Updated: Oct 2
I’ve always dreamed of living in NYC and for the most exciting moment of my life, I did! That is... Until I went broke, but regardless, I had such a wonderful time. I lived in SoHo off Avenue of the Americas and Prince St. and did something new everyday. Every morning, I'd wake up to a Yellow Sea of taxi cars honking. I loved the energy of the city! I only have high recommendations. Even during COVID. I recommend that you try something new everyday, and I've created a Google Map of NYC to make it happen!
Have the most fun adventures.
Here's the Val Douroux Guide to NYC
+ a bonus map at the end!
Statue of Liberty
Grand Central Terminal
Museum of Natural History
Lower Manhattan - 911 Memorial
Trinity on Wall St.
Staten Island Ferry
New York Public Library
St. Paul's Cathedral Choral Song (Sunday night)
Walk Brooklyn Bridge and eat pizza on the other side.
Visit all the art galleries, city parks, performances, and Broadway plays.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO NYC
The first thing I do when I plan a trip to a big city is Google all the community calendars. Check out what's happening in New York City on: NYCgo, Time Out, Thrillist, NYC Guide, Village Voice, Gothamist, and Eventbrite.
There are 3 major airports connecting to New York City: JFK, LGA, and EWR.
The cheapest flights go to EWR because it's far AF.
JFK & LGA have direct connections to the subway and metro system.
You'll have to pay $7 - 15 to get to/from the airport using public transportation.
Bus/subway rides costs $2.75 for local or $5-6 express.
A MetroCard is a good investment. It's for the subway and bus system, and it's the most efficient way to get around New York City. You can get a ticket from the yellow machines in the entrance of most Subway stations.
Press the screen to start. You'll have the option to add time or value. Add time. Buy Unlimited Weekly for $30. It pays for itself quickly. Even if you're only spending 2 days in the city. You'll get your money worth.
When I first got to New York, I took a lot of trains, and a lot of trains in the wrong direction. Being underground can be disorienting, but it's nice. It's classic and iconic that you're even on the Subway. That's why it's also nice to have the unlimited weekly pass. You don't have to literally pay for your mistakes. You can chalk up the time as tuition, and head the right direction.
I don't always like to travel underground, so I also take the bus. It's nice to have an unlimited MetroCard because it comes with the option to do both.
There's also UBER, LYFT, and taxis.
Taxis are nostalgic New York, but psycho and expensive. I once took a taxi 2 blocks for $20 and the driver screamed at me through bleeding gums because I only gave him a $2 tip. It was a 2 kind of day. What do you want me to do? Tip you for a drive that almost took my life and increased my blood pressure?! If you're new to LYFT, ask your friends if they have a promotional code for 5 - 10 free rides.
New York City has incredible art. Street art, a thousand galleries, and major museums. The art alone makes Manhattan cool:
Museum of the City of New York
American Museum of Natural History
Here's a guide to visit the museum on a free day.
I loved living in SoHo because it gave me access to pop in and out of all the art galleries.
My favorite galleries:
The Drawing Center
Morrison Hotel Gallery
National Geographic Gallery
Apple Store SoHo has an incredible calendar of free events! Celebrity panels, classes, cool things! I once walked in to get my iPhone fixed and saw documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (above).
I’ve eaten everything from 5 course meals to Chipotle burritos in New York, and the one place I can’t stop thinking about is called Vien. It’s quick, fresh, Vietnamese and it’s so spicy!
Besides, Vien, there’s a million places to eat in Manhattan. Try them all. Correction. Try anything above 3-4 stars on Yelp. I’m a 4 snob, but while 3s are reserved for average corporations, I believe they can still provide good food (maybe shitty customer service).
Restaurant Week is a good time to try ZAGAT restaurants at good prices. I also love a good happy hour. Typically, 3 - 6pm restaurants around town offer certain drinks and quick bites for a fraction of the price ($5-12). It's a great time to eat.
New York is known for it's pizza and bagels. Talk about constipation. People of New York be eating bread and cheese all day.
Travel to the West Village for New York's best bagel, pizza, and cupcake joints! All $2.50 - $5ish an item. Bagels on the Square offers a variety of spreads to slab between those fluffy bagels or you can have a sandwich. Joe's Pizza is one of the hottest joints in town. Take one look at their Hall of Fame and you'll know you're in a dignified celebrity hot-spot! People like Leo DiCaprio, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean White, and The Olsen Twins get their slices from Joe's and you can too!
Tips to Save:
Pack Snacks and Fruit
Skip a Meal: Spend $ on brunch and dinner. I love Hotel Chantelle and their cheap AF drinks. I love every where in Manhattan during Happy Hour. Happy Hour by far is the greatest deal and way to dine at a variety of restaurants.
+ Fun Ideas:
Think about Pete Davidson and take the
Staten Island Ferry. It’s free and offers delightful views of the Downtown and the Statue of Liberty).
92 cent drinks at Hotel Chantelle
Lounge in the Parks
I hope you enjoyed these tips for your trip! Contact me. I'd love to provide suggestions curtailed to your courageous spirit.