If you want glitz, glamour and a raucous good time, visit New York City, New York. If you want a hard life, albeit a well-worth it one, live in New York City. The area, formerly known as New Amsterdam, became settled by the Dutch in 1609. The New York Stock Exchange, the quintessential economic hub of the world, came to be in the early 1800s. The Exchange spearheaded the economic boom that has lasted up until today. One of the saddest times in United States history happened there on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers were bombed, killing two thousand, eight hundred people. With a population of over nine million, New York City is a very crowded place to live. The city is the most expensive place to live in the United States. Jobs can be hard to find but the current recession has not hurt the ever-expanding job market. The nightlife of the city is some of the best in the nation. Hobnobbing with the rich and famous can be achieved if you are a part of the “in” crowd. Otherwise, there are still a plethora of nightspots to choose from. New York City is very famous for Broadway and its numerous sightseeing venues, such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Cloisters on the Upper West Side, are definite must-sees. New York City, New York is, and probably will always be, the financial and cultural center of the Western World.
One of the most famous places in the world, The New York Stock Exchange, began in the early 1800’s. It proved to be the jumping off place for the economic boom that began in the mid 1800’s all the way up until today. The 1900’s was a time of prosperity, with its little downturns, like the recession in the ‘70’s.
The world changed September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers was bombed, killing 2,800 people. This was the first time a terrorist attack was committed on US soil since Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Today, even with the changes that have occurred since 2001, New Yorkers are still thriving. The glamorous come out to play just about every night and the residents put their nose to the grind from 9 to 5. New York City is also the home of the United Nations and some of the most powerful and wealthiest people in the world.
Living in New York City today is like living in a shoe box. All of the apartments, that are even half way affordable, are studios. If you live in Manhattan, you’ll pay about $1,000 minimum for a studio apartment in Brooklyn all the way up to about $1,300 for a studio apartment in Greenwich Village. For a little less, you can live on the outskirts. Studios in the areas off Midtown range from about $800 for a studio apartment up to about $1,200 for a 2 bedroom apartment. Of course, that’s on the low end. If you live in these cheaper places, though, expect a long commute, about 30 to 45 minutes each way. There is another, not so well known, little thing that happens a lot in New York City.
To keep an apartment that you like reserved, there are a lot of apartments that require a “Key Deposit.” A Key Deposit is what’s called “cash under the table” or, let’s face it, a bribe. Usually, the “deposit” is anywhere from $100 to the cost of your first month’s rent, depending on where and who you’re doing business with. Also, cars are passé unless you’re rich or don’t have to pay parking fees. Cabs and public transportation are the best, unless you want to sit in traffic for hours burning up gasoline that is, on average, about $2.85 per gallon in New York City as of mid-August.
New York City is one of the best and one of the worst, places to find a job; at least a well-paying one, that is. Numerous jobs are within the financial sector. Wall Street is the heartbeat of the city. The recession this country is facing hasn’t seemed to affect the market for jobs, though. They may be a little harder to find but if you hit your feet and hit the beat, you’ll more than likely find some sort of job. You may have to find two, though, just to make the rent. Just like in every other city, there are the regular jobs.
Waiting tables, always in abundance, temporary employment and cleaning jobs are examples of the low-end scale of employment. If you’re lucky to find a great job, keep it. The options are endless, though, if you work for it, and you have the experience. Even waitressing jobs require an extensive resume because, in a lot of places, you will be serving the elite. The 9 to 5 grind is really just that, a grind. A person has to work hard just to make any sort of living.
New York City is a very tempting place for food. Everything from American hamburgers to Japanese food abounds in the heart, and in the outskirts, of the city. Ordering-in is just as popular as going out. High-end restaurants are everywhere. The Jewel Bako, in the East Village, is one of the pricier restaurants but the sushi and the sake are worth it. Almost every restaurant you can find, besides of course the chains like McDonalds and such, has its own theme and its own type of food. A mid-priced place, called the At Vermilion, in Midtown, moderated their prices because of the recession. It is a first-come, first-served restaurant that may not be one of the most popular, yet, but it has some wonderful Asian-Latin food.
A teriyaki burrito is just an example of one of the menu items available. Of course, the most accessible ones are the little mom-and-pop places like the Burger Joint in Midtown West. It is a retro-café that only serves burgers and fries. As you can see, there is absolutely no typical food found in New York City. Chinese, Japanese, American, Italian, Hungarian and on and on, are all right there, within reach. You can find a multitude of regular, to mid, to high-priced restaurants all on the same street.
A visit to New York City would never be complete unless you went to a theater on, or off, Broadway. Shows in New York City are very eclectic. There’s one for everyone there. It would take a few days, probably, to name all of the theaters and show options available on any given day. Some days are more popular than others, though. Try to go on an off-day, though, a cheaper price may be found. Of course, you need to buy your tickets way early for a popular Broadway show. Most are sold out within a day. There are museums, gardens, architecture and numerous other places to see.
The Empire State Building is a must-see. There, of course, is the Statue of Liberty. She’s been standing and welcoming people from all around the world since 1886. Showing homage to her is a must. A well-known museum is the Cloisters on the Upper West Side. It is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum (also a must-see). This place boasts architecture and pieces inspired by Medieval Europe. Its Romanesque and Gothic period medieval passageways will stun the mind. There are tapestries, furniture, little pieces, big pieces and an abundance of paintings set in a modern museum. Prices are about $20 for adults, which is great for a museum outing in New York City.
It is imperative that seeing the sights are on anyone’s list. Walking tours, which are not usually available in other cities, are great to be able to experience, up close, the city and all of its many wonders. Bigonion Walking Tours will take you on a journey from the past to the future. They show all of New York City with its history, food and charm. The tours are usually all week in the day time, except when inclement weather strikes. Visit www.bigonion.com for schedules and routes. There is a multi-ethnic Lower East Side eating tour where you walk and sample the different cuisines from around the world. These tours are usually about $15 for adults and most do not need a reservation, except on the eating tour.
New York City is also known as the Talk Show Capital of the world. It’s no wonder, there are over 15 talk shows going on at the same time. From the Late Show with David Letterman to Live with Regis and Kelly, if you like talk shows, New York City is a great place to be. Of course, tickets are always free and most do go quickly by mail or call-in. If you want to go to one, visit their web-site and it will tell you how to get tickets. There are even sightseeing bus tours. Double Decker Bus Tours shows different areas of the city at different times. There are even a few tours that are 72 hours long!
Living in New York City is hard but playing in New York City is king! The nightlife hops from sun-down to sun-up. Everything, from bars to dinner theaters to gay nightspots, can be found in New York City. The glamorous people have found that The Box, on the Lower East Side, is a trendy place to be. It is so hard to get into; a person has to be with the “in-crowd” to get in.
The Box is reminiscent of a Victorian Era vaudevillian bordello. The place is seedy looking on the outside but, inside, people like Madonna and Justin Timberlake hobnob and rub elbows with the lucky few “regular people” that can get in. On the other end of the spectrum, Mr. Black’s Dance Den is a raucous gay dance club that is fun and raunchy at the same time. Everyone’s welcome from dusk until dawn, literally. Most nights they close at 6am. There is something for everyone. You can party with the rich and famous, if you can get in; or you can party with regular Joe and Jane and have the time of your life.
For another mind-blowing experience, go to some of the shops in New York City. Clothing stores, antique stores, so-pricey-your-eyes-will-fall-out stores are everywhere. Thrift stores are the rage right now, with both the elite and the regular Joe. Fashion trends everywhere, from New York City to the rest of the country, include retro, 1920’s, medieval empire waists and less-than-skinny jeans. Of course, though, you can’t forget to go see the highest priced stores in just about the whole world. Louis Vuitton, for example, is not just a place for his handbags but his store, a four-story monstrous building on 57th Street, displays clothes, shoes, dishes and just about anything else you can think of.
Another small find is a place called Opening Ceremony. It’s a mid-range priced boutique that sells men’s and women’s shoes and clothes. It’s like a high-fashion cultural exchange program. Every year, Opening Ceremony displays fashions from different countries and cultures. A wonderful little place in Soho, Moss, is a small museum-like antique store that sells just about everything, and I mean everything. Its moniker is an antique store but Moss displays ultra-modern pieces all the way to the ostentatiously old pieces. All of them are for sale.
After all of that shopping, club hopping, job hunting, apartment seeking, sightseeing, and eating until you’re gorged out, it’s time for a break. New York City boasts some of the best spas, both men’s and women’s, and treatments around. There are upscale spas and low-scale spas that cater to everyone. There are even men’s salons (the men call them barber shops, though) and, surprisingly enough, there’s even a spa called Russian and Turkish Baths, located in the East Village. Russian and Turkish Baths is a spa like no other. There’s a sun deck, a Swedish shower, aromatherapy rooms, saunas and, of course, the bath house itself. They suggest you get undressed and get de-stressed. It’s well priced at $30 for a day pass; treatments are extra.
This $30 includes a robe, slippers, towels, soap, razor and a locker for your personal items. Another spa, on 57th Street, that is pricey, but is still accessible for the once-a-year treat, is the De Novo Spa. De Novo is a European spa that includes chocolate facials, manicures and pedicures, and all of the amenities a spa offers. There are packages available from the basic, that’s $65, all the way up to the Mother-Daughter package for $400. A cute little day package is called the Little Princess Spa Party where 5 girls, ages 5 and up, get a full pint-sized spa treatment. New York City is a wonderful place to visit, a hard place to live, but worth it all the same. The party never stops in New York City.
New York City is known as the Big Apple and is the busiest commercial district in America. Home to Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Tiffany’s, and FAO Schwartz, New York attracts sightseers and vacationers alike. When staying in New York City the Casablanca Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel that has a Moroccan-inspired theme. Part of the appeal is it has soundproof rooms, which in the city that never sleeps is an exceptional quality to have. The Liberty Hotel and the French Quarter Guest Apartments are also famous hotels to stay at and bask in your New York City experience. You can visit the Ground Zero Museum, or take a bike ride tour through New York. Famous Fat Dave’s food tours can let you partake in all the food New York City has to offer; and any vacation is not complete without a trip to Central Park.
For a true New York experience you need to eat a hot dog from a street vendor and try a slice of pizza from Patzeria Perfect Pizza. New York City has a very eclectic culture and the cuisine matches its city. You have a choice from a number of fine dining establishments to choose from for whatever your budget is to the type of evening you are planning. Do you want a casual dinner or something more black-tie? You can always make reservations at Baso 56 and have the best of both worlds: a relaxed atmosphere with impeccable cuisine.
There are a vast amount of options when living within the city, and even around it, when it comes to secondary/higher education. One of the largest public schools is provided by the City University of New York (CUNY) which hosts over four hundred and fifty thousand students, with some hailing from about two hundred and five different countries. Although it is only third in the largest of university systems next to State University of New York and the California State University system, it still boasts several graduates such as Jonas Salk, Colin Powell, Harvey Pitt and a handful of other well-known individuals.
Also included are New York University, which is a private major research school in the lower parts of the Manhattan area, and Columbia University, which is a part of the Ivy League system in the upper parts of Manhattan. New York Law School can also be found in Lower Manhattan. It is one of the oldest law schools in the United States, being founded in 1891. The New York Academy of Sciences hosts some twenty thousand scientists of different regions of study and from over one hundred and fifty different countries.
New York is not strictly for Law, the sciences and other similar areas of studying. It also is well known for its cultural and artistic sides, and the education system is no stranger to this idea. A few examples of this are The Juilliard School, School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology. The previously mentioned New York University also holds The Tisch School of Arts within its campus. Another school, The New School hosts many options for Design, Liberal Arts, Drama, Social Research and Music as well.
There are far more options available within New York, most of which would take pages to properly list, not to mention describe. New York's life, which is made up of numerous cultures, does not disappoint when it comes to offering varieties in education.
Transportation is as varied and different as the rest of the city. With such a large and spread out city, it is no surprise that there are multiple ways to get around. By far the most prevalent methods of transportation are those of the bus, taxi cabs, subway system, bicycle and foot. Incidentally, about forty-eight percent of citizens own their own private cars, yet only about thirty percent really use them for transporting themselves to work. The other, more public modes of transportation are seen as the more practical means of getting to work.
The subway system is perhaps one of more iconic methods of getting around the city. New York boasts the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by length alone, also being the second largest in the United States. One of the more dominant modes of transportation is that of the Rail system, which seems to be growing in business each day.
These are closely followed behind by the bus system, which is extensive to say the least. With well over five thousand buses to carry around two million passengers per day, it is no surprise that the routes number over two hundred local routes and thirty express routes. Taxi cab business is booming in the area, as well. Currently, there are approximately thirteen thousand and eighty-seven cabs operating within the city limits, owned by private companies, and painted the trademark and well-known yellow color.
Other favorite methods of transportation are those of one's own two feet or bicycling, which cuts down on transportation costs and is a bit healthier for some. For water methods there are of course the eight different ferry boats, which is handy for tourists and those just wanting to see the sights as they run twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.
New York City has infrastructure offering services to residents, businesses and tourists alike. The Consumer Protection Board provides advice and services to all residents of the city but for more serious matters the New York City police department has 5 police precincts in each of the 5 boroughs with a District Attorney’s Office also operating in each. For more social services related issues, the new affordable Housing Resource Centre has details of all of the city´s affordable accommodation; while the Department of Education helps you find out the best elementary and high schools around the city. The Department of Records and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will provide information on obtaining everything from driving licences to birth, death or marriage certificates.
The Department of Buildings and the Department of Finance are the first ports of call for businesses wishing to register in the city; while for consumer services such as restaurants, businesses will have to get themselves registered with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and obtain the necessary information on trading laws. For businesses employing staff, Business Link is the city service which helps find and recruit job seekers and advises on best practices for employers. City Hall, the oldest in America, still provides many of the business and consumer administrative services as it did earlier and as one of the oldest buildings in the city, it’s a must see for any tourist. The Transport Security Administration provides up to date news on all public transport systems in the city. For tourists, the NYC & Company will provide all the information on places to stay, visit and eat. However a trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without visiting its Parks and trying out all the outdoor activities on offer. The Department of Parks and Recreational Services will help you find parks, current schemes and offers and seasonal discounts.
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