New York City: City Overview – USA

From my point of view and despites the differences, New York is more similar to Boston and San Francisco than to any other american city. In Los Angeles and the towns I’ve seen from the bus in California, the usual urban concept consists in a big terrain with a house in the middle and open spaces for the garden yards, with the car as the main transport system. In those cities and towns, the visual image of the american dream is way more evident, like in the capitals of most of the US states. In New York, to see this kind of urban concept, you gotta go far away from Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. NYC is very “european”, if not the most of the whole United States (in my opinion, even more than Boston). In my particular case, I love the shops, bars, and restaurants who have a direct contact with the street and the people and cars going next to them. It is the beautiful european chaos, taken to the american continent.

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Here comes some advices on NYC, if you’re planning to travel there:

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NYPass: it is a free-pass for the attractions and museums of the city, such as the Empire State, the Top of the Rock, the Statue of Liberty, the Met Museum, and many more. You can buy it on their website and then go to the official stores in NY while you’re there. From all the free-passes, is the most recommended one. You may save a lot of money if you wanna go to many places in a short period of time.

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Transportation: if you can do it only by walk and bicycle, go ahead. It’s the best option. You may also take the bus for some places. The other common option is to take the subway. There’s the Metro Card for the tourists. It works like the NYPass, but it is for the subway and elevated trains (it doesn’t include the AirTrain of the JFK Airport). I highly recommend not to take the cabs, unless you are in a hurry. They are quite expensive.

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Acommodation: NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the world. The cheapest hotel in Manhattan goes from the US$150 floor. The cheapest hostel starts from US$50 floor. A very-used alternative is to stay in New Jersey, the Bronx, north of Harlem, or Long Island and travel everyday to Manhattan (have in mind that it can take close to 1 hour per trip to get from the hotel).

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Museums & Food: these are the things I loved the most about New York. It has some of the best museums of the word and great food in every neighborhood. From my experience, I ate some of the best italian pastas and pizzas in this city. They really managed to improve the food from their italian ancestors.

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