,
New York is always worth a visit, it's an exciting city no question about it.
Post some pictures of your travel, if you like to!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 04:24 pm
@Cyracuz,
tell us more!
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 07:34 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

tell us more!


Yes! Yes! Where'd you go? What'd you do? What'd you see? Inquiring minds want to know.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 07:51 am
Well, where to start?

We arrived, and checked into the place we were going to live. NYC-JC, in New Jersey. I woke up on 9.11, lifted my head off the pillow and saw the Manhattan skyline through my window. The view was priceless.

Our first order of business was to sing on the memorial that was taking place that morning in New Jersey. A moving experience, and a great honor to participate.
Then there was a 5 hour sightseeing with a bus through Manhattan. The weather was really bad though, so many of the scheduled stops were cancelled. We did go for a walk through chinatown, where people were prodding at frogs in buckets to see which ones were best for eating...
During that tour we saw most of the sights from a distance.
The Empire state building with it's peak disappearing into the low clouds was quite an amazing sight.

We visited a great cathedral that I am sorry to say I don't recall the name of right now. I'm not a particularly religious person, but places of worship has always facinated me. Walking into a great building made soley for the purpose of human spirituality is almost magic. Like walking into a giant heart. In one of the wings the floor was decorated with quotes from great american writers, something that only enhanced this feeling.

A few days of shopping and walking at random through the streets followed. I found myself breathless at times just because of the immense energy of the place. Tranquil in some ways, but always on the verge of bursting into a great explosion. There was a parade on 5th avenue. I crossed the avenue right before it came, so I was separated from the rest of our group. Lucky break if you ask me.

That's when I met a sweet elderly woman outside the jazzclub Birdland. She was there for the cast party, and her only hope was to be allowed to perform on that stage. I also met a producer who introduced himself as Alan Action, gave me his card and stabbed a finger at me saying "call me" before he hurried along. Later that evening we went to Birdland and performed on the stage there with our choir. As much fun as that was, I found it to be a much more rewarding experience to just sit there at my table, listening to all the other performers who entered the stage.

I made my way to the museum of natural history, a cab ride that was worth it just for the ride alone. But when I got there it was closed.
But we did get to see another museum that was quite out of the ordinairy.
It's called Bodies, and inside you find on display authentic human bodies and parts of bodies. A bit eerie at first, but facinating to get a first hand look at what we all are made up of inside and how it all fits together.
I've actually held a real human brain in my hand...

And we were going to take a ride on a boat from NJ to Manhattan past the statue of liberty. But the president was coming to town that day, so the trip was cut short so the boat could dock before the whole harbor was sealed off. We went ashore in Manhattan and stood there watching as the helicopter carrying the president landed and he vanished into a limo. Armed police was everywhere. Snipers were on the roofs and boats with heavy machineguns mounted on their decks were everywhere on the river.

And fancy that the squirrels in NY are actually tame. I held my hand out to one and it ran up to me and let me pat it on the head. It was disappointed though, since I had nothing for it in my hand. So it ran off again.

Our last day in New York we went to Broadway and saw "In the heights". Now I know what all the fuzz about Broadway is about.

This is just a brief summary of it all. Lunch in central park probably isn't a big tourist attraction in itself, but I found it to be a great experience. But I wanted to see the jazzclubs of Harlem, and to do more than just walk through the Village. But we were 24 people traveling together and we had five days in New York, so alot of things went unseen.

I am going back. And then I'm going to see the museum of natural history, the guggenheim museum and alot more. I'm gonna have a night out in the Village and just roam around alot more to meet random people all over the city.

After NY we got on a plane for Florida. We went to Disney World for a performance, and after we'd done it they came to us and asked if we wanted to do another show. We were told that that never happens, that no artist ever gets asked to perform twice there in one day. But we were asked, and we did.

Then there was Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, MGM and Epcot. You can't see it all in two days, but we were able to see a good selection of the sights there, and to try out most of the rides that are interesting to adults.
But I found myself drawn back to Epcot again and again. Just to walk around. I tried to have a drink in each of the 12 countries represented there, but that's alot of drinks Smile

After all this we were pretty tired, so the ending of the trip on the beach in Fort Lauderdal was just perfect. Two days of baking in the sun, a concert in a fund raising for a norwegian seaman's church, and then some more beachlife and a big barbeque party to cap it all off.

When I got home I did nothing but sleep for the first 36 hours, waking just long enough to feel just how tired I still was before falling asleep again.

I've had the time of my life, and next year's vacation is probably gonna be across the atlantic again, to see and experience all the things we didn't have time for on this trip.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 08:43 am
@Cyracuz,
That was a great recap of your time in NY & FL - thank you for taking the time
and sharing the info with us. The United States is fascinating to visit and believe it or not, every state has its own beauty that is worth seeing. I haven't been
through all states yet, but the ones I visited so far were all spectacular.

Manhattan in itself is always worth the trip, and next time you should go into
Harlem - it's quite harmless nowadays and they have great eating places and
clubs.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 09:35 am
@Cyracuz,
Sounds like you had a wonderful, exhilerating trip.

New York City has a marvellous energy. You could visit there over and over and over and still not see anything. That's a good thing eh.
0 Replies
 
 

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