What are some common mistakes that tourists make when they are visiting New York City?

Best hotels near Central Park NYC

Bringing your car.

Your car doesnu2019t belong anywhere near New York City, especially Manhattan.

You probably wonu2019t be able to use it while youu2019re in the city anyway.

Parking in NYC is extremely expensive.

,Not having a plan to get from the airport to your hotel.

Taxis are expensive.

There are other, cheaper options, and there are booths at the airports to help you get where youu2019re going, but do some research before you leave and you can find less expensive more appealing options like shuttles that will take you to the door of your hotel.

,Underestimating time requirements.

You may look at Central Park and say u201cOh, the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim are right next to it, and look, Madison Avenue is just a block away!u201d Bad news.

Each of the museums can take a full day all by themselves.

Be realistic about how much you can get done in a day.

,Avoiding the subway.

Itu2019s the best way to get around, if a little complicated.

Donu2019t be afraid to ask for help.

,Ignoring the boroughs.

Coney Island in Brooklyn.

DUMBO (an interesting Brooklyn neighbourhood).

The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

The Bronx Zoo.

There is lots to see and do in Manhattan, but itu2019s not the whole city.

Things in the boroughs tend to be cheaper too, like eating and shopping.

,Not going to the bathroom when you see one.

Trust me.

Go before you leave your hotel.

Museum bathrooms are excellent.

New Yorkers laugh about male/female bathrooms because in some restaurants thereu2019s just one.

,Not planning.

Do your homework before going out.

That includes eating.

There are lots of great, affordable places to eat in New York, but none of them are near Times Square.

There are good Italian places outside of Little Italy that are less likely to be crowded, and the same goes for good Chinese places outside of Chinatown.

,Standing on the sidewalk.

Move along or get out of the way.

In many busy areas of the city you either go with the flow or move to the side - you donu2019t stop to take pictures or to talk because you can back up pedestrian traffic in all directions.

,Not exploring.

There are great places outside the traditional shopping districts.

Iu2019m particularly fond of Union Square at Broadway & 14th Street which boasts two bookstores and a comic store.

Get curious.

,Being afraid.

When I say u201cHarlemu201d, u201cthe Lower East Sideu201d or u201cHellu2019s Kitchenu201d images may leap into your mind, but they donu2019t match the current reality.

There are worthwhile places to visit in all of these areas.

,Harlem,Lower East Side,Hellu2019s Kitchen

Park Lane hotel New York

Quite a few celebrities have done it.

Be advised thereu2019s a lot of foul language in these videos.

,Kanye West,In 2013 Kanye West was in the LAX airport and this happened:,2.

Justin Bieber,Also in 2013 Justin Bieber himself got into an altercation with a paparazzi outside the Park Lane Hotel in London.


Russel Brand,In 2010 Russel Brand and his then wife Katy Perry were arriving at LAX and then Russel notices one of the paparazzi trying to snatch a photo under Katyu2019s dress.

,Then this is how he reacts:,He was placed under citizenu2019s arrest and had to wait for police to arrive and had to pay 13 thousand dollars bail.


Alec Baldwin,This man can look like the nicest man and also like this:,The man says u201cyour breaking my armu201d but he merely grabbed it.

Poor little paparazzi.

,Here a few other altercations he had with paparazzi:,5.

Shia Labeouf,No list about this subject would be complete without Shia in it, would it?,6.

Miley Cyrus,Miley seems like a cool and likable person, to me at least, but this time she went off and rightfully so:,7.

Britney Spears,I believe we all know this story.

,Britney wasnu2019t in her right mind in 2007 and among many things that happened around that time the most notorious one is of her hitting a paparazziu2019s car with her umbrella:,8.

Chris Martin,The Coldplay singer is well known for his altercations with the paparazzi.

,This one still has no explanation though:,9.

Hugh Grant,In 2009 the beloved actor was seen walking at night with a friend while in New York and he appeared to be as nice as in the movies talking to the paparazzi and then he does this:,10.

Bjork,The Icelandic singer went off in a paparazzi for apparently no reason in 1996:,Mr.

Aaron Hyde in the comments has been kind enough to give further details on this incident.

,Cable reporter Julie Kaufman told Reuters after pop star Bjork attacked her in 1996 at a Thailand airport.

Bjorks publicist later accused Kaufman of stalking the musician for nearly a week leading up to their encounter, and that Bjork was simply trying to protect her 9-year-old son, who she was was traveling with.

,Honorable mention:,Spider-man himself:,How would you react if you were being followed by paparazzi?,Thank you for reading and watching.

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Manhattan is so safe itu2019s almost dull.

,Anthony Bourdain complained about this all the time.

To paraphrase: u201cTimes Square is where you used to go to get a hooker at 2 am.

Today, itu2019s where you go to see Lion King with the family.

And thereu2019s no good food left anywhere near there.

u201d,Central Park at night? Youu2019re taking more of a risk than in Times Square, because Central Park is more isolated.

There will be zillions of people in Times Square at night.

But parks seem to attract creeps u2014 in New York or any city.

,If you go to New York from October-April, itu2019s dark there by about 8 pm at the latest.

Actually by about 5:30 in the dead of winter.

Thatu2019s not late.

Thereu2019s gonna be people everywhere.

,Plus, with the exception of Central Park, a lot of businesses are open late in New York u2014 unlike a lot of American cities, where downtown is defunct at 9.

If a creep is following you, just walk into some restaurant, or bar, or whateveru2019s open.

No business owner is going to fault you for u201cloiteringu201d if you think youu2019re in danger.

,Overall, New York u2014 contrary to a widespread belief, and contrary to what the city used to be like (New York was a crime-infested, run-down shithole in the 1970s) u2014 is one of the safest cities in the United States.

Which isnu2019t a green light to be stupid about safety.

Butu2026 donu2019t lock yourself up in a hotel at 9 pm.

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As a tour guide and entertainer in NYC, its really difficult for me to mention only one, so I wont.

Here are some of my favorite things:,A bit of history: The One New York Times building (from which the ball drops on New Years Eve),located in TIMES SQUARE, is completely empty and devoid of tenants, with the exception of the street level Walgreens.

This is because the current owner realized he could make more money from signage than space rentals.

Prior to 1904, Times Square was called Longacre Square because it was one long acre.

It was not yet the Broadway Theatre District; it was the horse and carriage district.

New Years Eve in NY had been always officially celebrated downtown at Trinity Church (highly recommended history-rich site with Manhattanu2019s only remaining in-use cemetary and final resting place of Alexander Hamilton).

Adolph Ochs, head of the Times, wanted to move his newspaper, which was located downtown, up to the site where it now stands in Times Sq.

on 42nd St.

, but there was a problem: The Pabst Hotel (of Milwaukee beer fame) stood on the site and would have to be torn down.

No problem, money talks! It became the very first skyscraper in the world to meet the wrecking ball.

When the Times opened in 1904, Ochs announced his publicity scheme to move NYCu2019s New Years Eve celebration to Times Square.

For two years, there were fireworks and crowds of 200,000, but city officials worried about fires, so in 1907 someone had an idea of a dropping ball.

The rest was history.

The first ball was of wood and iron, was 5 ft.

diameter and weighed 700 lbs.


The current ball is made of over 2,500 Waterford crystals, is capable of over 16 million digital color combinations and is 12,000 lbs.

No, I have not nor do I ever plan to be part of that crowd unless they ask me to perform in it some day.

,BROADWAY THEATERS Currently, only 4 of the 40 Broadway theaters front Broadway: the Winter Garden (formerly a horse stable - the horse ring was renovated into a theater.

For the first 10 years, it was the only one in town with a runway into the audience for chorus girls, which earned its nickname the Bridge of Thighs), the Broadway Theatre (where my partner assistant-orchestrated the original u201cMiss Saigonu201d), the Palace Theatre (lots of ghosts) and the Marquis Theatre.

The others are mostly located on side streets.

I suppose you could add the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center to the list, since Lincoln Ctr.

is located on Broadway, just not in the theater district.

Therefore, the qualification for a Broadway theater has nothing to do with its location; instead, itu2019s the designated number of seats: 500+ (off-Bdwy is 199 to 499 and off-off is anything under that).

There are currently over 200 theaters total in the theater district alone.

If you are standing in Duffy Square (epicenter of the theater district) at TKTS (the discount ticket booth) in queue for discount tickets to one of these Broadway shows and happen to glance across the street to 1552 Broadway (46th St.

), youll notice four actress statues carved into the building: Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, Rosa Ponselle and Mary Pickford.

This was the I.

Miller Shoe Bldg.

The sign said u201cI.

Miller The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated to Beauty in Footwear.

u201d His clients were the most elegant, famous ladies in NY.

He staged a contest, asking customers to vote for their favorite stars, the above ladies won and their likenesses were sculpted in marble in 1929.


Miller closed in 1970 and over the years the starues fell into disrepair; the biggest culprit guilty of neglect was the big TGI Fridays sign that covered them.

They were heavily damaged, but when Fridays moved out, they were restored to their glory days.

Now these srar ladies proudly watch over Duffy Square, perhaps flirting with the bronze statue of George M.


Thatll give you a few of yesteryearu2019s favorites to Google while you wait in line.

TIP: If the line is too long at TKTS, and sometimes it can be, thereu2019s also a Downtown TKTS that nobody knows about, and therefore no lines, at 190 Front St.

(corner John St.

) in lower Manhattan.

Of course, by the time you walk to the subway, wait, board, travel, disembark, walk, purchase ticket, walk back, wait for train, ride back, youu2019ve probably spent more time than you would waiting in line.

So do your downtown sightseeing the same day you want to see a show and you can efficiently kill two birds with one stone.

Or stand and wait in the excitement of Times Square.

The other night I had a client.

We reached TKTS Times Square at 6:30 p.


There was no line and they snagged two orchestra tickets for Bernadette Peters in u201cHello Dollyu201d at a total of $200.

Your call.

,TIDBITS OF INFO: There are Native American Caves way uptown Manhattan in Inwood Park.

(I havent visited these yet but hope to in the very near future and its next on my list.

)Sections of the Berlin Wall u2014 Next to 520 Madison Avenue is Paley Park, a nice little outdoor space.

Inside the building itself is an exhibit in the lobby u2014 5 pieces of the Berlin Wall.

(I heard it was removed for restoration and will be moved to another location u2014 dont know whether its back up or how much of that is fact.

Best to check it out yourself.

) Trapeze School of New York u2014 Pier 40 West Side Hwy.

You can take trapeze lessons, or watch from the street as people swing on the rooftop trapeze.

Trapeze classes are on my agenda this summer! Open April thru Oct, I believe.

Music Under N.


u2014 Many of the musicians and singers who perform in our citys subways are part of Music Under N.


, (sanctioned by the Transit Authority).

These performers audition to perform in the most coveted subway spots.

The ones I personally know are respected members of the cabaret and entertainment community and do this for the tips, so if you happen upon some of them performing and enjoy their performance, its nice to consider leaving them a gratuity.

Museum of the American Indian (Across from Bowling Green at the southernmost tip of Manhattan) - Part of the Smithsonian Institute and located in the former Alexander Hamilton Customs House, a major example of Beaux Arts architecture; BATTERY PARK (Great views of the Statue of Liberty and located right next to the Staten Island Ferry, which is free and goes right past the SOL).

You can also visit in Battery Park the Skyscraper Museum, the Irish Potato Famine Memorial, the Jewish Heritage Museum and more.

Battery Park is within walking distance from many other major historic attractions relating to Dutch Colonial New York (New Amsterdam - now known as FIDI for Financial District), South Street Seaport and a couple blocks from Fraunces Tavern - NYCu2019s oldest historic tavern and a great place to have lunch or dinner.

Itu2019s where Washington bid an emotional farewell to his troops.

It also has a small museum.

Note: if youu2019re in this part of town and see a street sign thatu2019s black, it means itu2019s a colonial street.

Further uptown, brown street signs indicate a historic block.

Chelsea Piers u2014 Hudson River at Meatpacking District.

Take a stroll on the brilliantly landscaped High Line, a repurposed walkway offering a delightful blend of imported flora, urban art and cityscape over abandoned railroad tracks.

When you reach the meatpacking district, look for an old archway over Pier 59 (at 13th St).

This is a tragic site where the Titanic was supposed to dock.

You can barely make out the faded lettering u201cWhite Star Line.

u201d Next to it is Pier 54 where the Lusitania, which was sunk by a German submarine, set sail.

Part of the Chelsea Piers now a sports center.

The Whitney Museum is also in this immediate area.

Woolworth Building.

- If you can, book a tour of this Gothic beauty, NYs tallest from 1913-32.

Fascinating history.

Its closed to the public but they offer (monthly?) tours.

One of the truly grand lobbies of the gilded age.

The 80-floor elevators were tested by dropping them (Siri/auto-correct had changed u2018elevatorsu2019 to u2018actorsu2019 - u201ctested actors by dropping themu201d - glad I eventually caught that one!).

,ZODIAC AT GRAND CENTRAL u2014 Grand Central Terminal is full of fabulous secrets.

My favorite: Half a million passengers commute through Grand Central Station everyday.

Most of them are completely unaware of the zodiac mural above their heads.

If you look at it closely, you might notice something odd: its the backward view of the zodiac.

There have been several explanations for this but no one really knows why.

The one most commonly referred to is that it would be the view from above looking down on the stars, as it was built during a time when people were highly spiritual and astrology was taken very, very seriously.

It was last restored in the 1990u2032s when Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis spearheaded the restoration of Grand Central.

,THE BEST VIEWS Finally, the best views of New York City are obviously not in New York City, but are directly across the river - in Weehawken, New Jersey.

This is the spot where Alexander Hamilton was killed in the duel with Aaron Burr.

Hamilton Park is located on the cliffs along the palisade on Boulevard East.

Its easily accessible by bus and only takes 10 minutes to get there from Port Authority.

You can also view the site from the Manhattan side by standing alongside the Hudson from around 45th Street and looking toward the row of mansions lining the cliff.

(I used to occupy the top floor of one of those homes youre looking at u2014 complete with THAT view, across the street from the noted site.

) Hamilton Park also offers summer jazz festivals by the water, some decent restaurants and one can even do some fairly challenging rock climbing a few miles to the north).

Aside from the NJ Transit buses, you can also get there via NY Waterway (a ferry terminal at 38th St.

and West Side Hwy.

I took the below photo last week at a party about a half mile away (close enough; sorry itu2019s a little grainy).

Cheap hotels near Central Park NYC

Whats considered inexpensive is always relative, but I tend to think of $150/night as being a very good deal for a room in New York at a reasonably decent hotel.

,Theres the Pod Hotels -- there are two locations.

Ive stayed at Pod 51 under duress during a last minute business trip during the Christmas travel season when hotel prices were insanity.

I needed to be on the UES, and Pod 51 happened to be a mile away so I booked it for like $150/night.

Pod 51 is really half boutique hotel, half hostel -- you can get a shared room with a shared bathroom for like $80/night.

Their pricing is weirdly bouncy, and the hotel is extremely popular with European travelers.



Ive seen rooms priced there for $350 which is insane.

Its a very young crowd, a lot of backpackers and not so many business travelers.

The room was totally adequate, not even all that pod-like, and the hotel is on a quiet street in a nice neighborhood.

,Ive also gotten a room at The Hudson Hotel which is right next to the Time Warner Center in midtown.

Someone recommended it to me, and I dont know that Id stay there again.

The room was $150/night, so it was pretty cheap but the standard rooms are claustrophobically small -- the room was smaller than my Pod hotel room.

The hotel and the room, however, were significantly nicer than The Pod.

,I had rooms once at The Lexington, which I recall being around $200 a night.

The room was a good size, and the hotel was very quiet which is great.

Everyone there seemed to be on business.

Its about a mile south of Central Park.

It was pretty unmemorable, but completely adequate.

,I like the Ace Hotel a lot, particularly if Im traveling alone because its kind of a loud, packed scene and everyone who frequents the bar is super friendly.

And during the day, the downstairs lobby space is filled with people working on their laptops.

Ive gotten rooms there for as little as $250/night which is a bargain for the type of hotel it is.

The rooms are also much larger than most standard hotel rooms.

,If youre looking for a more corporate, luxury experience, the New York Palace Hotel is beloved by business travelers.

Its in midtown, so generally cheaper than its luxury counterparts closer to the UES like The Surrey, Carlyle, etc.

The cheapest room Ive gotten in the Palace was $350/night.

The rooms are very large, but theyre not nearly as a nice as the building and lobby would suggest they should be.

The service is great, though.

1 Hotel Central Park

This is a true story that involves Donald Trump, the Dalai Lama, and a doorman.

It was September 2003.

I had just arrived in NYC from Arizona to start college.

I packed a backpack, shipped some boxes out and didnt look back.

I was on a mission.

,It was one of those late summer, early autumn nights in NYC where anything was possible.

The streets were alive and people had plans.

The air was complex and misty.

It smelled like the aftermath of a concert.

There was an orange glow to everything.

Perhaps it was from the streetlights.

Or maybe it was the omnipresent charge of NYC energizing everyone and everything through its sheer presence.

At least thats how it seemed to me after having just arrived here the night before.

,It was about 2am and I was wandering the streets of Brooklyn with two girls I had just met at college.

We still had energy and wanted to keep exploring.

We decided we would walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan.

By 4am we were in Times Square.

NYC was still alive as ever at that time.

No one seemed to sleep.

So we didnt either.

,We were handed a flyer that announced the Dalai Lamas event in Central Park that morning.

That was it.

Our destination was set.

We had somewhere to be.

We started uptown.

By then, we had probably walked 15 miles.

,When we finally arrived at the south west entrance of Central Park, we quickly realized that the park was closed until the Dalai Lama arrived and we couldnt get in.

Police were everywhere and the barricades were up.

,The sun was about to rise.

,We had been on the streets all night.

,We were sweaty and needed some place to sit down.

,The girls decided they wanted to watch the sunrise.

,Above us rose what seemed to be the tallest building we had seen all night: Trump International Hotel & Tower at 1 Central Park West.

,I had to get us to the top.

How could we waste a morning like this on the streets without watching the sunrise?,What followed could have been an outtake form Ferris Buellers Day Off.

,You cant just walk into the Trump International Hotel & Tower, but thats exactly what we attempted to do.

,There was a doorman on duty.

But how could we get by him?,I couldnt believe it but he was asleep.

We took the opportunity and quietly walked right by him and into the elevator across the lobby.

,We couldnt press a button without a key.

,Plan foiled.

,Or so we thought.

,As we nervously huddled in the elevator, I explained to the girls the plan: we would start making a bunch of noise so we would wake him up as we came out of the elevator seemingly from upstairs.

We would then walk out the elevator and approach the doorman as we angrily accuse him of sleeping on the job.

He will assume we live in the building and we will take that opportunity to make our demands, which he will be expected to fulfill so as not to lose his job.

,It worked just as planned.

,We busted out of the elevator screaming about some made up conversation.

We were talking about ballet or some pretentious nonsense to add to our wealthy, Trump resident persona.

,We stopped and just starred at him as he was waking up rubbing his eyes.

He was clearly embarrassed and ashamed.


Just where I wanted him.

,I walked up to him and quietly explained that I didnt want to get him in trouble.

I explained that he could avoid any trouble if he sent for a couple of bottles of champagne and breakfast for me and girls on the roof.

,He didnt hesitate.

He got on his phone and called the kitchen immediately.

We asked him to escort us to the roof and set a place for us to dine and enjoy the sunrise.

,This whole time he believed we were residents of the Trump International Hotel & Tower on Central Park West.

One of the most expensive residences in NYC.

Three sweaty, underage college students dressed like scallywags.

,When we arrived on the roof, we were surprised to see a beautiful setup.

Lounge chairs, tables with umbrellas, and a view of Central Park that was out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

,The champagne and breakfast quickly arrived.

Along with a bouquet of flowers.

,The three of us were alone on the rooftop of the Trump Tower with two bottles of champagne, a full breakfast, comfortable chairs, and a view that very few people get to see.

,The sun was rising.

,The Dalai Lamas monks were drumming in the park announcing his arrival and practicing for the main event.

,We felt it.

,It was NYCs way of welcoming us and showing us what was possible.

,It was a taste of the good life.

,But it was based on deception and it wasnt our reality.

,We knew that if we wanted that reality we would have to earn it.

,I dont know what happened to the two girls after that night.

I never saw them again.

,But Im positive that they still remember it.

,Im still trying to find a way back to that metaphorical rooftop.