New York City

Feb 05 2009

Not for Tourists, Definitely For Me

NFT New York City 2009

NFT New York City 2009

I think it’s safe to say that traveling to a new city is quite different than moving to one. Visiting a new city is pure excitement: in every direction new cuisines to try, parks to explore, streets to meander through and maybe even a new language to listen to. But when actually relocating, whether for two months or two decades, unadulterated excitement is accompanied by the mundane: coffee? laundry? groceries? bank? Enter Not For Tourists (NFT) Guides.

As a new resident of Brooklyn, or Crooklyn as Spike Lee called it in 1994 and as I now call it to amuse myself, I’ve come to appreciate the NFT guide. It has a great fold-out bus and subway map and has lots of general information about theaters, museums, and parks.

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Nov 28 2008

Happy Belated Birthday Teddy (Roosevelt)!

Published by under News,Travel

Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace --photo by Lisa

Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace --photo by Lisa

If you happen to find yourself wandering around Union Square in New York City with an extra hour to spare, might I suggest popping into the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site for an informative tour.  One-hundred-fifty years ago (and one month, his birthday was on October 26th), Theodore Roosevelt was born in a beautiful townhouse at 28 East 20th Street. Apparently, I missed the Birthday Block Party this year, but they still had commemorative Theodore Roosevelt Birthday mugs for sale in the gift shop.

The current house is a reconstruction and was built by the Woman’s Roosevelt Memorial Association in 1923 as a memorial for our 26th President. There is a really interesting gallery of Roosevelt memorabilia showcasing his toys, political cartoons, campaign buttons and the hat that he wore in the Spanish-American War.  Guided tours are offered almost every hour and are preceded by a short film about Roosevelt’s youth.  All of this for only three dollars!

(The Blue Guide to New York was a great source for finding interesting smaller museums to see in New York City so I could escape the cold weather!)

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Oct 10 2008


Published by under Travel

Cool Parents Guide to NYC

Cool Parents Guide to NYC by Helen Rogan & Alfred Gingold

My parents had never been to New York City. I am not sure why, I guess that it just seemed too far away from the state of Washington and being small business owners they never had enough time to get away except for a long weekend. However, my parents are now retired and apparently have spent a lot of time discovering the joys of HBO On Demand and catching up on the TV show Sex and the City.  My Mom loves the show so much that her only request for her birthday trip to New York City was to on on the Sex and the City Tour. Well, that and to see the Statue of Liberty.

Since I was put in charge of planning the trip for us,  I started to figure out where we could dispose of my father while we went on the tour and when I discussed the possibilities with Mom the conversations went a little like this:

“So Dad can sit at a cafe and read the newspaper while we go on the tour,” I said.

“Oh no!” said my Mom. “Buy him a ticket too.”

“But Mom, Dad doesn’t want to go on the Sex and the City Tour,” I protested.

“Your Father probably won’t even realize that he is on a Sex and the City Tour,” was the curt reply.

“But Mom, he will be on a bus of women, looking at shoe stores and drinking cosmos. He might figure it out. Did you ask him what he wants to do? ”

“He never asked me if I wanted to spend my time looking at Civil War sites across the South. Or go on a golfing vacation in Florida. (Mom hates golf.) He will be fine. Besides, if we leave him alone for 4 hours he will get lost and we will never see him again. Buy the tickets.”

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Jun 27 2008

Hooray to the Mighty Red Maps!

Published by under News

Red Map of NYC

Red Map of NYC

Yesterday, my day off, I was lucky enough to take a day trip to New York City. It wasn’t just for fun; on the contrary, I had the task of helping my two foreign friends.

New York City is overwhelming. It comes down on you like a hurricane, like a mighty wave of light, sound, heat, commotion and pure thrill. Its streets are like overflowing rivers and its subway system is a maze that confuses you in a snap. All of it together makes your head spin. Now, multiply the effect of it all by a thousand for two humble guys who haven’t seen anything like that in their entire lives. So, I had no other option than to turn into Ariadne for one day — to help them find their way in this labyrinth called “The City.”

Well, even Ariadne had to use a wool thread. I had a better tool in my hands — two Red Maps of New York City. I presented those to my friends and they immediately let out two sighs of relief. They obviously were not going for a lot of details, so something clear, straight to the point and with a subway map marked right over the streets perfectly served the purpose. I headed back to Boston with a light heart yesterday just because I know there is nothing better than a nice, useful, helpful map to make a brief stay even in the bustle of New York City a breeze.

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